Insights from inside the not-for-profit sector with Steve, our digital project manager

4 min read

The next in our series of meet the team articles, we speak to Steve Hannah, Digital Project Manager at Granite 5, to explore Steve’s insights from a varied career working for some well-known brands.

TL; DR experienced project manager, large brand not-for-profit industry experience, and communication is key in a successful project.

Steve took an unconventional path to project management, by starting his career as a photographer, with an early claim to fame of having photos published in Top Gear magazine!

Maintaining that creative spirit, Steve then made the leap into corporate life and has blazed an impressive career project managing for some high-profile organisations. These have included the NSPCC, Cancer Research, where he managed the merchandising of their biggest project, Race for Life, and CPL.

From there, Steve joined the Granite 5 team to take up the new position of Digital Project Manager bringing a wealth of experience of not-for-profit organisations and corporates, and high-profile project delivery. With experience of working agency side, and managing many agencies when he was brand side, Steve knows what excellent delivery looks like and is eager to continue to deliver that for the clients at Granite 5.

Granite 5> How do you feel project management has changed during your career?

Steve > It has certainly become a lot more common place within organisations. It used to be seen as something that you did on the side of the desk and most people were doing it as part of their role. When I started those people doing project management would be more customer focused rather than internally focused. Now you have a mix of both.

As project management has become recognised as a valuable and tangible skill that can have a real impact, businesses have also blended it into other roles like account management. Most businesses see the value and are aware of the impact great project management skills can make.

I have also seen a real shift from a marketing channel perspective, as most of my roles have been within marketing teams. The spend in print has reduced hugely as organisations have shifted towards digital channels. Not-for-profit organisations used to invest massively in promotional merchandise as giveaways and print, but this is happening much less now. The shift to cross media marketing campaigns has been made, and the more traditional forms of media such as print are being used in a much different way to support campaigns now.

Granite 5> With such extensive experience of delivering high-profile projects, what do you feel makes a successful project?

Steve > Communication, communication, communication!

In my experience most people can deal with inconvenient or bad news if they can prepare for it and know about it. Transparency is absolutely key when it comes to client communication, but internally too. You have to trust the people you work with, and that can only work if you are open and honest.

That’s one of the things I like most about Granite 5, is the honest and transparent communication both with the clients and internally as a team. This allows us to spot potential issues before they escalate, or spot opportunities that the client can benefit from.

Granite 5> As you are so new to the team at Granite 5, what is the project you are most excited to work on?

Steve > There are so many as they are all very different, but I’m working on a project for the Magog Trust at the moment who are a local membership organisation that I’m really excited about. They are a great client to work with and are open to the new graphical direction we have suggested for the site, which I can’t wait to share!

I think this one also strikes a chord for me because I enjoy wildlife, and this trust runs a beautiful local area with wildflowers and wildlife that people can enjoy. It’s great that we can support them with a site to drive awareness of this area and engage more people to use it.

Granite 5> What do you feel makes Granite 5 unique?

Steve > The people led approach of the agency is very special. You can tell that Jill and the agency really care about the team and that comes across in everything they do. You know you have their full support and the freedom to deliver your best work.

The company prides itself on doing the best for their clients and really cares about supporting them and delivering results. The work we are doing within the membership and not-for-profit space is also unique, as we really understand those types of organisations which enables us to deliver something special for them.

Granite 5> Finally, when you are working in an industry that changes so fast, how do you keep up to date?

Steve > I am subscribed to a whole host of industry newsletters that are useful, and my other sources of information are:

  • Networking through LinkedIn – I follow a whole host of the industry’s greatest and new and innovative players as you learn so much about upcoming trends.
  • Print week
  • Marcomms symposiums – in person events, when they are allowed.

Get more updates from Steve by connecting with him on LinkedIn.

Steve Hannah Granite 5 digital project manager