After graduating from Sheffield Uni with a degree in Sociology, I joined MEC (Wavemaker) – my first job in Media – in September 2017 (a day before my 24th birthday!).
Since then I’ve worked in the AV team across accounts such as Jet2, First Group, Cussons & Friesland Campina.
Now an Account Executive working mostly across Jet2.
Practice what is essentially my only hobby (football) by supporting Burnley FC (season ticket holder) as well as playing it regularly & watching it on telly when I can.
How did you get in to media?
A friend who used to work at Wavemaker recommended it to me, I sent in my CV and the rest is history…
What is a typical day like for you?
I live fairly close to the office, which enables me to walk into work, which is great!
A large portion of my time is dedicated to the management of TV campaigns – specifically Jet2’s – who are typically active on TV for most of the year. This means negotiating with TV sales house contacts at ITV, Channel 4 and Sky to move TV spots around to ensure the optimal laydown of airtime for Jet2 whilst also managing our agency value positions. I also ensure that the right creative message is reaching the right audience at the right time by instructing their wide breadth of TV copy which is optimised based on programme and channel demographics.
In tandem with managing Jet2’s TV airtime, I also plan, book and manage their broadcaster VOD activity.
The TV landscape is rapidly changing and as viewing fractures across multiple platforms and devices, this provides fresh opportunity to understand, plan and manage video campaigns away from traditional “linear” TV.
Alongside airtime management, there is a number of weekly, monthly and quarterly reports, all of which keep me on my toes. A key part of this is keeping an eye on competitor activity and providing post-campaign reports.
I also work across other TV clients, helping to plan, book and manage AV campaigns. In addition to this, I have an ‘ambassadorial’ role between the AV team and ITV – helping to promote and maintain our great relationship with a key media partner to the agency.
It’s not all TV systems and Excel spreadsheets though, my role provides ample opportunity to meet with media owners and get stuck into the wider industry. I particularly enjoy getting sneak peeks of their upcoming content… maybe with a beer or two at the same time.
What piece of advice would you give to someone just starting out in the industry?
My advice is to ask as many questions as you can, don’t expect to know everything at the beginning – because you won’t. There’s also a fantastic social scene, so get involved with that a much as you can.
Who would be your dream client?
Burnley FC – although I’m not sure their marketing budget would support an effective TV campaign…
What is your proudest career moment to date?
Smashing the Jet2 audit which concluded 12 months of relentless TV buying!
Describe yourself in three words
Driven. Diligent. Inquisitive.
What do you like most about working at Wavemaker?
The culture: I like working for a big company that cares about its employees. We get a lot of perks (e.g. exercise hours, early finish Friday) which are easy to take for granted. Mostly I enjoy working somewhere that treats me with respect and trusts me to manage my own workload & time.
The people: An office and an industry full of friendly people.
The work: My work is varied and challenging and constantly provides an opportunity to learn and develop. Working on something so visible (TV campaigns) for such a big client also displays the fruits of my labour in a very public way!
Now onto the rapid-fire questions…
Climb a mountain or jump from a plane?
Already climbed a (small) mountain but always wanted to skydive – so easy choice.
What was your most recent purchase?
2 Burnley shirts, on offer for £22.50 for both. I would say bargain, others may say otherwise…
Morning lark or night owl?
Absolutely a night owl…without work I slowly turn nocturnal.
The last song you listened to?
According to Spotify, it was Superstar Tradesman by The View
Where would be your dream travel destination?
That concludes our spotlight feature with James. Stay tuned for more insight into Wavemaker North culture and agency life!