A cautionary tale.
My best client recently enlisted a creative staffing agency to create and deliver a large PowerPoint presentation. [clarification if I may: I’ve worked with my client contact for more than 5 years now: 2 at this company, 3+ at another company - a great and signature marketing coordinator-vendor relationship, carefully built on mutual trust and great performance; in this case, she was overruled by her boss, who wanted a “big time agency and a top person”.]
I received a panic email and phone call late on Friday afternoon from her; she illustrated the issue* - essentially needs me to bail them out [extract their asses from the proverbial fire in superstar fashion]. It’s to be a State of the North American Market address, to be delivered by the president of the company which is headquartered overseas; prelim due Monday. Hello, no pressure. Truth be told, I not only love a challenge but LOVE the chance to blow a client away, especially after another creative has dropped the ball.
* Her words, verbatim:
“We sent this project to a creative agency, top tier, $80/hour freelancer, and the shit he returned was a joke. He legit took my info attached (which is a mock-up) and just added color, pictures… it sucks and I’m not happy about it.
The first version is due Monday AM latest – the president needs it in his hands by Wednesday AM – we have $x to spend and it’s all yours if you can pull it off and make one effing sexy, awesome, engaging, artistic, out-of-the-box Powerpoint – maybe turning the market data into more infographic style - something NOT boring like what the clown at this agency gave me. They said this was their best person.”
Now… please know that I’m not saying every creative recruitment/staffing agency doesn’t have qualified or talented people or that your experience with be negative. [resisting editorial opinion here] What I am suggesting – to you Directors of Marketing and Communications, marketing coordinators, creative directors, art directors and art buyers: Think twice; consider eliminating the fancy middle man; feel free to question the fear tactics messaging: “You can’t trust someone off the street – our people are vetted and qualified.”
Mine your associates and LinkedIn connections. Understand that there are affordable, wickedly-talented, seriously-kick-ass, professional-in-every-sense-of-the-word freelance creatives with references and testimonials that live to please you; to create and deliver your project as fast and efficiently as humanly possible, on-time and on-budget, every time out. Consider that’s it in their best interest to perform a superior job to remain a reliable and valued source of future work from you...
... ultimately and most importantly
Their sole job in life is to make you look good to your boss, period.
... and occasionally rescue you from a decidedly-stressful predicament.
~ Peter Beach ;-)
© Peter Beach / pbeach! - All Rights Reserved under any and all U.S. and international copyright laws to which the work is subject.