James Alex Waldron

Zupa Profiles – Content Manager – James Waldron

We’re not all software developers. Indeed, you wouldn’t have found this website without the other teams in our company! This week, meet the man who started life in newspapers before finding a niche in business communications; as we (lightly) quiz our Content Manager.

Tell us about yourself

Originally from the New Forest, I went to university in Southampton and have made the city my home. I’m lucky to live alongside the sea with my partner and take full advantage of the green spaces that snake their way through various SO1 postcodes. A sunny day usually means a quick trip on a Red Jet to the Isle of Wight. For most months, I have several creative digital projects, involving copy writing and design. This ensures I maintain my skills outside of work. When I’m not working, you’ll likely find me on an aeroplane! Making time to learn about people and cultures through authentic storytelling is important to me and reflected through my training and history of work in Journalism.

How did you choose a career in communications?

After a start in newspapers and video news production, I soon realised what a tough time that industry had in measuring success. We had impressions and time-on-page, but never knew if the events we covered and content we produced empowered audiences – surely our raison d’etre. Whilst risky, jumping into the corporate route gave me a path to tangible results, and I’ve been incredibly lucky to work with organisations that embrace imagination and a decent level of autonomy.

James Waldron Zupa

10 years on: “Jumping into the corporate route gave me a path to tangible results

What are you doing here at Zupa?

I have joined Zupa at a time of rapid growth—from a small, defined development house, to our scaled-up re-invention, building an entirely new portfolio of software. This has granted me the opportunity to build a comms department and design our creative production processes from scratch. Roles that balance creative design and written communications with the technical side of campaign automation are incredibly rare outside of agencies.

I begun working closely with our Head of Research and Innovation, initially to learn how the Zupa platform will work and why it will dramatically improve how businesses conduct transactions in the future. My initial focus was to tackle Zupa’s online presence and Caternet’s collateral; however this has grown into the management of all company touchpoints. Working with Sales and Support teams, I describe my job as ‘looking after anywhere you’ll find our logo’.

More recently, I’ve begun to work with our amazing software developers on in-product messaging. To see how our products are evolving is incredibly rewarding!

How do you feel about the technology industry?

I joined having spent five years in education publishing. In that market, serving institutions with live data on a easy-to-use platform became increasingly necessary. Students who used software vs textbooks alone, performed 33% better in their exams. When the Zupa role came along, I had seen the power of software in assisting people to grow their futures, and specifically sought to be a part of the industry.

If you had to pass on one piece of wisdom, what would it be?

For anyone starting out; congratulations! You have your whole life ahead of you and that is incredibly exciting. In the words of Back to the Future’s Doc Brown;

“It means your future hasn’t been written yet. No one’s has! Your future is whatever you make it. So make it a good one!”.

Most importantly, if you don’t know something, say ‘I don’t know’. You will save yourself a world of trouble. No one has all the answers, and a gap in your knowledge may be fixed with more training. I’ve found training to open unexpected pathways and identify hidden skills. Attend industry meet-ups and take the free online courses from Accenture and Google. As you advance through your career, be sure to build a network of career allies.

Always remember where you are. You will develop a sixth sense for how to talk with specific people and promote your ideas.

You can get to know more of my pathway to Zupa, on LinkedIn here. To read more Zupa People profiles, click here!