3 THINGS I LEARNED FROM TEACHING STUDENTS (PT 1)

My art school, in New York, was probably the first anywhere to teach advertising.
This meant there weren’t any advertising teachers.
So they sent us into Manhattan each week, to learn from working professionals.
When I got back to London I worked at BMP.
And I thought I’d like to do the same thing.
Pass on what I’d learned.
So I contacted a couple of art schools, and they were interested.
And I tried teaching, one evening a week, for several months.
But after a while, I was getting bored.
So were the students I suspect.
So I wrote to every creative in London I could think of, asking them if they’d be interested in taking a class.
I didn’t get a single reply.
Not one person.
Not surprising really.
They didn’t know me from a hole in the ground.
So I thought, let’s look at this like an advertising problem.
Why should they care?
What’s in it for them?
Like every advertising problem, if you can solve that you’ve cracked it.
So I thought, what does every advertising creative want?
Money, women, cars.
I can’t really help there.
What else does every creative want?
Their name in D&AD.
Well now, maybe I can arrange that.
So I called up the CEO of D&AD, Edward Booth-Clibborn.
I said, “Edward, D&AD is an educational charity. I can charge £5.00 per student per class (£2.50 for unemployed) and all I need from you is a page in the annual.”
Edward agreed, and I wrote another letter to all the creatives who hadn’t replied.
“The D&AD Advertising Concepts Workshops invites you to be a lecturer for one class. In the D&AD Annual we’ll be thanking, by name, everyone who’s participated.”
This time I got 60 replies, from creatives offering to take part, almost immediately.

Lesson 1: Never mind what’s in it for you. What’s in it for them?