Chester

Director of Tourism

Background:

Marketing Cheshire was born in 2011 out of the company Visit Chester & Cheshire. Officially they are the tourist board for the county of Cheshire, but no longer specialise in tourism alone. They are the marketing agency of choice for promoting Cheshire and Warrington nationally and internationally to investors, business and leisure vistitors, and those lucky enough to study here. Cheshire has one of the strongest and most diverse economies in England for existing businesses and potential investors a stunning array of places to stay and visit and a quality of life that is really special. 

Marketing Cheshire is made up of a diverse team of 20 marketing professionals and support staff, each with specialist skills in their area and through this team they provide customers with core marketing services including PR, Marketing Support, Event Management, Social Media Support and Brand Consultancy to both public and private sector clients. 

Having identified the need for a dedicated individual to lead the tourism strategy for Chester and Cheshire, Marketing Cheshire has developed a strategic alliance with partners Chester Zoo and Chester Race Course in recent years. These two external partners have jointly funded the role of Director of Tourism to support the growth of tourism activity in the Chester and Cheshire area, knowing that a joined-up approach to developing tourism in the region benefits all parties.

The Brief:

Marketing Cheshire retained Sherrington Associates to support them with this critical appointment in February 2017. The successful candidate would be required to manage an established team of six plus several dotted line reporting channels. Through this team and through their own contributions the candidate would effectively be responsible for creating and implementing a strategy for promoting Cheshire and Chester to the world. Key to success would be their their ability to forge close relationships with divergent stakeholder groups from visitor attractions across the region in an effort to unify their marketing activities to achieve the shared goal of increasing tourism in Cheshire. This coupled with their experience of delivering successful strategic marketing campaigns within a leisure and tourism context, made this an exacting specification and one that would require high levels of accuracy and understanding by the search partner.

The Search:

Working with all stakeholders involved to develop a clear brief before commencing the search, Sherrington produced a detailed recruitment pack to capture input from all relevant stakeholders and to showcase the opportunity to prospective applicants.

Leading the tourism strategy for the region would require a highly accomplished candidate, so research began to identify suitable targets from a range of other destination marketing organisations and tourism bodies across the country, painstakingly reviewing the success of each region's destination marketing activities in recent years to understand the profile of the candidate in each setting. Having identified a longlist of candidates and reviewed with the client, arrangements were made to carry out one-to-one interviews and in-depth competency assessments for each candidate. Sherrington Associates then fed back to the client and consulted on who should be included for selection by the panel. The shortlist was delivered on time and shortlisted interviews were invited to meet the panel at Chester Zoo for selection.

The Result:

After an exhaustive search and in-depth assessment, an offer was made to former Director of Marketing and Deputy CEO of Marketing Manchester Rachel McQueen. Rachel's experience of delivering return on investment for Marketing Manchester's members as well as having contributed significantly to the city region's internationalisation agenda made her an obvious choice for the role.


Rob responded really well to a tricky brief. He quickly got to grips with the peculiarities of our sector and appeared to relish the challenge. We were delighted with the successful candidate.

Katrina Michel - CEO, Marketing Cheshire