Lauren Quaintance: Perfectionism Is A Female Disease

Lauren Quaintance: Perfectionism Is A Female Disease
SHARE
THIS



With the lead up to B&T’s Women in Media, here we have a chat with Lauren Quaintance, head of content at Storyation and regular B&T contributor, about the state of media, what drives her, and why she refuses to eat Thai for lunch…

Describe your average day?

Everyone says there’s no such thing as an average day in these Q&As but truthfully I wouldn’t be doing this job if there was. As the co-owner of a fast-growing content agency it’s generally a mix of client meetings, finance meetings and – the best bit – meetings about upcoming projects with my team of editors, designers and video producers. Oh and a bit of travel to see clients in New Zealand, Melbourne and Brisbane which means too much time in airless planes and cabs.

What’s the most challenging thing about your job?

Getting every stakeholder in a big company on board with the idea that content marketing isn’t a hard sell. Usually the client knows that to really connect with an audience content must entertain, inform or inspire – and that it is a longer term play – but there’s often a colleague waiting in the wings who insists on a product or a price point included.

What drives you?

A Protestant work ethic (without the thriftiness)

What’s the hardest brief you’ve ever received or hardest job to execute?

Before Storyation, I was general manager of Travel at Fairfax Media we were asked by Tourism Australia to help sell Australian travel to Australians at a time when the dollar was at a record high, low cost carriers were entering the market and consumers were looking for more exotic experiences that offered social braggability. Tough gig. “Places in the Heart” saw well-known Australians sharing a photo from their family holiday album and sharing intimate memories of a place in Australia that was meaningful for them. It was so popular with the Fairfax audience (and the client) it ended up running for the best part of a year.

What has been your favourite job in media and why?

I was always a bit addicted to magazine launches when I was managing editor of Fairfax Magazines. There’s nothing quite like creating something from nothing on a deadline.

What’s your quirkiest attribute?

I refuse to eat Thai food before 6pm (Japanese and Cantonese are fine though. Go figure.)

One thing no one knows about you?

I can take shorthand notes at 100 words a minute. I would have fitted right in as a secretary on Mad Men.

What are advertising/marketing’s biggest challenges?

Attracting (and keeping) attention in a distracted world. It’s as simple as that.

What do you think are the most exciting things in the marketing and creative world at the moment?

The opportunity to bring objectivity and creativity together. To use data to inform ideas (but equally we shouldn’t let data stifle creativity.)

Hardest lesson you’ve had to learn (in or out of workforce)?

To accept that sometimes good enough is enough. Perfectionism is a female disease.

What’s your favourite TV programme?

I’ve watched all six seasons of The Sopranos three times which adds up to 258 hours of television viewing so I guess that has to be a contender.

What profession would you not like to do?

So many. I often look at the security guard who does an eight hour shift amidst the fumes on the Sydney Harbour Bridge and think that doesn’t look much fun.

Have you ever felt like giving up?

I’ve felt like giving up on this questionnaire a few times.

What are the pearls of wisdom you know now, that you wish you knew when they were younger?

I don’t wish I knew anything more than I did. The joy of youth is unalloyed self belief. Everything seems obvious when you are young but things get murkier as you age.

What or who inspired you to go into this industry?  

My business partner Mimi Cullen and I worked together at Fairfax and we knew that brands needed help to make good on the claim that they were going to become publishers. That knowledge helped inspire me to make the move from media to marketing.

What has been your biggest career achievement to date? 

Winning a global award for our work for Tourism New Zealand at the world’s biggest content marketing awards show earlier this year.

If you weren’t doing this particular job, what would you be doing? 

I’d be a travel writer. Although I actually still do that – I write for Qantas magazine in my spare time. The best airline magazine on the planet.

If you could change anything about the industry what would it be? 

That it wasn’t called content marketing. Content is an awful, generic word that means a lot of different things to different people.

What are your passions both in work and outside of it?

At work my passion is – and always has been – finding a great yarn that moves the audience in some way. At home it’s two small humans called Bella and Hunter.

How do you define leadership? 

Hiring good people and then trusting them to do their best work.

What makes you tick? 

It would probably take many hours of therapy to answer that question.

