Fast Forward - Week 3: Insights and Insects - NABS
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Fast Forward – Week 3: Insights and Insects

Words by Stephanie Marks, Deputy Managing Director at Maxus and Fast Forward mentor

So it’s week 3, or as everyone in the teams seems to be counting, its 4 working weeks left until the pitch!  This week we were honoured to welcome Andy Nairn, one of the founders of Lucky Generals.  Having been named the Number 1 planner in the UK and won a multitude of IPA Effectiveness Awards, he is more than qualified to inspire our new generation and share all of his wisdom around Insight, Strategy & Briefing.

After stumbling through a metaphor around insects we were soon on the right track to Insights; arguably one of the most mystical parts of any comms planning process.  We all know we need them, we all know they are super powerful in unlocking our strategy, yet we all get the fear when faced with finding one – especially our young planners in the room.  Andy’s wise words; make sure it’s a revelation, not an observation, and here’s 13 top tips on how to find one.  From Randi’s ERSE through to numbers and data, storytelling and social media, our teams were buzzing with different routes to follow once in our breakout rooms.  And how to write a good brief?  Start with the insight, be visual, don’t box people in, and above all don’t stress – our work is supposed to be fun.

This inspiring talk came at just the right time; giving our young generation the toolkit required to tackle what feels like the most daunting task was in itself, a revelation to many. Removing the mystery around ‘planning’ and enabling everyone to give it a really good go and have a point of view will simply better equip all of our delegates as they move through their careers in whatever area of the business they focus on.  I wait with baited breath to see what Team Teena share with us next week.

The evening was perfectly rounded off with the Q&A with our client – Ruth Hunt, CEO of Stonewall.  Ruth and her team have worked exceptionally close with NABS throughout this whole process and Ruth herself is an amazing inspiration (in fact in opening week, most of the mentors said they wanted to work for her – awkward).  This was an opportunity for our teams to be exposed to a real pitch situation; how would they create chemistry in the room, would their questions set the right tone / anticipation and excitement for what is to come……..?  Ruth didn’t disappoint, she answered the questions so eloquently, heartfelt and insightful that even if the teams had asked the most dreadful questions, she would have still helped them in more ways than she could know.

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