Todd Bennett

Communications and Engagement Manager
Salford Quays: The Soapworks

How would you describe working at TalkTalk?

I’ve worked for TalkTalk for the past year now and I’ve been lucky enough to have started in our brand new office in the Soapworks. It’s a place that really encourages collaboration and flexible working, something I’ve not really experienced before. Since starting at TalkTalk I’ve managed to land myself a secondment within the first 6 months of starting. For me, progression has been a real positive, along with help and support from my manager who’s really encouraged me since day one.

Tell us a little bit about your role

My current role is that of a Communications and Engagement Manager, within Consumer. Within this role I have to create informative but engaging content for our frontline agents, allowing them to keep updated on any changes, improvements around our services. This is a key tool for them to do their day to day role so our content has to be spot on. I look after our Manchester, Stornoway and London sites when it comes to readership and keeping Managers up to date of any upcoming plans that may impact their areas, such as CEO and Community channels. There’s also a lot of Project Management involved within the role when delivering key campaigns like when we released our latest Wi-Fi Hub.

Tell us about some of the projects/initiatives that you’ve worked on whilst you have been here

I’m currently working on creating an LGBTQ+ Colleague Network or Group to help towards our Inclusion goals. This is a colleague lead network, however from very early on Mark Dickinson our Chief People Officer, has been heavily involved with promoting the group and supporting what we want to achieve. Our main goals are to make TalkTalk a LGBTQ+ friendly place to work. This will hopefully attract more diverse talent into TalkTalk, allow our customers to know that we’re contributing to the community as well as looking at reviewing our current LGBTQ+ policies etc. As well as arranging safe and social opportunities for our fellow colleagues, whether LGBTQ+ or otherwise.

How has this helped develop your career?

This project is still in its early phase however it’s helped build my profile within TalkTalk. It’s an area that a lot of people want to get involved with and support. Heading up the project will definitely help improve my Project and Stakeholder management skills which will then contribute to delivering successful comms and engagement plans in the future, or other initiatives within TalkTalk that I could then get involved with…so the opportunities are really endless!

"Put your ideas across as there is a great collaborative vibe about TalkTalk and I feel like I’ve been empowered by both mangers"

What have been your key career learnings?

Preparation is key and every failure is a learning curve! When I applied for my current secondment I was originally unsuccessful. I didn’t perform very well in my interview…something I was aware of during it! I wasn’t fully prepared but I was really eager to still pursue the role. I was offered the opportunity to job shadow the role after being unsuccessful which showed the hiring manager I was still very much a keen bean. After the Christmas period I was then informed that the person they hired for the role was no longer wanting to take up the position. The hiring manager offered me a 6 month secondment and I really wanted to make my mark. I’ve worked really hard to pick up every element of the role in the short time I’ve been given this opportunity. I’m really happy to say my position on the team has been extended!

What advice would you give to somebody wanting to move into a similar role or considering a career at TalkTalk?

Embrace the culture TalkTalk culture and make yourself known to people. My team joke with me that I seem to know everyone in the building as I’m saying hello to several people each day! Don’t be afraid to really put your ideas across as there is a great collaborative vibe about TalkTalk and I feel like I’ve been empowered by both mangers I’ve had here in TalkTalk to shape what my role looks like and have supported me.

What helps you “Be yourself” at TalkTalk?

My managers and the people around me. I’ve got lots of common ground with a lot of people I’ve been introduced to on my TalkTalk journey; whether it’s a mutual love of RuPaul’s Drag Race and all things Drag, to finding out we’ve been to the same university and even done the same degree! I don’t think I’ve come across many people in TalkTalk that are unapproachable. One of my weirdest moments working here was dressing up as a Spider giving out Halloween treats all in the name of keeping people secure…at the end of the day people were smiling and that’s what I’m all about.