Internal presentations

When agencies present work to clients, they go to the trouble of setting up the presentation first. Usually, they read the brief to remind everyone what the purpose of the assignment was. They might explain who they’re talking to, what media they’re using, and may even reveal the tag line or theme before showing the work.

But when creatives present work to their creative directors, they usually just push a stack of sharpied comps across the desk. And I think more work dies unnecessarily because of this.

I’m not suggesting creative directors need a big, client-sized presentation. But a little context can go a long way. You may say, But my CD is a genius. He’s been doing this for 15 years. He knows what my stick figures represent. I’m not going to patronize him by re-briefing him.

But consider that most creative directors have more responsibilities than a junior team does. Just because you’ve been developing your ideas day and night for the past two weeks doesn’t mean your CD has been equally involved. There are client calls, new business developments that aren’t announced, senior staff meetings, departmental budgets to consider, review and revise. There are a million other agency-related distractions CDs have to deal with.

So it may help, at least on the initial internal presentation to present to your CD as if he were one of them instead of one of you. I’m not talking about polishing your comps – that’s a waste of time. I’m talking about briefly reviewing the brief: Who are you talking to, and what are you trying to tell them and what the client’s expectations are. Ninety seconds upfront and you’re done.

Do this with your account team and planners as well and you’ll see less and less work die internally. Not because you’ve managed to talk them into your work. But because you’ll be able to pre-edit ideas that aren’t on brief anyway.

One thought on “Internal presentations

  1. Yes yes yes yes yes.

    a) It helps remind everyone what the assignment is. As Greg points out (and this is more important the higher up the ladder the CD is), a CD may or may not remember the brief.

    b) It helps set expectations for what everyone's going to see and frame the work.

    If it's the second round of revisions, also include a short recap of the revisions you were asked to make.

    And if you have style reference or a short piece of music that's INTEGRAL to the idea, share that as well.


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