manifesto writing

The end or the beginning?: Our manifesto for media, and what happens to it now…

manifesto_wordlea Wordle of the articles of the media manifesto that were written at Mumbrella360 on Tuesday

so it’s written.  one last huge thank you to Toby and Tara and everyone else at PHD … to the most awesome of group leaders Rob Pyne, Alistair Henderson, Howard Parry-Husbands, David Fish, Laura Peck, Georgia Thomas, Kerry Field, Toby Hack, Vicki Connerty, James Larman, Robert Leach, Mike Wilson, Olly Wilton and Eric Faulkner … and to everyone in the room on Tuesday who gave so much energy, insight, passion and belief to writing this:


What We Believe:

On People:

  • We believe everyone should have the time to, and take ownership for, learning and sharing knowledge.
  • We believe we need to start marketing the benefits of working in media & marketing across all industries.
  • We believe work and life balance should be a critical KPI.
  • We believe we need to re-assign value to creativity as a key component of EBIT.
  • We believe every business should define its own values around fun and what balance looks like.
  • We believe it is the fundamental duty of every manager to actively coach and mentor their people and encourage individual contribution without inhibition.

On Post-Broadcast Planning:

  • We believe measurement should move from opportunity to see to opportunity to influence.
  • We believe in mobilizing future decisions not justifying past ones. We should embrace intuition.
  • We believe that planning as we all know it needs to change and that the responsibility for planning must reside with the client.
  • We believe the best outcomes will come from more time and more TLC.
  • We believe in healthy, collaborative debate, as an essential start point of the planning process.

On Agency and Media Owner Relationships:

  • We believe transparency of information will deliver more effective results.
  • We believe in quarterly briefing to media owners to share key client objectives.
  • We believe that there are three people in this media marriage, and that that’s a good thing!
  • We believe there should be a minimum quality or standard for briefing from media agencies and responses from media companies.
  • We believe open access to information leads to better briefing and better work for clients.

On Social Media:

  • We believe social is not just a media, but a behaviour.
  • We believe that social must be an ongoing conversation, not a one-off campaign.
  • We believe we must keep educating clients about social media and what it can deliver.
  • We believe we should be using social data to inform every communications decision.
  • We believe social media can deliver success against traditional metrics but shouldn’t be judged by them.
  • We believe clients need to create a framework that allows them to select the agencies that are best placed to deliver business objectives and collaborate together.

On Client and Agency Relationships:

  • We believe that briefs should be developed in collaboration between clients and agencies.
  • We believe businesses must be clear and honest about what they want.
  • We believe that agencies have a responsibility to educate clients on how advertising works.
  • We believe that no one enjoys pitches.
  • We believe we need a new pitch process to identify the right people and the right ideas for the business.

On Data, Technology and Systems:

  • We believe self-regulation is in the industry’s best interest, but is too idealistic and therefore government needs to be involved.
  • We believe data language must be standardized so that agencies and clients can speak together to put consumers at the heart of planning.
  • We believe in joint ownership of data between consumers and industry for greater value, transparency and better quality data.

On Remuneration:

  • We believe we should replace the commission system.
  • We believe there should be a model that rewards time spent, output and results.
  • We believe we should foster transparency and education between agency and clients.
  • We believe solving this issue will attract the best talent and deliver the best results for clients.


it’s so strange and awesome seeing them up there…  the sentiment of some of the articles, like ‘We believe in mobilizing future decisions not justifying past ones’ is challenging, constructive and intuitive all at once.

it’s a diverse and broad list…  implementing some is merely changing your perspective, implementing others (‘We believe we should replace the commission system’ for example) are a much longer project.  some need evolving – the article of belief around social media measurement for example should, I expect, be developed to incorporate a preferred metric or set of metrics for social media investment.

not everyone will agree with all of the articles, but then that is rather the point.  they are there to act as a shared point of view, not a statement of the obvious.  what matters now is what we do with this list?  our manifesto can remain the tangible output of a Mumbrella360 session.  but it could also be a something that galvanises us more quickly into action…

there may still be some debate around whether or not we’re moving fast enough – this was certainly the sentiment of the conference panel yesterday in response to my question on inertia in the industry.  but if the above manifesto proves anything it’s that there is an appetite for change from across the industry

please add your comments and opinions to the question of ‘what happens now?’ to the comment stream on Mumbrella… what we do with our collective appetite for change, and what happens to our manifesto now, is up to us …

manifesto writing

Nearly there: The workstreams for our Manifesto, and a reminder – courtesy of Creative Sydney – of just why they’re so important

nearly there.  the above little effort begins to explore some of the topics that we'll be debating next week when we collaborate to write a manifesto for the media industry.  an manifesto that at the very least aligns us on what we believe, but which hopefully we set a direction for change…  change which I have never felt is more necessary…

listening to some of the talks at Vivid's Creative Sydney festival reminded me just how mainstream an evolved position of marketing has come.  observations like 'you can't equate marketing success to sales', or 'people don't want to watch advertising', or 'the power of community can do more for a brand than any billion dollar campaign' were made not by niche, off-the-wall marketers – but rather by people building brands like etsy, Intel and future shorts…

these brands and marketers are the new mainstream – the danger is that far from being ahead of the curve our industry's collective point of view gets left behind it.  on Tuesday we get a chance to debate and discuss that – across seven topics:

