The 2013 IABC Ottawa Excel Awards: McMillan and supporting local talent

By: Rebecca Ford


A little friendly competition isn’t the only thing that prompts local creative agency McMillan to apply for an Excel Award year after year.

Supporting local industry has also played a big role.

“I don’t think a lot of people are aware that there are so many creative agencies in the city who do really great work,” said Rob Hyams, partner and VP of Strategic Services at McMillan. “We think it’s really important to support anything going on locally that we can.”

McMillan—who took home an Excellence Award at last year’s gala—has more than just IABC hardware to brag about. Voted as one of the top small-to-medium sized employers in Canada for three years in a row, the agency’s success (they have clients all over North America) is due to a variety of factors.

“We offer a really healthy work and home life balance,” said Hyams. “It’s a really stressful industry, and we know that people have lives outside of work. We certainly acknowledge that people need to find balance.”

He added that McMillan also focuses on building a very strong team.

“It really comes down to the people. We hear from our clients all the time that we’re very inquisitive—that we dig deep and get to that core problem that they’re trying to solve. We put a lot of thought into it.”

When asked what he values about being part of IABC, Hyams spoke very highly of the IABC community’s support of local communications and creative professionals.

“The fact that there’s a professional organization out there bringing us good speakers and informative sessions—that’s really helpful,” he said. “Fun functions are nice, too. Every time IABC has an event, we tell people about it.”

At the end of the day, Hyams noted that taking home an IABC Award is a benefit to everyone involved—from clients to staff.

“[Winning] is good for morale, and our clients love it,” he said. “It’s a fun night out, it’s exciting, and we really support work that means something. IABC has done a great job with [the awards]. They feel really modern. It suits the industry.”

May 16 will be here before you know it. Mark the 2013 IABC Ottawa Excel Awards on your calendar. See you there!