Let’s roll up our shirtsleeves, grab another cup of coffee and get to work.
You are probably well aware that our little agency, WORK, is not counted among the mega-agencies in the modern advertising world. That suits me just fine. I have had the opportunity to work for many of the larger agencies in either a full-time capacity or as a freelance resource. As a result, I have a wealth of valuable insight into what works and what doesn't at the places where you’re looking for work.
The good news. My valuable advice is free – or, more accurately, included in the price of this book. The bad news. Free advice is often worth what you pay for it.
Nonetheless, here are a few of my observations.
1. Any agency that does good work or has done good work has a strong Creative Principle who has led by example. Think about it.
2. If you want to see what work is going on in an Agency go to the studio. Whether it's new business, research, planning, pitching or executing it’s moving through the studio. The best agencies have well-run studios.
3. Large agencies often are encumbered by internal processes/approvals which make it very difficult to work quickly and efficiently.
4. The business has changed from problem-solving to opportunity seeking.
5. The companies that spend the longest amount of time on process do the worst work.
6. Every agency I believe has the same process, they just come up with different answers.
Who are you talking to?
o The audience
What do you want to tell them?
o The strategy
How do you tell them?
o The creative
Where do you tell them?
o The media
Was it effective?
o The results
7. You can find some very talented people in bad agencies. They just may not have the personalities or the opportunities’ that get them noticed. Or, perhaps, their goodness may be directed elsewhere. Perhaps they are good parents, or they make a truly exceptional vinaigrette dressing.
8. All the great agencies have work that comes out of their doors that would shock you by how bad it is. Well, at least in the early years you may be shocked. Then, sad to say you are no longer surprised. Disappointed but not surprised.
9. Egos are important for getting the job done. You must believe you can do the work. You must believe you can sell the work. Ultra egos, make enemies ultra fast. But don’t leave your ego at the door. Bring it.
10. The inexperienced individual will immediately argue and defend their one idea. Why? Because they are not confident they can come up with another. Experienced professionals will do what they can to protect good thinking but know they are capable of many solutions.
By far the most important difference I have found in companies or individuals is “Work Ethic” I have often said that I would rather hire someone with a strong Work Ethic than talent. I have seen too many individuals with talent and potential be surpassed by one who is not easily satisfied and will just keep working.