My day as an account director can be described as full with meetings (status with the team, brainstormings, presentations), organizing activity (to do lists, briefings, budgets, all the necessary procedures), sometimes dealing with crises, and all the other things which I am sure that you are familiar with.
Still, I think that every job element can be different and with an unique flavor, due to the vision one has. Mine is that it’s all about people: before being a client, a copywriter, a manager, a DTP specialist, an art director etc., we are all humans, with our own objectives, skills, problems and dreams.
Therefore, I put most of my efforts in making each member of the team reach his or hers highest potential. For sure this is hard work as I have to look at the personal aspects that motivate each member, what’s his/hers working style and I try to adapt to these without losing focus on the business objectives.
I have the same approach with the clients, but from a different perspective. Often they put significant pressure on the agency and here the challenge is to really understand where it comes from, to go to the bottom of the problem and to find the right reasons, not to accept immediate (and often not so great) solutions. Thus I need to understand the real needs, involve the necessary internal resources and try to overpass the client’s expectations with the new proposal. The limited time is a tough barrier for using this approach, but this is how I gain client’s trust and become his partner. (Moving from the status of supplier to the status of partner is a must for agencies in today’s market context).
This way of working implies firstly full involvement and commitment from my team – who needs also to actively listen to each person and to be solution-oriented. More than that, we try to motivate, show appreciation and be as enthusiastic as possible. I know this may sound idealistic, but this positive attitude was contagious to the rest of the team and this helped us, the agency team (art director, copywriter or the DTP guy) to save the day more than once, in a collective effort. We managed to make the impossible possible and this is a great reword in itself.
And this gets me to my strong belief: If us, as agency, can be described as “one team one dream” and we really understand the client needs as being also ours, then magic things happen.
I really enjoy working in an advertising agency because it involves passion, but also know-how, great organizing skills, pragmatism and creativity, long term vision and, last but not least, human kindness.
Stay focused and enjoy the ride!
Iulia Niculae works as Account Director at CohnandJansen JWT and she is also the Vice-President of International Adverting Association Young Professionals, Romanian Chapter.