Australian Rugby League sensation Jarryd Hayne’s recent switch to American Football has captured sports fans’ hearts and imaginations. While sporting history is littered with examples of athletes who balanced multiple sports while also juggling careers, the high ultra-demanding professional era means that sportspeople playing more than one are now rare, making Hayne’s multidisciplinary success all the more exciting.
In many ways, Jarrod Hayne’s attempts to succeed can mirror the efforts of PR, digital marketing and advertising agencies working hard to take clients’ briefs in previously unfamiliar and often digital areas. Indeed, to the modern marketing director it can seem that there are a whole host of agencies who are willing, under one brand name, to produce ads, optimise web content, manage social media channels and pick up the dry cleaning before heading over to paint the garden fence.
This trend has undoubtedly been driven by the digital revolution. As online increasingly becomes the universal starting point for customer’s journeys, so too have the various types of agencies felt the need to ‘get digital’, leading them into competition with firms they wouldn’t have considered rivals a decade earlier. While this blurring of offerings can mean that specialisms may become diluted, for the most part it should eliminate the siloing of skills and produce highly adaptable agencies.
This trend has led to an increase in acquisitions and restructures, which can cause agency professionals short term pain. However, in the long run these changes can be excellent from a career development perspective, with more opportunities to share and develop skills with colleagues from a range of disciplinary backgrounds.
While Jarryd Hayne and ambitious consultancies will both find exploring these previously unchartered territories a challenge, we’re sure that both have the talent and resilience to make it work.