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Chris Bignell

Posted on: October 1 2019

Chris Bignell

Director, XL Communications

What’s Happening in October with Chris Bignell, Director of XL Communications

What attracted you to joining your company?

I had previously been in-house at Motorola and Toshiba. As such I was a buyer of PR and communications services and I felt that the suppliers did not offer enough strategic advice, understand my business well enough. The entire business model of XL Communications was based around hoping that other senior marketing people felt the same way I did and would therefore trust a company that did things differently in specific areas, to deliver more tangible results.

What gives you the most satisfaction in your job?

I get immense pleasure from helping shape a strategy that delivers tangible business results.  We were working with a start-up on a product launch.  I felt I knew exactly what they needed – it was a relatively small commitment for most companies but a huge bet for this one.  They trusted our advice and saw their investment generate a return of 40x the investment in two weeks.  I particularly like working with companies where you have to think creatively around a problem, not just throw money at it.

What advice can you give to individuals looking for jobs right now?

For people looking to work in the creative industry, be creative!  Find out more about the companies you want to work with or for and demonstrate how your creativity could help them.  Ask people what their challenges are and come back to them with creative responses.  They may not always be right but they will get you noticed.  Nobody has time to go through hundreds of CV’s so stand out from the crowd.

What are you most looking forward to most this year?

We started this business in a recession and grew it during the financial crisis.  While we have always thrived on uncertainty it would be nice to see the end of Brexit dominating the news agenda.

What’s your favourite brand?

There are many.  Its too easy to say Google because I love so many things the company does (particularly Google Photos which I think is a brilliant service)

  • Levis has existed since 1853 and is still true to its values today.  It also seems to be in the middle of a resurgence.
  • I worked for Toshiba for five years and, although the company has had its issues, it really knew how to treat people well.  I am still extremely brand loyal to its computing devices.
  • I love what OnePlus has been doing in the mobile handset market and have a soft spot for GiffGaff in the mobile network operator category too

What music makes you feel most creative at work?

At the start of my career I did some work on radio, so I find it impossible now to have the radio as background noise – I find it too distracting.  However my music playlists would be full or Amy Macdonald, Pet Shop Boys, Clean Bandit, Suede and The Divine Comedy.  I don’t think I could be any more Radio 2 if I tried!

What quote inspires you the most?

“It is an increasingly noisy world and we are not going to get a chance to get people to remember much about us.  No company is.  So we need to be clear on what we want them to remember about us.” Steve Jobs

 

I’ve never been an Apple fanboy.  In fact all my mobile devices (and I’ve had plenty) have all been Android.  However I found the following quote, which to me perfectly sums up why PR and communications is important and simple encapsulated my feelings towards engaging with clients to deliver a clear, consistent, coherent message to a market.  I only later found out that it was a quote from Steve Jobs, which made it quite ironic.  I felt that if Steve Jobs, the founder of a company that receives far more than its fair share of media interest, felt Apple struggled to get people to pay attention top its messages, we should all try to be much clearer about how and what we communicate.