More flies with honey than vinegar.

Have you ever heard the saying, “You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar?”

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy interprets the adage as meaning, “You can win people to your side more easily by gentle persuasion and flattery than by hostile confrontation.”

This is, in my opinion, a fundamental traffic principle.

Traffic isn’t just about deadlines and project specs, it’s much more. It’s about building relationships with the people involved in the “process” of traffic; getting to know the folks you’re asking to stay late, to fit just one more ad revision into their day, to load the artwork on disk “really quickly…”

When I was a Traffic Manager, I made it a point to know what was going on in my peers’ lives. My art director was reading a good book – I asked him about it. My proofreader was due to have her second child – I chatted about baby names and nursery themes. My account executive was feeling the pressure of managing several large clients – I bought flowers to brighten her desk.

At another agency I “trafficked,” I introduced a “prize closet.” If my account executive put his meeting notes in the system right away, I sent an e-mail to the entire team praising him. And, he “won” a bag of candy. The creative director of the agency even gave me a monthly prize budget ($25). Over the course of the month, I’d pick up items here and there with each employee in mind – a cool pen set, notebook, toy, or vase.

Another means of gathering traffic prizes stemmed from our client base – a hip new bowling ball used in a photo shoot, gift cards for food items, etc. I even used certificates we’d designed in-house.

As a Traffic Manager, you’re in a very unique position. You’re, dare I say, the honey that holds the hive together!

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