Surviving and Thriving The ‘Vacation Season’

As the weather heats up and the Dog Days of summer start barking, employees turn their attention to vacation and family. But for directors, managers, and team leaders the time between Memorial Day and Labor Day can be filled with anxiety. The tension only increases as they wonder how they will accomplish their yearly goals while short on staff.

So how do you drive progress for the businesslike fall months if the summer months are about beaches and road trips?

Every year that question drives managers crazy.

But the answer may be right in front of you. Most managers may not realize it, but they have a personnel solution available to them that has already been vetted, chosen, and negotiated. This solution includes people who are expert in many crucial business and marketing functions, and expert in dealing with your organization’s own quirks and idiosyncrasies.

Of course, we mean your marketing agency.

When you think about it your agency can be the perfect resource for summertime supplemental personnel. They already have an in-house team that you can lean on when your employees take their well-deserved breaks.

First, most marketing firms are filled with professionals from multiple disciplines. Typically they are rich in talent: Strategists, organizational experts, graphic designers, writers, public relations professionals and others can often be found under your partner-agency’s roof.

The personnel at your agency aren’t merely experts in some professional skill they are also usually expert at understanding you. Because they are typically as entrenched in your business as your own people are, working shoulder to shoulder with your staff all year long. They understand the nuances of your design standards, nomenclature, approval process, and key players in a way that no ‘contract’ employee could.

This specialized knowledge not only makes your agency personnel the highest quality resource you can turn to in the summer, but it also makes them a value choice. If you hire a contract employee you can spend all summer paying them just to get up to speed on the things your agency people already know by rote.

For instance, a graphic designer hired through a temp or personnel firm or some other source, will have to spend expensive billable hours learning about you before they can productively do your work. They cannot create anything of value until they first understand your philosophies and key messages. To that point you should have a “Style Guide,” prepared by your agency. This important deliverable explains the finer points of your brand to any designer or writer who needs to work within its strictures. By pointing out details such as your typography choices and sizes, color palettes, acceptable photo and illustration options and much more, it will save a lot of time and ensure productive work. If you don’t already have a style guide, you should ask your marketing firm to develop one.

A style guide will help any designer work more productively for you, but the graphic design specialists at your marketing agency are likely to be the same people who created your design standards to begin with. That’s what makes them such a seamless fit.

When your agency artist sits down to do your summer work, there is little that they do not already know about how it should be done. They have an expert’s understanding of you and your organization so they are free to create and elevate your brand, not waste valuable time figuring out what might be minimally acceptable to you.

The same is true of your agency writers. As the people who craft, shape and hone your messages all year, they have valuable institutional knowledge such as your industry, vocabulary, target market and context.

Your marketing agency’s writers do not have to struggle to sound like you in ads, brochures or videos that are being created over the summer. They are your voice for all four seasons.

When it comes to advancing your long-term marketing goals over the summer, familiar agency faces can be a real relief. Your agency strategists have usually shaped your goals all year long. At the very least, they have worked with you to meet the daily objectives in your master plan.

Finally, utilizing agency personnel over the summer is about much more than the individuals you’ll utilize, no matter how talented they may be. It is about teamwork. Your agency professionals know each other and you and your people know them. They have methods of working seamlessly together with each other and with you that’s simply invaluable.

So let your professionals go on the vacations they require and deserve. You don’t have to worry about their absences. Utilizing your agency resources well over the summer can ensure that your people recharge their batteries even while the machine of progress grinds on.

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