A black and white image of a woman who is looking slightly away from the camera. She has chin length hair and is wearing sunglasses on her head. She has a dark toned top on and looks like she is stood in a hallway in a house.

Sarah Ross – Marketing and Communications Manager

Sarah’s role is Marketing and Communications Manager.  She works with the whole team to develop strategies to communicate IOU’s work and ethos to our audiences, artistic partners and our funders.

For each strand of IOU’s work including touring productions and our artist development programme she implements a targeted marketing campaign that aims to engage and grow our audiences in line with our business objectives.  This will include generating copy and content, working with image and video assets across digital communications, social media, press coverage and printed materials.

At IOU we aim for our work  to reach and engage with new audiences and be accessible for as wide a range of people as possible. A key part of my role is to monitor our performance in diversity and inclusivity through audience research and reporting.


How long have you been with IOU and what has been your highlight?

I’ve only recently joined IOU although I did work as interim Marketing Manager in summer 2019, just as the Story Telling Bus production was live in Halifax town center so that was a good-  and busy-  introduction to the company and it’s work !

I’m excited to have joined again now as IOU re-opens the studio for audiences and artists and we start to prepare  to share new work, new programmes and new partnerships in 2022.

Tell us about your professional journey before joining IOU?

My experience centers on design, marketing and communications but the clients and sectors I have worked with are very broad. My career started in late 80s  London working for marketing and events agencies, which  then led me into project management for retail design with clients such as Levis and Ray Ban – with a lot of international travel which I loved.

After starting my family I set up a design agency with my partner and we changed direction to focus on clients within the heritage and cultural sectors – based back in Yorkshire some were on our doorstep such as Dean Clough and Halifax Minster and some much further afield including Cornwall’s World Heritage Site and a fantastic multi faceted project on Shetland – the development of Sumburgh Head Lighthouse into a landmark heritage and tourism center.

More recently I have worked with public and 3rd sector clients with Manchester agency Creative Concern implementing communication campaigns that focused on health, social care, sustainable travel and climate change.

Tell us about any stand out productions or exhibits you’ve experienced that left their mark on you?

Outside of my work with IOU I am also part of the events team at Hebden Bridge Trades Club – one of the UK’s leading grassroots music venues. Live music has always been a  passion of mine, and now for me to be able to work with and experience intimate-scale performances by outstanding artists from across all genres and generations is something I will never tire of.