Temerlin faculty members were recently asked what they want from Creative Santa for the holidays. Check out their hilarious responses below!
Written by: Peter Noble
Advertising is a team sport. And being successful in this arena isn’t just a matter of having ninja-like InDesign skills or being near-clairvoyant in media planning. Success is built on a foundation of basic personal characteristics and abilities.
Having coached 10 Ad Teams that competed in the National Student Advertising Competition (including two National Championship winners), I’ve found three essentials that contribute to personal and professional success — Focus, Accountability, and Communication. Each of these is important on its own, and when combined, they become a powerful base for navigating the world of teamwork.
It’s very easy to get distracted in today’s multi-screen, information/entertainment-rich environment. Multitasking isn’t the answer. It simply doesn’t work. When you divide your attention among several tasks at the same time you can’t effectively focus on the task at hand. Multitask planning is the solution to juggling multiple obligations. Prioritize and plan your work to fully engage in each individual area. Focusing on what’s important at the time allows you to give your work the full attention that’s necessary to do your best work within the required time allotment.
Trust and confidence on teams are the glue that holds everything together. If you accept an assignment, you have to deliver. Your and your team’s success depends on it. Delivery is measured both as a process and a product. It means that you get the work done in an efficient, friction-free manner, you submit high quality work, and you absolutely get it done by or before the agreed deadline. When you own the work and you deliver on quality and timeliness, you earn the team’s trust and confidence.
It’s ironic that despite the fact that we’re in the business of communication many of the common problems in a team environment are rooted in miscommunication. Effective communication starts with a clear understanding of what needs to get done, how it’s to be accomplished, and when it needs to be completed. Once that’s established, communication throughout the process of the work is essential. Simple things like asking for additional resources and providing updates on milestone events can ensure success.
Focus, accountability, and communication aren’t the only elements of success in this business, but mastery in those three basic areas will give you an edge in this fast-paced competitive environment. The same benefits apply to success in life.
Dr. Nicolas Sternsdorff-Cisterna, Assistant Professor, Anthropology, presented his work “Is this safe to eat? Food safety and risk after Fukushima” on Friday at the TAI Research Brown Bag. The participants were taken through the tragedy that struck Japan after a devastating earthquake, nuclear explosion and tsunami put people, food, soil and water at risk of radiation. Professor Sternsdorff-Cisterna discussed consumers’ reactions to food purchases and eating habits along with government messaging working to alleviate consumer and citizen concerns.
The intent of the brown bag luncheon is to bring together faculty members to present work they are doing in an effort to engage collaboration as well as offer ideas in moving the research area forward.
Attendees included Visiting Professor Yuting Li, Head of the Advertising Department, Guangdong University of Finance & Economics, China as well as colleagues from across campus. Often the work is related to research, but can also involved creative works and industry endeavors. Our next brown bag will be in December. Keep your eye out for highlights from December’s presenter!
By: Alice Kendrick
When I first moved to Texas, a friend introduced me to the iconic institution Whataburger. First, I learned I had to make a basic choice: theJustaburger or the Whataburger.
Really? “Justa”?????? I thought why settle for Justa when you could have WHATA???
The Justa mentality won’t get you very far in the field of advertising. The notion of merely finishing a task or producing acceptable work is at odds with the ‘always on,’ iterative and optimization-seeking nature of the business. Advertising’s ever-changing, highly competitive and creative environment rewards the Whata’s — the enterprising — those who don’t consider completion of assignments as the end goal but rather strive to make the work better and best by repeatedly (iteratively) going above and beyond the proverbial call of duty.
My favorite definition of enterprising comes from the Oxford Dictionary:
“Having or showing initiative and resourcefulness”. Whata combination, right?
The example they give is “Some enterprising teachers have started their own recycling programs.” So, the teachers were not asked to initiate recycling programs; they did it on their own.
Initiative and resourcefulness – going above and beyond (and often in the face of shrinking budgets) – are traits that are highly valued in advertising, for it is the new, great, integrated, efficient, clever, impactful idea or way of doing something better that wins the day, the account, the prize. If you are satisfied with simply doing something per instructions, being a professional marketing communicator might not be the place for you. I was an ‘A’ student in college, but my first internship employer gave me a wake-up call about initiative when in his evaluation he wrote that although my work was of high quality, I was not enterprising. I actually had to look it up in the dictionary, as I thought the word involved making money. It means a lot more than that. That’s all I needed to hear, and I am forever grateful that he offered that candid assessment. I have never looked back.
