“Doing something you love and learn from every day is not a job, it’s a life journey”

Mediaweek held its inaugural Power Lunch in October, celebrating the successes of the media industry and the people who make it.

In the 14th spot on the Agency 50 list was Barry O’Brien OAM, the founder and chairman of Atomic 212º.

O’Brien spoke to Mediaweek about his agency’s hard work, his solid outlook for Atomic 212° in the year ahead and optimism for the industry in the year ahead.

Mediaweek: Congratulations on making the #14 spot on our Mediaweek Agency 50 list. What was your reaction to your placement?

Barry O’Brien: The agency is delighted for the recognition from Mediaweek, which is a testament to all the hard work that has been delivered across the business over the past few years.

As the old saying goes…The harder you work the luckier you get!

How does your position on the list reflect the achievements made by Atomic 212°?

The achievements across the business for our Atomic 212° offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Darwin is a reflection of an agency with real momentum and a team that has a true winning attitude led by National MD Rory Heffernan and our Senior Leadership Team. They are a team of professionals who have a deep connection for the agency, the industry and our clients business.

MW: What are three industry issues on your mind, and in your opinion, how can they be solved or achieved

1. People shortage
– Clearly this is a global issue across many industries, where did all these people go?

For the media industry it is a big problem which will require a large amount of cooperation across the industry with a huge part to play by the MFA and it’s member agencies to retrain and rebalance the shortage of people and talent.

Hiring someone with a limited time in the business and placing them in big jobs that ultimately damage the person’s confidence is not the answer. Time, patience, support and effort training will help solve this and this is engrained in our Atomic 212° culture.

2. Price – The Spanish have a great saying, buy cheap buy twice!

This year has been a good year for Indie agencies across the board winning business. I believe clients are really buying into the fact that the Indie person who “owns the store, runs the store” has a true vested interest in a client’s business results and success.

So, in a competitive media pitch process where being the cheapest is ultimately not the deciding factor in winning, but how you can add value to a client’s business is the real discussion.

3. Our Industry
– I get rather disheartened when I hear and read that people who work in this industry don’t have the feel or passion for it… it’s just a job!

I’ve had the privilege of being in this business for many years, and I truly have enjoyed the majority of time and experience, everyday this industry evolves, changes, develops and that I find pretty exciting. Doing something you love and learn from every day is not a job, it’s a life journey.

What is your outlook for Atomic 212° in 2023?

Atomic 212° is heading into solid year in 2023, as long as market confidence is not derailed by negative communication from the “doomsdayers”. I believe we will continue our growth trajectory as we lead our clients to success and our people with our unique employee value proposition.

What are your hopes for the industry in 2023?

My hopes are for us to live and learn and get involved in some great opportunities and experiences that may only come our way once in a lifetime.

Get active, be positive and proactive for each other!

As a country we have three major events that will hit our shores in 2023, all should be equally celebrated and well supported by all Australians.

1. WorldPride 17 Feb- 5 March 2023 this will be an incredible experience for our country and the many that will come to visit to be part of this event. We have a truly global event for the Southern Hemisphere to support and celebrate LGBTQIA, it will be a massive party and a great time to be in Sydney.

2. SXSW is a real coup and should be enjoyed and supported by all who can attend March 10-19. This is the first time it’s left the US and it’s headed our way. A great time for engaging in creativity, tech, gaming, and culture, it’s not to be missed.

3. FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia and New Zealand 20th July-20th August, this will be the biggest sporting event to witness, watch and experience since the Sydney Olympics 2000.

Each of these massive events will give us a great chance to be part of and support as individuals and also as marketers, my advice don’t miss the opportunity.

Article originally published on Mediaweek.