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    Meeting of The Minds: Shai Luft and Orna Flanagan from Bench Media

    This week’s Meeting of the Minds sees Shai Luft and Orna Flanagan from independent digital media agency Bench Media 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.

    Shai Luft, co-founder and chief operations officer, Bench Media

    Meeting of The Minds: Shai Luft and Orna Flanagan from Bench Media

    Favourite podcast/read – I only manage to read when I am on holiday and it’s almost always a thriller or mystery book. My favourite books are from Lee Child.

    Current streaming binge – A bit late to the party but Ted Lasso. I needed something light after Baby Reindeer which was super intense!

    Guilty pleasure content – Watching reruns of Seinfeld which I am now doing with my kids.

    What do you have on repeat – My Spotify playlist, I’ve got about 60 hrs of my favourite tunes in there.
    Best career advice
    – Do something you get a kick out of but don’t let it take over your life.
    Leadership hero
    – Can I say Ted Lasso? He brings such positivity to everything and is so annoying, vulnerable and infectious at the same time.
    Best training course/session
    – Anything from Simon Sinek is awesome for anyone in leadership roles.
    I wish someone had told me
    – to buy shares in Google, Microsoft or Tesla 10 years ago!
    Favourite place to network
    – Networking doesn’t come naturally to me as I am a bit of an introvert. I find networking events to be super awkward so nothing here would be a favourite thing.
    Something that’s surprised you about the industry
    – How interconnected and what a small industry it is. Often you work with a client and they pop up somewhere else. If you’ve made a difference the first-time they will want to work with you again.
    What is your hot take on the industry
    – It’s become easier than ever to start an agency which means lots of smart people are taking the plunge. Ultimately it gives marketers more choice and better outcomes to work with an Independent Agency where the owners are involved and bring their experience and energy to the client’s benefit.
    Career goal for 2024
    – To keep working on more awesome campaigns with great people who trust us to make a difference to their business and help them grow. Nothing better than being able to help clients look good and smash their KPI’s.

    Orna Flanagan, performance manager, Bench Media

    Favourite podcast/read – I love listening to the podcast My Therapist Ghosted Me, hosted by an Irish duo – comedian Joanne McNally and presenter Vogue Williams. It’s basically reality TV in podcast form – chewing gum for the brain. It’s perfect for when I want an easy listen and a good laugh.

    Current streaming binge – Depending on my mood, I’m currently switching between Jack Ryan and Luxe Listings Sydney.

    Guilty pleasure content – The Office US – it never gets old.

    What do you have on repeat – Taylor Swift’s new album The Tortured Poets Department – predictable I know!

    Best career advice – Consistency is more important than perfection. This can be applied to every aspect of your life. The more consistently you do something, the easier it becomes and don’t be afraid of making mistakes along the way.

    Leadership hero – This would have to be my parents. It’s only now that I’m older I appreciate everything they have done for me, and how they have been pillars of support over the years.
    Best training course/session –
    We recently had a Client Excellence training session with Wendy Gower, Founder of WeGrow, which I found really insightful. I came away from the session feeling empowered and with my own personal action plan to implement, both in my professional and personal life.

    I wish someone had told me – How much it rains in Sydney!

    Favourite place to network – I love trying new bars and restaurants, so networking is always a great excuse to try somewhere new.

    Something that’s surprised you about the industry – It surprised me how small the industry is and how connected everyone is.

    What is your hot take on the industry – A cookie-cutter approach to your marketing strategy is never the answer. There is no guaranteed formula for success and a specialized approach should be taken for each individual campaign to ensure optimal results.

    Career goal for 2024 – To continue learning as much as possible.

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

    Past editions of Meeting of the Minds.

    Top image: Shai Luft and Orna Flanagan

    The post Meeting of The Minds: Shai Luft and Orna Flanagan from Bench Media appeared first on Mediaweek.

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