Creative Director at Agenda Solutions
07 October 2000 18:43pm
Adjusted from an old article relating to traditional media, these points are equally relevant to the cross-discipline design groups involved with new-media projects. Hand them (with care) to that Account Manager who hasn't
yet got their head around a 'symbiotic' process:
Get rid of the word "I". If there was ever a "we" business, this is it. Make designers, writers, art directors and programmers feel part of the team.
Learn "we" and "us".
Learn the words "in my opinion", "I think", "I believe", "I feel". In this business, nobody knows anything for sure. It's not maths, well these days I suppose it often is, but design is subjective - judgment and experience
Include designers in everything. Make sure they know they are welcome to every meeting that is held on the accounts that they work on - every one. Let them decide which ones are relevant, they are managing the creative production.
Tell them everything, if the client doesn't like the way they dress, design, write, or eat, tell them. Get them totally involved in all aspects of the account - don't you decide what they should and shouldn't know, let them
Challenge them - present them with a well-researched and documented problem and say, "solve it" and then walk away. When they have a solution challenge
them again. Ask if there are other ways they thought they could solve it, are there other ways that they think could make it better - raise the bar and challenge.
If you don't understand something, ask: why they did it and how - if you don't ask, the client will.
React! - Say something. Do you like it? Do you hate it? Does it confuse you? Is it off brand? Is it unclear, messy, total shit? Be honest, but do it in a nice way.
Praise their efforts.
Allow the freedom to fail.
Be receptive - you're looking for a fresh approach. When they bring it, don't fight it because it is not what you expected.
Never ever lie about anything. Be truthful about timelines, if the client doesn't like it then say so. If you forgot something or cocked it up, admit it.
Report - immediately, nothing is more annoying than waiting to hear how things went.
Listen - that's something you can't do when you're talking.
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