A Week in My Life: Christian Hill, Founder of Project Simply
Project Simply is a creative agency that helps music, festival and lifestyle clients engage audiences using their bespoke web platform.
The platform, PLOT, offers venues of all sizes a website that uses a modular design system to reduce time to market.
The founder, Christian Hill, shares what a week in his working life is really like...
I always try to get an early night on a Sunday so I’m fresh for an early Monday start. Up at 5.45am, do the usual morning tea making, getting the kids' breakfast and little chaps milk bottle, then it’s a quick shower and out. I get the 7am train and make sure I’m sat in Ezra and Gil, in my favourite seat by 7.30 on the dot.
First thing, follow up on all emails from Friday and plan my week ahead. This week I’m launching the Festival Insights Report, which is focusing on the marketing and digital experience of festivals. I’ve been working hard on it for the past 3 months. It’s going well and has been picked up by some large press outlets as well as interest from the global festival community. I need to finalise the launch and also get some idea of the content plan moving forward. It’s a beast but by 9am I’ve got a rough plan that needs a bit of refining.
A couple of new business meetings bookend a productive day putting together the launch plan, which includes a press, email and social strategy as well as what content we are going to be creating over the next few months.
Drop the kids off at school then a mad dash to get train. Made it, but it’s rammed. Do my usual news check up and realise the world is still falling apart.
A couple of new business and internal meetings mean I can’t really get my teeth into any of my larger, more important tasks, so I fill the spaces with some admin and finance / performance reporting.
The team had loads of video calls today with clients in L.A and London. We have a completely open office so when someone takes a video call we all have to tiptoe around in complete silence. It’s annoying but means I can put in my headphones and get into a Festival hole, that sounds weird but it’s enjoyable.
Some of the team are in London today on new and existing client meetings. We are working on some brilliant festivals at the moment, can’t wait to get them launched. One of our new clients is a co working space environment with a difference and they are the coolest cats in town. It was a great win as we were up against some of the brightest agencies in the UK.
I on the other hand need to catch up with our Ops Director and run through the great and the good of the agency and what we are doing to make things better, commercially and for the team. It’s very productive. We’ve recently been running 360 feedback for everyone in the office which has helped us become more proactive in our personal and professional development. Everyone said I’m not a complete arse, but were they telling the truth?
I’m on kids pick up today so need to leave early. I make sure I spend as much time with the kids as possible and don’t spend every waking minute working. I think spending 12 hrs plus a day working isn’t healthy or necessary in most cases and I’d rather just be really productive for the time I am working. That will split opinion I’m sure.
Been chatting to the PR team this morning, who are helping us put out the word for our Festival Insights Report, as well as chatting with some of the expert contributors to the report. Its finished so I’m just getting feedback, and it’s been received really well.
We’ve had some interesting leads today, one in particular is a Manchester gigging institution and only a stone's throw away from our office. We love working in Festival and Venue so to have the opportunity to work with these guys is a massive buzz. The team is really excited. I nip out to get some ‘luxury coffee’s’ so we can chat about how we might approach it.
In the afternoon I catch up with a couple of friends / partners to chat through any up and coming work and how we might be able to get them involved. Over the years we’ve built up some really solid relationships with agencies that offer reciprocal services and we pass business between ourselves.
We’ve recently taken on a new member of the team, Matty, who’s really found his feet and doing really well, so we go out for welcome drinks. It’s hot today so we try and bag a spot in the sun but everyone else has the same idea and so we eventually opt for darkness but comfortable seating. It’s an early night for me.
There’s tried eyes and yawning excess in the office today, the welcome drinks turned into a few more and a few more. Friday is generally a little slower paced anyway so it’s not an issue, everyone works hard so we are really flexible.
I’m putting the Festival Insight report out today. I’m a bit apprehensive about how it’s going to be received, especially given how much work Ive put into it. I send it out to everyone who took part, just under 150 festivals across the world, as well as other festivals who have shown an interest in the findings. I instantly get some really lovely messages back from festival directors saying how much they enjoyed it. Panic over, its gone down pretty well then.
We do a big team lunch every Friday and opt for Nam in Ancoates. It takes forever to get our food and as per usual I’ve opted for too much so when we get back to the office im in a food coma and my productivity diminishes. A couple of games of FIFA kill some time, and yeah we’ve got a league going and I’m constantly at the bottom.
Head home about 5 ish as I’ve got a BBQ planned at a mates house with the families. It always ends up with a few too many and the kids going feral till late into the evening, so Saturday will be a recovery day. All good, great week.