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A Week in My Life: Lee Petts, Founder, Fifty2M

Lee Petts

Lee Petts founded growth-focused PR and marketing agency Fifty2M back in 2002.

The agency is based in Preston, Lancashire, and works with start-up, scale-up, established businesses and charities.

From larking about on LinkedIn to running important ad campaigns during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Petts shared how a recent week in his life went…

Monday

I start every day with a walk in the park with my dog, but on Monday’s I extend this so I can spend longer outdoors. I find it helps me get in the right frame of mind for a productive week ahead.

Next, it was time to post my weekly #HappyMonday bad dad joke on LinkedIn. Now it’s more relaxed on there, I think it’s good to show-off your personality!

After mooching with the pooch, and larking about on LinkedIn, I spent much of the day with colleagues on an ad campaign for a national cancer charity to run during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

The idea is to test whether aligning with broader awareness campaigns helps to boost visibility and engagement. This campaign will see us trialing search ads on Google and Facebook ads too.

We’ve also developed a long-form landing page with different sections that are aligned with a typical three stage marketing funnel (Awareness, Consideration, and Conversion). This will enable us to send traffic to the different sections based on ad objective. We’ve not done this before – we usually use a set of nested landing pages – but we have high hopes. Then again, it could bomb, who knows?! That’s promotional marketing for you, lots of experimentation with no guarantee of success but lots of opportunity to learn and refine until you find the winning formula.

I also managed to nip out and squeeze-in a quick 3km run over lunch. I only started running in April 2021, and it used to take me 49 minutes to run 5km. Now, I’m doing it in 32 minutes and if today’s average pace of six minutes per km is anything to go by, I’ll soon have my time down to 30 minutes at this distance to achieve my end of 2023 goal.

Tuesday

It was an early start and a trip to Blackburn to appear on Graham Liver’s BBC Radio Lancashire breakfast show, with Hayley Kay standing-in.

I accompanied Alison Colley who runs Hope’s Therapy Dogs. They were rewarded with ‘Highly Commended’ status in the Start-Up category of Lancashire’s premier business awards, the Be Inspired Business Awards or BIBAs.

I was honoured to judge this category over the summer, and was really pleased that Alison and her young business got some well-deserved recognition. She has a great brand story about how her nine year old daughter, who died from cancer a few years ago, encouraged her to train the family dog, Pippa – who had been a source of great comfort to Hope as she endured her illness – so she could support other children.

I organised for Alison to appear on the breakfast show, and was invited on to provide the BIBAs context. Good luck with your future endeavours Alison, Pippa and the rest of the team.

In the afternoon, I jumped in to a rebranding project we’re working on. We’re planning a launch that will involve hiring a digivan for a couple of days to drive around the places where our client is most active, as part of a competition aimed at getting traffic to its new website (that we’re also working on!) It’s going to be great. When we first pitched the concept, the client said “you don’t do things by halves, do you?” and he’s right, we don’t – most rebrands almost go unnoticed, whereas we think you need to make them ‘pop’. My job was to try and find a company close to Lancashire to hire the digivan from – we have a strong preference for spending in the places our work is delivered – but so far I’ve had no joy, so looks like I’ll have to widen the search!

Wednesday

Scene change. I decided to work from one of the cafés on the high street where I live.

They serve a pretty awesome breakfast of smashed advocado with chillies and chili flakes on toasted sourdough, which I like to top with poached eggs. Yum.

Oh, and the coffee is great too.

It was mostly a morning of catching up with emails.

I like to do this regularly, often working from the Brew Bar of the Preston Marriott hotel, or the lounge at the Tickled Trout hotel just off the M6. Sometimes, you bump into other business types you know, and others you don’t. I like to people watch, but it’s the change of scenery that I’m really interested in, I find it helps to stimulate my creative juices.

Thursday

Went for another run at lunchtime. Achieved my end-of-year goal by completing 5km in 30 minutes! #winning

Checked-in to see how one of our new LinkedIn lead generation campaigns is working out for a haulage client. We’re targeting skip hire and recycling businesses to try and open-up a dialogue about hauling bales of paper, cardboard, and plastics after they’ve been plucked from incoming co-mingled rubbish. We only launched it a week before, so it’s still early days, but connection requests are being accepted at a healthy rate and people are responding to follow-up messages. Unlike a lot of agencies that offer this as a service, we don’t do ‘connect-and-pitch’, preferring to build a relationship and create dialogue – it takes a bit longer, but gets better results.

Reviewed a quote we’d previously sent for producing some video content for an energy business after a change was requested. We’ll now be going out on location to film some B-roll at one of their clients that we can use as voiced-over cutaways, if it comes off. This will be an interesting project, focused on educating smaller businesses about affordable, practical pathways to net zero through the medium of facilitated round-table discussions to create a long-form version plus lots of smaller segments and social media teasers (we love ‘sweating’ content by making it divisible!)

Friday

I rounded off the week with a half-day so I could pack for a weekend away!

The morning was spent overseeing some work developing some landing pages for a Christmas fundraising campaign for one of our charity clients. It’s going to be a good one – not quite John Lewis territory, but heartwarming all the same.

I also chased-up one of our charity prospects that’s considering using our LinkedIn lead generation service to connect it with businesses across the entire food sector, from growers to retailers. This particular charity redistributes surplus food to low income families and needs to source more but isn’t (yet) very well known. It’s also competing against businesses that pay for edible surplus food and turn it into pet treats or even process it to make biogas used as an energy source – we agree with the charity that feeding people, not pets and processes, should be the priority and have some ideas for how we can help develop this narrative.

And that is the week that was! There’s obviously much more to it than this, these are just the highlights that hopefully show how versatile we are at Fifty2M and that I’m personally very goal oriented. In fact, I reckon most of our clients would agree with that – they hear me banging on about it enough!

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