Category Archives: Digital Media

Recruitment in the digital age


Recruiting for digital, social media and technology based roles is hard.  Really hard.  Mainly because the majority of agencies “turning digital” are doing it all wrong.  The most common mistakes I see?

  • No digital career path – they’re not here to be your stop gap for the next 5 years
  • No thought on structure – how is this one ‘digital’ person going to integrate into your existing structure (politically)?
  • No thought for culture – digital folks and social folks come from a very, very different culture than say, PR
  • No support – one ring them to rule them? No way.  That’s why Frodo won. Support them! Financially, with teams and with direction and mentoring

Recruiters – love them or hate them, they make a huge difference to businesses everywhere.  I recently got a chance to talk to Dorota Dopierala – founder and managing director of Nuclei – who has been supporting the growth of our agencies across the region. Here’s what Dorota had to say:

In a job market where traditional marketing is considered old school and digital is the new black, candidates are chasing the biggest and brightest roles with gusto. Fortunately for us, plenty of our candidates actually know what they are talking about, they are passionate and excited about what they do. And that’s the group our clients are after.

What are candidates looking for in their careers, not just their next job

For some it’s centred on a pay rise, stability, working hours or location. For others and generally the more passionate marketers it’s about their careers.

They want employers with access to resources, tools, data, global or regional reach, so you can share the experience. They want large, exciting accounts, which are prepared to invest or have innovation budgets, allowing them to try new things, be at the forefront of marketing and allow them to make the difference. They also want an employer which is forward thinking, companies that are one step ahead of the latest industry developments.

But what I believe they really want and need is true leadership. They want to learn, progress, be challenged and be looked after.

What are companies looking for in their first ‘digital’ hires

Aside from the regular requirements, such as their technical skills and proven experience in a similar environment, companies really want to see passion and potential for growth. They want someone who loves what they do and someone who will share that love with the wider business.

If this is their first digital person on board, they need to have a broad understanding of the whole picture and be able to help others to move into digital. Excellent communication skills, patience and ability to educate others are a necessity. It would be ideal if the candidate had either experience or “respect” for traditional disciplines as it would help them to implement the changes the company would be going through after moving towards and into digital.

What are experienced digital companies looking for in their next digital hires? 

This would really depend on the level of the hire. For juniors, digitally focused companies would like to see candidates who are passionate about digital and hungry to learn from others. Not just to learn about digital but to learn the company operations or the brand.

For senior roles, companies look for proven performance in previous roles. They still need to show hunger, passion and be able to help others grow. In a senior role you will be focussing on strategy, client retention and people management, so you are already expected to have these skills.

It’s much easier to verify senior candidates’ previous experience and skills, hence it’s often the junior or entry level roles where companies experience the most difficulty bringing on a new hire.

The hard part is how do you truly test whether someone is really passionate?

What are the challenges with all this 

Companies seem to struggle to define their unique offerings and or culture. They talk about their key clients, “work-life balance” or their brand. They seem to forget that their competitors use the same arguments.

Everyone has their individual needs and you need to listen to them. There is no one unique reason why people would move. It might be that candidates don’t really share their needs or the employer doesn’t care. A lot of employers seem to think that it’s all about paying more and just using the next resource who would take your job.

On the other hand employers struggle, as they want “ideal” employees. Everyone needs to have the perfect technical background, be an outstanding speaker and client manager, be able to educate others and have ‘passion’. They don’t think about what’s really important and what they could teach or coach. Maybe they are missing the true leaders in their current management?

What are your recommendations for candidates and companies alike 

Be flexible – in a candidate short market, finding the “perfect” candidate is not always an option. The same thing should be noted for candidates, maybe your “dream job” isn’t really the best option you can have. Talk to others in similar roles, maybe pick a good recruiter and ask about their opinion and trends in the industry?

Be patient – whether it’s waiting for the right candidate or waiting for the right job, take your time as you don’t want to be in the same position 3 months down the track you are currently in, simply because you jumped at the first option.

Understand your value – employers should be able to describe how they are different from their competitor. Candidates on the other hand should be very clear on what they can bring to the company.

Prepare for the interview – it’s a two way process, which often companies forget. It’s your chance to ask all the important questions, whether you are a potential employer or employee. And be passionate, candidates want to work for companies which love what they want!


Dorota Dopierala is the founder and managing director of nuclei recruitment, a specialist digital media recruitment agency based in Sydney


Reborn on Responsive Workflow Design

In my opinion, Reborn are one of the very hottest digital agencies in Australia.  Having worked with the guys on a number of projects, they absolutely know their shit. If you’re in “social” and don’t know a fucking thing about “digital”. This could be a good place to start.  It’s time practitioners, marketers and clients looked at the bigger picture.

