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A Day in the Life of... Pat Stephenson, Founder and Head of Account Management at Boys + Girls

Posted By The Marketing Institute, Wednesday 10 April 2019
Updated: Tuesday 9 April 2019

pat stephenson boys + girls

What does a Founder and Head of Account Management at Boys + Girls do?

Working with the team in here to establish and maintain great relationships with clients so that nothing gets in the way of us making great, business building, effective work for them.


What were your key career moves to get to your current role?

Leaving my job in McConnell’s to set up Boys + Girls with a group of 5 like minded naive optimists back in 2009. Taking a leap we believed would pay off centred around a desire to just make better work. It helped I found out my missus was pregnant with twins a couple of weeks into starting up. There’s nothing quite like having to make it work, to make it work.


What is the biggest challenge you face in your role?

Trying to utilise my time in a way that is most effective for the business. An agency of 60 people (as we are now) is very different to the agency of 6 we were when we started. It’s easy to be busy. Using my time effectively and on the right projects is the key.


What key skills do you need to be effective in your role?

You need an avid interest in life, business, society, culture and people. You need to simultaneously be able to understand a client’s business context and problems, alongside their business culture and ways of working. You also need to have a feeling for what is going on right now and just around the corner in society. Finally pulling that all together you need to be able to create the right environment of encouragement and constraint that produces the best creative work that answers the clients problem.


Describe a typical working day.

A typical day for me is hard to pin down. What my day is planned to look like and what it ends up being are never the same. I try and use the morning for thinking projects but inevitably I come into something that needs attention.

Part of my job is a manager. We’ve a really great team in account management and i want to create an environment where they can be involved in the best work of their career. Part of it is judging when to step in and help and when to let go.

Although I don’t really work on day to day client business there are still accounts that I keep an active role in  - and I still love working with clients. I also am responsible for managing the marketing and PR functions in the agency, alongside new business - but I’ve a great team leading that in here. So my day is usually juggling all those different hats.


What do you love most about your role?

The very best part of my job is being trusted to look 'under the bonnet' of a client’s business. Getting a full and frank understanding of how their business operates. Working out how marketing communications can best help them achieve their business goals. Then working with the client and the team in here to try and deliver something exceptional. It demands the best of your management, strategic, creative and organisational skills. Best job in the world.


Looking ahead, where might your career path lead to next?

I want to continue to help build Boys + Girls into one of the leading creative agencies not just in Ireland but in the world, building on the amazing journey over the past 10 years. We have big ambitions and the talent and people to match so i just want to ensure we continue to make the agency the best it can be for us and our clients.


To whom do you look for professional inspiration in your role?

John Fanning. I had the pleasure of working with John for 7 years and I was never short of inspired by the latitude, depth and creative agility of both his thinking and his cultural understanding. The real founder of planning in Ireland - but to call him a planner does not cover his range of abilities - it was a privilege to work with him. 

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