Archive for the ‘Generation Collaboration Gaps’ Category

Interview: HR Director in mid-size full service shop
April 25, 2008

This is another interview from my trip to Chicago. This HR director was extremely helpful, and told us about what it’s really like to manage the infamous Millennials.


On Millennials in the workplace and the generation gap…

  • First, it’s important to know each Millennial is an individual and there are exceptions to generational trends. But the HR director challenges Millennials (new hires) to:
  • Not presuppose more than they really know.
  • Respect authority in the workplace; don’t think your judgment is the only one that counts.
  • Know that skills and knowledge of the industry are not a substitute for years of actual experience.
  • Be humble. In the past, interns were lucky to be in the office and willing to help on anything. Now they are too self-assured and act as if the agency is privileged to have them.
  • Pay attention to cues in the office that suggest certain expectations or protocol. Just because the culture is laid-back and open, doesn’t mean the employees don’t obey certain unwritten rules. For example, when an office door is closed, it means the person is requesting privacy, and should not be bothered unless the matter is urgent.

In an effort to meet Millennials’ need for more feedback, this agency has implemented a more frequent performance review schedule (every 3 months). (more…)

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Interview: Doug Wyatt, Strategic Digital Media Specialist at Mediacom (Chicago)
April 15, 2008

 

 

Doug is a TexasMedia Ex from the University of Texas working as a Strategic Digital Media Specialist at MediaCom in Chicago, IL. His job involves educating clients about digital media and consulting with the agency’s digital media planners about campaign strategy and integration.

I interviewed Doug during a trip to Chicago this Spring. Here’s what he had to say:

On collaboration…

  • In the digital world, nothing happens without media planners and creatives constantly collaborating.
  • Trust and loyalty are the keys to agencies education their clients on the importance and workings of digital media.
  • A lot of agencies still believe that media agencies are just buying and planning the vehicles for creative. Clients tend to have more respect for media-only agencies than creative boutiques do, and are starting to demand that digital creative bend to the media executions, instead of the other way around.

(more…)

Interview: Search Director at Digital Media arm of a global ad agency – Chicago office
April 8, 2008

I recently took a trip to Chicago to interview some industry professionals about how the gaps are affecting the Chicago ad market. This Search Director had a lot to say about teamwork and collaboration, and how young talent is viewed in the industry:

On teamwork and collaboration…

  • The best teams are those where people have complementary skill sets. It makes no sense to have people collaborating unless each person brings something unique to the table.
  • It can be frustrating working with other departments. Media people want to be innovative, and a lot of good ideas hit the floor before they’re sold to the client because everything goes through filters at agencies. Direct media relationships with the client are always favorable.
  • As online media is becoming more important, traditional media is struggling to stay relevant. The agencies that are doing really well right now are the ones that are tailoring their strategy to digital media. Online media is a lot different than traditional – offline strategy doesn’t always translate in the online world, but the agencies that are pulling it off are really successful.
  •  The elephant in the room is clients – they hire multiple agencies looking for collaboration, but what it really creates is competition.
  • Agencies don’t always do what’s best for the brand, most of the time they do what’s best for the client relationship first.   (more…)

Part 2: Generation Y agency competing with Boomers
April 7, 2008

We are groups of overlapping packets: we are ‘independents’ that can work together, but not always under the same roof.” -Carlos Casa

Carlos and I have been team mates in a project before. We were a part of a team that had to build, market and promote a product built for the iPod. We had to make a business plan and marketing plan, figure out prices, promotions-the works. So one year ago when Carlos announced that he and his brother were going to launch their new advertising agency, Azul & Green, I was not surprised.

Although Carlos has some involvement building a business and an idea of the advertising business, he had to build A&G from scratch, learning how to run, pitch, innovate, and keep business himself. Today, A&G is made of four people: Engelbert, Carlos, Allen, and Shiann. Engelbert handles mostly the day to day operations as well as the buying for the business and clients. Allen is their creative that has some industry experience. Shian and Carlos are more of the account planner roles: researching, talking with clients, helping creatives, etc.

“The difference now is that in the past, you had to have an office,” says Carlos.

A&G is based out of the Casas’ home, but each employee working wherever they please. They come together when they need everyone’s help, input or cooperation. They heavily rely on phone calls and e-mails to keep up to date on status and news.