Social media and digital strategy are not mutually exclusive, nor are they the same thing.  But more on that later.

3 eBooks for digitals, creatives and story-tellers

eBooks to read

Learning from the best

To celebrate my week of A Digital Perspective posts – i.e. posts written by people I’ve come to know and respect. Here’s 3 eBooks I’ve recently come across that have helped me do what we do, better. Continue reading

AIMIA Connect 2010

Banner for AIMIA Connect 2010

The Future of Digital Media – July 1

This year, AIMIA are hosting AIMIA Connect – a full day conference showcasing the latest thinking from Australia’s digital leaders.  Backing up their thoughts will be the most recent AIMIA Award winners – real case studies from the people who have bled for the campaigns.

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Branded Content

Branded Content

Notes from The Future of Branded Content

It’s been the foundation of so many social media campaigns I’ve run over the last 18 months, it has also been my prediction for 2010. Claudia Sagripanti (VentureOne) and AIMIA recently held a great forum looking at the future of branded content – not only in digital, but in other key mediums such as paid and free television.

The image above is one I took for CBS Interactive in 2008 and I thought was a great example of branded content – imagine what this would be like at Festivals.

Overall, the three top outtakes were:

  • TCO: Content & Context: planning for specifications, optimising outputs, and touch points.
  • 5 Gum: Facebook Advertising was key to the success of the Facebook Fan Page
  • Peta Pynta: Engagement is a sense of personal relevance
  • Steven Noble: On measurement: you need to be able to articulate why you chose or use these metrics

Below are some of my key outtakes.  My favourite is actually around defining engagement.

Clive Burcham

What I learned from Clive Burcham, head chief at The Conscious Organisation (where my digital bro Julian is also):

  • Brands need to be as interesting, and daring as they want their customers to be.
  • Great branded content
    • Needs to engage with people, needs to bring joy
    • Needs to entertain people
    • We over think things: don’t think outside the box.. think like there is no box
    • Great idea isn’t enough – it’s about delivery (digital is a form to deliver)
    • The path to success: isn’t about spend
  • Fail fast, learn quick do it again
  • The Rules of Engagement:
  1. Audience first
  2. Product stories need people stories
  3. Social idea: activation of the idea (gets 2 people talking online/offline)
  4. Content & Context: planning for specifications, optimising outputs, and touch points.
  5. Entertain and Involve: involve communities
  6. Distribution: earned, owned, bought
    • Influcners: Bloggers, ambassadors, editors
    • Brand Channels: Website, portfolio of social, databases, at event/Partners: digital, tv, sponsors, other
    • Paid: PureProfile etc
    • Paid: push
      • Sony:
        • Bloggers were from publishers?
  7. Consumption
    • If you want people to do something you have to make it easier for them to do it than for them not to do it.
    • Easy for interaction, remove barriers for entry
    • Make it shareable
  8. Success: what does success look like
    • How do we measure
  9. Gaff: will anyone care about it

5Gum – branded case study

Really loved this case study – both hearing from the brand and the agency (Nick Tubb, Digital Strategy, Clemenger), gave a really good over view.

  • TV used as the key channel to launch 5
  • Maximise frequency through digital extension
  • Develop a destination/platform for ongoing conversation
  • Play where the people are
  • It’s important to have a strong destination while being where your audience is
  • User journey must be consistent
  • Engage the community through the commission and aggregation of relevant content
  • Content plan:
  • We use different types of content across our communications, the best way to categroise them is the role the brand plays in each:
  • Authored – brand TVCs
  • Curated – commissioned artwork
  • Co-created – consumer remixes
  • Aggregated – 3rd party content
  • Relationships with content producers is key
  • Facilitating co-creation (with tools etc) was a big learning curve
  • Promo: it’s easy to fall into the “let’s do a promo trap” – need to think harder.
  • So how are we going to be different this year?
  • 2009 set a foundation, we have an active audience and a robust platform
  • 2010 is the year that we can begin to really engage the audience
  • Expect larger scale participation based ideas
  • Expect a different approach to commissioned artists
  • Above all, expect 5 to be different
  • 3 Key Groups: Creators, critics and crowds
  • “Facebook Advertising was key to the success of the Facebook Fan Page”
  • ROI was based on Market Share

Peter Pynta, Director of Sales and Marketing, Neuro-Insight

This guy, is mega-smart. Really enjoyed hearing a more scientific view on marketing, advertising and engagement. He even gives a great definition of engagement.

