Interview | 03 Aug 2017

Matt Cross chats to us about his career, AI, & flexible working

Posted in Industry news, Motivation & inspiration, Interview, Client,

Matt Cross, MD of Hotwire PR, an award-winning agency that specialises in technology, didn’t start his career the conventional way. With no degree and wanting to change his career, he arrived in London from Australia looking for his next step.

In our quick fire industry insights series, Alice Weightman, the CEO and Founder of The Work Crowd, asked Matt to share his insights and the secret to his success. 

Matt started his career in telecoms recruitment. Five years later, haven fallen out of love with recruitment and in love with technology, he was ready for a change. A move to London, some good advice and valuable work experience at Hill + Knowlton secured him an interview at Axicom.  

‘A really defining moment for me was being given the chance to go into an agency and present on a topic which I was really passionate about and not being judged just on my experience and my qualifications or lack thereof.’

Getting work experience through a friend of mine at Hill + Knowlton made a huge difference. Not just to gain that experience and be able to tell potential employers I had worked in an agency, but also to get a feel for the job.’

After eight years at Axicom, Matt moved to Hotwire PR, progressing from director to deputy MD in under eighteen months, then becoming UK MD in 2016.

With Hotwire always hot on the industry trends, we asked Matt what he predicts is on the rise in PR.

‘Everybody is talking about artificial intelligence. It’s a huge part of our lives already, but I think we are going to see that come into the work place more.’

‘For communications and marketing, first instances of AI that people might see are chatbots. Chatbots are amazing, technically, but they need to be fed by creative content. That will mean an even heavier focus on creating creative content within agencies.’

As far as other trends that are impacting PR, marketing, and communications agencies, Matt called our hiring policies. Namely, the fact that agencies should think differently about their policies.

‘I hope that for agencies, 2017 is going to be the year we finally become less hung up on recruiting only graduates and full-time staff. We need to hire for specific experience and expertise, not necessarily for people’s background or their ability to come into the office.’

Matt said that flexibility is central to this – naturally, we agree!

We need to work hard to create more flexible roles and recruit people for their great skills and specialisms.’

The future of work is not simply a destination, but something we deliver.

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