Shnoosee Bailey is the executive creative director at behavioural communications agency, HeyHuman.
This is a day in her life…
(P.S. Don’t forget to check out the Econsultancy jobs board if you’re looking for a new role yourself.)
Econsultancy: Please describe your job: What do you do?
Shnoosee Bailey: In my role I have the unusual and interesting task of blending organisation with creative inspiration. I act as a sort of shepherd for ideas, bringing the right people together to create something great and fostering an environment in which creative work can thrive.
E: Whereabouts do you sit within the organisation? Who do you report to?
SB: I am one of three managing partners. We only really report into each other and we make all the key decisions together.
E: What kind of skills do you need to be effective in your role?
SB: You need to be able to read a room. If you can’t flex and adapt your management style to deal with different people, then you’re going to struggle in the job.
E: Tell us about a typical working day…
SB: Absolutely no day is the same, but here is an illustrative diary account to give you a bit of an idea:
I’m usually up by 5:45am to walk the dog – admittedly not so much during the dark, winter months! By 6.50am, I’m on the train to London. I use this time to reply to emails and catch up on some reading (if I’m lucky!)
I get into London Victoria at 7.35am with just enough time to grab a coffee before catching the tube to Fulham.
I’m usually in the office by 8am – I like to get in early to prepare for the day ahead and organise client priorities. This morning, I have a catch up with my colleague, Caroline, to discuss resource planning and team capacity before the daily craziness begins.
At 9:30am we have a creative review. I’m catching up with Dai and Jamie to see how they’re getting on with a brief to launch a new premium dog food brand. The catch-up is very productive and we outline a few builds to catch up on at a later time.
10:40am – Running late for an internal Guinness catch up! But it’s all good – the team’s still smiling!
At 1:30pm I head into Soho to review the first edit of a film for one of our clients – I grab a sandwich on the way.
I’m back at my desk by 3:40pm where I find the time to catch up on emails and chat to the managing partners about some upcoming company news.
I have my last meeting of the day at 6:00pm where the team and I spend some time reviewing influencer options for a project we’re working on.
7:30pm – I make the train home – and breathe…
E: What do you love about your job? What sucks?
SB: The best thing about my job is the privilege I have to spend time with so many intelligent and creative people on a daily basis.
The most challenging times are when you have to try and raise a team’s morale in the wake of rejection. There’s nothing worse than a project not being progressed after people have invested months of energy in it.
What kind of goals do you have? What are the most useful metrics and KPIs for measuring success?
SB: In terms of my wider goals, I would love the agency to achieve creative fame for work that has had a positive impact on the way people live and the world.
The only way to measure success is via the direct impact our work has upon our clients’ bottom lines; I want stellar creative work that is effective.
E: What are your favourite tools to help you to get the job done?
SB: Talented people. When it comes down to it, nothing else really matters.
E: How did you become a creative director?
SB: Hard work and perseverance and along the way I had the support and guidance of some amazing creative leaders. After graduating from university, I landed myself a role at Leo Burnett Australia before slowly moving up the ranks at various different agencies, including Chemistry and 141 Worldwide. I joined Publicis Dialog in 2003 and was promoted to creative director and then moved to Saatchi& Saatchi X as ECD before moving to HeyHuman in 2014 as the agency’s ECD.
E: What brand creative have you enjoyed recently?
SB: I recently judged at D&AD, and enjoyed the abundance of great work. One of my favourites, although perhaps an obvious choice, was the truly captivating ‘Welcome Home’ ad, for Apple’s Home Pod. The film beautifully captures the escapism, emotive and uplifting power of music, leaving you mesmerised for the entire four minutes. A perfect example of what branded content should be – advertising that doesn’t feel like advertising.
E: Do you have any advice for people who aspire to the creative director role?
SB: Creativity, determination, curiosity and resilience are what’s needed to succeed in this role.
My advice to people would be to actually speak to as many creative directors as they can so they better understand what the job entails. A lot of people think that it’s a purely a creative role, driving brilliant work, but it’s actually a lot more about nurturing talent, bringing the right people together and maintaining lines of communication throughout the whole agency.
It’s so multi-faceted, so you really have to work on being as well-rounded as possible.
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