I’m an experienced content specialist with a track record of strategic content planning, production and development across a wide variety of sectors including sports, financial and consumer.
By day I’m the Global Content Manager for Sealskinz – makers of waterproof outdoor accessories. I devise and execute content campaigns that involve audience insight, art direction, photography, graphics, videography and copywriting.
By night – I have nearly ten years’ experience in helping distil and visualize the ideas of freelance clients of all sizes, developing brand identities and tone of voice, helping businesses to understand their audience. I love all types of art – particularly art that calls the street its canvas, and music that comes with a large helping of bass, drums and soul.
1st Class Honours Degree in English, Southampton University 3 A-Levels, 11 GCSEs A-C Rivington and Blackrod High School, Bolton.
Content Strategy and Production Freelancer (November 2019 – Present)
- Helping brands and organisations to adopt or refine a digital marketing presence.
- Defining, developing and deploying effective brand content campaigns through the planning and creation of bespoke content, including copy, graphics, video and photography.
The challenge in my current role is to develop the brand persona for the company, which, although trading for over two decades, has lacked a coherent digital presence. This is a key time of growth for the brand, as several smaller companies have started to gain traction in this specialist outdoor accessory category.
I research what kind of content will best resonate with the different consumer types the brand currently connects with well (outdoor adventurers and endurance enthusiasts), and also strategise how to grow awareness of our brand story and products across key consumer mass market groups (leisure walkers, commuter cyclists, for example).
- Writing strategic plans for digital content campaigns across UK, European and American markets
- Researching audience wants and needs to ensure brand content is effective, useful and engaging
- Filming, photography, editing, animating and copywriting dynamic and (as much as possible) remarkable content that resonates with key customer categories, across differing levels of outdoor activity
- Managing relationships with influencer creators and freelancers, who develop content featuring Sealskinz product on my behalf, particularly across German and US territories.
Marketing Executive, British Cycling (June 2016 – March 2018)
Meeting the challenge of developing and delivering content marketing campaigns that inspire more people to choose cycling as an activity for health, wellbeing and enjoyment. Building innovative brand communication strategies that recognise the diverse nature of British Cycling’s target audience, cultivating approaches that both speak to and represent different social and cultural groupings within this audience, in order to encourage engagement with British Cycling’s recreational ride programmes.
- Demonstrating a flair for strategic thinking as well as skills required for creative execution of ideas
- Copywriting to a high standard, conducting detailed research to develop compelling articles
- Visual storytelling for digital and print, through photography, design, illustration and animation
- Art direction: Sourcing, editing and optimising all photographic assets for the new ‘Let’s Ride’ website
- Crafting stylised marketing assets to communicate brand messaging and build awareness
- Devising and designing presentation slides to communicate complex plans and business critical pitches
- Creating and co-ordinating marketing and communication campaigns and managing budgets
- Writing, implementing and reviewing marketing and PR plans and activity for partners
- Stakeholder relationship management
- Managing social media channels and developing bespoke creative to increase user engagement
- Testing the new website, including user experience and user interface design input
Digital Content Planner, MEC Global (2015 – June 2016)
Leading creative idea generation sessions to build content campaign concepts, and presenting these ideas to clients
- Writing long and short form copy for campaigns, including onsite copy and supporting offline materials
- Creating effective assets for new business pitches, idea visualisations and promotional materials
- Liaising with printers, web developers and stakeholders to deliver engaging work to tight deadlines and changing demands
- Drawing on 10 years experience of using Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, Indesign and Premiere, as well as Cinema 4D and Apple Logic Music production software for creative execution of ideas
- Collaborating across the agency with press, radio and TV teams to devise and activate creative campaigns
Campaign specific work:
Star Wars (Compare the Market) For this campaign I developed short form copy for the Star Wars affiliated direct response campaign CTM ran during the launch of Star Wars – The Force Awakens. The campaign successfully generated interest in using CTM to compare real-world quotes after galactic ones, as well as generating interest in the Meerkat Movies ticket promotion. This included:
- Writing on-site body copy for the promotional hub
- Devising SEO optimised titles and descriptions to encourage click-through from popular keyword search terms
- Work is live on http://www.comparethemarket.com/galactic-insurance/
TradePoint (trade arm of B&Q) I am editor and project manager for an ongoing content hub for TradePoint, consisting of specialist trade articles and assets. This content marketing project is the first of its kind in the trade sector – a project I have led from conception to publishing, while also devising and producing the on-site imagery.
- Writing planning document to sell ideas in to the client, overcoming initial trepidation toward a new area of marketing for them
- Presenting developed concepts and methods to the client, winning overwhelming support for the campaign
- Developing copy and images for a direct response paid seeding campaign on Facebook, effectively engaging with their 120k strong audience to ask them to complete an industry survey
- Currently planning the next phase of content, liaising with a TV personality to create video assets for the second season of content, to make the hub even more relevant and engaging.
