Speak up, hang up and cheap personalisation

Share This Post

This weeks interviewee is Katy Ennis-Hargreaves, Creative Director at content & production agency Cry Havoc. She is also the owner of Hello Katy. Her career over the last 14 years has seen her work on a huge range of clients both superbrands and start-ups. She specialises in brand and packaging.

Biggest fuck up?

There have been a few specific corkers. Like the holy-shit-we-didn’t-hang-up-from-the-client-call, resulting in a 23-minute answerphone message incident with my MD. Thankfully what was said was all nice but always double-check you’ve hung up.

Speak up, hang up and cheap personalisation - No Wanky Bollocks


Overall I’d say my biggest mistake would be not speaking up enough earlier on in my career. I’m sure there are a lot of people who’d spit out their brew and argue that’s all I do, but it’s taken a while coming, and I wish I’d learnt to do it sooner with confidence and conviction.

It’s still a learning curve – there’s a bit of imposter syndrome in there, and of course, there’s nothing wrong with being in awe of the brilliant minds around you, but your opinion is no less important. Otherwise, what the hell are you doing there in the first place?

It’s better to say it (pragmatically) than swallow it and be fuming with yourself later. Or even worse, being proven right further down the line but only to yourself because you didn’t speak your mind in the first place. I could have saved myself time and money – so stick your neck out and say your piece (nicely and honestly).

This isn’t to be confused with being an egomaniac and going about hollering your opinions like Donald Trump at a press conference. Be clear, explain your rationale and don’t be a tit about it.

Rant

After years of not speaking up, it’s like opening the floodgates. Here are three off the top of my head:

  1. The age-old mentality that success is gained by millions of hours
    worked
    the coveted trophy of burnout and old-fashioned ego-slinging. Everyone should be nice to each other, whatever position you are in. Basic.

  2. Know it all’s – no one has played this game on earth before you. Understand your peers have got other experience – but that’s all we’ve got between us. We’re all on our own little paths, and it’d be bloody dull if we were all on the same walk.

  3. False familiarity and cheap personalisation. It’s hugely important for brands to be able to resonate with their audience, and so we’ve seen the rise of personalisation across brands and channels in recent years, but there’s a really fine line between ‘we get you’ and “Hey, friend! We SO have to talk about this – I know we said subject/product blah blah here}. But we know you’ll love this.” Emails like that get the boot, pronto. It’s as bad as LinkedIn. Don’t DM me preaching about ‘connecting up’ and ‘touching base’ alright?

Useful Advice 

Just do the thing already.

If you want to try and break into a new area or challenge yourself further, then break it down and take the small steps to get where you want to go.

Determination will get you there.

Also, ask questions – there’s no shame in it. Have confidence in yourself, and if it goes to shit, at least you gave it a go and learnt something. Don’t look over there and compare yourself to others. Look back here and focus on your thing to do it properly.

Be nice and give back – you were helped by folk in your career – so help out others.

And for god’s sake, don’t forget to hang up the phone…

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related Posts

Opinions are like arseholes, everybody’s got one

If you work in marketing or advertising, you're surrounded by opinions. Some people don't like green in their logo. Some people don't like sentences beginning with "And" or "But."

Good ads wear in, not out

There’s this fallacy among marketers that, even if it’s working, an ad should only be run for a couple of months before audiences will get sick of it.

Measure progress with process, not people

Far too often, I hear people measuring company success by virtue of the number of people they employ.

Selling dreams rather than deliverables

Buzzword-driven strategies that lack substance take away from creating value for clients through meaningful connections with their audience.

Holding hands with the agency president

I had been a copywriter in advertising for about three years by then, which was just long enough to know I didn’t belong in that room. 

Taking on business partners and ego getting in the way of inclusion

Twice in my journey, I took on businesses partners. I took an easy option to put more money into my business, and it bit me in the butt.