We’re delighted to appoint Ben as Managing Director of Big On Writing...and look forward to him leaving us again soon. Because Ben has one last adventure up his sleeve before he gets back down to business: a 1,000-mile kayak race in the Yukon where even the fact that he’s a skinny ginger with chicken legs won’t deter a hungry bear.
You’ll get a chance to meet Ben, known affectionally as our ‘Dead Man Walking’, although most of you already know him; he’s been spearheading our new direction for the past three years.
Big On Writing was born out of the 2000’s when the rise in the net created a niche gap in long copy, content and digital writing. In the last few years, however, this field has become highly specialised and Ben, being a digital native (we don’t think that’s going to scare a bear off BTW) brings the necessary focus on analytics, performance and results.
Ben loves people and puppies. He just doesn't love being hugged
Ben’s also a team player, is values-driven, and has the necessary leadership skillsets required to manage everyone across our large enterprise projects. (Did we tell you his father was five times National Winner of the NZ Sheep Dog Trials).
He loves people, and he loves seeing them grow, although sometimes we have to remind him that some of us remember when Apple was first created and perhaps even Adam and Eve.
For 15 years, Big On Writing has built up a loyal, smart team of digital experts who write brutally simple copy and have a deep strategic understanding of acronyms like UX/CX/SEO. But being creatives at heart, most of the team at BOW prefer to be behind the keyboards. So we’re all delighted for Ben to be the go-to-guy for clients, particularly if anything screws up and there’s a yelling to be had.
It’s a role that fits Ben almost as well as his R.M Williams boots as he’s quite fond of dressing up and trotting himself in front of people. Granted that was in show rings like Horse of the Year and the North American circuit, where he’s won many rugs and ribbons before hanging up his riding hat and switching to kayaks.
But if you think the jackets he wears in meetings have a slight Horse & Hound feel, you'd be spot-on: Ben recycles his riding jackets.
Having formerly sat client-side, Ben’s taken to agency life like a duck to distilled water at Amanos
His sense of positivity is positively annoying, particularly in early morning Teams meetings when he’s been up at dawn and the rest of us are still in pyjamas from pants down. He’s big on communications, structure, detail, deadlines. No, who are we kidding, he’s anal like Don Tillman from the Rosie Project (well almost).
He loves business and you'll often hear him buying or selling stocks. That's Heifers, not Huffers. And he likes to keep his finger on the pulse even when he's paddling Fiordland. But all you have to do is yell, 'shark!' to see him sprint to the shoreline at a pace even Fouhy would be proud of.
There’s nothing competitive about Ben. Or Sue. Or all the rest of us. We just happen to like winning!
But most of us get our jollies by blowing SEO scores off Ahrefs, or conquering 5,000 page websites. We don’t have to chuck ourselves off cliffs on bikes and come out like the colours of our new branding - blue, black and touches of pink.
Finally, if this post sounds more like takedown rather than a PR piece, you’d be right. In welcoming Ben to our tight knit group of digital strategists, writers, and content creators, we all came to the same conclusion:
Why not roast him now and the bears can eat him later?
Seriously, Ben, well done and well-deserved. You'll do a great job.