Sep 5 2013 Erin Peralta Blog Workplace Culture All in a Digital Day: Dealing with Media’s Most Precious Resource We live in a digital world. We communicate using digital technology, our ads are placed live with the click of a digital button and user data and interaction is monitored, aggregated and housed digitally. Yet when the clock strikes 5:00 pm, the digital media industry lets out a collective groan. Why don’t we have more time? In an industry that expects instantaneous results, how do we make the most of the time we have? Below are a few tips to keep you ahead of the game. Spend time to save time There is a fine line between a quick turnaround time and a loosely structured proposal. Even after a client briefing, questions will arise during the build process. For every question you ask, another question may be asked from your client to their director, and so on. To save yourself this game of telephone, prepare information that wasn’t necessarily asked for. For example, maybe include some offerings on the plan that weren’t originally asked for but make sense for this client. Understand a client’s patterns. Do they generally run standard units or flashier takeovers and sponsorships? Have they valued branded content? Also, don’t overwhelm a single proposal with all of the bells and whistles, but understand your options if your client ends up building rich media units instead of static or sends a 30-second spot instead of :15. Understand the variables and understand your access to resources. Two birds with one stone Any time you send an e-mail, create a revision or process an order, think of what else you can do while you’re at it. Don’t be afraid to consolidate communication and/or communicate offline. Meet with your team in person and pick up the phone to call your client. Conversation has an interesting way of reminding you of other things to ask. After a call, send a recap of the discussion. If you can afford the time to collect complete information and provide a single complete answer, you’ll save yourself from writing piecemealed information over the course of a day. Stay ahead Staying on the ball with your clients and brands has as much to do with understanding the people you’re working for as it has to do with the environment you’re working in. Learn what your brand is doing locally and nationally. Also, what are they doing cross-media? Stay on top of the trends in the industry. Understand what is flashy and what delivers. Learn the offerings, find the case studies and prepare for the questions. Buzzwords only go so far in the industry, and your clients and partners will appreciate your honesty and knowledge if you’re a trusted source on the topic. Understand limitations Understand what your partners are good at and which clients or verticals they are the most suited for. Present a challenge with each campaign, but make sure you have a back-up plan in case limitations present themselves. Don’t burn bridges in an effort to overcome a challenge. Your campaign will last this quarter, but your team and your partners are likely here to stay, or at least you hope they are. Manage these relationships accordingly. Set expectations Clients, team members and partners value honesty and transparency. If you’re unable to perform an execution or need a deadline extended, be honest and upfront. There is bound to be error in judgment and technology, so be prepared to have humble and/or frank conversations. Behind every campaign and every email address is a person who operates on the same 24-hour day and is just as familiar with deadlines and expectations. So set expectations up front, and understand when the time, work and pride of your team are worth standing up for. Additionally, for all of the time you spend on campaigns, allow yourself and your team a minute to reset. Nobody does their best work when burnt out. So take some time during a crazy week to go out for a walk, grab a coffee, meditate, etc. What best practices do you have that help you through your digital day? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!