Next up in a new series from the Creative Circle, Alex Reeves reveals what his role as Editor of The Beak St Bugle entails
Day in the Life of… is a new series from the Creative Circle, celebrating and championing the diversity of talent across Britain’s creative community. Encompassing creatives from all areas of the advertising and creative spectrum, each edition will focus on an individual and their role within our exciting community.
The Beak Street Bugle is an online newspaper for the advertising world. Editor Alex Reeves tells the Circle about his role in making sense of adland.
My role as Editor of The Beak Street Bugle is to encourage people who work in advertising to think about the industry in new and useful ways. I write about commercials, branded content and the people who make it. I also commission and edit pieces from people who have something worthwhile, or least entertaining, to write about advertising.
Being the Editor means I also have to disguise myself as a proper grown-up and represent the Bugle at industry events, speak at conferences and think of good questions to ask well-regarded creative people on stages. I also help to organise events like our monthly film screening series with MPC, The Big Screen.
How I got here...
I like words, so writing for a living seemed a good idea. That’s about how deeply I thought about my future career as a teenager. At 14 I was convinced that nothing would ever be more important to me than the emo bands I was listening to at the time, so I settled on becoming a music journalist so I could meet The Used or Taking Back Sunday.
GCSEs, A-Levels, an English Literature degree, an MA in Magazine Journalism, and many a journalism internship later, I was soon working in the Star Wars shop at Legoland. By day I was interrogating eight-year-olds about which colour lightsaber they’d have if they were a Jedi, by night I was applying for jobs at dreary B2B magazines about mining or accountancy. The Beak Street Bugle’s job posting for a journalist stood out as a chance to write about an industry where people have to wear neither shiny grey suits nor grubby overalls to work (unless they want to). And as a newly created role this was also a chance for me to build something of my own – a rare opportunity for a 23-year-old.
The APA publishes the Bugle, so my interview was with CEO Steve Davies, Chairmen John Hackney, and Lewis More O’Ferrall (now my Co-editors). They asked me to write 1,000 words about anything advertising related, so I slagged off brands’ lazy use of Star Wars over the years
. I think they liked my combination of cluelessness and cynicism so they gave me the job and bundled me on a plane to Cannes to get to know the ad industry.
My typical day...
I arrive at the office at 9am, have a couple of slices of toast and read through my emails. A production company confirms their director’s availability so we’ve got their film booked in for the next Big Screen at MPC. That puts me in a good mood for the day because the timing is perfect and it looks like an interesting watch with great potential for a Q&A.
Josh Appignanesi's documentary The New Man will play at this month's Big Screen.
I read through a redrafted opinion piece submitted by a recent contact. It’s his first time writing for us and there are barely any typos. I forward it round to the co-editors and we decide to sit on it for a couple of weeks to avoid a clash with similar content.
I start editing down a long interview I did with Jo Coombes, who runs the brilliant AdGreen initiative
. We had a lot to talk about and most of it was fascinating, so it’s tough to pick through.
I’m interrupted by a morning meeting with the rest of the APA team. We’ve got lots to do this week.
Back to editing with Vic Mensa on my headphones. He makes loud, over-produced rap music. Too noisy for editing. I soon switch to the slow, grungy vibes of Basement and cut 1,500 more words by lunch.
I watch a couple of short films I’ve been sent and respond to a few emails about on-going projects before Charlie from Prettybird arrives. Me, him and the APA’s Events Coordinator, Becca, discuss the various long-form films his company have been involved with that might work as part of The Big Screen series. Loads of exciting possibilities.
I’m due to visit Paris soon for an awards jury, so I set aside some time contacting French agencies. I want to interview some top French creatives for a feature while i’m there. For now I’m just putting out feelers but it’s exciting to be meeting new people in a market I don’t know well.
I get back to my interview with Jo, ruthlessly chopping it down to something I’m happy with. I write an introduction and I send it to her to make sure I haven’t misunderstood anything.
The rest of the day is spent catching up with all the new signings, watching directors’ reels. In the morning I’ll speak to the co-editors and decide who to choose for this month’s Signed feature.
Hardest part of my job...
Telling people no. Sometimes somebody will write something insightful and well crafted and send it to us fully formed, but the tone or the subject matter isn’t quite right for us, so I’ll have to reject it, or at least ask for a re-draft.
I get dozens of press releases every day and as we’re not a news publication we can’t cover them all. It’s great to know what’s going on, but if there’s no apparent feature or opinion angle then I can’t do much with them.
What I enjoy the most about my work...
I get to spend time with some fascinating people. Professionals at the top of their game in the creative industries put aside time to chat with me. A lot of people would pay for the kind of access I get, so I’m very thankful for it. There are also a lot of good parties in advertising.
To find out more about the APA/MPC Big Screen series including their 17th November screening of The New Man
by Josh Appignanesi email email@example.com