Paul Bramwell | Managing Director
Where did that first quarter go? 2018 seems to be racing by and already it promises to be a special year here at MediaCom Birmingham with lots of new clients now on board. It is not just our office that is buzzing though, there is also a real energy within the West Midlands generally after the announcement of Birmingham as host city for the 2022 Commonwealth Games and Coventry as the 2021 City of Culture.
The next objective for our busy Mayor is to try and persuade Channel 4 to locate their national HQ here, which would be a massive boost for the media reputation of the region. The government has been pushing for Channel 4 to relocate a significant part of its business outside London for some time and last month the broadcaster confirmed that it has reached a deal with them to move hundreds of staff to a new “national HQ” in a city other than London. This is great news for the marketing communications industry in the regions as Channel 4 have also confirmed that half of their programmes will be made by production companies based outside of London by 2023, currently it is only a quarter.
The media industry has always supported the growth of the London bubble, because at one stage, the big media and creative brands not only had their bases there but in many cases their only presence there.
At MediaCom we have always believed it is essential that we understand and reflect the views and attitudes of the audiences and locations that we are marketing to. That is why we have five regional offices and may also explain why all five offices have seen rapid growth in recent years.
With HS2 on the horizon, it is easy to see why doing business here in Birmingham looks easier than it used to, in fact half of our clients are based in London and the South East. There is a definite trend also for media professionals, to look to the Midlands to continue their careers. Half of our management team here are have moved from London and affordability of housing is clearly a factor in their thinking. For many, leaving London and still being able to progress your career today makes absolute sense, but this hasn’t always been the case. When I moved out of London, the implication was that you left at your peril and that it certainly wasn’t a place to grow a career, how times have changed. Now, you can grow you career and as a client, have access to innovative and talented professionals whether in Birmingham, London, Manchester or Leeds – in fact wherever you are in the UK.
Helping to develop talented people is certainly one of the most enjoyable parts of my job as well as creating an environment where people can thrive. Sometimes that involves nurturing new entrants into our industry through our graduate or apprenticeship intakes but often it is identifying the talent leaving London and showing them that opportunity exists. One of the best examples of that is Pardeep Heer who joined us in 2014 as an Account Manager and has progressed rapidly culminating in her recent promotion to Business Director. Pardeep started out as an Insight specialist with our sister companies Mindshare and Millward Brown, but has built on these skills developing a strong reputation for media planning and strategy. So successful that she was recently shortlisted for the IPA / Campaign Woman of the Year award, the only person nominated outside of London. Hopefully she will inspire many others to follow in her footsteps.