Industry Profile: Archibald Williams head of client and strategic services Kiranpreet Kaur

29 June 2021

Our Industry Profile takes a look at some of the professionals working across the advertising, adtech, marketing and media sector in Australia. It aims to shed light on the varying roles and companies across the buzzing industry.

This week we speak to Archibald Williams head of client and strategic services Kiranpreet Kaur.

Time at the company:
Three and a half years.

How would you describe what the company does?
We listen before we talk. Whether that’s our clients and their needs for each brief, or the customer (via research and data), we build solutions based off needs and true insights in order to deliver real business growth.

What do you do day-to-day?
Meetings, emails, spreadsheets, and decks.

But seriously, I drive the health and growth of the business, lead strategic projects, and guide the team. In its most basic form, my job is all about connecting people – whether that be brands with customers, building strong internal agency teams, or creating and fostering lasting relationships with clients.

Define your job in one word:

I got into the communications industry because:
I love creative but I’m too much of a spreadsheet and business nerd to have become a creative. This industry has always been, for me, the perfect amalgamation of the arts and the commercial world. And this is why I believe this industry is best positioned to mobilise change and make a difference in society, which satisfies a personal altruistic ambition for me.

What’s the biggest challenge you face in your role?
The sustainability of agency relationships with clients. Advertising agency budgets are always the first thing to go or be dwindled (*cough* negotiated) down. So, facing the never-ending task of proving your added value to sustain some sort of a consistent and reliable business model of your own is a great challenge for agencies.

What’s the biggest industry-wide challenge you’d like to see tackled?
Representation of the true diversity in the cultural and demographic landscape of the Australian population. Not only do we lack it in the staff of our agencies, we are also far behind from a greater media and advertising landscape. I’d like to see more people acknowledge this and push for this when they hire, cast or create.

Previous industry related companies you have worked at:
My first official job was in my teens at Staples (Canadian ‘Officeworks’), working in the Copy and Print Centre. I learned a lot about the different types of paper, brochures and just client service.

Another one is my time as a media relations officer for a government agency which had me doing events, exhibitions, and bilingual interviews on TV and radio.

Notable campaigns you have worked on:
Someone told me in the first year of my career to never chase the brands or awards, but chase the experience when it comes to what I want to work on. A few of the campaigns I’ve worked on have remained close to my heart for different reasons.

  1. Canadian Tourism Commission – Locals Know
  2. Cancer Council – Humans were not meant to be alone
    When COVID hit, we needed to drive fundraising to help cancer patients get the support they needed, even more than before. This was a proactive campaign by our agency with such a clever output.
  3. atWork Australia – Work’s for everyone
    It has been such a fulfilling experience to work on this client and share this message, only to deliver beautiful work by a hardworking team.

Who has been a great mentor to you and why?
Many people have been but most notably, Nora Ahern. Ask her about me and she’ll say “dead to me” and although there are many things I have disappointed her Irish blood with (including my vegetarianism and my lack of alcohol), she set the foundation of who I am in my career and still acts as a guiding voice for me. I owe my career to her and because of the care and support she (and other mentors throughout my career) showed me, I feel forever indebted to pass on that gesture to any young person in the industry.

Words of advice for someone wanting a job like yours?

  1. Learn how to create and manage a solid spreadsheet – knowing, deciphering and presenting numbers well will go a long way.
  2. Admire and learn the craft and thinking that goes into good design and copywriting and apply it to how you create a good deck.
  3. Identify who around you is willing to share (wisdom, experience and guidance), stick to them and be grateful.

If I wasn't doing this for a living, I'd be:
…taking photos – lifestyle photography, more specifically.

My mantra is:
Don’t compromise on respect and kindness – show it and expect it in return.

Music and TV streaming habits. What do you subscribe to?
Netflix, Amazon Prime, Stan and now, Disney+ (I’ve seen the Cars franchise far too many times now, thanks to my two-year-old).

Tell us one thing people at work don’t know about you?
I spent over 12 years of my life learning and practicing Indian music – I can sing and play the harmonium pretty decently for an amateur.

In five years time I’ll be:
Making a real impact on the gender and cultural diversity in advertising... and living in outer Sydney with some horses.

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