“I started programming at a very early age, just simple stuff, games really. But I just loved it and I still do. Sitting on my own in a room creating and building a product - it's something I enduringly love.”

Al Mackin has been a programmer and publisher, he’s worked in-house and as a freelancer but for the past eight years, he’s been running digital agency theEword and most recently his online analysis company, Formisimo.

Marketers need to look back to the initial spark that started it all - connecting a humanly relevant idea and the heart of the business drives everything, writes Danny Turnbull, managing director of Gyro.

Business used to be viewed as mundane. Images of three-piece suits, power meetings and poorly written memorandums spring to mind.

Whether you're a fan or a foe, there's no doubt The Salford Star has never been shy about taking a forthright approach. Ahead of the publication's return to print, Bernadette Hyland talks to to editor Stephen Kingston about the city, the council and the competition.

I think that what I’ve really learnt is that if you love what you do you'll be successful. When I've struggled it's usually where I've had the least affinity with the role: Karen Gee, Journeys of Distinction

As consumers we’ve been segmented, profiled, prodded, poked and questioned by brands and marketers in an effort to find new ways to inch us ever closer to the point of purchase, writes Tim Downs, director at Aberfield Communications.

But there is one group that, until now, has remained steadfastly stuck in their stereotype and largely on the back burner when it comes to targeted marketing – Dads.

Daniel Nolan, managing director of theEword, reflects on the lessons to be drawn from this year's Prolific North Top 50 PR Agencies

Welcome to the 2014 edition of the Prolific North Top 50 PR Agencies, the definitive list of the North’s leading PR agencies. The initiative is published in association with theEword.

The ranking is anchored on financial information taken from Companies House and also draws upon data submitted and verified by the agencies themselves including additional financials, headcount, client information and – where appropriate - confidential private background information.

The objective was simple enough: find the 100 Prolific Northerners, whoever or wherever they may be, and stick them in a list.

The reality was somewhat more complicated.

On the fifth and final day of Prolific Northerners 2014 - our attempt to find the top 100 media and creative industry figures in the North - we've released the last 20 names.

Combining the views of a diverse and expert panel of judges, readers' suggestions and our own research and investigations, we now our complete top 100.

Prolific Northerners has been supported by Weber Shandwick and Melbourne Server Hosting.

“We are going to go further than we have ever done before in opening the BBC to more competition. A competition revolution.” Tony Hall

How exciting it was to wake up yesterday to news of a creative revolution! I run the Manchester based independent production company Nine Lives Media, and I have to admit that as we first made our creative mark by producing Small Teen Big World for BBC Three, I have recently been concerned that Tony Hall may not be the right person to run the BBC.


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