Flash Report @ AgencyFinder – June 27, 2007
1. This Search Was Faster Than a Speeding German Bullet
2. Just What “WERE” They Thinking?
3. Some Essays Are Powerful – Check This One
4. Time to Tidy Up for New Business
THIS SEARCH WAS FASTER THAN A SPEEDING GERMAN BULLET
March 29th – we received an e-mail, then a telephone call from the Head of Corporate Communication with Schüco International KG, in Bielefeld, Nordrhein Westfalia (Germany), Europe’s leader for windows, curtain walls and solar products. With a small a branch in Newington, CT, they wanted to expand U.S. operations. Their request? Please help us select a handful of qualified agency candidates to meet with during our next US visit April 10th – 13th (only 7 business days later).
The client ultimately specified Boston and surrounding area for candidate agencies and framed up their search requirements on-line. They selected eight (8) for invitations; after telephone interviews, they identified six (6) they planned to meet.
Logistics were a bit wild (the agencies will attest to that) and some connections didn’t come to pass. Following agency site visits, three agencies were selected as finalists and were given small test-evaluation assignments.
Shortly thereafter, about May 31st, Schüco awarded their business to Kelly Habib John in Boston. We’d love to say we did that for KHJ, but they were the only agency Schüco considered that wasn’t presented from the AgencyFinder camp. Turns out (as a tip for all the new business pros), KHJ had placed their agency brochure in a local hotel the client visited on a previous trip and that lead to their inclusion. How’s that for “business development?” And how about 44 business-days from invite to award for an expedited process! Member-agencies Connelly Partners and Underdog Partners put up a close and valiant fight.
JUST WHAT “WERE” THEY THINKING?
As this is written, we’re in the final stages of a review for a client that manufactures and distributes an “energy drink.” They’re in the nation’s Top 5 and spend about $20 million a year on advertising. They came to AgencyFinder to find and hire a public relations firm based on an estimated budget of $500,000. Their desires were rather simple – they wanted media relations ultimately to reach a series of specific consumer vertical markets. Nothing fancy or cutting edge; more meat and potatoes if you please. The client website is quite nice and touts the fact that the product is available in Wal- Mart, K-Mart, CVS, Walgreens to name just a few. The website also carries product photography. At the onset, we were tempted to “buy it & try it” but it wasn’t a pressing matter for our role in the process.
Following our advocacy, the client traveled to New York from their mid-west headquarters and met with candidates there. In one such meeting, the client (party of four) sat with a major pr firm (party of four). As the meeting began, the client opened an attaché and took out some product. One wag with the agency remarked – “Oh, that’s what it looks like!” You could have heard a pin drop…
We hear stories like this all too often. Is there ANY excuse for any agency candidate to demonstrate either how little they care & prepare; or how little they need new clients? I won’t repeat what the client had to say.
P.S. – Don’t forget – registration at AgencyFinder also includes no-cost new business counsel and critique. We cut our teeth on agency business
development; we taught it for years at our sister company Sales Marketing Institute, Ltd, and before that with Sanders Consulting Group. We’re “match-makers” AND new business pros. Ask if you need help…
SOME AGENCY ESSAYS ARE POWERFUL – CHECK THIS ONE
We review and approve all agency essays (new or revisions) so we get some pretty interesting submissions. Here’s one that hit a home run, so we asked for permission to share it. Thanks to Mason, Inc. in Bethany, CT. Charlie Mason, CEO. This is the agency’s submission for the essay “Culture.”
Here are our Guiding Principles as communicated to employees:
Creativity is everybody’s job.
We’re in the business of generating fresh thinking. That’s not a one department responsibility. Be an idea geyser, no matter what your title or department.
Bias for action.
Get things done. Be proactive. No one should have to hold your hand or tell you what to do. It’s your responsibility to make something good happen. No white lies!
Nothing good ever comes from even the smallest form of misrepresentation. Tell the truth.always.
Treat everyone with respect. Being nice to clients, demonstrates intelligence. Being nice to subordinates and suppliers, shows who you really are.
Run to trouble.
Problems seldom disappear on their own. The sooner you face them, the sooner you can find a solution.
Surprising level of service.
Every decent agency provides good service. Constantly look for ways to go beyond good to demonstrate that extra level of commitment.
It’s not Monopoly money.
It’s the real thing. So use some of that creativity to do the job better, and save money at the same time.
We are not just in the communications business. We are also in the business of communicating. To clients. To suppliers. To each other.
For the love of it.
That’s why you’re in this crazy business. And it’s why you thrive on long hours and insane pressures. Because you can use your brain. And you’re never bored. And it’s fun.
Amen and Hooray! (The Editor)
TIME TO TIDY UP FOR NEW BUSINESS
In case nobody has mentioned that the “lazy days of summer” are a great time to catch up on fixing, building or revising your agency new business materials, let me be the one to do so. A relaxed moment this summer is also conducive atmosphere to spend daydreaming, and/or thinking out-of-the-box. Friday afternoon at most agencies can be a lonely place, but clients and the staff here seem to keep busy. I suggest you put your feet up and get “spatial” about what new business you can do for new business.
Charles G. Meyst, Chairman/CEO
Business Partnering International, Ltd.
Vantage Place, 4327 Cox Road
Glen Allen, VA 23060