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Five reasons PR has an edge in content creation
Five PR agencies, which took part in a recent Content Marketing Association (CMA) round-table, explain why having PR at the core of their business has helped them become successful in content.
The PR industry is showing an increased interest in content. Just last year, three PR agencies won awards at CMA’s International Content Marketing Awards, showing an increasing step towards more integrated services.
Clare Hill, CMA’s MD, says PRs are more frequently looking to expand this part of their business offering: “We are constantly having conversations with PR agencies who want to know more about content marketing and how we approach it.”
Five experts – from Clarity, Bell Pottinger, Hill+Knowlton, Kaizo and MWW – explain how PR gives an edge in content:
Sara Collinge, MD at Clarity, says PR pros understand the level of subtlety that’s required to create engaging and audience-relevant content that also meets a client’s broader marketing objectives.
“Too often you see content that is advertorial in nature. Our skills in understanding the client’s messaging in addition to their key business gives us a unique perspective,” she continues.
PR agencies have always been good at storytelling in a way that resonates with specific audiences, according to Victoria Naylor Leyland, head of creative and content at Bell Pottinger.
“Now we are in the position to use this ability in a wider variety of mediums and support the core message with a distribution strategy ensuring we’re getting in front of the right people on the right platform,” she adds.
Read the full article via Gorkana here.
Gen Z: the content-friendly cohort
Consumers may be turning away from ads, but all is not lost. A Millward Brown study shows Gen Z are the most receptive to content – as long as you follow their rules. Millward Brown’s Jane Ostler talks to CMA consultant editor Dominic Mills about content and measurement
Marketers without access to a mass-audience platform like the US Superbowl and a multi-million $ budget to match know that, in the face of declining ad receptivity, their future is about pushing a heavy stone up an ever-steeper hill.
The latest Ad Reactions study, published last month by WPP-owned research giant Kantar Millward Brown, lays this out in painful detail, especially in digital.
But all is not lost, says Jane Ostler, its managing director for media and digital. “There’s a general shift,” she says, “away from ads. But if you look at the younger generations [Z, X and Y], they are much more receptive to formats that we think of as content-led. This includes anything from branded events to expert reviews, celebrity- and influencer-driven material, and tutorial or guide material.
“This group comes to very quick judgements about what’s cool and what’s good,” Ostler says, “and anything that gives them social status or that they can leverage with their friends fits the bill.”
Of them all, she adds, “it is Gen Z [aged 16-19] that is least open to traditional advertising – cinema and outdoor apart – and most open to content. And the profusion of new technologies – whether it’s live video, AR, chatbots or 360-degree video – enables many different types and formats of content to be produced.
“If you want the thread that links it together,” Ostler adds, “it’s that formats that are intrusive are less favoured, while those that offer control are more favoured.”
Of course, members of the CMA won’t be too surprised by this. But, Ostler says, it is an issue for many CMOs. “Tech is moving so fast that CMOs have to realise the limitations of their knowledge. They need to understand it from an audience perspective, and then be prepared to experiment.”
To this end, Ostler advises that they roughly divide their budgets into three buckets – 70pc for tried-and-tested techniques, 20pc for new, and 10pc for next or experimental content and formats or new audiences.
Follow Gen Z’s rules…
So what sort of content should brands be producing for Gen Z? As one might expect, they lap up celebrity and social media influencer content, but they are by no means one-dimensional in their preferences.
Curiously, generations Y and X are less receptive to celebrity or social influencer content, suggesting that brands targeting across more than one age group should be wary of throwing to much (and too high a proportion of their budgets) at celebrities.
As the chart shows, branded content that helps them get the most of services and products – such as reviews or tutorials – also scores highly. For brands in low-interest or functional categories – such as financial services – this may mean content that is useful is better than content that is entertaining.
But the real key, believes Ostler, is in providing Gen Z with content that they can influence in some way or interact with. “It’s very clear,” she says. “The more consumers can interact with content, the more receptive they are to it.”
Types of interactivity range from simple voting at one end of the scale to shaping the narrative, characterisation or story ending at the other. In between, there are multiple options, including sharing, co-creation and joining discussions.
