A Week in My Life: Paul Atherton, Director of Partnerships at Immedia Group
Immedia Group PLC is a technology and content business which transforms the brand experience for customers and employees with curated music, marketing audio and visual communications.
Paul Atherton, Director of Partnerships at Immedia, tells us what he gets up to during a typical week in his life.
I love living out in the beautiful Yorkshire countryside but this calls for an early start to get to London. I always try and share the train journey with my son, Ben, so that we can grab a quick coffee before I depart from Leeds and the working week begins.
My journey takes two hours door-to-door from Leeds to Kings Cross, so it’s a great time to map out the key objectives for my week. This also allows me some creative thinking time where I can focus on growing partnerships with both new clients and working on developing and innovating with our existing clients.
I arrive at our Newbury offices by 11am, which have a deceptively small frontage but house several BBC-quality live radio studios which service clients with both pre-recorded and live radio content. There’s a great buzzy atmosphere as the account teams, producers and DJs work together to create tailored products that bring the brands we work with to life.
We chat through ideas against a backdrop of uplifting music playing in the office, one of the many advantages of working in the business of sound.
Up and at em! Even as a child I was a little hyperactive and this mindset has never changed. I am an early riser, full of energy and head back into our Newbury offices.
Today is all about creating a client demo with the team for a national bank that is looking to transform its in-store experience and attract a younger demographic. There are lots of creative elements to my job but none more so than this one which brings together Immedia's strongest capabilities and creative minds.
We all work together to a common vision “to delight our customers in all that we do”. We provide a fun solution so we like to have fun whilst we’re creating. I played the drums and saxophone when I was younger so music is very much in my bones.
Another full day. I feel a great sense of achievement as I set off back North after a long couple of days down South.
Client meeting with another amazing top 100 brand. This is what I enjoy the most about my job. It's client facing and means I can share ideas to help big brands really connect with their customers and employees.
We’re very much a strategic partner to the brands we work with as well as having the tactical skills to get things done.
I have had the pleasure of working alongside some really well-known business leaders including Alan Sugar and the telecoms tycoon, John Caudwell, for a number of years and took lots of learnings from both of them.
These are: never to over-complicate things, to work smart, not to waste time, be the first in, keep creative and be honest to your values. I try and live by this advice.
I spend my morning working on new business and talking to our teams about how to create further value for our clients by improving what we do. Ours is an ideas business and we never stop trying to innovate.
I’m really interested in how music can bring people together and especially younger generations - millennials and Gen Z - and how habits and moods change when a certain type of music is played. I use the analogy of drinking in a cool bar. For me, if the audio is engaging and the company is good, I’ll stay for another drink. In some ways, this translates into what we offer at Immedia; ’engagement’ and ‘loyalty’.
I spend the afternoon working on the launch of a new range of digital signage screens that work with radio to provide retailers with an omnichannel experience. It’s an exciting project and one which allows me to utilise my background in technology to bring the concept to life.
Then it’s off to the gym to clear my mind.
For some reason, a lot of our customers make big decisions on Fridays so it’s a bit like waiting for a house sale to exchange contracts. I still get the buzz every time we get the call.
Looking forward to the weekend and ready for a Friday night drink with my lovely wife and three grown-up children...or is it adults?
I was always told ‘if you have a solid anchor,’ you can navigate anywhere and my anchor is my family. They support me, laugh at me, keep my feet on the ground and pretend to listen when I attempt to regale them with my stories from the week.