A Week in My Life: Darren Wilson, Creative Director of Fat Media
Fat Media is a website, design and digital marketing agency with offices in Lancaster, London and Bristol.
The agency has worked with TM Lewin, Typhoo and Lakeland to name a few. This week, Darren Wilson, the Creative Director, takes us through his working week.
Arrive in work and the first thing I do is have our Monday morning “stand up” meeting. We don’t allocate work at Fat Media, we’ve empowered the team to choose what projects they want to work on, during our stand up (which we all sit down in so I don’t know why we call it that) each team member discusses where they are up to with a project and shouts up if they need any help or any issues have arisen. We discuss new projects coming on board and who wants to work on them.
We’re big on collaboration at Fat Media, so a day never passes where I don’t see staff jumping on different projects to help colleagues out.
Following the meeting, I attend one of our internal workshops with a client. The workshop is on gamification. More and more clients are now getting interested in using gamification, so things like point scoring, competitions and leaderboards to engage the public with their brand. It’s one of our services which is really expanding.
After lunch, (last evening meal’s leftovers), I start pulling together some estimated timings for new projects, then it’s onto preparing for a pitch we’ve got this week, pulling together website and advertising artwork concepts and organising travel to London, where I’ll meet our team based down there to discuss the pitch face to face.
Concepts done and all the pitch work finalised, I jump on some wireframes of websites that our research and strategy team have said require small changes. The websites we develop go through research and user testing by a team first, to really assess where improvements need to be made. This stage is vital to ensure our client’s online presence performs to its maximum potential. Amendments made, I do some swatting up on a presentation for a new client and my day has nearly ended.
I have a final catch up with the team to see if they need any help for their work then it’s off home for a quick shower, then out to Blackburn ice arena for 8pm. I play ice hockey, and we train every Monday until Midnight!
It’s an early start as it’s London bound today, so a quick protein shake at home then I grab a coffee at the station before the train arrives.
The travel gives me a good opportunity to catch up on emails and I still dial into our morning meeting, to see what’s happening back at base. When I’m out of the office either a senior designer or a lead designer takes the chair for the stand ups, and I’ll often just back up what they say or advise where necessary, which is amazing when you’re so far away, trust is important and its one of the team’s greatest assets.
I get into London and take the underground to our office in Southwark, one of the best things about London is the ‘insta-moments.’ I’m a massive fan of Instagram and always love photos so I tend to be annoying people by stopping and taking photos of anything that moves.
I grab a quick sandwich from Pret and then head into the office to make the final touches to the pitch document and catch up with everyone involved. I typically work out of the Lancaster office, so when I get to London, I always take time out to speak to the team on a one to one basis, it’s not a performance review but a platform for them to voice opinions and for them to feedback on how I can support them in any way.
After that, I have a meeting about a large client we are working with in the finance industry, looking at their latest campaigns and creatives and assessing what’s worked well, what hasn’t and how we can tweak the campaigns to ensure they are working to their maximum impact and really delivering on the client’s bottom line.
Back to back meetings today, first meeting is 9am with a very special client (NDA) introducing them to the Fat Media team who will be working on the project, handling everything from a new look brand for the company, a new website, digital marketing and looking at some really innovative content for them, including some potential gamification elements.
After that, it’s one of the main events of the week, the pitch. Quick one stop on the underground and we’re into the client’s building, short introductions and straight to it.
Pitch over, we have a debrief over a coffee, and play the usual game of ‘how do we think it went?’ which is a great way of retrospectively thinking about how we did, and what we would do differently next time, which I find is an important step a lot of people miss out, knowing what you did wrong is as important as knowing what you did right!
Back to the office and back to answering emails and finishing off a few creatives for a social media campaign, then it’s time to clock off, I think we deserve a pint and the London office is surrounded by some great places to eat and drink….. to The Charlotte pub we go…
Heading back up north today, but first I need a coffee and want to head to the London office so that I can attend the morning stand up meeting and see what work we have in for the team today.
After that, I head to Euston and use my train time to get on with some wireframes for a few projects we are working on.
Bank holiday weekend starts here, it has been a hectic week so it’s a little lie in and then off out with the children for a bit of family time, which usually ends up with either being fleeced at every convenience by the kids or being more tired than a hard day’s work.
My day ends with a movie and a nice cold Gin with the lady who I’ve not seen all week.