Creating a great advertisement requires a few people to come together in perfect harmony.
One of those being a designer or copywriter, someone with a creative task that contributes to your project. Whether that person is an internal resource or a freelance creative there are ways to make the transaction a wonderful and engaging experience for both parties.
Honesty and intentions
Before speaking with a creative be honest with yourself about what you want to communicate through a piece of work, what the different target markets are and where the media will be consumed. In dealing with a creative, be honest about budgets where possible, honest about delivery dates and honest about the scope and deliverables of the project.
My favourite type of brief
Adding all the information into the brief is important for transparency, though this can also limit the variables so much that there is no room for any type of creative freedom. To get the best work out, there needs to be a little bit of space to breathe within the brief. If you don’t know exactly what you want, that is okay, all you need to do is organise a brainstorm session with your creative or a team and let the ideas flow. Alternatively, have the creative go through the process quick and send rough drafts or even sketches instead of relying on one large pressured delivery, in order to get ideas that way. Bringing a creative along to the client brief (if possible) is a great way to get rid of the middleman and having information interpreted differently by you.
Beware of your own bias
In reviewing the completed work, always remember that good art is a subjective matter. We are bias towards our own thoughts as it is our only reference for understanding the world around us. Having another person review your work can help in getting a different opinion. If possible try to get feedback from your client as soon as possible before making your own changes, consolidating feedback will streamline the process dramatically.
The best work comes from a good place, when everyone is feeling positive about the project and you have sufficient buy-in from all stakeholders. A creative is a real person too, not just a button pusher or tool in a shed. Ask them how their day was, or how their kids are. Interpersonal relationships with your service providers make the experience of agency life much better.
Whichever side you are on, client, account manager or creative, we can all create a better creative process through communication and transparency and being upfront about everything.