Saturday, July 20, 2024
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    Meeting of the Minds: Tegan Knight and Garry Dawson from Hopeful Monsters

    This week’s Meeting of the Minds sees Tegan Knight and Garry Dawson from independent creative agency Hopeful Monsters reveal their leadership heroes, current streaming binge, and career goals.

    The Mediaweek series showcases their diverse perspectives, thoughts and opinions by bringing together two different points of view from an industry rookie and an experienced expert.

    Tegan Knight, senior business director

    Meeting of the Minds: Tegan Knight and Garry Dawson from Hopeful Monsters

    Favourite podcast/read – The Joe Rogan Experience. The guest speakers are always different and interesting. I learn something new and come away with a different perspective after every episode. The latest was with Paul Stamets, a mycologist, author and advocate of bioremediation and medicinal fungi.

    I also love that the show offers opposing points of view, which very few channels do these days.

    Current streaming binge – I’m immersed in Shogun and Baby Reindeer at the minute. Highly recommend them both.

    Guilty pleasure content – Kill Tony. An awesome live comedy podcast and YouTube show. Aspiring comedians get 60 seconds to make everyone laugh or silence the room. Always edgy, awkward and entertaining. I also love staring at a firepit, OG content…

    What do you have on repeat – Scottish rock band Biffy Clyro. I also like the On Strategy Showcase podcast and The Future Of… a podcast by Ian Dejong.

    Best career advice – “Be more Tegan”. Appreciate and build upon your uniqueness whilst absorbing good stuff from the world around you. Also, even at 42, pretty much anything my Dad tells me.

    Leadership hero – Luke Mackay, now director, global PR and communications at Spotify. He was my manager at Activision Blizzard. A smart, funny, nurturing leader with a great ability to manage up and down within a large and complicated business. He’s the one who told me to “Be more Tegan”. I also enjoy Simon Sinek’s content.

    Best training course/session – Having kids. Also, working in Korea for two years and throughout the wider APAC region. Experiencing different business cultures makes for incredible training.

    I wish someone had told me – To put $1,000 on Leicester winning the Premier League in 2016. Also, invest time in understanding what you’re inherently good at and the things you’ve become good at over time. It’s the key to knowing what motivates you and how to build a really good development path for the future. Only worked that out within the last few years.

    Favourite place to network – LinkedIn and then meet at a gig, a footy match, or for a walk in the sun. Anything but another coffee meeting.

    Something that surprised you about the industry – Having returned to the agency side after a spell in-house, I’d forgotten how packed the industry is with creative and interesting people who are a ton of fun to spend time with.

    What is your hot take on the industry – More brands will stop creating bland content focused on landing traditional advertising results that look good in a spreadsheet but do very little on a human level. Instead, they’ll start seizing the opportunity to drive greater business results by doing things that change things. Creating work that has a positive effect on culture.

    Career goal for 2024 – Support Hopeful Monsters’ growth. Do great work with great brands. Be a good leader for my core team within the agency.

    Garry Dawson, marketing manager

    Hopeful Monster - Garry Dawson - Meeting of the Minds

    Favourite podcast/read – As much as I like podcasts that provide me with enriching wisdom, guidance and information, I’d be lying if I said they were my favourite. My favourite is The Peter Crouch Podcast which is all about football.. The podcast has now gotten so big that they annually sell out the O2 Arena in London for “Crouch Fest”.

    Current streaming binge – I’m watching The Office US for the 7th time. Everyone has that show that they just throw on while they are cooking, cleaning or pottering around the house. The Office has always been my go-to show.

    Guilty pleasure content – GeoWizard on YouTube. Hear me out. He tries to walk across countries in a completely straight line. He has walked in a straight line across Wales, Scotland and Iceland and his England series drops this year!

    What do you have on repeat – I chose sport over music. I’d rather go to the darts or the lawn bowls than go to a gig. However, I do make one exception. And that is for The Weeknd. He just cancelled his Australia Tour in 2024 but as soon as he reschedules, you can guarantee I will be in the front row.

    Best career advice – In another life before advertising, I was a teacher. I taught international students living in Sydney. When I left my class to move into advertising, they gave me a leaving gift. A scrapbook of memories. They even found my previous students and asked them to contribute. It’s a rare thing to have a book of messages detailing the impact you have made to the lives of others. This book, although not necessarily career advice, is a constant reminder of how I should approach my work and my life.

    Leadership hero – He hasn’t been my leader for a long time, but Tegan Knight (the other mind in this meeting of minds). Since coming on board at Hopeful Monsters, I have been inspired by his interest in my growth and development. He leads by example and I am grateful that we have someone like him on the team to lead the charge.

    Best training course/session – AWARD School. I did this course last year and it helped me ground my understanding of what makes a good idea. You get coached by experienced creatives from some of the best agencies in Australia. It’s in-person, and it is very practical.

    I wish someone had told me – It’s a lucky man who is happy with his place in life. It’s so easy to compare yourself to others and get yourself down. Especially in this industry. However, recently I have found solace in appreciating how lucky I am by appreciating all the wonderful things I have in my life. The people I love, my morning coffee, the progress I make in work.

    Favourite place to network – The kitchen. I’m lucky to be in a coworking space in Sydney where I am surrounded by talented people from great companies. The world is increasingly networking online and as much as I know this is important, I try my best to meet people in person as often as I can. It’s amazing how many connections I have made starting with the sentence “what’s on the menu today?”

    Something that’s surprised you about the industry – The emphasis on winning awards. I couldn’t believe how obsessed everyone was with trying to get their hands on them when I first started in the industry. The longer I have been in the industry, the more I see their importance and relevance for what we do. But for an outsider looking in, it really is a bizarre system we have created for ourselves.

    What is your hot take on the industry – I think that some ads generate hype because marketers think they are great, not necessarily because the general population think they are great. It’s important to remind ourselves that we are not the audience.

    Career goal for 2024 – Aside from all the goals I want to hit in my role as marketing manager for Hopeful Monsters, I am focused on revitalising some of my forgotten strengths. Sometimes we are so focused on new goals that we forget to perfect and tend to talents that are no longer required in our day-to-day work. In my case, the main one is public speaking. 

    To take part in future editions of Meeting of the Minds, please email:

    Past editions of Meeting of the Minds.

    Top image: Knight and Dawson

    The post Meeting of the Minds: Tegan Knight and Garry Dawson from Hopeful Monsters appeared first on Mediaweek.

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