How do you get others onboard with your vision? 

By being as open and honest as possible. We also give all our staff free coffee – that helps.

What are the qualities you seek in people you want to partner with and work with?  

Open mindedness. I figure I’m being paid to give clients my honest opinion. If they wanted someone to agree with them all the time they wouldn’t have hired us.

Who’s your industry hero and why? 

I’m a big fan of Shane Snow of Contently in the US. Like me he’s a journalist (we both went to Columbia University Journalism School in New York) and he’s built a great start-up whilst maintaining a career as a writer. That’s no mean feat.

 

 

 

Latest News

Women In Media Profile: Zeina Khodr
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Zeina Khodr

When B&T was offered to interview a lady named “Zeina”, we initially thought it was the warrior princess herself.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
39th AWARD Awards Winners Announced
  • Media

39th AWARD Awards Winners Announced

The winners of the 39th annual AWARD Awards were announced tonight in a celebration of the most outstanding creative communications work in the Asia Pacific region. The theme for the night was “Count Yourself Lucky” and didn’t disappoint with a record number of golds being presented. Held at Carriageworks as part of the Semi Permanent […]

Q&A With Cannes Chairman Terry Savage
  • Advertising
  • Media

Q&A With Cannes Chairman Terry Savage

If you mistakenly thought this was an interview with Kojak's Telly Savalas, as it turns out, it's even better than that.

Optus To Phase Out Virgin Mobile Brand
  • Marketing

Optus To Phase Out Virgin Mobile Brand

Didn't much fancy that Telstra story above? Well, perhaps B&T could tempt you with this tasty Optus tickler instead.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
AKQA R&D Teams Up With Google For Semi Permanent 2018
  • Media

AKQA R&D Teams Up With Google For Semi Permanent 2018

AKQA R&D in collaboration with Google has developed a process called Somesthetic Transfer. It uses machine learning to take both the style and texture of an artwork and apply it to another image to be 3D printed with a UV printer. The works will be displayed at Semi Permanent 2018 in Sydney from Thursday 24 […]

WPP’s Health & Wellness To Unveil ‘How Design Can Save A Life” For Vivid
  • Marketing
  • Media

WPP’s Health & Wellness To Unveil ‘How Design Can Save A Life” For Vivid

Design students from Torrens University’s Billy Blue College of Design have partnered with WPP AUNZ’s Health & Wellness division to decode clinical data on ‘Medicinal Marijuana in the Treatment of Epilepsy’. Their creative solutions will be presented at a Vivid Ideas Exchange titled ‘Design can save your life: how can creativity improve comprehension of health data?’ […]

Diversity Case Study Series: The Royals
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media

Diversity Case Study Series: The Royals

If you read one diversity case study on B&T today, make it this one. Not that there's any others to choose from, really.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Cricket Australia Finds New Major Sponsor
  • Marketing

Cricket Australia Finds New Major Sponsor

B&T was going to insert a homage to Sherbert's classic "Howzat" here before realising it was naff and showed our age.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
PHD Wins HSBC Global Media Account
  • Media

PHD Wins HSBC Global Media Account

ICYMI, PHD has FTW the HSBC business IRL. It's not so much a LOL or NSFW, but a TL;DR. Ahh, forget the whole thing.

InMoment Accelerates APAC Expansion With Key Acquisition
  • Media

InMoment Accelerates APAC Expansion With Key Acquisition

Customer experience (CX) intelligence platform, InMoment, has expanded into Australia and New Zealand with the acquisition of customer experience agency, brandXP and appointment of Claire Fastier as its APAC business head.

