Meeting of the Minds: Icon Agency’s Hazel Tiernan and Ian Cormick

meeting of the minds -

Tiernan and Cormick share their perspectives, thoughts and opinions

Meeting of the Minds brings together two different points of view from an industry rookie and an experienced expert.

The Mediaweek series aims to showcase their diverse perspectives, thoughts and opinions.

This month’s Meeting of the Minds sees Hazel Tiernan and Ian Cormick from Icon Agency reveal their leadership heroes, current streaming binge and career goals for 2023.

Hazel Tiernan – Executive director of client services

Meeting of the minds - Icon Agency - Hazel Tiernan

Hazel Tiernan

Best career adviceGive clients what they want then give them what they need.

My favourite podcast/read – The Imperfects – honest and raw life lessons. Also loved James Acaster’s Perfect Sounds.

Current streaming binge – “Ted Lasso” – I love how kindness and passion will overcome anything through the world of Ted and Richmond FC. 

Leadership hero – I can’t go past Jacinda Ardern. She’s led with such empathy, transparency and presence. Although external vs internal comms clearly had different experiences. A lesson for us all.

I wish someone had told meDon’t sweat the small stuff – think bigger picture always, it gets you to better places.

Guilty content pleasure – Sports Bizarre – love Mick and Titus.

Best training course/session – When I was 18, I commenced 4 years of evening classes in communications, advertising and marketing. I did this at a time when we didn’t think integrated and we thought PR was just fluff in advertising. I like to think I was ahead of my time.  I learnt so much about the power of the sell vs the power of media engagement to talk to your audience. It has stood me well.

Your mentor – Brene Brown – inspires and educates me on a personal and professional level. As a mother and a leader.  I just wish I could take more time to listen more and act more on her guidance.

Hot medium or show – outdoor. Did I just write that? It’s such a beautiful and simple medium to engage and stimulate your audience. Sadly, most don’t do it well. Imagine making a statement in 1.5 seconds that leaves the audience thinking, feeling and wanting to search for more about that statement. It means you have work hard to be meaningful. I love that.

Favourite media event –  I love being inspired, having fun and networking at awards nights! Get to as many as you can.

Wish I’d done that – now I am showing my age. “Bonded by blood” an All Blacks world cup rugby union campaign that was just brilliant.  This concept brought together two powerful concepts– purpose through cause and purpose through passion.  I am very lucky to own one of the 8,000 posters – gifted to me by an amazing member of my team. 

Career goal for 2023 – Listen more. Learn more. Be a better leader. Bring out the best in my team to make us a better agency. Make work that will have an impact.

Best career advice – Just do it. Not to shill for Nike (though that slogan is an all-time iconic piece of marketing copy), but a lesson I took to heart early on is to try new things and take on new challenges as often as possible.

A different perspective on that lesson would be “Get comfortable being uncomfortable: that’s where growth happens.”

Ian Cormick – Account executive and production assistant

Meeting of the minds - Icon Agency - Ian Cormick

Ian Cormick

My favourite podcast/read – Let’s Learn Everything: A joyful podcast about learning, with enthusiastic, entertaining hosts and a plethora of eye-opening fun facts every episode.

Current streaming binge – Totally Completely Fine on Stan: This was only just released, but grabbed me from the first episode. Typical Australian comedy with a powerful message: it’s ok to not be ok.

Leadership hero – Kyle Boddy: The founder of Driveline Baseball, a data-driven baseball technology innovator, Kyle has an admirable commitment to doing great work, and enabling his people to do great work.

I wish someone had told me – It gets easier. My first year of full-time work after graduating from university was rough. I really struggled with time management, mental focus, and just working 8-hour days. The learning curve is very steep at times, but it’s eminently achievable; though it didn’t always seem that way.

Guilty content pleasure – I haven’t watched the newer seasons, but during a mental health slump a couple of years ago I binged the inaugural season of Glow Up, a British make-up talent show. Totally trashy, but some absolutely stunning creations and inspiring stories.

Best training course/session – Write Right by Penny Modra (Good Copy): A great short course that breaks down a core skill in communications and media. Many of the learnings intuitively clicked, but I hadn’t consciously thought about them before; I wrote more thoughtfully for weeks afterwards.

Your mentor – Too many to name. I have a few people I’ll go to with specific questions, but everyone has different expertise and experiences, so my perspective on mentorship is to approach every relationship with the question, “What can I learn from this person?”

Hot medium or show – TikTok: it’s controversial at the moment, but no other platform or medium showcases as much creativity.

Wish I’d done that – Studied abroad for a semester: I did a few shorter trips while at university and had a great time; being in a new environment was challenging and led to a lot of personal growth and discovery. I wish I’d done more, but COVID in my final year was a real roadblock.

Career goal for 2023 – Developing my integrated skills. Working across PR and video production, I get a lot of different experiences. I think integrated work is the future of media and communications, so the goal for this year is not only to build skills in both areas but look for more opportunities to combine them.

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Top image: Hazel Tiernan and Ian Cormick

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