Climbing The Ladder In Content

Kelly Cunningham, a Content Executive at Northern Quarter based marketing agency, Cube3 has experience in creating engaging content and inspiring concepts for a range of different clients. She talks to us to explain the highs and lows of making it as a ‘Creative’ in one of the most creative cities in the UK.

An overview

My job is a total cliché. You know when you’re in an interview and they tell you, ‘no two days are the same’ but they don’t quite live up to their word? That’s not the case for me.

I’m only 3 weeks into my new role – thanks to some help from the lovely lot at The Candidate – and so far, every day has been different. Just as they promised.

The first half of my job is to create content. This can be anything from blog posts and social media to websites and brochures. Lately, I’ve been writing some blogs aimed at bride and grooms to-be and social posts for one of the most iconic UK landmarks. Hint: it’s the North West’s answer to the Eifel Tower.

While the second half is to be a ‘creative’. Which is easier said than done. And again, can be for a range of things. For example, last week it was coming up with a new name, brand and creative campaign for a well-known pizza restaurant. Next week it will be ideas to support a creative campaign for a company that specialises in security products and software.

What experience and skills are required?

Honestly, I don’t think I can answer this for how to be ‘creative’. For me, it came naturally – without sounding big-headed.

My university degree is in Advertising and Brand Management, so luckily my English GSCE has carried me this far. Whereas many people in content specific roles will usually study English or Journalism.

Obviously in this job, attention to detail and excellent English is a must-have. But I wouldn’t say I have the world’s biggest range of vocabulary, and so far, that's somehow worked in my favour. As it means my writing is easily digestible and accessible to a wide audience.

At uni I was always the go-to person to edit group projects to keep within the word count and delete any of the waffle, and I think it just naturally progressed from there.

Experience-wise, I would recommend choosing a course that enables you to do a year in industry as it really helps you stand out from the rest of the competition. And it’s a good way to see if it’s the right path for you. Starting your own blog is also a really simple way to practice your writing.

The highlights and lowlights

One highlight is the people. The creative industry attracts some of the most amazing talent, so in each agency I’ve worked at, I’ve met friends for life.

Obviously, the work is a highlight too. The fact that you can be three weeks into a new job and already be sent to Leeds on a sunny Friday to try some pizza “to get your head in the brief” is great.

People click on your blog for answers, so knowing that your writing is helping others is another amazing feeling. And putting a smile on people’s faces when they view the advert you’ve created or funny one-liner.

It does come with its challenges though. Like the late nights before a new business pitch or when you think you’ve finally cracked the idea only to find someone else has done it before. Usually Coca-Cola.

The culture

Agency life isn’t for everyone.

It’s fast-paced and everyday is a juggling act. You're constantly jumping between 2-3 different tones of voice and brand guidelines.

But if you’re up for the challenge, like to end the week with a couple of beers, don’t mind a late night or two every so often or putting on a few extra pounds (trust me, the office treats are constant), then agency life is for you!

In terms of content. I got into it because I really enjoy physically writing. I’m forever jumping into meetings with a trusty notepad and pen, and always write everything I want to say before I type it. Even this blog!