Creative Corner: Technology Is Great
I shudder to think how many great ideas get lost and for no good reason. Whether you’re an agency person or a client, you’ll find face-to-face meetings invariably work best. I’m sure you’ve experienced the electricity that crackles in a room when an agency and a client click on the perfect approach. That excitement is hard to generate on the phone or in an e-mail.
Put the Zing Back in New Creative Presentations
Here are a few thoughts that might help you work better with a long-distance client (or, alternately, how to get the best creative out of your long-distance agency):
1. Arrange things so new creative gets presented, in person, to the right people. The best place is the agency office, because the agency can set the scene and make sure there are no distractions. Often, though, key client people can’t take the time to travel, so the agency has to make the trip.
2. If you must present long distance, send the creative as folded comps for delivery early the next business day. The day before, send an e-mail outlining your presentation without a PDF attachment. Follow up with phone calls the evening before and the morning of a presentation. Ask the client to arrange a meeting with all key people present, and ask that the creative remain sealed until the meeting starts. Ask if you can be on the phone for the whole meeting. If you send more than one comp, put them in separate sealed envelopes, and ask the clients to review them one at a time.
3. Write your concept(s) out—describing rather than showing the layouts—and ask for input before the design starts. This can help a good deal when you do send the comps.
Lois Geller is president of Mason & Geller, a full-service direct marketing agency in Hollywood, Fla. She is the author of “RESPONSE! The Complete Guide to Profitable Direct Marketing” and “Customers for Keeps,” and she can be reached at (646) 723-3230 or firstname.lastname@example.org.