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Meet the… executive producer

Phil Delaney, executive producer at UNIT, explains how building a broad skill set has helped his career journey

Talk us through an average day in your role?

As an executive producer, my responsibilities are twofold. I manage new business development, which involves identifying potential clients, establishing initial connections, and building long-term relationships. This aspect of my role requires strategic thinking, networking, and a deep understanding of industry trends to align our services with client needs. On the production side, I oversee ongoing projects, ensuring they meet the high standards we set at UNIT. This involves coordinating with various departments, managing budgets, timelines, and ensuring the creative vision is executed flawlessly. My day is a mix of client meetings, brainstorming sessions with the creative team, and hands-on production work. Balancing these responsibilities keeps my day dynamic and engaging, as I’m constantly switching between fostering client relationships and diving into the nitty-gritty of production.

Phil Delaney, executive producer at UNIT
How did you get started in the media industry?

I began my journey in the media industry as a runner at The Mill back in 2007. Starting in this entry-level position gave me a unique vantage point to observe and learn the various facets of production. It was a foundational experience that allowed me to understand the intricacies of the industry from the ground up. Over the years, I worked my way up through various roles, each one providing valuable insights and skills that have shaped my career. As they say, the rest is history – each step building on the last, leading me to my current role as an executive producer.

What training did you have before entering the industry?

Before diving into the media world, I gained significant experience in the hospitality and catering industry. This background might seem unrelated at first glance, but it equipped me with essential skills such as customer service, multi-tasking, and managing high-pressure situations. These skills are surprisingly transferable and have been incredibly beneficial in my media career. The ability to communicate effectively, manage diverse teams, and maintain composure under tight deadlines are all critical in both industries.

Why do you enjoy working in the industry?

What I love most about working in the advertising and media industry is the people. It’s an environment filled with creativity and collaboration, where everyone is passionate about what they do. The fast-paced nature of the industry means there’s always something new to learn, and I thrive on that continuous growth. Each project brings its own set of challenges and opportunities, keeping my job exciting and fulfilling. The combination of innovative technology, creative storytelling, and the drive to constantly evolve makes this industry a perfect fit for me.

What piece of advice would you offer someone looking to explore a role similar to yours?

The best advice I ever received was from my head of production: “Start from the machine room and learn from the ground up”. This means gaining a comprehensive understanding of all aspects of production. Don’t be afraid to take on entry-level positions, as they offer invaluable experience and insights. Listen and learn from everyone around you because today’s runners can become tomorrow’s CEOs. Building a broad skill set and understanding the intricacies of each department will make you a more effective and well-rounded producer.