Agency Basics - Keeping Everyone Informed

In every agency, there are common ways of keeping everyone in the agency informed. It's the mundane paperwork that is often vital to communicating properly within the agency. And Account Services is often the starting point for that communication. Part of the account services role may include some basic project management / client relationship duties, which usually manifests itself as the mundane forms of paperwork.

Here are some of the basic forms of paperwork that the account team may be called upon to produce:

Status Reports

The Account Group is usually responsible for maintaining status reports on each individual client. They should reflect all of of their assigned open jobs, new work and work that needs to be billed.

Each status report should reflect the following information on all of the assigned jobs: Job # & Name, Status of the Job, Next Steps and Milestone (deadline) dates.

The status report is typically updated once or twice a week. All account executives should review major points on their status reports at a weekly status meetings. If one member of the team is  unavailable to attend, another account person will fill in.

If your client’s work status has changed during the week, it is the account person's responsibility to inform the various departments and individuals. In an agency, do not assume an e-mail is the best format to transfer important information. A verbal verification ensures understanding. You should make sure all work-related changes are reported on your agency's Job Form and distributed. If needed, you should call a separate meeting for jobs require further detail.

Meeting Call Report

All client meetings/calls concerning major decisions, budget information, nextstep changes discussed, should call for written reports to be distributed within 48 hours after the meeting. Distribute the notes to all attendees & department heads; your production, media and creative teams. These reports should also be issued for all major client/agency discussions, and internal planning meetings. Without these reports the different departments will often not recieve some vital piece of information that was discussed during the meeting. It is the account groups’ responsibility to make sure all agency and/or client parties are informed.

The Job Plan, Project Start or Project Initiation form

All new projects and project changes should be recorded on a project initiation form, even to open a job there should be written input. A face-to-face meeting meeting between AEs and the creative and production teams before starting any decent size projects should be consider vital and even mandatory.

Without the project initiation form, no one will have a record of your changes or your request for work. This form should be given to the appropriate production, media, creative team, and account planning (when it’s research-related). E-mails are also not the appropriate medium for job changes.

Be wary and avoid verbal job requests.