The Drip Edition 8
I don’t really know what to say about this week.
It has been incredibly busy and a little frustrating.
It was one of those hurry-up-and-wait weeks, where you mission to do things and then don’t hear back from the people who urgently needed you to work on the things. C’est la (advertising) vie.
But in all seriousness, I am talking about pitching. We all know the pitching process can be a little infuriating.
Potential clients ask us to put together elaborate proposals at incredibly tight turn-around times and at large cost to us (time; skills; money expended on the pitch process) with massive expectations to deliver in acute detail, and then you don’t hear from them again. Nikki sent me an article on “ghosting” by clients, and this perfectly sums it up. It’s just happened to me this week again.
I realise there is an opportunity cost to new business, but twice this month we have had potential clients ask us to submit proposals on the understanding that we had the work already, and then post-submission we were told we didn’t win “the pitch”.
We didn’t know we were pitching. It’s hard to pitch when you don’t know you’re in a pitch process.
In one instance the client (I say client because we were told we had the work) begged us to take on the work. We actually refused to take over their accounts until we had come with a plan of action to deliver properly. So we put hours of work into developing a solid plan that worked within an incredibly tight monthly budget, only to be told that another agency won “the pitch” because they came with a creative big idea. We were not pitching. We were asked to take over their digital account. Had we known we were pitching, we would also have thrown some wild ideas in there, and not wasted time crafting a solid plan.
But we didn’t, because we wanted to do work that actually worked for them, not throw blue sky thinking at a budget that was unable to match it.
It’s a little outrageous.
Ok, rant mostly over (I’ll come back to this later).
For now, on with the show!
How To Write The Perfect Brief
This. Is. Critical.
If you write briefs, receive briefs, are near briefs or like to complain about bad briefs, this is for you.
I think somewhere along the line (especially in digital) we lost this art of the creative and strategic brief. We forgot that there is a need to convey the right information at the right time to our teams in order for them to fully understand what it is we are asking them to do.
If you read nothing else today, read this. Because it is up to us to DEMAND excellent briefs from ourselves, our colleagues and our clients. It is critical for the success of our business and the creative work we deliver.
We all need to get better at understanding the client and brand tension points, of understanding the real problems to answer, and at putting the consumer first in our thinking when writing these briefs.
Here is a great article written by the Goddess of brief-writing, Gillian Rightford. Let her be your guiding light.
The Art Of Ghosting
I have already raged about this enough. This paragraph sums it up more eloquently than I can:
“The pitch process is hard enough, and like dating, it can be fraught with issues. Sadly, in today’s fickle market, you would be hard-pressed to find an agency that hasn’t experienced ‘post-pitch ghosting.’ The RFI is followed by the RFP, followed by chemistry meetings and presentations – but then sometimes the prospect stops answering your calls and emails – and the “courtship” comes to an abrupt end.
This silent treatment renders the agency feeling powerless and can leave you wildly assessing all the things you consider post first date. What went wrong? Was it something I said? Did they meet someone else? Are they still interested in starting a new relationship? Ambiguity is the real dagger, and it hurts.”
Read this article and rage with me.
A Possible Solution To The Pitching Process
This is from our friends over at Purple, and is about the art of taming the bid beast.
Basically, learn how to pitch without wasting your time and effort.
It aims to tackle the problem of your beast of a pitch document spiralling out of control by understanding what you need to deliver against; how to deliver it and provides insight to keep the process in check without ruining your life.
How Emoji Are Changing The Way We Communicate
I read the Daily Brief emailer from Quartz, and it is really great for rounding up things you’re interested in and sending it directly to you. You should subscribe too.
Anyway, one of the articles this week was about Emoji. Emoji have inadvertently helped us to convey tone over email and text through bringing emotion to life in non-spoken communication. It has helped us avoid numerous communication issues (read: complete fall-outs with colleagues/ friends/ family), and are powerful tools for how we relate to one another in this digital world.
This article is great because it is not only chock full of information, but also has a few quizzes, and links to loads of other sources for references for you to go down a wonderful little digital rabbit hole, and basically is an ADHD person’s wet dream.
It also gives you loads of stats to use in your next campaign / strategy / whatever.
176: Original assortment of emoji, including a heart, an umbrella, and a full set of zodiac symbols
3,019: Emoji in the Unicode Standard as of March 2019
7%: Share of people who use the 🍑 emoji as a fruit
5 billion: Emoji sent daily on Facebook Messenger
7%: Rotten Tomatoes rating on The Emoji Movie
92%: Share of all people online who use emoji
>50%: Share of Instagram posts that contain emoji
17: Default date on the emoji calendar 📆
1, 2, 3: Rank of 😂, ❤️, and 😍 as most used emoji in 2018
50,000: Custom emoji used by one of Slack’s corporate customers
Read it and become a better human. Or just read it and stay the same human but more fun.
Clothing Retailers Must Become Sustainable
I watched an interview recently with Anna Wintour (Editor of Vogue, the original influencer and total bad-ass). She is also possibly the world’s most diplomatic person. She infuriatingly dances around issues in the fashion industry to the point where you want to shake her. You can watch this great interview with other total fem-power bad-ass Christiane Amanpour and learn the subtle art of diplomacy.
When asked about any controversial topic (Trump; sustainable fashion; fur; exploitation of female models; would they put a plus-size model on the cover of vogue) she supplies vague responses with no real opinions. All I want is for her to come right out and say that they don’t want large people on the cover, and that the fashion industry needs to pull up its socks and become more sustainable. (I am very ragey today). Still. She is INCREDIBLY cool and powerful.
This article sums up nicely why we should be buying more sustainable fashion. In other words – buy less fast fashion (items you buy that last less than a year); buy recycled/ upcycled or second-hand clothes; buy better quality clothes from local suppliers who have made their clothes locally (the fashion industry has a massive carbon footprint because clothes have to travel from afar to reach us); and – just buy fewer clothes and things in general.
And that’s all folks.
Any complaints, queries and / or suggestions, feel free to email me😊