And while Gen Z consumers over-index on receptivity to content they can interact with, generations Y and X also respond positively.
…but don’t forget to measure
As one might expect from a company whose roots are in measuring ad effectiveness, Ostler is adamant marketers and media owners must step up their efforts to measure the impact of content.
“We see more interest in this,” she says, “but I understand it’s not easy. Content sits at the junction of a lot of different areas, whether it’s sales and e-commerce, customer service, marketing or PR, and so it’s possible that, at the client end, there are siloes and budgets that have to be brought together.”
She adds: “Often, compared with TV, content is a collection of lower-reach, lower-budget activities. But there’s no point in not measuring it. Measuring it is the only way to learn.”
Thus she advises marketers to set aside budget – perhaps from the 10pc pot that is for experimentation – for measurement. “It needs to be done leaner and quicker than traditional measurement,” she says, “and to find a way to separate out the effect of different channels.”
The best way to do this, Ostler says, “is to use the different channels in synergy, so each has a specific objective and, ideally, different creative treatments.
“The key things marketers should be asking,” she says, are: “Am I spending my money wisely? What creative is working best? And what could I do better next time?”
Dominic Mills, Consultant Editor, The CMA
Social Media ROI & Content Marketing Training Course 28/02/17
The programme will provide attendees with a thorough understanding of how to define, track and report on the ROI of social media and content marketing, with a focus on real business returns (e.g. sales) over vanity metrics (e.g. likes). Social media is a fact of life for almost every modern business with a digital presence; and content marketing has become one of the most popular forms of marketing in the last few years due to it’s measurable effectiveness, scalability and potential to drive exponential returns.
Together, they are a potent force for any business.
Yet most still struggle with the basics of tracking success, and measuring the business impact in a way that Boards and Senior Managers can get excited about. Worse, the right KPI’s are often not identified at the beginning, meaning these campaigns are set up to focus on the wrong things.
This course will enable you to define the results you should be working towards; prove the value of your social media and content marketing programmes to the whole business; and use metrics to identify areas of improvement.
Key learning outcomes
At the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:
• Define strong and measurable KPI’s that align with core business objectives and are valued by senior management
• Assign monetary values to different social media and content marketing metrics that helps you make smart investment decisions and show ROI
• Set up and use a number of different tools to track your KPI’s and performance metrics
• Build out a reporting dashboard and calculate the ROI of your different social media and content marketing activities
• Analyse the data to find ‘quick wins’ that will increase your ROI
Mark Walker, Head of Content Marketing, Eventbrite UK
Eventbrite is an online self-service ticketing platform available for anyone around the world to manage, sell and promote tickets to their events. Mark regularly writes and speaks about the events industry, technology and marketing. You can read more at the Eventbrite blog, follow on Twitter or Facebook and connect on LinkedIn.
28th February 2017
09:00 – 17:00
(9:30 start – Breakfast, lunch and refreshments are included)
etc. Venues in Hatton Garden, London
How Much Does it cost?
Members £299 + VAT
Non-members £399 + VAT
How Do I Book?
Please download and complete the booking form here.
For any questions please contact email@example.com
Online Video Testimonials
“2016 is the year of Video Explosion! It was great to Share Professional thoughts about online Video in the world of mobile and social. Our Clients will benefit from these insights!’ Rudi Kobza, Owner, Kobza
“The trainer really knew his stuff and managed to cover so much in a single day. The topics he covered were really interesting and insightful. Looking forward to applying some of his tips and theories to practice.” Francesco Agresti, Video Producer, Kaplan International
“Thoroughly enjoyable session, Lots of great information and insight to take back to the team.”Sarah Deane, Marketing Assistant, Zurich Municipal
“Loved the scientific results driven approach to online video marketing” Justine Ragany, Content Director, Sonder
“Well organised and highly informative training on digital marketing, in a great location” Sarah Williams, Content Marketing Manager, Bloomsbury
“An excellent overview on how best to approach online video” Danny Brogan, Editor, Spafax
“Stephen is a hugely charismatic and entertaining speaker and I could listen to him all day. Literally. He comes at content from an original and very compelling angle and you can see the results in the great work he has been behind.” Kath Hipwell, Head of Content Strategy, Red Bee
“Stephen was fantastic. He was engaging, had great examples and covered a huge spread of topics that were both interesting and applicable.” Helen Cassidy, Account Director, Think
Genero and Diageo work together for the first time to deliver the iconic story of the Guinness harp
Diageo has used the innovative Genero marketplace for the first time to deliver the story of the iconic Guinness harp logo and showcase its latest incarnation.
