We agency Account Directors are a useful bunch, on the whole. We have enviable skills that extend beyond the wearing of a sharp suit.
My Account Director role is for ChangeStar, the fundraising and social change agency, but this blog applies to AD’s in many other kinds of creative agencies too. Charities can benefit enormously from the support of a good creative agency, and our aim at ChangeStar is to support our charity clients, by smashing their income targets whilst simultaneously making their lives easier.
So here are five uses for an Account Director:
To assemble a dream team
An Account Director personally selects the people in their team for their talents, and knows that they can be relied upon to deliver the goods. The copywriter who can transform jargon into an emotive direct marketing letter. The designer who can select just the right image to make an impact. The strategist who will look at the bigger picture and put us all on the right track to meet the campaign’s objective.
My job is to ensure I’m working with the very best people. More about my team is here
To get the show on the road
You can’t beat an Excel spreadsheet for a bit of fun. I need to work back from your deadline, whether it be a mailing date or a digital launch, and devise a schedule with achievable turnarounds for everyone. Superior levels of organisation are required.
There may be a little chasing involved. Within charities, it’s always tricky to get hold of great case studies but these are the golden nuggets of a fundraising appeal, and I will help you to find them.
A good Account Director juggles lots of priorities at once, and stays on top of all activities. Think of a duck swimming along, apparently calm and serene, but paddling like crazy just beneath the surface!
Once the initial client brief has landed in my lap, I will help my client to craft the brief into something clear and focussed that gives my creative team everything they need to produce a great campaign.
To have an eagle eye
Years of typesetting annual reports as a Graphic Designer has set me up well to be an eagle-eyed proofreader. I need to spot those misspellings of ‘veterinarian’. I need to flag that Mr Smith CBE will not donate to our appeal if we address him as ‘Mr Smith Cbe’.
My alert sensors will go off when I notice that my high value donor is receiving the letter intended for lapsed donors. I will not let a leaflet go to print that features a badly-cropped photo or inconsistent subhead sizes.
To offer ‘Ferrero Rocher advert’ levels of diplomacy
It can be tricky when a copywriter’s perfectly-penned prose is fiddled with by the Chief Executive. I need to find a solution where the quality of the writing isn’t compromised, and the client is happy too. Part of my job is to keep everyone happy, in fact.
As an agency, we offer expert advice and years of experience. As my client, you’re also an experienced fundraiser and you know your supporters better than anyone. I will listen carefully to your feedback, respect your views and act on them. Occasionally, I’ll decide that I need to convince you to trust our judgement. This is to accomplish what you’ve asked me to achieve overall from the project.
To take pride in a job well done
Your Account Director must be completely committed to your cause and truly care about producing the best piece of work possible.
I care just as much as my clients do about the success of their campaigns. It’s wonderful to see a finished online campaign spreading like wildfire across the digital sphere. When the results of a fundraising appeal come in, and the charity’s postbag is double the expected size and value, it’s fantastic and gives real job satisfaction.