SheSays: Agency 360

It was another great evening to see 70+ women (and a few men) get together to hear the wisdom and experiences from five top-level women in the advertising and marketing agencies world:

Sue Bell (Content Producer - Suebdoo Productions),
Nora Ahern (Managing Director and Co-founder - Village&Co),
Lisa Nakamura (Creative Director - Rethink Canada),
Anne Buch (Director of Brand Services - Cossette),
Brittany Hull (Senior Brand Manager - Vega)


There was laughter when one of the emcees mentioned that someone tweeted “the Destiny’s Child of the agency world.”

The structure was simply a Q&A panel. Below are some of their responses.

When asked what do they read online in the morning, being the extremely busy ladies they are, usually their Gmail inboxes. Nora highly recommended Cassandra Daily.

How do you manage a team of creatives?

Manage the project, not the creatives. What drives you crazy, they won’t see and what drives them crazy, you won’t see.

Don’t say no. They’ll appreciate that.

What are the qualities you look for in a…

They can see from a strategic side.

It all boils down to the brief. Sometimes, creatives just glance, then ignore it and just do what they think is cool. We spend time writing the brief for a reason…

They have to act as a salesperson, too. Be able to sell their ideas.

account manager?

Have the ability to see around corners and thinks steps ahead.

Hope that they can be a partner that works with the same passion and have mutual respect for each other.

Persuasive, and empathetic.


Magician. With lots of experience.

Definitely be on top of schedule/time and budget for the project.

Well organized, problem solver, and charming.

Negotiator and mediator.

Should be trusted and respected in the community. Vancouver has a small community so people will know who you are.

Also, thinks and be steps ahead.

What comes easier over time?

Decision making because similar issues will arise so you already know how to avoid them before they will happen.

Shortcuts because you know what will work or not.

Having and building confidence.

What do you expect in client meetings?

Go in with a plan and know the outcome you want.

Make sure everyone is on the same page in the room.

When you speak, give insights and intelligent answers. Don’t speak for the sake of participating in the meeting.

Think about 3 questions the client may ask, and have the answers prepared for them.

How do you balance work and lifestyle?

Nora had an unique answer. She said to stop trying to find balance. Stand by your choices and career. If you have to apologize for yourself or feel guilty, then you’re in trouble.

For more inspiring quotes, search up #SSShopTalk on Twitter and follow @shesaysvan.