These are scary and uncertain times with the global COVID-19 pandemic affecting the way we live and work. In trying times, I like to take a step back to assess if there are any positives that have come from the situation. What I’m finding is that there are some ways that we’ve adapted at Six Degrees to continue to serve our clients effectively while working remotely which will also be helpful when we’re back in the office.
1. Creative briefs. Ah yes, the creative brief—the document that the creative team craves. Oftentimes developing the creative brief can feel like an unnecessary step in a tight turnaround (or budget) project and it gets skipped. But what saves time in the short-term can lead to inefficiency and disappointment. Now that we can’t just pop into the art director’s office to chat about the project, having a client-approved creative brief is a key to success. We’re using them more often and it has improved efficiency.
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2. Round-robin reviews. The way we typically review creative is to gather together and discuss what’s working well and what might need a little extra attention. Those dynamic conversations are valuable but are harder to do via web conferences. What we’ve started doing is taking turns commenting on creative, especially for the first round. When a project is ready for review, one person will volunteer to do the first pass review and send it on to the rest of the account team. Then the other team members take turns reviewing the piece and adding or debating input. In this way we’re held accountable to do a thorough review and we get input from all team members.
3. Video conferences. While we’ve always relied upon conference calls, we (and our clients) have been somewhat reluctant to turn on the camera. Now that we don’t get to see many people in our daily lives, it’s a welcome treat to see faces we know. We’ve found it’s helpful from a communication standpoint, but the real value has been maintaining, and even strengthening, connections. After all, when you see into someone’s house, you know a little more about them!
I will welcome the day when we return to working in the office and things feel a little more normal. In the meantime, I’ll continue to embrace these tactics and look forward to continuing to use them.