Align Your Mallards…

You’ve heard the expression “getting your ducks in a row.” It probably never had anything to do with colorful waterfowl. More likely, it sprang from sports or shipbuilding (you could look it up). Whatever its origins, getting your ducks in a row means being organized, and adequately prepared for a project or undertaking.

Why you should have your ducks in a row when working with your agency

When requesting a quote (price) for your latest web project, for example, you should know beforehand precisely what needs to be done. Note the precisely. It’s not sufficient to say that you want six to eight pages of web content. First, what format will you require? (Parallax pages scroll much deeper than other formats, for instance.) Do you have a well-conceived sitemap? What exactly do you want to say on each page? Do you have the basic information on hand, or will your copywriter need to interview the stakeholders? If you can’t answer these and other pertinent questions, you’re not ready to request a quote.

Have your goals set and ready?

Now, say that you do know precisely what you want to accomplish. Will you approve the final work, or does that authority rest with someone else? If it’s someone else, make sure that you’re both in agreement before work begins. Every experienced copywriter and account exec can tell you about numerous projects that were well under way (sometimes even completed) when someone higher up in the client organization said in dismay, “No, that’s not what I wanted at all.”

Unfortunately, such disconnects are more common than you might think. And since it’s not your agency’s fault, starting over will cost you a bundle in additional, unanticipated fees. It could even blow your whole budget.

Sometimes, you don’t know what you don’t know. But at Wordsmithie, we generally do. We’ve been around a long time and have lots of relevant experience. And we’re always happy to help get your ducks in a tidy row.

ABOUT Jim Leeke

Widely experienced in journalism, marketing communications and advertising, Jim has worked with top creative agencies to deliver print, Internet and interactive projects to Fortune 500 companies. His expertise ranges from technology and healthcare/pharmaceuticals to defense and veterans issues. Jim is also the author/editor of six books, writing extensively on the Civil War and baseball. In addition to his Wordsmithie role, Jim is Co-founder and Creative Director of Taillight Communications.