Offering free time for a good cause is an established agency
tactic. Travelling overseas in the line of work is not unusual
To do both, however, is rare. But that’s exactly what Claire Spencer,
planning director at Manning Selvage and Lee undertook last month. She
joined Chris Tanous, MD of Marshall Tanous in jetting off to Bosnia to
help NATO forces launch a new pop music station.
Spencer and Tanous - respectively chairman and treasurer of the IPR’s
Marketing Communications Group - worked alongside the British army on
the project. Spencer and Tanous’ client, ’S For’ in military parlance,
was based in the Bosnian town of Banja Luka, the location of the now
active radio station. The challenge of unfamiliar terrain was
exacerbated by freezing temperatures and three foot high snowdrifts.
Yet, despite the physical hardships the English PROs spent a productive
week advising eager soldiers on communications and tactics.
Spencer says she will always remember strolling through Banja Luka flea
market, surrounded by protective squaddies and conducting interviews
with nervous locals on the sort of radio station they wanted. ’The kids
we interviewed in our research do feel they have a future, and helping
them realise that the outside world cares and can help is very
rewarding,’ she says.