Sam Rowlands, Client Services and Board Director
The secret lives of the people behind the Delineo brand.
As part of our series of interviews with staff members, Sam Rowlands, Client Services and Board Director, takes to the couch and tells us about his career and life both inside and outside of Delineo.
Sam, you head up client services as well as being a board director. Can you tell me about that?
I started at Delineo three and a half years ago at a time when the new management team was formulating, introducing a solid management tier to the business. Twelve months ago, we felt it was the right time to formalise that and appoint the management team as an operational board.
What were you doing before Delineo?
I always knew I didn’t want to work in one of the network behemoths as I felt I was more entrepreneurial and wanted to be in a flexible, dynamic agency. So, almost straight from University, I joined a small independent agency, Pravda Advertising. I joined as the seventh member of the team and we grew to thirty five in two years. I quite quickly got to the position of Account Director where I was leading on some of the agency’s largest accounts, such as The Home Services division of Scottish and Southern Energy, launching The Jobs Mine with Manchester Evening News, to Harvester, Toby Carvery pubs, Transform Cosmetic Surgery Group and Neilson Holidays. Then in 2009, the agency started to struggle as the recession took a real grip of client spend. Sensing a slowdown in the agency’s momentum, I started exploring opportunities and met Nick and his vision for Delineo really appealed.
What changes have you seen at Delineo over the last few years?
From walking through the door I could see we had an amazing heritage, a fantastic offering, with great creative products, great thinkers, outstanding relationships with clients and high service levels, but yet we were unknown, a bit of a sleeping giant within the scene. I think over this period, we have developed more confidence. We’ve been getting out of our shell and recognising our strengths and everyone in the agency really understanding the value we add to clients’ businesses. The new offices and developing our service offering through bringing brilliant people into the business has really fuelled a more buoyant atmosphere for us and a marvellous enthusiasm for what we do across the business.
What have been your most significant achievements to date?
Personally from the early years of my career I was very proud to lead some high profile pieces of business, developing some great client relationships and some really interesting brands and campaigns. Then, becoming Client Services Director before the age of 30 at Delineo. But since that, the biggest achievement is playing my part in developing the Delineo story, and growing it into the fantastic place it is today. I’m proud of the people we have here, the client relationships and the great work we produce every day.
What do you see as the challenges going forward?
As with any agency, keeping pace with technological change is fundamental to our future success. We need to make sure we are living our ‘progressive’ value, which we have been for twenty years – this is more important than ever to continue evolving our offering to ensure the agency and our clients stay ahead of the competition.
When you’re not here, under the arches, how do you like to spend your time?
My latest hobby is sleep deprivation, courtesy of my 14 month old son. In the hours when I am supposed to be awake, I enjoy family time with my wife, Jen and son Leo. I go on my bike, probably too much, and race a bit with my club. We spend a lot of time in Wales over the summer at our holiday cottage. You will find me in the sea, up in the mountains, surfing, walking, cycling or running, just enjoying the outdoors.
Didn’t you also do a triathlon recently?
I am a retired Ironman! That was ‘pre-Leo’. I don’t have the time to train at that level any more. I find it amazing that something so small demands so much time and money!