Azul & Green is an agency that is relevant to one of Adbridge’s core discussions about generations and the industry. A&G is a Generation Y agency where it did not matter how much money they started with, they were going to make their own waves–and they have.

Azul & Green has more challenges but even more opportunities.

A&G is anything but short on great, innovative ideas for their clients-their challenges lie within the budgets. They might have a great idea for a billboard but the affordability of that vehicle compared to others makes it just out of reach. Carlos says they do quite a lot of collateral and newspaper within the Hispanic sector. “A lot of the time, Spanish speaking businesses will advertise in Spanish magazines and the creative will be all wrong.” Azul & Green is in a holding pattern at the moment until Carlos graduates. “We don’t mention that most of us at A&G have not graduated yet but only one client has asked and he was impressed.”

There has been opportunities and new windows opened to A&G that run horizontally to growing the agency including A&G Publishing services. The publishing division develops Spanish targeted educational posters for teachers; available via their website http://www.azulgreenpublishing.com

(more…)

Interview: HR rep at Digital Media arm of a global ad agency
March 31, 2008

AdBridge caught up with this Recruiter to talk about interdepartmental collaboration and how his HR department is adapting to the generation gap in the workplace:

On collaboration… 

  •  It depends on the client and the holding company more than anything else. Two agencies will struggle to collaborate if they are owned by competing holding companies or if the client has multiple people managing multiple agency relationships.
  • Internal collaboration between departments is tricky because employees are over-extended. When departments fail to collaborate, everyone loses, but it happens mostly because people are too pre-occupied with their own projects and deadlines to be able to contribute to a colleague’s as well. Territory battles are a reality, but stress is the bigger factor. 

On Millennials…

  •  They tend to do well in digital because their co-workers are closer in age.
  • HR departments really are actively working to adapt agencies to generational differences 
  •  Millennials want everything too soon. They expect to get promoted quickly because they perform their duties well, but don’t understand the other factors at play.
  •  Millennials tend to “top out quickly” because they lack management skills and have a hard time delegating day-to-day responsibilities. Promotions are about putting employees in charge of people, not just projects.
  • Ad agencies are structured with intermediary job titles (Assistant Planner > Planner > Supervisor > Director) so that employees can gradually prepare for management roles. Hierarchy is an unfortunate side-effect of that model.
(more…)

Part 1: Generation Y Agency Playing in a Big Pond
March 26, 2008

About a year ago, a peer of mine, Carlos Casas, and his brother decided to start their own advertising agency in Austin, TX. What resources did they have?
Ideas, ambition and business know-how.

Carlos is a Hispanic 22 year-old advertising major at the University of Texas at Austin: College of Communications, His brother, Englebert (yes his real name) is 32 years-old. Carlos brings a combination of business sense, a love-hate relationship with advertising, and a passion for creative and ideas. While Carlos mettles in a little bit of everything within the agency, Englebert takes care of more of the day-to-day operations: ordering, purchasing print, etc. as well as the finances of the agency. Together they began Azul & Green Advertising; a small start-up shop by a Generation X & Y state-of-mind.

About two months ago, Cecelia Stewart and I had a conversation with Joel Greenberg of “Friends Talking Podcast” about how differently Boomers, Generation X and Ys work. Through speaking with Joel, we realized the ‘gap’ that exists between these generations as they work together (or try too!). The Baby Boomer generation is all about getting things organized, divvying up the work to be done, assuring everyone is doing their part. Today in the advertising industry, these are the executives running the agencies. Generation X are a few of the start up companies, trying to do what the big agencies do with little money. They don’t care how big or small they are, they know they can do it better. The Generation Y agencies have to be the most passionate and collaborative group because they have to be. They don’t care whether they start with a dime in the bank, they are mostly concerned about getting everyone’s input and working together.

This is an introduction into the conversation of “Gaps Between Generation Collaboration”. Over the next few posts, I will be discussing an interview I had with Carlos Casas about Azul & Green (A&G), and his experiences diving into an industry before he’s even received a degree in it. The most fascinating thing about A&G is that it is made up of about five people, five clients, and they are making due.

“We are groups of overlapping packets: we are ‘independents’ that can work together, but not always under the same roof.” Carlos Casas

-Jennifer Hallabough