Wow, 20-years. 20 years working in the comms and marketing industry. That’s a good time to reflect on the best bits of work you’ve ever delivered.
Yesterday I had the opportunity to present some day job work to a panel of awards judges. And it got me thinking about what I thought had been my best work ever. The projects which I’d enjoyed most, had delivered the best results, or just given a sense of satisfaction and achievement.
A few sprang to mind...
Those which instantly jump out are the corporate identity and rebrands I was fortunate to lead. I loved every minute of them. Creating something totally new which had the ability to transform the way and organisation looked, sounded, communicated and branded itself. I managed a couple of these in the public and private sector.
The best was for a large local authority in the West Mids in the early 2000’s. It was a dream project – take a terrible 70s identity and bring it up to date. I learned so much from that work and many of the principles and thinking around managing an identity still hold true today.
I also got to work with one of the best creative agencies around and this is a golden opportunity for any in-house bod to soak up the learning on tap. I fear less and less public sector comms colleagues now get this chance to work with really talented agencies and I believe it is a valuable relationship lost for many.
The rebranding of a council now? It would be a brave local authority who would find the cash to deliver such a project in 2015 and the perilous budget positions they find themselves in. (Question – was there a single local authority in the UK who rebranded in 2014 or plan to in 2015?)
Many doubted the wisdom of the project even back then - “it’s just a logo” - and didn’t see its wider importance and possibilities. For me creating a new identity was around setting ambitious standards for delivering better communications, a chance for a new platform from which to be creative and deliver work which had a real visual impact. It was never about what you can and can’t do with a PowerPoint template or how much white space needs to exist around a logo. That just missed the point and sparked the term ‘logo police’.
Yes, I loved that work and would love to do more of it again in the future.
Before that I worked on the Euro 96 football tournament and gained a fascinating insight into how the truly global brands operated, what they wanted, what they expected. Just hours before the kick-off of the first game I pulled the ultra glamourous job of clambering up ladders to put black masking tape over the logos of any TV in the stadium which wasn’t one made by one of the tournament sponsors, JVC. And I’ll never forget the faces of the organisers in the post-match reception when Coke were in the house and from nowhere a Pepsi ice bucket appeared in the room. I was almost sacked for that. You learn from these things.
But the best things I have done aren’t necessarily the biggest or most notable and you’ll be just the same I’m sure. I can remember inheriting a team member who I was told was a problem and whose performance and attendance were poor. I was so pleased that we were able to work together, do good things and I saw an entirely different colleague 12-months down the track. That’s the stuff which really counts and makes a difference.
So what are the best things you have worked on, what made them so satisfying and what do you learn about the project or yourself?
Why don’t you blog about it and share your lessons with the comms2point0 community?
Darren Caveney is co-creator of comms2point0 and vice chair of LGcomms