OPINION: QUESTION TIME WITH ... Dave King - Emap’s broadcast chief is keen on customer service, Rachel Minter discovers

Be prepared to catch Dave King on the hop - he’s a busy man with demands on his time. Not only is he furiously swimming his way up the Emap stream, having recently been promoted to broadcast director, but his wife Amanda has just given birth.

Be prepared to catch Dave King on the hop - he’s a busy man with

demands on his time. Not only is he furiously swimming his way up the

Emap stream, having recently been promoted to broadcast director, but

his wife Amanda has just given birth.



Tenacious customers will find their telephone calls rerouted to King’s

PA Scott, but the good news is that once you get through to King, he

will assure you a smooth and professional service.



When I meet the confident and laconic 41-year-old, he sits back in his

chair with feet up, looking relaxed. King says he thrives off a ’hard

day’s work’ and can’t imagine working in any other industry.



Yet rumour has it he was not always so sure of his stuff. As a teenager,

King spent one summer working as a bricklayer and it was his best mate

who persuaded him to return to school to finish his A’ levels. ’Just

think, the King file may well have read very differently,’ he jokes.



King claims he ended up doing well in school but turned down an Oxbridge

place to pursue a more hands-on business course. He then fell into an

industry where he felt at home. ’The humour in media is almost as good

as it was on the building site. You’ve got to have a laugh - and be

laughed at - otherwise you’re finished.’



And as broadcast director, one of the recently restructured cross-media

elite at Emap Advertising, he can afford a few laughs. King now sits at

the helm of broadcast-related initiatives encompassing radio, online and

TV.



He joined Emap On Air in 1999 as sales director, leaving behind his plum

job as broadcast director at Carat, where he had looked after one of the

industry’s largest television budgets.



’I was with Carat in its various incarnations for ten years, so people

were surprised to hear I was leaving behind TV and the agency world I

grew up in,’ he says.



Yet King is a shrewd operator and says he could spot Emap’s business

potential.



King commands a newly created sales team of 12 - in addition to the

50-odd sales army still based at Emap On Air in Tottenham Court Road -

and he has put his troops to work on cross-media pitches.



’One of our tricks is to make sure we talk to agencies and set them out

a clear multimedia brief with a relevant plan that they can talk to

clients about,’ King explains.



’We are not prepared to rattle off our rates for banners and buttons and

leave it at that. There is real growth for creative sales online and we

plan to build on this area through cross-media selling.’



King is also a firm believer in customer service. ’Some media owners

forget agencies are their customers. Over the past nine months, we have

been putting together the strategy and structure to reflect this.’



Overall, there’s very little King isn’t proud of, except, perhaps, the

one time he stitched someone up. ’It was one of my biggest mistakes but

I learned my lesson,’ he admits. ’I did it once and once only. I charged

someone too much. I was too young and keen and the deal fell through as

a result.’



Outside work, King has adopted something of an English country lifestyle

in not-so-rural Balham, where he lives with Amanda, whom he met at

Granada.



He’s the chairman of his local cricket club and, after a Sunday

afternoon match, likes nothing better than sharing a few drinks with the

team.



King also makes it his business to play a round or two of golf with

managing director Tom Toumazis and confesses to being a racing fan.

However, with all the fuss surrounding the arrival of his new baby,

King’s face clouds over momentarily. ’There is definitely less time to

party,’ he admits.



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