I’m very happy. Not just because it’s the morning of the final of Euro 2020. (Disclosure: I’m less happy now.) Or because it’s my birthday. (Hello bad guys! I’m turning 30, by the way.)

I’m happy because we’re making more new hires. We have a writer starting in three days and a project manager in eight. There could be more to come soon, if things pan out.

Finding talented people is just about the favourite thing I do. But it can be hard.

In our world, as an agency working for B2B tech clients, there is a talent grab. We’re…

This post isn’t about being so hardcore you’ll do things no one else will do. (We see you, winter sea swimmers.) But this is definitely about being different. Maybe not unique — who’s really unique in our world, agencyland? — but doing things your way.

I’m a regular runner. Nothing advanced like Andy Mac. But I get out there. And running in the rain is my preference.

You’ll be hot and sweaty anyway, so a little cooling rain feels good. But that isn’t the main reason why I like it.

No, the thing about running in the rain is that…

I’ve got a big confession about what I do as me over social media. This is as opposed to what my agency Collective Content does for clients, or what we put out on our agency channels. I (just about) run the Collective Content social media accounts. I realise it’s not a massive part of what we do — it’s just Twitter, a bit of Facebook and LinkedIn. But it’s fascinating. And relatively safe compared to personal posts.

That’s because with personal posts I’m forever wondering whether they have an effect on the business.

I was confronted with this recently. I…

My official sales experience is limited. Very limited.

When I was much younger, I pounded the tabs of a Goldmine database, then called up facilities management contacts at large companies. My never-ending quest was to set up appointments for the alpha male (they were all men) sales team — to visit and sell contract catering services.

Glamorous it wasn’t. Hard work it was. I was frequently yelled at and would leave dispirited at the end of the day.

Ever since, I’ve had a lot of respect for the sales people I’ve worked alongside, mainly in media. …

Why would any manager be happy when their best people walk out the door?

Over more than a decade as an editor and then as an agency owner I’ve had that sinking feeling on a couple of dozen occasions — it wasn’t just someone good leaving but someone great, someone deemed irreplaceable, even.

They knew it too. Often I wasn’t even their direct manager but they were good enough to come and tell me too, face to face. Sure, they sometimes couldn’t make eye contact at that moment but they did the stand-up thing. I remember every time it happened.

What happens when we get approached by a freelance writer?

First, the set-up: I usually get an email direct to me (because we post my address on our website and say we’re open to enquiries), and that usually contains a brief note and CV/resumé. Within that, I usually see career history, links to work samples, and social media accounts.

So here’s what I do:

  1. If the freelancer’s Twitter handle is offered, I usually cut and paste that into Tweetdeck. The picture is telling (selection, more than quality, says a lot about the type of person). But more important, I see…

Virtual working? I’m a big fan — so much so that we based our whole agency on such a set-up.

But there’s a problem no one is talking about: Hiring junior staff, apprentices and interns.

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Like companies we admire, including WordPress owner Automattic or Basecamp, we dropped a need for permanent office space some time ago. And our clients have been fine with that (especially as they’re mainly large tech vendors that power the internet and have made this remote working thing a reality).

But our core team — as well as dozens of freelancers we use — comprises experienced…

There’s a revolution we might just miss. Any discussions you might have heard about technology and sport are likely to have focused on teams’ and players’ ability to their improve their performances and, secondary to that, how fans benefit from being ‘in amongst’ the action. Rarely do they mention refereeing. But this could be just as big, as any fan screaming at a wrong decision knows.

The Internet of Things (IoT) means joining and analysing the data created by billions of sensors on objects large and small. Whereas only so many humans and traditional communications devices (phones, tablets, servers and…

If you’re a small business, such as an agency like Collective Content, how do you choose your clients and projects? To those outside the industry or anyone who’s never grown a business, the answer might well feel obvious: You go for who’s going to pay most, right? But I wouldn’t put that at number one. Below are our top criteria for deciding whom to work with.

What does today hold? (*photo credit: Instrument Of Evil? via photopin (license))

Before continuing, however, I should note a few assumptions. First, we assume that no supplying entity has unlimited time and resource. …

Tony Hallett

Media, marketing, tech, b2b, London. Runs Collective Content (UK). Previously: CBS, CNET, Silicon, Japan.

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