IEMA's Director of Commercial Marketing Toby Shaw reflects on the journey that brought him to IEMA and his aspirations for the future, as IEMA continues to inspire and help people work together to transform the world to sustainability.

Back at the end of January this year I was looking for “my next challenge” - a terrible expression for being on the hunt for a job. The market was reasonably healthy and I had hoped to have a few weeks off and then work through getting on people’s radar and finding my next role.

I was vastly over-optimistic. COVID-19 was starting to get its terrible clutches into the UK and it has not let go. Looking for a job became a necessary but secondary issue behind a long list of family needs.

However, it did make me look at my situation entirely differently.

What was important? What did I need vs. what did I want from a job? How would my job affect my family, short and long term? What would my impact be on my environment and the wider environment? I had been expected to fly across the Atlantic at the drop of a hat. This was terrible for me, my family and the environment. All these questions and more bubbled away while we dealt with the immediate situation in front of us.

You know how the story ends. IEMA and I met and here I am. But the questions I asked myself through this process are still important and I am happy to say that I feel refreshed by my experience so far.

I now work for a business that exists to do good. That is not something I have ever been able to say before. The working practices are as you would expect – respectfulness, understanding and support. The teams are passionate about the environment and sustainability, as you would hope, and the output from IEMA is important on a global scale.

There is work to be done. IEMA is a broad church so should expect a bigger congregation. Our international footprint could be better and we should challenge ourselves to deliver more value to the membership, make better use of our content and scan the horizon more. All to help our members on their professional journeys.

As the new Director of Commercial Marketing, the following elements are high on my list of priorities as I understand IEMA’s landscape and are amongst the projects the marketing teams will be working on, including:

• Creating a content-rich website that works effectively for existing and prospective members

• Reviewing the member communications – are we delivering the right information at the right time?

• Working on new initiatives to drive awareness of IEMA both locally and globally

• Defining the value proposition for each membership level to ensure the membership journey delivers enhanced benefits

It is a brilliant challenge and one where success has many levels.

If you would like to contact me please drop me a line on [email protected] with thoughts and suggestions and I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible virtually or physically.


Photo of Toby Shaw
Toby Shaw

A seasoned marketing professional with over 20 years I have recently joined IEMA as the new Director of Commercial Marketing. I have had the privilege of working on some of the world’s best-known brands and am looking forward to bringing those experiences and learnings to IEMA.