10 Questions with... Richard Hackman

At Graymatter Limited we know the people make or break a company and two of the things we are proud of are the talent of our staff and their great personalities!

Over the next few weeks we will be introducing you to some of the people who drive Graymatter Limited and they will be sharing their thoughts on the Marketing industry today.

So this week we'd like to introduce you to Richard Hackman, our Head of Creative Services!

1. What was the first job you had?

My first job was as a junior draughtsman in an Architect’s Office. The idea of being an architect definitely appealed to me... but a year of making everyone’s tea, colouring in house extension plans and spending the rest of the time in a hot print room certainly didn’t – so I left.

2. If you weren’t working in this industry what would you be doing instead?

I’d be an unemployed rock guitarist (on account of no band would be stupid enough to have me). If I’d have spent as much time practising as I did playing air guitar to the sound of my heroes in front of a mirror when I was a teenager, then things may have been different.

3. What gets you out of bed in the morning?

Well the people I work with certainly help. It’s important to have a sense of humour in a challenging business like ours – and luckily my colleagues appear to share the same stupid sense of humour!

@GraymatterLtd: It's important to have a sense of humour in a challenging #business like ours

4. What are you most proud of?

My two kids – both of whom have grown into fine young adults. Like most people, I didn’t have a clue how to go about the task of good parenting – but I must have done something right along the way.

5. What has been your biggest career mistake?

Quitting my job when offered the opportunity to travel around Europe. A motorbike accident after just 2 weeks resulted in 3 months in hospital followed by several more with metal rods through my leg and a full-length plaster. Not the best career move I ever made!

That and not practising my guitar.

@GraymatterLtd: My biggest career mistake was quitting my job to travel around Europe

6. If you had to give one piece of advice to someone who has just started out in the industry, what would it be?

Never believe the first deadline you're given.

@GraymatterLtd: Never believe the first deadline you're given.

7. What do you think is the biggest challenge facing Marketers today?

Keeping up with the rapid advancements in technology and new methods at our disposal is as challenging as it is exciting. The rulebook was thrown out long ago.

Now it’s all about coming up with unique solutions to unique problems.

8. What recent work has struck a chord with you this year and why?

Speaking with my production hat on, projects don’t come much better than the Hotpoint ‘Love Your’ campaign. I was lucky enough to be part of a great team working on a household brand. My favourite part was getting involved with the filming of a series of videos featuring a fictitious young family, set in their in their kitchen – which was actually a small room in the corner of a product warehouse... all very glamorous! One of the highlights had to be working with a Michelin star chef who was brought in to prepare all the featured meals. And there was real comedy when one of the models turned up with different coloured hair to what he’d had in the previous shoot – which resulted in having to help out with some on-the-spot hair dying. All in a day’s work!

I have also been particularly impressed with the Advanced Brand Strategy & Visual Identity project. It’s a wonderful body of work that showcases our strong creativity and brand expertise... all delivered within very aggressive timelines of course. The project covered just about everything: from rebranding their offices and creating a beautifully produced set of brand guidelines – through to internal and external launch materials such as videos, website, and online/printed direct mail.

9. Tell us one thing someone would NOT be able to find out about you from looking at your Social Media profiles.

I guess it would be all the boring, mundane stuff. Mind you, pictures of my allotment and rude vegetables probably seem very mundane and boring to most – and there’ll find plenty of them on my posts.

Thinking about it though, I don’t believe I ever posted about being shipwrecked off the French coast and being rescued by the coast guard. Probably because Social Media wasn’t around in the eighties!

10. If you were stranded on a desert island and could only take any three people with you, who would they be?

Bear Grylls to catch the food; Nigella Lawson to cook it, and Bill Bailey to provide the entertainment while we eat.


Richard Hackman | Head of Creative Services | 6th September 2016