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Balancing the Grind With Blake Moseley, National Digital Strategy Director at Hogarth Australia

Blake Moseley is the National Digital Strategy Director at creative production company Hogarth Australia, where he helps advertisers, creative and media agencies navigate the digital advertising ecosystem.

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1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?

I first touched digital when I worked for a small eCommerce store as a digital producer. After this experience and with the enormous influence of Mad Men, I knew I wanted to work for a large agency.

I landed my first role in ad operations, operating across all ad servers and rich media platforms. Not knowing what media was at the time, I was fortunate to work across some of the largest accounts in Australia including, the Federal Government, NSW Government and Coles.

Specialising in ad tech, my next role saw me leading the mobile transformation for IPG Mediabrands, where I was responsible for the mobile advertising spend growth, strategy, operations and product. Continuing with my hunger for “what’s next”, I stepped into a new role which was for the most significant growing media channel: video.

I was the Commercial Director at Innovid, a dynamic video marketing platform and ad server with incredible clients like Apple, McDonald’s and Red Bull.

I’m now the National Digital Strategy Director at Hogarth, the creative production business of the world’s biggest holding group, WPP. I’m responsible for helping brands start and advance their journey on how to personalise their digital advertising, to increase ROI on their media investments and increase consumer reception.

2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?

I usually wake up at 6am, meditate for 10-15mins. Sounds cliché, but it’s what I need to set my day up for success. I aim to get into the office by 7:30am with a coffee in hand.

I like to try and get in there before the day is in full swing. I go through my emails which came through the night before from our global offices and spend 10mins rewriting my to-do list for the day.

The rest of the day is spent either in client and agency meetings and strategizing campaign responses with my peers. During my downtime, I make sure I spend my time reading recent research and industry articles to ensure I’m always equipped with the latest best practices and knowledge in creative production and media trends.

On most days, I try and leave the office by 5:45pm so I can go to the gym. More often than not, I’ll reply to a few emails later in the evening through dinner and jump on a call with our global teams, if required.

3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?

Having Hogarth supported by such a large holding group means we take work-life balance very seriously.

This year Hogarth has introduced flexible working hours, whether that means you want to start early and leave early or start later and leave later. It gives young families and people who aren’t morning people the ability to work when it’s more suited to them.

On top of that we have summer days, not summer Fridays. This was introduced so that people who work part-time can also take advantage of having 5 half days throughout summer, no matter what day of the week it is.

We pride ourselves on trust and respect, so if there is a day you need to work from home, our management team don’t question or interrogate your request. It’s happily given. Obviously, there needs to be mutual respect, and that involves our team all helping each other out and not taking the mickey out the opportunity to work from home.

Trust me, there are days where work is hectic, and I need to work 12 or 14 hours, but this comes with the territory of working in advertising. Other days it’s not like that, so I leave right on time and take advantage of looking after myself with exercise. It’s all about balance.

4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?

To be honest, I don’t think there is such a thing as work-life balance anymore. Technology has provided us with the ability to work wherever we are whenever we need. Working in an industry which relies on technology for everything we do, I believe it’s more about work-respect.

Prove through your work ethic that you can be relied upon so that you don’t need to be in the office and can work remotely or have a few hours off every so often to run personal errands. It’s all about a mutual respect.

I truly believe if you respect your role and the opportunity you have, the company will also do the same in return by allowing you to have what is known as work-life balance, especially in a manic industry like advertising.

There are days where I might need to leave at 3 or 4pm, but I’ll be on my emails and calls on my mobile sometimes to late in the evening. Still, the fact that I can be trusted and relied upon, even when I’m not in the office means that I’m able to balance this new way of working, which is ingrained in the Hogarth culture.

5) What do you think are some of the best habits or routines that you’ve developed over the years to help you achieve success in your life?

You’ve probably heard this a million times before, but prioritisation is critical. I learnt this the hard way when I first started my career in media, in ad operations. I bit off way more than I could chew and was working ridiculous hours to try and keep up with the workload.

Thankfully I had an incredible manager at the time who taught me that not every email has to be replied on the same day, and not every call has to be answered and not every task ticked off your list. It’s okay to take a step back, breathe and rewrite your to-do list to prioritise what is and isn’t urgent.

Even to this day, when I feel I’m getting overwhelmed, I remove myself from the situation and go for a walk around the block. Take deep breathes and reset my thought process.

One of the things I swear by is exercise. This is crucial to my sanity, even when I’ve had a hard day, I force myself to go. It’s hard, but I always thank myself after, as it helps clear my head from the day and sets me up for a great night’s sleep – another crucial thing, 7-8 hours of sleep!

6) Are there any books that have helped you improve over the years?

I’ve always had high aspirations to be a great leader, a lot of the books I’ve read have kept me in check and aware of certain professional traits which I want and need to improve on.

For anyone wanting to start their journey in managing people, wishing to improve or become a great leader, these books are a fantastic starting point!

  • The First Time Manager by Loren Belker – I read this when I received my first promotion. I wanted to make sure I was fully prepared to manage a team. I learnt some excellent techniques which I still use to this day. I’d recommend this to anyone who is starting in management.
  • Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Jean Greaves and Travis Bradberry – amazing to assess what traits you need to improve on to increase your EQ by doing a self-assessment at the beginning of the book.
  • The One Minute Manager by Kenneth H. Blanchard and Spencer Johnson – this taught me the value of constructive feedback to the improvement of your team’s performance. It’s short and sweet, and I share this around with my team, still to this day.

7) What is the number one thing you do to make sure you get the most out of your day?

Sleep! Honestly, if I don’t have at least 7 hours sleep, it doesn’t set me up for a successful day.

8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?

This is a tricky one. I would usually say someone in the tech space like Bill Gates or the late Steve Jobs. However I know they didn’t exactly have the best handle on a work-life balance.

I think if I had to choose one person, it would be the Dalai Lama. More so to understand how to put things in perspective better and know when to let go. Be present and content with life as it is. It’s so easy to get caught up in the day to day.

If you’d like to have a conversation with us about how you balance the grind, get in touch with us!

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About Author

Balance the Grind is a work-life balance publication on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.