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Maximizing Creative Staff and Supporting Roles
By: Tom Roarty
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No matter how big your agency is, there is always an eagerness to make it feel bigger to the clients that you interact with. The ability to sell the idea of “we have you covered at every angle” is a welcomed one, especially when it comes to costly services in the advertising genre. From the agency's perspective, however, what is the cost of what you need vs. what you want?
Sometimes being creative can be an easy process; other times, not so much. The ability designers have to receive information can surely help in the process of developing ideas. It is a combination of strong communication skills and the ability to listen for clients' needs that contribute to a creative success. In larger companies, one voice will usually convey the message to a variety of designers, copywriters, and freelancers in an effort to contain the integrity of a project. In talking with some directors, having one point of contact is among the most secure ways of tracking workflow, but what if you’re not in a big company?
There is no denying that sometimes dealing with clients, vendors, and a plethora of other random calls can take a lot of time, and having a person around to deal with that is a huge benefit. The struggle occurs during scheduling. Although internal meetings play a very important part in the advancement of projects, one of the biggest differences between a big staff and a small one is that when you are part of a large office, chances are someone will still be working on a project even if you are sitting in on a meeting talking about it, which keeps the momentum of a project moving. This is as opposed to a small-staff situation, where when you are meeting work is not getting done.
Although I have worked for both large and small agencies in the past, I can say that there are benefits to having a coordinator regardless of a company’s size. I do believe, however, that having an in-between person in a smaller setting can occasionally bottleneck a process. Creatives who can access a client directly usually have a better understanding of the message they have to translate, as opposed to getting information secondhand.
It is the ability to listen for changes in voice, which helps a designer understand what excites a client, which is not something that can be witnessed through another person. There is also a bond between a person who is creating and the one whom they are creating for. When a buffer obstructs that relationship from happening, there is the potential of some degradation in the work.
If used properly, coordinators can be a huge benefit to the creative process, but within different environments, the role of such a position could change. Part of any creative process is to find ways to maximize productivity while keeping the integrity of creativity. Be open to utilizing all of all of your employees, even in a non-traditional sense, because, like great design, great employees should be adaptable.


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