Our new(ish) Marketing Manager, Kendra Stone, joins us from Tauranga, New Zealand. Here, she talks about the experience she brings to the team, her connection to Wales, and how her Kiwi linguistics are catching on.
Tell us a bit about your career.
I graduated from Massey University in 2016 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication. I’ve done internal communications for a large insurance company and worked in different media agencies, as well as a local newspaper, where I’d source newsworthy opportunities on their platform, Neighbourly. So it’s always been creative writing and communications work, while my freelance photography business bubbles underneath. It’s exciting.
What does your role entail?
I’m leading on marketing Blue Stag itself, working with our Creative Director and Head of Marketing to share our stories and make sure we’re taking the time to showcase our work.
I’m also supporting the marketing team to deliver work for our clients – copywriting and reporting for social, scriptwriting videos, contributing ideas, and helping things run smoothly.
Any highlights so far?
I loved working on the Wales Without Violence pop-up shop. We had such a tight timescale, but I feel like I’m at my best under pressure. That week, we made a space for people to come in and feel safe – they were able to contribute their ideas to reducing violence. So that was really meaningful and fun. I’ve also been working on a project with The Capitol in Cardiff, creating a survey for the general public to tell us what they want to see for the future of this space.
What’s been the biggest cultural difference?
Honestly, I feel like it’s the pubs. In New Zealand, we’ve got pubs and bars, but usually, we go out to a bar for a drink and dinner. It’s not such a community hub.
And maybe this is more of a geographical difference, but I can just go somewhere completely different for a weekend. In New Zealand, we’re very isolated – it’s a four-hour flight to the east coast of Australia, which is the same culture.
Everyone says, ‘Why the hell would you move here when you come from such a gorgeous city?’ And my response is that the ceiling in New Zealand is low – you can only go so far before you hit it, and then there’s nothing else to learn. We’re very content in New Zealand, and I wasn’t pushing myself to be uncomfortable in order to grow and return one day with a fresh perspective and gratitude for what it is.
There are a lot, and I chose to come to Cardiff because I felt more connected to the culture and the people – the Welsh and New Zealanders are very similar. They’re both very open, welcoming and warm. And I really like that. I’m half Welsh myself – my dad’s family is from the Valleys, so it’s nice to feel that tie. There’s also a very similar sort of vibe in terms of the landscape of the country, as well.
What have you learnt moving to the other side of the world?
To be gentle with myself and to not rush into getting everything settled – to trust that everything will fall into place.
I’ve also learnt resilience – so just being brave and growing from my previous experiences. And looking at how far I’ve come as a person in terms of being less anxious and knowing that New Zealand will always be there if I need it.
Any fun examples of when accents collide?
When I first said ‘pegs’ here – as in, ‘peg my clothes on the line’ – my housemates were like, ‘Pigs?! Like, the animal? And with the name Ben, people think I’m saying ‘bin’.
It’s funny, the more I speak, the more I can objectively hear myself in relation to the accent I’m surrounded by. Which psychologically is really strange, because when you’re normally surrounded by people who sound like you, you don’t think anything of it.
Has it spread to the team? Are they picking up your turns of phrase?
In New Zealand, there’s a phrase – it’s more popular with young guys who think they’re cool – they say, ‘Yeah, send it, bro’, which means just go for it and have fun. So Al Jenkins has now started saying, ‘Yes, send it’, which is quite funny.
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There’s a rustle in the Welsh woods that has been whispered about for generations. They believe it to be Blue. They say it’s not sasquatch, but Stag. All that’s been spotted is the odd antler in the overgrowth or hoofprint on the forest floor.
We’ve taken matters into our own hands and set up a series of cameras to try and locate Seb the Stag for ourselves. Brave visitor, can you help us in our quest to unravel the mystery and marvel at the myth?Launch forest cam