Introducing...Aaron Kiely


We sat down with Aaron Kiely, who’s recently joined the business as a Solutions Consultant, about his career so far, how he's settling in, and the vitally important question of whether Jaffa Cakes are actually biscuits.

Hello Aaron. I’ll get straight to it. What’s your job and what does that involve?

I’ve joined the Sales Enablement team as a Solutions Consultant; I was tempted over by what was going on here. Previously, I was head of the Technical Solutions team at HH Global, and coming here seemed like a good opportunity. This new role involves pushing forward our marketing services proposition. We’ve got a lot of applications and tools, things we’ve acquired. And my role is to put them into one proposition that’s easy to understand and price up. Basically I’m here to make what we do palatable for our clients. So exactly like we have with OnePlatform, we’ll be doing the same for some of our other tools like PEP and our Digital Asset Management solution. Once we’ve got those ready, I’ll be on hand for any support in bids and tenders, things like that. 

Lovely stuff. And what’s your background?  

I first started out in print and publishing as a colour editor for a magazine publisher. Then I moved on to Sotheby’s. For somewhere like that, getting their printed literature right is crucial – it’s important to get the colour bang on. Then I did 10 years in digital web development, eventually as a marketing director for a digital agency. That gave me a good grounding in all our tools and how to scope things out. I’ve also been a marketing and sales director for a clothing manufacturer business, which I owned and then sold. Then I got into print procurement world, as head of technology services delivery, then as head of a solutions team. I’ve had a varied background really! 

It certainly sounds like it! What are your first impressions of PCC? 

On the technology team, I was really impressed with the structure and the attitude – working with David Taylor and Ashley Mcintosh was a big pull and I thought I could learn from them. I liked the setup and structure here – one common thing I’ve noticed is that the appetite for moving forward and progressing, whether on the tech side or delivering something new. Everyone’s very down to earth and easy to approach, they’re looking to push forward and do better for our clients. It’s bloody tough joining a company at this time, but everyone’s been great. 

Did you know about PCC before joining? 

Yes. I actually came head-to-head for the same opportunity with Ross Kittlety in a previous role. I went in the room straight after him. I’m not surprised now that we were unsuccessful, looking at how he operates. We never stood a chance. 

Excellent. And what are you working on at the moment? 

I’m focusing on our Marketing Services proposition - making it clearer and more concise for our clients. As consumers, we’re spoilt for choice really, with the best technology at our fingertips. At large companies you end up with lots of different platforms, but you can’t ask clients to log in here, there and everywhere. So we need to give them access to all our tools via a simple, easy experience.  

What’s changed most over your career so far? 

I’d say it’s probably the clients’ expectations of technology, and what can be achieved. There’s also the security of applications. Our security and risk guys are great, and I don’t know  if they can do much more, but the landscape is constantly changing. 
We’ll move on from the ‘work’ questions now.

What did you have for tea last night? 

It was my birthday actually…

Happy birthday! 

Thanks. Anyway, my wife said I could have anything, so I had burritos. I bloody love them. Chilli con carne with cheese and guacamole.

That’s a good birthday tea. Nice one. What’s your favourite biscuit and why?  

Well, is it a biscuit or not? Because I’m keen on a Jaffa Cake. Standard orange flavour. I do dunk them, but you have to be a bit of a daredevil because they aren’t very stable. 

Well, I can confirm that they are a cake. There was a court case about them. It’s certainly a high-risk dunker. What’s your favourite place you’ve ever been? 

Before the pandemic I loved going skiing – so I’ll say the French Alps. We’ve got a little place near Mont Blanc. Hopefully it’s still there! 

Have you ever met a celebrity? 

I actually went to school with Lewis Hamilton. He was a pretty normal kid, but then at the end of the day he’d get picked up in a sponsored Mercedes.

Do you have a least favourite word? 

“Lush”. It winds me up. There are much better words to use. 

Agreed. How’ve you got on during lockdown? 

Pretty well. I’ve got into running, and I’ve just signed up for a race next year called Race To The Stones around Oxford. It’s a 100km and I’m currently training for it. I’m just doing it as a personal challenge, something to work to. It should take about 15 hours. 

That sounds horrendous. Anyway, thanks Aaron!