May 22, 2014

Showcasing #agencylife

UntitledThe hashtag #agencylife has come into the advertising scene with a clear purpose — to let our friends who chose a profession in finance, medicine or law know that we’re having more fun at work than they are. Being quirky, spontaneous and fun breeds creative intelligence here at ab+c, and it’s important to showcase that. If you visit the popular blog http://thisadvertisinglife.tumblr.com/ it’s apparent that your #agencylife experiences are similar to everyone else’s.

Your experiences most likely include casual work attire, delicious lunches on eager vendors’ dimes, free tickets, drinking games during work hours or fistfuls of M&M’s from the junk stash. The advertising industry epitomizes the phrase “work hard, play hard,” and with good reason. This industry allows you to be creative and have lenient corporate practices, but also comes with long hours, deadlines and client expectations.

As a consumer, you’re exposed to an estimated 1,000,000 impressions per day! (I actually just made that number up, but it seems accurate, right?) Living in a progressive state of advertising has its distractions on both consumer and professional levels. How’s a girl supposed to choose where to work, what to buy or where to go for these services? In the current marketplace, how do you differentiate your agency from all of the other agencies with equally cool wall paint colors and dialed-in, talented super-hipsters?

The answer lies in the details. Something as seemingly trivial as agency culture could be the thing that puts you ahead of your competitors.

How do you do this? It’s actually pretty simple:

  • Don’t force it. It’s going to be obvious to clients and prospective hires if you’re providing them with what I like to call “fiction in photographs.” Don’t walk around with a camera in your hand at all times trying to capture the next shareable picture or video. Your social media content should be light, organic and valuable.
  • Use social media. The first thing people do when they are thinking of working with or for your agency is visit the website. Then they look at Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other social platforms to see what people are saying about your agency and to look at the work you’re producing. Is the culture portrayed conducive to the type of prospective clients or talent you’re looking to bring to the agency?
  • Make it relevant. Don’t spend all your time showcasing drinking events or boring your viewers with a bunch of people they don’t know. Your content should be engaging not only for employees, but also for any audience. You should be showcasing not only the “human” side of your agency, but also how the agency is staying relevant and up to date on advertising trends. Is your content adding value for your viewers? If you’re not ahead, you’re behind. (I’m looking at you, Blockbuster.)
  • Stop, collaborate and listen. These are not just the beautifully scripted words of the beloved ‘90s hip-hop sensation Vanilla Ice. They are words to live by! Everyone should be encouraged to participate, listen and contribute. This allows the agency to break down silos and accomplish satisfying work that the whole agency can get behind. Clients will trust that the employees feel value in their work, and prospective customers and employees will be able to sense and appreciate the collaborative environment.
  • Keep it positive. You’ll find that some of the #agencylife tags have started to dwell in the negative happenings of the business. Whatever you do, stay positive! You may like to vent to friends or family, but venting about work or clients on social media is a step in the wrong direction. You don’t want to be that friend who rains on everyone’s newsfeed.

Showcase your employees, share relevant content and find ways to appeal to your prospective clients and incoming talent! Happy hashtagging!

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