You Have To Play At The Top To Make Money

The Road Crew

Pawel Tyszkiewicz, Micky Denehy and Dominic Lyle

You’re looking at a photo of the three gentlemen who were running The European Association of Communications Agencies’ (EACA) 2010 Spring Meeting in  the Sofitel Warsaw Victoria Hotel on 10 and 11 June.

They are, from left, Pawel Tyszkiewicz, Micky Denehy and Dominic Lyle, the latter being my boss. We’d started the morning by looking at The Social Media Revolution. Richard Stacy delivered a great presentation, the bastard, I’ll get you for this, Stacy, which I then had to follow.

My presentation was a near-apocalyptic Armageddon response to the topic I’d been set: “What impact will digital marketing and social networking have on all communications agencies?”

My answer was:

  1. You have no choice. Either embrace digital or perish
  2. You will need a new strategy to survive. That means you must travel up the value ladder and get noticed by very senior client management. You have to play at the top to make money. Agency suits and planners tend to do this better than geeks.
  3. To achieve this goal, your  ideas are going to have to be more than good enough. They have to be outstanding, a great example being Burger King’s wonderful Whopper Sacrifice

The participants took my forecast of hell-fire and brimstone with cheerful equanimity. And why not? Lunch was more or less next.

During the lunch break, both Micky Denehy and I were separately interviewed by a Polish TV network. Micky knows I never listen to him, so I have no idea what he said. My interviewer dusted me down with powder, and then asked me what was so wonderful about digital marketing.

I replied, “For marketers it’s great because the people whom they most want to meet are already on the net looking for them. For people in general, the digital revolution gives them great power and personal freedom. I love it.” And so, too, did my interviewer. The enhancement of power and freedom is dear to everyone’s heart, especially in countries which have been recently occupied, and this partly explains the internet’s huge success.

I’m off to Kiev on 15 June, on the second stage of my 2010 Summer European Tour.

This time I’m not working for The EACA, although Dominic Lyle and Paul Arnold will be there with me. We’ve all been hired by Rick Flint, who is running a very serious training course, funded by The European Union, mainly for government in Kiev next week. The organisation is being handled by Ekaterina Sitnikova.

This visit to Ukraine is unlikely to be as jolly as the one to Warsaw, though, not because the Ukrainians are not jolly (they are) but the topics are tough.

I’m running two workshops on 16 June 2010, the overall theme being how to tackle child abuse and domestic violence. My workshop topic is, “Breaking the wall of violence: how social networking helps victims.”

No matter how hard I try, I can’t think of any jolly jokes.