Metro is such a big part of our daily commute we honestly can’t imagine a morning without it, and the man responsible for this is Kenny Campbell. Up until recently he was the editor of the free newspaper and has worked in journalism for 25 years. He’s now switched his attention to PR as the director at Campbell Brown PR, but launching the paper given away to over a million people at train stations across the country taught him a thing or two. So ahead of his GoThinkBig Packed Lunch event on Friday, he shared the five things he learned.

kenny1

Looking back, joining Metro was the best career decision I ever made. But, at the time, it didn’t seem that way to everyone. I’d accepted a job as Deputy Editor of the Daily Mirror in Scotland and my career was going well, so when my peer group heard I was giving that opportunity up to go and work on a London freesheet, some of them were incredulous. After a decade working my way up on ‘proper’ newspapers, they asked, why on earth was I getting involved with a free title that would inevitably be rubbish and probably wouldn’t survive six months? Crazy idea? You betcha. Good idea? You betcha. Glad I ignored the voices of common sense? Oh, you betcha.

kenny2

Metro was designed to be read in 20 minutes. Doesn’t sound much but anyone doing that regularly is spending 4-5 days a year reading the paper – and that’s 24-hour days. Never underestimate the value of time, whether it’s 20 minutes with your audience, 30 minutes with the Prime Minister or an evening with your mum and dad.

kenny3

Whether your beginnings are humble or high class, they are still just your beginnings. I started in a Highland council house and ended up running the country’s third-biggest newspaper. Metro started as a modest little London experiment and ended up as the most successful free daily paper on the entire planet.

kenny4

As an editor, decisions are what you spend your day with. Bad ones can land you in jail but, as a rule, even bad decisions are better than no decision at all. You need to get stuff done.

kenny5

National newspapers are a serious business, but there should always be room for a smiling monkey or a cat that looks like Hitler. If you can make someone smile at 8am, you’ve made a friend.

Apply here to hear more from Kenny this Friday!

If you liked this, you may like…

How to be a radio news reporter

Five things we learned from Ed Stafford, explorer

Five things we learned from Barbie’s LinkedIn page