It’s time to meet another member of the Missive team.
We are delighted to introduce Andrew Cocks – Director @missivecomms. Andrew has previously held roles at HM Treasury, Cabinet Office and O2.
I joined Missive on 04 April 2016.
The biggest lesson you learnt during your time in Government:
Wow. We’re straight in. Sure.
OK – I think the biggest lesson for me was that you can always make something simpler. The guys in Government, particularly in the Treasury, are dealing with some of the most complicated stuff that exists in our country, and you have to make it as straightforward as possible.
Issues like distributional trends in household incomes, micro-simulated analysis of the tax and welfare system, or the move to an accruals-based recording of onshore corporation tax receipts. These are all topics that, as a Government communicator, you might have to get your head around and then make it as relevant and easy-to-understand as possible for the public.
Sometimes this just means looking at a press release, reading it out loud, and saying “Yeah, but what does that actually mean”… or reading a blog again and again (and again) until you’ve cut out every instance of “excited”, “driving through” or “vitally important because”.
But I think what really keeps you sharp is knowing that if you don’t break something down to its simplest form, someone else will. You can rehearse the positive and negative angles around the “UK-wide Soft Drinks Industry Levy” all you like… it will still be written up as “Sugar Tax Backlash”.
Ultimately, whatever you’re writing it has got to be understood by another human as easily as possible. So, when you’re writing anything, I say you can always put in one more go at making it simpler.
Maybe I should have done that to this answer.
How does working in a small business compare to working in Government or large corporates:
Ok. Promise I’ll be more succinct with this answer.
Working in a small business grounds you really well in the reality of things like hiring, creating a strong culture, or finding a bigger office. I wouldn’t give up my corporate or Government experience for anything…but now I’m advising businesses of all sizes, with many different challenges, I’m finding the experience of working in a small business invaluable.
What are the biggest opportunities a small business can take advantage of in this evolving digital landscape:
The online, digital environment has really levelled the playing field, making audiences much more accessible. If you’re a plumber in Basingstoke you can reach almost all of your target audience with what is effectively a ‘TV advert’, via sponsored social, for a fraction of the cost of the same thing ten years ago.
You can go from an idea to a full business with customers right across the country all through clever targeted and cost-effective communications. That is a ridiculously exciting opportunity for any small business.
What do you see as the future of fintech:
Ultimately it has to be the end of the use of the term ‘fintech’, doesn’t it? The whole financial industry is going through an enormous evolution and that isn’t going to slow down. I think you could look at almost every finance company now and argue they have some form of ‘fintech’ built in. Or if they’re not, then they need to be, else they won’t be around for much longer.
Most exciting tech sector (IMO):
I really can’t see past connectivity. Every sector relies on fast connectivity. I love being asked “Why do we need 5G?” … Are you kidding me?! Think of every time you’re annoyed that you’ve got slow data or no signal. 5G is the next step away from that feeling. Find me an online consumer service that won’t benefit from people being able to access it at any time, anywhere, without interruption. You won’t find one. Please tweet me if you do, and I will be forever humble.
When not in the office, can be found:
100% running late for something, whilst apologising on WhatsApp.