The agency model

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The agency model

  1. 1. The Agency Model: The Case for Strategists vs. Tacticians<br />Lisa Albert<br />TCU Director of Communication<br />
  2. 2. The higher education world is full of clutter and noise<br />All telling you why they’re the best:<br />Friendly<br />Smart students<br />Attractive campus<br />Successful professors<br />Personalized attention<br />Big time athletics<br />Alumni have lucrative careers<br />Research opportunities<br />
  3. 3. How do you stand out?<br />
  4. 4.
  5. 5. Tactics <br />An action you take to execute the strategy<br />We all have training, education and experience that help us execute the tactics<br />But are they effective?<br />
  6. 6. How effective are your tactics?<br />Do you take orders for brochures/news releases?<br />Do your departments speak to one another?<br />Are your efforts integrated?<br />Do your constituents know who you are?<br />Do they remember anything about you?<br />Do you know who you are? (what’s your elevator speech?)<br />
  7. 7. Tired of spinning your wheels?<br />
  8. 8. Then you muststrategize<br />A strategy is an idea… A conceptualization of how the goal could be achieved.<br />
  9. 9. Components of good strategy<br />Thorough understanding of the brand.<br />A realistic assessment of the institution’s strengths & weaknesses. (market research, SWOT)<br />A clear picture of the competition and your place in the market.<br />Intimate knowledge of the consumer and the market.<br />A grasp of the big-picture.<br />
  10. 10. A great strategy does not depend on brilliant<br />tactics for success. If the idea is strong enough,<br />you can get by with mediocre tactical execution.<br />However, even the best tactics can’t compensate<br />for a lousy strategy.<br />
  11. 11. How to develop a good strategy<br />See the big picture<br />Research (establish baseline and problem)<br />Set goals/know where you’re headed – What problem are you trying to solve?<br />Plan how to move the needle/affect change<br />Coordinate tactical efforts<br />Figure out how you will measure effectiveness<br />
  12. 12. The path<br />Strategy <br />End Goal<br />
  13. 13. A suggestion<br />To act strategically, set up your team like an internal ad agency <br />
  14. 14. TCU’s Marketing & Communication Division<br />Editorial Services<br />Events & Community Projects<br />Office of Communications<br />Website Management<br />Admission Marketing<br />Publications<br />Advancement Communication<br />Church Relations<br />
  15. 15. Before you begin…Know your brand<br />To be effective, you must have a clear picture of who your institution is <br />Research to establish a baseline and develop a method to measure if results<br />Can’t be all things to all people<br />What sets you apart?<br />Have a branding platform – this is your roadmap<br />
  16. 16. Position your team as consultants with expertise<br />Identify your team members’ strengths and talents and allow those people to serve as your experts on that subject<br />
  17. 17. Develop “beats”<br />Account Executives divide campus areas into “beats” to ensure all areas get adequate attention<br />
  18. 18. AE vs Modified AE model<br />Typical AE – serves on “front lines” meeting with clients to establish needs, then hands project off to design team, etc. <br />Modified AE – serves on “front lines” meeting with clients to establish needs, but stays with the project through each piece to ensure all strategy and branding is followed and well-integrated<br />
  19. 19. Account Executives meet with areas to determine needs <br />Is this information reputation-defining?<br />How does this align TCU’s brand? The college’s brand?<br />Who are you trying to reach?<br />What do you want them to know? What are the key messages?<br />What is your end goal?<br />What is your time frame?<br />What is your budget?<br />
  20. 20. Gather your team to discuss needs<br />After a brief assessment of needs, pull together team members needed to offer expertise<br />Ex. You know they desire a leave behind piece. Talk to your publications team to determine what it should look like – brochure, rack card, etc.<br />
  21. 21. Develop an integrated and strategic communication plan<br />Outline goals/objectives<br />Messages – What is reputation-defining?<br />Tools/tactics<br />Timing<br />Budget/cost estimates<br />
  22. 22. Create a work order<br />Paper or electronic<br />Should outline all details of the project for the designer/developer<br />Creative brief is helpful to understand direction/purpose<br />
  23. 23. Assign deadlines and responsibilities<br />Project management software (TCU uses Basecamp)<br />Help beats know which pieces they are responsible for and keeps them on track<br />System can easily update all milestones if one gets pushed back to see bottom line<br />
  24. 24.
  25. 25. Gather content<br />Usually falls to the beat area, but others on the team may help<br />Need to gather:<br />Design – text and images<br />Copy – who, what, when, where, why, how<br />Web – site map<br />Social media – guidelines checklist<br />Event - who, what, when, where <br />
  26. 26. As you gather content…<br />Keep your end goal in mind<br />What stories/images are reputation-defining?<br />Never let design drive strategy<br />
  27. 27. Execute tactics in plan<br />All team members execute the tactics outlined in plan<br />AEs Coordinate timing of plan<br />Typical AE vs. Modified AE - the AE works with the designer/developer as it moves through their area of expertise to ensure messaging and brand stay on point strategically<br />Be careful not to pigeon hole a designer as an “ad maker”. They can visually bring your message to life. (same for copywriters/web developers/etc)<br />
  28. 28. Evaluate<br />Review your baseline.<br />Did you reach your goal?<br />Did you move the needle?<br />Do your messages now resonate with your intended audience?<br />
  29. 29. Why go to the trouble?<br />You will prove more effective and valuable to your administration if you are able to affect change.<br />By touting the expertise of your team on campus, you will be seen as valuable and they will seek your help more on projects. <br />You will advance the brand of your institution effectively and will be known for who you are<br />
  30. 30. Questions?<br />Lisa Albert<br />TCU Director of Communication<br />817-257-5063<br />l.albert@tcu.edu<br />www.mkc.tcu.edu<br />

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