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Meet the Transformers - Shelby Haslam

26 March 2021
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Shelby Haslam

In the latest instalment of our Meet the Transformers Series, Shelby Haslam, Mobas' Director of Strategy discusses how we help develop and grow our clients. 

Video Transcript

My name is Shelby Haslam. I'm Director of Strategy at Mobas. My role here is really to champion strategic thinking, taking a lead on the business transformation projects that we run, and also overseeing those in terms of brand and campaign transformation, but also making sure that we are all strategists. I think, in the five years that I've been at Mobas, the thing I'm most proud of is that when I joined strategy was seen very much as an island, a standalone entity in itself. And what we've worked really hard to do over the last few years is to embed it across everything that the agency does and also grow people's enthusiasm for a strategy first approach, which I think has really benefited all of the teams from creative through to digital and through to our great team in client services.

I think what stands Mobas apart is the commitment of the team to a strategy-led approach. Everybody's really determined to think before we do, to get completely under the skin of an organization to really understand what its customers, what its stakeholders, what its marketing needs from a brand, and then to deliver that through all the channels that we're able to utilize to drive the business forward. I think the reason that I love agency life is because I'm really naturally very nosy. I want to get under the skin of different businesses, find out what makes them tick, find out what their challenges are, use our learnings from other sectors and other businesses to really help shed new lights. And the most exciting thing, I think, is when you have that kind of eureka moment when everything kind of falls into place and the brand proposition becomes really clear and really crisp and something that everybody can bind to.

I think my time at Mobas has taught me a lot. We undertake some really significant corporate repositioning projects and have done that very successfully for a number of really big organizations, and that's been fantastic learning. But equally, working with the Mobas team as well, I'm doing more mentoring now than I have done before and really enjoying that and the ability to work with a really great upcoming team of aspiring strategists.

I think the biggest challenge from where we currently are is, obviously, what the post COVID world looks like. What is the new norm? How much of our old behaviours will we go back to and how many of the changes will be permanent shifts? And I think the way in which people engage with brands and businesses has changed and it's delivered some great opportunities for some people, but also some really strong challenges for others. And getting to grips with what that new world looks like and also the challenge of the next generation coming through and coming through strong. Gen Z, what do they want from our brands? I think it's going to be a really exciting couple of years.

I think, in business, I draw inspiration from the teams around me, particularly from clients, seeing their commitment to their businesses, the work they've undertaken to build them to where they've got to. That is really inspiring and it really motivates me to want to help them take that next step, meet that next challenge. One of the best pieces of advice I was given, very early in my career in PR, was to read The Sun newspaper every day, because the head of the agency there said that, "The writers on The Sun can take a really complex story and deliver it in a sentence and, if you can do that, then you can communicate really effectively." And I think whether you're writing PR stories or strategy documents, that's not bad learning.