Three Strategies to Improve Agency-Client Relationships in ’14

Good news for upcoming graduates. This is an excerpt from a recent AdWeek publication. Nancy is so right with her lead comments on talent. Keep this in mind in the coming semesters.

Three Strategies to Improve Agency-Client Relationships in ’14
4A’s CEO Nancy Hill Prioritizes Talent, New-Business Practices and Creating Fair Value

By: Nancy Hill

This hasn’t been the most harmonious year in Adland. Tales of procurement pressures, extended payment terms and the lingering agency-talent crunch have filled Ad Age’s headlines over the past 12 months. So we asked Nancy Hill for her take on what agencies should prioritize in the coming year.
Rethink your approach to talent 
Survey after survey tells us that employees under 35 are largely unhappy. Not because we don’t pay them enough (although starting salaries are still an issue), but because they want to contribute and we’re not letting them. We have to realize that millennials have been creating content for most of their lives. Be it videos, photos, song lyrics or drawings, they are used to sharing and receiving immediate feedback. Agency structures don’t encourage or celebrate that kind of contribution from the start.
We must change that. Hiring the best and brightest isn’t enough if we relegate them to spreadsheets and menial labor. Yes, we all had to pay our dues. The difference is that they have other options. Options that allow their sharing mentality to flourish. Options with a more glamorous reputation. Options that seem to remunerate at higher levels.

We have been working with young people through our Rising Stars program. We talk to them. We listen to them. They surprise us. They inspire us. They light a fire under us. Their enthusiasm is contagious, and their naivete is only glaring when they challenge the status quo. Every once in a while we have to remind them that “anything is possible, everything is not.” Wouldn’t you rather pull someone back than constantly ask why they don’t speak up? If you ask why they have been so giving of their time to industry efforts, they will tell you it’s because they care. It’s because they feel like they can make a difference. Harness that or lose them.


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