‘Life’s too short to work with ass­holes’

Campaign UK - - NEWS -

Face­book “On This Day” re­minded me that it had been five years since I was one of Cam­paign’s Faces To Watch, with a pho­to­graph of my youth­ful self smil­ing ner­vously back at me.

Re­cruiters started call­ing and ask­ing to join my pro­fes­sional net­work on Linkedin. But I was happy where I was, and the fact that DDB had nom­i­nated me and said such kind words made me feel gen­uinely loyal.

I stayed for an­other three years and saw so­cial grow from an af­ter­thought to a ro­bust team with its own cam­paigns and KPIS; in­volved from the very be­gin­ning and at the heart of every brief. I then moved to The Cor­ner to work on dif­fer­ent ac­counts and with the more dar­ing clients smaller agen­cies tend to have. They of­ten have smaller bud­gets, but they take risks with so­cial and are will­ing to ex­per­i­ment. My team is in­volved in every pitch – from the be­gin­ning.

Cam­paign asked me to re­flect on some ob­ser­va­tions and lessons learned so, in true so­cial media style, here they are in no par­tic­u­lar or­der. Num­ber six will blow your mind…

Things that have changed:

THE IM­POR­TANCE OF SO­CIAL. Once an af­ter­thought, now clients and agen­cies see the value in prop­erly sup­port­ing their cam­paigns online, as well as main­tain­ing a con­stant pres­ence.

THE RISE OF IN­FLU­ENCERS. From email­ing blog­gers and hop­ing they would write about it for free to fully formed strate­gies, work­ing with online celebri­ties (and their agents) to reach new au­di­ences. THE SHIFT FROM OR­GANIC TO PAID. So­cial was once a free-for-all but now it’s a paid plat­form. Go­ing vi­ral once meant cap­tur­ing the zeit­geist but now means hav­ing the right media strat­egy.

IT’S NOT ABOUT AU­DI­ENCE-BUILD­ING, IT’S ABOUT REACH­ING PEO­PLE. How many “likes” does your Face­book page have? It doesn’t mat­ter. What was once the be-all and end-all is now a van­ity met­ric. Pay for your con­tent to be seen by the right peo­ple at the right time, like any other chan­nel.

My tips and gen­eral mus­ings:

BE SOME­ONE WHO PEO­PLE WANT TO WORK WITH. In a world of col­lab­o­ra­tion, you have to be an en­ergy that peo­ple want in the room. To para­phrase Bill Bern­bach, life’s too short to work with ass­holes.

DO THE JOB FIRST; THE TI­TLE WILL FOL­LOW. I was hired as a so­cial strate­gist, but the team needed di­rec­tion so I started act­ing like a head of depart­ment, devel­op­ing how we sell, run and grow so­cial. The Cor­ner recog­nised this and made it my job.

DO THE BOR­ING BITS FIRST. We all have bits of our job we dis­like but, in­stead of let­ting them bog you down or hang over you, just do them. If it takes ten min­utes, then do it now. Brain space is a rare com­mod­ity in this in­dus­try, so you have to cre­ate your own. Ideas need room to grow.

AN­DREW BLAKELEY Strate­gist and head of so­cial, The Cor­ner; Blakeley was fea­tured in Cam­paign’s Faces to Watch in 2012

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