(as told by an Owner and an Employee)
What’s a typical week like at a typical agency? We’re not really sure. We rarely have typical weeks here at Trampoline. Sometimes we will spend most of our week in our studio creating, writing, planning, communicating, strategizing, and collaborating while other weeks will find us traveling for meetings, pitches and video shoots. Two weeks ago, the partners were in multiple locations presenting and pitching Trampoline’s services. After 13 years at this we are getting more streamlined but each potential client we pitch requires an in-depth research period to prepare and usually an intense 1-2 hour sit down, or stand up meeting with stakeholders. At once both time consuming and stress inducing. But, the office still needs to continue to run at full steam and that’s where it gets interesting. How do we keep going? It’s a mixture of people stepping up, or over, to fill in or help out, morning traffic meetings (we call them scrums), a little stress, more laughter, and grocery day. Want to know what a not very typical week at Trampoline is like? Paula Slayton, Partner and Business Manager and Cara Greenslade, employee and Director of Media Services will give you a glimpse into a week in the life.
Editors’ Note: Neither of us are designers. Want to know what the typical week of a designer is? It involves beer, beer labels, micro-naps, and mooning over typography.
Paula: Ok, Monday, let’s dive into research for tomorrow’s meeting in NYC, meet with the partners to talk it through, come up with potential scenarios and answers to questions they might have, confirm our travel on the train and figure out what time we need to leave to get to the train on time and to get to the meeting on time.
Cara: It’s a week full of pitches with almost half of the team attending so Monday means it’s time to get organized. What’s going to happen when the partners are out of the office, who needs to get what done, what will need to be shifted, and what disasters could potentially happen? Not only will they be out, but they can’t pick up the phone in the middle of the pitch so we need to be ready for whatever.
Paula: Here we go Tuesday, up at 4:30am, out the door at 5:30am, on the train at 7:00am, cover pitch on the train ride in, 9:30 grab breakfast and find shelter from monsoon rain, 11:30 find pitch location, prep for pitch, 12:30 pitch, 2:30 beer & lunch, 3:45 back on train, catch up on all emails from Cara (& staff), 6:30 drive back from train station, 8:00 home.
Cara: Partners were in NYC so we just hung out around the kegerator and pretended we were working whenever someone called. Just kidding, when the partners are out it often means we need to do what they normally do on a day to day basis and make sure we are hitting deadlines and putting out the best possible work we can.
Paula: Wednesday. Is it really Wednesday already? Get caught up on what was missed, research for the pitch on Thursday in Albany, rehearse the pitch, figure out the travel plans down…Is this Groundhog Day?
Cara: Another whirlwind day and a hump day that sits in between two very important pitches. Time to catch up with the partners and make a plan for the next two days. I’m bouncing between my social media accounts, production management and account management.
Paula: Thursday starts with a cancelled meeting which means more time to prep for today’s pitch and catch up on everything else. Leave at 1:00 for the pitch, park and wait, see the previous agency who just pitched walking out of the elevator (cue extra nerves), pitch for 45 minutes, drop shoulders, drive north back to the office.
Cara: I’m not even on the pitches and a canceled meeting is a sigh of relief. At 1pm an ad sales guy lets me know about a pretty awesome placement available for a great cost for one of our clients. Oh, and its due yesterday. It’s the one time I wish I was a designer so that I don’t stop them from working on other projects to do this for me right away. Luckily, they say no problem, like usual, and the day goes on.
Paula: Friday. Already? Grocery shop, one of my most important roles (snacks = happy staff), brief everyone on how the week went, check in with my business partners who are at yet another new client pitch and try to catch up with everyone who ran the office this week.
Cara: It’s grocery day, by far the most important day. It’s like a work holiday. As soon as Paula calls and gives us the cue that she’s about to pull in we spring into action and meet her with dollies and carts to bring up the groceries. About five of us will circle around the kitchenette and organize the snack drawers, baskets, fridge, and jars to perfection. What do we open first? The Twizzlers. Never start your diet on grocery day. Later on, a production hitch sends to me Joanne’s for twine, a circle cutter and small hole punch so that we can produce some hangtags in house and we launch management of a new social media account.
Cara: Trampoline was the first agency I worked at and I started here right after college. I’ve always known is was great, even though I have nothing to compare it to. But the Tramps that have come here from other agencies have always said that the willingness to help each other out is something they’ve never had. If your plate is full, you’re not going to be alone. Whether it’s Paula stepping in to help with managing various social media accounts or designers rearranging their schedules to take a project off your plate, the teamwork at Trampoline is what gets us through the crazy weeks.
Paula: Moral of the story, everyone’s job is important. We couldn’t be doing what we do without a competent staff to run things while we are out. We need to be out building the business to keep the work coming in and our employees working. We must grocery shop. It’s a win-win-win.