10 questions with... Dom Burch, founder of Why Social

Dom Burch

The media and marketing industry is ultimately about people. In this weekly series, The Drum speaks to professionals across the sector who are bringing something a little different to the industry and talks to them about what little insights they can offer the rest of us. This week's 10 Questions are posed to Dom Burch, Asda’s former senior director of marketing innovation and new revenue and the founder and managing director of Why Social.

What was your first ever job?

£2.50 an hour as an assistant in a one man band accountancy on a Saturday morning in Reading. So dull, even his tea was in powder form as he didn't want to keep fresh milk. Then when I left Uni I did a summer intern for Saatchi & Saatchi's Cause Connection, before joining Green Flag as a PR assistant.

Why did you get into marketing?

Having opted for A levels in art, sociology and theatre studies, I chose to do a degree in public relations. The combination of creative writing, events management, and broadcast production, plus a vast array of potential jobs sounded up my street.

What’s the most surprising thing you have learned about the creative sector since working within it?

Having lots of ideas is great, but knowing how to connect them to reality is much harder than it seemed when I started out.

What campaign or work have you most enjoyed being a part of?

Changing the law on driving with a mobile phone (Direct Line PR/lobbying campaign 2001/2). We commissioned the Transport Research Laboratory to prove driving under the influence of alcohol was less of an impairment than talking on a mobile. Amazing that 16 years later the message still hasn't got through.

What have you learned from any mistakes you’ve made in your career?

Know your limitations, always be honest and open, and find other people to work alongside who are much better than you are.

Football, cricket or rugby?

Football (albeit not enjoying being a Reading fan by birth, and a Bradford season ticket holder by virtue of where I live.)

Who in the industry impresses you most?

Stephen Waddington. Insatiable appetite to constantly develop himself and the push forward the industry. Don't know where he gets it from, but I could do with some of his drive.

What is the most exciting thing about your job?

I'm now self-employed, the best bit is being your own boss, setting the tempo, trying new things, working with multiple clients in various sectors, and not having to sit through boring meetings anymore.

If you could ban one buzzword or piece of jargon what would it be?

Influencer marketing. It's either PR, or it's advertising.

What's the best piece of advice you have ever been given?

The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Either get on with it, or shut up.

10 Questions With... will return next week.

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