For instance, I worked for five years at a storied place called Ally & Gargano. When you went into production, every day you would get a blue piece of paper with type-writing on it.
It would tell you where you had to be, when you had to be there, and where you had to go next.
I know that sounds infantile, like a kid coming home from school with a note pinned to his parka, but it helped. Normal agency life sometimes feels like you're at the wrong end of a shooting gallery. Things come at you fast and furious. And if you're in production--you're thinking about what you're creating. It's hard to also worry about logistics while you're at it.
Today when you have something to do, something detailed and precise, nobody tells you anything.
So while you're trying to decipher your (lack-of) brief, you might be told to go to a website to find out the mandatories of what you're making. How long it needs to be, how much this, how much that.
You might be told one thing in the morning, and something completely different in the afternoon. Then something different again the next morning.
And each of those "tellings" is accompanied by a tone that seems to accuse, "you idiot. Why didn't you know that?"
Or an impromptu client meeting might show up highlighted in yellow at the end of a 1,200-word email.
Has anyone in the history of the human race ever read a 1,200-word email to the end?
What doesn't happen anymore, and what I do not understand, is that nothing is written down anymore in a simple way so that necessary information is telegraphically communicated.
So, to anyone who has to deal with me at work, here's a small suggestion that will fly out of your head the minute you read it.
Go to Amazon and order some 3x5" index cards. You can get 1,000 for $11.99. That's a little more than a penny a card.
Here's an example:
|An example of how to give succinct instructions.|
Then, on the card write:
*The piece needs to be 4-minutes long. There can be a 10% (24-second variation.)
*It needs to contain two complete spots.
*Each spot needs to have a date preceding it.
*We need to ship on Tuesday.
Then, if you want to work with me in a comradely fashion, you can even write: "Thank you."
I appreciate little courtesies like that. (Call me old school.)
The above should take about eleven minutes to write,
It would probably save about eleven hours of bullshit.