The People Behind The Cogworks: Michael Handrick

Introducing…Michael Handrick

Role: Content Project Manager
Clients/brag list: Air Wick, Nurofen and Tempra.

So Michael, what brought you here?
I was an Assistant Editor for a digital publishing house before I came here and thought I’d flip over and see how the digital side works. I was already working with lots of different CMS and digital platforms for the books I worked on so I thought they complemented each quite well. They’re two different industries but a similar kind of focus.

What’s made you fist pump at work?
Coglympics. I’m in charge of keeping the scores so it kind of gives me this little power trip because if someone doesn’t do what I say I can take away their points. So yeah, I make sure there’s no funny business and that the point scores have even distribution. Well, except for when people give me sweets…

What makes your cogs work?
I think it’s all the side projects we get to do like the Umbraco festivals. The Content Team has got to do a lot of work on it this year in terms of the website, marketing, media, copywriting and design (whereas last year we just previewed it). So it’s all these little side projects we do alongside our normal role which gets the cogs going. 

How do you get your tech fix outside the office?
Well I’ve just joined Instagram...Nisha and Josh said I needed to join 2016 so that’s my latest gadget to figure out what to do with. So I’m just figuring out what hashtags are good in the world of Instagram really. I still don’t understand it though - sorry Instagram I don’t understand your purpose?

Otherwise I kind of disengage from tech outside of work. I think we’re surrounded by it so much I kind of like to keep it separate as much as possible. 

Who would be on your client bucket list?
Surprisingly I’d say a publishing house. I’d like to help them see how books and technology can work together. I think a lot of the publishing industry is behind in terms of technology, so it would be interesting to work with them and see what we could do in order to break them into the 21st century.

Or maybe an artist like Marina Abramović, that could be fun! We could explore how artists can use their websites in terms of video or new media to promote their artwork. I think moving more towards the arts would be interesting. Or a charity – because charities are good.

What is your office vice?
Getting too close to Nisha’s table. Genuinely. Sometimes there’s just a gravitational pull to the right of me. Or eating a lot of the sweets...I eat a lot of snacks. There is no self-control which is worrying.

Tipple of choice?
It depends really. I’m kind of tee-total at the moment, so maybe a cranberry juice? Or a cranberry and raspberry if I’m being wild. Otherwise in terms of alcohol, just an Italian beer or maybe red wine? Or Prosecco is good – just not Champagne - there’s a huge difference.

How do you unwind?
I read a lot of fiction. I also write my books (mainly short stories), but then I tend to get stressed by that so I guess that’s not unwinding. I don’t unwind a lot really – maybe I’m a highly strung person? Just put, ‘I don’t unwind’.

What’s on your office playlist?
Well it’s normally dictated by Josh because he’s the resident DJ. But if I have my headphones in it ranges depending on what I need to do. If I really need to focus, I normally prefer something without words – either classical or techno. Otherwise it can range from - The Cure, to Britney Spears, to Beyonce, to Latin to 90’s music, so yeah, a huge range.

What’s your secret talent?
I’m quite flexible. As a doctor told me when I was nine, I have an unnaturally flexible back - and as I was a gymnast I am able to crawl down the wall backwards. If there is a dance off I will often work it in and then stalk off afterwards.

Lastly, can you sum up The Cogworks in one word?
Unique.

Oh but wait there’s more… Let's turn to The Mystery Jar question…