Some books under monitors, recently
Posted from: Co. Dublin, Ireland
Posted from: Co. Dublin, Ireland
… after seeing how his book is being used. Don’t laugh. In 2015 there will be an iPad here instead.
Isn’t there two things – the self, which is almost a mysterious thing, or the soul, of a person; and the life he leads, and the life that he leads is to a certain extent made of the other people that he has experienced.
- John McGahern
Ok, so I am comparing a media presentation with an insights presentation (so perhaps this is my response to data deluge).
However, all I am saying is, more thought & analysis please:
And less ‘data set against an epic soundtrack’ please:
Will Self uses the phase ‘paradigms of imaginative experience’ within about 10 seconds of the start of this thought piece (which is one of four). But don’t let that put you off (he mentions Buffy later). This is the good stuff. It’s interesting that Self suggests the web is fragmenting, rather than unifying, which opposes the view which evangelists tend towards.
I also love his note: "people upload their imagination to the web". That to me seems very true (for reference, please login to Facebook).
I was recently talking with a forthcoming graduate from a 3rd level technology course. He was telling me that he had an offer to join a back office with a large financial institute, to work on ‘internal systems’.
Don’t do it my friend.
I advised him to join an agency instead. Why? Because I still think agencies offer a great experience opportunity for graduates. Ok, here’s the sell.
1. Exposure through variety: in a nutshell, agencies win and carry out project work for a roster of clients. That means variety. Depending on the agency, this could be research, planning, tactical campaigns, or technical initiatives like apps, direct marketing drives or events. At this stage in your career, you need variety, not a subsidised staff canteen. You’ll get the opportunity to try various projects. That’s important.
2. Setting the pace: Agencies are pacy. That is not short code for “disorganised” (if it is, you’re in the wrong agency). What it means is that you’ll be challenged to think and act quickly. In time, this will help you spot and take opportunities, such as being alive to creative or commercial ideas which need decisive and quick action now. No matter where you are in the future, learning this will stand to you. By comparison, larger organisations struggle with implementation and by necessity need to set up ‘accelerating frameworks’ like innovation labs (Google’s 20% time project is a good example).
3. Meritocratic values: if you do see an agency you’re interested in, contact someone in there and ask to meet them. Ask about their culture. Ask how they generate ideas. The best agencies are meritocracies, where the best idea has primacy, not the biggest ego (hint: if you don’t hear back from the agency you contact, that tells you everything you need to know).
4. The opportunity in the challenge: Agencies, like everyone else, are caught in a value challenge at present. This means focusing on doing work which is valuable, and making that value clear to clients (through quantifiable, measurable, valuable impact). On one side, ad agencies have shed people since 2008, with some estimates putting employment in the industry down up to 30%. On the other, a glance at prosperity.ie will give you a flavour of the types of roles which are in demand. Why does this matter? It matters because getting involved at a time of change is an opportunity to make a difference.
5. Mixing the work: As a new recruit, you’ll likely be involved in a mix of project and ongoing / maintenance work. This will provide you with a flavour of what it’s like to deal with legacy issues (implementing someone else’s plan, working with existing frameworks) as well as what’s required during the earlier phases of a project (discovery, planning). If what you’re offered looks like little more than an opportunity to ‘maintain’ someone else’s old work, look around; you should be able to do better.
I’m being necessarily vague about the types of graduates I’m talking to here, because I think the media / advertising / marketing industry needs a mix of skills.
Also by agency, I mean communications agencies, research agencies, media agencies, digital agencies and to some extent production specialists who create across digital, television, radio, mobile and social platforms.
Anyway the above is just my take. Perhaps it’s better to specialise in the long term. But for graduates, exposure and experience is surely what’s needed during these early days?
(Image credit: Olaf Blecker for the NYT - used because I have no idea what is going on in this photo, but it is entertaining)