Social Media from the Other Side

This week’s post is from Sydney Graduate, Erin Stace, who writes of her experiences managing social media for clients and learning to engage with a passionate consumer base. During her time in the programme, Erin has rotated through Clemenger BBDO Sydney as well as Porter Novelli Sydney.

Having just spent 3 months working at Porter Novelli (Clemenger Group’s public relations agency), I have worked on a number of social media strategies and have been responsible for managing one of our brand’s social media pages. It has definitely been a learning curve and below is… well, a bit of a rant really.

In an ideal yet naïve world, social media gives brands the opportunity to interact with their consumers, to engage in conversations and share a common opinion or ‘like’ for a brand. However, working on the community management of a client’s Twitter and Facebook page has taught me that opinion and ‘like’ aren’t necessarily linked.


In reality, social media provides consumers with a public forum to express their opinions of the brand, both positive and negative – but mostly negative.

It’s not that consumers never thought negatively about a brand before the Internet, but these brand conversations occurred in the private sphere. Say you had a bad experience with a brand, you might tell your closest five friends or perhaps send a strongly worded letter to their head office. But with social media at the click of a button you tell this story to all 500 of your closest friends, then share the post on the brands Facebook page for all 400,000 brand ‘likers’ to read as well.

Don’t get me wrong there are still a significant number of positive comments in the brand space and these are the posts that solidify our position in social media. However, it’s the human truth that ‘dislike’ provides a stronger motivator than ‘like’ which drives so much negative feedback.


But if we encourage consumers to share their opinions we have to be in a position to deal with it and this is where the challenge lies. The hardest part is that there is no definitive answer, no correct response. It’s simply about taking each opinion as it comes and hopefully not pissing off too many people in the process.

So for those of you that will be entering the ever changing world of branded social media I leave you with this advice. Relish those positive opinions, the ones that put a smile on your face, because they make it all worthwhile.

The best of luck to everyone with their applications!


Advice from a current grad


What are you applying for:

To clarify: This is an account service role.  Despite what you may think, you will not be drawing sketches on giant easels, or seducing older women – or will you? Account service involved working with internal and external to develop creative, smart solutions for clients. At a Grad level, this can mean research, cold calls, fun photo opps, helping account management processes and assisting in printing and design processes.


Answer the questions, keep to the word limit.

Forget what recruiters, school teachers, careers councillors, boring people have ever told you about applying for a job. Although it’s not a creative role, this is a creative industry! Be yourself, show your personality and talk like a h u m a n. But be sure to use your words well.

Keep it simple, stupid


Do not make mistakes

Let them get to know you

Know the company well


Research the industry and find examples of work that you like



Remember there’s more than one way to say something, be clever


What can you expect?

Just joking.

What you can expect is long hours, admin tasks and doing lots of research. But you can also expect to have the most unbelievable opportunity to pop your head into three uniquely brilliant agencies. Pop in and then pop out. Watching commercials being made, briefing to creative, pitching media stories. Find your niche, find your passion and learn from the best communications group in Australia. When can you ever do that? 

What can you bring to role:


But also, you have to be a chameleon.

Karma karma karma karma karma chameleon. You come and go, you come and go.

Rotating every three months is hard, new workm8s, new tasks, new horrible wonderful public transport routes to discover but it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to be a stroke patient, blogger, weather forecaster, Bindi Irwin fan. So just try and always, always remember:


Well said Charles Darwin.

And lastly: 

And also


You will have a wonderful time

And cherish it.

Stay here. Stay here as long as you can. For the love of God, cherish it. You have to cherish it. Cherish it.

A little gradvice for the 2014 Seven Brains application process

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Source: Durance Magazine

So you’re interested in applying for the 2014 Clemenger Group Seven Brains Graduate Programme? Awesome idea. Take it from us, seriously.

This time last year most of us were in the position you now find yourselves in – just graduated or about to graduate uni, ready to move on up into big-people  work,  and at the very least intrigued by a career in what must certainly be the most creative, fast-paced and super fun industry out there.

Over the course of the next two months each of the grads from 2013 will be posting on this site, sometimes about a specific issue but usually just about their own experiences. The whole point of this blog is to help you guys throughout the application process and to give an insight into our daily working life as a Clemenger grad. Feel free to comment or ask questions, and we’ll try to answer to the best of our ability.

