Recovering from a fall

25 Sep

I’ve screwed up twice in the past 2 weeks.people-falling-down

I failed to do a trademark search on a product name and got stung by it. One of the competitors was using the name. We scrambled to come up with a new name and replace work that was already being printed. The original name came from the client, but you know where the buck has to stop.

We did all the revision work for free of course. Came up with a pretty good alternate name too.

The other mess-up was a typo. We don’t get many, but when we do, we take it hard. This one appeared in a print ad and would have gone out on a DM piece too, but for the sharp eyes of our Account Manager. We scrambled again, re-printing the DM piece at our cost and replacing the newspaper insertion. No harm, no foul.

These sorts of things happen to every ad agency. How you recover from them is the key.

We implemented immediate and significant changes to our approval processes to minimize the risks of typos and due diligence errors happening again. We picked up the tab for the revisions without hesitation.

Everybody screws up at some stage. In life, in advertising. It’s how you recover that determines the real outcome.

Am I going to have to work longer hours to ensure these sorts of things don’t happen again? Yes. Will I sleep better at night for it? Double yes.

Just so you know, I don’t advocate screwing up to improve the quality of your sleep.

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4 Responses to “Recovering from a fall”

  1. Brooke September 25, 2009 at 8:10 pm #

    Go ahead and work longer hours to ensure these sorts of thing don’t happen again… it won’t make an ounce of difference! How many years have we worked in this industry? Way too long. Do we know better? Yes. Does it continue to keep happening. Absolutely. You could implement 10 more steps of quality control and it would probably still happen. Sorry for sounding so cynical.

    I do agree with how you recover from them being key. I hope everyone was launched into a new level of awareness which is what often happens… for a while… until it happens again.

  2. dougbrowncreative September 26, 2009 at 7:46 am #

    Brooke, fear can be a great motivator. We just have to keep the fear levels high!

  3. hitgirl October 11, 2010 at 9:47 am #

    What’s the saying? Something like – success is a terrible teacher.

  4. dougbrowncreative October 11, 2010 at 9:51 am #

    And failure can be a fantastic one.

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