I’m Playing Musical Chairs at Work; Here’s Why You Should Too
What role do creatives play in the development of a TV spot? What does an integrated advertising and digital campaign look like? And what’s the process for new business, from vetting requests to proposal delivery? These were the questions I set out to answer my second week at Havas WW Prague. I proactively set up meetings with key players in two departments — digital and new business — to better understand how the org. operates. Here’s what I learned:
New Biz Coordinates the Data Flow Needed for Agency Requests
On Wednesday, I met with Lenka Krpatova, European Information Officer who oversees all new biz leads for inter-Europe (except for France and the UK). Her dept. serves as the first point of contact for all requests, helping agencies that receive RFI’s or RFP’s to get connected and collaborate with other markets or agencies. The typical turnaround time for requests used to be one week, however now its a few days. Business is booming and to give you an idea of total requests this year, the new biz dept. has produced 136 pitches for 297 requests. That’s insane!
I learned about tools used to coordinate data flow from agency to agency. MyHavas.com is a platform that serves as a dashboard for accessing case studies, industry research and agency credentials. Some tools relevant to PR requests were TrendScouting and ProofPoint. Trendscouting polls the greater network through a customized survey tailored to a specific topic. Its helpful when gathering research on market trends, charting demographic sentiment and revealing brand awareness. ProofPoint gathers info on disruptive technologies for a competitive analysis.
The Czechs are the European Champions of Recycling
“If you want to be Czech, you have to dedicate 15 minutes a day to recycling.” Recycling in Prague and the CZ has become much more of a big deal over the years, with the nation taking the top spot in the recycling Olympics. Why is that? B/c its gotten a lot easier to do and people are becoming more environmentally conscious thanks to the creative efforts of the digital dept.
On Thursday, I had a long pow-wow with Tomas Nadr, Digital Brand Director. I reviewed several creative campaigns for Eko-Kom, a waste recycling management company and shared Havas PR client. The beauty of this brand is that it gives digital complete creative freedom — a creative’s dream. Every year, digital develops two TV ads. Other tactics include executing campaigns on an interactive microsite, email marketing and consumer events. Usually digital does not produce TV ads, but Tomas and his creatives have developed several spots. The creative process for a TV ad entails compiling a client brief on what should be communicated, creatives developing a proposal with story boards and production preparing budgets. Pre-production consists of creating a booklet for client sign-off with casting candidates, wardrobe, location and set design choices. Once approved, the spot is shot offsite and it goes to post-production editing.
Coinciding with new TV spots, digital runs annual campaigns on a microsite they developed called Samsebou.cz, which serves as a portal for playing recycling games, watching movies and interacting with different content. Its targeted toward 15–25 yr olds who are resistant to sorting and recycling. During this time with Tomas, I also learned about the new website design for client CSOB, a Czech bank, and how the team uses web tools like crazyegg.com, to reveal where people clicked most on a page and how they scroll on a website using thermal heat patterns. Finally, the digital team is in the process of developing a baby growth monitoring app for client Sanofi and I received a first look at the design.
Havas PR collaborates with digital depending on the client need. For Eko-Kom, PR develops media articles on sorting and recycling subject matter to drive people to the microsite. For shared client Teva, a pharma company, PR planned a press conference while digital designed a website for the event.
Blogging is Budding in the Czech Republic
Back at the mothership, Havas PR, I was given opportunities to participate in internal client brainstorms for 2016 planning, present a creative idea to client Google during a weekly status call (which was well-received, #nopressure), and meet with a popular Czech fashion & lifestyle blogger, Eva Mchitarjan, who doubles as a brand manager for OK! magazine. For client BaByliss, which makes hair products, the account team is executing a blogger relations program to promote new products through reviews and social posts. Blogging is relatively new, but growing quickly in popularity in CZ.
I met Eva with my colleague, Natalie, at a hipster coffee shop by work. Dressed to the nines, she was very easy-going and excited to try the new BaByliss curling iron. I wanted to know how she works with brands, and asked for her perspective on the “Do’s and Don’ts” of working with bloggers. Here’s a key takeaway from this meeting:
“Get to the chase about why you’re reaching out and what you want. We have lives outside of blogging and don’t have time to read many emails. The more commercialized the post, then expect to pay a fee as it reads to our fans as a brand endorsement. Give us more creative freedom in our posts, and we will accept barters and throw in extra posts. Authenticity and genuineness are important.”
Next week, I’ve set up meetings with a project director in HPS, a post-production director for TV ads and a senior brand manager for ATL (Above the Line) campaigns. I will also touch base with a senior brand director leading a major pitch for the agency’s biggest client, Komernci banka.
Now off to a special screening of the new James Bond movie, Spectre, for all employees and clients.
Until next time, ahoj!