Meeting with Your Clients

Meeting with your clients

The best way to assist your clients is to meet with them at least two times per year to put together strategic communication plans. This will help avoid last-minute requests and rush charges. 
When meeting with your client, try to collect as much information as possible up front to ensure a smooth job process. Here are some things to ask your client: 
What type of job are you looking to create?


As an account manager, you should advise your clients on the best, most effective marketing piece to pursue. Don't be afraid to voice your opinion -- it will go a long way in establishing expertise and trust. Use this flowchart to identify some options for your client based on their primary audience. 

Are there multiple components to the job? What are they?


Sometimes a client may only think of a traditional marketing piece, like a printed flier. Try suggesting complementary free pieces, like a matching department web banner or button.

To what fund number should the job be charged?


Remember that you cannot open a job in C&P without the fund number. Don't get in trouble with Bonnie over this one!

When do you need final pieces delivered?


Your job's production schedule will be based on this date. You need the due date in order to ensure all the proper UCM steps (writing, design, proofing, client approvals, pre-print and packing) have ample amount of time to be completed. As a general guideline, we like 6 weeks for a new brochure, 4 weeks for a flier, and 5-10 days for web graphics. See more timelines here.

Remind your clients that we offer several design formats, which cut down on turnaround time. These pre-designed pieces must still be requested through our normal UCM job process (i.e., we do NOT hand out electronic files for clients to use). Each piece is basically laid-out and just needs to be customized with department info, content and photos. 


What quantity is needed?


This is an important question to get answered up front since the budget estimate will be based on quantity.

Should the job be created in one-, two- or full-color?


Sometimes a client will know exactly what they want as far as colors go. Other times, they may look to you for advice. One-color (black) is least expensive (and could be printed on colored paper). Two-color is often spirity-looking, since we use black and metallic OU gold (Pantone 872). Full-color is best if photos will be used.

Do you have any ideas regarding the design?


Remember that our designers love samples! Even if it's produced by another university or organization, it's always good to pass along a visual of what the client likes. Designers will, of course, create the piece based on our graphic standards, fonts, colors, etc. If your client doesn't have any design ideas, you can leave it up to the designers to produce something amazing. They will usually do a few options for client to choose from if it's a brand new piece.

Who is the target audience?


This is important to know so we can write and design the piece based on the appropriate audience (i.e., using mature-looking students for a professional development brochure).

Who will provide the content?


Remind your client that UCM is staffed with professional writers who can write the marketing piece from scratch. Sometimes it's as simple as the client providing a few bullet points of messaging, which the writer can use to begin the project. It is best to have the content reviewed and approved in a Word document before passing along to design. This will save your client time in the long run, since they will be less likely to make copy changes when they see a proof. 

Will the job require mailing?


Mail Services handles the actual mailing of marketing pieces, but we need to know this information so the correct postage mark is used. Encourage your client to talk to Mail Services at the beginning of a project to discuss options. Our graphic designers always obtain mail approval before a piece is sent to print, but it helps them tremendously if you provide the correct postage information from the start.

Do you want specific types of photos?


Some clients will be very particular about the photos they want in their marketing pieces. UCM has a large photo archive system, with professionally-taken photographs from throughout the years. Clients may know exactly which photo they want in their piece, or they can provide key words/descriptions for our designers to use when selecting the photos. Typically, it's best for our designers to select photos since they know which size/orientation and resolution would work best for each project. If client is able to pay, we can set up a photo shoot for brand new photos. You may accept client-provided photos but please remind them that we adhere to strict formats and resolutions for optimal printing (i.e., don't promise anything!) 

Where should materials deliver to?


Make sure you find out exactly which room number and building the materials should deliver to, and include the contact person's name (ex: Deliver to Sara Webb in 121 North Foundation Hall).