I will protect you!
In my organization, and many others I trust, there are different departments that do different work. In mine specifically, we have:
The creative team– These guys create and design things out of thin air. The take the ‘put the nini over the whatever and mash it together to form a kasomething’ and make it into a picture the client didn’t even know they wanted, and are now irrevocably in love with.
The media team– These guys buy media. They go into the internet and tell Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Google (anyone really), ‘we need to show this ad to this specific person’. ‘Which person?’ the internet asks. ‘This 25 year old married woman living in Nairobi, with her child and husband, who likes to eat from KFC and hang out at Blankets and Wine. This person’. ‘OK’ the internet replies and responds.
The technical team: These guys deal in ones and zeros (not the alphabet, like us, mere mortals). They literally open up the part of the website nobody cares about, and make it sing and dance. The client goes, ‘can this picture move up and down and then stop moving and turn blue when it is clicked on?’ and they say, ‘yes, that’s possible’ and make it happen. Geeks!
The finance team: We rarely see these guys. They are always running to the bank or some other ‘money place’. We side-eye them when our salary is late. And smile at them when we need the requisition we have put into the system, expedited. Normal guys at the end of the day, but they have a certain atmosphere around them (of money).
The strategy team: The client wants to do this, that and the other, and they have no idea how- these guys will tell them. With pretty pictures and graphs, they will draw out a road map for ANY campaign. They are like tour guides- ‘Welcome to the internet, I will be your guide’.
The account management team: We are the protectors- the electric fence between clients and the rest of the team. Our main work? Communication- we are constantly emailing and calling clients. We cry in secret and get angry alone. We do not show that we are stressed. We are a buffer, which takes a lot of guts and emotional intelligence.
A client says, ‘you are useless! Where is my creative work?’ and copies the entire world and their mother.
We respond, ‘I’m sorry you feel that way, I will check in with my team and get back to you as soon as possible. Please accept my sincere apologies’.
We go into the bathroom to regroup, come out and say with a smile, ‘Hey (guy in creative team), have you finished with the work for (disgruntled client)? When can I have it? Thanks, see you later’.
And go back into the bathroom to finish crying or go into the bar for a drink.
Being a buffer is lonely. There is no one to be the buffer for you!
Written by- Kitt Kiarie, Account Manager