Olivia Randall, head of experience at Jack Morton Australia was previously appointed account director and senior producer. Olivia has worked on brand experiences for clients such as Officeworks, Telstra, Nespresso, BWS, Samsung, The War on Waste, Google and many more.
Producing events and experiences for brands that span over all shapes and sizes, she has developed the key skills needed to create engagement for the clients and for those who follow the brands. Olivia has strong client management skills that make her resilient and ensures quality work.
LBB> What lasting impact has the experience of the pandemic had on how you and your agency think about and approach production?
Olivia> The past few years have been a circuit breaker. It’s with massive force disrupted processes, format, skills, cost, supply chain in every way. The pandemic has forced an exceptionally agile industry to reinvent, multiple times. We’re now reaching some sense of stabilization for the first time and our values, and mindsets have developed and caught up with current technology.
Ultimately, the client experience used to be one directional, the client would approve a creative execution and it would go from ideation and into production – post pandemic we’re seeing shift with our clients and what their needs are. Which has forced us to think about production differently. We need to work hand in hand with creatives to develop ideas that are limitless and be the shepherds of creativity. We think about every element strategically, in where it lives, and where it lives on.
LBB> Aside from covid-19, what have been the most disruptive forces to hit agency production in the past few years?
Olivia> Sustainability. The need to creatively design out waste has never been stronger.
LBB> A good producer should be able to produce for any medium, from film to events to digital. Do you agree or disagree with this statement?
Olivia> I believe that younger talent, and senior talent can be generalists. Providing support and leadership do not always require subject matter expertise. However, a mid-weight producer requires single minded knowledge to deliver in the technology, broadcast, content, logistics, print, event segments of production.
LBB> What’s your own pathway to production? When you started out, what sort of work were you producing and what lessons have stayed with you in that time?
Olivia> I began at Jack Morton 10 years ago, as a production coordinator. I’ve spent the last two as the head of experience. It’s been a unique journey that has been shared across both production and client services and has taken me from a specialist of technology events to a generalist across many disciplines through covid and now into management. If I was to bottle that up into lessons that I have learned along the way.
1) Trust the creative process by getting involved early, production adds value from the start
2) Build your tribe, the people you work and partner with are your biggest assets
3) Look ahead and trust your instincts for what’s coming
LBB> If you compare your role to the role of the heads of TV/heads of production when you first joined the industry, what do you think are the most striking or interesting changes?
Olivia> The speed. I mean that in terms of the speed of trends, and creative delivery as well as the time allocated for production to take place. Both will at some stage hit an inflection point and the (brand experience) industry will require on technology to keep us at this speed. I look forward to seeing the developments here in the future.
LBB> When working with a new partner or collaborator, how do you go about establishing trust?
Olivia> Trust. It’s the beacon on the hill in agencies. A new client of mine said to me a few years ago “You have my trust, until you break it – it’s going to get us both to where we want to be a lot faster this way. But once its broken, its unlikely to come back.” Many still think trust should be earned. But with the pitching, investments, and speed to which we are working – I question if the “trust should be earned” is the right place to start and if our approach should be altered. But more broadly, how is trust earned and maintained? By our people, taking strategic, intelligent, human approach to everything we do.
LBB> How important is it to you there is diversity across all partners on a production? Do you have any measures to promote diversity when it comes to production?
Olivia> Hugely. It’s a big undertaking, our team is constantly putting processes in place to ensure that we are being equitable to suppliers, partners, freelancers, and talent in our production lifecycle. It takes a huge amount of work, and there is no one way, it needs to be embedded in your business at every touchpoint.
LBB> Sustainable production is also, understandably, a big talking point and will continue to be so moving forward. How are you navigating this as an agency?
Olivia> The importance that brands and particularly procurement have on ESG – and in turn sustainability has been amplified in a relatively short period of time. We believe that we’re stronger together. Clients, suppliers, partners, and agencies have to be working together or the change will be much more challenging and less impactful. We have a strong global offering around sustainability and designing out waste.
LBB> What conversations are you having with clients about issues such as diversity and sustainability? Is it something that clients are invested in or more that agencies need to take the lead on?
Olivia> We have conversations with clients about our values, and what is important to us from and our agency. Particularly when we’re relationship building, it helps build alignment and trust for everyone if we’re on the same page.