Interview with: Paul Richardson

Portrait by Bethany Smith

What's your background and how did you arrive at Vividink?

I arrived at Vividink via a number of corporate comms roles where I worked from hands on delivery as a marketing assistant through to ultimately managing the global comms for an international PLC.

During that time I studied marketing and public relations, becoming a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and the Chartered Institute of Public Relations in the process.

In 1997 just after taking on a major house resto, with a year old child and pregnant wife I decided starting an agency would be a good idea! I gathered a creative team and we hit the ground running, successfully building the business and eventually creating a platform for three businesses to springboard into existence. Vividink is one of the three and in 2003 we started to define our focus on three core industries and that is where I find myself now.

What's your role at Vividink?

Officially, I am MD, but that sounds like I sit in an office and am hands-off, nothing could be further from reality. One of the reasons I started Vividink was to remain hands-on in some form with client work. Having experienced the pitch process from the client side where an account director wins the pitch and is never seen again, being replaced by a junior account exec who will manage the account. I was determined that if clients bought into us then it was the whole team that contributed to making their comms successful. This means I work across most areas at some level, however, within each area there are members of the team with a greater depth of expertise who work on the delivery. It’s a nice mix.

How do you know when you're doing it right?

Clients staying with us for years, what the clients say and the results of their campaigns, are all key metrics, and the fact that some clients keep returning for us to deliver projects - even if they have left to do other things.

What's the best thing about working at Vividink?

We have reached a place where we have a good team of enthusiastic and capable individuals, I suspect it may be self-fulfilling in some way as the egalitarian approach, flexibility and trust make for a fun and creative environment. In turn, this has attracted some great clients over the years, some we worked with once, some come back for more and some have been with us all along.

Why do clients keep coming back to Vividink?

It depends upon the client, possibly the relationships we build with them, the trust, and the depth to which we understand their organisations. The more they share with us, the better we understand them, the more effective we can be and the more they will benefit from working with us. Over time that develops into a symbiotic working relationship.

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