Hang on a second.

September 6, 2011

I remember doing a summer job during college working with foreign kids. I had to organise all their social and cultural activities – had to organise their trips to Glendalough, Dublinia, the National Museum on Kildare Street. Good way to get to see some of your own country and culture, now that I think about it. Good practice for being a media planner for that matter. Good for chatting up Spanish and Italian girls too, but that’s for another blog post…

hang on a second
 

You know that joke MCs make at the start of a comedy gig: ‘If you’ve got a mobile, please turn it off now, the gig is about to start – and if you’ve got a pager – what the hell?  Are you some kind of 80s drug dealer?’  Well, I’d a pager for this summer job – it was very early days for mobiles.  So I’d be paged and then have to go to the office (where there was a desk phone) or find a payphone, to find out what I was being paged for.  And I remember thinking – if I’d a mobile, I could take over the world.  There’s nothing I wouldn’t be able to do.

Then you get a mobile and you get a proper job and you’re not hunting for payphones and you really can get stuff done.

What we need now though is time.  Take talented people and give them time – good things will happen.  Give them what they need: time, space and a problem to solve.  I hate the cliché people use in describing the importance of their people – ‘people are our greatest resource’.  Kind of, yeah, but you have to give them the time and space they need.  Lead them, train them, give them confidence, inspire them and then give them the time they need.

A friend of mine was saying in journalism school there’s a ratio of newsworthiness for the lives of different nationalities.  It’s pretty reprehensible and tasteless, but in pure newsworthiness terms, probably true.  One American life, equal, 10 European lives, equals 100 second world lives, equals 1,000 third world lives and so on – or something like that.  There’s also a chart that’s yet to be written that equates marketing or media budget, with the time of talented people.  What’s better spent, an extra €100,000 on media, or a few more hours of talented marketers working together on a problem?  Throw money at it or spend time and energy together on it?

I think we’ve got things the wrong way around.  I think we’re far more careful with our money than our time – and I think our time is more valuable.  Should a media person be saying that?  I don’t know, but I think an advertising person should.

John

 

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