Jane Dodson is the Marketing and Education Officer for the London-based marketing firm, AKA, who have an infamous clientel of West End shows and major London attractions to boot.
I leave my flat in Brixton at about 8.50am and have a speedy twenty minute tube journey to the AKA office on Shaftesbury Avenue, which is right in the heart of London’s ‘theatreland’. The working day always starts with a cup of tea at 9.30am.
AKA are a global live entertainment marketing agency with offices in London, Manchester, New York, Sydney and Melbourne. In London, we help market a huge variety of musicals, plays, events and attractions including Royal Opera House, ZSL London Zoo, Billy Elliot The Musical, National Theatre and many more. As Marketing and Education Officer, I create campaigns that will encourage teachers to book class trips to the shows and attractions that we market.
A typical morning begins with replying to emails and checking over the marketing campaigns that I am working on before making a prioritised list of tasks for that day. I may have to spend time putting together a report on a recent schools campaign for The Woman In Black, commenting on the activity I ran and how many teachers it reached, or spend an hour working within a set budget to create a campaign for a new play which is opening in five months time. AKA is a creative agency, meaning that we are always thinking of new and innovative ways of marketing our clients. There is so much entertainment on offer in London, so we have to make sure that we are doing all we can to encourage people to see our shows and attractions!
I bring a salad or sandwich in for lunch and eat it at my desk before heading out for a wonder around Covent Garden or Soho for an hour. It is brilliant working in the centre of London, although I have to try very hard to not spend all my money in the shops!
Afternoons will be spent continuing to action campaigns, researching new opportunities such as trade shows or magazines that we could work with, or in various meetings with clients or other members of particular client teams. AKA is a full service marketing agency, meaning we produce everything that you will see about our clients (i.e. the website, posters, logos, magazine advertisements and public performances etc.). I therefore have to report back on my work to the centralised client team who ensure that it is consistent with the overall marketing strategy. It is important that I am fully invested in each show or venue that I am working for, so I spend time familiarising myself with the ins and outs of each client. This is always fun seeming as we work with such prestigious clients as the Old Vic, War Horse and Matilda the Musical!
Part of my education work is also managing student campaigns and finding the best ways of encouraging students to buy tickets for our shows and attractions. Part of this is working with two teams of student ambassadors who I recruit to help us promote our clients within their universities. This means I am often in contact with them, either by email or in person to ensure they have all they need to do their work properly.
6pm comes around extremely quickly. Evenings are typically spent seeing shows or plays (a definite perk of the job), meeting up with friends for dinner or rehearsing with a band I sing with. I don’t check my emails at home as think it would drive me mad and typically head off to bed at about midnight ready to start all over again!
Five Fast Favourites
- Favourite show to work on – Stomp.
- Favourite show to watch: Billy Elliot The Musical.
- Favourite Song: Man in the Mirror – Michael Jackson (I have no shame).
- Favourite Food: Smoked Salmon, in any shape or form.
- Favourite Feeling: Singing my head off!