Agency Life, Culture  /  6.8.18  / 1-min read

Why Collaboration Matters in a Marketing Agency

Often, collaboration is the backbone of creative work. Not only does a well-run agency use a diverse set of ideas and expertise to create something meaningful and successful, but clients reap the benefits of adding new approaches and techniques to their tool belts.

We have all experienced working with full-service brand or marketing agencies that wall off their disciplines from each other. Design teams huddle in one corner, writers and marketers in another. PR, social, and digital experts spend their days in cubicle isolation. Meanwhile, well-meaning project managers hop among dividers like hummingbirds and relay progress to clients.


Fortunately, we’ve nurtured a different model at Calypso for the past 20 years. It continues with a simple premise:


Everyone’s expertise, experience, and opinion matters – because ultimately our clients will benefit.


When we create an Annual Report, for example, the design team often takes the lead in client communications, rightfully keeping all-important production milestones on track. Yet, our writers and investor relations pros constantly weigh in, assuring clients that the look of their Report is compatible with its message. That its theme for shareholders perfectly aligns with their brand impressions. And our social and digital media teams actively engage with the process, too, so they can construct Web campaigns and extract content both relevant and current.


Smaller projects benefit no less, such as a fast-moving crisis management engagement, with a full-court PR press and media training for an embattled client. However hasty or short-lived the effort, it’s enriched by in-house designers who carefully maintain brand identity in presentations and writers who assiduously protect clients’ internal and external core messaging throughout. Social and digital teams also attend, simultaneously ensuring that Web content properly reflects the issues at hand, reaching the right audiences at the right times.


We routinely enjoy the benefits of this collaboration. Clients expand the scope of their requests when they witness the diversity of expertise and the ardent interest shown by different disciplines. They often return for additional consultation and analysis of their business strategies, certain that our collaboration will yield a new and unforeseen approach to an old challenge. And most important, they look to us as a brand partner concerned enough about their success to always give more than they asked for.


Recruiting (and retaining) people that fill this promise is easier than it sounds. It doesn’t, as one might expect, heavily rely on qualifications. And it relies even less on what so many agencies promote as “culture.” It relies instead on chemistry – the affinity and rapport that team members are likely to develop among themselves. Without barriers or cubicles anywhere in sight, our teammates freely contribute ideas and challenge current thinking on anything they want. This chemistry sustains an uncontrolled reaction that will only continue to benefit our clients.

Kevin Stickney


Kevin is Calypso’s founder. He meets with our partners to learn their messaging and marketing needs. Kevin writes about strategic PR, crisis communications, and the ins-and-outs of operating a small business.

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