Bad Presentation Can Ruin a Great Idea

A bad presentation can ruin a great idea. This is true if you’re presenting work to a client or just in the way you present your work on your website.

Don’t spend weeks crafting every detail of a campaign and then slap it on your website with a poorly-written description you crapped out in 30 seconds. Your job is to present ideas. To communicate clearly. To tell compelling stories. How you present your ideas will be judged as much as the ideas themselves.

So make sure you think about how you present your idea. Is there a story behind it? Does there need to be? Should you create a video about it or do a couple simple sentences suffice?

In the words of the great ad man, Albert Einstein: “Make things as simple as possible, but not simpler.”

Agency Web Sites and Your Portfolio

A friend of mine is helping her agency put together their website, and she wrote to pick my brain about what I liked and disliked about agency sites.

First of all, I think the work is the most important part of any agency site. This is especially true if the site itself can be counted among the agency’s best work.

As of this writing, here are what I’d consider the best agency websites of all time:

Crispin Porter + Bogusky

Boone Oakley

Modernista

What makes them remarkable? Two things: 1. Innovation, 2. Bravery. It’s not easy to pull something like this off. But if you can, you win.

Some agencies are incorporating newsfeeds and their own blogs – not buried somewhere in the backwaters of the menu, but right on their landing page. If you have interesting things to say (or if other people are saying it for you) it says a lot about who you are. My favorites include:

Butler Shine Stern & Partners

The Martin Agency

Zeus Jones

Sites that have great design are worthy of note. So are sites with some level of interactivity.

I’m not a huge fan of agency sites that show introductory videos on the landing page. Nor am I a fan of background music. I think the more features an agency tries to build into their site, the slower (and consequently, the less interesting) it gets. I don’t have time to wait for your site to load. I’m sure your potential clients don’t either.

Sites need to have personality. You can go overboard with this. Or not. I guess it depends on the type of clients you want to attract.

What does this have to do with you? An agency site is basically the portfolio for the office. When you’re putting together your book, you should ask yourself if it’s as good, as memorable, and as innovative as the best sites you’ve seen.

Like the best ads, and even the best student portfolios, I really appreciate agency sites that are simple and direct.

What do you think makes an agency site good? Have any favorites I’ve missed?

On-line portfolios

Do you need to have a slick site to show off your work. Not necessarily. But done correctly, it could help you stand out.
If you’re putting together your book online, here is an article from Smashing Magazine you may find interesting.

I do not agree with everything in this article. And I don’t think every examples of great sites on their list is worth highlighting. Still, it’s worth sifting through to get a sense of what you want and what you want to avoid.

For examples of what I consider sites well done, click here and here and here and here. (That’s not an exhaustive list.)