I’ve had this post saved as a draft for almost a year. I wrote it after meeting a bereavement counsellor (provided by Wolfstar) after Mark’s death, who told me to write him a letter.
I decided a blog post would be more apt…
Mark’s first encounter with me
The first time I really got to know Mark was when the two of us attended a client day out in Blackburn about three weeks into my Wolfstar tenure. I jokily told him it was unlikely we’d get on as he’d (Everton) been sniffing around Jermaine Beckford (Leeds United’s then star-man).
A few more months down-the-line before my first pitch, Mark told me to *be like* Jermaine Beckford – confident and ‘up-for-it’. I told him I would likely goal hang and blag it.
He raised his eyebrows and frowned, but I sensed he was trying not to grin. He was definitely thinking “you cheeky little bastard”…
A colleague once told me that she thought Mark saw me as his ‘protégé’, and I believed it – he would often let me sit in on high-level meetings “for the experience” or ask me for my opinion because he “needed it”.
After Mark passed away someone told me it was a privilege that I received his tutelage. It was.
During a client meeting I (innocently) offered to help a female videographer with some of her stuff. Mark looked at me, grinned, raised his eyebrows and mouthed “go on son” at me… in clear view of everyone around.
Mark was a true pioneer of digital comms, online PR and social media but he was useless with tech.
I remember him leaving the office, then appearing at the door to call me out sternly. Assuming I was in for a bollocking, I drudged out whilst the rest of the pack looked on, thinking I was in for it.
“Can you help me with the photocopier mate?”
The photocopier, the printer, file types – the communicators who really *get* social media are those who *get* authentic, human communication regardless of the tech or platform, and that was Mark down to a tee.
Mark’s love of ‘stories’
Mark told me before I went on holiday to Ibiza in Summer 2010, that he wanted stories for when I got back.
When I did return, Mark called me to a conference room in the guise of an appraisal, where I relayed all the tales. He critiqued and reviewed (and definitely enjoyed) them more than any news release I’d ever written!
After Mark passed away, I had an odd dream where I was walking down a street next to Mark. It was odd because I was totally self-aware that it was a dream – I could consciously look around and move independently. I asked Mark why he did it, but he just grinned at me and shook his head…
Some time ago someone close to Mark told me, he spoke highly of me and believed I would go far. That means more to me than any award, accreditation or recognition ever will.
I haven’t and will not tag, tweet or link to this post.