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The End Of Year ‘Thanks’ To Those Who Made Me A Better Person


Sometimes all it needs is a thank you.

As we all approach that moment when we wonder whether the ‘Happy New Year’ text is personalised or a case of ‘send all,’ it’s time to wave goodbye to 2015.

I’ve done the looking forwards article (here are my content marketing predictions 2016). It is time to look back and for me to say a ‘thank you’ to everyone who has made 2015 a year that has been made better by their involvement.

From a personal perspective, it’s been a transitional year. It started with the Marketing Homebrew Podcast back in January, the momentum with the Once Upon A Time theatre events, the Content Revolution book and the Content Revolution Workshops during the latter part of the year. It has brought many people to the fold and to each and everyone ‘thank you.’

What started as collaboration became a collective as we end the year.

No need for an article that digs deep and starts with a question, just a straight to the point hug. No order, just thanks.


Ian Rhodes – The Marketing Homebrew podcast wouldn’t be the same without him and by having someone beside you to help keep the momentum every week of the year is the reason why the podcast is back next week (Friday 8th January). Ian has been the person who I have spent the most time with this year (in a business capacity) and is an extremely intelligent marketer. I hope that next year allows others to see us together.

Matt Desmier – Matt knows things about creating and curating events that I have no idea. The success of what is his (Silicon Beach) and not being responsible to anyone else (or organisation) is why events such as Once Upon A Time take learning environments by the scruff of the neck. It’s pretty chaotic in the build up, but something that I would like to keep the momentum with him early next year.

Sonja Jefferson – Sonja was the first person I interviewed for the Talking Content Marketing project back in 2013 and what she and Sharon Tanton have been doing in Bristol with Valuable Content and also the Valuable Content Marketing book is testament to companies taking control and being compelling to others. Our meet ups during this year, have always been a good point of discussion.

Robert Rose – Robert produced the foreword to The Content Revolution and we met up for a beer in July whilst he was visiting London. To meet someone whom you truly respect and admire their work and then have the privilege to participate means a lot. He didn’t have to help take part in the last Content Revolution Workshop and share his knowledge on a Skype call from California at 8am during November, but he did. Huge respect and appreciation to Robert for his help.

David Woods / Amrita Brard (LID Publishing) – David helped the editorial process for the book, before handing the reins to Amrita who has helped build the message in spaces I wouldn’t be familiar with. Working with a publisher has sometimes been a bit of taking a step into no mans land, but they have been trusted guides.

Claire Crombie / Ben Roberts / John Jocham – when there are people who: acknowledge what you do; mention where they are listening (from dog walks to the beach); share with others; take it a step further (particularly with Ben’s LinkedIn posts) and also participate in the workshop events (Claire has been to every one), it genuinely means a lot.

Michael Grubb – I first met Michael when he moved back from London to start his lighting design company in Bournemouth back in 2013. Working with someone who truly gets the importance of standing for something and building an audience around what they believe in has been an absolute pleasure working with. I know I roll him out to showcase to others (he even has a page on the website) but is a truly talented individual where there is more than the supplier/customer relationship.

Geraint Holliman – Geraint is a wise head when it comes to adopting a content marketing approach. I first met him in London earlier this year and his belief of moving away from a content factory mantra ie. for the people who believe in creating more but to be responsible for the content we all create, is someone who I stand beside and truly understands where marketing is heading. Plus being a supporter from a Division Two team, he can look up to me!

Trevor Young – Whilst the likelihood that Trevor and myself will never actually meet (unlike Matt Desmier, above, who met him in November), he is someone who I consider a friend. His support with the book, advice and providing a platform on his Reputation Revolution podcast, it becomes more than someone asks questions, a strangers responds and answers questions, it is a mutual bond where his knowledge and background within PR and marketing is something that I look up to. Different continents, but same beliefs.

Douglas Burdett – Douglas is such a well-connected man. The amount of people he has mentioned since we first began a dialogue on his Marketing Book Podcast, proves that he is held in such high esteem by others. He mentioned something that I took on board earlier this year, that rather than move from one project and then onto the next, time needs to be spent on sharing a message (even if that means over the course of a year).

