Industry Profile: Dentsu Mitchell group client service director Sylvia Pickering

By AdNews | 3 October 2017
Sylvia Pickering

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

Today we head to Melbourne to speak to Dentsu Mitchell group client service director Sylvia Pickering.

Duration in current role/time at the company:

Five months in my current role, almost five years at Dentsu Mitchell, and just seven years within the Dentsu Aegis Group.

In one sentence, how would you describe what the company does?

Provide communication eco-system planning and delivery to meet each client’s marketing objectives.

In one sentence, what does your role involve?

Leading the Victorian Government team to deliver exceptional responses to our client’s briefs and best practice client servicing skills whilst enabling the team to be high functioning as well as happy at work.

Within the last six months/year, what stands out as the company’s major milestones?

The company has invested heavily into building our strategic and digital offerings, strengthening the Victorian Government with key senior appointments, and invested into our planning capabilities.

Best thing about the industry you work in:

The ability to work with many inspiring, creative, passionate people, which means I’m always learning and enjoying myself.
Previous industry related (ad land/ad tech) companies you have worked at: Amnet and Emitch, within Dentsu Aegis Network; short stint in sales, and Starcom prior to that.

Career-wise, where do you see yourself in three years’ time?

Still in the same place, but leading the agency if all goes to plan. I would love to focus on general management, really looking inwardly to see how the agency can keep going from strength to strength. Everything I do in my day to day, the connections I make, the information I retain, even the mistakes I make (and then learn from), are helping me build towards that goal.

What is the elephant in the room? The thing that no one is talking about – but they should be.

What more could we be doing to keep talented, young people within agency? Publishers and clients alike find individuals with agency experience very valuable, it is important that we as media agencies keep them learning and engaged. Media agency really is that sweet spot in media – we have clients, and we are clients. We work with creative agencies, publishers, marketing teams: no two days are the same.

Tell us one thing people at work don’t know about you?

There isn’t a lot, I’m pretty open with my work colleagues, but I have recently become very interested in mastering the ukulele.

Top networking tip:

In the early days of your career, go to everything. Make friends at all levels, be nice to everyone, they could end up being your boss one day.

My favourite restaurant for a business lunch is:

Currently, Rosetta.

My favourite advert is:

Not Happy Jan - Yellow Pages

My must-have gadget is:

Bluetooth speaker – I like music wherever I am, and headphones lock me out of what’s going on around me too much

My favourite media is:

That’s like choosing between children. Anything digital (so practically everything these days).

My favourite TV show is:

I’m a big fan of British comedy - Black Books is right up there.

The last book I read:

Superworm (to my two year old daughter).

My mantra / philosophy is:

“You catch more flies with honey”. Being a decent, patient, friendly individual always pays off over being bullish. Try to build trust and a good rapport with people and it will serve you well. 

I got into advertising/ad tech/marketing etc. because:

I thought it sounded like an exciting industry. I wasn’t wrong – I get to wear many hats and am always being challenged and learning something new. One day I might be discussing cutting edge technology solutions with a major tech company, the next day I might be figuring out how to show more art to Melburnians at a street level. It’s a dynamic industry full of very creative, intelligent and hilarious people, and the relationships you build are invaluable; we’re a tight knit crew, I met some of my best friends and even my husband in advertising agencies.

If I wasn't doing this for a living, I'd be:

Changing jobs a lot – I’ve not been able to commit to a hobby long enough to get really good at it, let alone another career. This is the only thing that continues to keep me engaged.

In five years' time I'll be:

Creating new and exciting ways to lead an agency towards success whilst still having time to play with my daughter.

Define your job in one word:


What's your poison:

Anything with gin in it.

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