IAS to represent South Africa at the annual AdForum Worldwide Summit in New York.

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The 2018 AdForum Summit, held biannually in selected cities across the globe, will feature Johanna McDowell and the Independent Agency Search & Selection Company (IAS) as part of an exclusive, captive audience of search consultants.

The 2018 AdForum summit will take place in New York between 23rd and 27th April 2018, providing Johanna McDowell and the Independent Agency Search & Selection Company (IAS) with the opportunity to assess and forecast global advertising industry trends; and, with up-to-date information constantly being exchanged, an exclusive forum to share ideas, challenges and opportunities.

The AdForum summit is an invitation only event that brings top players in the industry together, and offers them the chance to grow their business, network, and experience how they are shaping the future. The IAS is the only South African company that has consistently been participating in the summit for the past 11 years.

More than 20 participating agencies including big names like Dentsu Aegis Group, Havas Group, DDB Worldwide and Mullen Lowe Group will be visited during the summit week, where these participating agencies have set up private meetings with more than 35 search consultants from around the world at their respective offices in order to have 1-on-1 conversations about agency goals, strategies, key corporate messages and showcase their creative visions and talents with a focus on developing new business leads.

“The main reason we accept the invitation to attend is to ensure that the IAS continues to be at the forefront of global issues and trends facing the advertising and communication industry and the complex world of agency selection. AdForum offers us the chance to discuss the future of the marketing communications industry. This will be especially important this year with the rapid growth of alternative communication partners and management consultants with whom marketers are starting to engage,” says Johanna McDowell, managing director of IAS and partner for SCOPEN Africa.

SCOPEN Africa will also be represented by McDowell at the Summit along with other SCOPEN colleagues from around the world.

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100% Black-owned agency introductions to procurement

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As a result of the issues mentioned above, the Independent Agency Search and Selection Company (IAS) has announced the launch of their Business Speed Dating Programme, a first in South Africa for Procurement and Communication Agencies. The first session will take place on 7 June in Johannesburg with plans to roll this out across the country depending on success and uptake.

The business speed dating programme has been specifically designed for Procurement Professionals and Black-Owned agencies, with the aim of offering Procurement Executives a dynamic, no strings attached opportunity to very efficiently meet a wide variety of 100% Black -Owned Communication Agencies that they may wish to know. The agencies will be from different disciplines such as advertising, digital, media, PR, events and activations.

Black-owned agencies, who wish to know more about this programme and other services offered by the IAS, are invited to be in touch with Hlamazi Mabunda on email hlamazi@agencyselection.co.za or Nikki Munsie on email nikki@agencyselection.co.za or contact the IAS on 010 594 0281.

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IAS plans to pair procurement, black-owned agencies through 'dating' programme

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The first of the Independent Agency Search and Selection Company's (IAS) Business Speed Dating Programmes will take place in Johannesburg on 7 June 2018. The programme is aimed at pairing procurement professionals and black-owned agencies, in an effort to offer procurement executives the opportunity to meet 100% black-owned communication agencies.

The agencies will be from different disciplines such as advertising, digital, media, PR, events, and activations. Black-owned agencies, that wish to know more about this programme and other services offered by the IAS, are invited to be in touch with Hlamazi Mabunda on email hlamazi@agencyselection.co.za or Nikki Munsie on email nikki@agencyselection.co.za or contact the IAS on 010 594 0281.

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The client/agency relationship: How to avoid a divorce

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It is widely considered that while long term relationships between clients and their advertising agencies produce better results, the reality is that client/agency relationships do fail, and most often within two to three years of starting.

Cracks in the relationship start to appear because very often clients and agencies are not on the same wavelength and do not fully understand the dynamics and the day-to-day running of their respective business. A perfect match requires the agency to fully understand the client’s brand and brand ethos, while clients have to understand the creative dynamics of its agency.

