Friday, November 03, 2006

:: adgruntie :: Why we drink

+ This was in my inbox from a bit ago, but it seemed to go so well with that adverbatims post. Very ranty today, huh?

Why Creative Professionals Drink:

1) Waiting around for you? No thanks.
If you tell someone you're going to have X done by a certain time, and they schedule their time around you, notify them. And not at the last minute. Don't expect that others will move the world around for you (or not bill you) for time you've made them wait all day for your feedback, revisions, etc. Just because you have epidemic issues with completing your work on time, don't expect others to move the world around for you. Just like you, we have other things to do. YOU are not any more special than anyone else. Period. Sorry to be the one to tell you so.

2) Busy doesn't mean available.
Assuming you're speaking the same language, this really shouldn't be that tough. And let's just say the chances of that being the case are about as slim as Bernbach coming back to life and winning at Cannes. Don't think you can just walk up to someone's desk and demand their time right then if they don't have it. If someone is in the middle of the creative process, or even writing a business proposal, there should be enough brain cells in your head to understand that "I'm busy, let's talk in a little while or set up a time to talk" does NOT mean "Yes, I'm free to spend 20 minutes reviewing your changes because whatever it is that you have to talk about is more important than anything else I could be doing at the moment". In fact, the majority of people who tend to pull bullshit this wouldn't stand for it to happen to them for a second.

3) Beware the manure spreaders.
There's always someone who seems to trollop through the mire and yet always end up smelling of roses. How? They pawn work off on other people. They manipulate others, craft emails to make others they work with look bad, and generally refuse to take any blame for poor work or lack of work. These are also the same folk who seem to always be on vacation. Stop letting them work their way up the ladder. If you don't stick your foot out and trip them, you're responsible for making other people's lives hell, until someone has the balls to do it. Dead weight does not help you get anywhere…

4) Communication.
I find it extremely depressing, considering the field we are in (communications, if you didn't know), how many people are very poor communicators. It's really not all that hard. Just think for a second before you shoot off an email, even take the extra minute to re-read what you wrote so you can be sure it makes sense. Keep people in the loop. Let them know of changes in schedules. Tell them the information that you just received from a client about the project you're working on. We are communicators, not mind readers. Plain and simple. Use your words kids, written or verbal. It won't hurt, I swear.

5) Time keeps on tickin'
People who love to have meetings for the sake of having meetings.Those who give themselves a week to do their work but make others turn it around in a day, sometimes less. Continual revision after revision. Having no idea what you want but you need it yesterday. Lack of time management is probably one of the biggest inefficiencies in the world of advertising. These are all things that can be avoided. Yet it happens all the time. Why? Perhaps it's just one of the mysteries of the working world.

6) Play your role, let others play theirs.
There's a reason you're an AE and not an art director or copywriter. There's a reason you're a media buyer and not a planner. Sure you can have ideas and work together, but the fact is the person laying out an ad or designing a website knows what they are doing. After all, it IS their job. And, yes, you can have an opinion. But, when it comes down to it, the reasoning to use X font size or a certain phrasing should be left to the experts. Knowing how to use Word does not a copywriter make. Being able to create a PowerPoint presentation does not give you a degree in graphic design, so put away your fade in reveal skills and leave it to the professionals. P.S. - professionals use real tools like creativity and common sense.

7) Learn to extinguish the flame gracefully.
Just because your boss or client lights a fire under your ass to get something completed does not mean that you can skip the set up channels to get your project to the front of the queue. There's a reason why creative briefs were created. Complete one. It won't kill you. Half-assing the process just leads to more wasted time in getting your project done. Fires happen. Learn how to put them out properly instead of starting a blazing wildfire.

8) Stop acting like an idiot.
Don't ask the same question over and over. Don't you listen or are you just a moron? That's the impression that comes across when this happens. "Did you send the PPT doc? So, they got the doc? Are you sure they got it? So, they should be all set?" It's even worse when you reply to an email that states "This is the latest draft, with one change" with "Is this the latest draft?" Can you read? Good. Then do it.

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