My Media World: Mike Harty

Mike Harty, COO and co-founder of Powerlinks, actually started in media when he was just 14 years old, would like to have been Mark Zuckerberg, and enjoys spending his weekends exploring the capital.

Mike Harty: co-founder and chief executive of PowerLinks
Mike Harty: co-founder and chief executive of PowerLinks

I have worked in the media since…
I graduated in 2009, but I've been involved with different aspects of the media business for 11 years.

I was attracted to this particular role because…
Advertising is a rapidly changing industry, which is increasingly being driven by technological innovation. As co-founder and COO of PowerLinks, I am now in a position where I can personally influence these changes within a dynamic and exciting industry.  

Not many people know that…
I first cut my media teeth when I was 14, dabbling with affiliate marketing and classified ad sales, and haven't looked back since.

My worst experience in the media was…
When we missed out on a big pitch for a certain premium publisher. As it turned out, it was the biggest blessing in disguise, although it really didn't feel like it at the time.

If there's one thing I've learnt in the media industry it's…
That deals are as likely to be concluded over a beer as around a board room table, which suits me down to the ground.

The best bit of media business I have been involved in was…
Winning our first major premium publisher in a huge deal that put us on the map as a company and set the tone for things to come.

The one thing I can’t stand in media is…
For a lively and fast moving space it can actually be very slow to embrace new technology innovations and the opportunities that they represent. Everyone is under a lot of pressure, not least with the enduringly difficult economic climate, but I would still love to see a culture that more rapidly embraces technological innovation.

Outside of work I spend my time…
Socialising with friends and pursuing a number of hobbies around sports and fitness. I've also only recently moved to London, so at weekends when time permits, I'm often out exploring and experiencing what the city has to offer. 

If I could do it all over again I would…
Pursue the same goals with the same company, but I would enter the industry with a far richer perspective and the subsequent ability to move things along much faster. You learn a lot of lessons very quickly when you start a company aged 21 with only a couple of months out of university.

The one event I would never miss is…
A PowerLinks Christmas party should never be missed as I'm told I always have an amazing time.
If money were no object I would…
Spend more of my time consuming media rather than selling it. I would probably also own far too many fast cars and waste too much time on sunny beaches.
The next 12 months will be…
A pivotal year for PowerLinks. We are planning to open our New York office in January and are forecasting significant growth both in terms of staff and turnover.
If I ruled the media world I would…
Dedicate more time to industry focused education. With better education we wouldn't face fiascos like the cookie directive and we would find that people would be even more receptive to technology and the opportunities that it brings.
If I could switch places with anyone in the media world it would be…
Mark Zuckerberg. He has built a phenomenal success story, but his company faces enough challenges to keep the day job interesting. I would love the challenge of trying to properly scale Facebook's ad platform.  


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