Presenting Creative Concepts

If you care about your work, and respect your creative team, always present initial creative concepts in person. This gives you the opportunity to “feel their reaction.” If the work is rejected, you will understand what the issues are and how best to address them.   Remember, the client is not just asking for a piece of paper with an idea on it, or a PSD of the web site home page. They re looking for your insight and rationale: HOW you chose the graphics/words, and understanding WHY you undertook this approach. Even the best concept, well researched and developed, can be destroyed by a misconception on presentation or a concern expressed by a senior client that is not properly addressed on presentation. Don’t count on a junior or intermediate level client to effectively present your creative concepts up the line. This is a hit or miss proposition.

Larry MogelonskyPresenting Creative Concepts

Mad Men

This AMC Cable Show is almost worth the premium cable price. If you have not watched it, or have seen it only infrequently, you are missing one of the true treats on the tube (is it still called that, even though it is a monitor?). I was not in the business during the period the show portrays… I was still in public school. So, it is amazing to see how the ad business operated. It is amazing that anyone who lived through that era is still alive, given all the alcohol and cigarettes that were consumed.   What is most provocative is the role of women. In today’s business, women and men are equals (if they are not in your business, you’re a Neanderthal); so too for religion and race (by every legal and moral right). This was not so in the early 1960’s, and that was only two generations ago. When …

Larry MogelonskyMad Men

Grammar Please!

I remember Grade 10, Miss Theaker's English Class. Wow, that lady was a stickler for grammar. And, we hated every minute of it. Too bad there are not a lot more Miss Theaker's out there! The substance of the application letters that we receive here is, well, abysmal.  This being said, the grammar in most letters that are received here do not meet even the basic standards. Too bad. Nothing lowers your reputation faster than a letter that has obvious grammatical errors. Interestingly, spell checking has rendered the “typo” almost obsolete, yet the “grammo” seems to be a little bit more sticky! What is the correct salutation for an email? How does it differ from a traditional business letter? And who cares in any event? Say you are sending a letter to me. Correct salutations on an email (no preference): Dear Larry, Larry (just nothing…start right in!) But never start …

Larry MogelonskyGrammar Please!

What to do When a Client Contact Leaves the Business

Many of our clients have been with us many years. Long-standing relationships with individuals who represent the clients very often translate into friendships. In a recent experience, a key client contact left the business. Sad as it was, business goes on. What can you do?   First, business is business, and you have responsibilities. You need to ensure that there is no breakdown in service. Replacement personnel need to be brought up to speed. Projects cannot miss deadlines.   At the same time, your friend may need your help. Depending upon the circumstances, this could include references, recommendations and even referrals to another job. In the latter case, be careful to ensure that you exclude direct competitors to the business you are still involved with!   Remember, relationships are with people, not businesses. Never bad-mouth someone who leaves for any circumstance. Bad words have a tendency to boomerang.

Larry MogelonskyWhat to do When a Client Contact Leaves the Business

Volunteer or Paid for Service?

Interesting situation. I am on many not for profit committees, volunteering my time to support a worthy cause. My time, of course, is committed for free, with no strings attached. In one situation, one volunteer wishes to extend the mandate to take on additional work. This work is of value to the committee, and it is clearly recognized that no one on the committee has the skills or the time to undertake this work.   Thus, this one volunteer would now continue as a “volunteer” with the additional work as a “paid contractor.” The rate for the paid work is recognized as being very fair value, below market rate in fact. And, the insider knowledge the individual has would make the work significantly easier for everyone on the committee.   So, the options are as follows: accept the offer of “paid” service from the volunteer, or hire external services at …

Larry MogelonskyVolunteer or Paid for Service?

Is the Customer Always Right?

A conundrum to be sure! Given thirty years in the business, you would think the answer is obvious. Alas, it is not. One might argue that, after all, it is the client’s business, and the client’s money. So, if the client is wrong, but they want it that way, should you just give it to them? It is not a simple answer. Here are three distinct areas where you should not follow client wishes: When issues of a legal nature arise. Simply put, never, repeat never, succumb to a request that breaks the laws of this country, or the country of your client’s operation. This includes use of photos with questionable pedigreed. When issues that jeopardize confidentiality of information arise. As an example, we have been asked to host web sites that we build on sub-standard platforms, that potentially put customer data at risk. In such cases, it is prudent …

Larry MogelonskyIs the Customer Always Right?