  • Commercials and content require context – driven by the ‘global’ and ‘rational’ state of the brand. Regarding messages.
  • Macro vs Micro experiences
  • Context is everything – the power of association (Peter Pynta, Neuro-Insight)
  • The medium is the message: allows for story-telling.
  • The power of content? [Disagree here - Isn’t it the power of opinion – TopGear have an established audience, it’s their expertise that they demonstrate that allows the to develop influence with their community.]
  • Content/context can augment a brand and suppress the competition.
  • It’s a non-linear approach, rather than reach & frequency
  • Engagement is a sense of personal relevance. The higher the engagement the more open the doorway to memory is.
  • Measurement:how do you bridge one channel to another (e.g. tv to online – online video predicted at 2015)

Steven Noble

Ever since meeting Steven in 2006, I’ve been continually impressed and inspired by his approach to marketing and digital media – in fact, in my opinion he’s one of the first people to understand social from a business context and a community context (that is driving social media to meet business outcomes and understanding technology is just an enabler).

  • Framework: is generally circumstantial
    • Engagement can be measured in a variety of ways:
      • Involvement: how many views, time spent etc.
      • Interaction: comments, etc.
      • Intimacy: Emotional reaction (sentiment)
      • Influence: did you talk about it, did you forward a page to a friend
  • You need to be able to articulate why you chose or use these metrics
  • Engagement is like love: we all know its there, we just define it different
  • Not about time on site:
    • Personal relevance = engagement
    • Not about being there all time, it’s about picking the moment (i.e. when engagement is highest and hence memory is at the highest)
  • Our goal is to increase ‘brand consideration’ or ‘purchase’ with the target demographic – obvious business impact that you can credibly target
  • Engagement will increase depending on the marketing mix for the particular content (i.e. signage mixed with broadcast etc.)

Branded Content: The Future of Digital

Future gazing at the future of social media and digital

So I’ve been doing a little crystal ball gazing. And here’s my current view. I’m going to put it into bullet points, so I can hold my rant back a little.

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Karla Courtney: Photos of Old People

This week marked the launch of – a very unique and moving site created by friend, Karla Courtney. Creative, smart and funny – I was eager to catch up with her about her brand new site.

When did you start taking photos of old people?

I tend to focus on people when I take photos anyways so I do have a decent back catalogue. It was on a recent trip to Buenos Aires that my husband and I decided to make a bit of a project of it.

How do old people react when you approach them?

We generally get really good reactions; a lot of people seem surprised that we would want to photograph them and really happy to chat. I never just take photos and run away; I always ask, have a chat, tell them a bit about what I am doing (though I don’t often say “hey, you’re old, I am taking photos for”) find out a bit about them, and if we are travelling, get some advice about their favourite spots and check them out.

Memorable moments: At a barber’s shop the owner directed an entire photo shoot of himself which was pretty funny

Ended up having lunch with one man; he didn’t speak English and my Spanish is rubbish but somehow found out that his wife had died of diabetes and got some advice on the best suburbs in Buenos Aires to visit and what the area was like 50 years ago

Met this one lovely couple that walked us to one of their favourite restaurants. We had one of our most memorable, and delicious, meals in Buenos Aires there (their photo is coming up soon).

What is about old people that captures you?

I just think they look cool and are cool. You have to admire people who have lived decades longer than you and are still out there kickin’ it.

Who takes the photos?

Right now me, with a few cameo appearances by my husband Scott Drummond and some coming up from our buddy Andy Miller. Am happy to take submissions :o)

What does the future hold?

More photos of old people, becoming old myself. I am also starting to knit (yes knit) some of the faces for a ‘knitted portraits’ project. Will give you some updates when those are done.

A Learning Experience: Expectations

What I learned this month

Expectations should not be born from ignorance. Education is fundamental. Communication is key.

Mr. Google

Mr Google

My uncle is lucky enough to live across the road from one of his best mates, Les. Les is one of those men with a wealth of life experience in just about everything. Everything except the internet. But that’s OK – he’s a bit older now, and has that ability to demonstrate what’s really important in life. Even if it is popping over the road to ask my uncle for the latest English Premiere League results.

It was a Friday morning, and stopping by for his morning coffee. Les asked “You’ll have to show me how you always find the score so quickly!”

My uncle smiled, popped his reading glasses on and replied “Oh it’s really simple, my daughter has shown me how to use Google. It’s just like asking a question.” Then he demonstrated.

The morning coffee was done, and Les continued about his day. The next evening, Les and his wife were coming by for dinner, and Les called out to my uncle as to what he was doing.

“Oh I’m just checking last night’s results on Google.”

“What?!” Les replied “Mr. Google works on Saturdays?!”

Where I want to be