By Malou Stitz
Trusting the industry
Opinions, opinions, opinions. Deal with them. Embrace them. Digest them. Love them. Hate them.
They are everywhere. In life, and especially at SCA where we’re advised to go on book crits at least 4 times a month at this point in the year. That means at least 4 teams from different agencies will be judging your book – 4 different opinions and oh my holy macaroni.. what to do with them. How to progress from here? I think for me, as many have said before me, it’s about finding people you trust and then valuing their feedback the most. It’s hard not to get overwhelmed with the feedback you get. In good and bad ways. I think it’s important to remember that the people you’re seeing are in the business and know generally what works and what doesn’t. But also value your own opinions. It’s a great exercise. You can’t agree with everyone on everything, that would make life boring.
And actually when looking back at my notes from book crits, there’s a lot of learnings in there. It’s funny comparing the feedback from my first book crib to the latest. A lot has changed.
I think a big learning is showing personality in your book. Don’t be afraid to be ‘out there’, and to show character. You have the rest of your time in advertising to do ‘safe adverts’. Whereas now is the time to be bold and to do the things that would never run. But in a subtle way. Not too Chip Shoppy but definitely not bland either. Find your style that tells your story. And remember, people buy people so think about how people perceive you and what kind of impression you leave with them.
Find your favourites and keep going back. At last week’s reflection slides, a Friday end-of-the-week-thing we do here, we were asked to give a piece of advice to our past self, as if starting at SCA again. My advice this week to any future candidates would be to not be afraid of going on book crits. No matter how god awful your book is. You’ll thank yourself for it in the end as you can take more from a book crit than just feedback on your work. You also build relationships and get to know the agencies you might be working for one day.