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‘Marketing great’ Claire flies flag for NHS

Wednesday, 29 March, 2017
‘Marketing great’ Claire flies flag for NHS

The top communicator at one of the country’s leading NHS foundation trusts has been named as one of the region’s ‘marketing greats’.

Claire Riley, director of communications and corporate affairs at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, is included in the list of the 50 leading marketers published by The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM).

‘North East Marketing Greats’ are marketing figureheads from some of the biggest brands in the region and industry sectors that are recognised as driving the Northern Powerhouse economy; including manufacturing, digital and logistics.

The individuals are backing a new initiative from the CIM to develop and retain marketing talent in the region. 

Claire, the only ‘marketing great’ from the NHS, joined the trust in 2010 and has a wealth of experience in business, marketing and communications across both the public and private sectors.

Northumbria Healthcare is one of only a handful of trusts in England to be rated ‘outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission and is recognised nationally for delivering the highest standards of care in hospital and the community.

It is one of the most highly-regarded NHS organisations with an unrivalled reputation for forward-thinking, innovation and integrated care.

In 2015, the trust opened the country’s first purpose-built hospital dedicated to emergency care – The Northumbria – and is pioneering new models of care as part NHS England’s ‘vanguard’ programme and taking a lead on helping to drive innovation and improvement in the NHS.

Claire, who lives in Chester-le-Street, County Durham, said: “I’m delighted and humbled to be named as a ‘North East Marketing Great’ among such distinguished company and fly the flag for the NHS, while helping to develop the vast marketing expertise we have in our region.

“The North East is a hot bed of innovation with a fantastic talent pool and opportunities for all ages.  

“My advice to every aspiring marketer is to take every opportunity that comes your way, to learn and grow and, whatever you do, you must let your work do the talking.

“Northumbria Healthcare is such a diverse and forward-thinking organisation which has, alongside its health and social care provision, a commercial arm which creates income to fund innovations in health and social care.

“Working within a health organisation is an extremely rewarding career and you feel part of an organisation that is influencing so many lives positively.”

Through the ‘Marketing Greats, the CIM aims to provide insight into the importance of a strategic marketing function and to inspire both existing marketing professionals and young people considering a career in marketing.

Each ‘Marketing Great’ is profiled in an online case study which includes their words of wisdom for aspiring marketers alongside their career story and why they enjoy working in the region, see

Following on from CIM’s ‘Great North East Brands’ initiative, which ran for a number of years, ‘Marketing Greats’ provides a regional platform for marketing to be recognised as having a key role in business growth while celebrating the number of senior marketing roles located in the North East.

Charlie Nettle, chair of CIM North East, said: “The North East has a rich heritage of manufacturing, but marketers have the huge responsibility of building a brand which customers trust and want to buy again and again. Strong brands enable businesses to differentiate themselves from the competition, therefore the growth of our businesses and the success of our region’s economy is very much in our hands.”

He continued: “Our ‘Marketing Greats’ include an extremely wide range of senior marketers representing public, private and charity sectors; from consumer brands such as Berghaus and Greggs, to business-to-business brands like Cummins Engines and PD Ports.  Due to the significant volume of small businesses in the region, we’ve included consultants and agencies too.

“We’re also showcasing industry sectors that are recognised as driving the Northern Powerhouse; with Marketing Greats from manufacturing, digital, energy and health, but also the ‘enabler’ sectors of logistics, professional services and education.”