Name: Alison Duckworth
Job: Director of tourism at Marketing Cheshire
Lives: Stockton Heath
Education: It's a cliché but the University of Life. I didn't go to university - I was too desperate to start work!
Family: Married for 10 years with one son Matthew, eight
My morning starts probably much like every other working mother in the country. I wake up at 6am and attempt to get my son to school – fed and clothed – whilst gathering up everything I need for the day and trying to answer any emails that need addressing before my meetings start.
A typical work day could begin with a breakfast meeting. Today’s was at Cheshire Oaks. We have a very close relationship with some of our main partners and will see each other most weeks.
I try to make sure I get into the office mid-morning if possible and this is when we will plan most of our team meetings.
We work on a variety of campaigns and events at Marketing Cheshire – which means there is always something different going on. Anything from Cheshire’s Gardens of Distinction to Amazed by Science – to events our partners are orchestrating like the Dinosaurs at Chester Zoo.
I’m working on the #perfectchester destination campaign at the moment – highlighting the city as a destination so I’ll have a catch up with our marketing team too on the day’s events.
Sometimes lunch will be over a meeting with our partners – luckily it was at The Queen Hotel today – so it was a delicious one!
Afternoons are either back to correspondence, marketing planning and strategies or out to more meetings. It’s a networking event this afternoon so I’m back on the road.
My husband and I share the responsibility of our son’s daily routine, so sometimes I’ll be picking him up, doing the run around after school with his many activities – Cubs, gymnastics, drumming and homework – whilst trying to squeeze in cooking dinner. In the summer, we might try to get out for a quick cycle as a family.
Cycling is a great passion of mine – especially around the Cheshire countryside, there are so many beautiful routes.
I’ve started sessions with a personal trainer – so I sometimes squeeze in a session early evening.
It’s hard work – but a good balance to the desk job and there’s always room for a hard-earned glass of wine at the end of the day!
What do you wear to do your job? It’s a little predictable really, for presentations and business meetings, ‘work wear’; and for office days, smart casual.
I did however once have to wear a mascot outfit when I worked on Manchester’s Bid to host the 2000 Olympics.
What is the favourite part of your job? When you can see the tangible results of a destination campaign.
We’re a passionate team at Marketing Cheshire – when we receive feedback that visitor numbers have increased and visitors’ experiences are better due to our efforts it is really satisfactory. I also love working with our partners – it makes it a very sociable and satisfying job.
What is the least favourite part of your job? Admin and email correspondence can be a drag – especially being cc’ed on irrelevant emails.
What would be your dream job if you weren’t doing what you do now? Good question. I love tourism and I really like to make a difference for the greater good of a destination, so it would be something to do with improving cities or environments.
My other dream would be to form an agency that could support local charities on how to market themselves more professionally.
How do you relax when you are not working? I like to spend time with the family, I also like to cycle or drive my classic Mini around the Cheshire countryside.
What is your favourite film? Airplane, it’s one of the funniest, silliest films ever. I never tire of watching it. I also like Dirty Dancing, when it first came out on video (yes, video) I watched it with a gang of girlfriends eight times in one night!
What is your favourite book? I love to read and enjoy a variety of books, but if I was to choose I would select two as they had a profound effect on me – Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities and Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre.
What is your favourite song? Without doubt, What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong – a beautiful, emotional song and makes you think about the environment in which we live (I think I will have it at my funeral!)
If a film was made of your life, who would you like to play you? Sandra Bullock (pictured). All the great British actresses are too old or too posh!
Have you had your 15 minutes of fame yet? I’ve hosted the Royal family, had dinner with Prince Edward and met three British Prime Ministers. But I’ve never been on the television…yet.
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