A while ago, my colleague Laci wrote a post about how she stays on top of her never-ending action items by keeping a never-ending to do list.
As an account executive who also co-manages Anderson Marketing Group’s social media, I would also be lost without my list. One of those things at the top of my list every day is the routine social media must-dos – check Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, refresh page and repeat. But since that is just a tiny slice of the bigger pie of my AE responsibilities, I wanted to focus on what we need to do as account executives
Recently I read the awesome book- The Art of Client Service, by Robert Solomon. This is something that more than account executives can benefit from – anyone who has to communicate with another human being could glean some insight from this quick read.
Communicating is key in the role of an AE. There are several relationships that those in account service have to balance and multiple roles that we have to fill. Relationships with clients, with other AEs, with agency leadership, with accounting, with media. And one the biggies is the relationship with the people who try to recreate our client’s vision – the writers, the art directors, the production editors, the interactive team, all of them helping take work from ideation to reality.
Those people make the work come to life. They might love what they do, but let’s be honest, they have hard jobs. They don’t always get to talk to the client. With the way the world works today, there’s not always time for that. Yes, it’s a job. These people are paid to write, draw and create jaw-dropping work. They also have to do it in the right tone-straightforward, tongue-in-cheek, whatever-fits-the-needs-of-the-client way. Sometimes they have weeks and sometimes they work with a 24-hour turn around.
How does one help these hard workers that are, in essence, the keystone of the agency world?
Give them time when you can give them time.
Don’t sit on information.
Everyone communicates differently. If you try to force fit your style onto someone else, it is entirely likely that miscommunication will occur and work will need to be done over again.
As Karen Dillion said in the HBR podcast on August 29th. “No one begrudges a person who is kind and helpful and generous with their time.” She cautions that you just need to be consistent across the board and the same person with everyone. And it’s not a multiple-choice scenario, it’s all three to really be your best and help others achieve their best.
It’s a new kind of to-do list and it’s one that should be accomplished every day.