Each week, The Drum talks to a range of media and marketing professionals about their roles, but rarely do they get a chance to show who they are and what drives them as people. The Drum's 10 Questions series attempts to offer a little more insight into those personalities. Answering the questions this week is the executive chair of Newsworks, Tracy DeGroose.
What was your first ever job?
Working in a sweet shop when I was 14. As a younger child I had a toy sweet shop, which I loved. It was a dream come true to work in a real one. The shop owner was a bit grumpy, which was a shame. Whenever he wasn’t looking, Rachel (the other assistant) and I would shove a handful of sweets into our mouths. I’m sure he knew we were doing it, but he never pulled us up on it.
Which industry buzzword annoys you most?
Unpack. Only clothes and removal boxes should be unpacked.
Who do you find most interesting to follow on social media?
We Rate Dogs – simple idea, brilliantly executed. Can make you laugh or cry.
Highlight of your career (so far?)
The job I’m doing: fighting to protect and promote the future of journalism in this country. In uncertain and confusing times our British news brands, and the plurality of voices they provide, remain as significant and relevant today as they ever have.
What piece of tech can you not live without?
I could live without all of them. Well, that’s what I was claiming when ranting at my kids last night to get them off their iphones/ipads/xbox.
Who or what did you have posters of on your bedroom wall as a teenager?
Any of the free posters from Jackie. I definitely had Duran Duran and Spandau Ballet.
In advertising, what needs to change soon?
The bombardment. The amount of ad content has doubled in the last decade. Just because we can, doesn’t mean we should. Why are we surprised more people are turning to ad blockers. Let’s respect the end user and remind them that some advertising funds useful content. And that it can be fun, entertaining and educational too!
What is (in your opinion) the greatest film/album/book of your life?
Guess How Much I Love you, by Sam McBratney. I used to cry every time I read it to my boys, which might also have had something to do with being ridiculously tired! Teaching kids to express love from an early age has got to be good for humanity.
Which industry event can you not afford to miss each year and why?
The Media Business Course in Brighton. It’s heart warming to see industry elders supporting and imparting their wisdom with up and coming talent. It’s also really inspiring and reassuring to see and hear from the next generation of industry talent, and our future leaders, each year.
Amusingly, us oldies see it as some sort of challenge to be more badly behaved than the delegates on the Friday night.
What's the best piece of advice you have ever been given?