Tag Archives: collaboration tools

Sweat the Small Stuff

business-partners-discussing-plan

By: Daniel MacDonald

An agency needs guidance. You, the client, could be dealing with the smartest, most well-funded, well-connected agency in the industry; but if you don’t communicate your expectations and provide suggestions and guidance, you won’t get the results you desire.

Consider the alternative; if you are a larger client with many distinct deliverables, it can be difficult for an agency to assume priorities. If a client wants to ensure that agency hours are being allocated to critical issues and areas, and not to back-end redundancies or administration, a client needs to ensure they delegate, direct, and discuss.

Delegate – While it’s up to an agency to determine how many cooks they have in their kitchen, it is up to the client to determine the dishes they cook. Ensure that you are delegating the appropriate responsibilities to your marketing agency. If certain deliverables take precedent, delegate those to your agency first. If there are smaller things that perhaps aren’t as time-sensitive, or that you could even complete in-house without delegation to an agency, be aware of that. Your agency will always be hard-working, but it is important to make sure that they are given the right information to succeed in the first place.

Direct – To go along with delegation of proper tasks, micro-management on a directorial side is important. No one is telling you to stand over your agency’s shoulder for the length of work; rather, use the beginning of your relationship with the agency to direct on a specific line of tasks. Agency reps are smart and skilled enough to know how to execute on deliverables; they just need to know which deliverables you care about most. Direct them towards a specific line of action, and they will carry through to the finish line.

Discuss – The bottom line is that building a personal relationship with your agency is the best way to ensure maximum value return. If you are available and eager to discuss matters and to ask and answer questions, you will find that your agency is going to execute on your deliverables quicker, and with more zest.

These three D’s may be arbitrary (or thesaurus-aided) adjectives to describe larger processes, but they represent the investment necessary for a company to get the most out of their agency. Engagement and communication are the key to effective agency management.

Image source: https://www.theamp.com

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5 Shades of Collaboration Tools for the Office (Rated G)

50shades

By: Kelly Choi

Forget the ropes and duct tape, here are five family-friendly scenarios you may encounter at work and five collaborative tools to combat those problems.


Scenario 1: You’re getting lost in a sea of emails for a project you’re working on

Whether you are managing one project or ten, it can be a struggle to keep track of all your deadlines and stay on top of all your emails. Not to mention, you may be collaborating with multiple people at various points in time. The last thing you want is to miss an important piece of information, or forget to cc someone in an ever growing and progressively indented email thread.

Solution: Basecamp

Basecamp is an online project management tool that allows you to create multiple projects with multiple users in one place. Clients use message boards which display all messages in a neat, chronological order to clearly identify who said what. Other useful features include the ability to create to-do lists and its integration with Google Docs, allowing for a convenient way to share and edit files instantly.


Scenario 2: You’re spending too much time managing your social media channels

If you find yourself consistently going back and forth checking your replies between social media channels, or you are setting a timer every two hours to send your posts, then you might want to use a platform that allows you to do all this in one place.

Solution: Hootsuite

One of the most popular social media management tools, Hootsuite allows you to manage multiple social media channels from one web-based dashboard by providing the ability to schedule posts, measure campaign results, monitor conversations, and track them. Another useful feature is the capacity to integrate with over 100 apps, such as YouTube or Salesforce.


Scenario 3: Your computer caught a virus and now all your files are missing

Just like going to the gym, making regular back-ups on your hard drive is one of those things you know is a good idea and you plan to do but never actually get around to doing. So when it’s your turn to get a computer virus (it’s inevitable), you begin to beat yourself up for delaying backup protocol and mourn over the pictures from your Great Uncle Bob’s 55th birthday party (okay, not really).

Solution: Dropbox

Instead of relying on anti-virus programs, investing in a cloud storage system, such as Dropbox, allows you to store massive amounts of data offsite in a safe and secure setting. Not only that, but it makes working remotely from home possible, letting you access your most recently updated work files immediately whether you’re on your smartphone, tablet or laptop.


Scenario 4: Your client is located in Texas and you’re in Vancouver

While Texas has always been on your bucket list, it’s not feasible to travel over 3,000 km for a one-hour meeting and, though a phone call is only an arm’s length away, it’s not a practical tool for meetings with larger groups. Not to mention, face-to-face communication is very important for building strong and trusting client relationship.

Solution: GoToMeeting

GoToMeeting is a video conferencing tool that allows users to hold online meetings, video chat, and share screens with up to 25 attendees. Despite being a paid service, GoToMeeting improves on other similar free services, such as Skype or Google Hangouts, by having fewer connection issues (Skype) and being able to accommodate large groups (Google Hangouts only accommodates a maximum of 10 people).


Scenario 5: You spent months planning the perfect event but no one shows up

You can spend hours and days organizing the perfect event, securing the best venue and the most interesting speakers, but all effort will be lost if you don’t rack up the expected number of guests. Perhaps you did not have enough time or staff to promote the event but that doesn’t mean it has to be the end of your event-planning career.

Solution: Cvent

Cvent is an online event management tool that offers online event registration, venue selection, email marketing, and web survey services. With Cvent, you can ‘set it and forget it’ – simply send all your event details to Cvent and let it take care of all your emailers, registrations, and social media posts.

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