My Influences: Johnny McGinley

Entrepreneur you admire?
Jim Clerkin. He is from Northern Ireland and is currently the President and CEO of Moet Hennessy USA. I find him an inspirational local entrepreneur and had the opportunity to meet and listen to him in Belfast last year. He started his working life on his father’s pig farm in Rostrevor before working for Guinness and then progressing through the ranks from there to his current post. His ethos of hard work, dedication and keeping close to the brand marketing is something I genuinely admire. Northern Ireland, despite being a small region of the UK, has a lot of entrepreneurs many of whom are now competing on the world stage.

What is your favourite Film?
Unbroken. The film chronicles the life of Louis Zamperini, an Olympic runner who was taken prisoner by the Japenese forces during World War 2. It is one of those films you could watch over and over again and I recommend it as a must see film.

What is your favourite Music/Band?
I am a big fan of Snow Patrol, Coldplay and Kodaline at the moment. Snow Patrol and Coldplay are very different vocally but what I like about them is how they also for me have similarities. For example both Snow Patrol and Coldplay have great piano driven songs.

What is your favourite TV Show?
At the moment I am very into Blacklist. The twists and mystery in the series are keeping me gripped. I am also a huge Walking Dead fan!

What is your favourite holiday destination?
Anywhere there is sun, sea, sand and I can relax and unwind. Portugal is a current favourite of mine and I would love to do Route 66 sometime for the experience.

What is the future of Corporate PR & Marketing in your view?
The future of corporate PR communications and marketing is more bite-sized, visual, engaging and interactive media content. This brand content will increasingly be designed for mobile first and desktop second. The shift from text to moving image is, and will remain for the foreseeable future, at the very heart of brand content marketing strategy today.

In today’s fragmented media landscape what you have is a fragmentation of your target audience across multiple devices. What this means is that strategic brand communication integration to address that fragmentation of consumer experience is increasingly becoming business crucial. Digital Marketing is and will remain big. However, Digital Marketing is a fast moving industry and the problem with any fast moving industry is that you can easily become technology centric – meaning that you focus on the next big technology, trend or social network – rather than being customer centric in marketing which is what we should be. Corporate PR today and in the future must also go deeper than just communicating effectively with stakeholders. It must shape and change a brands internal culture in order to continually protect and enhance brand reputation.

What advice you would give to a new SME Start Up?
Have patience and persevere. Create the space for innovation in your business to continually differentiate it from your competitors. Innovation happens first in the quietness of the mind as an idea. It is then amplified and brought to life through the power of collaboration and networking. Building your network and a willingness to collaborate on projects, particularly in the tech and digital sectors is therefore critical. While in the early days you may be focused on growth a start-up business can also grow too fast. You need to build your internal capacity and capabilities first before you embark on rapid growth especially in the digital and tech sectors. I believe strongly that you don’t build a business, you build people and then people build the business. As your business grows always stay close to the brand and marketing activity to ensure strategic alignment to your business values and objectives as the founder of the business is not diluted when you delegate the marketing.