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Question time with… David Styles

WE Communications Blog: Technology

5/17/2018
— Matt Urquhart 

WE is home to many inspirational and knowledgeable communications professionals, with numerous years of experience to share. In this new series, we will be interviewing senior members of the WE team to gain insight into what makes them tick and discover how they reached the position they’re in today.

This month we chatted to WE UK’s new Head of Digital, David Styles.

How did you get into digital communications?

I started my working career in website management in the early 2000s. But as social media took off and became a serious marketing platform, I realised this was the area I wanted to move into – and working at an agency was the way to do just that.

At the time, there weren’t many digital agencies in Birmingham so I decided to make the leap into agency life in London. I went to three or four interviews and was fortunate enough to get a position at MEC (part of the WPP Group) and was offered a job there and then at the interview. I packed my suitcase and moved to the city three days later!

What was your first job?

I was in retail to begin with, as one of my brothers owned his own clothes shop. I soon moved on to set up and run the Ted Baker Birmingham store.

What is your favourite film?

If I’m allowed to have more than one favourite, then the first would be Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Second – and I’m going to cheat a bit here – would be The Godfather Trilogy.

What is your favourite meal?

Anything Italian. After our wedding, my wife and I went to a little restaurant somewhere in Florence and I ordered a wild boar ragù, which was the best thing I’ve ever eaten. Even now, several years later, I still dream of going back to that restaurant.

What made you want to work at WE Communications?

I was looking for a change, three or four years into my previous agency. Having met the team and Marcus, I was really impressed with the attitude and feel of the agency. It’s something you can’t really put into words – you just get a good gut feeling.        

How do you relax after work?

I’m a bit of a vinyl junkie. I have about 3,000 records and, much to my wife’s dismay, I have my decks in our living room. My music taste varies from house to techno to drum and bass, and everything in-between.

Where is your ideal holiday destination?

When my Dad retired, he sold our family house and moved to Thailand, so I have been a frequent visitor to Koh Samui the last few years. I would love to go back to South East Asia and explore that part of the world further. 

Best part of your job?

Collaboration.

While I was looking at new jobs, I strongly considered going freelance, in-house, or setting up some kind of consultancy. However, the thing I really enjoy about being a part of a bigger team, is the camaraderie and working together through practical solutions to problems.

It is not always smooth sailing in this job, but what I really enjoy is helping people to get through those situations and challenges, be it a business objective or a colleague needing help, advice or guidance for a certain aspect of their role.

What is the next big trend in digital comms?

Given the recent news around Cambridge Analytica, Facebook being held to account on its data usage and GDPR coming into effect – for me, it’s all about transparency and accountability.

We, as communications experts, need to be very conscious of how we evolve in the coming months; how we speak to consumers and businesses, and how transparently we go about doing our work.