All posts in “Career”

What to tell a group of MBA students about a career in Digital Communications

I recently realized that I was a veteran in this industry. I know, it should have tweaked to that fact a little earlier, but I was recently on an industry panel, talking about women and leadership to a group of students who belong to the Women in Management Association at Rotman’s School of Management, at the University of Toronto. The fact that I could remember working on early MSN projects back in the 90’s, when “broadband was going to be big” was a bit of a reality check. When did MBA students start looking so young ?!

Reality really hit home this week, when I was visiting that MSN client in Montreal. We have been through four iterations of our business lives together, with him on the Client side, me on the Agency side… with both of us, circa 2011 now working in the social media area of the business.

If I were asked – would I do it all over again? Would I choose to build my career in digital communications, if it were early enough to still become a management consultant?

Thinking of those MBA students I was talking to at WIMA, my answer to that “Would I do It All Over Again” question would Yes. Absolutely.

I can honestly say, after being one of the first to come out of the multimedia program at the Vancouver Film School 15 years ago, yes. I have three excellent reasons:

  1. I still genuinely get a kick out of it. I like working on a variety of projects, and think it’s important work. Perhaps it’s not solving the problems of world hunger, but in my time I have done my share of work on important social and business issues, and this career has offered me the opportunity to work with clients on those issues in a meaningful way.
  2. As an emerging space, the sector has allowed me to be entrepreneurial. Throughout my career, I have been in a variety of entrepreneurial businesses, as an entrepreneur, business lead or strategic partner. I have worked in large organizations as well, but the emerging nature of the sector encourages this entrepreneurial spirit. You have to know if that works for you- but it’s been a huge plus for me.
  3. This industry has given me an opportunity to interface with the world. OK, I know that sounds corny- but by its very nature, digital communications is international. There are no borders. And lots of different types of people and organizations are interested in how digital communications will impact them. The industry has allowed me to explore a variety of different boards, associations and organizations both within Canada and outside of Canada. As I get older, that is the piece that I find the most exciting- and I think digital media provides an excellent vehicle for Canadian companies and individuals to engage with the business world outside of our borders. This is key to our strength and growth as a country, and in digital communications- especially in Social Media, we live that reality every day.

And as a parting word to all those MBA students at WIMA, it’s important that women in business are engaged in this field. In general, I think it’s important for there to be a diversity of people and voices present at the digital communications table — after all, we are shaping the cadence of this important and still emerging global communications platform. We should all be there.










SMG is looking for you. Why you should be looking at SMG.

The best jobs to get are the jobs that find you.  That’s how I came to work at Social Media Group.  I was fully engaged in a job search at the time – networking, meeting with recruiters, applying to the occasional ad.  Then, Maggie called me after having read my blog coverage of the Toronto mayoral race. I was both flattered and impressed that she’d picked out my work.  I figured that she must have her ear pressed firmly to the ground to detect my website amidst the billions of blogs out there.

Needless to say, we hit it off really well.  After just a couple of meetings I was sold on working at SMG (and they were sold on me, thankfully).  In my first blog post I talked about the reasons why I joined SMG.  But now that I’ve actually worked here for a spell, I thought I could expand on what makes SMG a great place to work.  Why should you care?  Because SMG is expanding rapidly, and you could work here too.

So, without further ado, here are the top five things that make SMG a great place to build your career:

SMG gets Social Business – Many organizations have come to understand that social media impacts functions beyond Marketing.  As such, consultants need to have a philosophy and approach that exceeds the campaign mentality that’s been the bread and butter of agencies since time immemorial.  This thinking exists here, and as more clients come realize what they really need, even more opportunity will to flow SMG’s way.  If you don’t believe me, read what industry prophet Jeremiah Owyang has to say about why social media boutiques are winning deals over traditional digital agencies.

