Harris Diamond Curated

CEO of McCann World group

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This profile has been added by users(CURATED) : Users who follow Harris Diamond have come together to curate all possible video, text and audio interview to showcase Harris Diamond's journey, experiences, achievements, advice, opinion in one place to inspire upcoming advertising professionalss. All content is sourced via different platforms and have been given due credit.

  • And more: What do you think McCann should do to strive in the modern world?

    https://www.prweek.com/article/1685340/as-company-internally-will-mccann-ceo-harris-diamond

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  • And more: PR Executive Harris Diamond: How Negative Perceptions Can Trump positive messages?

    https://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/pr-executive-harris-diamond-negative-perceptions-can-trump-positive-messages/

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  • Is there a discipline in Worldgroup you feel you need to build out?

    Understanding consumer mindsets and how to approach consumers is a major focus of investment. In digital, we keep abreast of changes. It is a complex world and it’s important that our strategists, account leads and creatives understand that.

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  • Is there a discipline in Worldgroup you feel you need to build out?

    Understanding consumer mindsets and how to approach consumers is a major focus of investment. In digital, we keep abreast of changes. It is a complex world and it’s important that our strategists, account leads and creatives understand that.

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  • Is this data asset going to be specific to Worldgroup or are you tapping greater IPG?

    It will be a combination. We want to have the largest repository. We want all of the relevant agencies to have consistent access. We’re looking for a more active role to utilize data already out there.

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  • What data expertise have you built or are you continuing to build within Worldgroup?

    It’s more that we’re continuing to build. We’re trying to get as specific as we can. It’s understanding who people are, how they buy and how often we can reach them, while respecting privacy issues. We’re in the embryonic stages of that. Eventually, people say we should know the individual. I'm not quite sure I want to be in that world.

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  • There are a lot of popular shows, but they are more niche. None that pull in the numbers “Seinfeld” or “Friends” did. How does that factor into what you do?

    On these [niche] audiences, we pay more. We still love sporting events because they’re large audiences and they skew specifically for age and gender. It’s easy for us to understand who they are. We still see a huge opportunity for those audiences. We’re going to figure out whether there are good live streams from ESPN that skew to an even more distinguishable audience.

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  • How will TV change over the next five years?

    I still think TV will have value. They constantly reinvent with better shows that attract broader audiences. A lot of people like getting TV for free.

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  • From your standpoint, is there an exceptional platform?

    Facebook, Google, Tencent and Alibaba are exceptional. There are platforms that have massive audiences and platforms that have specific audiences a client could be very interested in. We’re generally trying to find large audiences. That’s why TV is so successful.

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  • Have you been able ensure a degree of transparency?

    Not to the extent that would make me as happy as I should be. Too many platforms are still counting on their exceptionalism. The question is, is it worth a dollar or 50 cents?

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  • How do walled gardens affect the ability to do marketing across platforms?

    Every one of them wants 100% of our share. At that moment, the walls fall down. They’re in our office, they’ll buy us lunch, throw flowers so we use their platform. The walled garden is a problem in understanding that what they’re telling us with respect to our frequency and ability to reach a consumer is, in fact, happening.

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  • What’s the difference?

    To take a product to market today, it’s rare that you use one platform. You give the consumer information in different spheres. If ideas resonate among all, that’s the perfect marketing program.

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  • Why was it too early?

    Y&R in the ’70s came up with the concept of “the whole egg.” They couldn’t get traction. [When Worldgroup was founded,] again, I don’t think clients were ready. Today, most clients [know they] need marketing rather than a specific discipline.

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  • Do most of your clients work in an interdisciplinary way across Worldgroup?

    We have 4,000-plus clients. Some utilize us for one discipline. That’s always going to be true in this business. But most are headed toward thinking about us as marketers rather than discipline-specific. Worldgroup was founded under that concept, probably too early.

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  • You’ve got a lot on your mind, between PR, experiential, media, etc. How do you deal with that?

    I make sure my team and I keep up with cultural aspects in society. How are people receiving information? Is Facebook tomorrow a medium by which video will make sense? Where will newspapers be? How many people are still going for TV advertising versus product placements?

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  • There are a lot of components at play with “Fearless Girl,” from execution to media to PR. What’s the coordination like between agencies?

    We use agencies as places where intellectual capital resides. The magic is bringing those disciplines to bear on one idea.

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  • AdExchanger: Was the impact of “Fearless Girl” a surprise to you

    Yes. I thought it was the right thing for that client. My creative team thought it was going to tap into a social dynamic in the US. But when you catch lightning in a bottle, you're always surprised you caught lightning in a bottle.

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  • Fair. How have things been for you adapting to leading the company while remote?

    It's different. I'm a wanderer. I like going into people's offices. We have offices in over 100 countries; I like spending time at those offices. This is a whole new world for me. I'm calling people, videoconferencing with people; some of that engagement you can still have. But I like being there with the people. I thrive on that and I miss it a little bit.

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  • Fair. How have things been for you adapting to leading the company while remote?

    It's different. I'm a wanderer. I like going into people's offices. We have offices in over 100 countries; I like spending time at those offices. This is a whole new world for me. I'm calling people, videoconferencing with people; some of that engagement you can still have. But I like being there with the people. I thrive on that and I miss it a little bit.

