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A Day in the Life at Mintz + Hoke: Leadership Edition

In an industry as ever-changing as advertising, we continue to evolve as an agency and as individuals while holding true to our core values and philosophy. To shine a light on who we are and how we do we what do, we're beginning a Day in the Life at Mintz + Hoke series. We’ll take you through each department and each person, giving you the inside scoop on how we start our day, what inspires us, and how we embody our Immersively Different approach in our day-to-day efforts. 

A day in the life at Mintz + Hoke

First up, leadership.

Ron Perine

Ron Perine, Managing Principal + CEO, has been with the agency for just shy of 28 years! Here is a glimpse of his day.

When people outside the advertising industry ask what you do, how do you describe your role?

Well, I say I have the best job ever! I work in an ad agency as the “leader of the pack.” I tell them that the thing that keeps me coming back is our people and the diversity of our work. The people are so incredibly smart, and the clients and work are thought-provoking and intriguing.

What does the first hour of your day typically consist of? Are you reading the news, meditating, journaling, etc.?

My first few hours of every day consist of getting the dogs out and fed and watering the plants and flowers. After that, I do some exercise and meditation. Meditation has become a big part of my life as it has helped me focus on the important things in life and not concentrate on the things that are out of my control. I then grab some coffee, sit on the deck (if weather permits), and catch up on world and local news. Of course, until the dogs decide it’s time to play in the front yard, and then we are off to that! We all know they rule the roost!

How do our Mintz + Hoke core values—Inspire/Be Inspired, Embrace the Gray, Always Bring a Gift, Honor Respect and Own It—benefit our clients in the work we do?

These core values are what Immersively Different is all about! Clients look to us for inspiration, and we need to bring that every day! The nuggets are often hidden in the gray area, and that is where you will find the hidden gems. We can’t be afraid to “live” there because that’s what our clients expect of us. It’s only fitting to bring a gift. Our clients invest in us, and with that investment, there should always be some added value. Relationships are not easy—they take work. We must constantly step back and understand what others are dealing with from both a work and personal standpoint. This will provide insight into how they may be reacting to things. Sometimes people are just having a bad day, and that needs to be acknowledged and compensated for. You can’t be in business as long as we have without acknowledging and dealing with your mistakes. You need to “own it!” Once you own it, you can learn from it, grow from it, and become better because of it! That’s what we do!

How do you encourage the team to be Immersively Different?

I believe that one of the key roles is to keep all team members, especially the senior leadership team, thinking outside the box and bringing new and innovative thinking. I tend to push leadership to take a different viewpoint at all turns. I also like to lead by example, so I try to always think globally, delve deep and leave no stone unturned.

How do you embrace our Immersively Different philosophy day-to-day in your practice and as an agency leader?

As I said, I lead by example. I try to encourage everyone to dig deeper and think broader. I try to mentor my team to handle certain situations with a new perspective or viewpoint and see if the result is a more positive one. Everything is constantly changing at the speed of light, and we need to stay on the leading edge.

If you could give one piece of career advice, what would it be?

Be curious, ask questions, offer support and always be willing to lend a hand. Do not be judgmental, reactionary or closed-minded.

Where do you find inspiration?

My inspiration comes from everyone and everywhere—humans and animals. I love to people watch. Humans are an interesting breed, and we are all so different. We can learn quite a bit from each other. Animals are a huge inspiration for me. Especially dogs! I think the constant napping may be a thing! Finally, I get inspiration from my two very successful, very different, very intelligent, and very beautiful daughters. They keep me up to speed on the ever-changing social environment and keep me from being left in the dust! They challenge me and are always there to keep me grounded.

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Sara-Beth Donovan

Now hear from Sara-Beth Donovan, Principal, President of Media Only, and agency veteran of 15 years!

When people outside the advertising industry ask what you do, how do you describe your role?

I lead an amazing team of media professionals who are passionate about making media!

What does the first hour of your day typically consist of? Are you reading the news, meditating, journaling, etc.?

Lots of scanning for things I need to know to set up the day for success—my calendar, the news of the day, emails and attending daily check-in to be sure I’m not being a blocker for others! 😉

How do our Mintz + Hoke core values—Inspire/Be Inspired, Embrace the Gray, Always Bring a Gift, Honor Respect and Own It—benefit our clients in the work we do?

These values are the anchors to a Mintz + Hoker (as I like to call us all). When teams live these values, we all benefit. Advertising is a team sport, and our clients are a critical part of that team. We all want to be inspired, have comfort in the uncomfortable, feel respected, and be accountable when we make a mistake. And who doesn’t love a great present? No matter which role you play on the advertising team, you can make a big difference in someone’s day with these values rendered.

How do you encourage the team to be Immersively Different?

