Jane Russell, student on the MSc Digital Marketing & Analytics, was a joint winner of the Marketing Institute of Ireland Award for Excellence in Analytics in 2017. Jane began her journey on the programme in September 2015 and finished in December of 2016. The award was announced at the Dublin Institute of Technology graduation ceremony, where we celebrate the completion of the programme and champion the prize winners in the School of Marketing. Jane received the award for an outstanding achievement in Analytics across the entire programme. We are proud of our graduates from the programme and wish them every success as they continue to blaze trails in their chosen field.
The Marketing Institute: Tell us a bit about yourself and your current job.
Jane Russell: I recently set up an agency, Outlaw Management, which represents a broad range of talent including comedians, actors and musicians. I was lucky to sign Deirdre O'Kane and Niamh Kavanagh as two of my first clients. I work with all clients on their digital and brand positioning, tour and audience development as well as brand associations. Outlaw also sources talent and creative teams for brand advertising, voice overs and corporate entertainment so there are several strands to the venture - plenty to keep us extremely busy!
MII: Looking back, what were the key education and career moves that led you to your current role?
J.R: I spent several years working in the entertainment and events industries which helped me build the industry connections I needed to go it alone. A key role was my appointment as chief executive of the Sky Cat Laughs Comedy Festival in 2009; that position allowed me to build my profile with corporate partners, government funders as well as with artists and international festival colleagues. It's the network I still work with every day.
MII: What are the key skills needed in your role and where did you learn those skills?
J.R: My graduate education in corporate PR and subsequent experience with marketing and event management roles equipped me with the core skills I still rely on today. My role requires that basis in rigorous strategic planning. Also key is an understanding of brand development and digital marketing. My recent Masters in Digital Marketing & Analytics has given me confidence that I'm equipped to tackle the challenges the new digital and social landscape continues to pose daily. Data analytics for example has particular applications for audience development; I began to apply those learnings in a meaningful way even while I was still studying and am still learning new ways to use data on the job.
MII: What are the main challenges you have to face? Any tips on how to overcome them?
J.R: Sometimes you have to push yourself out of your comfort zone. Doing a Masters and holding down a day job is really challenging but you can make it work with a bit of planning. I think the key thing is to just accept that it's going to be difficult - there will be long dark nights of the soul where you question if all that work is worth it - the thing is you'll always manage it in the end somehow. Talk to those who've gone before you, whether that be your education track or more senior industry colleagues and soak up their insights. It'll prove invaluable.
MII: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
J.R: I'd love to see Outlaw continue to grow both in terms of client base and staffing. We already manage one successful festival (which I can't resist sharing won Best Entertainment Website at the 2017 Web Awards!), and the plan now is to build on that early success and increase its footprint over the coming three years.