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  • And have you leaned more on your parent Interpublic Group of Cos. through this?

    I never comment on my mother or father. That said, we have a strong company. Of course, we utilize their services. A lot of our clients are shared across IPG agencies.

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  • How are you preparing McCann for the potential negative financial impact the coronavirus pandemic could have on the business?

    Obviously we're looking at all the issues. How long this goes on for will contribute to how big of an impact we see. I'm pretty proud that we have a strong company. We're clearly looking at what clients are doing—right now most understand that they need to be present in consumers lives.

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  • In terms of seeing how usage has ramped up for social media, apps and streaming services due to the current state we're in, how is McCann looking at that and planning advertising around that?

    I think it's early [to plan around that behavior] but we're looking at every medium right now. Our strategists are having conversations with the Googles, the duopoly; in fact I had one this morning around the opportunity at this moment in time to look at our systems in a different way than we did in the past. Our strategists and creatives are looking at Instagram; increased usage there. There are mediums like videoconferencing that have seen increases in usage but we're not going to put marketing messages there—it's integral for people and we want to use that medium for what it is. But there are a lot of mediums where we will place marketing messages.

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  • I know it's not the best time to be speculating but, in your opinion, what might be the long-term effects of all this on the industry and what we deem 'business as usual' for agencies?

    We're at an inflection point. Here in the U.S., it's clear we've moved into a more digital, e-commerce world and we are accelerating that by the minute. Areas like gaming, streaming are accelerating dramatically right now. And then, just in terms of how we work, I, like anybody else, am learning that it is possible to have more videoconferences; it is possible to do work around the world in ways we probably didn't think about in the past. There will be effective and efficiencies that will come out of this and take our industry into the future.

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  • So how have you adapted to pitching, creating the work and conducting ad shoots remotely?

    We've seen people return to work in China; people have pretty much returned to work in our Shanghai office. We're able to do some work in China, Thailand, Japan and other parts of Asia, which is obviously great news for us. We’re farming out work and producing it over there. There's a lot of digital work we can still do around the globe. We're still doing a significant amount of work for healthcare clients; we've been able to produce work for them and keep that going. Candidly, I’ve been a little surprised by how well it’s worked. I'm really proud of our team.

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  • That's good. What are you hearing from clients? How are they thinking about advertising right now?

    Obviously, we're seeing a slowdown around the world but I will tell you our pitches are continuing; we're continuing to win business. When you look country by country, the numbers vary. Most clients I'm talking to are asking what they should be saying and how they should be saying it. If they are saying something, how do they make sure it's meaningful for consumers? We have strategists working with creative [that is] based on the research we are doing, which shows the concern we [as a society] have for each other is at the highest it has ever been. Making sure the tonality is appropriate and work is meaningful is vital.

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  • What have you found to be the biggest challenge to working remotely?

    I think what we’re all learning is working from home has many new challenges. Many of our employees have worked from home during vacation or time off, just to check-in. But this really is work. With our staff, we have to remind people this is a marathon, not a sprint. We've seen people working from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and we tell them they need to take a deep breath; there has to be a [work-life] balance. We're recognizing the fact that people are working from home with significant others and roommates, and in ways no one ever expected. Having said that, our productivity is as high as it’s ever been.

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  • What have you found to be the biggest challenge to working remotely?

    I think what we’re all learning is working from home has many new challenges. Many of our employees have worked from home during vacation or time off, just to check-in. But this really is work. With our staff, we have to remind people this is a marathon, not a sprint. We've seen people working from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and we tell them they need to take a deep breath; there has to be a [work-life] balance. We're recognizing the fact that people are working from home with significant others and roommates, and in ways no one ever expected. Having said that, our productivity is as high as it’s ever been. That's good. What are you hearing from clients? How are they thinking about advertising right now? Obviously, we're seeing a slowdown around the world but I will tell you our pitches are continuing; we're continuing to win business. When you look country by country, the numbers vary.

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  • There have been other global crises in the past. How are you approaching the coronavirus pandemic at this point, understanding that the situation is fluid and changes by the day?

    We’re going through an unprecedented time. And we’ve gone through crises before… there was the financial crisis [in 2009], we went through the terrorism crisis in 2001, and we got through a business crisis like 2007. This is obviously different. First and foremost of concern is our people and trying to make sure that our people are safe, answering all of their questions and making sure that we’re providing all the information we can. At the same time, as you would imagine, we’re also coming up with ideas and talking to clients about things that they should be doing. We got a head start on this with Asia because [that’s where the virus] started, and we’re so deep in China that it gave us some understanding of what the impact would be as it would travel around the world concerning how we do our work. But we’re spending a lot of time frankly, coming up with ideas, talking to clients, about how they should handle themselves during this time, and obviously, what to do when the crisis begins to wane.

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  • As a leader in the industry, what would you encourage junior creatives to take away from spikes Asia?

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  • What does the agency model of tomorrow look like in this new Omni-platform world?

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  • How can creatives remain human in an age of advanced technology?

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  • What does it take to even down the gender balance in the creative industry?

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  • Do you think PR will have a bigger role in creating things?

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  • How do you think PR is working in today's world?

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  • What are the campaigns which stood out for you?

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