What better way to start a Monday than with another one of our classic Women in Media profiles? And today, to kick us off for another week, we have GPY&R Brisbane’s planner Erin Core.
Describe your average day?
A lot of thinking and learning. There is no ‘average’ day in Planning – every brief and every day requires something different of you.
What drives you?
I actually LOVE what I do. I often say to people that I’ve finally found my dream job, and it’s something I never even knew existed when I was at school. I’m desperately curious – I love finding out what makes people tick.
And I always see the positive in things, so I don’t end up brought down by the grind of bringing ideas to life. There is no way I would go through all of the logistics that I do, to be here each day, if I didn’t have such passion.
What would be your ultimate role?
Consumer Psychologist consulting to the strategy department of any top agency, that enables me to live within an hours drive of a snow resort.
What’s your quirkiest attribute?
I’m trying to rock the sneakers-and-tu-tu fashion.
One thing no one knows about you?
I am a serial plant killer. The only way I can keep any plant alive is by going nowhere near it. My thumb is the polar opposite of green.
What are advertising/marketing’s biggest challenges or threats?
I think that the remuneration model is one of the biggest challenges to crack, going forward. Clients know we add value, and we know we add value. Figuring out how to reward actual success instead of only program delivery has been pretty tricky so far.
In an industry that’s turbocharged by innovation, it seems odd that we haven’t successfully innovated this model yet.
If you were CEO what would you do differently?
I’d make everyone from every department spend some time each year with real people from the “target audience”. They’re real people with real issues, not a made-up pen portrait on paper.
It would make all of the work better, from creative to production.
Hardest lesson you’ve had to learn (in or out of workforce)?
Everyone is replaceable. I watched my father be made redundant after 24 years of giving his heart and soul to a company, and it made him a different person.
Especially with agencies, where people are encouraged to move around to keep their skills fresh, and clients move which requires more or less staff at a given agency, it’s always worth remembering that you’re in a business relationship with a company, after all the words “it’s just business” didn’t become a cliché for no reason.
Tea or coffee?
Artisanal single origin piccolo coffee served by a tattooed hipster.
Cats or dogs?
I have two toy poodles. They are the most ridiculous dogs ever – smart and needy and vindictive when ignored. Their intelligence is on par with my toddler.
I have two small children. There’s no time for that.
What’s your favourite TV programme?
Doc McStuffins is getting a lot of airplay in my house. It’s a whimsical kids cartoon with lots of great little health and wellbeing messages that I’m hoping will inspire my daughters that girls can be anything, including a Doctor.
What turns you on, emotionally, creatively, spirituality?
I’m all for enthusiasm, energy and humour. It’s contagious. I love having people around me who contribute to a great vibe. That’s why I work in agencies – it’s where you find these kinds of people.
What turns you off?
I am really turned off by jargon. If you can’t get your point across in plain English, then I generally think that you don’t understand your topic well enough.
The smartest people I’ve ever met are the ones who use the simplest language.
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
I’d love to be a Pastry Chef. I do all of the fancy cakes for our family’s occasions and it would be great to be trained properly in the technique and science behind baking (beyond what you can learn on YouTube).
The great thing about advertising is that the process – brief, concept, detail, execution – can be applied to everything in life. Including cake.
What profession would you not like to do?
Anything that’s so tedious you become a clock-watcher.
Have you ever felt like giving up?
I feel like giving up almost every week. The sheer logistics of managing two small children, putting in a normal workday and studying for a degree at night can be overwhelming pretty often.
But the effort always pays off. I really want to be a strong, independent female role model for my daughters. Some days work better than others.
What are the pearls of wisdom you know now, that you wish you knew when they were younger?
Speak up. Your instincts are right. The people who get listened to are not necessarily the smartest people or even the ones that are right, but simply the ones that made everyone else stop talking, and listen to them.
Ineffective decisions get made all the time because of that one fact.
What is your favourite word?
Interesting. I think I say this far too often.
What is your least favourite word?
Busy. It’s not a badge of honour, it’s a choice. You can always choose to be less busy. I find it very interesting how it has replaced “good” in the vernacular as a response to “how are you” …
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