[email protected] 2021
As we track the conversations of today at Cannes, it was refreshing to have a pause with the next generation of industry drivers and reflect on what these conversations will look like when they have had a decade of work experience under their belts. As a University of Georgia Grady School alum, I led a conversation with an ambitious group of their students who are doing a study abroad program in conjunction with the Cannes Lions Festival. PN’s Erin Osher and Jeff Melton both joined me and we left feeling equal parts shell-shocked and relieved. These kids may have been hanging at the industry’s infamous Gutter Bar here until wee hours, but their youth didn’t betray any signs, and they were notably absorbed in all the content and experiences, passionately attending nearly all the sessions, workshops and blogging about it non stop. While we and our clients grapple with harmonizing paid, earned and owned, such distinctions are refreshingly alien to them. It is all simply content and they are interested in a much higher (and more productive) aim: Telling a better, richer, compelling story that connects at powerful human levels. So as always happens in mentoring or teaching, we become the students. The lesson we took away is whatever you label it (PR vs Advt, social vs traditional, mass vs niche) focusing energies on the power of storytelling driven by deep human insights will win the day.