Six Personalities That Make an Agency Tick

By Scott Gilbert

Forbes published an article by Jessica Hagy titled “The 6 People You Need in Your Corner.” She uses Venn diagrams and line graphs to illustrate each one – oh the joys of finite math.

I thought it would be fun to extrapolate her examples to people in an advertising agency. Now this is, of course, just the humble and non-professional opinion of an intern based on observation at several agencies. Here we go…

The Instigator:clip_image001Creatives should always be asking these two questions. A lot of effective advertising starts with this insatiable desire to try something new.

However, at the same time, this should be everyone. Every department should be constantly pushing ideas. If we don’t have to daily ask ourselves “What if?” or “Why not?” then we probably aren’t doing the best work we possibly can. This is what makes us better at what we do.

The Cheerleader:clip_image002Account managers aren’t going to like me calling them cheerleaders, but when it comes to the creative/account dynamic, someone who believes in you and supports you is exactly what a creative needs. That belief and support means you’ll champion their work to the client.The Doubter:clip_image003Seeing problems and being proactive about solving them is crucial to developing successful communication. It is this constant questioning that is foundational to successful account planning. Planners must maintain a constant curiosity, but at the same time be grounded enough to know when it’s time to rethink a strategy.

The Taskmaster:clip_image004Project management is all about making it happen. Somebody has to be organized enough to stay on top of deadlines and streamline execution. An effective project manager flirts with the line between encouragement and nagging. The odds of something falling in between the cracks increases drastically when a creative is working on multiple projects at once (which is almost always the case). Project managers are there to fill in those cracks.

The Connector:clip_image005With impression increases, brands have more ability to do cool stuff. Media planners find out where eyes are and how to reach them. They know the trends in ratings and circulation. They know what demographics are looking at what, and with this incredible knowledge comes the ability to connect the communication to the consumer.

The Example:clip_image006Finally, we have the partners (or most senior level executives). The experience and knowledge that comes from a lifetime of being in the industry is invaluable. These leaders have seen it all. They have been around through all the shifts in the industry (no more two martini lunches) and they have held fast. These are the go-to providers of answers for tough questions. Their keen understanding and watchful eye guide the agency to continued success.

So there you have it: An intern’s view into agency dynamics through the wonders of finite math.

Images courtesy of Forbes.

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