- Work is live on http://www.trade-point.co.uk/trade-talk
First Great Western Trains (Now Great Western Trains Collaborating on the devising and production for 2015 UK Search Award nominated campaign ‘Frame Your Train’ for Great Western Trains. This user-generated photo hub encouraged train travellers to upload their best photos taken from FGW train journeys.
- Key member of the pre-campaign idea generation session
- Built wireframes of the initial photo gallery concept to present ideas to the client
- Constructed the background graphics to sit on the gallery webpage
- Developing tone of voice and creative style guide for EE-owned ‘LIFE Mobile’
- Building audience and customer journey research document to present to key stakeholders to encourage dynamic campaigns.
Creative Content Executive, MEC Global (2013 – 2015)
- Won agency award for ‘most creative employee’ 2013
- Devised and executed several successful blogger outreach campaigns on behalf of Halifax and Lloyds Bank, including the writing of press releases and targeted outreach emails
- Writing content for eBooks and outreach campaigns, and devising, writing and illustrating campaign story boards for award entries and new business pitches
- Conducting SEO-based account tasks including keyword research, reporting and on-site copy optimisation
- Creation of internal reporting video for the BBC account, to present work and results to broadcast client contacts.
Freelance graphic designer and branding consultant (ongoing)
- Logo design and creative branding for Manchester charity N-Gage
- Created identity and promotional copy for local youth organisation Elevate
- Devised identity for young people’s health initiative, NHS
- Designed promotional material for Children in Care initiative, Lancashire County Council
- Design and photography e-portfolio: http://issuu.com/mattrudd/docs/portfolio_e-version
Lancashire County Council – Young People’s Service Officer (2010 – 2013)
- Wrote and designed department marketing plan, targeting customer service goals and promotional opportunities
- Copywriter for regional guide for young people, distributed county-wide
- Developed and delivered presentations to large and diverse groups to explain the complexities of student finance support – enlivening a challenging subject area and creating engagement
Southampton City Council – Offender Learning and Skills Service Officer, (2007 – 2010)
- Demonstrated passion and commitment in coaching disadvantaged young people.
- Managed a caseload of service users, coordinating educational activities and meeting support needs
The Sanctuary Hostel for Substance Misusers – Support Worker – (2004 – 2007)
- Worked with a highly challenging group of clients, motivating them to continue their recovery from substance addictions.
- Regularly called upon to diffuse confrontational situations, help with learning needs and inspire change
Skills and Qualities
Experienced and versatile communicator – skilled at both communicating concepts and information to large audiences and facilitating small group sessions. In-depth knowledge of Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop – adept at image manipulation, layout and digital illustration. Calm under pressure, able to adapt and apply creative solutions and alternative approaches to problems with confidence and dynamism.
I love words. Perhaps that comes from my Mum – a librarian all her life. My Dad was a draughtsman, so I guess my interests are pretty evenly traceable back to both parents! My dad was a brilliant craftsman, not just on a drawing board but also designing things out of metal (mainly bike frames). Another one of his passions was photography. I share his love of photography and getting out into Creation (also mainly on bikes!) but I also love urban environments – architecture, industrial artefacts, spaces full of people and activity. In a way there are a whole host of harmonies in my life – elements that taken separately might seem to contrast. As with great graphic design and literature, sometimes a mixed-bag of styles can result in something amazing – a bit like Manchester itself… Red and blue, industrial and natural, rock and techno, grace and truth. I’m active in the Manchester music community, promoting and performing at a variety of events. I’m a member of a local cycling team, involving fundraising activities and trip planning. I’m currently building a body of creative writing, having recently attended a writer’s workshop. I prefer cats to dogs, and like to smell books when nobody’s looking.
Writing, storyboarding, directing, editing and colouring a series of videos for the Sealskinz #ConnectOutdoors Autumn/Winter 2019 campaign
British Cycling creative output (previous role)
Matt’s creativity and willingness to throw himself into work has been much valued at British Cycling. During his time here he’s played an important role planning, crafting and publishing content for our web and social media platforms.
His digital know-how, his eye for detail, and his skill at developing relationships with internal and external stakeholders has made him a popular and respected colleague.
Matt can always be relied upon to make thoughtful, evidence-based contributions to campaigns, and he’s comfortable both planning impactful strategies and executing on the detail – effectively utilising his skills in photography, graphics, copywriting and creative direction.
Copywriting in previous roles
I’d be happy to hear about any creative problem you think I could help solve for your brand or organisation.