Hilary Cross is a force to be reckoned with. She overhauled marketing at The British Council and helped to grow MacMillan to become the household name it is today but now is turning her hand to the environment.
For the past 12 months she has been working with Rewilding Britain, a five-year-old ecological charity, to redefine its audience and strategy.
Originally brought in to assess communications, Cross quickly persuaded the charity that its issues ran deeper and that it needed to rethink its whole brand.
It was “not articulating its worth”, Cross tells Marketing Week. She believed the growing interest in the climate crisis through everything from Greta Thunberg to Extinction Rebellion meant this was an even greater missed opportunity.
“They had a lot of influence in government looking at policy but they just weren’t talking in a way that was inspiring and bold. They were too apologetic and slightly unclear about rewilding and they were not providing calls to action for people who want to do something,” she explains.
As the brand and strategy consultant, Cross has redefined its strategy, vision and values with the help of a small team spanning content, press and digital marketing.
First, she honed the target audience by getting the charity to think about who it needed to talk to, rather than trying to communicate and persuade everybody. From here, Cross worked out the charity needed to do three main things: capitalise on the interest that already exists, influence policy and legislation, and engage people.