Scottish agencies need to embrace and understand digital technology, Claire Wood says as she becomes IPA chairman for Scotland

“We can hardly lecture clients on how to talk to their audiences on Facebook, LinkedIn or Google + if we are not very familiar with it ourselves”, Claire Wood, planning director at Newhaven, said as she gave her inaugural address as IPA chairman for Scotland this evening.

Speaking at the IPA members’ reception in Edinburgh, Wood said that digital technology and training will play a large part of her agenda for the role; suggesting that Scottish agencies need to embrace and understand digital technology to make them more competitive.

She added that she intends to follow the example of recently appointed IPA President Ian Priest by setting up a Client Council: “I would like our Client Council to look at how clients and agencies can get better at embracing digital technologies. We have invited representatives from some of the smartest clients in Scotland – The Scottish Government, Visit Scotland, Digital legend David Craik – to look at the skills gaps we have as an industry and how best we might address them”.

With almost two thirds (65 per cent) of the creative industries in Scotland being made up by digital media, Wood suggests that more training is needed in order to attract and retain talent in Scotland.

She insisted: “We need to think about how we are structuring our agencies to make sure recruits are getting a career path that keeps them interested and training that allows them to further themselves.”

During her two year tenure in the role, Wood wants to set up regular account management breakfasts to give new recruits and experienced adlanders a forum for sharing thoughts and ideas.

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