Have You Met Harry?
In the first instalment of our ‘Meet the Experts’ series, we sat down with Senior Content Writer, Harry West. From a Sports Journalism background, Harry recently joined WMG using his years of experience to craft engaging content, building upon industry authority for our diverse range of clients. Making quite the impression since joining, he won not one, but two of our internal awards including ‘Content, PR and Studio Best Individual’ and the ‘Rookie Award’.
Let’s get warmed up…
Describe yourself in three words
Friendly, happy and hard-working.
Tell us an interesting fact about you
I ran the London Marathon this year. It was a great experience and I even enjoyed the training. I knew if I didn’t train properly, the run itself would’ve been absolute torture, and I didn’t want to let anyone down who’d sponsored me, so that helped focus the mind!
What’s your least favourite word?
It has to be ‘push-back’…
Tell us more about your role and how it differs from previous roles…
So, I joined just over four months ago as a Senior Content Writer. It’s flown by which is probably a sign that I’m enjoying it! Before joining WMG, I was a Sports Journalist. The principles of what I do are still similar – do the research, write the content and ensure its fit for purpose, but the main difference is the subject matter. Here, we cover a whole range of topics from a variety of industries including anything from car insurance to medical negligence to electronics. The structure and processes are a big change from my previous role, but it’s a change I needed and I’m glad I did it.
What does an average day look like for you?
We work through content orders. So, these are created by the Technical Account Managers (TAMs) before being sent to Viv (Operations Administrator) who then assigns them to the content team. For example, I was recently given 15 pages to write for a client. The content order is passed along to the assigned team member containing all the pages we need to work on and all the keywords we need to cover. Time is then allocated based on how much we need to get through.
On a Monday morning, we also sit down as a team and take part in a Content Share. This is a really nice way to start the week and sparks conversation between everyone based on what content we’ve seen over the weekend. We tend to have themed content shares once a month too where we focus on different topics such as interior design or social media. Members of the team will often bring in content that we can refer to when writing certain client pieces. This really helps with inspiration and means we don’t have to start from scratch every single time as the research can often take as long as the writing itself, particularly if it’s a more intense subject.
What value do you, and your team, offer clients?
Today, a massive importance is placed on content to help drive SEO and performance. You can have the best website in the world but if your content is no good, it’s probably not going to rank very well. Our team can take a page which may be thin on content and turn it from 150 words into 400 words in a natural, engaging way. In some cases, it’s an easy win as we’re capable of writing the kind of content clients need to help improve organic ranking.
We offer more than just content writing as well. We also conduct content audits, social media audits and strategy comparing a brand’s site to its competitors to help guide where improvements need to be made. This can be based on a range of actions such as improving CTAs, the content itself, the structure, the navigation and so on. It allows us to give a well-rounded service rather than just writing the words for clients and leaving it at that.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I enjoy the variety of stuff we do. One day I could be writing about cars, the next day holidays and travel, and the next day, medical. We have a wide range of clients across a wide range of industries, so no two days are ever the same and as a result, you never get stuck on one thing for too long. There may be a big piece of work that takes a couple of days to complete but once that’s done, you can move onto something else and it will most likely be completely different. Although it’s nice having a variety of topics, it can also be quite challenging as some of our client’s products and services are very complex.
The PR pieces are a nice change too. I’ve done a few of these in the past couple of months, they’re a little less formal and the briefs are always really good from the PR team. They allow you to have a bit more artistic licence with some of them which can be a welcome change of pace from the more complex pieces we write.
The people are great too which is really important for me. When I came for my interview with Emma (Head of Content & Social), I made this clear as I can’t imagine coming into work with people you don’t enjoy talking to. We spend so much time at work – imagine hating it! The people have really made it here. The content team is great, and the wider offices are too. With the Connected Agencies, you’re exposed to so many different people across different departments and businesses.
What is your favourite campaign you have worked on?
I really enjoy the PR pieces I’ve done. I did one recently for a blind manufacturing company which was around keeping your home safe over Christmas and it had a Home Alone theme to it, that was a great idea from our PR team.
The work I’ve been doing for a gap insurance client has also been an interesting one as they came on board pretty much just after I’d started, so I’ve been involved with them from the start. I’ve been completing the content work for them and it’s really rewarding to see their performance improve and that they’re really happy with the results.
What training opportunities have you had at WMG?
So far, I’ve done keyword optimisation training with members of the SEO team and I also have Google Analytics training booked in for early next year. I’m interested to learn more about the technical side of content and how this feeds into what we do. Here, we have a whole technical SEO team who provide us with concrete results and solid data to really see the difference we’re making to a client.
I always go to the Lunch and Learns to gain as much information as I possibly can. As I’m still pretty new, it’s good to take in as much as possible across the whole Group. I feel like I’ve learnt more in the last four months than I did in the last four years at my old place!
What is the number one piece of advice you would give to a client?
Be honest. Whether it’s negative or positive, tell us! If you love something, great, tell us that you love it. If you don’t like it, tell us and we can change it.
What advice would you give to someone starting at WMG?
Don’t be overawed by your first couple of days. There are lots of processes in place which may make it sound like you’ll be ticking boxes all the time, but you’re not! These processes are a good thing. You quickly realise everything has a purpose and it doesn’t take long to get your head around each process. You learn by doing so sit yourself down, concentrate on one thing at a time and it will fall into place. Try and learn as much as you can, listen to everyone and take the opportunities that are given to you. Interested to find out more about life at WMG? Get in touch! We may have an opportunity that’s just the right fit for you.