Proving Yourself

As a junior, especially at a large agency, it can be hard to find opportunities to show everyone what you’re capable of and get on the radar of the people who give out the good assignments. Here are a few paths to getting noticed:

  1. Write radio. Not many people care that much about radio. That’s a good thing for you. It’s one of the rare mediums where you can write an entire campaign, often get it approved without rounds of presentation, then work directly with the talent on production. Some of my favorite campaigns from early in my career were radio campaigns. It’s a writer’s playground. And art directors, you can get in there too.
  2. Offer to work on the most painful client. Every agency has at least one client that is a total pain, for whatever reason. See if you can take on more responsibility with that client. When I first became ACD, I took one of the most difficult clients we had and the agency was happy to let me have it. I learned a ton being thrown in the fire.
  3. Pitches. Get on the pitches. One of the best places to get noticed are those terrible jump-ball pitches where a dozen teams are throwing ideas on the wall. Often, you’ll get late nights, but late nights with creative directors in the room. Throw ideas into the mix and be willing to help out with whatever’s needed.
  4. Manage the interns. A great way to try out creative direction is to take an intern under your wing (or more than one). Years ago, I started the intern program at my agency and brought on six talented students. People would comment on the “small army” that followed me around. In the end, I probably learned more from them than they did from me.
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