A Week in My Life: Richard Rawlins, Founder, Finn Communications

Charlie Spargo's picture
by Charlie Spargo

Finn Communications was founded 17 years ago by Richard Rawlins, and prides itself on forging strong and long-standing partnerships with clients.

The agency operates out of Leeds and has nearly 40 staff, supporting brands it describes as progressive, including Clipper Tea, Cushelle, Yorkshire Tea, Tena Lights, Bio-oil and more.

Rawlins is a highly experienced PR professional, and prior to launching Finn was a Director at both Gratterpalm (now CreativeRace) and DS.Emotion.

We found out how a week in his life looked.

 

Monday

I'm an early riser so I get the 6:40am train into Leeds. I'm reading a book on The Art of Account Management. At my age I should know it all but, of course, I don't. I scribble notes for our morning client service meetings.

I'm a creature of habit, so it's Out of the Woods on Water Lane for breakfast at 7am before I open the office. I plonk myself in my usual seat and Martin doesn't need to ask what I want - I’m a creature of habit.

Mondays are a round of planning meetings, firstly with Bridget our Operations and Finance Director. She keeps me on track... a tough task.

Then we catch up with the Client Service Leads and our Marketing Lead, followed by PowWow - our all-agency weekly kick-off meeting.

The afternoon is usually a whirlwind of new business catch-ups, client calls and a team interview. On Monday night, I hit the Peloton - don't judge - and have supper with my partner.

Tuesday

Tuesdays are good days. Too often I'm trapped in a meeting room or on a Teams call.

I sit upstairs in the office with the guys. It's so good to have everyone in the office. The banter is back, there's a great buzz, and the Sonos is playing BBC 6 Music - a great compromise; no-one knows any of the tunes so there's no reason to argue.

In the afternoon it's off to a client to chat about next Christmas - already! I forget my Christmas jumper but my colleague brings her sparkly deeley-boppers. From tank commander to sparkly headband... the irony is not lost on me.

Wednesday

At Finn, 'Wellbeing Wednesday' is a day of no meetings, to help people take a break from Teams and concentrate on delivery and have time to think.

For me... not so much. I'm back to back 8am - 4:30pm.

I start with breakfast with a former colleague, go straight into an interview, lunch with a prospective client (watching the calories!), onto Teams for a briefing on a new project with a client, then a catch-up with Imogen, our London-based Marketing Lead. 

We're working on a new Body of Evidence looking at the impact progressive brands are having on the consumer and our society as a whole. A lot of this involves talking and interviewing these companies and we learn a lot on the way.

One brand, BAM Clothing, tells us that 73% of all clothing today goes to landfill. In our climate-conscious world, these numbers don't make sense but they do inspire activism.

I meet my partner at the gym to work off the excess, and I'm asleep by 9:30pm!

Thursday

I have Breakfast with an old client. It's so good to catch-up and share our lockdown war stories. Her business is flying - hopefully we can work together again in the future.

An afternoon with the client service team planning our team 'sprints' - key objectives for the quarter, making sure we're on the money for our clients. We've commissioned client surveys and are developing charters to make sure we're delivering on our promises.

In the evening, we go out for a pizza as a team.

Friday

A morning of client calls and updates. I try to stay close to our work, so I'll jump on WIP calls. I'm sure it infuriates my fellow Finnsters when I ask stupid questions and make daft suggestions.

I've always believed that if a question is obvious, it's sometimes not asked. Daft suggestions can then quite often lead to interesting ideas, so I'm not shy. I'm old enough and smelly enough not to worry if I make a berk of myself.

We close the office at 4pm on a Friday. Most people work from home so there's only a few of us to wave to, and chat about plans for the weekend with.

It's been a great week. I still love this industry as much as I did the day I joined it. The variety, the creative challenges. It's not always easy but it's a hell of a ride.

As I walk past Woodsies on the way to the station I wonder if I'll try something other than toast with marmite and a strong cappuccino for breakfast next Monday...

Nah. That's just too extreme.

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