Jane McDaid | The Innovator 25 2016
Charting the future of public relations
Jane McDaidThe Innovator 25:

Jane McDaid

Founder & chief creative officer

Thinkhouse

Dublin/London


"
My brightest staff members are always my best mentors"

 

McDaid set up Thinkhouse at the age of 27, in a bid to establish the kind of creative communications agency that she wanted to work for. That kind of entrepreneurial spirit has paid off in droves — Thinkhouse has grown to become one of the world's best youth marketing agencies, working for such clients as Unilever, Heineken, William Grant & Sons, and Coca-Cola. Much of that is down to McDaid's passion for the venture — she bought out her business partner after three years and relaunched and rebranded the agency, settling on a formula that combines future-focused talent with some of the world's top brands.

How do you define innovation?

The discovery of more effective ways of doing things.

Most innovative PR/comms campaign you’ve seen in the last 12 months?

Snapchat's own marketing campaign has been phenomenal to witness

What brands and/or agencies are most innovative when it comes to marketing/PR?

Delighted to be working with some of the most innovation driven organisations such as Heineken, Unilever, and William Grant & Sons.

Describe a moment in your career that you would consider ‘innovative.’

When I bought out my business partner (after 3 years) and re-launched and rebranded our agency; hired an incredible team of future-programmed people that never worked in marketing before; and won some of the biggest marketing contracts up for grabs.

In what area of marketing/PR do you see the most innovation?

Planning & analytics.

How would you describe the communications/PR industry’s level of innovation?

About the same as other marketing disciplines.

Where do you see the greatest opportunity for marketing & PR to become more innovative?

Planning & analytics.

Who most influences how innovative a brand’s marketing/PR is?
CMO

Who is your mentor and why?
My best clients have always been mentors. They're the ones smart enough to welcome being challenged and push us to reach our potential, every time. Also, my brightest staff members are always my best mentors- the ones that help me make the kind of decisions that grow our people and our agency in bold, brave, innovative ways.

How do you find inspiration?

Youth audiences — their loves, their fears, their passions, their beliefs, their ambitions and their dreams. This is what we build our agency around and this (youth culture) is what we help our brands understand.

Advice for people seeking to bring new ideas, ways of doing things to their organizations?

Listen to the youngest members of your team.

In your opinion, what’s the most innovative place in the world?

Innovation is everywhere. If you don't find it, you create it. If I had to choose, I'd say New York — but maybe that's because I'm here right now, as I wrote this!

What’s your favorite time of day and why?
Night time. It's where I get enough head-space to do my best work.