Here I go again, would you expect anything else? All the channels at the Intercontinental At The Plaza, Kansas City.
So, I've been having an excellent couple of days in Kansas City. Dave and I came out here to do some stuff for the Barkley Evergreen Creative Symposium. Every year they close the agency for two days and get all kinds of speakers in to inspire and excite the whole company. Very good idea. The venue was much cooler than the usual life-shrinking hotel basement conference facility. It was this old theatre place, the stage looked like this:
Kind of intimidating. We watched a bunch of the speakers yesterday and worked out what we were going to say. Then we met up with John January from American Copywriter and recorded a podcast which was a big highlight for me. What a splendid fellow he is. Though I suspect he egged me into annoying more people with my podcast contributions. Dinner that night included the irresistible Ze Frank who is both more and less manic than he seems from The Show.
Dave and I did our thing, which seemed to go OK. The Barkley people were really smart and enthusiastic, great for working with. Hope they enjoyed it. Big thanks to Jim and Kay for looking after us.
Once we'd done our thing I wondered over to the Nelson-Atkins Museum which I really enjoyed. There wasn't the sheer amount of stuff you get in the great metropolitan musuems but I liked that because it makes you pay more attention to what's actually there.
And I noticed that this stained glass window appears to show Our Lady practising a googly.
I've been getting tons of comment spam recently and I've beent travelling a bit so it's been building up without being deleted. So I've turned comment moderation on for now. Hopefully I can turn it off again soon and the spam storm will have passed like a spring shower.
I got this question by email the other day. I don't know what to answer, but I thought you lot might have some pros and cons. Anyone?
"I was just wondering if you could take a moment from your busy schedule to toss some advice my way. I have had about 2 years of experience in the Account Management side of Advertising and I am highly considering a move to Account Planning. I am currently getting "Apprenticed" by two amazing Account Planners, helping out with research and some creative briefs BUT I was wondering what your opinion on more formal forms of Account Planning training was.
An example of more formal training would be VCU's Adcenter, Miami Ad Schools Account Planning Bootcamp, Etc. My university education and experience was based on strategy and research and I would really like to push my career that way.
Any advice or input you could give would be greatly appreciated."
Was in a Starbucks in Kansas City this morning and saw this on the blackboard. It reminded me that I'm increasingly convinced of the importance of brand expertise. Expertise feels like a potentially important component of interestingness. In a world where brand size is increasingly un-useful expertise is one of those things where scale really helps. If you're really big and focused on one thing you ought to know a lot about it, and you ought to get a lot of value out of sharing that with people. Especially if you can make the sharing human-sized.
The Lord Melvyn and In Our Time is back. Hurrah. Michael Morpurgo embarks on a 30-part history of British childhood. But I thought the September 27th issue of Thinking Allowed was particularly interesting (especially related to John Grant's anti-changism on Letsseewhathappens.) They look, in different ways, at cultural infatuation with change.
(I also like that I listened to this very Radio 4 programme via my laptop in a Kansas City hotel room at 3 in the morning.)
I'm a big fan of BBC Radio 4, all right-thinking people are and I'm always keen to share the interesting bits of it that I've heard. I've been using the Squidoo, and I like Squidoo as an idea, but it's just not working for me. (And right now it's not working at all.) It's too hard to get in and out of a different set of pages and interfaces and menus and stuff. So I don't update it enough. So instead I might start pointing at stuff via here. First couple you can listen to online:
The CIA and the Avant-Garde. A brilliant thing about the Internationalen Ferienkursen für Neue Musik, a festival of challengingly difficult music, funded covertly by Langley. Marvelous.
As Safe As Houses. A series about property from Marcus Brigstocke. Mildly funny and mildy thought-provoking. That sounds like damning with faint praise, but I like mild. Contains a good fact to throw around - there are 60 million people in Britain, and 60 million acres of land. That means me, Anne and Arthur should have 3 acres. Where are our 3 acres?