As a follow up to the Creative Call interview that Melissa Hennessey conducted with ECD Margaret Johnson of Goodby Silverstein & Partners and Producer Ken Zane of Leo Burnett, she shared with us her own thoughts as well as 8 Key Points to remember about any creative call.
Thank you, once again, Melissa.
As many of you know, the purpose of the creative call is to discuss a project with an individual or a creative team who are considering you for a project. Not every project requires a creative call, and your client will usually determine if they feel one is necessary.
If you’ve been on a creative call, you know they can either go very well, or head south pretty quickly. The success of the call depends on several factors, the most important being how well you’ve prepared.
Here are 8 tips to help your call get off to a good start:
1). Make sure you’ve added the call to your calendar with an alert. Check time zones & put the call-in number in your note so you can access it easily.
2). Call in from a quiet place with good reception & reliable wi-fi. That can be hard if you’re on a shoot, but it’s paramount to your focus & respectful of the others on the line.
3) Eliminate all distractions. You may elect to have your computer open to in case the client references something online but close all email, social media, or any other applications that night become a distraction.
4) Have all notes or questions around the project in front you. Print out layouts or any notes/specs that were provided in case you don’t have wi-fi access at your call in point.
5) Be mindful of the timeframe. Know how much time you have. If you only have 30 minutes, you’ll need to allow enough time to hear the creative’s vision, discuss yours, and have time to ask/answer any additional questions. Answer all questions fully, but keep responses concise & to the point.
6) Smile & show enthusiasm! I know what your thinking- it’s a phone call, they can’t see me; however top recruiters give this advice. If you are smiling, (even of you have a more monotone type voice) your enthusiasm will translate across the phone lines.
7) Be fun, have a sense of humor. Many projects require spending 12 hours or more a day with someone. Show a sense of your personality while still being appropriate & professional.
8) Lastly, close the call with a thank you & mention how you are looking forward to exceeding the client’s expectations. Don’t ask when the job will be awarded, how soon you will hear, etc. That is an off-line question. If you have an agent, he/she can ask that question. If not, you can send it in a follow-up email with any outstanding information you might need to send the client or simply to say thank you to the person you’ve been in direct contact with. Some clients may not have producers and you may be working directly with the client/creative/photo editor. In those instances, you might close in mentioning that you are holding their requested dates & ask when they are awarding the job/project.