Thursday 16 May 2019, Nottingham

At the latest East Midlands PM Forum event, which was hosted by Browne Jacobson in Nottingham, Helen Andrews and Marc Wilson, from RizkMcCay, ran a useful session on how to get the most from the relationship with your agencies.

Helen kicked off the session by discussing the importance of getting your brief correct at the start of the project and shared a list of the key things that you should share and include in your brief. These included:

  • Your strategy
  • Brand guidelines, image style, tone of voice
  • The purpose
  • Who will be using it and how
  • Evolution or business as usual
  • Approval process
  • Target audience
  • Required formats
  • Technical specification
  • Copy
  • Images
  • Production – who?
  • Timescales
  • Budget

Marc then went on to stress the importance of being clear to your agency what your likes are dislikes are. When working with a design agency, some of the elements to discuss your thoughts on include:

  • Illustrations
  • Colours
  • Typography
  • Orientation
  • White space
  • Centred or ranged
  • Whether you want concepts or something more polished
  • How many options

Together, Marc and Helen went on to share some tips on making sure you get the best from your agency, stating that “Our best clients get our best work.” As well as sharing some of the things that their “best clients” do, these included:

  • Sharing their plan
  • Being honest about timescales and budgets
  • Regular communication
  • Flexibility
  • Provide testimonials and thanks
  • Share results of a project
  • Take sign off seriously
  • Share responsibility
  • Making introductions

The pair also shared how agencies structure their fees and how generally fees are based on time taken. Along with some really useful tips on how to Get the most from your budget. Tips included:

  • Getting copy approved before supplying
  • Reducing amends
  • Having a clear approval process
  • Understanding how your agency plans their production
  • Give advance warning

To conclude the session, Marc provided a few tips and examples for creating a strong brand. These focused on:

  • Attention – grab attention quickly
  • Consistency – the best brands are consistent
  • Being unique – try to be a “one off”
  • Humankind – extraordinary brands put people first and engage with them emotionally
  • Transform – design can raise expectations, shape culture and transform lives
  • Change – give customers hope or motivation to change
  • Rational – engage with customer rationally and emotionally
  • Effectiveness – stand out brands tend to have one of the following impacts: financial, environmental or social
  • Experience – customers want experiences

Overall, Helen and Marc delivered an extremely informative session, with lots of practical tips and suggestions for the group to help them get the most out of their agency relationships.

Written by Jemma Taylor-Smith
Marketing Consultant, V Formation