Perhaps a surprising start to a career spent haggling over British regional press titles, my first role in media was actually in Australia. At 19 I left college and travelled down under in search of adventure and lived there for most of my twenties. My first advertising job was for the Manly Daily (a local newspaper for one of the best beaches on the north shore) and from there I moved on to a publishing house as Advertising Manager for Australia’s Bride to Be magazine. I returned to the UK in 1991 to work on the launch of OK! Magazine, before moving on to a large regional press sales house.
My relationship with the now Chairman and Managing Director of Space & Time is older than the agency itself. We met in 1995, when they were my clients. They were lovely people to do business with and I always had a high regard for them both. After five years of them being my client, they launched Space & Time Media and I was privileged to be their first employee. I was invited to bring Kai, my 6-month-old son, to the interview and it’s at this point I realised that this would be a forward-thinking, progressive company for a new parent.
After accepting the role, I was excited to take the plunge, leaving the bright lights of London for a cow shed in Surrey. As with so much of space and time… the rest is history! Looking around the business today, it amazes me what you can achieve with hard work, a lot of love and a great company.
Our MD Sandy remains a continual inspiration. She mentored me through the transition from gamekeeper to poacher. I was employed initially as an Account Manager across several clients. Back then, digital wasn’t part of the media landscape and regional press was the bread and butter of our business. Through hard-won experience, I knew every regional paper in the country. I could tell you what you should be paying for a half page, how wide the columns are, and what the Ad Manager had for breakfast. Sadly there are many fewer local press publications today, but over the years I’ve had the opportunity to help the agency move into the digital space too.
Sandy was our roving Account Director and travelled endlessly to service our rapidly growing client base. At some point in 2001 we thought she was the cause of the Foot and Mouth epidemic as she had, bless her, travelled through so many sheep dips just to get the Space & Time message out there. Sandy taught me a huge amount over the years, even how to fix an ethernet hub when I didn’t even know what one was, whilst she was ringing from Yorkshire on a crappy signal (hopefully not in a sheep dip), and I was under a desk in the cow shed. Our humble beginnings; it was always a hands-on job!
Many great people have joined us over the years. Some are still with us, some have moved on, and many have returned because at the heart of Space & Time is a focus on employing great people and being a great employer.
My role here continues to evolve. I still love all of it, and I’m embracing my new role of Director of Trading, working with media owners using the experience and friendships I have gained over the last 35 years to provide a complete service to all our clients.
I joined this company as a new mum, and the support and flexibility the business has offered all parents has been amazing. I do not know many companies that are so accommodating. It’s still a joy to go into work every day knowing that I have the support from the board right through to new Media Executives. The fact we have retained so many clients over the years proves that we have more than a business relationship with them.
It’s been an amazing time and honour to work for such a family-orientated, supportive independent media company that will continue to grow to bigger and better things.
It is a continual joy to be part of the Space & Time and I look forward to seeing what’s in store for the business over the next 20 years.