Personal Hashtags with Gavin Hill-John

In this week’s Campfire blog post, I chat to Gavin Hill-John about ‘personal hashtags‘.

What are these, you ask? Well, check this tweet out:

See the #ManageTheMayhem bit? Well that’s a Twitter hashtag that Gavin uses. Gavin ‘created’ this hashtag (but remember, there is no official authority on hashtags, they aren’t like domain names, they kinda just spring into existence as you use them).

And if we search on Twitter for where his hashtag is used, you’ll see mainly Gavin’s tweets, But, and importantly (as you’ll see later), you’ll also see tweets where other people have picked up on what he is doing, and are trumpeting his cause.

But who is Gavin?

EsLWROEY_400x400After graduating from Cardiff University in 1998 ASDA approached me and asked me to join their graduate management scheme. How could I resist!

On turning 30 I had a chance to build on my leadership skills when I was head hunted by Barclays Bank. I spent 4 years there managing 4 branches around South Wales.

In 2010 I was finally persuaded to join the family business, taking over the management of the Heath Vets. (I’m not a vet!) In 2014 I made the decision to buy into Heath Vets and am now a director of the company.

Aside from my work with Heath Vets I’m also a partner in Rolfe’s The Florist, working with my wife Pip. Oh and a county councillor, director of VetProtect and a networking guru.

Ok, on with the questions!

Joel: What is your strategy with your #manageTheMayhem tag? Seems a good idea for people to remember you; and that it is not exactly tied to what you do?

Gavin: The idea was to try and sum up what I do in a real life kind of way. Everyone can say things like “they lead people” or use phrases like “expert in practice management”. I felt that it would be more authentic and unique to put it in less corporate way and when you think about it managing the number of businesses I have and the number of people it is mayhem. I also feel that in the current climate you have to sum up what you do very quickly. 

Joel: Is it therefore the case that this is inline with business goals & aspirations of yours? I.e. To be perceived as an expert in that field? (Am trying to dig into what business itch you are scratching here)

Gavin: Yes, it is. I want to be seen to be more than just a director of a veterinary practice. I want to be perceived as someone who can manage multiple priorities and deal with complex issues. It is about being an expert. In very blunt terms I want to be perceived as a highly successful businessman. Ideally I want people to be asking me for help, the go to person if you like. I also want to manage my rather large ego :)

The whole premise of the mantra is based on this – I want to be known as more than just a veterinary practice owner.

Joel: How long have you been using the hashtag? Do you use it on all [social media] channels? And what has been the response like? (I guess people have asked questions about it)

GavinI’ve been using it for about 6 months. Use it on all channels and people seem to respond well. It creates a talking point and people shave started to make reference back to it.

Joel: So, have you started to see your followers using it? That seems like a great success

GavinGenerally I get comments either verbally or on social media about it. People seem to like it and it is part of the overall message. I’ve had people come up to me and ask how’s the mayhem today.

Closing Thoughts

So there we are, that’s how Gavin goes about it. I like how it is authentic, not cheesy, and in line with his business goals. It’s certainly got me thinking to do something on my and/or the main Glass Mountains twitter accounts – perhaps something about bringing clarity etc?

Please shout out if you have any comments, questions, or to let me know about any other examples you’ve found.

Thanks for tuning in – don’t forget to subscribe to the Campfire newsletter.


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