Sunday, December 13, 2009

MIA. Nope Just Been Busy... Student Industry Invasion. Chuck Porter. End of the Semester!


There is always the need to update the blog. Keep regular and relevant. I seem to have a busy "period".
So what has kept me from my "updates" and "views"... well my young "AdLanders", the future of the industry... they have been keeping me busy.

It's been a very busy past few weeks, putting the wraps on the end of another semester. Senior students busy getting their portfolios ready fro review this week before they make their way into the final semester. Advice is limitless, coming from every direction.

Part of my career class this fall required the students to do "informational" interviews with industry personal in the area of their career direction. They invaded almost every agency whether big or small. It is amazing once again how effortless, easy and how quickly the kindness of the industry took to hosting these young "AdLanders".

My thanks is endless to you all that gave your time to answer their questions and lend advice as they get ready. Paying forward is the greatest lesson learned. Many returned noting that they will give back the same way in the future. These informational interviews lay the foundations for further career planning, portfolio building and the internships they will all be seeking in the new year.

On Monday November 30th, I had the privilege to host Chuck Porter of CP+B here in Toronto at the MDC Corporate offices and a groups of 18 of my seniors.

Chuck and the entire CP+B family has been nothing short of amazing whenever I ask for anything. Katie Kempner arranged for this unique meet and greet while Chuck was in town for the nextMedia Conference where he was a keynote speaker. I will post a complete review of the day as he offered his unique and humorous perspective on the current and future state of the business. He answered the students many questions, his views on how to prepare for theirs careers, what the digital world will mean to their future and even was kind enough to present me with a framed poster of the early days of CP+B creative department (shown on the right - Check the young Alex Bogusky front and center).

Chuck has left a very positive impression and feeling of hope on my students, "the next 18-24 months may be the most exciting and new opportunities for juniors the industry ahs ever seen'. One question that was on the minds of my students is the future of "crowdsourcing",  Chuck dispelled some of the myths and spoke of the realities it will have in the future. "Crowdsourcing may be the biggest thing since radio, imagine the possibilities for brand/product development, creative insights and audience involvement". Of course the "crowdsourcing" debate will only grow for years to come and will have a great impact on our industry and the employment opportunities for the young "AdLanders".

This turned out to be another great highlight for the students this semester and was also a great opportunity for Chuck to "dry run" part of his presentation he gave the next day at nextMedia.
Once again, many thanks to CP+B for their continued support of my efforts and the growth of our program as the leader in advertising education in Canada.

nextMedia Conference
I got to spend Day Two of the conference held at the DesignXChange in Toronto courtesy of Achilles Media. They were kind enough to hire a small army of my students as volunteers. The Tuesday was an amazing experience, highlighted by Chuck Porter presenting his thoughts on the future of digital advertising. Titled "“Digital Darwinism – Survival of the Smartest”, he offered countless CP+B client experiences that has been innovating and groundbreaking. During the Q&A, someone asked about "Darwinism" and how could he compare the work to such a serious topic... "next question".

Tony Chapman of Capital C wants to know what log you’re bringing to the social media campfire. In other words, if you’re going to be a part of the social media world, do you have a reason to contribute and belong? Complicated questions, but we hold the answers. Paying "attention is the oxygen of marketing". But before you get anyone's attention, you need to move from shouting loud to listening generously. He noted "be as transparent and honest as possible, because if you’re not, you will be found out".

I had the pleasure of adding some "new thinking" that will be taken back to my lectures courtesy of Tara Hunt, author of The Whuffie Factor who presented that instead of having a personal brand, you develop a "personality". Dare to be imperfect, admit your mistakes, expose your passions, challenge yourself to try something new when you start to feel pidgeon-holed or stagnant, and most importantly, read, listen and open your mind to people who think different than you. She added, "Instead of having a message, have a purpose, and know the difference between the two". Believe me when I say Tara is a brilliant and fresh new thinker... and her boots, total fashionista. Her full presentation is available here.

A great day. Gotta add a personal note, one of my alumni the very talented Lava Nosenkis of Cundari Toronto and her own blog AdGirlandTechNerd introduced me to another amazing lady Trina Boos who created an amazing advertising web community called AdLounge. Had dinner with these two amazing ladies, and clearly the future is very bright.

Just a quick note on the weekly webcast on FearlessQA hosted by Alex Bogusky. Each week my career class tutorial session starts with the viewing of FearlessQA and we have been submitting a stream of questions, many of which get answered. One of the highlights was a few weeks back when the show featured Colin Drummond, VP, Director of Culture and Business Insights on the topic of "Being a Student of Culture". This turned out to be a great learning experience and exposure to "strategic thinking". Being a "student of advertising" is the cornerstone of my teaching philosophy, being a "student of culture" is way beyond just "trendspotting"... the webcast was eye opening and overall a great learning experience. I want to say thanks all my students for your awesome questions, many that were answered on air and others answered via email later by Colin. I strongly encourage you to watch the broadcast (linked here).

That's it for now. Back to marking of personal branding/marketing plans, final assignments and portfolios.

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