Jen Smith is Co-Founder of communications strategy agency Craft. The former global creative director of Maxus, she was named one of Campaign’s Top 10 Planners in the UK.
Who is your media hero?
Any woman in media who has helped another woman succeed is a hero.
I have been helped enormously by other women: Lindsay Pattison, Stephanie Marks & Sally Weavers.
What have they done to win hero status?
I talk a lot about falling in love with the women you work with.I don’t believe you should settle for spending so much time with people you just like.
Instead I think you should go and find the people you can have all the feelings with – as they are the ones you can create magic with.
For the ladies above they are super heroes for being my bea. 🙂 But individually they have done so much more.
Lindsay is a hero for teaching me to step in front of the work – for putting an arm around me and equally kicking me up the bum.
Steph is my partner in crime for over 20 years. My pitching partner and the person so in synch with me we have been known to turn up in identical outfits without any pre-planning.
Sally is a super hero for being bonkers enough to say ‘what’s the worst that can happen’ when we decided to set up our own agency.
How has heroism helped to drive media?
These women have been talented enough to operate at the media top table, and like the oldest sibling in a family they have had the arguments first, negotiated a position and set benchmarks for others siblings to follow and push even further.
But more than setting a path, it’s that these women continually ask ‘what more can I do’? Their generosity of spirit, time and effort will mean that media will never stay still.
What is the biggest challenge in media we need another hero to solve?
We need more ‘different’.
Different models of agency, structure and typeDifferent media and content brands who bring a new pov and are able to access commercial opportunities to thrive Different voices and faces in leadership position to see the opportunity and challenges and approach them with new solutions.
What is your most heroic personal achievement so far in media?
Craft & the team of Crafties.
It’s really hard to have an idea and make it a reality, and just over 2 years ago Sally Weavers and I thought there was a space between creative and media we could fill so decided to make it.
We want Craft to be a place where we can help businesses create ideas designed to be ’noticed’ by people not just to ‘reach’ people, built with a group of people who wanted to collaborate and not fight to ‘lead’.
We talk creative & media and help interpret to others.We think you can be effective in ways that don’t just involve spending vast sums of money.
And we think you can do it in a way which is fair, fun and flexible.