Jason Heaver provides his insights from a career in the content industry that has taken him from London, England to Galicia, Spain.

Jason Heaver

  • Name: Jason Heaver
  • Where are you based? Galicia
  • Current position/company: Freelance writer/editor/proofreader
  • Where are you originally from? Brighton, UK
  • What did you study? English, Communication Studies
  • What countries have you lived/worked in? England and Spain
  • What languages do you speak? Native English and not-as-good-as-I’d-like Spanish

How did you end up working in the content and/or marketing industry?

I didn’t go to uni; straight out of college, with British A Levels and vocational study behind me. I wanted to begin working and joined a Brighton advertising agency before moving to an agency in London around three years later. Apart from a couple of years as a subtitler for the BBC, I remained in the advertising/marketing industry for the next 28 years.

What’s your favorite content campaign ever?

That’s a tough question when there’s so much creativity in our industry. I don’t know if it qualifies as a content campaign but I was a big fan of Reebok’s Terry Tate Office Linebacker. It was genuinely funny and reached a wider audience than you would expect for that brand with any conventional marketing campaign.

What’s a normal work day for you like?

There isn’t one; it entirely depends on what’s lined up. The only constant is that
I check in regularly to see if anything urgent has come up. But I’m fortunate that,
with a laptop and internet access, I can work wherever I am.

What are the top 3 skills you need to do your job?

Attention to detail, a willingness to accept feedback without rancour and an ability to interpret a brief and pick out what may be relevant and engaging quickly.

What is the biggest mistake you’ve made in your career?

Sticking around for too long at an agency where the atmosphere had become toxic. 

What’s unique about Europe’s content and marketing industry?  

I don’t know that it’s unique to Europe but I strongly believe that diversity encourages creativity. Even in small agencies in Europe, your colleagues are likely to comprise a variety of nationalities and backgrounds. That’s a hugely important asset, I think.

How has Europe’s content and marketing industry changed in the past years?

The messages, and the ways they’re delivered, are getting increasingly complex and subtle. You can’t just show people an advert, or sponsor an event, and assume your brand is going to penetrate – there’s so much content out there, so much information coming at people. You have to be much more inventive to get them to interact with your brand.

What is the biggest challenge facing Europe’s content and marketing industry in the next 5 years?

Saturation, possibly. With so much content coming from every possible angle, I wonder if people are beginning to develop their own mental filters and blocking it out, or at least failing to discern one message from another, all of them occluding each other in a fog.

What’s your biggest piece of advice for people or businesses looking to break into Europe’s content and marketing industry?

Get your content out there. You need to show you can produce something even if it’s only ever been for yourself to that point. 

Quick-fire round: 

  • Favorite social network? LinkedIn is the only one I use!
  • Long-form or short-form? Short form.
  • Content marketing or branded content? Whichever’s right at the time.
  • Favorite book? “The Shadow of the Wind” by Carlos Ruiz Zafon.
  • First thing you do in the morning? Grind coffee.
  • Language you wish you spoke? Gallego.
  • Smart or casual? Casual
  • Most important wardrobe item? Three-quarter length black winter coat.

Jason Heaver (LinkedIn)

Jason Heaver worked in advertising in the UK from 1987 to 2017, with a two-year gap during which he worked as a Subtitler. In that time he did everything from print buying to copywriting, with proofreading and copy editing thrown in. He now works freelance from home, and produces a blog about his experiences living as an Englishman in rural Galicia.