A Week in My Life: Pete Reis-Campbell, Founder of Kaizen PR
Pete Reis-Campbell founded Kaizen, an award-winning digital marketing agency based in Moorgate, and is a regular public speaker at industry-leading SEO conferences such as BrightonSEO, SMX London and SAScon. He takes us through a week in his working life.
We begin the week at Kaizen with team-wide catch-up meetings. Our company is made up of in-house specialists in design, content, SEO and PR, and our client’s work transposes through each department over the course of the contract, so it is imperative that there is synergy across the board.
We begin with the design catch-up, discussing upcoming projects, client feedback and time scheduling for the week ahead. We then move on to the content team, analysing campaign ideas and identifying ways to improve. Finally, we have the PR catch-up, where the team share any outstanding coverage gained over the previous week (this week’s examples included the Daily Mail, Lonely Planet and the Daily Express), as well as how we are measuring against our targets. Digital PR is where we excel; in February we gained over 130 links and 250 total pieces of coverage for clients.
For lunch, I meet my friend Chris Walker, himself a budding entrepreneur with his new venture Harfi, an ethically-sourced furniture brand. We discuss a common challenge facing entrepreneurs – loneliness. I advise joining a hot-desking club (as I did when I first started Kaizen). It can be exponentially helpful to get out of the house a few days of the week and work in an office space – particularly if you came from a workplace background.
In the evening, I go with a few of the team to see the new Captain Marvel film. I’m not massively into the MCU films but I thought it was one of the stronger ones, a 90’s nostalgia fest that after the first, relatively boring 30 minutes turns into an enjoyable adventure.
On Tuesday, I’m involved in a new business pitch for a global hyper-growth startup in the travel sector. Travel is one of our strongest sectors in terms of brands, after our recent wins of Travelopia and Lastminute.com, alongside our existing portfolio of brands. The industry tends to lend itself well to content marketing on account of the scope of ideas available. For instance, we recently created a campaign for lastminute.com that ranked countries around the world based on how relaxed they are, which was received very well by the press.
I’m also involved in scoping out work for our new global technology client – one of the best-known in the world and a dream client for me. We’re working across B2B video production, digital PR and content for them, so it’s important that all the elements are the same levels of ambitious and competent.
In the evening, I get started on the recently released Resident Evil 2 remake on PS4 playing as Leon for the first run. I am so terrible at these games and terrified of horror movies, yet the sci-fi mythology of them always draws me back in. Admittedly, I also make a start on the 3KG worth of sweets that my friends, family and teammates bought me to celebrate my birthday last week.
Continuing with the surplus of birthday treats from the weekend, I have my first ever ski lesson in the morning at The Snow Centre in Hemel Hempstead. I was terrible at it, but I am aiming to get my middle-class hipster qualification - all I am missing now is a Waitrose card and a beard.
I have a meeting in the afternoon with our marketing executive, Jess, who organises our events calendar here at Kaizen. We are just about to host one of our Digital PR Workshops, which is a full-day course that I host in our offices for external guests, and we go through the guest list, presentation and the potential for future workshops in different sectors.
On Thursday, we have a very exciting new business opportunity in the morning, and I meet with a challenger bank to discuss potential Digital PR work, along with our Business Director Sean.
Sean has worked at Kaizen for over a year now and has created and delivered on some incredible new business opportunities for Kaizen, including Travelopia, npower and lastminute.com, as well as a few other brands in the finance and travel sectors. He’s also pioneered our first ever agency four-piece band with a couple of other team members, and they do gigs around London every few weeks, which is a great excuse for an office night out! After the meeting, we grab a coffee to discuss how it went and other key activities in the pipeline.
In the evening I do a skyscraper run, ‘Vertical Rush’, at Tower42. I love stuff like this – last year I ran the London marathon, and try to run and cycle home (back to Walthamstow) whenever I can. Someone in the office once asked me why entrepreneurs typically seem to enjoy exercise, or write long Linkedin posts about their love of waking up at 6am to start their day at the gym. For me, it’s nothing to do with my work at all, I literally just do it to keep fit and burn off enough calories to eat pizza regularly – but it does get addictive.
Today is Digital PR Workshop day. After the final touches to the set-up, the guests arrive at around 10AM, and we begin the full-day event. Based on my five years experience of running a content marketing agency, we discuss the best PR strategies, how to create winning content ideas, writing emails and press releases, and online tools and technology that can automate the outreach process to increase efficiency.
I also delve a little into the relationship between digital PR and SEO, which is how digital PR differs so drastically from traditional PR, and something that can be a murky concept for some people. Digital PR works by earning links through quality content on news sites – the better the site, the higher the brand will be ranked by Google. In this way, we provide organic growth and increased visibility for our clients.
The guests leave at 4pm, which is beer o’clock time in our office on a Friday. A huge part of working in both a start-up and a creative industry is the culture - we’re lucky to have a very friendly, enthusiastic vibe in the office. The average age of our team of more than 20 people is 24, which is pretty young, and from sitting together at lunch to going to the local pub once a week after work, we’ve really built a team that has a ‘work hard play hard’ mentality.
A quick toast to the end of a busy working week and I’m off back home to try and secure a camping spot in Yosemite Valley in July. I’m planning to take a camper van around California – and if that’s not living the dream, I really don’t know what is. Fingers crossed I get a spot!