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Client Relations

The precision recipe of surprises, thrills, and fulfillment we provide. For clients.

We’ve written 24 blog posts about Client Relations. View all topics »

  1. Plan for the Unplanned

    Leading up to the design phase of a project, we devote a lot of thinking to setting the project’s core goals and requirements, as well as establishing a basic plan for how the project will flow. During this time, on my team, we ask as many questions as possible and learn as much as we can before we present a strategy to the client. In the end, everyone agrees on what the goals are, but how those goals will be realized is yet to be determined.

  2. ’Tis but thy name that is my (fr)enemy

    “What’s in a name? that which we call a rose / By any other name would smell as sweet; / So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call’d” (Shakespeare, Romeo & Juliet, 2.2).

    In the world of project management, naming conventions are often the source of miscommunication. You have to call your work something, but if you assume everyone interprets a name the way you intended, you’re likely to stub your toe during the course of the project. As managers, minimizing risk and setting expectations is an everyday task, yet something as simple as a name or label can fly under our radar. We live and breathe our work, and we are passionate about it. It’s a good practice to never assume labels are understood out of the gate. Here’s a few tactics to help you make naming conventions work for you.

  3. Overwriting Less

    I am an overwriter.

    I could stop this post right here, but you wouldn’t believe me.

    There is relief and guilt to overwriting—like you’ve just finished off a large bag of potato chips by yourself. You find comfort in there being no more chips to eat but also discomfort, because, well, you just ate an entire bag of chips.

    Or, you’ve just written countless words to a client team explaining the intricacies of a deliverable. You exhale and cross the to-do off your list, but you secretly doubt whether the post overcomplicated the work or confused your client.

  4. One Hand Washes the Other

    I once believed that great design was created inside of a secret creativity chamber. Armed with a knapsack full of snacks, I’d lock myself inside, and work long, hard, tedious hours until I emerged with a “masterpiece.”

  5. Vendor Selection Advice From The Front Lines…

    Recently, I offered my suggestions regarding the RFP construction and management process, but I left my dear readers with a cliffhanger… Now that your RFP is complete and you’re evaluating responses and pitches, how do you select the right proposal?

  6. On-Site Anthropology

    At Happy Cog, we try to use the latest web technologies to bring our virtual teams (and families) together. But sometimes, a virtual meetup just won’t do—most notably, the kickoff meeting to start a new client project. Few things can impact a project’s success like the team building that takes place during the workshop sessions, lunches, and post-meeting drinks of a client on-site visit—after all, raising a virtual toast isn’t nearly as satisfying as clinking two glasses together.

  7. Please Put Down the Device & Let’s Just Talk

    Warning, if you are reading this in a meeting STOP! Put down your mobile device or laptop and slowly lift your head and eyes upward until you see (and hear) the person speaking!

  8. Stepping Out of Line

    Years ago, I was presenting comps on a scheduled call to a key stakeholder of my then-agency’s flagship account. It was my first call with him in months. He was unfortunately on vacation and without his laptop. That should have been the end of it.

    Instead, he asked me to paint him a picture.

  9. Escape the Fear Factory

    With my Pittsburgh roots comes a 30+ year fandom of the NHL hockey team the Pittsburgh Penguins. But one of my favorite Pens memories didn’t happen during a game; it was actually a text message. A message sent by owner and legendary player, Mario Lemieux, to the team and coaches before decisive game 7 of the 2009 Stanley Cup finals.

  10. Illustration by Yesenia Perez-Cruz

    What’s the ROI on Cool?

    Industry creative folks I’m friends with personally and respect professionally have uttered the following to me on multiple occasions:

    “I want to make cool shit.”

    I’ll be honest, I just don’t get it. To be fair, it’s safe to say I don’t get “cool” in general. I routinely dress like I’m headed to a corporate team-building ropes course, and I’m still waiting for Firefly to be picked up for season 2. So maybe it’s no surprise that the quest for cool escapes me. I don’t get the allure of making something cool for the sake of it being cool. Further, I don’t understand how you sell that to clients, or more importantly, why they would pay for it.

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