Marketers Need To Focus On Voice Search Right Now
  • Opinion

Marketers Need To Focus On Voice Search Right Now

In this opinion piece, Performics Australia performance content account director Steve Robinson (pictured below) dives into the hazy relationship between marketers and voice-activated technology. From settling family disputes, (“Hey Google, are fossil fuels really made from dinosaur bones?”) to running a household, (“OK Google, add toothpaste to my shopping list”), voice-activated systems are becoming more […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
SpotX Launches Online Resource Library For Publishers Seeking GDPR Guidance
  • Advertising
  • Media

SpotX Launches Online Resource Library For Publishers Seeking GDPR Guidance

Video advertising and monetisation platform SpotX has announced the launch of an online resource library for the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The library can be found on the company’s website and is part of a wider educational initiative by SpotX – which is headquartered in the US and has an office in […]

Daylight Agency Opens Government Division, Hires Legal & Political Expert
  • Marketing

Daylight Agency Opens Government Division, Hires Legal & Political Expert

Integrated communications firm Daylight Agency has cemented its presence in the government and political arena with the appointment of industry veteran David Begg. A practising solicitor for over 28 years, Begg (pictured above) will head up the agency’s new government division. He has extensive experience working with large commercial clients on high-profile regulatory and legal […]

Frost Design Unveils New Look For John Holland
  • Marketing

Frost Design Unveils New Look For John Holland

Frost Design has shown off its comprehensive rebrand of iconic Australian infrastructure and property business John Holland, based around the brand idea of ‘Transforming Lives’. John Holland CEO Joe Barr said Frost was the only branding business who understood that the impact of the rebrand was just as important internally as it would be externally, […]

Women In Media Profile: Jill Johnston
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Jill Johnston

We've got an absolute cracking Women in Media profile today. Not to say it's approved by the Chiropractors' Association.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
First Lady Michelle Obama and President Barack Obama Dance Together at the Presidents Ball
  • Media

Netflix Secures Producer Deal With The Obamas

It seems former US president Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama aren’t quite done with the international spotlight just yet. The Obamas have officially signed a multiyear deal with Netflix, which will see the power couple producing films and series with the streaming giant. According to Netflix, “The Obamas will produce a diverse […]

How To Spot A Trend Versus A Fad
  • Opinion

How To Spot A Trend Versus A Fad

One need only view our editor's hot pink leg warmers today to realise he's neither fad nor trend.

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Why Engagement Is The New Rule Of Content
  • Opinion

Why Engagement Is The New Rule Of Content

And why is B&T running a photo of an engaged couple for this content engagement article? It was either that or a carrot.

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Fairfax Media Recruits 20 Trainee Journalists Across All Its Titles
  • Media

Fairfax Media Recruits 20 Trainee Journalists Across All Its Titles

Fairfax Media has today announced the recruitment of 20 trainee journalists to join the newsrooms of The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Canberra Times, The Australian Financial Review, Brisbane Times and WAtoday. This represents one of Metro’s largest trainee intakes in years and underlines the commitment of the mastheads to fostering a new generation […]

Sydney Australia - November 7, 2011. An extreme close up of an American express card issued by the Australian bank Westpac.
  • Media

AMEX Launches Global Media Review

Are there not enough hours in the day? Are you cheek-by-jowl with your co-workers? Well, hopefully you won't win this.

Sydney Water & Republic of Everyone Create Vinyl Records Made Of Recycled Marine Plastic
  • Campaigns
  • Marketing

Sydney Water & Republic of Everyone Create Vinyl Records Made Of Recycled Marine Plastic

Sydney Water has pioneered a way to create records from marine plastics and, in doing so, encourage more people to join the movement of local clean-up groups rolling up their sleeves every weekend to clean plastics, litter and other pollutants from the city’s beaches and waterways. Plastics are collected by volunteers, then cut in pieces […]

Credit Card Compare Names Its First Head Of Marketing
  • Marketing

Credit Card Compare Names Its First Head Of Marketing

Aussie credit card comparison site Credit Card Compare has announced the appointment of Caroline Raffan as its inaugural head of marketing. Raffan (pictured above) has over 10 years’ experience in brand strategy, campaign development, digital marketing, events, public relations, content creation, market research, advertising, stakeholder management, social media marketing, and project management. She joins Credit […]

Why Programmatic Needs To Become A Branding Machine
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Opinion
  • Technology

Why Programmatic Needs To Become A Branding Machine

In this opinion piece, Phil Murrell (pictured below), country manager for Australia and New Zealand at Sizmek, argues that programmatic ad spend needs to move up the branding funnel. When I started in digital advertising way back in 2004, we got our media insertion orders via the fax machine. We relied on that machine to […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine