Naturally, if we havent worked together previously, the first step is to introduce ourselves and get acquainted.
However the story begins, the client knows that he or she will be a central character, and that theres going to be some stimulating dialogue.
As all good editors and journalists know, a good story begins with solid research. Our research begins with the client, and usually continues with their business, target audiences and the competitive landscape.
The briefing document
Although the client briefed us in the initial stage, we produce a document describing the assignment, restating and prioritizing the key objectives, the approach and any amendments wed agreed at our first meeting. If the goals hadnt yet been measurable, we ensure they are now.
The client is presented with the reformulated briefing and proposed work plan. We review these together and discuss any further amendments. Any third-party contributors and partners are brought in at the beginning to ensure that they have an equal understanding of the brief and the clients needs. Once we have achieved complete agreement on the strategy, budget and anticipated results, we get down to business in earnest.
Work in Progress
We dont just let our clients tell us what they need and then call them when its done. Ironically, many communications consultancies fail to communicate effectively with their clients and partners. We believe in open communication and in using our skills in the process as well as the product. Our clients have learned that the best results are achieved by being actively involved in their project from concept to implementation. Theyre sure theyre getting what they want and there are no surprises.
By working with our clients rather than for them, weve learned that they become satisfied partners. Of course, the size and nature of the assignment will dictate the degree and nature of their active involvement.
During the creative development process, our online extranet is used by clients to comment on, revise and correct work in progress and by any outside contributors to submit their work for approval and inclusion in the finished product.
Last but not least, an essential ingredient throughout is that everyone has fun.
Because were driven by results and customer satisfaction, our work never ends with the delivery of the finished product. We follow up on the assignment to track and measure its ultimate success against the criteria we agreed in the briefing document.
Then we share our evaluation, ideas for enhancements and future projects with the client over lunch.
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