We recently caught up with OMD’s Steve Blakeman to delve a little deeper into his path to OMD, how he recently became LinkedIn’s Agency Publisher of the Year and the advice he has for anyone wanting to kick-start their publishing portfolio.
Could you explain your role at OMD and how you ended up doing what you do?
I’ve been back in the UK for around seven months now and I am Managing Director – Global Accounts, specifically holding responsibility for the global Renault Groupe account.
Prior to returning home, I lived and worked in Singapore where I was CEO for OMD APAC for four years. This was a hugely exciting and successful period for OMD in which we doubled our billings, won over 1000 industry awards and were named ‘Media Agency of the Year’ at the Cannes Lions and Festival of Media Asia awards 2013. However London was calling and when our daughter won a scholarship at a stage school in the UK, after appearing in the world tour of ‘The Sound of Music’, we knew it was time to return home to the smoke.
Congratulations once again on being named LinkedIn’s Agency Publisher of the Year. How did you get started?
I’ve always been a keen writer and a regular contributor to industry trade publications, but it was Andy Goldman, Global Agency Lead for LinkedIn, who persuaded me to repurpose these articles on LinkedIn. Despite my original scepticism, I was overwhelmed with the response and viewing figures, particularly when one of my articles achieved over 140,000 views. Not only that but the audience went from being local, to regional, to global. In December, I was named ‘Agency Publisher of the Year’ for EMEA and one of LinkedIn’s top 10 marketing and social writers for 2015. Now LinkedIn is always front of mind when I write.
For all our budding publishers out there, what advice do you have for them to get started?
Write about what you love, and what you’re interested in. If you’re not engaged in what you’re talking about, your readers won’t be either. However it is important to step out of your comfort zone, so read voraciously and be inspired by the exceptional content that is out there. The challenge is finding the time, however I travel a lot and still manage it by writing on planes and in airports, as well as constantly making notes and bookmarking websites on what interests me. The main thing is to get started, so if you’re looking for some inspiration, you might want to check out some really interesting articles by this Blakeman bloke who works for OMD.
What is it about the world of media and marketing that you find so exciting?
After almost 30 years in the industry, I can honestly say that the one aspect that attracted me to the industry in the first place, is the same reason why I still find it so exciting today. It’s dynamism. The relentless progress and constant change is what keeps the industry so vibrant and stimulating. Oh, and the media owner parties, of course.