Renae Barber – Social & Innovation Executive @ OMD Australia

1. Before we dive into your role at OMD Australia, what has your career journey looked like so far?

To be completely honest, I never knew that I wanted to be in marketing until I found myself working at OMD

1)Working as a journo

While I was at uni I worked as a news producer at the ABC and before that I was a sales and marketing assistant at a niche news publisher. After I finished my degree in Digital & Social Media and Journalism, having already gotten a good taste of the journo life I wanted to find out more about what the digital & social side was all about. 

2)Transitioning into media agencies (unintentionally)

So, I found myself in the right place at the right time to have gained an offer to cover a maternity leave contract as an Assistant in OMD Create

The first task I was given in my new role was to write an influencer brief – I had no idea where to start! 

Over time through trial, error and the constant support of my team I’ve expanded my understanding of the media planning and social media universe, grown my professional confidence immensely and fostered a real passion for marketing.

2. Transitioning into work, what the heck does a Social & Innovation Executive @ OMD Australia do?

What is OMD Australia?

OMD is a media planning agency. I often tell people that “we don’t make the ads, we put them in front of you”. To put it very simply, we leverage data to ensure our ads are being seen by the right audience at the right place at the right time.

What is Social & Innovation at OMD Australia?

I’m lucky enough to work in OMD’s creative offshoot, OMD Create. 

The Social & Innovation pillar works across executions specific to social media and innovative technology, which could include:

  • Social strategy
  • Social planning
  • Native advertising
  • Influencers and 
  • World-first brand innovations (eg: 3D Audio Podcasts)

What does your role entail?

I mostly implement and activate anything specifically related to social. 

So in my day-to-day I’ll be:

  • Managing influencer campaigns for our clients connecting talent and brands
  • Community managing social channels for our clients
  • Executing influencer campaigns
  • Planning social media, optimising, reporting and project managing

Outside of my day-to-day, I’m also involved in the environment team at OMD.


3. What’s a campaign you’ve worked with on in your currently role and how have you helped bring them to life?

Campaign Name: Skin Cancer Prevention TikTok
Example: Creator collabs with Bridey Drake & Sam Fricker

What was it?

Cancer Institute NSW collabed with two young TikTok creators to show young people how easy it is to integrate sun safe behaviours into your daily routine that can help prevent skin cancer down the track.

What was your role?

My role was to bring the client’s brief to life by:

  • Finding the right talent
  • Ensuring integration of messaging
  • Being the touch point between creator
  • Client and project managing the campaign

4. What do the entry level pathways into a media agency look like?

I’d highly recommend networking and chatting to people who work in media to see what roles are available and what roles interest you

It took me a while to get my head around how a media planning agency operates and what all the different roles and departments do, for example trading, business management and activations/programmatic. 

The best way to get your foot in the door is by applying for an assistant role like I did, reaching out to an agency directly or through your professional network. 

You learn so much on the job and your development is always prioritised, so I’ve always felt constantly supported and empowered to make positive steps towards growth.

What about “Social & Innovation” roles?

I was so fortunate to be hired at the entry level in S&I as it is a fairly rare role to come across. 
However, many people who work in the partnerships and social space start out as assistants, execs or managers in another department and pivot into our team.

5. What’s one thing you recommend someone who wants to work in a media agency do right now?

Reach out and start a conversation with someone who works in media! 

I would have never known what a media agency was if it wasn’t for a friend of mine who worked in the industry. 

She provided such a great glimpse of what it was like to work in an agency and was loving it at the time, I’m still thankful even a year and a half on that she inspired me to take the leap.

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