The Agency Approach: How agencies stay connected and deliver results

Categories: News

Written by Jaye Bowers

It was with great excitement and enthusiasm that IABC London welcomed three amazing members of our community for a discussion panel on how communications agencies have managed to remain connected and adapt to our changing environment.

We were pleased to welcome Dave Cliche, President and CEO of TMD, Jeff Sage, Co-founder and Senior Strategist at Sagecomm, and Tristan Joseph, Senior Strategist and Account Executive at Red Rhino, Inc., to share their wisdom and the insights they’ve gained from their experiences working in marketing and communications in London over the past 20 years.

Our panelists guided us through a fascinating dialogue which ranged from discussing the challenges and opportunities they have faced working with clients in other parts of the world; to pointing to ways in which they have helped the various brands they represent to stand out, by helping to refocus the organization on their primary mission; to emphasizing the importance of collaboration, acting with purpose, and questioning fundamental assumptions about branding and image.

Dave shared some of his experiences about the importance of having hard conversations, and the occasions he has encountered which required him and his team at TMD, to challenge both themselves, and their clients, to rethink fundamental aspects of their approach to branding the organization. Integrating client and agency teams and systems was just one of the ways in which TMD has managed to continue to build upon the level of engagement and trust that they share with their clients.

Discussing Sagecomm’s approach to connecting with their clients, Jeff emphasized the importance of becoming aware of not only the client’s needs, but also the market, and the social and economic environment in which they operate – an environment which we all know has undergone some marked changes in the past year. During his presentation, he made two points which I found particularly impactful, noting that “staying connected means that we all need to help redesign the ecosystems in which we communicate,” and “meaningful communication is not about trying to avoid miscommunication. Communication that matters is about being present enough to know when you’re not connecting.”

Highlighting the collaborative nature of the team at RedRhino, which recently merged with Lashbrook, Tristan emphasized the value of working with clients, and other local agencies, both within the RedRhino family, as well as throughout the city, highlighting the high level of cooperation which is not as common in larger markets. One recent example of this was their collaboration with Sagecomm in developing a new website for Downtown London, aimed at helping to promote businesses in the core, during the COVID pandemic.

Throughout the evening, Dave, Jeff and Tristan provided this evening’s attendees with many valuable insights from their experiences, and generously fielded a wide array of questions from attendees, ranging from advice about entering the communications profession, to lessons they have learned about themselves and their brands, as well as the importance that curiosity, passion, and a commitment to remaining connected play in finding success and fulfillment working in this arena.

As Dave said in his concluding remarks, “we’re in this business because we love what we do – being compelled to express a piece of creativity; can’t resist the temptation to find something to help someone else”.

We are very grateful to Dave, Jeff and Tristan for sharing their time, experiences, and insights with our members and the IABC London community!