Digital skills: “If we want the best talent, we need to do a better job of selling ourselves”

Fresh creative talent and access to new data skills are something the marketing industry have been calling for in recent years, but the co-chair of the Graeme Robertson Trust (GRT) has called for the marketers to do a better job of selling themselves if they want to attract the cream of the creative crop.

Ahead of Big Book Crit next week, the UK-wide mentoring programme from the DMA-IDM Employability team, Cordell Burke (Joint Chair of the GRT) has called for “commitment from the industry, its tutors and students in order to continue the sector’s success.”

Burke calls for more commitment from the industry, its tutors and students in order to continue the sector’s success. The comments were made ahead of the third series of Big Book Crit events around the UK next week, created by the DMA-IDM Employability and GRT teams.

Big Book Crit is a UK-wide mentoring programme to help students take their first steps into their career as a creative. The series of evening events will be an opportunity for young creatives to meet industry experts and to have their existing work critiqued by some of the UK advertising and marketing industry’s leading lights.

Cordell Burke, Joint Chair of the Graeme Robertson Trust (GRT), explained, “The advertising and marketing landscape has changed dramatically over the last decade, which looks set to continue. The only way for us to keep up with this pace of change is to adapt the ways we find and educate the next generation of creative talent.

“Whether you’re a business, tutor or student, we all need to commit in order to keep our industry thriving. If the creative ad and marketing sector wants to recruit the best talent, we must do a better job of selling ourselves as the best of the creative industries for young talent. We can’t rely on them coming to us. We must commit to getting out there and meet students, to tell them about how fantastic it is to work in the advertising and marketing industry.”

Burke continues: “Tutors must commit to getting out to experience and learn the latest techniques being used, as well as ensuring industry is involved in educating the next generation directly.

“Ultimately, this will deliver better understanding and better students, ready to take on the challenges our sector has to throw at them. Lastly, students need to commit to getting themselves the job they want. It may not come from the first call, email or interview, but we created events like the Big Book Crit to give students access to the sort of feedback they should expect from a career in the creative sector.”

Each evening will include talks from experienced creative professionals, networking and an opportunity for attendees to have their existing books of work reviewed. This year’s events are taking place in Bristol (23 March), Edinburgh (23 March), London (21 March), Manchester (23 March) and Norwich (30 March).

Kate Burnett, MD of DMA-IDM Employability said, “The Big Book Crit is an opportunity for young people to access invaluable feedback on the work they have already produced, helping them to gain the insight they need to find their first job in the advertising and marketing industry.

“More than that, it’s a chance to meet and speak to potential future employers including some of the most experienced and award-winning people the creative industries have to offer. It’s only through commitment to finding the best talent that our sector can continue to succeed. We’re committed to the nationwide programme we’ve created to offer students, educators and the industry the access they need.”

For more information and to register to attend one of the Big Book Crit events visit the event page on the IDM’s website: