Ok, so what do you actually do?
I was made an Account Director last year and work in the client services side of things, alongside two great Account Managers, Hannah and Sophie.
As a team our job is to manage the direct contact and relationships with our clients. We manage their briefs through the agency, liaising with all departments from project inception to completion and all the little bits in between.
As Account Director I head up our team, making sure our individual client projects are running along smoothly and efficiently. To be sure that we’re keeping our clients’ priorities and strategic objectives front of mind at all times and dipping in and out of all manner of things.
We work across a real mixture of clients and industries, from melons to trucks which is great for variety and it means every day is the never the same.
What makes working at RLA different to other agencies?
People. Process. Pigs.
I’ve worked at RLA for over four years now, and the people make the biggest different day to day.
Working together with a likeminded team (and wider team) of talented people, who work hard to get the job done, who never shy away from a challenge and want to deliver the best possible outcome. We play hard too, work in a brilliant environment (cue aforementioned pigs) and have a strong team of inspirational leaders to learn from and who help us to be better at what we do.
What’s your best memory from RLA so far?
Ah, well this feels impossible to pick just one. There have been many times I’ve laughed, and mostly laughed until I’ve wept and smudged make-up all around my eyes.
Winning our Macmillan Coffee Morning bake-off, Best Baker (2016) with a Coffee and Walnut cake was a highlight. We take our cake and the charities we support seriously, that year Poole Audi kindly donated an Audi TT S line for the winner to take home for the weekend. So I was able to spend the weekend cruising around town and to the New Forest with the roof down and safe in the knowledge my cake had secured a place in RLA bake-off history.
When you’re not in the barn, what do you get up to?
The last 2 years have been a super busy time for me outside of work. I married my (now) husband earlier in the year and we have steadily been working through renovating our Victorian style home in Bournemouth. We’re hopeful to be on the home stretch and so despite living in a building site which currently is the back three rooms to the house. When we’re not fuelled by a diet of microwave meals, or dealing with dust and DIY, then it’s the usual - good food, a few* drinks and catching up with my amazing friends and family. Bournemouth is a great town to live in, and it’s an awesome place to make the most of at weekends.
* small number, a handful, a sprinkling, one or two, a couple, two or three; not many, hardly any.
What would you do if you weren’t in the marketing industry?
My education didn’t initially start off in Marketing. A lot of people won’t know that I studied Theology and Philosophy at college and then went on to study Religious and Cultural studies at university.
Arguably a largish leap to marketing, but I’ve always found that empathy and understanding, and diplomacy and negotiation have been valuable skills that have helped me along this career path.
When I was younger I had a flurry of wanting to be a journalist and work for the BBC. More recently, and probably most likely linked to watching seasons 1-6 of Suits (one to go!) being a lawyer looks like a lot of fun.
My older self-wishes I’d taken more interest in politics and economics when I was in education, but hey never say never.
You’re in control of the Sonos, what are we listening to?
The RLA Sonos is a controversial as bringing up Brexit around the dinner table. Radiohead, ahem. It’s a responsibility I try to steer clear of, but if I had to choose then I like a Spotify hits playlist and to keep it lively.
Summarise RLA in one word
It’s Friday, its 4 o’clock, the beer fridge is open. What are you grabbing?
I’m fickle when it comes to the Friday beer fridge. If it’s been a long day and we’re still going then it’s a Diet Coke. On a hot summer’s day, Peroni. But if we’re talking kick back and relax after a long week then it’s a cold G&T.
What’s your favourite part of the job?
I love getting to know people, getting to know our clients well is the best way to support their goals, to get to the bottom of what makes the business tick and to help it thrive. This can’t be achieved overnight and anyone who thinks it can has the wrong idea. Organically growing a relationship over months of hard work and then raising your head to look back at everything you’ve achieved together is the best feeling.
How would you describe your ideal client relationship?
I am a big advocate that a balance of honesty, professionalism and normality in a working relationship will bring out the very best in people.
At the end of the day we’re all human. We all go home, we put on our slippers and we take the bins out. Our clients don’t sit propped up in smart suits all day and neither do we. We do brilliant things together and sometimes (not very often) we make mistakes. If our clients respect us and respect the work we do then we’re onto a winning team.
As an agency we are ultimately the supplier, but the best client relationships are the ones when we work hard to deliver brilliant projects, we work as team, but we can share a drink at an event or send a text to share a funny meme or joke that made us think of them.