Staff Spotlight: Lauren Weiss
Meet Lauren Weiss, the newest member of the Studio Pax team. Lauren is our incoming Director of Client Services + Delivery and will be joining us this Fall. Lauren has worked in advertising for over ten years and has extensive experience delivering complex digital ecosystems for global brands inclusive of multi-country website builds, social and video platform builds, on-going content production, and fully integrated campaign activations. We spoke with Lauren about her current and past experiences and what led her to Studio Pax.
1. Could you tell us about your background, and specifically, how you got involved in marketing, digital product management, and client relations?
I initially started my career at Merchandise Mart Properties on the commercial leasing team so I’ve always worked in client services in some capacity. From that role, I moved into trade show operations. I led all [of] the operational aspects of producing large-scale trade shows including Art Chicago, Armory Show in New York, and Neocon. As the producer of those trade shows, I started to learn the importance of project management and client relationships.
Once I had my daughter, I started looking for roles that required less travel. When I was working on trade shows, I would travel a lot. I needed to be there from the start to finish of the show, which required really long hours. At that time, I transitioned my skill set into advertising and project management. I started with a digital role at Digitas, quickly picked up advertising and grew my career from there.
2. Describe the recent roles you’ve held, including your current position as a Senior Digital Project Manager.
I’ve worked at Energy BBDO for just under five years. For the last two years, I have been working on two large, global brands. I oversee these brands in a blended project management/program management role. Everything we do for these brands is digital at the core. I help manage [their] 60-plus websites globally. We are constantly rolling out new sites in different markets and continuously updating their existing sites. That’s one small part of what I do. For the last year, I’ve also helped lead a digital task force with our clients and partners to optimize how we [the agency, partners, and the client] work together and manage all of the ongoing digital work. The goal of this task force is to redefine how we work together and ultimately make the process more efficient and cost less for our client. It has been really exciting because we really took a step back, reviewed the existing process, examined the pain points in the existing process and then made big changes in the way we work. We also put KPIs in place to help track our success. The process is always evolving and it’s been a great learning experience for me. In this role, I’ve really gotten to partner with the clients and help make big improvements in the way we work together.
I have loved my current role because I have gotten to work on all different kinds of projects. I have worked on fully integrated campaigns, TV, print, out of home, banners, and websites to name a few. It has been fun to experience it all.
3. Could you tell us about a favorite project you’ve worked on? Did you encounter any challenges? How did you overcome them?
One of my favorite campaigns that I worked on was when I worked at Digitas. We partnered with the Chicago Park District to launch new branding for the “Night Out in the Parks” campaign. I loved this campaign because I got to work with some really talented designers who created all of the branding and illustrations. Eventually, the team went on to build out a full app that people could use to find events near them. I wasn’t there [at Digitas] anymore when the app went live, but it has been fun to see the campaign progress from afar and I am very proud of the work. One challenge we faced was that there were a lot of different opinions about the design aesthetic. However, once we chose a look and feel, the Chicago Park District really got behind the work and was a champion for us. When the campaign went live, I saw our work all over the city which was really exciting and one of the perks of working with a local client.
4. What will your role at Studio Pax be, and what will some of your responsibilities include?
I’m going to be the Director of Client Services and Delivery, focusing on the Hilco account to start. I’ll be working closely with Stephan to further develop the client relationships and help grow the work that we do for the client. In addition, I’ll manage our projects from start to finish. What’s exciting about the role is that I’ll get to wear a lot of hats because Studio Pax is a boutique agency. I’ll get to work across multiple disciplines including project management, delivery, strategy, client services, and more.
Pictured above is Lauren and her family. She is looking forward to being Evanston-based so that she can be closer to her children.
5. Why Studio Pax? What led you to switch from a larger agency to a boutique firm?
At larger agencies, everyone has their own swim lanes and responsibilities. I’m excited about partnering with Stephan and getting to own more of the process myself. I have an entrepreneurial spirit at heart, so I’m excited by the opportunity to work at a firm where I can push things a little bit and take more ownership of what I do. I love working directly with clients and building relationships so I am looking forward to doing more of that. It also doesn’t hurt that the office is located in Evanston, where I live!
6. What skills from your previous roles do you think will be most helpful in your new role at Studio Pax?
I think that my overall agency experience will set me up nicely for success at Pax. I have extensive client services and project management experience and am excited to apply those skills towards a new challenge. My passion is working with people. Whether we are working through tough conversations or brainstorming a new campaign, I always listen and have my clients’ best interest at heart.
7. What’s your favorite part of the work that you do and what are you most excited about for your new role?
I am really excited to work with local clients and help make an impact. Whether that is growing their sales and services or building their brands, the work we do with them has a direct impact on their business outcomes. I love that. I like that we can make a difference in their organization through partnering, and really create something amazing.
8. What is one piece of advice you would give to someone who is aspiring to a career in advertising or a related field?
I would challenge someone to take a look at what they are really good at and try to leverage those skill sets. In advertising, there are so many different capabilities – I didn’t realize that before I worked in the industry. You can be a planner. You can be a creative. You can be in account management. There’s really a home for everyone. No matter where your passion lies, there’s likely an opportunity for you in the field. I would just take some time to think about what you’re good at and start with something that uses those skill sets. The other advice I would give someone is that you are always evolving as a person. If your passion changes and you want to make a switch – go for it!
Writer / Content Development & Marketing Intern
Miriam is an undergraduate at Northwestern University pursuing a degree in Communication Studies with a focus in Integrated Marketing Communications and Design Innovation. She is passionate about learning about people and finding new ways to problem-solve.
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