In April, we asked readers to tell us who they thought scored 10 out of 10 so we could celebrate our industry’s top achievers who consistently out-perform their colleagues. The criteria were that the person had to be between 25 and 35-years-old, and work either in a media agency or a media owner sales team. Meet Isla Prentis
Tell us about your job
I’m a Business Unit Manager at The MediaShop and oversee the Tiger Brands account. I am also responsible for 50% of Tiger Brands’ media strategies.
Why are you passionate about what you do?
I’m passionate about the constant challenges that we are given in our industry – no two days are ever alike. I also enjoy driving growth both within our industry and within my business unit.
What makes you suited to your role?
I believe we deliver best in the areas that we care for most and are most passionate about. Therefore, my strength in my current position echoes my previous answer – it’s my aspiration for both growth and overcoming challenges.
What have been some career highlights and lowlights?
The growth that I have experienced in my current role has to be my top highlight. I thought it would be a smooth transition from media strategist to becoming a business unit manager when I was 26. However, I soon realised that leading a team had a whole new set of challenges. Learning to work with different personalities and driving a team forward has been, and continues to be, my greatest challenge.
I have been really lucky in having very few lowlights. In this industry there have been times where the volume of work seems impossible but we all manage to somehow get through at the end of the day.
What major opportunities do you see in your field of work?
I see our industry at a tipping point of embracing change. For me, the biggest opportunity is to lead and drive the change that our industry needs right now.
What are some of the challenges?
The varying nature of the challenges that we face on a daily basis creates a rather complicated juggling act. Our industry is driven by volume and added pressure from clients, yet it is key that we find and make the time for all the challenges, even if they pull us in different directions.
What do you see in the future of media agencies/media owners?
I see big change. I believe that if we don’t evolve and reinvent ourselves as an industry we run the risk of making ourselves redundant because of automation and competing industries.
Your views on social media and its usefulness
Social media is everything to the current consumer and it should be embraced as an integral part of the media mix. Whilst it can complicate what we do, it would be foolish to try and work around it.
What is the most important lesson you have learnt during your career?
I have learnt that you are only as strong as the people around you. So, it is very important to choose who you surround yourself with, learn from them, work with them and overcome challenges together.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I still see myself in the media industry, but I see it as a very different industry to the one we’re currently working in. However, I think that if we don’t drive that change, the industry will become extinct.
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