The video was made by Josh Hine, a London-based director on the Genero video production marketplace, and is currently live in feed on Instagram. The ad, which is 45 seconds long, focuses on the literal and metaphoric elements of the harp itself and their association with the quality, craftsmanship and boldness of the Guinness brand.
Genero is currently the biggest innovator and disruptor of the video market – but for the good. Working with some of the most illustrious brands and biggest creative agencies, Genero is able to connect them to its community of over 300,000 filmmakers in 180 countries to create some of the most engaging, relevant and bespoke content across a multitude of platforms and channels.
Darren Khan, UK & European Managing Director at Genero, said: “We’re delighted to work with such a prestigious brand to tell a wonderful story. It’s a great example of how we can help brands by working with extremely talented creatives who are passionate about the brand and brief they’re pitching on and the ability to get larger volumes of video content quickly and affordably, from all corners of the globe. This ad really is the icing on the cake – or the head on the beer, perhaps – and we’re proud to be associated with it.”
The decision to launch the video ad on Instagram reflects a growing trend in the increase of digital video spending; figures last year from the IAB showed video ad spend in 2015 grew 50.7% to £711million, with ad spend on social media sites growing 45% to £1.25bn. Instagram’s decision to extend video playback from 15 seconds to 60 seconds last year has allowed for more diverse story-telling and greater content production on the social media platform.
Facebook Adds Sound to Auto-Play Video
One of the defining features of Facebook video has been the way that, unless you press play, it auto-plays silently. Hover over a post and the footage starts, but unless you choose to engage with it you don’t hear the audio.
This has played an important role in shaping the nature of the content that has been embedded on the platform. Most videos specifically created for Facebook currently contain subtitles so that they can be watched in a meaningful way without sound. The quirk has created an opportunity for a new breed of video companies like Tasty and Twisted which specialise in producing food creation videos where the audio track barely matters.
Now however everything is about to change. In a blog post on Tuesday the company outlined how in the future videos will auto-play with sound. The route the platform has chosen means that the sound from the video fades in slowly – so you won’t necessarily get blasted with sound each time a video starts.
Here’s what they had to say.
“As people watch more video on phones, they’ve come to expect sound when the volume on their device is turned on. After testing sound on in News Feed and hearing positive feedback, we’re slowly bringing it to more people. With this update, sound fades in and out as you scroll through videos in News Feed, bringing those videos to life.”
There are caveats though. If a phone is set to silent then obviously the sound won’t be audible. Crucially too Facebook has enabled users to switch auto-play sound off by adjusting their settings – a process which is explained here.
However, most users are likely to be hearing sound from now on. That isn’t to say that they are going to be happy about it though. The obvious downside for Facebook users is that they are now much more likely to get caught out looking at their news feed in situations when they really shouldn’t be, such as during work, class, dinner or even a conversation.
There is inevitably going to be a backlash, so Facebook has quite wisely chosen to roll out the audio auto-play slowly. It won’t be universal until the end of the year.
So why have they made the move?
Well firstly Mark Zuckerberg has repeatedly stated that he believes video is the future of the platform. He has backed this up by innovating in this area many times such as Facebook Live video. The auto-play news was part of slew of video announcements which included adding vertical video and enabling a person to watch a video while continuing to browse their news feed. There’s also a video app for TV coming.
Secondly, Facebook is under a degree of pressure from brands who are very keen on sound on auto-play. Video ads are a huge opportunity for Facebook and there are clearly some big corporations which won’t advertise on the platform unless it can guarantee that users hear the audio.
