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Posts Tagged ‘meetings’

A couple of years ago I sat in a teleconference with a producer, a designer and an account rep. On the other end, too many people with too many ideas and too little direction began to yak. As an increasing amount of nothing was getting done, the other people in the room began to take their leave. One by one they whispered, “I really don’t need to be here” and quietly slipped out. Sadly, after three hours, I came to the conclusion that I didn’t need to be there either.

It’s a question I get now and then…when should I be brought into “the process?” I work with different designer/programmers, many of which have never had a writer in on a project before. There is a tendency to want to bring me in too early.  When I was starting out, I didn’t know better. And hey, it was billable.  I would sit in on these meetings where we discussed nothing but design, hosting and e-commerce for hours.

After a few too many of these meetings, I began to beg off, politely.  Call me when you got the pages laid out, complete with that crazy “Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet” text. By this time I will have:

  • Thoroughly digested their existing brochures and website
  • Likewise for any competitive materials
  • Conducted an interview (recorded and transcribed, natch) with the principals, and
  • Received my keywords and basic word count requirements

Now, if you insist, I will gladly attend your initial meeting. However, it’s up to you to explain to the client why they’re paying for me to sit there counting ceiling tiles while you’re discussing PHP, SQL and EIEIO.

For me, it’s about adding value. I want to have a purpose for being in the room and, if there isn’t one, I could be home doing any number of things in my boxer shorts.

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