Years ago, while still getting my feet wet in the realm of traffic management, the President of the ad agency I worked for shared with me an excerpt from the book, “Organizing Genius: The Secrets of Creative Collaboration” by Warren G. Bennis and Patricia Ward Biederman. One concept stood out for me, from all the rest, and I’ve remembered it to this day – “Great Groups Ship.”
It’s become my mantra.
No matter how witty your creative team, how organized your account executives or how cutting-edge your creative product may be, if your agency doesn’t actually ship its work out the door and, more importantly, get paid for doing so, your efforts are in vain.
While a Traffic Manager, my primary responsibility was to internally move creative along its Critical Path; on time and on budget. On numerous occasions, I also found myself uploading ads for publication, assembling mailing tubes, reviewing proofs, and chasing the FedEx truck down the block (literally).
My job, as “traffic,” didn’t end the moment the Client said, “It’s approved.” On the contrary, it went well beyond that, to the point it was time to archive the job because the Client had been billed and the spot had aired.
In most agencies, a dedicated Production Manger or Media Buyer, for example, is responsible for sending artwork to printers and materials to various outlets. Be prepared, as the Traffic Manager, to step in and help out. It’s your job, afterall, to monitor and manage your agency’s workflow from start to finish.
Now, could somebody get the door? I think I see the FedEx truck.