phd academy graduate scheme: week 2

Debbie Batchelor, Media Assistant, fills us in on week 2 of the PHD Academy Grad Scheme.

Week two of the PHD Academy Grad scheme was themed around all things digital. On Monday, we began with talks from the Digital Strategy and Display teams and a lively session with Kiesse Lamour from Accuen, Omnicom’s specialist programmatic team. Kiesse offered an interesting take on the prominence of Ad blockers as she felt that if people do not want to be served irrelevant adverts, then surely they should be offering up as much of their data up as possible? We also spoke about the rise of blocking Ad blockers as a way to combat their dominance. After these morning sessions, we were given time to work on our group pitches. It’s been fantastic getting to try and piece together a whole pitch with a team of grads from all over the agency. We will be presenting our pitches next week so the allotted time to work on our presentations is becoming even more vital.

Mike Florence, Head of Planning, gave the first talk on Tuesday. He told us about the importance of keeping your plans creative and recommended that we read Byron Sharp, ‘How Brands Grow’ for inspiration. The following sessions were on Search and Mobile, which gave us plenty of fuel for our own pitch ideas. Tuesday ended with a trip to Microsoft where we attended talks from a whole host of staff members; topics ranged from Skype to Xbox and my team even won the Xbox quiz!

On Wednesday, the first talk was from Mark Jackson about PHD’s Performance Team. This is the team that I work within and so I might be a little biased when I say that this was a great session! Sophie Holmes talked to us about Affiliates next and then we had a break to continue pitch work. Our day ended with a talk from Damien Glackin about the importance of Finance and the role it plays within our agency. I picked up lots of useful tips about how the invoicing process should work and there was an engaging Q&A segment after.

Thursday focused on Ad Ops and SEO. To my surprise, I learnt that 15% of all searches that Google sees every day are completely new and have never been searched for before; this truly astounds me and proves just how reactive and current brands have to be in order to capture the ever-changing ways in which we, as humans, interact with the world. Furthermore, I was amazed to hear that there are around 200 factors that influence search engine optimisation; the SEO team feel it is just as much an art form as a science.

Friday was Facebook day. I had been looking forward to this all week and couldn’t wait to check myself in on my Facebook app whilst literally at Facebook HQ (it’s the small things in life…). Rebecca Burchnall gave our morning talk on Social Media and explained how the different platforms all have their individual uses and how best to use them when communicating with audiences. We then had a talk from staff at Facebook themselves and got to wander around their incredible offices. There were sweets around every corner and each room had a hilarious name, ranging from ‘007’ to ‘Cheeky Nandos’. The photos in this article were taken from inside the Facebook offices and showcase their vibrant décor.

Digital Week was fantastic and to top it all off, I even saw Jason Statham on Friday afternoon when I left the office. If that isn’t a good week, I don’t know what is!

facebook wall

facebook insideInside the offices at Facebook


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