a freelancer’s view on agency thinking

Agency growth mentor, digital strategist and all-round decent bloke Mark Kelly recently asked me to join season two of his Agency Thinking Podcast. We go way back to when we were both at Poulters, once one of the hottest and biggest agencies in the North but sadly no longer around. We’ve kept in touch through putting-the-world-to-rights coffees and it was lovely to catch up again, if slightly stressful due to having to keep remembering that this time our chat wasn’t confidential…

One of the recurring themes of our conversation was the increasingly lost art of actual account handling, as opposed to project managing. Regular blog readers will know that I’ve had a bee in my bonnet about this for several years, but my conversation with Mark reminded me that agencies do finally seem to be catching on now, with GADs and agency Directors sending me a steady stream of account handlers to help nudge towards better creative briefs and more strategic client relationships.

Of course strategic client relationships are best built face to face – and that has been rather tricky for everyone recently. Twitter recently led me to this piece in the FT which suggested that a revival of the Business Lunch is long-overdue and I have to agree. Perhaps someone needs to run training for account handlers like ‘lunching your client – when to get the wine menu out’…

You can listen to season two of the Agency Thinking Podcast on all the usual platforms and here’s a signpost to them all.

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