Relationship breakdown

According to research conducted in 2017 by the Independent Agency Search & Selection Company and SCOPEN among 217 marketing professionals from different companies (clients) and 152 advertising agency professionals working in creative and media agencies, the perceptions and reasons behind the breakdown in the relationships often differed between the client and the agency. The research shows an interesting and sometimes surprising difference in opinions between clients and agencies and more importantly, offers clues as to how to avoid a breakdown.

About 79% of interviewed clients mentioned they were satisfied with their current agencies, while 26% mentioned that although they were satisfied, they were still considering changing their agencies for various reasons.

Matching the personalities is essential to strike up the right chemistry in the first meeting. Chemistry in any relationship gets each party excited, the creative juices start to flow, and an environment of trust is formulated. While an emotional connection is not the only important factor to the relationship, the chemistry between the agency and client is a vital ingredient in the matchmaking process.

Another major factor expressed by clients as being the overriding cause of the breakdown was the timing issue and servicing by the agency.

Defining boundaries

Like any new or existing relationship defining boundaries and maintaining open healthy dialogue is key to a long-lasting client-agency relationship. Both parties have to understand what they are expecting from the relationship and have it formalised in writing.

The truth is while agencies would like their clients to engage more with them, senior marketing executives in general have become less engaged with the agency and probably only spend about 20%, at the most, of their time working with the agency. While the marketing director is responsible for directing the advertising strategy, this has become a very small part of what he or she now does on a daily basis within the company organisation.

It is important for the agency to take into account that they have been selected to handle the advertising campaign and to deliver effective marketing campaigns that meets the client’s objectives. The client does not have time to monitor an agency and very often, if the agency is unable to meet the deadlines, a divorce can be on the cards.

The expectations of the client and the agency need to be spelled out from the start. Sometimes rescuing the previous relationship is more beneficial because changing agencies can be disruptive.

The DNA of an agency

Choosing an advertising agency to take a brand to a new level is an important decision. However, understanding the DNA of an agency is essential to the success of the relationship. Clients need to gain a deeper understanding into the mechanics of an agency, to keep brand managers abreast with the latest changes and developments in the marketing communications industry.

Continuous feedback throughout the relationship ensures client and agency are able to develop and maintain a successful relationship.

Setting clear expectations and clearly defining roles is the best preventative measure. There has to be more effort at the start to establish working practices, because well-structured professional relationships are then more likely to last.

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International Public Relations Association(IPRA) Board honours Johanna McDowell.

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The International Public Relations Association (IPRA) board has resolved to honour its former President Johanna McDowell with the title of Member Emeritus of IPRA in recognition for her service to IPRA and the PR profession over many years. 

“It is a great honour for me to be recognised with the prestigious title of Member Emeritus. IPRA has been my guiding light through the course of my PR career which followed on my earlier advertising career activities. They gave me access to other international professionals and I always felt that we were at the leading edge of communications,” says McDowell.  

“I joined IPRA in 1994, as I wanted to be part of an international PR organization when I started my first agency and the past 24 years have been memorable for the amount of change and development that the PR industry worldwide has been through,” adds McDowell.

With an impressive background that includes being on the agency and client side of the fence, McDowell has built her career in marketing and advertising since 1974. McDowell previously served as a member of the International Advertising Association (IAA), before being elected to the position of IPRA President in 2012, a global responsibility.

As a long-term member of this international organization since the early 90’s, McDowell saw this as an ideal opportunity to promote Africa to the world: a cause close to her heart. This indeed became the case when she used her experience and knowledge of the industry as the local organiser of the 2015 IPRA World Congress in South Africa which was attended by over 300 delegates from 38 countries.

“It is always a pleasure to create a new Member Emeritus”, says IPRA Secretary General Philip Sheppard. “Up until today there are just 16 others across the globe, and in total there have been only 38 since IPRA’s creation in 1955. Johanna is a deserved recipient of the title and a PR professional who will be remembered for a spectacular Congress in 2015 in Johannesburg.”

