Developing a new ad campaign can be the highlight of the year. A time full of creativity, collaboration, and downright good fun… But it can also be a stress-inducing whirlwind of deadlines, meetings, creative revisions, missed deadlines, late nights at the office and, yes, more creative revisions.
It’s only human nature. Most of us who choose a career in advertising are “creative types.” Put six of us in one room and chances are there’s going to be some differences of opinion, to say the least. Not only that, but it’s extremely hard to anticipate all the ebbs and flows of your ad campaign development. Often you feel like you’re building the boat as you set sail.
So the next time you’re gearing up to launch your next ad campaign, consider the following:
Yes, it sounds obvious, but let’s get real. Deadlines slip. New information and opportunities arise. Plan for it. Always, always, always know what is due and by when. Make sure that your team is fully aware of all the deadlines (and include all your sneaky-two-day-padding within your timeline…if you do that sort of thing). Understand that sometimes things will need to be done on the fly to make it happen. Of course we want to be proactive, but assert yourself in knowing that sometimes it’s just not possible.
There’s always going to be that one media vendor that will call with a deal you can’t refuse along with the deadline that goes along with it...“creative is due by tomorrow at noon”. You and your team will find a way to make it happen if you plan to be ready for the unplannable.
Keep the Clients in the Know
If your client is not receiving status updates from you, then they can only assume nothing is happening. Keeping your client informed on a regular basis lets them relax about what you are working on and lets them focus on other aspects of their role.
Always make sure your client has an accurate timeline for all activities. Nobody likes to be rushed and that includes our clients. Schedule out the work so that you leave adequate time for client reviews. If you foresee a quick turn around on something to meet a deadline, give your client a head’s up so that they can plan accordingly. You also may want to consider putting it on their calendar. It’s all about setting clear expectations on what you need by when.
Keep Track of the Details
We are moving fast and furious right before an ad campaign launches, and sometimes it’s hard to keep track of everything. Make sure you are still following the general processes for all reviews and documentation. Stick to your internal management systems (if you have one) as well. It may be tedious and add an extra 30 minutes to your day, but boy, is it worth it in the long run.
Find a way to manage the small things and it’ll open up so many doors to the bigger picture. It won’t always be smooth sailing, but it will give you and your team (and the client) a better sense of control along the way.
This is advertising folks—it’s supposed to be fun. While some clients’ products and ad campaigns may be more fun than others, you can find a way to make any project more enjoyable. While advertising is not all rainbows and unicorns, we occasionally take ourselves wayyyyyyy too seriously. Sometimes we need to lighten up just a bit.
Soon enough you’ll get to see the results of all your hard work. Congratulations! You made it.
Brandi Stringer is an Account Manager at Alchemy at AMS. When she's not managing her accounts, she's counting down the days to the next State Fair of Texas.