I was in New York last week, and while I was there I discovered it was “Social Media Week.” What’s funny is that this didn’t show up anywhere in my social feed -- I found out over lunch.
It seems our industry has a lot of “weeks” and reasons to celebrate ourselves. There’s Social Media Week, Internet Week, Advertising Week and of course the many weeks surrounding the Television Upfronts (and Newfronts too). If there was ever an industry that liked to celebrate itself more, I can’t imagine what it would be.
These celebrations have a clear rationale: to raise awareness of these channels in the eyes of the target audience, which would be us. We’re proclaiming these events to try and get us to pay attention to ourselves. So why not “Data Week” or “Old Media Week” or “Creative Week” -- wait, that last one exists, and it’s called “Cannes.”
I think it’s great that we know how to throw a party, but in reality we need to be less focused on promoting ourselves to, well, ourselves, and more to the outside world.
Do you know how many jobs are available in our industry? Do you know how many people are still out of work in other industries? If we’re going to raise all this awareness, why not shift at least a portion of this energy toward training those out-of-work people how to get jobs in our industry? Let’s be honest, this is not rocket science here, people (although I actually work with at least one confirmed ex-rocket scientist)!
People who underwent a detailed training program in the implementation of media and data-driven marketing efforts could fill many of the positions currently available in our industry. We’re building these systems right now and training the insiders how to use them, so how hard would it be to replicate these efforts and promote them as career-shifting opportunities for people who are out of work?
How amazing could it be if companies in our space banded together to create a training program that would bring people new job opportunities while filling needs in one of the fastest-growing categories of business in the world. The demand for jobs is only going to increase as we move toward an enterprise-centric solution set for marketers, and training is at the core.
We can start by training all of the people in our business with fewer than five years experience and have them become the first line of training new recruits and career-shifters. The best way to learn is to teach, so it’s a dual role of re-emphasizing what they have already been trained on and broadening the reach of that training program to include new recruits.
These kinds of efforts would provide just as much, if not more, attention to social media, the Internet and advertising, because mainstream media would pick it up and run with it. Additionally, if we could demonstrate the positive impact that our business has on the outside world, there would likely be a decrease in the number of negative storylines about advertising. How can you browbeat an industry making a very concerted effort to create jobs and put people back to work? Even the most cynical reporter would have a hard time raising an eyebrow towards us then
I’d love a week of my own as well, but I want to see our industry embraced for creativity far more than I want my own week. I want others to get excited about advertising, don’t you?
If you know the people who run Advertising Week or Internet Week, please send them my way and I promise to try and push an effort like this through! I know it can work!