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My Other Life – charity trustee Metal For Good

Nadine Croney is Head of Corporate Communications at Pinsent Masons. She is also a devoted heavy metal and trustee for the charity Metal For Good bringing positive change to community groups one riff at a time.

Nadine shares with The Professionals her love of metal, the impact being a charity trustee can make and shares three tracks that put heavy metal in a new light.

Introduce yourself and your day job?
I’ve been with the firm for 13 years and in this role for two and a half years. I lead a 37-strong team responsible for developing, strengthening and protecting the firm’s brand and reputation across our global network of 28 locations. The team consists of PR, marketing, content, digital and creative specialists. Prior to this role I was Head of Brand and Marketing with brand being my specialism. Over my 25-year career I’ve performed similar roles at Hogan Lovells, Baker & McKenzie and NatWest/Lombard too.

And tell us about your other life?
Outside of work life my ‘downtime’ is heavily dominated by music. I’ve been a devoted heavy metal fan for over 35 years and during that time have been a regular gig and festival goer. Quite often this means doing a quick outfit change in the work loos before heading out to a mid-week concert or two, or three!

I’ve also been involved in the launch and running of two internet-based metal radio stations doing a stint as a presenter on rotation with a group of likeminded friends and now I’m ‘momager’ to my 17-year-old son who plays in a death/thrash metal band called 7 Year War who are prolific on the West Midlands gig circuit. I wear many hats for him from driver, wardrobe advisor and financer, roadie, photographer and promoter. Of course, attempting to give the band brand and comms advice falls on deaf ears as teenagers already know everything!

What is Metal For Good and what does it do?
Metal For Good is a charity founded by husband and wife duo Katy and Chris Baker – both avid rock and metal fans – that draws on the positive attributes and values from the rock, metal and alternative communities. The charity aims to make a positive difference to people’s lives by raising funds to provide grants to community groups and organisations who use music to end inequality, improve wellbeing and help young people thrive.

It’s our collective experience and belief that the rock and metal community is truly unique – we’re brought together through a love of great music and a sense of belonging, where individuality is celebrated. But there’s a shared identity, and there’s a sense of always feeling part of something bigger and that someone has always ‘got our back’.

How did you get involved?
I saw an advertisement online for the trustee position and felt compelled to apply. I’ve always been involved in pro bono work and volunteering, most recently as a coach and leader of a youth section at my local triathlon club, but I was looking for an opportunity to use my professional skills and when I saw Metal For Good were looking for marketing expertise it was a no-brainer to apply – combining my passion with my work-based skills was the perfect opportunity.

What does being a trustee of a charity involve?
In a nutshell, trustees are the people who make decisions on behalf of a charity. As a trustee, along with fellow trustees working collectively as a board, you are responsible for the running of the charity overseeing all aspects of its management and administration, and always acting in the charity’s best interests.

Duties include setting business and operational strategy, plans and policies, managing finances and budgets and supporting the reputation and marketing of the charity and its initiatives to ensure it grows, thrives, and meets the agreed aim and objectives.

Timewise, this means attending multiple board meetings a year and, in between, being involved in specific projects or performing specific tasks which could amount to anything from a few hours to a few days.

What advice would you give to marketers considering a trustee role?
Go for it! You don’t need previous trustee experience to be an effective trustee. There are countless organisations looking for individuals with professional skills to complement their existing board members. Training and comprehensive onboarding will be provided.

I would advise being careful in your selection, the charity and its cause needs to be something you’re passionate about as it will mean dedicating some of your free time. It also gives you big head start if you are well versed in what the charity does, the communities it serves and who their target supporters are, but it’s not essential.

From a personal and professional perspective there are many benefits:

  • One of the best ways in which you can contribute to your local community or to a cause you really care about.
  • The chance to expand your professional network and provide opportunities for collaboration, partnerships, and learning from others with diverse backgrounds and expertise.
  • Opportunity to develop your soft skills such as negotiating, empathising and listening alongside strategic and analytical thinking, problem-solving and people/team working skills.
  • You get the chance to apply your experience and knowledge from your day job to an entirely new context while simultaneously learning new skills and broadening your expertise.

Not everyone likes metal – what three tracks might change people’s minds?
Toughest question yet! Metal is made up of hundreds of genres so there’s definitely something for everyone. There’s still the misconception that it’s all shouty vocals, ear-piercing guitars and lyrics born from dark subject matter so I’ve picked three that debunk these myths:

  1. Grace by Devin Townsend (an extraordinary singer, songwriter and musician)
  2. Take Me Back to Eden by Sleep Token (an incredibly brilliant and diverse current British band)
  3. Return to Serenity by Testament (proof a thrash band can have a softer side too).
Matt Baldwin
Matt Baldwin
Co-founder – Coast Communications

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