I head up Realise, one of the top 20 independent digital agencies in the UK with offices in Farringdon and Leith, Edinburgh.
Realise is an agency going through amazing transformation and growth.
When I joined there were less than 10 in the agency side of the business and now we’re more than 100 strong. We’ve gone from being a traditional design and build agency with a strong technical heritage to a highly innovation, ideas-driven agency with a fantastic creative reputation.
Despite our successes, we crave more. We’re fiercely ambitious and driven. In some respects, we’re not for the faint hearted. But that drive and determination to get bigger and better appeals to clients and that’s why we work with major organisations like Lloyds Banking Group, Channel 4, Tottenham Hotspur, CBS TV and more.
When and why did you join?
Completely by chance, having resigned from a previous senior agency job when I took ill during pregnancy, I was invited by an old colleague to come and meet the Realise team with a view to doing some project work in the run up to giving birth. That was almost 9 years ago. I have never looked back.
What do you actually do?
Boss everyone around. Send what feels like a million emails a day. But both of those in a positive sense. I drive it. I am all over it. I put the pressure on everyone to perform. But at the same time I give something back, which I hope the staff would agree. Energy, enthusiasm, passion, hunger, leadership by example. I try and set a high standard without taking it all too seriously. I spend most of my time either working on new business bids, pitches or meeting prospective clients. And the rest of time trying to recruit our next superstars!
How did you get started in the industry?
As a placement student, undergraduate, with a leading sales promotion agency. They gave me a contract for a full time job on the day my 14 month placement finished. I then came back as an Account Executive and worked there 8 years. I didn’t start my career in digital until I joined Realise so I am still a newbie!
What would you be doing if you weren't in the industry?
I’d love to say working in the movie or music industry – two of my big passions. If PA to Ryan Gosling gets advertised anytime soon, I’ll be fast to apply.
What's your current favourite piece of creative work?
Love the Thomson Holidays campaigns.
What do you love about your job?
Pitching. With personality. Being memorable for all the fun reasons not just the right reasons.
If you could give one piece of advice for someone starting out, what would it be?
Work hard. It doesn’t come easy. Persist, persist, persist.
If you have one Super power what would it be?
Speed of email typing (see earlier answer).
What do you want to be when you grow up?
What was your worst job and what did you learn from it?
Working on the checkout in a supermarket. I learnt the price of everything. I can still tell you how much a 6 pack of kit kat cost in 1990.
You have already worked with some amazing brands, who would you like to work with next?
One of the beer brands – good freebies. Or maybe Skylanders Giants – my 8 year old would think I was the coolest Mum ever.
Your favourite app or website?
I like a property website. It’s my guilty pleasure to drool over properties I can’t afford.
Pinterest or Twitter?
Twitter – even though I am not personally an active user. I love seeing the celebrities tweeting their holiday pics.