10 ways to get the most out of a creative team.

1. Expect the best from creatives.
Art directors and copywriters thrive on positive input and challenges. Ask for a big idea and they’re more likely to hit a home run.

2. Emphasize one claim or benefit.
The concepts you get back will deliver faster and initiate greater response.

3. Take calculated risks.
Advertising that doesn’t stand out gets smothered by the clutter of surrounding ads, literature or commercials.

4. Judge concepts from the audience’s viewpoint.
Ask yourself, “does this idea serve my customers’ interests?”

5. Think like a person, not a corporation.
Advertising talks to real people — consumers with curiosities and senses of humor. Sound like an annual report and your audience will tune out.

6. Listen closely to the creative rationale.
Their explanation may put to rest some of your questions and concerns.

7. Be specific in your criticism.
Always provide clear reasons for any objections to concepts. That way, alternative ideas are more likely to be on target and fewer revisions will be necessary.

8. Avoid rewriting headlines or copy.
Request a tone or recommend terminology, but don’t make the changes yourself. If your copywriter feels his/her work will “just get revised anyhow,” future projects may suffer for it.

9. Show enthusiasm.
If creatives sense you appreciate their thinking, they’ll work harder on the changes you request. Relate well with your team…and just watch for the difference in results.

10. Before you shoot any concept down, sleep on it.
Even pin it on your office wall. Once familiar with the idea, some of the perceived risks will probably fade. Reconsider and remember rule #3.

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