  • people – attracting, nurturing and retaining talent
  • remuneration – from transparency to media commissions, getting paid what we're worth
  • tech, systems and data – making the most of automation and trading desks, as well as asking 'who owns the data?'
  • agency and media owner relations – time for a new contract? expectations, behaviours and access
  • agency and client relations – education, expectations and getting paid for pitches
  • planning in a post-broadcast world – moving on the planning paradigm for an on-demand world
  • social media – the new gold rush or 21st Century snake oil?  the future or a temporary distraction?  and who should even plan it?

if you're at Mumbrella360 on Tuesday it would be great to see you and hear your voice added to those who will be seeing if we can start a journey towards genuine change.  whether we do or not is up to us, but perhaps being there and talking together, for now, will be enough.  and as the above video hopefully indicates, it should be fun too!  see you next Tuesday.

manifesto writing

Your debate starts here: Which topics should we debate at Mumbrella360’s Media Manifesto

so next week will see a session at Mumbrella360 write – live and in realtime – a change manifesto for the media industry.  it’s an experiment, and I’m nervous excited, but looking forward to it and really grateful to all the people who are giving their time and energy to take part…

several workstreams in the session will debate a different topic of interest … what those topics of interest are, is up to you…  this is the shortlist:

  • People – attracting, nurturing and retaining media talent
  • Remuneration – from transparency to media commissions, getting paid what we’re worth
  • Tech, systems and data – making the most of automation, trading desks and information, as well as debating who owns the data
  • Agency and Media Owner relationships – is it time for a new contract? Expectations, behaviours and access in the 21st Century
  • Agency and Client relationships – education, expectations and getting paid for pitches
  • Planning in a post-broadcast world – moving the planning paradigm on for an on-demand world
  • Procurement, pitch consultants and auditors – necessary evil or welcome umpires?
  • Content creation – specialist silo or everyone\’s remit?
  • Who owns the big idea? – who is best placed to generate, lead and deliver the big ideas for brands?
  • Accountability – at what point are we drowning in data to prove results at every step of the process?
  • Creative Agency relationships – as the turfs merge together again, who should be doing what and how do we get the most out of each other?
  • Social media? – the new gold rush or 21st Century Snake Oil, the future or a temporary distraction? And who should even plan it?

please take five mins to jump to the Mumbrella website to vote for which five you would most like to see discussed and debated next Tuesday; the debate … your debate, starts here.

conferencing, debating, manifesto writing

Making a stand: Why I’m asking the Australian Media industry to write a manifesto for change

so this is a little bit exciting.  the above is me chatting to Tim Burrowes of Mumbrella about a project for the Mumbrella360 conference in June.  it came about as a result of conversations over the course of last year with lovely and amazing Rob and Uma about how everyone knows that what we do is getting tougher and more compromised but we just seem to be able to act collectively on what to do about it.

so hopefully we can change that…  you can read the full write up of what the ambitions are via the article on Mumbrella, but I wanted to capture why it’s so important to me here … because I genuinely love this industry.  I genuinely love what great connections planning thinking can do for brands and businesses.  I love the creativity, and the embracing of technology, and the social observation, and the meeting of art of science.  and I love the people, who give a damn beyond reason about what they do and how they do it.

but in ten years of doing this I worry that I’ve watched a world change faster then we have.  I fear that I’ve seen the commoditisation not only of what we plan, but of how we plan it.  I’ve watched as brands cling to a belief in the ‘tried and tested’ way of doing things as it crumbles around them.  and I’ve listened to a thousand people ask questions about the future without offering a solution for the present.

that’s why I’m asking us to create this manifesto.  a manifesto for change. one that we all agree on. one that we can signal to everyone who works in our industry.  one that we can signal to clients.  one that frames the conversations between agencies and media owners.  a manifesto that galvanises our industry, defends our margins and energises our people.

I hope that I’m not alone.  I hope that there are enough people who give enough of a damn about what we do to work with me over the next eleven weeks to galvanise us into action…  because the commoditisation, marginalisation, and lack of automation and cooperation won’t change unless we want them to.  our present, let alone our future, is in our own hands…