Derrick Phillip – Leadership Board Spotlight

What is your occupation and how did you come to work in this field? 

I currently manage The Economist Group’s custom content sales within the consulting and healthcare industries. After 12 years in advertising sales and marketing I intentionally pursued this role based on the growing importance of content marketing in advertising arena.

What is the biggest challenge of your work? 

Within just the last five years content marketing has evolved from a ‘not-so’ subtle way for marketers to endorse themselves through product placement and external partnerships into a bona fide component of strategic communications.

The biggest challenge at this juncture is identifying organizations and individuals who 1.) have a deep enough appreciation for the value of a well educated marketplace, 2.) how discerning audiences are in assessing the quality and objectivity of the information presented to them, and 3.) the role premium content marketing can serve in leveraging the aforementioned.

What is your proudest achievement? 

For the past three years I have served on the Board of Directors for Reel Works Teen Film Making a Brooklyn-based nonprofit that teaches at-risk youth to produce personal documentaries. After a year and a half of advocating, arguing and negotiating I convinced the board to invest in a developing a new website – I subsequently wireframed the design and features for www.ReelWorks.org.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

Life and the world are far too dynamic to reasonably project the particulars of my career. That said, based on the composite of my life experiences to date and current trajectory, I can say with confidence I will be taking a greater leadership role in both my profession and community.

Did you have a mentor or do you mentor someone else? How has that experience changed you?

I have had a handful of incredible professional and personal mentors along the way and I have mentored one young man for the past three years. Being mentee has taught me humility, expedited my learning curve and fostered my sense of responsibility to unselfishly pay forward the generosity that I have been a recipient of. Mentoring reminds me of the depth and complexities of the challenges underprivileged youth face and how a small gesture on my behalf can make a significant impact on individuals and the world around me.

How has your participation on the Leadership Board impacted the way you approach your day-to-day role?

My tenure on the Leadership Board has helped me learn to work alongside colleagues of vastly different experiences and expertise as well as reinforced the importance of being vocal in both support and dissent.