Scary mistakes agencies make and how to avoid them.

Just in time for Halloween, there is plenty of horror around at the moment; Brexit and a general election looming for a start. We can’t do anything to fix that but Alastair Burns and Jayne Runacres, the partners at Comma, share their tips on finding the right agency for you.

“It can be scary to know where to start in finding the right agency to work with” says Jayne, Comma’s PR and Comms Partner. “You’re entrusting someone else with something precious, you want them to care for it as you do but also bring the extra skills, experience and creativity to take your organisation even further.”

“We have worked both in-house and at agencies so we know the benefit of finding the right balance to propel your brand forward” adds Alastair, Comma’s Creative Partner.

“A big mistake many designers – especially those who are newer in their career – make is to design for their portfolio instead of their client.” Says Alastair. “The right approach is always to design for your client. Doing that will mean effective design, which should definitely end up in your portfolio. Plus it will give you a more varied portfolio. A win-win for all involved.” Alastair concludes.

“Agencies are renowned for taking on more work than they can really handle. It often makes people wary of involving an agency. It happens in lots of industries and it’s an

understandable temptation when you’re running your own business. But often it can lead to not being able to give your clients the time and support they really need. This is basically a problem of how agile the agency is. And also how committed they are to their clients” adds Jayne.

“Another thing to avoid is choosing an agency which is a trend follower.” reveals Alastair. “It’s very easy to fall into the trap of following a style or trend that you want to replicate. But any designer worth their salt will start with research into your target audience. They will spend time considering what will engage and resonate with your customers. They will be working to create something which fits your brand, not just something trendy which is bolted on and in five to 10 years you won’t look back on fondly.” Alastair adds “By following proven research, a messaging process and development stages, the work produced not only is successful for the organisation but stands the test of time”.

“People can have the view that what we’re doing is some sort of dark arts, mystical activity” laughs Jayne “they’re afraid that the wool will be pulled over their eyes or that they just don’t understand design, marketing, communications and PR enough to know what questions to ask or how it should be measured.” “But” she adds “a good agency will explain all that to you. They should build a relationship with you.”

After the horror of Halloween, tomorrow for all saints day we will be looking at how to find the right agency for you.


Photo by Toni Cuenca from Pexels