Category Archives: Client/Agency Relationship
Best wishes to all our blog readers for a fun and spooky Halloween!
At Fletcher Prince, occasionally we work with people who have not worked with graphic designers before. It takes a little educating to help them understand that they are a partner in the creative process, especially when it comes to logo design, which is one of the most challenging of all graphic design assignments.
Here’s an imaginary story I came up with to illustrate how a graphic design project can be a partnership.
So, imagine, that Joe hears that the “Fletcher Prince Cafe” has amazing burgers. He decides to to have lunch there. ”Mary,” the server comes over. (I really did wait tables in college, by the way.)
Joe says, “My friends say you’ve got great burgers. Please bring me a burger.”
Mary replies, “Sure! How would you like that prepared?”
Joe considers, and admits, “Well, I really don’t know. I haven’t thought about it. I just know I need a burger.”
“Okay,” Mary says. “How about this? I will bring you three choices and then you can select one. We’ll charge you for the burger you like best.” That sounds good to Joe.
So Mary returns shortly with a plain burger, a cheese burger, and a veggie burger.
“Hmm,” reflects Joe. “These all look good, but they are not quite what I had in mind. Can I see the cheeseburger with a whole wheat bun?”
“Certainly,” Mary replies. She returns with the revised burger. Joe considers all the burgers, including the revised one.
“It is almost there, I think,” he tells her. “Is it possible to add pickles?” “Of course,” answers Mary. She returns with pickles on the cheeseburger.
Joe considers. “Well, that looks really good. That IS what I THOUGHT I wanted, at first. But now I am having second thoughts. Maybe what I want is not a cheeseburger, after all. Maybe what I am in the mood for is a piece of your chocolate cake.”
“That’s fine,” says Mary. “I will bring you chocolate cake. But I must ask you to pay for the burger you ordered. We put a lot of work into trying to deliver what you asked for.”
Do you think Mary was justified in asking for payment for the burger? I hope you said yes!
Our logo fee generally includes three designs, and an explanation of why the designer created those designs in that way. The client gets to pick the one he or she likes best, and then they have up to two revisions for that design that are also included in the fee. Any additional revisions are billed.
You may wonder, well, what if the client doesn’t like any of the three designs? That doesn’t happen very often, but if it did, the client would still be responsible for payment. They contracted for three options and two revisions at a fixed fee. The graphic design work was still done.
It’s up to the client to look at a designer’s portfolio, check references, and have discussions with the designer before the project is undertaken. Those steps help ensure that the result will be satisfactory.
The client has to trust in the process somewhat, but more importantly, the client should make sure the designer has all the information he or she needs to deliver the logo as desired. Just like Joe could have been more specific about what he wanted on his burger, or considered his needs and preferences more carefully before ordering.
Fortunately, we don’t have these misunderstandings with our paying clients — probably because we make these terms crystal clear before we begin work, and we put the terms in writing. In the worst case scenario, we have a 50% kill fee (the deposit we collect up front for all our contracted fixed fee work), because we recognize that we have done our part to make the project work out. But we have not yet had to enforce it, thank goodness.
The next time you are thinking about hiring a graphic designer, think about my Joe and Mary story. Keep in mind that your valuable input and your ongoing communication with the designer is a vital (and fun!) part of the creative process and helps produce a successful graphic design outcome.
As I write this, two new brochures we designed for PRofessional Solutions, LLC are being printed.
The brochures make the case for working with the staffing firm, and feature our photographs of Kate Perrin and Melanie Jordan from our session with them earlier this year, as well as a QR code and links to the company’s social media networks.
PRofessional Solutions, LLC, the only temporary staffing agency in the Washington, DC area that specializes in providing public relations temporary staff, sponsors many communications events throughout the year. Look for their classy brochures on display at the sponsor tables where those appear.
Working with this client is always a pleasure, and David and I are pleased to add their brochures to the Fletcher Prince portfolio.
The good news this month is that hiring is on the upswing and the economy is showing signs of recovery, especially in the Washington, DC area.
If you are looking for new staff, Fletcher Prince client PRofessional Solutions, LLC has ten tips for making a smart hiring decision.
Check out the video we recorded with them, here, featuring CEO Kate Perrin and Managing Director Melanie Jordan.
David Hyson and I have been working, pro bono, for the past several weeks for the Bahrain Coordinating Committee and Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB). Our work has been challenging — in the best sense of the word! — and very gratifying and we look forward to providing public relations, branding, and social media support, as it is needed.
So far, we have created logos, a website/blog, a YouTube Channel, and a public relations plan. We’ve worked on the Twitter profile and Facebook Page. We’ve been building media contact lists, sending press releases and developing relationships with the news media and various NGOs. Today, I helped out with their exhibit at the ADC Convention (photo).
As a communications professional, I’ve noticed that the pro bono work I take on often allows me to learn new things and skills. That is true, I suppose, with any client, but especially in this case, where I’ve had to learn about the intricacies of FARA reporting, congressional relationships, and so much more.
We enjoy working with these organizations and are inspired by the strength and courage of its members and leaders, as well as by the enduring bravery of the Bahraini people. Many, many times, the reports are hard to read, or watch, as in the case of a four-year-old boy who lost his eye after being shot with birdshot pellets by police. But these sad and sometimes horrific stories only make us more determined in our work.
The struggle for human rights and democracy in Bahrain is a cause that should be important to all the world, but especially Americans. A human rights issue affects all of us. Bahrain is an important ally to the U.S., but the government has been injust to its people, especially in the brutal crackdowns of the past two years. However, Bahrain’s problems are not so great they are beyond solutions, and many organizations and individuals are working toward those solutions, including our pro bono clients, the U.N., various human rights organizations, and to a degree, the United States.
Every person does what he or she can. David and I feel gratified to feel like we are making a contribution. Thanks for taking a little time this weekend to learn about Bahrain, and if you would like to become involved, let us know!
David and I have enjoyed our work with Kate and Melanie at PRofessional Solutions. Here is their video testimonial for Fletcher Prince.
David and I had a wonderful time taking photos of Kate Perrin and Melanie Jordan of PRofessional Solutions. PRofessional Solutions, as you may know, is the only public relations temporary staffing firm in the Washington, DC area.
Every photo shoot we do is different and I think what was special about this one was the warm rapport between these two professionals — which, naturally, carries over into how they run their business and work with clients. I’m sure it’s a big part of their success. They are wonderful clients to work for.
Check out the images … which is your favorite? (Click on the image to enlarge or enable the carousel).
We recently completed the new website/blog for our client, PRofessional Solutions. If you are interested in public relations, be sure to subscribe!
David and I were pleased to work on PRofessional Solutions‘ latest marketing project, a new email marketing campaign. The inaugural edition of the monthly newsletter, Smart Solutions, is packed with public relations tips for annual meetings, conferences, and Capitol Hill Days.
Thanks for checking it out and sharing it with your colleagues you think would enjoy it. And please contact us if we can help you with your email marketing plans.