David Matthew Ilag
Creative to the Core: A Creative Communications Department Spotlight
Promotions are extremely important for organizations to reach their intended audience and attract participants in their initiatives. These works are the creative manifestation of the org’s core competency, or in other words, what they stand for. The ACTM Creative Communications (CC) Department carries this exact responsibility together with its other half, the Strategic Communications Department (STRAT). Pre-pandemic, CC was responsible for the promotions you also see on the steps of Matteo or the tarpaulins around the campus. With the online mediums of communication as our only way to promote ACTM and look after the well-being of our members, our mission of being Creative to the Core is more important than ever.
What made you choose to take up a leadership position in this department?
Stepping up to take a leadership position in the ACTM Executive Board is probably my biggest plot twist so far in my college journey yet it felt like the right time to take this leap forward. I initially started as a very, very shy freshie until I took the opportunity to make a collateral for an ExRel initiative (thank you so much to our now President, Ange!). This jump started my journey not only as a Graphic Designer in CC, but even as a Strategic Manager in STRAT, a Promotions Head in IM, a Creative Director in MAD Concepts in ACTM, and a guest speaker in an ACTM Tambay Week 2 event. Meeting many new people and taking on many valuable experiences throughout the semester made me realize my desire to make CC better and give back to the community that empowered me even when I did not believe in myself.
My first-ever ACTM collateral (left, Feb. 2020) vs. my collaborative output for a MAD Concepts by ACTM campaign (right, Feb. 2021). Here’s to more growth in ACTM!
What makes your department special/stand out from the others?
I believe that our departmental vision to work and live Creative to the Core is what sets us apart from the others. The lack of the fun, face-to-face interactions have turned extracurricular activities from recreational outlets to potential causes of stress and burnout. As people who resonate with such experiences, my department heads and I sought to make CC as a department that provides meaningful opportunities while nurturing the creative journeys of each of our 53 members throughout their stay in CC. As we empower our Creative Directors to be heard and contribute to various decisions, the ACTM CC Department works to thrive not on a transactional relationship but a culture of collaboration and support.
Another thing that makes us special is that us heads are really, really close! The past four months have been the best learning from them (work and outside of work), and they inspire me to always be at my best. With so much from people I can now easily call one of my best friends, this culture of support easily trickles down to our members when we work with them!
Are there any activities, initiatives, or events that your department has held so far in this school year?
Recognizing the great impact our department has to the community, CC launched its first-ever external event, Creative Crate. Through the collaterals made by our senior artists, we creatively portrayed our desire to unpack each person’s potential- that their passion and intent comes before the hard skills. Though anyone can learn how to create, building your why is most often a challenge -- most especially in this pandemic. You may explore our virtual landscape in your desktop browser at ateneoactm.org/creativecrate.
As for internal initiatives, an event that we put great effort into is our Department Welcoming GA. We recognized how important this first interaction was with our members, so we chose a theme that encapsulated that exciting, energetic, optimistic vibes we used to experience onsite- OrSem! We had so much fun spoofing everything about our beloved Ateneo tradition- from becoming O-Hosts to explaining our departmental process as a “campus tour”. We made sure to give credit to our inspiration, and our post-event evaluations showed our hard work paid off as our members felt genuinely welcomed to CC.
Do you have any notable plans for your department for this school year?
I believe I brushed on these already in our “Creative to the Core” mission and some of our initiatives. I guess I could take this time to shed light on how we’ve had more behind-the-scenes plans in our department, more being in refining our processes, operations, constitutional provisions, and our code of internal procedures. This year, we’ve doubled down on being more collaborative and transparent with the Strategic Communications Department. We are also working on enforcing greater radical reduction, or limiting our collaterals to only those that genuinely contribute toward an impactful promotional campaign.
What unique learning opportunities can your department offer to its members?
The ACTM CC Department offers the unique “two birds with one stone” opportunity for members to develop both their personal and IMC-rooted creative skills at the same time. Beyond the hard skills, our department also equips members with the knowledge on creating works rooted in the solid foundations of IMC to best reach their intended audience. Joining a start-up as an intern a few months ago made me realize how all my experiences in CC were truly value-adding. To our members, stay tuned for some skill-building action coming up in our department real soon!
In CC, you can develop your passions to your heart’s content and find assurance in us as your BS COMTECH playground! We look forward to seeing our members thrive and become purpose-driven, creative IMC leaders in the future.
All credits for the elements in the banner go to the rightful owners. Photos from Pinterest.