I recently moderated the Ad Club panel for Account+Creative: Sibling Rivalry? assembled of local creative and account pros – Becky Herman, Account Lead at Grenadier; Jim Morrissey, Creative Director at O’brien; Holly Menges, Creative Director at PILGRIM; Jeff Kosloski, Group Creative Director at Integer.
The conversation was a rare opportunity to not only hear what the “other” department thinks, but how other agencies – from two to 600 employees, from startups to publicly owned – have experienced and think about these roles.
Overall, we agreed there are stereotypes of bad account people and difficult creative people – but they’re not the norm. Good account and creatives are all in a creative industry, we’re all right (and wrong) sometimes and what makes good team relationships is the same as any healthy human relationship – passion, respect and fun.
What we took away (And you can too!)
- Overcome stereotypes by earning respect. Show your team you have skin in the game.
o Account: Prove your value through depth of knowledge, client insights, killer briefs, support of work.
o Creative: Produce a range of ideas that solve business problem, be open minded about how to address feedback.
- Don’t be afraid to argue with your team. It shows you’re passionate about the work. Then get a beer together after the tears dry.
- Don’t be afraid to admit that you’re wrong. It shows you’re reasonable and care about the best idea, not just your idea.
- Don’t infer “why” someone is having a negative reaction. Ask why. It helps you address understand the context and then solve problems.
- Everyone on the team is selling the creative – sometimes the setup and strategy sells the concept, and sometimes and the creative sells the concept. Support and value both.
Any other advice you’d give? Put it in the comments below.
Thanks to the panelist and Tonja Roth, Executive Director at Ad Club Denver for inviting and organizing us!