Tuesday, November 05, 2013

I Can Haz Job: The Social/PR Fit

It's my belief that digital, as an industry, doesn't truly understand social media. I realise this is something of a sweeping statement, and that there's obvious tie-ins to SEO and the digital side of content marketing, but on the whole it's a practice more akin to branding, traditional marketing, brand journalism, and public relations.

Social is about people, and the tools they use to communicate. It's about strategy, and agile growth. It's about sharing, caring, and giving. Yes, it's about numbers too, but above all it's about listening and making sure the right people get to hear what you have to say in the most open and sympathetic way possible. It opened my eyes when I was working with PRNewswire's Fuel Team in Denver, on the Agility platform, as to how close a match both disciplines truly are.

Over the past few weeks I've been to a crop of interesting interview with brands in markets as diverse as international banking, food retail, SEO agencies, online gambling, high-street outdoor wear, and mobile communications. None of them felt like a good fit, and then my efforts in social channels paid off big time. I met up with my good friend Trevor Palmer for lunch, and he made me an offer I couldn't refuse.

how could I say no?

Now Trev and I have been friends for a long time, since my days at the Associated Press, and he's the Director of Tank PR in Nottingham. He's just as addicted to Skyrim as I am, and he's a gentlemen of values not often found in our industry. In short, a good solid chap. His company, Tank, has been established in Nottingham's Lace Market district since he went out on his own back in January 2010. Their clients include such well-known faces as Hilay Devey (of Pallex and Dragons Den fame), Red Bull Events, the NSPCC, Holiday Inn, the list goes on.

With all the things that have been going on of late at Chez Hewitt - my dad being ill etc. - I've come to realise a few things. Quality of life is really key to where I am in my life. I want to work in an environment sympathetic to my skills, without 2 hours of travel each way, and where I have time and space to develop my craft. I want to work somewhere that it's easy to sell in my skills - because it makes sense for the clients - and where there's good content begging for distribution. Somewhere campaign focused, where I can add real creative input and be of real value to the communities I'll be creating strategy for.

Plus, I want some cool clients and it's been ages since I've been up for any awards ;)

Trev and I have been talking about working together again for over 10 years. When he offered me a place in the agency, I didn't have to think twice. If you'd like to know any more please give us a follow on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc. I've gotta say, this couldn't have worked out better. His team are a really friendly and savvy bunch - MartinLouiseMax, Marie-Anne, Helen, Glen, etc. - and I know I'll learn a lot from them, and how PR really works, in the months to come. As an added bonus, someone makes a cuppa pretty much on the hour and there's a killer bacon butty shop just around the corner.

big damn 12' tank poster, next to my desk

I'll be speaking on behalf of Tank at the East Midlands High Growth Business Summit this month. It's a great line-up, and if you're in the Uk it'll be well worth coming along. Exciting times. I can't smile wide enough :)