As the year draws to an end, many managers of creative departments are facing one of their least favorite supervisory responsibilities: conducting annual reviews. While the employee-evaluation process can be time-consuming, performance reviews are opportunities to motivate staff, assess training needs, reinforce organizational values and clarify your employees’ career goals.
You’ve heard it a million times…okay, maybe dozens of times. You have to get out there and network to make an impact on finding a job. The old way of searching for jobs is so passé. It’s just not effective any longer to have your resume on job boards, to set up search engine bots, and to keep replying to online postings. You have to put it all out there folks. Get out and talk to people. I know…it’s a pretty scary thing for the average person. But, for an introvert, multiply that times ten.
I was a graphic design major in college (Miami University in Oxford, Ohio) and had a chance to be involved with a program called Laws, Hall & Associates, a student run ad agency that serviced real, paying clients. I loved it so much, I took the class three times, and ended up becoming President my senior year.
This month’s interview features a conversation with Shel Perkins, exploring some of the challenges that face in-house teams today.
Q: Tell us a bit about your background and credentials.
A: I’m a graphic designer who is very active on the business side of professional practice. I’ve managed the operations of leading design firms and consulted with a wide range of creative services organizations in both traditional and new media. I also teach professional practices in an MFA program.
Q: As a frequent lecturer, what topic are audiences most interested in?
A: Right now, everyone is worried about the recession. Apart from that, I’m often asked to do presentations and workshops related to intellectual property, designer/client contracts, project planning and tracking, new business development, pricing and proposals, teams, financial management, and ownership transition.
Q: What is the biggest challenge facing today’s in-house teams? How has this changed from even 5-7 years ago?
A: Corporations are more aware than ever of the importance of effective and comprehensive branding. There’s also increasing pressure on U.S. companies to innovate in order to remain viable. Successful in-house teams have positioned themselves at the center of these issues.
Q: Do you see more companies investigating an in-house agency business model given today’s economy?
A: Yes. To function at the highest possible level, I think it’s important to recruit, manage, and market in-house creative resources very much like an independent consultancy.
Developing a personal brand helps you differentiate yourself from your peers and, in some cases, your competition to “claim” your job.
Personal brands should not be thought of only when begin looking for a job or something you develop at 2:00 a.m. when you’re scared you’re going to lose your job. It takes some serious thought and brainstorming to come up with your unique value proposition and differentiator.
I started my career about 20 years ago working as a computer programmer. Along the way, I have changed careers and jobs, and am currently focused on corporate and internal communications. My current passions are writing and teaching. Highlights include owning my own events marketing and graphic design business in my 20s and teaching at a non-profit organization currently.
Marty Lenger, InSource Board member, has been promoted to Director of Communication Services, Gordon Food Service.
The InSource Board of Directors meeting held on September 15, 2009, focused on making preparations to convene a full-day Board of Directors Meeting in Madison, New Jersey on October 16, 2009. Mapping out the work of InSource for 2010 will be the focus, including logistics, timeframes and next steps.
Content relating to professional development has been prepared to position InSource as a career resource for people in the in-house corporate creative world. This content will be posted at the InSource Web site in the near future.
Whether you’re a seasoned professional or a recent graduate, there will be times in your professional life you’ll ask yourself if you should work in an agency, as part of an in-house creative team, or as a freelancer.
Read this article by Becky Livingston discussing some pros and cons about each that might help you make that decision, no matter what stage of your career you might be at.
I enlisted in the Air Force after high school graduation; ended up at a SAC base in California writing for the base newspaper and giving tours of KC-135 refueling tankers and B-52 bombers. Once out of the military, I graduated from San Jose State University with a degree in PR. Moved back to my hometown of Milwaukee, Wisconsin where I used my writing and PR skills as communications manager for a trade association as well as a manufacturing firm.