Ten things that annoy in agency life

Shamelessly inspired by this post over at PR Moment:

  • People assuming that everything is as malleable and easy to change as a press release. Video, graphic design, social media programmes and website builds are some things that don’t do mission creep well and once you set them on a run you have to stay the course
  • People who bang on about either: why <insert marketing discipline here> should be in charge of social media, or ask who owns social media. It’s like asking who should be in charge of the telephones or the post-it notes. The more pertinent question would be how can I use social media to do a better job
  • People who say ‘I don’t have much budget, but could do payment by results‘ – so you can pay, but don’t want to. Don’t view marketing  as particularly important and will be a pain-in-the-ass client down the road: no thank you
  • People who wear rugby union shirts. In my book its just as chavvy as wearing a football shirt as leisurewear and there is a certain amount of northern snobbery in me that thinks if it isn’t league it isn’t rugby
  • People who say ‘oh you don’t drink, that must be terrible‘ – not really, I don’t really know what its like so I can’t really miss it. I also walk away from people who are drunk rather than sitting there like a gooseberry. And before you ask I won’t be your designated driver
  • People who always say business is going really well, even when it isn’t. Agencies can’t defy business cycles inevitably there will be peaks and troughs – be honest about it
  • Recruitment consultants who keep pushing PHP programmer CVs at me, even after I’ve asked them not to get in touch again
  • People who when asked who their audience was in terms of socio-economic data, demographics and psychographics answer ‘everyone‘. What you’ve actually told me is that: you don’t know what success looks like, you don’t know how to measure it and you are not really sure why someone is paying for this campaign
  • The compelling imperative for PR people in particular to ‘do something‘; taking a step back and thinking about something or doing nothing for a perfectly good reason doesn’t seem to register. It reminds me of a story I was once told about Americans negotiating with the North Vietnamese. When the US was extracting itself from the Vietnam conflict; they booked hotel rooms for 3 weeks duration, whereas their opponents booked six months. Other marketing disciplines get that breathing space and detachment from research, insights and planning before ‘doing something
  • Receiving business spam email. It’s generally poorly targeted. Also if you are writing to an email address with a .co.uk domain chances are that the recipient would like to receive the mail in English

3 replies on “Ten things that annoy in agency life”

  1. I get your complaint about the demographic being “everyone”. That sounds like a reflexive sales pitch on the part of an overly enthusiastic business owner who’s forgotten who s/he’s talking to. :) .

    But, skipping back a couple bullet points, consider the humble post-it note you mentioned. Well, you could make a pretty good argument for that being pretty much an “everyone” demographic. Everyone I know uses post-it notes and not just for notes. So, how would you characterize that audience?

  2. Thanks for dropping by Joe, re the Post-It note. There are very few universal ideas like that. Secondly the guy who invented them had a very specific user intent in his mind when he started off (song book book-marks for his church choir). They became universal when people started to find their own use for them.

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