Daily Dose

Yes, I’m a hater.

Morris Posted by Morris

As most Canadians already know, Winnipeg was in the nation’s spotlight last week as we played host to the 103rd Grey Cup game. At his state-of-the-union address in the days leading up to the big game commissioner Jeffrey Orridge unveiled a new logo and promotional video branded with the slogan “What we’re made of” for the Canadian Football League.

The image on the left is the new CFL logo, accompanied in the row by its direct descendants. The three laces in the new symbol, the unveil told, are a nod to the three downs in the Canadian game. Will anyone seeing it for the first time without explanation pick that out? I doubt it. And didn’t graphic designers already exhaust the slivered arc in logos much earlier this century? The presence of the maple leaf, the unveil also told, is proudly Canadian, though I find it disproportionately tiny and insignificant. The claim was that the new logo is modern and young (of which I am neither) so they may not care what I think. But I am a passionate fan and know that my first reaction is similar to most of the reactions I’ve heard and read – I don’t like it. In fact, my first reaction was “I hate it.”

In fairness to the league, the new logo was easy to read from a distance on the field. And though the promo spot didn’t do much for me when I first saw it on my iPad I thought it, and the logo, looked great in high def on a large flatscreen during the game.

The league hopes the brand transformation will bring new, younger fans to a game that has flatlined in attendance and dropped in television ratings of late. The new marketing efforts will include apparel from adidas (I saw a guy wearing a hat with the new logo so large I’d need a five head, not a forehead, to make it wearable), and there will be revamped websites and mobile apps for the league and its teams to better connect with fans. As a sports fan in general, and huge fan of our three down football, real-time statistical updates and league information at my fingertips is something I desire. I’ve always felt in past that the CFL was lacking in fulfilling that desire.

The league’s new website (cfl.ca) launches on Wednesday. “There will be more to come. Much more to come,” is what Orridge said at the unveil.

I’m hoping he can deliver on that promise and I’m sure I’ll eventually warm up to the new brand. I really hate being a hater.

3 Tips for Communicating with Clients

Florence Posted by Florence

I don’t profess to be an expert when it comes to communication. However, in the six years that I’ve been in this industry, I’ve certainly learned a lot about communicating with clients, managing expectations, and building relationships. So here are some tips I’ve learned along the way that have really helped me:

1. Recap the discussion
As an Account Manager, I have a lot of face-to-face meetings or phone calls with clients. It’s often faster to get answers or work through things with clients this way. However, sometimes these calls or meetings last an hour or more and decisions can be made and then remade, and it’s hard to keep track at the end of what’s been decided upon and who’s doing what. Which isn’t helpful if it’s your job to act on those decisions afterwards!

A fellow Account Manager used to always close a meeting by summarizing the following: 1) what decisions were made, 2) what she was expecting the client to do, and 3) what the client can expect her to do.

Ever since then, I started doing the same. I think of it as CYA and a good way to ensure you’re all on the same page. And it lets the client know that you were listening and informs them of what they can expect from you afterwards so there’s no confusion.

2. Send one email – not five!
Clients are busy. That’s probably one of the main reasons they’ve chosen to hire you! So don’t waste their time and send them five emails a day, when you could be sending one. Your client is more likely to respond to one email anyway, so summarize all your thoughts/questions into one succinct email. (Hint: it also makes it easier to find answers later, if you’re not having to wade through numerous emails!).

3. Be upfront about changes/problems/delays
They say it’s better to ask for forgiveness than permission. Well, I don’t think that rule applies to clients. I would much rather tell my client if their poster will be delayed because of printer issues, than have them email me that they never got it the day it was due. No one wants those kinds of emails. It may be a small thing, but it chips away at the foundation of trust you’ve built up with your client. So be upfront – even if it’s hard. Your client will understand (they’re human, too!) and appreciate the proactive communication.

What are your tried-and-tested tips for communicating with clients?