My Media Day: Dave Macdermid, Prism

DAVE Macdermid is owner and director of his own communications agency, Prism, which has just celebrated its third anniversary.

He was previously with The BIG Partnership, where he spent almost a decade and his clients include Aberdeen Football Club and Tennis Scotland.

He submitted this on Saturday 5th March 2016

What exactly do you do?

To be honest, a bit of everything and no two days are the same. In addition to traditional PR tasks, I’ve worked on local radio for more than 30 years and commentate on all the AFC games for RED TV, the in-house channel.

I sit as a non-executive member of the Aberdeen Sports Village, Aberdeen Snowsports Centre and Chareted Institute of Marketing (Scotland) boards and am an external examiner for the Robert Gordon University Business School.

What did your working day today or yesterday comprise?

Having played two hours of tennis doubles on Thursday evening, I could easily have slept on but managed to drag myself into Pittodrie Stadium, where I have a desk, for just after 8am. Unless I have a meeting out of town, my first task of the day is to speed-read the papers. Normally, on a Friday, there’s coverage of the pre-match press conference but with the Dons not performing until Tuesday evening (sadly it’s Scottish Cup weekend), it’s pretty quiet on the Dons front.

And talking of that game, which is a rearranged clash away to Partick Thistle, I’m asked if we can travel via Edinburgh to pick up a piece of new equipment for RED TV which is no problem, except that I’ll have to leave a bit earlier than planned.

So the first part of the day is spent bringing forward a Friends of Duthie Park marketing sub-group meeting from 1pm on Tuesday to noon! A voluntary group, the Friends works closely with Aberdeen City Council and funds projects that otherwise might simply not happen!

That done, it’s the first of the day’s meetings, this one with colleagues from the AFC Youth Academy, to look at a number of exciting initiatives being launched over the next few months. The Youth Academy is so crucial to clubs such as Aberdeen and is absolutely pivotal in terms of supplying the stars of tomorrow, which is why so much effort and resource is directed towards it.

After the meeting, I spent some time preparing for a meeting I have next Wednesday at Tennis Scotland in Edinburgh – concerning a communications plan for the forthcoming tour of the Davis Cup trophy which will start next month, appropriately in Scotland.

I also began to pull together the script for this week’s ‘Friday Sport’ show which I present on Northsound 1, along with Andrew Shinie and Dave Galloway, at 6.30pm every week.

Then it was time to record the weekly ‘Red Insider’ magazine show for RED TV – which I look after along with former Dons skipper, Russell Anderson, who now works for both AFC and the Aberdeen FC Community Trust in a business development capacity.

After a quick bite of lunch, it was time for yet another meeting, this time the weekly catch-up with the AFC marketing team. The marketing plans of a football club tend to be a moveable feast.

For example, a planned campaign launch may be postponed if it was originally scheduled for the day after a heavy defeat! Thankfully, that doesn’t happen too often these days at Pittodrie but there have been times when ‘crisis management’ was very much the order of the day!

Up to Northsound next, to prep for the show, which this week focuses on the refereeing decisions during the midweek win at Tannadice, as well as looking forward to next week’s game at Firhill. While title talk is a firm ‘no-no’ at the club, with my Northsound hat on, I can be a little more forthright!

Show prepared, time for a quick ‘hit’ at my local tennis club, Rubislaw, and then back to the radio station.

As ever, the half hour flies by and it’s home, a quick shower and out for well-earned meal with my wife, Sue, and a couple of friends.

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

Given that there isn’t such a thing as ‘an average day’, it’s similar in that my ‘to do’ list at the start of any given day bears little resemblance to what actually transpires!

How do you see your job evolving?

To be honest, I don’t have that long to go until thoughts of retirement will be uppermost in my mind.

Until then, other than trying to keep up with the latest developments in technology (got an Apple Watch last birthday, much to my kids’ amusement) I don’t anticipate any major changes in what I’m doing, other that continually trying to slow down a bit!

What gives you the most job satisfaction?

The fact that I enjoy working with the people I work with and I’m in the nice position of being able to work with clients that I want to – as opposed to having to deal with customers who were perhaps somewhat more challenging than I’d like in an ideal world!