I can honestly say I’ve enjoyed working with every single client that has crossed my path over the last 25 years, but some of them stand out for various reasons.
Most Fearsome Client
My very first job as a new business was copywriting a brochure for a firm of club doormen (bouncers) in Birmingham.
Both directors were so big, they had to stoop as they came through the door. They were very affable guys, dressed smartly, were willing to listen and had a great sense of humour. However, when they frowned slightly at something they weren’t sure about, you had the feeling your life was about to end – quickly and with some degree of pain.
I don’t think I have ever felt so nervous handing over copy for approval. And I can’t believe they ever had any trouble in the establishments they ‘looked after’.
Best News Photo
A packaging business had issued a news release promoting a storage box that was very strong and which could be stacked to great heights even when full. The release bombed. They came to us for help.
“What weight can each box take?” we asked. “7.5 tonnes,” they replied. And there was the answer.
One week later, four jacks were removed from a 7.5 tonne vehicle, leaving it balanced on one of the new boxes, which had sections cut out of its top to accommodate the vehicle chassis. Three minutes later and with a nervous vehicle insurance rep on the phone, the photographs had been taken and the vehicle was back on the ground.
The results – masses of coverage in key titles, huge interest in the product and some substantial orders.
Most Important Competition Lesson Learned
The lesson? If possible, try to do a little research before deciding on a competition winner. When we tried to arrange a presentation photoshoot with the winner of a posiest pet photo competition, we were told the dog had died three years earlier.
The winner of a best garden competition wouldn’t be photographed receiving the first prize in her garden as she was extremely agoraphobic and wouldn’t come out of her house. The work had been done by a neighbour, who lived abroad six months of the year and had just left on his extended break.
Quickest Major Result For A New Client
We felt that our assimilation notes for a new client were a strong summary of the business and how it had grown over the previous 12 months. Fleshing out the story with more operational detail and some customer testimonials, we submitted the final version in the industry’s main awards scheme just four weeks after starting work. Our client walked away with the headline award.
A great start for a working relationship that lasted eleven years – although it put the pressure on for the last ten years and eleven months of that period.