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At first glance Patrick Faucher seems to typify the quiet writer stereotype. But don’t let that fool you. When MCG’s strategy writer gets called into double duty for, let’s say, a Bombers’ campaign photo shoot, his cheers are so convincing he’s not only lost his voice at least once, but his picture has been used in print and online ads and even a 20’ x 10’ billboard.
Before Patrick became locally famous for his modelling and acting chops, he started out at the agency with a series of student work placements and as a freelance writer. He’s been our full-time Strategy Writer since 2009, working alongside Audra Lesosky, MCG’s Director, Strategic Services – the very same person who interviewed him for his first summer position.
It was while on his second summer placement in 2007 that Patrick decided MCG was the place for him. He was sharing an open workspace with fellow student, Tom Boresky, (now a graphic designer at MCG) in an area fondly known as “The Fishbowl.” Given its central location, Tom and Patrick found they could overhear almost every conversation in the vicinity, which ultimately inspired them to put a list called “Things I Overheard” on the wall. The list became their running joke of the summer.
“We would hear the most random statements,” laughs Patrick. “Things that you would only ever hear jokingly yelled in an advertising agency like, ‘I need a new vice in my life, and I’m taking suggestions!’ It pretty much fortified my thinking that this was the atmosphere that I wanted to work in and the place I wanted to be.”
And while the University of Winnipeg-Red River College Creative Communications Joint-Degree graduate originally wanted to be a copywriter, the strategy writing position is one he has grown into and a job he feels better suits his personality.
“As much as it terrified me at the start, I really feel I have found my niche. I realize that I’m more of a big-picture, chess-master type, than a day-in day-out creative writing wizard.”
The position sees Patrick working on MCG’s new business proposals and developing strategies for our clients. He enjoys learning about current and potential clients, looking at the marketing challenges they face and figuring out how to best tackle them. He loves seeing strategies or proposals he has worked on come to fruition and have an impact on people’s lives.
One such moment occurred when the agency pitched for the City of Winnipeg’s Active Transportation Network account. The timing was perfect – it just so happened that the same summer Patrick had started cycling to work. He reveled in the opportunity to craft a proposal for the campaign not only because it was work that would affect his day-to-day life, but also because he is a big picture optimist who believes in the power of rallying people behind a cause from which many can benefit.
“I really believed in this project. I used to have to bike through Corydon Village, Osborne Village and across Portage and Main to get to work. It was scary! Now every day I use most of the paths that resulted from this government initiative and we were lucky enough to do an advertising campaign encouraging people to use it, too.”
Patrick felt that same degree of satisfaction when crafting the proposal for the recent Rapid Transit awareness and adoption campaign. He felt a certain weight of responsibility in working to make the first phase of the initiative popular with the public so that the second phase could be mobilized.
“That’s the thing I love about this job – the fact that we can play a small part in influencing the feelings that Winnipeggers have for their city. The offset of these innovative projects is that you get to see a lot more positive energy around, and anytime that I can be a part of something like that I’m all for it. So I was pumped when we won Rapid Transit.
A lover of sports, Patrick credits his competitive drive with helping him take new business wins and losses in his stride.
“When you invest two weeks of your life in a pitch that you think is great and then you don’t win, you really need to have that internal drive to learn from it and get going on the next one.”
A levelheaded guy, Patrick’s “rec job” is that of a basketball referee. He began on that path when as a high school varsity player he became increasingly frustrated with how his games were being officiated. His coach pulled him aside one day and told him that if he thought he could do a better job then he should go do it. Not one to turn away from a challenge, Patrick did exactly that. He now referees at a college level and appreciates the perspective it gives him.
“Being a good referee is based on your ability to be proactive, confident and objective. It teaches you how to be calm under pressure, which for me translates well into working in the ad industry.”
Patrick credits the “family atmosphere” at MCG as being one of the main reasons he loves his job so much.
“We all look out for each other. Some people here have pretty much seen me grow up – from my deer-caught-in-the-headlights look on my first day as a summer student junior copywriter at Taylor George Design in 2006, to today. You develop this respect and a bond with each other. You learn that you can rely on each other and that as a team, you can basically get through anything to get the job done.”
Speaking of teamwork, Patrick was recently enlisted to pose for a photo shoot for the 2012 Winnipeg Blue Bombers campaign. As a real life blue and gold devotee, his portrayal of an excited fan was so convincing that Ron Sawchuk, our VP, Creative Services decided Patrick’s image was perfect for one of the campaign billboards. Have you spotted Patrick around Winnipeg yet?