Women In Media: Facebook’s Head Of Marketing Leah Tennant

Women In Media: Facebook’s Head Of Marketing Leah Tennant
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Facebook Austrlaia’s head of marketing, Leah Tennant, reveals to B&T her background in musical festivals, her love of rugby and why it’s important not to neglect your personal life…

Family and friends joke that I’ve always lived a whirlwind of a life… A jam-packed childhood, I’d spend my days recruiting the kids in our street for the next ‘neighborhood production’, organising regular games of street cricket, or jetting off to Disneyland to dance with Mickey Mouse. It was this passion for seeing things ‘come to life’ that initially led me into a career in events and marketing. While I may have entered the industry dreaming of red carpets, glamorous gowns and French Champagne, I quickly became accustomed to road cases, gaffer tape and 2am bump-outs. As my passion for all things events and marketing grew, my sense for adventure took to me London where I landed a job as a producer on the UK festival circuit. I met some incredible people, danced to amazing artists, and worked harder than ever, but after five months of practically living in a tent, I knew it was time for a change of scenery. It was at this point in my career that I transitioned more heavily into the marketing side of the industry, and for the past nine years, I haven’t looked back. I’ve been fortunate to work at some leading creative and brand engagement agencies both in London and Sydney, all of which led me to the role I’m in at Facebook today.

My dream job is… Apart from being a host on a travel show where I get to see the world and have a permanent glow, I’d have to say, at the moment, it’s the one I’m living. I work with an incredibly talented team, am challenged on a daily basis, and supported each step of the way. I believe we have the power to make any role our ‘dream job’ if we want it that bad. When I look back over my career, each of the positions I have held were a dream job at some point in time, in particular, the five years I spent at Maverick Marketing.

There’s still a bit of that whirlwind in me and I love to be constantly on the go… Whether it’s catching up with friends and family, trying new restaurants and bars, or escaping to a beach town for the weekend, trying to squeeze more into the calendar is often a big predicament! But among the chaos I do have a soft spot for a Friday nights on the couch with a good bottle of red, a take-in and a game of rugby.

I believe trust is fundamental to every strong working relationship… Among colleagues, your manager, direct reports and clients. It’s what evolves a transactional relationship into a partnership.  I also really admire those who trust their instinct and aren’t afraid to take risks. We’re part of such a fast-paced and dynamic industry, where we need to take chances to continually evolve and stay at the front of the race. It took me a while to realise that it’s ok to take risks, and it’s equally ok to not always get them right. Because when you do, amazing things can happen.

I loved the Samsung Gear VR campaign where a father witnessed the birth of his son via virtual reality… The fact that millions of Australians stopped to watch and share in such a personal experience, demonstrates just how connected the world is. The raw emotion that was captured through the live stream created extremely powerful video content for the Facebook News Feed.

The best thing about working in the industry are the people and the adrenaline…
It’s like being on a continuous carnival ride, sharing the adventure with your best mates.

I’d advise people coming into the industry to…
Work hard, but work smart. In such a fast-paced industry, naturally there’s a lot of pressure and a lot to do. It’s easy to think that the best way to get ahead is to work the longest hours, neglecting your personal life in the process. I’ve learned, and am still learning, that balance is key. When you find a sense of happiness across elements of life, you’ll find yourself naturally succeeding.

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