by MarkLives (@marklives) Danielle Sneiders has rejoined the ad industry as the new managing director of ad agency, HelloFCB+. A seasoned industry executive with 20 years’ management and operational experience, she replaces Robyn Campbell, who recently joined Machine_.
MarkLives caught up with Sneiders to find out about her return to the industry after having taking time off after her daughter’s birth, her vision for the business and her message to stakeholders in this time of crisis (see below).
Sneiders started her career at Ogilvy Johannesburg in 1999. She worked at Net#Work BBDO Johannesburg and MorrisJones & Co (where she assisted on the Virgin Mobile launch), before helping to establish MetropolitanRepublic, where she headed up the MTN South Africa account. Finally, she joined the now-closed The Jupiter Drawing Room Johannesburg (Jupiter Joburg), first as director for new business development and then as managing partner.
“Over the years, I have been privileged to learn so much from the fiercest women in this industry — Renee Silverstone, Alison Deeb, Angel Jones, Nina Morris, Boniswa Pezisa and Nici Richter, among them,” says Sneiders. “They, and the teams I have been lucky to work with, have helped me understand what it takes to deliver exceptional creative work while building clients’ businesses and an agency. I look forward to continuing my journey with HelloFCB+’s talented people and its impressive client portfolio.”
This is obviously a tough time to take the lead at any ad agency. How are you planning to steer the agency through the current crisis — both economic and social — created by the corona pandemic?
Danielle Sneiders: There is talk of this being a test for the so-called fourth industrial revolution. Regardless of size, scale or complexity, all sectors whether formal or informal have had limited time to adapt prior to lockdown. I believe that those leaders and corporates [who] succeed during these unprecedented times will be those that understand dexterity and adaptability will be the new normal, [that] trust in their people is crucial. Those [who] serve society and consider the security, stability and safety of their fellow South Africans above their own corporate ambitions will be remembered and rewarded.
What made you decide to rejoin the industry at this time and HelloFCB+ in particular?
DS: Initially I was drawn to the “Human Connections” philosophy of the agency; the notion [of] being yourself, fighting the familiar, making things happen, keeping an open mind, putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and having one another’s backs really resonated with me on a personal and professional level. When I met the team, it became clear that they are embodiment of those values. Their passion and love for what they do and who they do it with shines through. Working with people who find joy in what they do a privilege.
What is your key message to staff, clients, shareholders and stakeholders during the current crisis?
DS: After 20 years in a tough industry, what I have learnt is “Relationships Above All Else”. Great relationships, whether personal or professional, are grounded in the ability to communicate. Communication has perhaps never been more important than it is right now. Effective communication requires trust honesty and integrity. The notion of “Human Connections” has never been more important than it is now; authenticity and integrity is what our country needs and deserves.
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