A Model Too Far …

Been a while since I posted. I’ve been neck deep, grappling with a with a startlingly simple and clear client change communication and brand engagement project.

It’s really easy: a change in their global function to meet the demand they will see in the coming 10 years — finding the right mix of internal expertise and sourced capability. Nothing as complicated as I’ve dealt with before. Should be an easy one.

Oh, one thing I forgot to mention: the client has hired three agencies to help out.

It’s a f*cking nightmare.

On their own, any of the three agencies (all are professional, capable, reputable) would have the thing done and dusted and on the rails.

The client thinks more brains are better than one. Client is wrong. Told client so. Said pick an agency, two at the most, and fire the others. Willing to answer to The Powers That Be if we weren’t the ones — putting the client’s interests first.

Client not interested. Seems to think paying 300% more will yield 300% results. Results looming toward 1/3 the effect for three times the spend.

I suppose you just give best advice.

But it’s hard. We have points of view. We have to be tough with the client and the other agencies and try to get the best result.

One of the agencies is a Marketing Consultancy. They see the whole thing as an internal marketing campaign. Now, those of you clever enough to have read the title of this blog might realise that this to me is the anathema of good internal communication and engagement. We aren’t selling anything to anyone inside the client organisation. They’re restructuring to meet demand, right? Not selling the functional specialty in the global corporation.

The funniest thing of all is that the agencies just got an email railing about too many agencies involved.

There’s a lot going on, but one thing I am pretty clear on is that this particular situation wasn’t actually the agencies’ decision. We can’t hire ourselves (although, if things keep moving further into the surreal, this wouldn’t surprise me).

The moral of the story: don’t be afraid to ask to be fired, but if you stay hired, fight your corner and do what’s right for the client. If you continue to stay hired, do the best job you can do. If you can’t do this, resign the account. Move to Jaipur. Eat grass. Be happy.


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