I’ve been at this for 40 years and have met many people who I thought, wow, they are really, really smart, articulate and ask great questions. To that end I recently interviewed a candidate for an internship at our shop and was floored by the questions. Here they are, and my answers.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU IN YOUR WORK?
My inspiration comes from mentors who just seemed to always have a positive outlook on life, and a perpetual fire in their belly. Who after 40 to 50 years in the business were still looking to be better and do better.
Aside from family and church time, and a vacation here or there, any spare moment I have I spend advancing my passion. It’s that marriage of technology and creativity that keeps my brain ticking. The advertising agency business feeds my passion daily…the challenges presented by each client, by each employee, inspires me.
CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR AGENCY IN THREE WORDS?
Connected…Irrationally Loyal…Passionate – OK, that’s 4 words.
HOW DO YOU DISTRIBUTE RESPONSIBILITIES
Even today, the advertising agency business is fairly structured by discipline, and everyone pretty much knows what their responsibilities are and what they are accountable for. That doesn’t necessarily mean that everything we do is structured, however. Probably if you asked the staff, they would say I often go around the agency shouting at people as random marketing thoughts pop into my head. I rather doubt anyone is listening anyway, but I humor myself nonetheless.
Bottom line, while everyone generally understands their specific roles and responsibilities, we also expect everyone to create tasks for themselves that will enable them to achieve goals and objectives set out for our company and our clients.
HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH AN ANGRY CLIENT…COMMUNICATE BAD NEWS?
Listen…Listen to their misgivings and offer a solution.
While clients don’t have the right to be abusive in any situation, they have a right to be concerned, and perhaps angry. Try to understand where they are coming from…try to fit into their shoes before you respond. But most of all, take a deep breath, and respond, not react.
As to communicating bad news, be truthful, always. It makes your response more credible.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE CREATIVITY CULTURE AT YOUR AGENCY?
We strive to cultivate an open and exploratory environment, which by the way is tough when you are a small agency. Whether you’re an accountant or an art director every job or project has an array of objectives and with that a series of problems to be solved; this is where your creativity can come into play.
We encourage everyone to bring all their interests to the table. If someone has an idea that is completely from left field, bring it. More often than not it leads to an idea better than what we were working on in the first place.
WHEN HIRING, WHICH QUALITIES OF CREATIVITY ARE YOU MOST SENSITIVE TO?
Our starting point is an understanding that everyone is creative, and that creativity doesn’t stop at a job title. People working with us must be fearless. They need to be driven, have determination and have a passion for learning.
78Madison is a full-service marketing communications firm – advertising agency – located in Orlando-Winter Springs Florida.