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Ideas

Adland is Missing Out on Talent

Adland is Missing Out on Talent

Tracey Barber

Tracey Barber

May 17, 2019

After volunteering at refugee camps in Greece, the Havas Creative Group CMO reflects on her learnings.

"The difference isn’t talent or drive – it’s circumstance."

Campaign

By Tracey Barber
Global CMO, Havas Creative
May 17, 2019

 

Our recent visit to refugee camps in Greece originated out of a simple idea, and one that runs through Havas: less talk, more “do.” We decided to volunteer because we wanted to do something – anything – tangible in the face of such a devastating humanitarian crisis and we came home with a far greater understanding of the complexity of the situation. But what transpired was more challenging, inspiring and – to my surprise, or perhaps ignorance – creative than I’d anticipated.

Each camp houses more than 1,000 people in rudimentary metal containers. The majority have fled terrible circumstances; all are seeking asylum. Most are under 21. Syrians, Iraqis, Congolese and more live side by side in extremely basic conditions, coexisting through necessity despite a plethora of cultural differences and with a narrative none of us can begin to imagine.

I have no desire to write what would be a crass “five things marketers can learn from…” piece – but some of the things we realized are worth highlighting.

We went out with a specific brief: to help the refugees craft their CVs and asylum applications, and to highlight – to the women specifically – the level of opportunity available to them. What actually transpired was a series of interactive workshops where we learned as much from the attendees as we hope we were able to teach them, and sessions that became dynamic presentations, hotbeds of debate, complex and demanding Q&As and what amounted to, by any standards, show-stopping pitches.

It reminded me that pitching is not just a business (or new-business) aptitude, but a fundamental life skill – and one we should be equipping all of our people with, not just the most senior.

It also brought home that these kids (and they are kids, the same age as this “next generation of talent” we’re all looking to attract) don’t just want to be told what to do – they want to show what they have to offer. If they were able to force us to sit up and listen in this unlikeliest of environments, more fool us if we don’t do the same at home.

I met young women whose ability to articulate their point of difference would rival the expertise of the most seasoned strategist building a brand’s USP. The journey from camp to asylum status can take years, and these women were honing their skills and delivering succinct rationale of what they can offer and why, articulated better than many creative briefs I have seen.

 

Read the full article

"The difference isn’t talent or drive – it’s circumstance."

Campaign

By Tracey Barber
Global CMO, Havas Creative
May 17, 2019

 

Our recent visit to refugee camps in Greece originated out of a simple idea, and one that runs through Havas: less talk, more “do.” We decided to volunteer because we wanted to do something – anything – tangible in the face of such a devastating humanitarian crisis and we came home with a far greater understanding of the complexity of the situation. But what transpired was more challenging, inspiring and – to my surprise, or perhaps ignorance – creative than I’d anticipated.

Each camp houses more than 1,000 people in rudimentary metal containers. The majority have fled terrible circumstances; all are seeking asylum. Most are under 21. Syrians, Iraqis, Congolese and more live side by side in extremely basic conditions, coexisting through necessity despite a plethora of cultural differences and with a narrative none of us can begin to imagine.

I have no desire to write what would be a crass “five things marketers can learn from…” piece – but some of the things we realized are worth highlighting.

We went out with a specific brief: to help the refugees craft their CVs and asylum applications, and to highlight – to the women specifically – the level of opportunity available to them. What actually transpired was a series of interactive workshops where we learned as much from the attendees as we hope we were able to teach them, and sessions that became dynamic presentations, hotbeds of debate, complex and demanding Q&As and what amounted to, by any standards, show-stopping pitches.

It reminded me that pitching is not just a business (or new-business) aptitude, but a fundamental life skill – and one we should be equipping all of our people with, not just the most senior.

It also brought home that these kids (and they are kids, the same age as this “next generation of talent” we’re all looking to attract) don’t just want to be told what to do – they want to show what they have to offer. If they were able to force us to sit up and listen in this unlikeliest of environments, more fool us if we don’t do the same at home.

I met young women whose ability to articulate their point of difference would rival the expertise of the most seasoned strategist building a brand’s USP. The journey from camp to asylum status can take years, and these women were honing their skills and delivering succinct rationale of what they can offer and why, articulated better than many creative briefs I have seen.

 

Read the full article

Tracey Barber is a senior marketing expert specializing in business development, client growth and pitch management.

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