10 tips for clients managing "creatives"

If you are putting together a marketing campaign of some sort and dealing with suppliers in the creative sector ("creatives" as they are sometimes called): graphic designers, web developers, marketing consultants, copywriters, advertising people and so on, here's a few tips to help you get the most from them:

1. Excite them: the more you get them interested in what you are doing, the more you have them sensually engaged (as in eyes, ears) by the project, the more you can have them thinking This is interesting, the more of themselves they'll invest in the work, the more likely you are to switch their minds on to your work and away from the stuff that's boring them a bit.

2. Take full responsibility for the success of the work: You need to know what you are after broadly, and put in your own time preparing your thoughts and ideas to present to the creatives.

3. Let them know if there are any internal lines of authority they need to be aware of: i.e. if you are not the one that will actually sign off on the job. There's nothing worse than taking a brief from someone in the marketing department and following that brief carefully to the point that they are very happy with it only to get an email from them a few days later saying "Margery is very unhappy with the direction you have taken on this and would like you to agree to start again from scratch and not bill us for the work to date as it is so far off course."

4. Set deadlines: be realistic and consult with the suppliers as to their schedules, but then clearly set a firm deadline, and perhaps "milestones" along the way.

5. Keep records of communications and of things that have been agreed verbally in meetings or over the phone (which should then be emailed out for there to be a written record and to register the things agreed upon more fully with the supplier).

That's 5. More to follow ....>>>

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