If you’re like us, at this point you probably have two main questions about the graduate programme. Firstly…

1.     What exactly is the Clemenger Group Seven Brains Graduate Programme and is it the start of a career path I see myself going down?

Good question! The Seven Brains Graduate Programme is open to university graduates from all across Australia, and offers the opportunity to rotate through a few agencies within the Clemenger Group – Australia’s largest advertising and communications group. There are two streams for entry: Sydney and Melbourne. Grads will gain experience working across multiple disciplines of the marketing communications landscape – creative advertising, public relations, experiential marketing, healthcare advertising and brand promotion. Grads won’t go to every agency, but they will all rotate through Clemenger BBDO, the group’s flagship creative advertising agency in both cities.

At all agencies you’ll be starting off as a member of the account management team. Don’t worry if you’re not familiar with what this involves, or even what the structure of an agency is – people come into the programme with vastly different working backgrounds and experience. Essentially, you’ll be involved in the day to day management of an account or accounts, liaising with clients and helping to move projects through the building at every stage of the process. Get familiar with the word process – it will come to play a hugely important part in your working day. In terms of the scale of the work you’re contributing to, it could be anything from a small digital banner ad to a huge TVC. Every day will be different!

While a lot of people will be set on a career in advertising, the reality of it is not everyone has made up their minds just as they finish uni. This programme is an excellent opportunity for grads to get a full feel for the different arms of the marketing communications spectrum. The idea is that by the end of the programme everyone has a better idea of what they enjoy and where they want to go – whether it be advertising or PR, big agency or small.

Source: Dr Seuss ‘Oh The Places You’ll Go’

When considering if this sounds like something you might be interested in, you should also take into account the opportunities offered by the Clemenger Group itself. The group has agencies all across Australia and New Zealand and boasts one of the most impressive client rolls in the region. The group’s majority stakeholder is the BBDO network, making Clemenger employees some of the most globally connected in the advertising world. With almost 300 offices in 80 countries, that future stint overseas is a very real opportunity. You’ll have the opportunity to work on international brands producing some internationally recognised work. Time to dream big, people.

This leads us to the second question you may be asking yourself, which is…

2.     How can I put myself in the best position to get one of the few graduate positions? 

 As Spiderman’s uncle once said, with great power comes great responsibility.  While the application of that quote to this scenario remains questionable, the broader concept remains the same – like any graduate role in the advertising industry, competition for a place in the programme is fierce.

One of the mantras of the Clemenger group is to stand out in everything that you do, and though it might seem like a job application cliché it is something worth remembering at every step of the process. The Seven Brains programme is open to graduates from any university background or discipline, and though grades are a factor there are other attributes in a candidate that are just as, if not more important. Principally, the Brain Collector is looking for graduates who are creative, curious and chomping at the bit to get involved and have a go.


The time from when submissions open to when they are due is about two months, and you’re given that much time for a reason. Think very carefully about every answer, every sentence and every word. When you’re done, sit on it, sleep on it, get your friends to read it, get your mum to read it, get the bloke at the bus stop to read it. Make sure there are no grammatical errors whatsoever – attention to detail is absolutely critical.

This isn’t a traditional resume, there are no prescribed answers and more than anything this is an opportunity for the group to get a feel for who you are and if you are right for this business. As anybody will tell you, so much of this industry is about ‘the right fit’ – the right creative teams, the right account management structure, the right company culture etc – at the end of the day you will have to come and work here for long hours five days a week so it’s worth making sure you’re getting yourself into an environment where you fit in and feel comfortable being yourself.


Find ways to make your personality come through in your application, demonstrate to the reader what makes you interesting, unique and different from the other candidates. Think hard about how you want to present your resume and responses and ultimately how you want to present yourself. Your application should be a brilliant reflection of yourself that makes us all want to meet you!

That’s about it for now – Over the next eight weeks make sure to engage with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and via this blog. We’ll be giving you guys an insight into day to day life as a Clemenger Group graduate, some things to look out for and involve yourselves with as well as general updates regarding the process.  We hope you’re as excited as we were twelve months ago – and still are now for that matter. Congratulations on finishing university, and good luck as you enter into what is sure to be some of the most exhilarating twelve months!

Source: Dr Seuss ‘Oh The Places You’ll Go’