The Honest Marketer

"Going freelance has enabled me to work with lots of wonderful people and inspirational universities. I've watched my three sons grow into adults and supported my dad as he battled leukaemia. Attending his check-ups and accompanying his transfusions, I got to know him better in the four years before he died in 2018 than the 40-something that had gone before."

University of Wolverhampton
​​​The literature strategy I introduced as Head of External Relations led to a 20% growth in students. Able to quickly spot opportunities to stand out in a crowded market, innovative communications included a US-style ‘View book’ and the UK's first university loyalty scheme for prospective students. I  also pioneered a range of helpful guides in areas such as UCAS Clearing, finance and accommodation, now commonplace in the sector. 

Birmingham City University
​​​Appointed Director of Group Marketing and Communications in 2008, I developed a focused, credible brand identity following the institution’s name change and targeted marketing to reverse a declining trend in student recruitment. BCU achieved the UK's highest rise in UCAS applications in 2009 and Kathryn won the Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Award for Outstanding Recruitment Campaign.

University College Northampton / University of Northampton
​​​I led the rebrand after the institution was awarded university status in 2005, creating the over-arching brand identity of ‘Inspiring change, transforming lives’, still used a decade later. Enquiry levels rose, UCAS applications almost doubled and student numbers grew 11% during my tenure. Positive results in a 2006 Staff Wellbeing Survey led to my Department being studied as an example of best practice.


A former university Marketing Director, I have almost 30 years’ of public and private sector marketing, communications and PR experience, the majority spent within Higher Education (HE). 

I set up The Honest Marketer in the summer of 2014 to refocus my priorities, get back to doing the work I love, and to achieve a better work/life balance.

The 15 years preceding my consultancy was spent leading the marketing functions of three UK universities, Wolverhampton, Northampton and Birmingham City, where I helped to successfully transform their reputation, positioning and student recruitment. 

Prior to this I worked as a journalist on local and regional newspapers and in PR, starting out at the University of Nottingham, which my eldest son currently attends. My love of writing has never diminished and a large chunk of my freelance time now is spent copywriting.