It takes a village to raise an ad – a village of talent and expertise aided in no small part by Post-it Notes, a little bit of popcorn and a lot of passion.
[Over the next few weeks, the Davis blog will feature our various departments and how they function both independently and interdependently to deliver successful advertising campaigns.]
Part I – The Account Executives
It’s 9 a.m. on a Wednesday morning at Davis Advertising, and that means the Account Executives are meeting in the conference room to discuss new and ongoing projects.
But the meeting doesn’t last more than a half hour most weeks – the AEs are on tight schedules so they’re itching to get back to their clients. It’s a task that requires organizational skills, teamwork and, for at least one AE, as serious reliance on Post-It Notes.
“I do a little bit of everything, that’s why I’m still here, because you never know what you’re going to get,” says Account Executive Andrea Lettic as she prepared for a day that would include a re-branding project for a well-known convenience market, project-based work for a pet toy supplier and overall budgeting for the upcoming year.
How does she do it?
“Post-it Notes,” she says, pointing to a computer, desk, and wall brimming with brightly-colored squares. Teamwork, Lettic explains, is also crucial. “On the account side, a lot of us have been here more than six years, so we all have our own accounts, we all know the situation and the steps we have to take. We might be pushing to get our own projects done first, but we all help each other out as well.”
Just before lunch and over in AE Dan Kenney’s office, he and Account Coordinator Erin Carr are engaged in the complicated task of coordinating booth arrangements for the New England Fishing and Outdoor Expo, which kicks off on February 8 at the DCU Center in Worcester.
Eyeing a wall-sized laminated map of the current layout (everything’s written with dry erase markers to allow for changes), Kenney and Carr discuss the pros and cons of various placements for Talons! Birds of Prey by Lorrie Schumacher, as well as the presenter of “The Amazing Brook Trout Seminar.”
The challenge is to find compromises – the Expo as a whole needs to be entertaining, informative, safe, clean, and accessible, while individual exhibitors need maximum visibility to market their products and services.
Juggling the needs of so many vendors, says Kenney, means being “super-focused and ultra-organized… It’s a continual negotiation – and you need negotiation skills on both ends, with the client and within Davis.”
Kenney credits Carr with any success: “She’s my right-hand man,” he says. “[Making the Expo happen is] about having good people around you, and we’re a team. Without her I can’t perform at a high level.”
As for keeping track of everything, Kenney says he’s not much of a Post-it Note guy.
“I’ll admit it, I’m old fashioned some of the time,” he says, gesturing towards the two or three sticky notes on his desk, but he adds that he mostly he relies on his computer and smart phone.
“It buzzes when I need to call someone and it buzzes when I need to go to a meeting,” he says. “It makes sure I keep track of everything – and everyone.”
[Visit the Davis blog soon for Part 2 of the Ad Factory – The Creative Team.]