10 Aug 10 signs of a great creative communications agency
We’ve been analysing our performance and how we do things here at RONIN – as all companies do – and it got us thinking: what makes a great creative communications agency?
For any of our clients, or anyone that employs an external agency, whether it is for design, PR, social media, or marketing strategy, this question will be of interest to you. So in response we’ve put together this blog, which looks at 10 of the things that make a great agency.
1. Diversity. Of people and clients. Getting a range of people with an assortment of talents and from a variety of backgrounds together creates ideas with true breadth and depth. Involving different individuals, from copywriters, to designers, to strategists all on one project, provides scope of perspective that otherwise couldn’t be achieved. Having a diverse client base is also a strength, in our opinion. It prevents industry biases from forming and a wide range of knowledge to develop, so different skills can be applied to accounts where they may otherwise not. It also allows the wider trends to be noticed and taken in to account. It’s surprising how wide swept trends can traverse across seemingly completely different industries!
2. Openness. An open environment, where internal employees can share their opinions is essential. To get the best from one another, you need to be willing to challenge and critique each others work. This applies to clients too. When you spot a potential flaw in an idea, you have to feel comfortable enough to say so.
3. A relaxed attitude. A prerequisite to an open environment is a relaxed one. An environment where a client can just phone for a chat or pop in for a cup of coffee is ideal. Often the most creative ideas develop in informal situations rather than formal brainstorming sessions. Little things like playing music in the office, being able to walk around with no shoes on, popping to Costa for a coffee, can make a big difference to an individual being willing to talk things through and share ideas.
4. Willingness to change. Whilst the old phrase ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ still has value and there are certain methods and strategies that have always worked and will continue to work, you can’t rest on your laurels. A good agency has to be willing to change, continuously. Whatever your industry, the market environment will be dynamic, so you have to be too. You have to get involved in new trends, explore new opportunities and look for fresh ideas. Refine and reinvent yourself, even when you’re doing well – arguably more so then. And if you’re not convinced, have a read of Clare’s blog ‘Success is not final’. It may just change your mind.
5. The journey. Approaching projects not as individual tasks, but as a journey, can make a huge difference to the output. Even if you are just putting together one ad for a whole marketing campaign, you still have to look at the bigger picture and the final result. Put yourself in the shoes of your customer, or more importantly, your customer’s customer. Think about what they want, what’s in it for them. An integrated agency arguably allows this to happen more easily, as you become used to viewing projects from different angles, and seeing the development from inception to completion.
6. Team spirit. When there’s a tight deadline to meet or a particularly important project, everyone has to be willing and eager to pitch in and do their bit. Whether it’s making someone else a cup of tea, taking work off someone else’s hands or contributing your ideas, that attitude is vital.
7. Knowing your role. To be an effective team, everyone has to understand what their role is and what is expected of them. That involves communication, a wider perspective, and perhaps most importantly, appreciation. When someone meets or exceeds what is expected of them it should be recognised. That doesn’t mean an elaborate reward scheme – often a simple thank you will do.
8. Sociability. In the communications industry, naturally you have to be quite social. But the best agencies aren’t just social when it comes to social media or with clients, they’re sociable with one another. At RONIN we have team lunches, dinners, drinks, a summer do, a Christmas do, even a beer in the office on a Friday. Not only does this breed openness and communication, which is key, it also gives us a chance to let our hair down so we can come to work the next day with a clear mind (or perhaps not).
9. Passion. Interest, enthusiasm and hard work are a product of passion, and that’s what gets the best results. At RONIN we view a lot of our clients as friends rather than customers; but either way, we genuinely care about getting results and our passion is evident in the work we do.
10. Creativity. Now this one may seem obvious, but it is what all of the above points help to achieve: creative work that gets results. To be truly creative, you have to think outside of the box, look at alternative approaches and take on board different angles and perspectives.
Pictures courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.net