We’ve all done it! The hallway ask…
“Hey, would you mind putting together a really simple graphic? Doesn’t have to be much. Just something like… you know… Oh and can I get it after lunch? We want to push it out ASAP.”
While this is just a singular, small ask from you today, this is all too familiar to your creative folks. Everyone has a small ask or a minor edit. And in a department of any size, those asks add up. Your creative team gets them every day and not only from your marketing and communication folks. Your compliance office has needs. Academics has something they want to highlight. The Athletics Director or SWA needs to send something quick. And of course, your coaches need stuff. And guess what, every one of those asks is the most important thing happening in that person’s area. Which means the expectation is that your creative person stops what they are doing and get to work on their request. And why not? It is just a small little graphic/video. How hard could it be?
In 2013, we implemented a system of Graphic Design and Video requests. It is a simple Google Form that almost everyone on staff has access to. Similar to production requests in the advertising word (spoiler alert a number of us worked in advertising or outside media prior to working in college athletics), these forms create a formalized process for all creative asks. Once the form is completed and submitted, a job number is automatically created and emailed to the person who submitted it and to the creative team responsible for the area of work being requested. From that point forward, the request is identified by its assigned number. This allows for easy communication when working on multiple jobs at once or when working with multiple people on a project. It also allows for easy reference when searching back for past projects.
More importantly to your creative folks, it gives them an out when a hallway conversation flares up. “Hey, that sounds great! Can you put in a design request?” will become their new favorite phrase once this process is implemented.
Buy-in at first may not be easy. You are asking people to do an additional step in an already busy world. But when you make it part of the normal workflow, the communication, efficiency, and tracking are immeasurable.
As a supervisor, this will give you data to show your area’s workload. It might help you state your case for needing more staff in certain areas. It may also help you work with current staff on planning and organizing better so that they can look further out and allow more lead time on needs they know are coming.
Content is king! No one in our industry will deny that. But let’s remember there are people behind every piece of content that gets created. The process of how that content gets created might be what takes your team from good to great!