Advertising or communications agencies typically consist of many different teams that focus on unique functions to elevate or impact a client’s campaign goals and objectives. The editorial team crafts the messaging and stories, buyers negotiate ad space online or in print, the SEO team handles the online aspect of a campaign as it relates to optimization and organic visibility, and the creative team creates the images that help to tell a client’s story and solidify its brand image.
The ‘creatives’ as they are often called are led by a Creative Project Manager and/or a Creative Director. But what does this position do? And why is it important?
The Role of a Creative Leader
The creative team is responsible for the artwork, videos, and designs that accompany a campaign. This team will create the images, ad designs and will probably take charge of the video production, as well.
Logos are the symbol of a brand. The mark that helps you identify a company, its messaging and even its overall reputation. Yep, the creatives are responsible for those, too.
While a whole team keeps the creative process flowing, the team always needs a leader. This is where the Creative Project Manager or the Creative Director comes into play.
The agency needs a creative force that drives the creative process, keeps tasks on schedule and ensures that the designs, layouts, and mock-ups are delivered on time. A creative leader must understand the entire collaborative process of the creative team and its function within the agency.
Seasoned Creative Directors or Creative Project Managers may have spent years as designers, art directors or creative copywriters before overseeing a team. These managers lead brainstorming sessions, review copy and concepts and guide the entire creative side of the agency.
Why Does Your Agency Need a Creative Project Manager
Maybe your firm is rooted in written communications and SEO outreach. Why would YOU need a Creative Project Manager on your team?
Content online must be visual. No one wants to look at massive blocks of copy with no color! And we all need readers to stick on the site for the content to perform.
How do you keep visitors engaged? You mix in illustrations in messaging! Your agency probably creates infographics, right? Maybe videos, too?
Any visual concept falls into the creative world. Agencies that create graphic elements should have a leader that oversees these concepts and designs to provide insight and create visual messaging that elevates the client and its brand.
But Anyone Can Be Creative, Right?
Well, yes, anyone and everyone can be ‘creative.’ To lead a team of creators, though, is a process. Agencies are often divided up into special segments, and each segment or division has its own flow, personality, and internal brand.
The creative team is usually a bit more carefree, relaxed, with a unique flair. And this is encouraged in the industry because clients don’t want stodgy, serious visuals. They want something unique. Fun. Interesting. And sometimes edgy.
AdSubculture offers a broader look at the Creative Project Manager role. The site doesn’t necessarily define the role, as the creative manager’s function isn’t black and white in the agency world: “Even the definition of what a “project manager” is and is going to vary wildly from one creative firm to the next. Creative project management is not a leading process, it’s about working with your team to come up with a structure and approach that works for everyone.”
And the creative structure is, in fact, a process that differs in every agency. Rules on the creative side may be a little different. Workflow may be different, too. The process may go through similar approval channels, but the creative process may work a bit differently.
The process, the flow, the demand and the unique elements of the entire creative process may flow mainstream communications leaders for a loop. While everyone can be ‘creative,’ not everyone can manage the creative side of an agency.
Workflow Software for Creative Leaders
The creatives are part of a larger team and a piece of a bigger message for the client. That logo they design will be embossed on press releases, the client’s web site, magazine ads and anywhere and everywhere else.
Infographics will accompany blog posts. And writers will need to write content with infographic designs in mind.
Videos for clients may include unique designs and artistic touches that bring a message to life. That means that voice over scripts may need to be written with a carefree tone and not filled with jargon.
Every project, every task that the creative side completes needs to be accessible to the other divisions within the agency. Writers need access to infographics or videos. PR specialists may need to understand the creative messaging so they can adopt a similar tone in their communiqués.
Workflow software for creatives should include functions that allow leaders to share the visual concepts and creative elements to other teams. Software should include project workspaces that allow for files to be uploaded and shared.
The creative tasks also should be integrated within the agency task management flow. The creative team needs to understand when their work begins or when it needs to be shared with other teams in the agency.
Workflow software also should allow for team members to brainstorm, collaborate and communicate on task pages. Does a copywriter need to tighten the word count on an ad campaign? Gryffin lets you send a virtual @ or shoutout on the system. Maybe the client wants to weigh in on the design of a logo. Set permissions to allow clients to communicate on the task pages, too.
So does your team need a creative project manager or a creative leader? Yes! Any agency that delivers visual concepts like infographics, videos, logo designs or any graphic elements needs a leader that understands this process and the creative flow within an agency. Just make sure that workflow is organized! Try Gryffin for free today!