Clients Win When Agencies Collaborate

One thing about the communications business has not changed in recent years, with change happening all around us. Collaboration among professionals can transform a communications program into something that can truly add value and make a difference for a business.

For our corporate clients, that has often meant collaboration among multiple agencies. Unfortunately, though, it doesn’t happen often enough.

This week, I spent time out of town with an agency one of our clients has hired in another state to replicate a campaign we have run since early last year in Michigan. After spending time with this other firm, a spirit of respectful partnership emerged among professionals. That will benefit the client and, perhaps, our firms overall, as we learn from each other.

A decade ago, Don and I worked with a corporation that encouraged its firms around the world to work together to generate new ideas and plans for execution. That interaction led to innovative programs and, for one, I learned lessons from fellow pros that I carry to this day.

If you have multiple agencies in multiple markets, find ways for them to interact and combine forces to serve you better. Remember that they aren’t necessarily competitors and are all playing for your team. Even in a single market, if you have separate firms for PR and advertising, for example, find ways for them to work together and challenge them to collaborate to achieve your overall communications objectives.

In a corporate age where every dollar matters and every agency has to prove its worth, it’s time to end the “right hand, left hand” policies.