For the media team, it all starts with knowing what users are consuming. From there, we look to make something even better, in partnership with our media delivery peers that deliver on an unmet need. I may be a broken record, but everyone on the team knows I’m happiest when we are MAKING MEDIA, not just buying, planning or pitching it.

How do you embrace our Immersively Different philosophy day-to-day in your practice and as an agency leader?

Our team embraces it when they know what the customer’s customer wants. In leadership, my customer is my team. And their customer is the client. If I can help find a bridge to success for all, I’ve embraced it well. Agencies are a mix of people with varying interests and experiences, which is what makes them great. When the team is motivated and the client is heard, the good work happens naturally.

If you could give one piece of career advice, what would it be?

The day you stop learning in an organization is the day you know it's time to move on.

Where do you find inspiration?

40 Tower Lane!  

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Andrew Wood

Andrew Wood, Principal, Strategy who has been with Mintz + Hoke for over three decades, says he still feels like a freshman. Check out what he has to say.

When people outside the advertising industry ask what you do, how do you describe your role?

I’m a partner in an advertising agency. People think I just have fun, make entertainment and drink Martinis for lunch. I make no effort to disabuse them of that idea. Then, if they are still interested, I tell them we figure out ways to help our clients serve their customers much better than their competitors.

What does the first hour of your day typically consist of? Are you reading the news, meditating, journaling, etc.?

Start with a touch of grateful thinking—corny, but it works. Then, it's different routes to coffee consumption and try and make it all a bit varied.

How do our Mintz + Hoke core values—Inspire/Be Inspired, Embrace the Gray, Always Bring a Gift, Honor Respect and Own It—benefit our clients in the work we do?

The clue is literally in the words themselves—look at them! We play on the blurry edges of business—finding the emotion in customers’ buying decisions and authentically serving them. If we're inspired to always bring a little more than expected (i.e., a gift), then it’s all good. It's also true. We do it.

How do you encourage the team to be Immersively Different?

We celebrate people who have explored and discovered—whatever the source. For example, those who bothered themselves to dig deeper, listen harder, go out of their way to talk to someone different and think about their answers in a different way. I think everyone recognizes how fundamental it is to make our product better and us successful. We all talk in meetings about the presentation where our customer personas or insights stopped the room and got hardened sales teams and business leaders excited about a marketing idea. So, share successes and honestly acknowledge when we fail because we didn’t quite do it the right way.

How do you embrace our Immersively Different philosophy day-to-day in your practice and as an agency leader?

I’m always thinking about the client’s customer's world and celebrating the idea that we get to play with businesses' most valuable asset—emotion. I just expect team members to be thinking about Immersively Different and it seems like they are too!

If you could give one piece of career advice, what would it be?

Take a thoughtful risk. Don’t hide. It will all work out in the end. Everybody is scared, everybody feels a fraud now and again, and everyone loves creativity. So, have an idea and don’t be afraid to push it.

Where do you find inspiration?

Industry articles and awards shows that recognize ideas and thinking. Visiting different great cities and museums, and locally, through local businesses that have built amazing experiences using great CX principles—a local restaurant group, wealth management company, wine dealer, and a running equipment retailer come to mind as great examples I mildly envy.

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Kara Mitchell

Next up, Kara Mitchell, Principal, Client Service, who is going on 14 years here.

When people outside the advertising industry ask what you do, how do you describe your role?

I help brands connect more deeply with their customers.

What does the first hour of your day typically consist of? Are you reading the news, meditating, journaling, etc.?

Reading the news, working out. Also, Wordle.

How do our Mintz + Hoke core values—Inspire/Be Inspired, Embrace the Gray, Always Bring a Gift, Honor Respect and Own It—benefit our clients in the work we do?

Our core values are centered around areas that are critical to bringing creativity and innovation to the work we do.

How do you encourage the team to be Immersively Different?

We always have to put ourselves and our clients into the headspace of the customer. We must always bring that outside perspective, and that requires us to dig to understand not only their rationale drivers but also their emotional. We can’t accept the status quo.

How do you embrace our Immersively Different philosophy day-to-day in your practice and as an agency leader?

Sometimes positioning can just become a line, and it doesn’t become part of the culture driving our work. It’s about inspiring the teams to do what I outlined above and reinforcing the value this brings not only to our clients, but to their audience in the long run. Because we are often helping their audience get access to products or services that, in some cases, can be life-changing. Health insurance, guide dog services, a more equitable society, the list goes on.

If you could give one piece of career advice, what would it be?

Live in the moment and take all you can from each role, each interaction and even each mistake. We are often so focused on the future that we forget to think about what we are learning and how we are growing in the moment.

Where do you find inspiration?

I find inspiration in nature. It helps me to be present and realize the world is much bigger than we think, which grounds me in its routine but also leads to more expansive thinking.

