Dexit: What next?


Green exit sign
📸 Photo: Franck V.

A while ago I announced my departure from Doncaster Council after nearly four and a half years of public service in South Yorkshire. Plenty has changed in my personal life since I joined the council back in May 2015 - most notably, getting married and becoming a father..twice. Having these family ties and being a (North) Lincolnshire lad means the commute has started to take its toll.

More recently, ever-shrinking budgets (cheers central government…) have meant that the impact I’ve wanted to make, particularly in relation to digital services, hasn’t been achievable. Maybe I’ve just not tackled it right? Who knows…I’m sure my successor can crack it.

That’s not to take away from the amazing times I’ve had producing stand out social media with the team, mind you. I’m immensely proud that, together, we’ve managed to get regular national and sometimes international recognition for daring to be different online.

🔄 Time for a change

After * checks LinkedIn profile * around 16 years in the public sector I’m ready for a change; to apply my skills and knowledge more commercially. I’ve toyed with the idea of going freelance for a while but a) family and b) I haven’t had the courage, frankly. Instead, I’ve been looking for something closer to home, with a bit more security and control but with the potential to rekindle my creativity, passion and ultimately to thrive.

Enter Knapton Wright.

Who? Knapton Wright is a creative marketing agency, based in Brigg which is in spitting distance from home. Founded by Louise and Alex Wright just over 5 years ago, it’s an organisation that’s got firm foundations and is going from strength to strength.

Alex and I have talked for a long time about how we could work together and those conversations became more meaningful earlier this year. I now have the opportunity to come onboard and lead a rapidly growing creative agency with big ambitions, right on my doorstep. So, on 1 October 2019 I’ll be joining Knapton Wright as Marketing Director.

🤔 Why Knapton Wright?

Given my public service background, what’s interesting about Knapton Wright is that although it’s quite obviously an ambitious and commercial organisation, it too cares about its community and is proud about the place it’s located in and helping the businesses around it. Alex’s passion about making KW the “creative castle” of the town and even becoming a creative hub for the wider area really sold it to me - it’s exciting, inspiring and community-spirited. That’s not to say that KW is only a local agency - it has national and international clients.

Similarly, Brigg’s always been an important place for me personally. I went to school there, worked at two previous jobs in the town, and I’ve lost count of the number of misspent Friday night pub crawls I’ve enjoyed/endured there!

It’s a new direction for me, a significant career progression but I truly believe in the vision that Alex and Louise have set out. I’ll be joining them not only as a director but as a co-owner of the business, so my level of investment and belief in what they’re trying to achieve goes beyond just being an employee.

👋 It’s not goodbye, it’s see you later

I can’t wait to get started but I’m also sad to leave behind some wonderfully creative individuals at Doncaster Council who care passionately about public service - it’s important I thank them for their support, fun times and friendship over the years. Moreover, the sharing and caring ethos of working in Local Government comms has been fantastic to be a part of. It’s been my pleasure to make contact with, and meet many talented peers across the sector far beyond Doncaster.

One of the big benefits of moving agency-side is that I’ll be able to work directly with other councils, housing associations, blue-light services and beyond so if you’ve been a fan of any of the daft things we’ve done at Donny over the years on social media or have wider ambitions around digital marketing, please do slide into my DMs on Twitter, connect with me on LinkedIn, or send me an email and let’s have a good old chinwag.