My Media Day: Sam Goldblatt, comms assistant, exec producer and author

SAM Goldblatt works full-time as a communications assistant at the Festival and King’s Theatres Edinburgh. But in his spare time, he is executive producer of indieAds, a creative marketing challenge for small businesses, and producer of the Edinburgh and Glasgow 48 Hour Film projects. He is also author of The Complete Guide to Greener Meetings and Events.

He submitted this on Friday, April 5.

What exactly is it that you do?

I work full-time at Festival and King’s Theatres, assisting on the marketing campaigns for the various operas, ballets and other fabulous shows we have on. In my free time, I run several arts events. I’ve produced the 48 Hour Film Project in Edinburgh and Glasgow over the past fives years, which has resulted in 239 new Scottish short films.

I was inspired by the 48 Hour Film Project to create a similar project, but for advertising.

indieAds connects creative people with small shops, cafes, bars and other local businesses. We challenge people to create TV, radio, digital and print ads for their favourite local business. I applied for initial funding from the Cultural Enterprise Office and won a coveted place on their Starter for 6 programme, which has helped support our interactive website and marketing activity.

Now I’m in the process of activating our marketing campaign and recruiting teams.

What did your working day today or yesterday comprise?

This morning, I got up early to update the indieAds website, send a press release, and update our social media pages.

On the way to work, I did a media interview about indieAds – prompted by the release – over the phone.

At work, at the Festival Theatre, I co-ordinated our outdoor, ‘adshelter’ activity, sent some press ads for publication, delivered production photos to journalists and supervised our designer who is making a direct mail brochure.

We’re working on everything at the moment: from Scottish drama, The Sash, to Rambert Dance Company and even Spot the Dog.

With two busy public buildings and different shows on every week, life at Festival and King’s Theatres is always busy. We’ve got a great variety of shows and each one requires an unique marketing mix.

After work, tonight I’m literally going door-to-door with indieAds posters, giving them to all the amazing indie shops, cafes and bars in Edinburgh.

How different or similar was it to your average working day?

Some days, my job can be very physical, what with putting out leaflets and posters in our venues and sending large-format print to distributors. Other days, I might need to update a campaign spreadsheet for hours. There’s so much variety that I could never ever get bored.

Last week, we had The Full Monty, and this week was the Royal Shakespeare Company. I think that pretty much sums up the total variety of our shows.

I’m energised by the idea of running events that bring people together, so I’m happy to spend my free time making indieAds happen. It is hugely exciting for me, so I’m happy to spend mornings and nights putting it together.

My wonderful wife, Louise, is also my business partner, and I’m lucky that she also has a passion for creative events. She’s been a huge help with indieAds and has recruited several businesses to take part. If she wasn’t interested, there would be no way I could make indieAds happen. Luckily, she shares my passion and together we’re making our dreams a reality.

How different or similar is your average working day to when you started in post?

The Festival and King’s Theatres are always extremely busy, and I have a very demanding role. With two public venues and a huge amount of year-round marketing activity, there’s no time to rest.

I was producing the 48 Hour Film Project, and had created indieAds, before I took on this role, and it’s a struggle to make these side projects happen now. If I wasn’t passionate about them, they wouldn’t happen. The key is to make sure these projects are fun to produce and to take part in. indieAds is super fun.

How do you see the job evolving?

Work at the Festival and King’s Theatres shows no signs of slowing down. We’re always trying new tactics, and we are gradually doing more and more digital marketing activity. The shows we get are evolving as well – Horrible Histories comes with 3D video effects, and Dinosaur Zoo has dinosaurs that actually reach out into the audience.

As for my other projects, the 48 Hour Film Project took a lot of work the first year, and it’s gotten easier every year since. The first year will be the hardest for indieAds because it’s a totally new concept. I can see it getting easier as more people jump on the wagon, and they already are.

What gives you most job satisfaction?

At the 48 Hour Film Project, we have an awards party where we stay out all night and do karaoke. It’s a heck of a good time and it makes everyone happy. With indieAds, we’re hosting a launch party on the 16th of this month, where there will be Crystal Maze-style games that bring together creative people and small business owners. We’re partying for a purpose. And that’s fun.