A 3 Minute Sizzle With: Laurence Cornwall-Watkins from Bright Blue Day
We grab 3 minutes with Laurence Cornwall-Watkins, Client Services Director at Bright Blue Day. You can grill Laurence in your own 3 Minute Sizzle at Meetdraw 29 on Thursday 10 March. Tickets are free and available here.
In 140 characters or less, tell us what your agency does.
We’re a CX agency. We think customer, deliver awesome & behave hilarious. It’s in our DNA to be better every day & make a difference.
Tell us what you do at the agency.
I’m the Client Services Director. I mostly pretend to know what I am doing, look important and obsess about how we add more value to clients.
Occasionally I’ll inspire, sometimes motivate but I’ll always have the teams backs. Clients can be fickle creatures and when you have been in as many scrapes as I have, you learn a few things about moving quickly to avoid a swinging axe and turning a would-be disaster into opportunities.
Describe your company culture, flavour or important values.
Run fast, think faster and deliver the best work of your career… or die trying. We don’t like second place, we’re not fussed on average. We are our harshest critics and sometimes our biggest champions. We look, behave and deliver like a London agency but without the wank. We love what we do with a passion so whilst we push ourselves it never feels like a chore.
What qualities do you look for when hiring new people?
Aptitude is key – you need a hunger to be the best you can be, a passion for understanding people and making them smile and an endless enthusiasm combined with curiosity… If you’re those things then the interview is going to be fun. If I get up and pace the room, I am working out which window to jump from!
What’s your favourite book / movie / album?
Book – Any of the Harry Potters – I know. I don’t care. I love them.
Film – Ghostbusters – had a VCR of 1&2 and watched it a million times
Album – Ummm just use Spotify and search trance so nothing specific, although Aladdin Sane if I had to be specific.
What was the best piece of advice you ever received?
I have been privileged to work with awesome people my whole life, so advice has been in abundance. But here are the stand outs moments that I had to share:
“Everything is relative, and I mean everything”. Amazing how many times a day that crossed my mind and impacts my decisions.
“90% of what people buy is you. So stop being a dick”.
“Everyone fights, nobody get’s left behind. Lead from the front and never give up”.
And finally; “No Laurence, the jar of Dolmio Bolognese does not contain meat, you have to buy that seperately”. My mother, wisdom personified.
And the worst?
“I don’t think you should be going to the open day, your wasting school time. Your just not going to make it there. You need to be realistic and set your sights lower, on what is achievable”.
Every fibre in my body remembers those words and shudders. Every win, every success, every moment I achieve something awesome I thank god I didn’t listen to her. Never limit yourself based on someone else’s fear of failure.
What was your first job
Selling £5k websites (with an in-house CMS thrown in) to local companies. Great days. You realise that honestly someone spending £10k on a website, when that’s all the money they have to invest, has a much greater passion than a company spending millions where people are more worried about their objectives than their livelihood. So I never underestimate the value of understanding value – it’s all relative!
How did you get that first job?
The agency built the website for the company is was working for. They had cool offices, a foosball table and wore flip flops – I was sold. I harassed them for about 6 months continually and eventually got an interview. My next job was entirely different – I got drunk on a train with the CEO and was offered a job – best Waterloo to Poole journey ever!
Aside from Meetdraw(!), what’s the best way to introduce oneself to your agency (which person / media channel / format)?
Connecting on LinkedIn works for me. I get to see what you have done and what you’re interested in without committing excessive time (which is a scarce resource in agency life). But connecting isn’t enough – think about introductions as a communications journey. A follow up email, a hand written letter, a 6 sheet on a bill board followed by a series of tweets… be inventive, it’s what we do every day for our clients so think big and impress.
Bournemouth seems to be a hotbed of creative digital talent at the moment, why do you think that is?
The university networks, the appetite of agencies to work with new talent and give opportunities. A beach, sailing, country romps, local ales… we have it all. Why the hell would you want to be anywhere else… Oh yes career- defining work… Welcome to BBD, the whole package.