About IPRA: 

IPRA, the International Public Relations Association, is the leading global network for Public Relations professionals. Membership is individual not corporate. It aims to further the development of open communication and the ethical practice of public relations. IPRA fulfils this aim through networking opportunities, its code of conduct and intellectual leadership of the profession. IPRA is the organiser of the annual Golden World Awards for excellence – PR’s global awards scheme.  With 60 years of experience, IPRA, recognised by the United Nations, is now present throughout the world wherever public relations are practised. IPRA welcomes all those within the profession who share its aim and who wish to be part of the IPRA worldwide fellowship. For more information please visit: www.ipra.org 

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THE GOOD CLIENT-AGENCY RELATIONSHIP

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   Johanna McDowell (Managing Director of the Independent Agency Search & Selection Company (IAS), and Partner and director of SCOPEN Africa) shares her thoughts on effective client/agency relationship management, and the importance of getting clients and agencies to speak the same language to avoid a professional divorce.     It is widely considered that while long-term relationships between clients and their advertising agencies produce better results, the reality is that client/agency relationships do fail, and most often within two to three years of starting.  Cracks in the relationship start to appear because very often clients and agencies are not on the same wavelength and do not fully understand the dynamics and the day-to-day running of their respective business. A perfect match requires the agency to fully understand the client’s brand and brand ethos, while clients have to understand the creative dynamics of its agency.  According to research conducted in 2017 by IAS (Independent Agency Search & Selection Company) and SCOPEN among 217 marketing professionals from different companies (clients) and 152 advertising agency professionals working in creative and media agencies, the perceptions and reasons behind the breakdown in the relationships often differed between the client and the agency. The research shows an interesting and sometimes surprising difference in opinions between clients and agencies and more importantly, offers clues as to how to avoid a breakdown.  About 79% of interviewed clients mentioned they were satisfied with their current agencies, while 26% mentioned that although they were satisfied, they were still considering changing their agencies for various reasons.  Matching the personalities is essential to strike up the right chemistry in the first meeting. Chemistry in any relationship gets each party excited, the creative juices start to flow, and an environment of trust is formulated. While an emotional connection is not the only important factor to the relationship, the chemistry between the agency and client is a vital ingredient in the matchmaking process.   While an emotional connection is not the only important factor to the relationship, the chemistry between the agency and client is a vital ingredient in the matchmaking process.   Another major factor expressed by clients as being the overriding cause of the breakdown was the timing issue and servicing by the agency.  Like any new or existing relationship defining boundaries and maintaining open healthy dialogue is key to a long-lasting client-agency relationship. Both parties have to understand what they are expecting from the relationship and have it formalized in writing.  The truth is while agencies would like their clients to engage more with them, senior marketing executives, in general, have become less engaged with the agency and probably only spend about 20%, at the most, of their time working with the agency. While the marketing director is responsible for directing the advertising strategy, this has become a very small part of what he or she now does on a daily basis within the company organisation.  It is important for the agency to take into account that they have been selected to handle the advertising campaign and to deliver effective marketing campaigns that meet the client’s objectives. The client does not have time to monitor an agency and, very often, if the agency is unable to meet the deadlines, a divorce can be on the cards.   The client does not have time to monitor an agency and, very often, if the agency is unable to meet the deadlines, a divorce can be on the cards.   Quality control is important to ensure the right agency fits the client’s requirements. The IAS’s role is to manage both the agency and client expectations.  We ask the relevant questions.  Why do you think that the existing relationship has broken down with the agency? Why are you looking to change? What is the budget? What will the client’s level of involvement be? What do you want to achieve? The expectations of the client and the agency need to be spelt out from the start. Sometimes rescuing the previous relationship is more beneficial because changing agencies can be disruptive.  Choosing an advertising agency to take a brand to a new level is an important decision. However, understanding the DNA of an agency is essential to the success of the relationship. The IAS Agency TLC Relationship Management Programme assists clients to gain a deeper understanding into the mechanics of an agency, to keep brand managers abreast with the latest changes and developments in the marketing communications industry. Continuous feedback throughout the relationship ensures client and agency are able to develop and maintain a successful relationship.  Setting clear expectations and clearly defining roles is the best preventative measure. There has to be more effort at the start to establish working practices, because well-structured professional relationships are then more likely to last.  Click here to view this article online

Johanna McDowell (Managing Director of the Independent Agency Search & Selection Company (IAS), and Partner and director of SCOPEN Africa) shares her thoughts on effective client/agency relationship management, and the importance of getting clients and agencies to speak the same language to avoid a professional divorce. 

