My Media Day: Lawrence Broadie, owner-director, Electrify

LAWRENCE Broadie is owner and director of his own, just-launched marketing and communications agency, Electrify.

His career includes having been head of marketing and projects at Scottish Premiership football club, Heart of Midlothian.

He submitted this on Thursday, January 14 2016.

What exactly is it you do?

Good question. I’m the owner and director at my own marketing and communications agency, Electrify.

We work across sport, community and third sectors providing integrated marcoms support across the full range of channels.

What did your working day today or yesterday comprise?

Yesterday – well, first thing’s first, I hadn’t slept all the previous night, and had woken up with a heavy cold, chesty cough and my neck felt it had been replaced by a lead pipe.

But, owning my own business means the response to that is, ‘well, tough’, as you need to get on with it.

Nobody gives me sick pay if I can’t work.

To be fair to my wife, who is also a director of the business, she ‘dosed me up’, gave me tea and toast and on we went.

Given that Electrify isn’t even a month old, there’s a challenge in terms of three areas: looking after our signed-up clients, developing a new business pipeline, and ensuring the business is well organised.

We’ve got the structure of the business in good nick now – finance, IT, brand and operations – so we’re very focused on doing what we do, and I should say, loving it.

I kicked off the day working on a project for purpleTV, the independent TV production company, who are about to premiere their latest documentary, The Famous Five, which tells the story of arguably Hibernian FC’s finest-ever group of players.

Our campaign includes viewer engagement, media opportunities and a strong communications campaign.

Next, I took my wretched-feeling self to a new business meeting. You’ll understand, I can’t name them right now, but having gone in worried I wasn’t going to be particularly sharp, such was my ‘Barry White impression’, I actually found myself really excited about the opportunity and the meeting went well (at least I think it did).

It’s a good opportunity for Electrify, and that’s key for me. By that I mean, we’re incredibly focused on our values, and the culture of what we do.

I hate the thought of naval gazing, but – when we were planning the launch of the business – we took some time to think about what we didn’t want to be, and more importantly what we did.

We thought about it, because we want to be really true to ourselves, working with like-minded people who are equally inspired by what they do.

You see, I think there are some clients who don’t treat their agencies particularly well. If you’re reading this and think it’s okay to give your agency an occasional thud, to show you’re the boss, then don’t bother coming to us. You’ll see, I do tend to get onto my soapbox a bit. ‘Authenticity’ is one of our values, though, so I think it’s ok.

I spent the afternoon working on DPS Group. They’re an industrial, process and control solutions business. That might sound a little dry, but actually what they do is quite fascinating. We’re working on LED digital advertising for Saturday’s Scottish Premiership match between Hearts and Motherwell, as well as a re-worked advert for the matchday programme.

We’re focusing on DPS Group’s relationship with the whisky industry, as part of a concerted push within the food and beverage sector. DPS Group help create the ‘perfect blend’.

After that, I am on to a second draft of copy and design brief for four different brochures I am working on. I can’t say too much, as the client has asked for confidentiality – which of course we respect. It’s good fun, though, doing the type of project – taking something and being creative – that I really enjoy.

Back to the new business meeting from the morning, and I prepare a copy of our credentials and some key notes on the session. I also include a copy of our ratecard. We took a specific decision to be very open about what we charge and so created a pricing matrix based on number of days work and length of commitment.

That level of honesty is important to us.

And to end the day, some time working on preparation for a pitch we’re submitting next week. It’s a big digital and brand marketing project with a charity. I’ve got a network of colleagues across different disciplines and we’re having a Skype conference call tomorrow.

I’ve done a pitch plan, so we (actually, I mean me) are clear on what we need to do in the next ten days. It’s great to be excited, and even if we don’t win the work, the process is a good one for experience under the new Electrify banner.

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

Well, given it started three weeks ago, it’s still as manic as it was then.

My challenge is to work hard, but not let it rule my life. The absolute determination to make Electrify a success (and don’t be any doubt of how determined I am) has to be balanced with enjoying my life.

To that end, I am back playing squash (hurts terribly and I am an awful player) and I’ve signed up to sing in the Sing in the City choir with my friend, Diane.

So, maybe to answer this question, I hope in the months ahead it starts to change as I enjoy the sort of work-life balance that I think is vital to a person’s wellbeing.

How do you see your job evolving?

Without being negative, I can tell you I don’t want Electrify to become an ‘empire’ at this time.

You won’t see me in front of ‘dragons’ begging for a spare quarter of a million in return for a commitment to have 250 staff, glass-encased offices and a fancy goldfish bowl by 2017.

So I see it evolving in me being true to what I do, learning as I go, sticking to my values and what we believe in and continuing to work with people who love their job as much as we love ours.

What gives you the most job satisfaction?

Knowing I am building something which excites me every single day is key.

I’m also overwhelmed by the support I’ve had since I launched Electrify.

But, more than anything, it’s working with inspired people, because nothing can be more fulfilling.