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What’s the Point of Client/Agency Status Meetings?



Taylor Brazell – Account Executive


A regular status meeting between agency personnel and their direct client contacts is not just a chance to hang out with your favorite team members, it can also be an extremely useful tool to check in on goals and keep projects on track. Whether they’re once a week, once a month or at any other time interval, meetings between clients and agencies covering a single project or multiple campaigns can allow for better input, increased organization and clearer communication while saving time and money.


Input

Similar to the yearly planning meetings between the agency and its client, a recurring update meeting gives both groups the chance to evaluate how campaigns have been going and map out the next steps; it just does it on a smaller or more focused scale.


While these meetings typically include the client representative or team and the account executive from the agency, they also offer opportunities for other agency staff to receive and give input directly. Depending on the projects, members from the agency public relations, creative and digital departments can hop into meetings as needed to help the process of translating client requests into deliverables, offer their expertise, provide recommendations and offer a new perspective for any brainstorming discussions.


Even the meetings themselves can be reviewed at the meetings. Most agencies bill clients according to the time spent on projects. With that in mind, update meetings should only happen as needed. The initial frequency should be set based on the expected workload, but adjustments can be made to meet more or less often as project needs increase and decrease.


Organization

Everyone has heard of the meeting that should have been an email, but what about the email that should have been a meeting?


When multiple projects are going at once and several versions of drafts are circulating to different people within the agency and client teams, keeping up with the most current information can be a challenge over an asynchronous communication channel like email. An in-person or online meeting alleviates some of the dependence on emails by giving everyone the space to discuss decisions, while getting immediate feedback that keeps projects moving and saves time.


To keep both the meeting and any ongoing projects on track, account executives should prepare an agenda that includes important steps for each project, including the history of completed components, current needs and upcoming deadlines. The report should also list who is responsible for completing each task, so no one is confused about where their responsibilities lie.


Savings

Clients may not think of meetings as a way to manage budgets, but good status update meetings will do just that. A real-time conversation can take the place of countless rounds of emails and edits as the client and the agency try to understand each other’s input, ask questions and get on the same page. With a thorough agenda, the right meeting frequency and team members ready to discuss important steps and project goals, regular update meetings can be one of the best investments clients make in their marketing program.

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