Frank talks positivity at Conversuasion

Catherine Frank is sick and tired of all the naysaying, and is ready to give the industry the shot in the arm she thinks it needs. The co-founder of Clean Sheet Communications will bring her chin-up message to Conversuasion, a storytelling event hosted by Ad Lounge and Boost Agents next Wednesday. Her session, “Ways to […]

Catherine Frank is sick and tired of all the naysaying, and is ready to give the industry the shot in the arm she thinks it needs.

The co-founder of Clean Sheet Communications will bring her chin-up message to Conversuasion, a storytelling event hosted by Ad Lounge and Boost Agents next Wednesday.

Her session, “Ways to Win that Stand the Test of Time – how even a recession can be a good thing,” will address the funk that Frank says has permeated the Canadian business environment since the 2008 recession. Her message: invest in innovation no matter the economic climate.

There’s talk of a possible downturn on the way, but you’re still seeing the effects of the last one.
This negativity and volatility in the market has just gone on far too long. It’s really starting to hold us back in my view. It’s tempting, in the corporate world, to play it safe, to say ‘let’s not do anything dramatic because we don’t know what the next quarter might be like.’ We’ve been doing that for so long, we’re holding back our own growth in Canada.

You’re saying the industry has been in a funk for four years?
We observed something very dramatic last summer. There were fears in the early part of the year of a ‘double dip’ recession. Then in June and July people were coming out of it. People were talking again about innovation and investing, new ideas for next year. But then August hit, and the combination of the Greek [debt] crisis and Standard & Poor downgrading the U.S. meant ‘kaboom!’ Everybody just went down into their rabbit holes. All the plans were clawed back. It was ‘wait and see’ all over again.

Is this an agency pessimism, or a client pessimism?
They’re equally guilty. It’s really more of a corporate problem.

Can you blame corporations for taking a safe course through rough waters?
There are an awful lot of companies on the TSX showing record profits year-on-year. They’re making money in Canada, they’re just not investing it. There are ways to win whether it’s a good time or a bad time. That’s what I’ll be sharing next week. I want to inspire people to look at the glass as half-full. Right now, everyone’s sitting around saying ‘someone else can fix it.’

Frank said her presentation will cover examples of organizations that made positive decisions during uncertain economic times that benefitted their brand.

She will be one of three storytellers at Conversuasion. Paul Rowan, co-founder and vice-president of design at Umbra, Jason Theodor, creative director at Blast Radius are also scheduled to address the crowd.

Tickets for the event are still available.

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