The first thing that hits you about this media company is the number of smart people, the great energy and enthusiasm, and the willingness to succeed. Out-of-home hasn’t had to deal with market fragmentation in the same way as other media have and, with so many exciting developments in the sector, there’s a real sense of optimism in the team.
After 20 years at The Guardian, I’m new to out-of-home. I’m one of a number of new recruits who have come from other media – this includes the chief executive, Matthew Dearden; the agency sales director, Martin Corke; Alex Hollingdale, who heads up our product team; and Emma Newman, our marketing director.
The new appointments bring a fresh perspective and new ideas. This helps build on the expertise of guys such as Richard Bon, Darren McKay and Ged Weston, who have lived and breathed out-of-home for years and know the industry inside out. There’s a great dynamic in the team – you can have the best strategies in the world, but if you don’t have the right people, it’s not going to work.
There’s plenty going on at Clear Channel, with innovation at the front of everyone’s mind. We’re installing more digital screens, offering near-real-time updates and looking closely at interactive panels. Our operations team has been out braving arctic conditions over the past couple of months, upgrading 10,000 Adshel panels across the country so that they can interact with consumers’ mobile devices.
Out-of-home has always had fantastic reach and this kind of innovation offers even deeper brand engagement.
To pull together all this fantastic innovation in one place, we’re in the process of installing a state-of-the-art product showroom in our Golden Square office. While there’s currently a little bit of disruption, it is going to be worth it when we can demonstrate our latest products to clients right in the middle of Soho.
Chris Pelekanou is the commercial director at Clear Channel UK