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The Interview: Dermot Hanrahan – Chairman of Electric Media

Mediastreet.ie editor Nicole Buckler speaks with Dermot Hanrahan, Chairman of Electric Media.
Electric Media is the largest and most successful digital advertising sales company in Ireland with nearly 100% reach of the Irish internet audience. Hanrahan set up the company in 2008.

Dermot overlooking Dublin’s Liffey River

What does your usual day look like?
I am glad to say there is no such thing as a “usual” day. I am a director or the chairman in a number of media businesses so what each day entails will be dependent on the needs of each one, or a mixture. While I am based day to day at Electric Media, I might spend part of the day in Entertainment.ie, Wide Eye Media, one of the radio stations or in London with Pearl and Dean.
Within Electric Media we have a great management team made up of Michelle the MD, Eoghan Leader, the Financial Controller, and Megan O’Riordan, Head of Sales & Innovation. They run the business day-to-day so my role is more strategic.
I focus on where the business is going longer term and the development of new partnerships with digital publishers. I like to get in early – usually before 8 so I can clear my email inbox and finishing time varies widely. I am working hard at working less but I am not succeeding yet!

How does the Irish market differ to other markets?
Being involved in a London-based business, I have to say there is only one obvious difference – scale. People in the Irish media business who think that the “everyone-knows-everyone” nature of the business is an Irish phenomenon are wrong. It is true in London too. The only noticeable difference is scale. It takes the same amount of work and effort to bring in €5000 worth of business in Dublin as it takes to bring in €50,000 in London – sometimes more. Our market is small but ultimately the dynamics are the same. In digital media other markets are often more advanced by a few months or a year, although in radio and cinema we are at least as advanced, if not ahead. The Irish markets a tougher sell largely due to the size of available budgets.

Is the Irish business plan for Electric Media different to the rest of the world?
A little. We represent many publishers for whom the creation of a full sales function in-house, or in Ireland, is not an economic option due to the size of the market. This is more likely to be a business need in a small market.

What would you change about the Irish business landscape?
Other than quadrupling the population size to make our efforts more rewarding, very little! We live and work in a business-friendly economy fuelled by increasingly talented young people so overall the landscape is pretty good.

Are you a workaholic? Multitasker? Slacker? What’s your working style?
Probably, due to the varied nature of my involvements, a multi-tasker. I’m getting older so I aim to become a slacker gradually!

What’s your favourite part of the job?
Problem-solving! I don’t always succeed but I like puzzles!

What do business owners and marketers need to know about how Electric Media can help them sell their stuff?
As the country’s biggest stable of premium digital publishers, we offer an end-to-end one-stop-shop through which to reach 100% of the Irish mobile and online audience, with lots of clever targeting and optimisation technology. So there are no need we can’t meet in the display advertising space. With brands like Irish Times, BBC, Guardian, DoneDeal and Yahoo! among our roster of 30+ best in class properties we have the market very well covered.

Where is Electric Media headed in the future?
The digital landscape has transformed itself many times in the few years since we launched the company so we are constantly evolving and amending our business model. This will continue. We are the market leaders in our space and we will have to be inventive and flexible to adapt to each wave of change. To learn more, click here