Darren Slade – Darren is the business editor from The Bournemouth Echo and proof that we need to build allies who can become satellites for what we stand for. I met up for a coffee with Darren back in May and rather than having a set agenda ie. get an article in the paper for local audience, it helped build a rapport where there is a mutual understanding. I know I can’t just create an article and send it to the paper to promote something, it has to have meaning. Darren’s involvement in the workshops too has been such a high point for others to share how they can be seen in the local press (still a key part of any armoury to build audience).

Jim Cregan – Whenever there has been a question of ‘name a brand who are taking ownership of what is theirs’ this year, I will always try to look a lot closer to home than provide the well worn answers from other countries and brands that I have no affiliation with. It feels good to answer with Jimmy’s Iced Coffee. I know it’s been a full-on year for the brand, but Jim is such an approachable and genuine person. When asked to participate with the podcast, he was happy to. When asked to share 30 minutes in a workshop about the YouTube video, he was there. A humble, but sharp man.

AJ Huisman – all of the time, all you need to do is ask. AJ Huisman has set the benchmark for a legal firm adopting a content approach with Kennedy Van Der Laan. I wanted to know more about his industry (for a prospective new customer) and the approach that was taken. We spoke for an hour about the issues and intricacies of adopting a new approach. This is the enlightening thing. I had first interviewed AJ earlier this year and all I did was reach out to someone with a few questions that was related to their area of expertise and became a wealth of knowledge. An hour that explained so much.

Alix King – Alix is a talented writer (no…I’m not going to use the word ‘content creator) and has been a stalwart for documenting her experience of attending the workshops to her interpretation of The Content Revolution. She has such a brilliant way of expressing herself and having a far better grasp of the English language than I have, she is someone who I trust and respect.

When it comes to expression in the written word, I also have to give a thank you to Rebecca Perl and also Suzi Dixon.

Alastair Fee – I seem to have had a presence on the BBC this year and is purely down to Alastair and his eye for a story, as well as being a fantastic news reporter. My appearances were not down to having a degree of exposure, but a conversation that started with someone else and the topic of Bournemouth getting promoted (and what it meant for the local economy), followed by a ‘you should speak to Mark.’ The interviews I have done with Alastair have been around some left of centre topics.

Jon Dunne – As well as owning Shelley Theatre (where the Once Upon A Time event is housed), Jon’s other businesses have taken a content drive route. I enjoy every moment we get to chat and the ability for someone to have a opinion that is backed up by fact and having a deeper cause for an industry that they are part of.

The Talking Content Marketing interviews still uncovers gems of knowledge and I make particular note to a handful of people who just gave such a considered response in 2015. Jerrod Morris, Mark Schaefer, Kyle Lacey, Michael Brenner, Dominique Jackson, Tim LeRoy and David Beebe all made outstanding contributions. This is based on each person having something unique to say and making specific points that struck a chord with what they are striving for and what businesses need to take into consideration. This project is still one of my greatest sources of learning.

The Content Revolution Workshops became a way of introducing participatory events that brought people together who want change. To be part of a room where there is a shared topic and a discussion taking part is a great feeling. To everyone who took half a day out of their weeks to learn about a different approach, I thank you. Taking this to the Slack community is an interesting way of moving an audience to a community.

There are people I don’t know who listen to the Marketing Homebrew from Japan to Brazil. There are people who have read The Content Revolution that I will never meet. To those who have taken time out to read or to listen, it makes me appreciate that we now have the ability to create, curate and distribute to places, ears and hands that we have never had the opportunity to do so before and at a fraction of the cost it was five or so years ago.


The biggest investment is persistence and when you have the ability to reach out to others to then build your own kingdom, the concern of content saturation becomes someone else’s problem.

To everyone who has played their part in shaping my 2015, I know it has made me a better person.

As we all bid farewell to the past 12 months, have a fantastic New Year.


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