Our best relationships are strategic, not tactical. We work better in partnership – sharing thoughts, ideas and opinions. It’s our responsibility to do more than just carry out instructions. We’re not just here to make you happy – but we’ll happily have an after-work drink with you.
We say ‘why?’ more than ‘yes’ when we’re asked to do bits of work, and we feel a deep sense of responsibility to do so. That goes for clients, and each other.
The strategy, the overarching ‘why’, dictates both the direction of travel for a project, but also the individual bits of work within it. The tactics, they are those bits of work. Writing four blogs a month, sending three posts a day on social media, sending press releases and creating and distributing a brochure, book or branded magazine are all tactics. The reason for doing all of those things sits within the strategy.
People sometimes come to us with a well developed strategy, and – as we begin to get to know them – we’ll turn the details of it over and challenge some of the things in it. It’s our job to make sure we’re confident that the things you want us to do – the tactics – are good tactics, and will get you closer to the place you want to be. Asking ‘why’ often, as we go on to deliver pieces of work, ensures that the work we’re creating works for you, the client and your strategy.
Many people come to us without a strategy at all. And we can help you to shape, it after many hours of listening to learn who you are; what you do and where you want to go. Only once we know this will we consider the bits of work needed for those specific aims.
Over time we’ll internalise the strategy, but it doesn’t mean we’ll stop asking why we’re doing things – good strategies are adaptable, and flexible enough to bring in new tactics to achieve their aims.
But the truth is, some strategies don’t require the things that we do at all and, if that’s the case, we’ll let you know. It saves everyone the one resource we can’t get more of – time. The same is true when we’re asked to do things that we know aren’t going to be effective by our clients, or each other – we absolutely can write ten blog posts per month, but if it’s not what you need, then we’ll advise you on a better and more effective tactic. Which may even save you money. Money that you can use to buy the first round next time we go to the pub together – to talk strategy or tactics.