‘Chronicles of a Head of Digital’ – 21

On a day of change, the day old Trumpy gets inaugurated as US president, I look back at what I have been up to this week. But before I do, let’s reflect on this president stuff, as I guess it’s potentially pretty seismic and it’s good to be topical with this outbound thought leadership stuff.

So, Mr Trump. #TrumpLife

I get the feeling there is a lot of fear about this chap being the leader of the free world, the Commander in Chief of the US military might. In fact, he gets the nuclear codes at 4:45pm GMT today. So let’s just hope nothing silly happens before teatime, as I’m due for an early doors pint at the Three Frogs this evening to delay the inevitable getting home and using my negotiation skills in shepherding kids to bed. Anyhow, my need for an end-of-week Peroni or three is an aside – Mr Trump is the hot news.

For those non-supporters, I will try to be detached. You need to ask why? How? But as I see it, it’s a protest against the establishment. Career politics seems to be at an impasse at the moment, a lack of faith in leadership and change. Which seems at odds with the outpouring towards Barack and Michelle, who are due to be officially announced as the Patron Saints of Inspiration and Hope respectively by the Vatican, or so I hear. #FakeNews

Which in itself is a bit confusing. If the election is a protest against the old, why are we all looking back so fondly? Well TBH it seems to be, from my perspective, the government cutting off its nose to spite its face. Much of what Mr Obama promised and failed to deliver, which led to the lack of faith in establishment, was blocked as he didn’t have control of Congress, Mr Trump’s adopted party did.

Now Mr Trump is in power, his adopted party seems to be distancing itself from its nominee. So this protest win and win could only be a superficial result with potentially as toothless a bite as the old. The figurehead has switched, but the power is the same. A government, congress, or parliament is only as strong as its members, and majority (or should I say mob) rule wins out. The forgotten people’s votes that led to the result could still be as empty as before, unless congress does get behind Mr Trump.

Management by committee.

Which, from a work perspective, is no way to run an account, department, project or an agency, and doomed to fail. So, how that runs a country effectively is beyond me, but that is perhaps why I am not in politics, I’m too slow minded.

But again shifting this to a personal perspective – or I guess I should say business perspective from a personal angle, the figurehead, the inspirational figure is needed, especially in a ‘creative’ business, but they do need full backing to succeed. From an account lead, to a creative lead on a pitch, to an MD or CEO – and generally strong leadership is borne from success.

It’s a rare day to see a from-scratch newbie effectively steering success. Yes it’s easy enough to apply a like skill set across sectors, or to ‘know digital’ and make it work in an ad or marketing agency as it is in a PR agency. Transferable skills. But to go from running a property and hospitality business/empire to running a democratic country… is akin, for me, to me being asked to run a pharmaceutical company. I’d have a good stab at it, and probably do some good things, but overall… I’m sure there are better qualified than I.

Anyhow, enough of my yabbering, what have I been up to work-wise you cry… Well, maybe not, but I’ll summarise it anyway, in six concise bullets:

  1. Planning videos – juggling resource, assets, timelines and budgets.
  2. Campaign planning – from this mornings creative brief session to mapping ideas, concepts and channels with a client yesterday.
  3. Campaign fulfilment – from the design and build of end assets such as emails and landing pages, to sorting the data and the feeding through of multi-channel personalisation to recipient. And then mapping and planning the social/PR/media and associated budgets, reach and ROI. Oh, and some ad hoc copywriting too.
  4. Site work – searches and data filters, to page and journey optimisation to content build outs. Then the ground up new build that is midway and still requiring assets and agreements throughout.
  5. Admin and internal – process, sign-offs and mapping.
  6. Oh yeah, and as a break from the norm – the grand prix of my efforts was the successful design of a flag, now handed to artwork to make it work properly with those funny print lines and things offline assets require.


Roll on this evening.