A day in the life: A typical day is never a typical one

This is a guest post by Adam Goldsmith, Activation Account Manager, Snack Media. 

To write about a typical day in my role, as Activation Account Director at Snack Media, is almost impossible. It may sound like a cliche to say that there is no typical day at the office, but when it comes to organising event activations for brands and partners days don’t tend to loop on repeat.

Perhaps the best way to describe a ‘typical day’ is to do it through an example.

Snack Media is an independent sports digital media company with over 20m sports fans, specialising in multi-channel content creation, distributed at scale. But it also provides activations for brands in the form of social media services and events. As Activation Account Director, that means my job is to keep clients happy and deliver exactly what they want to achieve.

And so if there’s a theme that runs through every ‘normal day’ it’s that it’s all about working towards the end goal – every day is a step towards finishing a project we’ve been working on with a client.

My first major project at Snack Media was one that began just as I joined the business. It was launched the week I arrived, and so I was lucky enough to come into the role without having to spend too much time getting up to speed.

That event was the Icons of Football 2017 tournament run by our client Iconique, who bring iconic names in sport together to play matchplay golf against each other. The Icons of Football event pitted a team of England footballing legends past and present, such as Teddy Sheringham, Paul Ince and Michael Carrick against a Rest of the World team, which included the likes of Pep Guardiola, Ronald De Boer and Peter Schmeichel in a Ryder Cup style competition taking place over three days at the Belfry in Birmingham in June.

But the launch of the event happened six months earlier, in January, with a press briefing at the prestigious golf club before, of course, overseeing the brand’s Social Media leading up to, and during, the event. The time in between was spent ensuring ‘Icons’ had a strong online brand presence. So most of my job is about the planning and the ideas which go into the event before they actually happen.

I have a hugely dedicated team of people in the Activation Department at Snack who help the process run smoothly, from account and social media executives to graphic designers. That enabled us to spend the six months before the event creating content plans, bespoke videos and images, growing followers and promoting the weekend, as well as actually planning for the day itself. In the end, a successful event won’t just be successful on the internet – there needs to be a social media buzz, but there also have to be crowds on the course. That’s why the build-up is so important.

On the activation team, we’re incredibly privileged with the support we get from our colleagues. I am confident in saying that the rest of Snack Media is involved in delivering for our clients, too.

Everyone is involved. Snack’s huge network of websites and social media partners, as well as our own editorial teams, create and distribute content seen by millions of readers. Our in-house tech team spent huge time and effort building white label tech products specifically for the project. They developed fan engagement tools which could be used in the editorial content as well as on the Icons of Football website.

The idea is that when people do business with Snack, they’re not just doing business with the Activation Team, and the graphic design, social media and creative people we have in the department, but they’re also getting bespoke services provided by other areas of the business. Like the social media aggregator which was used at Icons, where users can categorise social media posts from each of the athletes taking part, and the live blog which pulls through people’s social media posts when they come to the event and used the hashtag and which was hosted on IoF website and on the big screens around the Belfry. These elements allow fans who weren’t at the event to follow the action online, and those who were there to get involved, sending their photos and their comments and see them in real time.

Snack had a team of eight people at the event itself – some capturing content, some manning the live blog (to ensure all content was approved before making its way to the internet!), some editing the live video so that we could post highlights as-live onto social media, but with Icons of Football branding on the screen. From the day that the event was launched until it was over, there were people from all over the company taking part to deliver a thoroughly successful campaign.

For IoF, it was an incredibly successful campaign. We reached over 12 million people across the campaign, with over 102 million impressions in Twitter alone. With over 4,000 Social Media posts about the tournament and 3.5 million engagement minutes on the Live Blog – both across the weekend alone – these show palpable and quantifiable results. However, I think the proudest moment was actually having the likes of Pep Guardiola and Darren Clarke amplifying the online conversations about the competition using our collateral.

So my not-so-typical ‘typical day’ is really about bringing all of these strands of the business together and, essentially, project managing them in order to make sure the event is delivered to the client’s wishes.

There are, of course, unseen difficulties to deal with. Things that you might not think about until they land in your email inbox. I was so lucky with Icons of Football in that, even though it was my first project with this particular client, things went incredibly smoothly. But problem solving is something that has to happen on all projects. Your clients might have specific needs, for example, or they might have other corporate partners to keep happy. Videos might not have the right branding, logos could be wrong or out of date. You just have to look as broadly as you can in order to try and make sure every possible issue is addressed before they even arise. And if there is anything that slips through the net – as, let’s be honest, it can happen – these are dealt with as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Essentially, the key is communication. Talking to rightsholders, brands and companies to try to find solutions that work for everyone means that communication, sensitivity and experience are key to smoothing out the process. Often, everyone’s needs are different, and that’s the most important bit, because if the client gets what they want out of it, my end goal is accomplished. And the goal for me, personally and from a business standpoint, is that people are so happy with how the activation went that they want to come back and use Snack Media again.

There is no typical day because every day is about managing people on a project that is always moving forward and trying to find solutions that work for everyone on a daily basis.

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