SMG is punching well above its weight class. In comparison to many of the agencies SMG confronts in pitches, we are relatively small.  We’re not part of a multi-national, and have but one office here in Toronto. Yet, I have been absolutely amazed at the size and caliber of SMG’s current clients (Thomson Reuters, Ford, CNN, SAP, 3M, Select Comfort, Norwegian Cruise Line) and soon to be clients, (can’t disclose any names, sorry!) working on the meatiest, juiciest assignments imaginable.  Size becomes a non-issue when clients get to experience the depth of experience and thinking that resides here.

There’s unlimited vacation. OK, maybe it’s a bit early in my tenure at SMG to talk about time off.  But the fact that employees can take however much vacation they need is a pretty sweet perk.  SMG is of the attitude that we are all responsible adults, who respect their clients and coworkers enough not to leave anybody in a lurch.  Work hard, get your sh*t done and take what time you need.  It’s the way things should be, everywhere.

Social media is about people.  So is SMG.  Doing great work isn’t worth much if you don’t like who you’re working with.  I can say with hand on heart that the people here are terrific.  Supportive, collaborative and fun are the first words that come to mind.

The best is yet to come. Let’s be honest, it’s still early days in social media.  You may have been thinking and talking about social media for some time now, but the majority of businesses are just now starting to take it seriously.  So if you want to get in on the ground floor with a company that’s poised for a fast and furious ride to the top – contact us!

SMG is Hiring: The Best Project Manager in the World!

Location: Toronto, Ontario

About the Company:

Founded in 2006, Social Media Group is one of the world’s largest independent agencies helping companies navigate the social web.

It’s a cool time to be us – we’re breaking new ground every day and working with some of the largest and best-known names in both Canada and the U.S., helping them understand the power of social media and the benefits of transforming communications from dictation to dialogue.

The Opportunity:

SMG is looking to hire the Best Project Manager in the World.

We need someone to take ownership and manage some of our many projects from start to finish, leaving out not one detail and missing not one deadline (as well as holding the project team to the same standard).

If you have a passion for and interest in all things Web 2.0, a great understanding of what’s going on out there, kick-ass communications skills and would describe yourself as a ‘perpetual student’ – that’s what we’re after.

We don’t do banner ads. At SMG it’s all social media, all the time; all of our projects are Web 2.0 driven

What’s in it for you:

  • The opportunity to be a true social media pioneer – this is an amazing chance to be on the cutting edge of an exciting new space and make up the rules as you go along.
  • SMG is growing, with some of the biggest companies in North America as clients. There will be tons of room for (personal, professional) growth in the years to come.

Principal Duties:

• Attend relevant new business briefings in order to provide assistance through the identification of scope, resource requirements and project workflow.

• Maintain regular contact with customers to ensure continuous project progress, immediate resolution of issues, positive relationship growth, and escalation of critical issues to Senior Management.

• Lead and manage project life cycle from final project definition, timeline creation, resource allocation and management, development and implementation.

• Submit approved time sheets by the end of the week.

• Review and reconciliation of project budgets monthly. Consolidate and report with solution-oriented thinking on project profit and loss findings, including areas of margin erosion or other quality-related issues.

• Ensure quality execution of project scope, resource management and budget control as outlined in the approved SOW.

• Provide clear direction, appropriate communication and documentation of project status to stakeholders, including risk, budgeted hours for resources, timelines, milestone deliveries, and overall project and relationship status.

• Develop SMG solutions that can deepen the client relationship and add value through new opportunities and ideas/solutions.

We’re a small company that offers tremendous room for growth. If you’re a big thinker, this one’s for you.

What you need:

  • Interactive agency experience.
  • Strong communication and documentation skills.
  • Ability to work effectively with employees at all levels of the company.
  • Exceptional ability to multi-task.
  • Strong problem solving and solutioning skills.
  • Proven track record of delivering projects successfully.
  • Flexibility and comfort in a startup environment

Sound like you? Please send your resume to: Ramona [.] Gallagher [at] socialmediagroup [dot] com by Friday July 24th, 2009.