The value of transparency.

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I think one of the most professionally fulfilling aspects of this business is collaborating with clients. One of our clients very recently asked to sit in on a campaign brainstorming session. Our client in this case included the Marketing/PR Director and the CEO of the hospital. It’s not every day the CEO of a hospital asks his agency to sit in on a creative brainstorming session. I can’t help but wonder how other agencies might have reacted to this. We said we’d save them two chairs at the conference room table.

The big brainstorming day came and we all crowded around our conference room table mid morning. It started with the client telling us what was happening in the market—the stories behind the market share numbers and the latest physician relations challenges. Everyone got comfortable, we started exchanging ideas, some were good–some weren’t quite there yet. No one held back. We ordered lunch in and worked through to the afternoon. I’m pretty sure everyone contributed. In a word, it was great. It was what brainstorming is supposed to be.

At the end of the day, our client was happy. Not only did they benefit from the ideas the group generated but they were an active participant in the process. Everyone involved on the agency side also felt better for the experience. I believe our client now even sees more value in our ideas because they not only witnessed the process but were a part of it. I don’t know if you can do this with just any client, but if you can, there’s more value in transparency than keeping your processes or expertise under a cloak of propriety.

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