From the moment we sat down in our "Briefing" we all knew that playtime was over. It was time for everyone to show their stuff and work together to complete our mission. We had our assignment, we had our client and we had no time to waste! After taking a few hours of brainstorming and acclimating ourselves to our clients' needs, we began conquering our challenge ahead.
Julia: Art Director
The biggest challenge for our team was thinking too specifically, we had to expand our ideas into larger concepts rather than small intricate details. My artistry and creative vision were challenged on this first project. Since our project is primarily based on social media, there are endless social media mockups and advertisements that need to be created and conceptualized. The general mood for the campaign was a huge part of my role. As Art Director it is my job to really push the creative direction, and make sure that is communicated with the rest of the team.
Haley: Account Strategist
I felt that our biggest obstacle in regards to our first assignment consisted of the timing before our practice pitch. We had two days to pull together a social media campaign and we pulled it off, we just needed to delve a lot deeper into details about what each of our ideas looked like. Although we only had two days before our practice pitch, I think we did a good job of describing the key points we wanted to implement and it was really cool to get to work with a quick deadline that happens frequently in the industry. I think by having a short deadline placed upon us, it made us work harder and allowed us all to sharpen our communication and teamwork skills.
For my position, I feel as though I bring a lot of organizational, analytical and communication skills to this project. For our first campaign, I worked a lot on researching the demographics and providing insights and reasoning on why our tactics would be effective. I also worked a lot on effectively communicating our campaign to the client by making sure concepts were clearly explained and ideas were well developed. Then Bo, the account manager, and I were in charge of organizing the slide deck in a way that showcased the campaign well and made the concept into a story that intrigued the client.
Initially I was not aware that my role consisted of organizing the slide deck with the account manager, but once I learned of this responsibility I happily accepted the challenge. I was warned that this process is more difficult than it seems, and it certainly was, but it is also really rewarding to be responsible for showcasing the work of my teammates. I love puzzles, and making the slide deck tell a story felt like making all of the pieces fit together until you have a beautiful picture in front of you.
My role is necessary for making sure that all of our tactics fulfill the marketing objectives that the client is looking for the campaign to deliver on. My role is also necessary for making sure that a lot of our ideas within the campaign are well developed and explained. Lastly, as I mentioned, I work to research the reasoning behind our tactics and ensure that they align with our target audiences.
The most challenging aspect of our first project was compiling our wide range of ideas into a single, cohesive campaign. I played an intricate role shaping our creative direction in our earliest brainstorming stages and have been able to follow through and execute these ideas as we've gone further downhill with this project. This campaign, and HLK's work as a whole, is far more social media focused than anything I have worked on before. It's been enlightening learning the nuances of writing for these various platforms. As Copywriter I'm the wordsmith: I give the proper voice to every piece of communication between the client and their audience in this campaign.
Josh: Content Manager
Regarding the first project, I think our biggest challenge was coming up with an umbrella of overarching ideas to organize our sub ideas. All of us had very specific tactics we wanted to explore in this campaign. Finding themes or categories to structure those tactics was originally difficult. Once we learned how to efficiently organize and convey our ideas, creativity began to flow and we ended up with an awesome first pitch. I felt I brought a great deal of insight to my position on this project. Understanding our clients' target audience and the explanation behind their habits helped me come up with relatable content ideas and impactful ways to execute them. I helped contribute many innovative ideas to each area of our campaign. As a daily user of social media and a strict observer of its' trends, I was able to use my personal insight along with data when creating and strategically placing relevant and useful content throughout the campaign. Originally I was caught off guard by how social media heavy this campaign was. I am aware of how important social media has become in the advertising world but the extent to which it was used in this campaign surprised me a bit. I also was previously unaware of how useful analytical data can be to ensure the messages my team and I create reach the people they need to reach. There are many inferences and conclusions that can be drawn from statistics that the analytics and research teams hold. There are virtually no boundaries that data can't reach. Content Manager is undeniably necessary as it is their job to create and organize the methods in which our content will be displayed.
Bo: Account Manager
Probably the biggest obstacle was trying to go from big picture to smaller picture. We would have all these great ideas but we would get caught up in a lot of the smaller details instead of figuring out what the full vision of the idea would be. Luckily as we have started to work through this project more we have been able to really develop our ideas and make them into a really cool project.
I worked at SCL Health before I came to HLK, so I was able to observe the client side of the agency-client relationship. This helps me to understand what the client is looking to get. Every client is different but there is also a lot of similarities between the overarching needs of the client and being able to communicate to those needs is highly important.
As our project progressed I understood how important it is to almost over-communicate things. As the Account Manager I have to manage the team and make sure all of us are on the same page so we can effectively do our jobs. It is almost necessary to over-communicate because then you are making sure you have everyone working towards the same goal.
My role helps make sure things are done on time and done to the client's satisfaction. My role is also to communicate what the client wants to do to the rest of the team so that way we are all on the same page. It is a lot of deadlines and making sure things happen when they are supposed to happen. It is not always the most creative job, but it is a lot of fun.
Elodie: Media Strategist
I think that our team's biggest obstacle for the first assignment was just getting into the swing of things. At the beginning, we were trying to get used to our positions, while also trying to understand how to effectively portray our ideas to the client. After getting feedback from the first practice pitch though, we really got the ball rolling and were able to work together to deliver a final pitch that we were really proud of. This project from a media strategy standpoint was relatively challenging. While I was able to do research and present on best practices for posting organically on social media platforms, I struggled to figure out how to suggest paid tactics to a client that is averse to spending money on advertising. But after many meetings with my mentor and other individuals in the office, I was able to present some budget-friendly options to help support their organic posts. I believe that I was able to bring a lot to this position on this particular project. I was able to not only work hard to find solutions and not get defeated, but I also was able to aid others in segments that were more prominent.
Overall, there are a lot of aspects that go into media strategy. Going into the internship I was not extremely knowledgable about what a media strategy truly did, so I sat down and watched a bunch of webinars and had very frequent meetings with my mentor in order to try to wrap my mind around what goes into the position. One example that I learned after sitting down and having a conversation with the head of the department, is that when it comes to this position, it is important to face it not from a outside perspective, but to truly delve into the mindset of the audience you are trying to reach and try to understand what types of media and advertisements would appeal to them and successfully reach them. This was a transformative idea, because I was focusing purely on research and numbers, rather than looking at it from the perspective of the individual I was trying to reach. The role of the media strategist is necessary because it is important to understand what the relevant platforms are to connect with existing and new customers. Rather than wasting time and energy to create advertisements that just add to the noise of the internet, it is important to develop a strategy that can help build engagement and target the audience that the client wants to reach most.