Our Lefties are heading right (to SXSW)


How do you get an agency of 45 smart, busy people to get creative – even when ‘creative’ is not in their job title – and stat?

Answer: You offer them the PD experience of a lifetime: a trip to SXSW in Austin, Texas. I mean, talk about dangling the carrot 🥕 


As part of our rebrand last year, we launched our new approach to ideation called “wholebrain thinking.” What that means is that everyone from PR to finance is invited to participate in the creative process, whether they bring PR expertise, a creative spark or just general life experience to the table. This allows us to break down silos, talk in problems and solutions and ultimately, deliver clever, relevant, left-field ideas designed for the real world.  


And to get our ‘Lefties’ on board, we launched an annual internal rewards program called ‘Creative Coins’ that encourages team members from all departments to demonstrate creativity, participate in wholebrain thinking and pitch proactive ideas to our ECD Blair Kimber in order to earn ‘coins’ – the most coins at the end of the year wins that perspective-shifting trip to SXSW in the states.  


This year, we received so many great pitches that we ended up with a tie-breaker, so we decided – much to our Finance Manager’s dismay – to send two people along, with copywriter Ruby Gill due to jet off tomorrow alongside Digital Planner Zach Edwards. They’ll be joined by our Director of Digital and Content Larissa Thorne who’s finally getting to use her ticket carried over from the cancelled 2020 event. 


This year, the SXSW program is quite literally overflowing with inspiration and innovation – particularly in the accessibility, healthcare, ethics, tech, finance, design and culture spaces. Ruby, Larissa and Zach will be our eyes and ears on the ground – so stay tuned for their highlights, hot topics and must-listen takeaways from the world’s top brands, artists, politicians and changemakers, both established and emerging.  


Last time Keep Left went to SXSW, we came back and started a whole new creative arm of our agency. Who knows what will happen this time…?