Leaders Must “Unashamedly” Be Their Own Person, Says Kamber’s Rebeccah Churchward

Leaders Must “Unashamedly” Be Their Own Person, Says Kamber’s Rebeccah Churchward
B&T Magazine
Edited by B&T Magazine
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With a focus on lifestyle and work-life balance, managers and leaders must be successful and “unashamedly” their own person, according to Kamber’s client manager, Rebeccah Churchward.

During this year’s B&T Women in Media Awards, presented by Bauer Media, we’ll be recognising exceptional people who have achieved success in their professional arenas, celebrating their invaluable contribution to their industry through leadership, innovation and courage.

We may have already announced the WIM shortlist for this year’s awards, but that won’t be stopping us highlighting some of the industry’s best and brightest, like Rebeccah Churchward.

Rebeccah Churchward is the client manager of digital and content marketing company Kamber, and the winner of the ‘Project Manager’ category at this year’s 30 Under 30 Awards.

One of Churchward’s biggest concerns is ad-land’s perspective on work-life balance.

Speaking to B&T, the client manager says that before the coronavirus pandemic struck, it was still a common perception that if you weren’t working late, you weren’t working hard enough.

She hopes that the newfound flexibility given to professionals forced to work from home in 2020 remains as a solution to the stresses of being in a pandemic and attempting to work from home.

Rebeccah, what does ‘fearlessness’ mean to you?

Fearlessness means that you’re not afraid to tackle the unknown.

It doesn’t mean that you don’t have doubts or concerns but you’re able to push past the fear of failure, uncertainty or rejection to see your goals through to the end. I think this is the same on an individual and business level.

What does fearlessness in advertising, marketing, and the media look like?

In advertising and marketing, fearlessness starts with an idea. Whether it’s for a pitch or an in-house brief, our best ideas come when we’re not constrained by the ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’.

Unfortunately, this fearlessness quickly gets pushed aside and ideas tend to become much smaller and safer than they once were. Sometimes it’s because you just don’t have the budget; other times it’s because it feels like it’s too hard to push the boundaries because you’ve been shut down too many times.

It can be a challenge to be fearless in our industry but those who master it leave their mark.

Who do you know who has shown these qualities since the COVID-19 pandemic struck?

COVID-19 has forced us to be more creative because the old messages no longer work or are irrelevant.

Governments and brands are facing message fatigue because there are only so many ways you can say, “stay home and look out for one another”.

I love the series of ads New Zealand Police put together to educate the public about the lockdown rules. They used just the right amount of comedy to keep people entertained, while still getting the key messages across.

What is an issue in the industry that keeps you up at night?

The issue of work-life balance has always been something that’s needed to be improved, particularly in agency land. Before the pandemic, it was still a common perception that if you weren’t working late, you weren’t working hard enough.

We’ve begun to see a global trend emerging where companies were focusing on the lifestyle that they created for their employees in the office, but the pressure to work constantly was still there.

It’s important to note that work-life balance looks different for everyone, and we can’t pass judgement on those whose balance requires less time out of the office.

What we need to see is our managers and our leaders succeeding while also being their own person—taking sick days, enjoying family time, working on passion projects and taking holidays, and doing it unashamedly.

In some ways, working from home makes things easier: there’s no longer the pressure to be first in, last out and we don’t have a daily commute. But now our homes have become our place of work.

There’s little separation between work, rest and play which makes it harder to switch off. While we can now go for a run in our lunch break, or have a bit more flexibility in the hours we work, we have to remember that we’re not working from home during a pandemic—we’re in a pandemic trying to work from home.

Employers need to be mindful of this, and I think for the most part they are. A pandemic is no small thing to live through and I sincerely hope that the flexibility that has been introduced to help people deal with it stays with us once we’re out the other side.

Do you believe the advertising, marketing and media industries have been ‘fearless’ in 2020?

I wouldn’t say we’ve been fearless, but I also think it’s a very hard balance to strike in a time like this.

People need a distraction from what’s going on, but advertisers and marketers also need to be mindful of what people are dealing with. It’s a time for cautious creativity and real-world relevance.

How can professionals in advertising, marketing, and the media be fearless in times of change?

Being honest is one way that we can be more fearless.

Be honest with your clients if you don’t think an idea will work or the messaging is missing the mark. Be honest about where you feel the market is at and what they’re ready for.

Talk about the drop in sales revenue or ROI on ad spent. The more open and honest your conversations are, the more possibilities you open up and the less you’ll feel constrained by failure, uncertainty or possible rejection.

What is ad-land’s biggest strength?

Our biggest strength is the breadth of talent that we have in the industry. We attract all kinds of people from different backgrounds and different experiences.

And you never know when that experience will come in handy or what opportunities it will open up.

What is ad-land’s biggest challenge?

Our biggest challenge is bringing the client along for the ride. It’s our job to keep up with the trends and present the best possible solutions that dazzle the client.

But sometimes we’re afraid to talk about the sticking points and where things could go wrong. Or, when things go wrong unexpectedly, we try to sugar coat it as if clients can’t handle the truth.

The more the client understands, the easier things will be in the long run.

How would you solve this?

Again, it’s all about honesty. Having an open and honest relationship with your client, whether they’re new or old, will make the day to day work easier and the issues you come across that little bit less challenging.

And, if you’d like more information on the event, head to this website.

You can also check out who made this year’s shortlist, here.

Thank you to all of our incredible sponsors for making the event possible! 

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