The move also brings Facebook in line with its rivals. Both YouTube and Snapchat leave sound on by default. It doesn’t seem to have dented either of their popularity.
Questions for brands
From a brand perspective the key benefit is that the days of automatic subtitles on Facebook videos are gone. It enables companies to make more of their music soundtrack and be more creative in their approach – especially by hooking viewers in through audio at the start of the video.
It also means that video views will be more accurately measurable. It is possible that many videos run on Facebook without a person even being aware that they are live. That won’t be the case anymore. Facebook will in theory be able to prove levels of engagement to its advertisers.
So the next few weeks will be interesting for Facebook. Some commenters have already decided the move is the last straw and they are going to leave the platform. Others have compared Facebook to MySpace which also had an auto play strategy, which they argue undermined its appeal.
Ultimately though Facebook tested the features and decided that the users were fine with it.
So if you have been creating subtitle heavy silent videos – I am afraid it is back to the drawing board!
Commissioned by The CMA
Simon Baker becomes MD of TCO London
Simon Baker, the production lead behind the Lego ad break takeover, leaves ITN Productions to become Managing Director at TCO London, the fast-growing media company targeting millennials.
Baker becomes TCO London’s first Agency Managing Director in its 10-year history. The media company has made a name for itself as a leading creator of premium branded content since the launch of its youth culture brand Huck and film platform Little White Lies.
In his new role, Baker will develop TCO London’s standalone brand campaigns and media partnerships. He will lead a growing agency team that has produced work for Google, Nike, Levi’s, VW, Microsoft and Destination Canada.
Vince Medeiros, Publisher and Co-Founder of TCO, said: “Simon is a true pioneer in branded content innovation. His track record in transformative thinking around how storytelling and journalism can enhance the credibility of commercial content is second to none. Simon joins us during a strong growth period as our premium branded content offering is attracting interest from a wide range of clients.”
Baker is a trailblazer in the branded content space, having launched ITN’s branded content division in 2010. He brings experience working across linear TV and digital campaigns.
As ITN’s Head of Branded Content, Baker developed agile, newsroom-based content solutions, working with brands as varied as Heineken, L’Oreal, Suzuki and Cadbury’s. He has won over 35 awards, most notably as the production lead behind the Lego Movie Ad Break, winning two Gold Cannes Lions.
Baker said TCO’s journalism-based offering was a key factor behind the move: “To connect with audiences through branded content, we need to focus on creating true value exchanges between brands and consumers. TCO’s cutting-edge journalism, global production network and unique style of creative execution means they deliver on a promise of making credible, premium campaigns.” He added: “TCO are a leading force in the millennial space, and it’s my mission to keep challenging the status quo.”
About TCO London tcolondon.com
TCO London (est. 2006) is a fiercely independent media company that makes premium branded content for millennial audiences, and is the name behind youth culture brand Huck and film platform Little White Lies.
“Cutting-edge publishers” –TIME magazine
About Huck huckmagazine.com
Huck is a premium youth culture brand across print, digital and film, offering unique counter-narratives through quality journalism from around the world.
“In Huck, subcultures are entry points for articles about music, politics and places all over the world.” – The New York Times
About Little White Lies lwlies.com
Europe’s largest premium film brand, Little White Lies offers proudly independent cinema and TV journalism across print, digital and film.
“The best designed film magazine on the shelf, with unimpeachable good taste” – The Guardian
Marie Claire launches innovative new distribution channel through fabled by Marie Claire beauty business
Marie Claire is harnessing the power of its new Fabled by Marie Claire beauty business to bring tens of thousands of new readers to the magazine during 2017.
Fabled by Marie Claire customers, both online and in store, will receive a free copy of Marie Claire with their purchase, in a move that will expose the magazine to a highly targeted audience. The sampling of the magazine in this way also enhances Fabled by Marie Claire’s consumer offering.
Justine Southall, Time Inc. UK’s managing director, fashion & beauty, says: “Fabled by Marie Claire is attracting premium beauty fans across the country. Getting the magazine into their hands while they are in the Fabled by Marie Claire environment is a fantastic marketing opportunity for our print product. This is an intelligent distribution strategy for Marie Claire that will ensure a highly relevant audience for our commercial partners.”
Fabled by Marie Claire is a unique beauty and wellness destination drawing on Marie Claire’s 27 years of unrivalled expertise in the beauty industry. Its market leading ecommerce site and service offer is outperforming initial sales targets and is particularly attracting Millennial premium beauty customers. Fabled by Marie Claire offers an extensive range of brands including Estée Lauder, Bobbi Brown, Urban Decay, Nars and Perricone MD, as well as exclusive content from a dedicated editorial team. The new online beauty store is a first-of-its-kind retail collaboration with Ocado which launched online and with a flagship West End store in August 2016.
Content Marketing Throughout the Purchase Funnel
There was a fantastic turnout for the February breakfast, thanks to everyone that came! We had attendees from companies such as Adhoc PR, British Heart Foundation, Hearst, Kameleon, Ecover, Navigate Video, OTM Create, Progressive Content, REED, Remarkable, Shortlist, Stackla, TotallyMoney and Wardour to name but a few.
We are delighted to announce that the next Digital Breakfast of 2017 will be held on Wednesday 1st of March. The topic will be:
Content Marketing Throughout the Purchase Funnel
This breakfast will cover content objectives such as raising awareness and driving loyalty, while looking at how to plan content strategies that deliver value throughout the purchase funnel.
Book your tickets now!
Abi Morrish, Digital Engagement Business Director, MEC Wavemaker
Abi has over 9 years’ experience working in social and digital content across multiple markets leading brands and currently heads up the Digital Engagement team at MEC Wavemaker.
In 2016 she was awarded Media Week’s Rising Star award and was placed in Media Week’s top 30 under 30. She is dedicated to closing the loop between social content and business objectives, and helping brands make audience first content.
Adam Lewis, B2B Strategist: Content Marketing, Inbound & Social
Topic: The truth about B2B content marketing.
Many B2B businesses claim they are doing content marketing. Most of them are lying. They are still pushing out ads and product-focused content like they always did but now its in the form of social posts, video and infographics!
In his talk Adam shares how to create a full-funnel content strategy that blends content, social advertising and marketing automation to deliver results.
Adam is a freelance B2B content strategist. He works with B2B businesses and agencies to create compelling content that drives marketing qualified leads. He uses a data-driven planning process to meticulously map out content that attracts and converts prospects. He has done award winning work for global brands such as IBM, Thomson Reuters, Box, Symantec, Visa, Bacardi and Sony to name a few. Prior to being independent, Adam was Managing Director of social media consultancy, Immediate Future, Global Digital Director for Burson Marsteller, part of WPP and a Public Affairs and crisis communications consultant for a city PR firm. Adam’s current clients are KCOM, VISA, Box, Symantec & Haven.
Stephen Bateman, Digital Changemaker and Content Marketing Strategy Expert
Topic: Why and how to turn your content planning strategy on its head for optimum ROI
Most businesses claim to be doing some form of content marketing, albeit poorly and without demonstrable ROI. This is because the majority of marketers are not following best practice content marketing planning, preferring to fill their funnels, rather than shore up their bucket.
Most marketers today plan their content top down, rather than bottom up, using expensive resources to fill their top of funnel content activity without securing the middle funnels and bottom bucket. This results are extreme waste and poor, if any ROI.
In his talk Stephen shares a model for bottom and mid funnel content strategy that reduces waste through the funnel, to deliver markedly higher ROI and improved content marketing results.
Stephen is the UK’s leading content marketing strategy expert focused on supporting the customer journey with great content and improving content’s ROI. He works closely with Dave Chaffey at Smart Insights, Oxford Innovation, Bryony Thomas (Watertight Marketing,) Peninsula Enterprise, Heart of the South West, Innovate 2 Succeed and Instituto Superior para el Desarrollo de Internet (ISDI) to deliver best-in-class strategic content marketing training and support to marketing professionals everywhere.
More speakers to be announced!
How to book your place:
Please fill in the online booking form here.
Tim Tucker, Training Consultant – CMA.
Tim is a trainer, content strategist, online copywriter, user experience designer, and consultant who helps people to communicate better through digital media. He has over 13 years’ experience working in digital media.
9am – 11am (Breakfast is served from 8:30am)
51-53 Hatton Garden
CMA Members: £75 + VAT
Non Members: £150 + VAT
Why Should I Come?
“The CMA digital breakfast gatherings offer insight into the ever changing world of content marketing and are worth attending. A big tick in both the useful and relevant box. We generally send along a mix of staff from PCP as the topics and themes are quite varied and the events are very good value. Go along and get involved, I promise that you will learn something.” Stuart Charlton – Commercial Director – Progressive Content
“CMA are always keen to look at ways to pull in the best speakers and be involved in the leading industry events – a great benefit for members. The Digital Breakfasts, which as a team we attend regularly, are always carefully put together to be relevant and informative. Time is precious so you need to know it’s going to be time well spent and we certainly feel this is the case with the CMA.” Catherine Reid, Marketing Manager – Remarkable
The rise of the mega post
Content marketing trends come and go. The ones that stick around are those that yield tactics that marketers can use on behalf of their brands to deliver a very real return on investment.
One tactic that is growing in popularity, and has proved very effective for companies that have experimented with it, is the ‘mega post’ or extended online guide.
Put simply the mega post is an extended blog post which is placed on a client’s website mainly for SEO, new business and customer engagement purposes. Mega posts are a type of longform content, and both share many of the same attributes namely length, number of words and extensive use of illustrations.
Mega posts as a rule however are educational and informative, in other words ‘guides,’ whereas longform content, certainly in the way that the major media companies reference it, is more discursive and interactive – like the classic New York Times’ article Snowfall.
If you are still not sure what I am talking about then check out this post from Calendly. They are a software company that claim make online calendar management simple. The post, “The Ultimate Google Calendar Guide: 90+ tips to supercharge productivity” is a classic example of a mega post in that it positions the company as an authority on the topic while at the same time offers real value to the readers as it is so comprehensive. Every single one of the 90 tips is accompanied by a graphics too whether it be a screen grab or an illustration.
Why write mega posts?
So why then should a website feature a mega post or two? Well, firstly they are really useful from an SEO perspective. Google’s algorithm increasingly rewards what it perceives to be quality content, and if the the mega post adheres to other Google guidelines in that it is unique, and well written then they are sure to improve a company’s standing with Google and attract readers organically.
Secondly, and arguably more importantly, mega posts underline to the reader that the company is a real authority on a subject. Take this post on building a blog audience from Quicksprout. Sure it might be lengthy but it pretty much nails the subject.
There is of course an argument which suggests that there are times when rather than producing one long post it makes sense to produce a series of short ones. This may help click through rates, but as esteemed online content specialist Problogger points outs “for me, I think the main advantage of long form content is that it is just more useful and convenient for readers to get it all in one go. A series of blog posts is great for page views and helping you to fill a week’s editorial calendar, however if you put yourself in a reader’s shoes, it can also be a little (or a lot) painful.”
Also from a marketing perspective one post is easier to promote. Bearing in mind that if you produce an extended piece of content you are most likely going to support it via paid for, and maybe even earned media, it makes sense to have all your words, images and maybe even video in the same place.
Another reason to consider them is their usefulness from a sales and new business perspective. Especially in the B2B arena it is essential to have content that sits at the top of the funnel and pulls people into a website to examine a company’s offering. Mega posts fit this bill perfectly.
One final reason for taking mega posts very seriously is that they do as a rule deliver high levels of engagement. If someone is searching for an answer to a problem and your company delivers the last word on that issue, then chances are they going spend a long time on that post gathering the information that they need. They may also bookmark it for future use.
In a world where measuring the effectiveness of content is still a very hot issue being able to show any type of engagement is crucial. This is an area where mega posts really deliver.
The only real difficulty of mega posts might be from a sales perspective. They are inevitably time consuming to produce and cost significantly more than standard editorial content. It is up to agencies and brand marketing managers to work out how to enthuse stakeholders about their potential.
