ICYMI, a few weeks ago we celebrated our least favorite acronym with this amazing tribute video featuring some mildly NSFW lyrics and majorly bad wigs. Watching it was a revelation for me, as I recognized A LOT of my own emails and job jackets in the endless parade of ASAPs.
But here’s the hard truth: in this day and age, ASAP is unavoidable. Which begs the question, how can a client still get great work if ASAP is a regular part of their agency ask? As someone whose profession it is to navigate the waters between client needs and the (how do I put this?) sometimes-mercurial world of an ad agency creative department, here are a few ideas:
- Be honest and direct. If an ASAP project is unavoidable,make it as detailed as possible. Creatives handle ASAP jobs better when they get laser-focused direction. That way, your account person can prioritize and clarify the creative team’s objectives to get them working instead of spinning their wheels. If your agency knows exactly what you’re expecting, we’ll do everything we can to live up to those expectations.
- Offer an olive branch. If you have to have something (or multiple somethings) due ASAP, dangle the carrot of having a project down the line that may afford your creative team more time and creative license. When I can offer creatives an incentive for ASAP projects, even if it’s in that vague time known as “the future,” I consistently get better work.
- Be sure your ASAP is actually ASAP. Of course, some deadlines are not negotiable –but some are born from convenience, too. Giving your creative team even an extra day to think about the problem you’re trying to solve can often improve the work exponentially. So when the extra time is there, make it available. And when it’s not, be clear about that, too.
Ultimately, we’re in this to do great creative work that achieves real business results and turns our clients into rock stars. Sometimes that’s spending two weeks developing concepts for a breakthrough multimedia campaign, or two minutes cleaning up a PowerPoint presentation that the client’s taking to the CEO. Either way, understanding the ins and outs of ASAP will get us all there, well, ASAP.
Have a not-over-too-quickly weekend, everybody.
-Your never OMG over ASAP friends at Brokaw.