There are fewer things more debilitating to creating great advertising than a nervous Account Management person. You might know the type I’m talking about, but if not, here are some easy ways to spot them:
- They want to book internal reviews so often you barely have time to do any work between meetings. It usually comes under the guise of “Oh, we’ll just have a quick catch-up to see where the work is at”.
- They have an overwhelming desire to try and create problems where there are none. They ask so many hypothetical questions about the idea you’re presenting and, as a result want so many contingency plans, it would be impossible to have solutions for them all.
- They seem to be driven by a fear of upsetting the client, and subscribe to a master/slave type mentality.
This kind of activity only serves to weaken the resulting work. The focus shifts. It’s no longer about ‘getting it right’. Instead, the main priority becomes ‘getting it not wrong’. Importantly, these two things are not the same – former Weiden+Kennedy creative, Jim Riswold penned a great article on this topic a few years ago. (read it here)
The truth is that having too many meetings and internal reviews only serves to add pressure and lessen the amount of time the creative team actually gets to do the work. Remember, a cake won’t rise if you keep opening the oven door.
If you think the client might have a problem with the work, just show it to them and see. Otherwise, you can waste time and resource trying to treat a problem that might not even exist. Open and honest conversations should be the cornerstone of any good client/agency relationship.
Remember, great work can come from many sources, but a fear-driven environment is never one of them.