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An advertising, branding and creative strategy agency in Houston, Texas

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Lose Yourself in Protocols

Nothing gets me jacked up like processes. I think any agency owner would confess that's why he got into the creative biz. When I work on our protocols and the documentation of said protocols, I put my headphones on, the volume up, and press repeat on the explicit version of Eminem's Lose Yourself. That's not true. I am using sarcasm to better illustrate my point.

Alas, processes and protocols are necessary. I have read some smart human beings that stress the importance establishing and implementing a defined process. This is a good excerpt from one of them.

Great systems without documentation are only rumors about the way you do things in your business.

Agency guru-grower, Jason Swenk, opens every podcast by saying,

Systems outperform talent every time.

I don't know if that is 100%  true. But I have found the more clearly we define our process, the smoother everything seems to run. I have been putting off writing down processes and protocols for about a year. Here are my excuses for avoiding this worthwhile task:

  1. It's wicked boring.
  2. No one will bother to look at it.

But, then I remember that we don't do boring stuff. We're supposed to make things fun and good and different. So, here is the solution:

  1. Don't make it boring.
    • We avoid boring by taking real pictures of real people really doing it. And, we'll use a Polaroid camera with only ten pieces of film.
  2. Share it with everybody.
    •  We avoid no one seeing it by sharing it outside the company to every friend, client, potential client or any ol' looky-loo who stumbles upon it.
    • This also holds us accountable.
      • We can avoid making boring posts by using numbering and bullets.
        • People like bullets.
        • I like bullets.

The following is our process from kick off to concept to completion. Ideally, everyone who works with us should have a similar story to tell once the work is complete. And if we do it like this every time, that story will be a good one.

1.Get together and talk about the project and what it can and should be. The goal is to try and get everyone on the same page and produce a clear vision for the project.

2. Research and Information Gathering. Make sure that all necessary team members can meet with the client prior to commencing work. This process consists of summarizing the goals of the project and receiving a sign off from the client on expectations.

3. The project manager will set the schedule based on current workload. Ask your coworker what is realistic. The first round should take about a week and then after that we should be able to set it in decreasing increments of 4,3,2,1 days to keep the momentum and the client fully-engaged.

4. Get to work. There is no one correct approach. Whether it is pencil and paper or computer, this is where the concept takes shape.

5. Lets review and compare our work as a group. Also, we should look back at the original plan and make sure all work reflects the goals we set out to achieve.

6. Repeat until we get it right. Even if we have to eat (that) lunch at our desk.

These pictures were taken with an old Polaroid. Actually, it is a knock off Fuji Film version.  But, I think it gave the photos just the right concoction of cool meets creeper. I can't believe we actually got six out of ten photos that are pretty decent. Decent may be a bit too kind.

This is the gist of our process. There are some more nuances to it, but you get the main idea. When you have a clearly-defined process it allows you to focus on what matters: the client and the work. And, your sad little chili lunch.


5+8Adam Faust2 Comments