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Interview with an agency pro

Who

Christine
Stewart

What

Account Executive

How

3+ coffees and a pack of gum

Nicola Brown, a recent grad and freelance communications specialist sat down with Christine Stewart to see what life is like as an Account Executive.

Nicola

What is your job all about, in a nutshell?<br>

I am the day-to-day contact for my clients. My role at the agency is to liaise between clients and our creative teams to make sure we produce work that addresses the clients? needs but also succeeds creatively. Sometimes it?s hard to find the right balance.<br>

Describe some of the biggest challenges you have faced and do face in your position. How have you overcome them?<br>

Providing feedback to creatives. Often clients will want one thing and the creative team will want something else. Finding the middle ground can be tricky.<n>

But when you work with a client for a while you develop more of a personal relationship with them. Sometimes it?s just easier to say, you know what, why don?t we all get on a call together, chat through it, and maybe we can come to an agreement. When the clients and creative teams have differing opinions, I need to uncover the rationale behind those opinions and share each side?s point of view with the other. Once a client or creative team can see the mindset behind the other?s perspective, it?s much easier for them to understand and respect that perspective and for both sides to come to an agreement. There aren?t really any specific negotiation tactics that I use. It depends on the client and the creative team; it?s very much about cultivating those personal relationships.<br>

What elements of your work do you get most excited about?<br>

The best part is seeing a campaign come to life, especially one that was difficult to execute.<n>

We just had a brand launch for a client that involved TV, pre-roll [online video commercials], online ads, radio, a crazy internal campaign; it was massive. The campaign was over a year in the making. Typically we would shoot one TV spot. This time we were shooting two at the same time. It required us to get into our clients? offices and film employees without them knowing. It?s hard to wrap your head around how to do that! We also had several setbacks. We had to delay a shoot three or four times and travel to multiple cities to shoot it. It was crazy, but it just makes it that much greater come launch day when you can say, you know it was a crazy few months, but we got through it, and it was so worth it!<br>

Wow, that?s a huge project! How long does an ad campaign typically take from start to finish?<br>

It varies quite widely. We?ve done stuff as quick as a month but typically it?s a few months up to a year. The campaign that took over a year is an extreme case. It depends on