They might not be ideal or essential for all companies, but I am convinced that mega posts are a very effective content marketing tactic.
Commissioned by The CMA
Tesco wins a People’s Choice Award at the Best of Pinterest UK Awards 2017
Cedar is proud to announce that Tesco has won a People’s Choice Award at the first ever Best of Pinterest UK Awards last week. Celebrating the top food and drink content on Pinterest in the UK, from indulgent recipes to midweek heroes, gongs were awarded for content that was not only visually beautiful but offered customers creative food solutions that were also attainable.
Tesco was awarded the gong for its sticky beef and cashews pin, which continues to be one of the highest performing recipes on its Pinterest channel. The brand was also listed in the top four content posts in the Health category for its toasted quinoa bowl with falafel, avocado and red cabbage salad.
Commenting on the win Alicia Howard, head of social media and digital content at Tesco said, ‘We are so pleased to receive an award in this new category which recognises the hard work that goes into delivering engaging content for our customers, and really fulfils our commitment to helping customers to enjoy cooking.’
Jessica Haigh, Tesco business director at Cedar said, ‘We are very proud of the achievements of the team and this win is testament to their continued work to offer Tesco customers the highest quality ideas combined with the most accessible experience.’
A Day in the Life of… Nick Wright, UK Group Creative Director, Havas Media Group
– Wake up to the sound of birds singing. I’d like to think this is because summer is here already (or you might think I’ve lost the plot) but in fact it’s just the alarm sound on my wife’s bedside clock – it also fakes the rising sun?!
In fact I haven’t just woken up as my little boy joined us in bed an hour ago and has been playing football with my cheek for the past hour.
– A quick breakfast of tea, toast and emails followed by the nursery run. We’re currently neck deep in a really exciting pitch and I’m desperately trying to get a thought I’ve had bouncing around in my head down on paper. This is proving tricky against the backdrop of wheels on the bus coming from the back of the car. It could be an interesting collaboration though…
– Journey to the office. A blend of randomly writing musings on my phone with random articles in The Metro. Sometimes they can be real inspiration for ideas, not today unless we want to create a content series about a ‘Probation officer caught moonlighting as a £100-a-night prostitute despite £50,000 salary’. Is there anyone this could work for..?
– Breakfast catch up with Daren Benton, who I run Havas X with – our group content and partnerships team. We move into our brand new Havas Village in Kings Cross this month so there’s lots of exciting new opportunities coming in for us to implement our ‘Media X Content’ proposition across the group. There’s also the, potentially more important, issue of scoping out and prioritising the pubs in the area. I love the new lease of life that’s been given to Kings Cross – from the original gateway into the capitol to a red light district and nightclubs to now the most connected area of London. Physically and culturally.
– Into back-to-back client team sessions – it’s planning season so everyone is at full speed and this year the need for the non-traditional media approach has doubled, if not trebled, so we’re manic (in a great kind of way).
Havas is really driving this agenda forward and investing in capabilities and resources to push us more and more into a ‘build media’ space.
Lunch on the go as we dive across town to pick up an exciting new brief. One of those briefs that don’t come around that often (I know that’s said A LOT but this is definitely the case for this one) so, unlike my usual self, I am not only on time but 15 mins ahead of time.
The briefing goes amazingly well and lives up to all expectations. Now to deliver against it!
We get straight into it. The beauty of being a nimble group is the ability to get the right people in a room quickly. I always see these ‘kick offs’ as a bit like Pimp My Ride. We have all the specialists around the table, we kick about a few ideas on how we should approach it and then everyone suggest ways they can build it together.
This is by far is the most exciting part of my job.
Early post-work drinks with Mark from Vice. Havas have a great relationship with them and Mark has always been a big advocate of what we do – he’s also a little bit nuts, which makes for great entertainment and good chat.
Once we’ve put the world to rights and come up with at least 3 or 4 ‘game changing ideas’ (or so we think), it’s home time. Hopefully back in time to say goodnight to my little boy.
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