Every month, Mindshare Unplugged spotlights and interviews rising stars across Mindshare North America: People who exemplify our core values of Grit, Provocation, Speed and Collaboration. Say hello to Greg Harris, a Manager of Strategy & Planning in Atlanta, and find out what makes him tick.
About Greg: Greg Harris (pictured below right) is a strategy and planning manager on the U.S. Virgin Islands and Transamerica accounts. He has been at Mindshare for three and a half years, first in New York and then in Atlanta. He loves spending the weekends watching his beloved University of South Carolina Gamecocks and grilling on the Green Egg.
1) What inspired you to go into the marketing/media industry?
My wife. When I was in college, my goal was to work in community relations for a music venue or with a professional sports team. My wife (then-girlfriend) was majoring in advertising, but it felt like I was taking the classes because of all the presentations and work that I saw her doing outside of the classroom. She would talk to me about successful brand campaigns and the most effective way to reach consumers. Her passion foradvertising inspired me to find something that I loved that much.
Two years later I was living in New York and working at Mindshare. I found a way to connect my interest in sports and music to media planning; I'm fascinated with how we can connect our brands through consumers' passion points.
2) How do you handle a tough situation at work?
Stay clam and stay positive. Challenges are a part of this business and everyone encounters them one way or another. In fact, tough times provide us with opportunities to be more creative and think outside of the box. I have seen some of the best work come from a difficult situation when our teams had to take a different approach.
One of the best bosses I ever had (Mindshare's Joey Pieratoni) told me that you learn the most about yourself during tough times. It's an opportunity for you to push yourself and learn how to handle these situations the next time they arise. And the best way to do that is to stay calm and be positive.
3) Give us one big prediction for the marketing/media industry this year.
Real-time livestreaming is going to get big this year. While livestreaming isn't new by any means, Periscope has taken the market by storm, allowing everyday consumers and celebrities to broadcast significant moments in their lives. Since Periscope's launch in late March, people have created over 100 million live broadcasts on the platform. Facebook is also taking advantage of livestreaming -- just recently, they opened their “Live Video” feature to anyone with an iPhone (before, you needed to be either a celebrity or a verified page to use it).
We're going to see livestreamed weddings, birthdays and concerts shared with millions of people across the Web. I'm really excited to see how more and more brands take advantage of this opportunity and incorporate it into their media strategies.
4) As someone in the first five years of your career, what advice would you give to industry leaders?
It’s always important to reward your team and company contributors; the best leaders that I’ve worked with understand that and make it a point to make people feel appreciated. Whether it’s a monetary reward or a call out in front of your team, everyone just wants to be thanked for their work and commitment. Really, a simple “thank you” or “great job” goes a long way in making people feel valued and energized about their work.
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