I draw an enormous amount of inspiration as a teacher and researcher from our fantastic TAI alumni, many of whom are incredibly enterprising. A recent example is the award-winning advertising campaign for the movie The Book Thief, masterminded by our own
alumna Julie Rieger (’91), EVP-Media of 20th Century Fox in Los Angeles. Never one to be satisfied with a Justa-campaign, Julie flexed her enterprise as a student when she led SMU’s 1991 AAF National Student Advertising Competition team to its first national ranking.
In an effort to optimize the media budget for The Book Thief, Julie made history by negotiating the purchase of two consecutive blank pages in the New York Times, the second of which simply offered the movie’s URL www.wordsarelife.com. Arresting. Innovative. Shareworthy. On strategy given the movie’s message. Resourceful. Enterprising. You can learn more about how this Whata-promotion and our Whata-alum here.
So, how can students be more enterprising? Before class, not only read the chapter but also find your own examples of what’s being discussed. And share. If you really want to shock your prof, send an unsolicited (enterprising) email with a link to an article you think she might find interesting. This semester, two of my 57 students did that. Yes, I noticed. Don’t just fulfill the expectations for an assignment. Blow. It. Out. Of. The. Water. We will notice. So will your internship supervisors when you use your down time to create an annotated bibliography of current research and thinking on a subject related to an agency account. Knock their proverbial socks off. They will notice. And they will later write you a Whata-recommendation.
Just by writing this I’m getting my enterprise on. We may need to start a movement here. #upforwhata? #beyondwhata? #bethewhata? #taiwhata?
Dr. Alice Kendrick is a professor in the Temerlin Advertising Institute, SMU. The best way to reach her is email@example.com.
By Cheryl Mendenhall, Senior Lecturer
Here at the Temerlin Advertising Institute we stress the importance of responsibility in advertising, whether that is professional responsibility, social responsibility, or the everyday choices we make in our field. My focus is in graphic design, and I wanted to share with you some of the many ways design can be used for the greater good. It can be small things like using recycled paper or soy ink in a project or something big like designing a way for people to communicate in health care situations where there may be a language barrier.
Many non-profits struggle to get their message heard; we as designers can help develop strategies and create materials to accomplish their unique goals.
You may know immediately what cause speaks to you, but if not, there are many resources available to help you find a connection. American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) has a program called Design for Good described as “a movement to ignite, accelerate and amplify design-driven social change.” On their website they showcase inspiring projects and provide a wide variety of resources including ways for connecting designers and non-profits, groups that provide learning opportunities, and sources for funding and support grants for your self-initiated projects.
Or how about this? What do you get when you combine creatives, non-profits and a super quick deadline? A fantastic idea for helping out non-profits – a 24-hour createathon. Now that’s a GOOD reason to pull an all-nighter.
Here are some projects I find interesting:
I began working with non-profits early in my career as a way to give back when I didn’t have the money to donate. I continue to do it now because it brings me joy.
How we use our skills is up to us. I encourage you to find something that speaks to your heart and share your skills.
Having the privilege to teach in The Temerlin ADVERTISING Institute, I was thinking about my current graduate course, Consumer Engagement Strategies, and the concept of “advertising.”
After much thought, I simply no longer believe that advertising is a particularly relevant or needed construct to describe the way marketing communications is currently practiced.
Advertising. Public Relations. Social Media. Corporate Communications. Sales Promotion. Media. Where does one end and the other begin?
Each of the above distinctions are a product of a bygone era that are quickly eroding. In my mind the quicker the better! These terms describe particular job functions that should no longer be the focus of our attention. Rather we must focus broadly on the purpose of communicating; building relationships.
For example, advertising has often been defined as, “…the nonpersonal communication of information usually paid for and usually persuasive in nature about products, services or ideas by identified sponsors through the various media.”(Bovee, 1992, p. 7). Such a definition tells what advertising was, but not why it was used. And it certainly does not capture what modern advertising agencies do…they build relationships.
Until 2012, the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) defined public relations as “helping an organization and its publics adapt mutually to each other.” A modern definition suggests, “Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.”
But these mutually beneficial relationships are not the exclusive domain of PR or any communications discipline. All of the above traditional communications disciplines define different processes to communicate with those with whom they interact. People in advertising use terms like customers, targets, segments, and opinion leaders. People in public relations call them stakeholders. Social media specialists look for evangelists and influencers.
All marketing communications [should] have the goal of building relationships. Building relationships requires engaging with people. The best way to engage people is to serve them, provide them something of value.
Messages are valuable to the degree they are relevant to another party. Messages provide value by either informing or entertaining. Whether the end result of the interaction is transactional or something longer-term, serving people should be the goal.
Serving people solves problems, creates good will, and builds relationships.
Is this advertising, public relations, sales promotion, or …?