I spent a day with some of the brightest young minds in advertising last week.
All were fabulous, capable, intelligent, hard-working ‘go-getters’. All were running some of the better social media campaigns in Australia.
Some were from boutique agencies doing really cool stuff, others had evolved to freelancers, some were in-house marketers, while others were clinging lovingly to the structural ropes at some of Australia’s biggest agencies.
All were social coordinators, social leaders, the agencies’ ‘social experts’.
Yet, throughout the course of the day, I felt myself go through all the stages of grief.
I took the next day off to get my head back into production mode and (as luck would have it) I was surrounded by social marketing and social media practitioners who also shattered my new media soul into a thousand pieces when they started telling me How2 Social through buzz phrases, which included (but painfully was not limited to) ‘personal brand’ in the same breath as ‘authenticity’ and ‘social measurement’ as Facebook metrics.
Over two separate days in two completely different environments, my grief was confounded.
In the short space of two days, it became abundantly clear that current practice is merely a hybrid of the platform ‘certified’ sales pitches. A regurgitation and adaption of the papers we were writing and the presentations we were giving back in 2012…
OVER FIVE YEARS AGO!
(and yes, I know I’m screaming, but seriously…?!)
Discussions around social media have traditionally been driven by the available technology, or social community management issues that have arisen through the event of participation.
Traditionally, advertising and media agencies have worked behind a thin veil of creative agency presenting ‘the solution’ as the requisite bridge between product/ sterile company and desired consumer.
Sadly however, a large percentage of Advertising, PR, Communications and Media Agencies are entrenched in outdated business practice when it comes to production for and distribution on social.
If these company representatives are anything to go by, even the agencies who have re-badged their Art Director to Creative Lead are missing the point somewhat entirely!
This only compounds my grief as Australian agencies should be leading the global creative charge in this space (and no don’t point me to the self-congratulatory industry statues corporations spend millions to win each year).
Creatives have the opportunity to lead, rather than dwell.
Directors have the opportunity to integrate and showcase, rather than merely direct traffic.
Oh.. and to the Preditors (the hybrid being that is both producer and editor) let’s make a concerted effort to lose the jargon.
It’s not about what you call yourself, it’s what you say and do that drives impact.