It is widely considered that while long-term relationships between clients and their advertising agencies produce better results, the reality is that client/agency relationships do fail, and most often within two to three years of starting.

Cracks in the relationship start to appear because very often clients and agencies are not on the same wavelength and do not fully understand the dynamics and the day-to-day running of their respective business. A perfect match requires the agency to fully understand the client’s brand and brand ethos, while clients have to understand the creative dynamics of its agency.

According to research conducted in 2017 by IAS (Independent Agency Search & Selection Company) and SCOPEN among 217 marketing professionals from different companies (clients) and 152 advertising agency professionals working in creative and media agencies, the perceptions and reasons behind the breakdown in the relationships often differed between the client and the agency. The research shows an interesting and sometimes surprising difference in opinions between clients and agencies and more importantly, offers clues as to how to avoid a breakdown.

About 79% of interviewed clients mentioned they were satisfied with their current agencies, while 26% mentioned that although they were satisfied, they were still considering changing their agencies for various reasons.

Matching the personalities is essential to strike up the right chemistry in the first meeting. Chemistry in any relationship gets each party excited, the creative juices start to flow, and an environment of trust is formulated. While an emotional connection is not the only important factor to the relationship, the chemistry between the agency and client is a vital ingredient in the matchmaking process.

While an emotional connection is not the only important factor to the relationship, the chemistry between the agency and client is a vital ingredient in the matchmaking process.

Another major factor expressed by clients as being the overriding cause of the breakdown was the timing issue and servicing by the agency.

Like any new or existing relationship defining boundaries and maintaining open healthy dialogue is key to a long-lasting client-agency relationship. Both parties have to understand what they are expecting from the relationship and have it formalized in writing.

The truth is while agencies would like their clients to engage more with them, senior marketing executives, in general, have become less engaged with the agency and probably only spend about 20%, at the most, of their time working with the agency. While the marketing director is responsible for directing the advertising strategy, this has become a very small part of what he or she now does on a daily basis within the company organisation.

It is important for the agency to take into account that they have been selected to handle the advertising campaign and to deliver effective marketing campaigns that meet the client’s objectives. The client does not have time to monitor an agency and, very often, if the agency is unable to meet the deadlines, a divorce can be on the cards.

The client does not have time to monitor an agency and, very often, if the agency is unable to meet the deadlines, a divorce can be on the cards.

Quality control is important to ensure the right agency fits the client’s requirements. The IAS’s role is to manage both the agency and client expectations.

We ask the relevant questions.

Why do you think that the existing relationship has broken down with the agency? Why are you looking to change? What is the budget? What will the client’s level of involvement be? What do you want to achieve? The expectations of the client and the agency need to be spelt out from the start. Sometimes rescuing the previous relationship is more beneficial because changing agencies can be disruptive.

Choosing an advertising agency to take a brand to a new level is an important decision. However, understanding the DNA of an agency is essential to the success of the relationship. The IAS Agency TLC Relationship Management Programme assists clients to gain a deeper understanding into the mechanics of an agency, to keep brand managers abreast with the latest changes and developments in the marketing communications industry. Continuous feedback throughout the relationship ensures client and agency are able to develop and maintain a successful relationship.

Setting clear expectations and clearly defining roles is the best preventative measure. There has to be more effort at the start to establish working practices, because well-structured professional relationships are then more likely to last.

Click here to view this article online