Mini Squawk: Shannie Mears, Co-founder and Head of Talent, The Elephant Room

It's been almost a year since we caught up with Shannie in our last Mini Squawk so we couldn't wait to hear what she and the agency have been up to.

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Suki caught up with Shannie recently to hear all about what The Elephant Room have been up to since we last heard from her and her co-founder Dan Saxby, last year.

Shannie talks about helping clients and partners to build inclusive brands that are great for the planet, people and profit – which is how they create their best work. They encourage brands to step out of their comfort zone with successes including Compare the Market’s Secret Sauce content series which was the first time they hadn’t featured meerkats; and a great campaign about uninterrupted gaming for Norton 360.

Not only has The Elephant Room achieved lots in the last year, Shannie herself has too and as modest as ever, she touches on how humbling it’s been to have so many people asking for her opinion and insight.

They further discuss diversity and this last year with the BLM movement. “You can only see impact via action" - its great diversity is on people's radar and being spoken about more but we're perpetrating the same problem if we're not actually doing anything. Doors need to be opened; language needs to be broken down, for example the use of the word BAME. Talking about inclusive cultures and having conversations is incredibly important; don’t be afraid to ask people’s opinions as opposed to not saying or doing anything.

Suki Thompson

Founder / Chair, Oystercatchers

Suki Thompson is an entrepreneur and transformational business leader. She is CEO and co-founder of Oystercatchers and part of the Centaur management team where she is helping lead Centaur Media, the UK’s leading B2B media publisher, through a journey of transformation anchored in the ability to advise, inform and connect. Suki leads the strategic development of Oystercatchers and is the driving force behind the proprietary evaluation model Optimise™. She works with businesses on transformational change and is part of the team commercialising the ‘M3 model’ bringing marketing and digital together. Suki is also passionate about capability and learning.