Simon Rees, managing director, Digital Cinema Media
Simon Rees, managing director, Digital Cinema Media
A view from Simon Rees

Think BR: Nurturing talent in a dynamic media world

We need to attract talent with the skills to succeed in a changing media landscape, writes Simon Rees, managing director, Digital Cinema Media.

The pace of change in the advertising industry is accelerating and it is often a challenge to keep ahead of innovations in marketing and how brands talk to consumers.

Social media’s convergence with traditional media has led to almost every billboard and TV spot referencing a hashtag or facebook page.

Out of home advertising is going through a similar evolution with the installation of Wi-Fi, QR and NFC enabled six-sheet digital posters across cinemas, shopping centres and high streets.

This new advertising landscape requires the need for media agencies and owners to attract talent with very different skillsets.

It is not just about having studied media anymore. Our future media leaders have to be trained according to the ever changing world of communications.

DCM’s regular quarterly intake of four interns is very important to me. It is about nurturing new talent within the advertising industry, inspiring and motivating intelligent and energetic young people to enter the world that we all find so rewarding.

More than providing an introduction to a career in media, my mandate is to encourage young people to think deeply about themselves as they face up to the complexities of finding a career in today’s media environment.

When devising an intern scheme, it is important it adds value to the business and is not relegated to a wasted opportunity to use unpaid labour for photocopying and tidying the stationery cupboard. With four youthful, optimistic and unprejudiced sets of eyes in the building, I see it as a chance to gain new ideas and thought on how we can change our businesses for the better.

Besides inducting the interns into DCM’s business, the media industry and the reasons behind our dramatic change in going digital, we also send them out and about town for frontline experience of the cinema advertising world.

The latest intake was challenged with a brief to present back to us on what kind of management, training and support would deliver the best results from them and the existing team at Digital Cinema Media.

The result was a thought provoking and professionally produced piece of work that provided us insight into the dilemmas faced by young people in the pursuit of a media career.

On a personal level, it was rewarding to see how they approached every task we threw at them with an invigorating and thoroughly refreshing appetite for new ideas.

They had no preconceptions as to how things "should" be. There was no dogma and no self-interest. It strikes me that every business affected by the current disruption facing media and advertising could benefit from using interns in a similar way; as a source of intelligent ideas to develop our thinking.

I feel a sense of pride when a media player of tomorrow tells me that two weeks with DCM has provided the confidence to focus on a career, not just a job. However I will give the last word to one of the digital savvy interns themselves, who tweeted: "Heading back up to the North after a seriously amazing 2 weeks with @DCM_cinema_news. Other companies should aspire to be like them."

Simon Rees, managing director, Digital Cinema Media