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When Dave met Fred… 

Fred has welcomed experienced regional business journalist David Laister to the senior ranks, as PR and Media Director. Let’s get to know him better. 


Dave Laister - Fred's PR and Media Director sitting at a desk with laptop, smiling to the camera

 

Having felt like I had one of the best jobs in the regional media world I had occupied for more than a quarter of a century - up until about four months ago - it came as quite a shock to suddenly be engineering Career 2.0 as the new year dawned. 

 

Supporting and championing the Humber region’s business community was what I lived and breathed. Having found my journalistic calling after moving up from work experience boy to managing my first news team, I spent the best part of two decades dealing with all things business. First in Grimsby, then the entire South Bank, and from early 2020 - the whole of the Humber, having transitioned to ‘web first’ while launching social media platforms along the way. Telling the tales behind the traditional, the legacy, the new and innovative, across many sectors and markets. Company results to product launches, thought pieces and policy analysis, major awards to management buy-outs - even the regular senior appointments! But what felt like a valuable public service, wasn’t. Commercial realities finally bit into my enlarged patch and, whilst the media landscape has changed beyond recognition in print, online and via the airwaves, the need for businesses to tell their stories has never been more important. It is a key differentiator in a fiercely competitive and ever-better connected global marketplace.  

 

Step forward creative communications and strategic marketing. Hello Fred! 

 

I knew of the consultancy, we’d crossed paths with clients, so to then find out more about the globally active operation in a few exploratory chats, the appetite was well and truly whet. 

Suddenly starting again, albeit with a skill set well-suited to the evolving nature of the business, became very exciting. Just thinking about how I could channel what I’ve learned, delivered and experienced to help organisations get ahead, had me scribbling as quickly as my shorthand has ever been pushed.    

 

For a little while I had anticipated my previous role would come to an end as it did, but you’re never truly ready. Not least in that it felt like there were far too many stories left unfinished! Preparedness was somewhat lacking, having seen off two redundancy rounds earlier last year. I’d mistakenly thought the house was in order, at least in the short term. But it came, and I was incredibly humbled by the response to my news, with the serious offers, leftfield suggestions, and incredulous ideas all gratefully welcomed. I didn’t apply for the then-vacant job at my beloved Grimsby Town FC, and I’m not running for mayor on either bank!    

 

Fred quickly stood out from those that made absolute sense, though. Once I’d come to terms with the inevitable, a new challenge at a senior level was the aim. Being afforded access to the top teams playing such pivotal roles in the region was always a privilege I was acutely aware of having. These are valued relationships I now aim to build upon, with such potential to still play a part in the Humber’s economic success, while bringing experience, insight and solutions to boardrooms wherever they may be.  

 

Fred’s senior-led, strategic experience, consultative approach and strong client base, allied with a desire to grow and evolve, were huge positives. So too the incredible design foundations that have delivered such striking campaigns and brands across the region, all underpinned by a great balance of established PR and communications. At Fred’s heart is the passion for telling a story, conveying and amplifying a message using the most appropriate mediums to solve problems for, and elevate, businesses. Cleverly defined systems - the three-step DNA programme in particular - served to further illustrate the reputation I had understood, based on those previous interactions.  

And having worked from home for the past four years, a return to regular human interaction in the day was welcome. Fred’s hybrid model with core office days based around flexible hours was a perfect fit for an active family life and a just transition. Overall, it was the thoroughly modern, client-centric approach that really appealed. 

 

So, here’s to the new chapter - although Fred and storytelling dates back far further than the 15 years I find myself now toasting with a very welcoming team. An inspiring teacher would, without fail, start his junior school assembly parables with the line ‘Fred was not happy...’ Having been fortunate to join as celebrations flowed, I can assure you this Fred certainly is! 

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