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Lynette McCarthy

Lynette McCarthy, Principal, Broadcast Buying and media maven of 44 years shares her insights.

When people outside the advertising industry ask what you do, how do you describe your role?

I buy commercial airtime for clients based on matching their target audience with audience viewing/listening habits in all forms of media.

What does the first hour of your day typically consist of? Are you reading the news, meditating, journaling, etc.?

First, I read through any media articles to see what is new and happening in the industry, then read through all emails to set up my day’s activities. Always make a list!

How do our Mintz + Hoke core values—Inspire/Be Inspired, Embrace the Gray, Always Bring a Gift, Honor Respect and Own It—benefit our clients in the work we do?

Our core values are what make us different and what bring value to what we do for every client. Before placing any media, we research the client’s customers, what is the best way to reach them, what can we do better in what we may plan to do, and how we can make what we do unique and stand out from the competition. The challenge is what energizes me. Finding the final piece of the puzzle for the client is incredibly rewarding. 

How do you encourage the team to be Immersively Different?

Before starting any project, we look to understand everything about the client’s customer. What is unique about them, and really study who is best to talk to. Mintz + Hoke works as a team so we can inspire each other to think creatively, feeding off each other’s ideas. When we complete something, we review it with the team to see how we can enhance our schedule even more. Together we look at every option available to create the best we can for the client. Never settle. Be proud of that finished product! 

How do you embrace our Immersively Different philosophy day-to-day in your practice and as an agency leader?

Always encourage ideas and support everyone’s thoughts on working toward that finished product. When people feel you value the part they’ve played in the project, they show their best work, and having a team that collaborates and finds ways to put those ideas to work for the client gives everyone permission and confidence to express their creativity. Never forget to thank, praise, and give the people with the ideas the recognition they deserve for a job well done.

If you could give one piece of career advice, what would it be?

Love what you do, have fun with it, and express what you have within you. No idea should be ignored in this business, so respect everyone you work with. Accept that you always have something that you need to learn. And always remember to laugh every day! 

Where do you find inspiration?

I’m surrounded by very talented people that inspire me to be better every day. They continue to amaze me with the work they do. I appreciate the opportunity to work with them and create great work every day.

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Sean CraneAnd last but not least, check out what Sean Crane, our Chief Creative Officer of a little over three years is up to.

When people outside the advertising industry ask what you do, how do you describe your role?

I use creativity to solve business challenges. My role is to tell stories that make people think, feel and act. And to manage and inspire those on my team that do the same.

What does the first hour of your day typically consist of? Are you reading the news, meditating, journaling, etc.?

On a good day, I’m working out first thing in the morning, clearing my head for what’s to come. I do like to get a quick overview of the daily news before starting work, usually via news websites, and then check several favorite content creators on social channels to see what’s up in their worlds.

How do our Mintz + Hoke core values—Inspire/Be Inspired, Embrace the Gray, Always Bring a Gift, Honor Respect and Own It—benefit our clients in the work we do?

Each of our core values has a direct benefit to our clients. When we are inspired as individuals at an agency, we do inspirational work for our clients. When we embrace the gray, we are much better at adapting to the challenges our clients are counting on us to solve. When we bring a gift, we give our clients that little something extra. When we honor respect, both internally and externally, we allow the power of collaboration to strengthen our work. And when we own it, we take pride in the work we’re doing on behalf of our clients.

How do you encourage the team to be Immersively Different?

If we stay true to our core values, we are almost by definition being Immersively Different. Taking pride in what we do, truly enjoying our profession and paying attention to marketing and creative trends — it’s all about immersing ourselves in the world of advertising. Going one step further and immersing ourselves in our clients’ businesses is where our difference really starts to get tangible. We look for like-minded people to work at Mintz + Hoke, and when we find them, the encouragement part is easy.

How do you embrace our Immersively Different philosophy day-to-day in your practice and as an agency leader?

As an agency leader, practicing what I preach and leading by example are required to be successful. I hope that my enthusiasm for all things creative is contagious, especially with my core team members.

If you could give one piece of career advice, what would it be?

The best advice for creatives in this business is to have thick skin. A good percentage of what we create every day is going to end up in the trash bin. You need to be okay with that and not be discouraged. It’s that small percentage of ideas that survive that we live for.

Where do you find inspiration?

I find inspiration all over the place. Movies, television, YouTube and other sites, art, photography, graphic design, packaging, architecture, etc. Great design and great ideas are everywhere and surround us every day. Our job as creatives is to be inspired and even borrow bits and pieces of all that great stuff out there and reconstruct it into something fresh and new.

 

We hope you enjoyed getting to know our leadership team, and we encourage you to stay tuned over the next few months to get to know each department. Next up, a Day in the Life of Media.

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