The problem with being in the communications business is that everybody thinks they can do it.
And to be fair, some of the work you see around is so incompetent that it does encourage a lot of people to have a go. After all, they could hardly do worse…
This has always been a problem – it used to be called the ‘Chairman’s Wife syndrome’ (if she didn’t like your ad, you were in trouble).
But, since the advent of computing, more and more creative ‘tools’ have been put into the hands of anyone with a few hundred pounds to spend, so there’s nothing to stop them publishing – be it design, print, video or TV ads.
The fashion for large client companies to bring many operations in-house, that were once the preserve of professional ad agencies, is the tip of a huge iceberg. And to be fair, some client studios have produced some exceptional work.
But someone has to guide the process, someone who brings experience, and a track record of actually doing it – from defining the problem to creating the solution.
The most common errors are failing to understand the limitations of communication and media channels, and being unrealistic about how interested the public will be based on solid case evidence. You must know what works based on hard facts.
But, even armed with handy guides (e.g. an IPA effectiveness ‘Works’ book and a copy of Byron Sharp’s ‘How Brands Grow’) you need experience to solve challenging communications problems.
It’s a bit like following one of Michael Roux’s recipes, and thinking you are Michael Roux.
If you want some great communication don’t just study the texts. Get an expert to help you produce it.
Julian Calderara – Managing Director