How Frank Hannigan got ahead

I wanted specifically to work in advertising, and even more specifically to work in newspapers. I am not sure why, but I still have a soft spot for media people and media companies.

Name: Frank Hannigan


Job title: Managing Director

What made you want to get into marketing?

I wanted specifically to work in advertising, and even more specifically to work in newspapers. I am not sure why, but I still have a soft spot for media people and media companies.

How did you get into the industry (including relevant qualifications and professional training)?

A Business degree from Trinity College Dublin gave me a great foundation. In addition to consuming outrageous volumes of alcohol, I learned an endless number of excuses for putting off today what should have been done yesterday.

A graduate placement with Kompass added additional skills for a career in marketing

What was good and bad about your first job?

The range of projects offered was huge and the responsibility given was unexpected. There were not a huge amount of downsides to that job.

List your jobs to date:

Kompass – Graduate trainee

Sunday Tribune – Advertising Manager Financial products

Hot Press – Advertising Manager

Examiner Newspaper – Ad Manager and later Sales & Marketing Manager

Ireland On-Line – Commercial Manager

Digiserve – Commercial Director

Dublin Daily – Commercial Director

Pathfinder – Managing Director

EBRD – ICT Expert in Central Asia and South Eastern Europe – Managing Director

What were the best and worst, and why?

Dublin Daily was both – a year that saw the team raise €6m in seed funding, reinvent the way a daily newspaper operates and drive brand awareness towards 60%. It nearly killed me (in the end despite Herculean efforts, the newspaper failed).

Who has been your biggest inspiration?

Spike Milligan

Who in the industry do you most admire?

Maeve Donovan, MD of the Irish Times, a lifer at the paper. She has overcome all the politics, got to the top and seems to have plenty of energy and direction to offer now that she has the top job.

What is your biggest achievement to date?

Helping to build Ireland On-Line up from a €2m acquisition to a €109m sale price must rank up there. Being part of the Yougetitback team will without doubt exceed that achievement.

On what do you base your success so far?

Good family and friends. Tenacity balanced hopefully by a sense of humour!

What are your ambitions?

To be a good dad and husband first to become a global brand protecting 100 million assets, turning  €50m annually, earning €15m in net earnings and valued in excess of  €150m

To be healthy enough to enjoy the success of Yougetitback and to live long enough to create even more business brands in the future.

Change one thing about your job:

Travel would be the thing I would change – if I could be beamed down to Dubai in ten minutes and grab a bagel with a client in Manhattan later in the afternoon finally getting back to Cork in time to see my son turn out for the local hurling team – now that would be good. Obviously with a zero carbon footprint.

Change one thing about your industry:

I am not sure what industry I am in, but for the sake of argument if we agree that we are in the internet space, the thing I would change would be to stop business leaders from talking gibberish and ignoring the hard realities of business. The internet is a very exciting place to be – that is why the hype is completely unnecessary.

Change one thing about the world:

Force the closure of every faux Irish Bar on the planet, starting with the O’Neill’s chain.

What is your favourite brand?

Guinness has my undivided loyalty. If I’m honest that really reflects more on the product than the work carried out at brand level.

What is the next big brand in your view?

Funny you should ask that… Yougetitback will be one of the fastest growing companies in Europe over the next 36 months; it already has won several awards for the coherence of the brand and the company’s Corporate Identity.

List your ‘media diet’:

The Economist
Irish Times
Irish Examiner
Sunday Tribune
Uncut Magazine
Channel 4
Newstalk Radio
RTE1 radio

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