A day in the life of a Project Manager – 1 I start off my day by going through emails and adding to my to-do list. I then go to see the creative teams, designers and studio to brief them and make sure they have all the bits they need to get on with the day’s work. (Tick things off my to-do list.) The account team and I have a status meeting on all the projects we have on the go. (Add a few bits to my to-do list.) I remind the teams that we have a briefing tomorrow and that they need to get the brief signed off by the creative director. Get back to my desk and go through some more emails, prepare a few estimates, POs, and set up reviews. (Tick a few more things off my to-do list.) I give Georgia May Jagger’s agent a call to check the rights for use of an image of her on a website from two years ago. I send this cost onto the account team. (Add a note to my to-do list to get a signed estimate from account team). I then call a few publications to get some specs for a press ad we are doing and pass these on to the studio. (Tick another thing off my to-do list.)
Pop out for a quick bite to eat with a few of my colleagues. Back in the office – go through more emails, run into a few reviews with the creative team and designer. Pop down to the studio to review and feedback on some of the retouching and artwork bits. (Tick things off my to-do list.) Get back to my desk – arrange to get in an illustrator to do some storyboards for a TV script being written. I help the creative team search for some images they need to create the mood boards for the script. (Tick things off my to-do list.) I pop into a quick meeting with the finance team to make sure my accounts are all on track. Get back to my desk – work on a timing plan for a new photo shoot we have coming up with a celeb. (Tick another thing off my to-do list.) I call the photographer and model agent to pencil in the date for a print shoot. It’s nearly the end of the day. I update my status report and start with a new to-do list so I can start another busy, but exciting day in the life of a project manager. (Tick, Tick, Tick.)
A day in the life of a Project Manager – 2 I get to the agency at 8.30am and start the day with a cup of coffee and breakfast from The Comm (our very own restaurant). At my desk I run through the emails and any urgent work that needs doing before the phone starts going nuts. 9.30am The phone starts going nuts. The account team on Smirnoff wants to know when the design job for the poster will be ready for client presentation. The client is pushing for it to be today, although it was originally promised for later in the week. I say that the studio has finished with the design, but it will depend on the creative director approving it. I’ll get back to them.
10am Time for the review with the two creative teams and the creative director. I fill in the creative director as to where we left off last time, and the fact that the client may want to run the ads a month earlier than expected. Each team is expected to present two routes (big ideas) which include TV, Radio, Print, Poster and Digital. The meeting goes well; the creative director likes the work, but needs the ads mocked up in the studio before being presented to the client. After the meeting I organise a presentation of the work to the account team and planner, to check that the work is on brief and what the client is expecting. 11am I’m in the studio speaking with the designer about the Smirnoff work which needs to be sent off this morning. The work looks good. I ask her to run off copies of the work which I take up to the creative director for review. Two of the concepts he likes but the third needs more work. He scribbles what he wants changed on the ad and I take this back down for the designer to amend.
I let the account team know that we should have something by the end of the day. They look nervous but I assure them it will be ok (fingers crossed). 12pm Where has the morning gone? I need to finish off the prep for the pre-production meeting I have at 3pm. I have to compile a document outlining every detail of the photo shoot. This includes the props, models, backgrounds, and timings, covering every single detail so that nothing is left to chance, and both client and photographer know what they are getting from the shoot. 1pm I have a spot of lunch in our restaurant. I sit on the terrace and chat about the day so far with a few of my colleagues. 2pm The photographer arrives and we sit with the creatives and have a run through the PPM document, to make sure we are both happy, and think of every question the client may ask. 3pm The account director comes in with the client. Leading the meeting, I introduce everyone, and give an intro as to how the meeting will run and what we are going to discuss. We have 12 different print executions to produce, which entails shooting 12 models over 3 days with Rankin – one of the world’s top photographers.
The end result will be 12 beautiful magazine and poster executions. These ads will be running globally, so even my friends in far flung Australia will be able to see the fruits of my labour – how cool. We run through all of the model choices that have been selected by the photographer and he describes how he will shoot each model in order to best capture the perfect image for each execution. I can’t wait for the shoot date, although it will be quite scary managing the client expectations at the shoot, and ensuring the creatives and photographer get each execution in the bag. The meeting runs for two hours as we have so much to go through. We have a few difficult questions (situation normal) which we manage to resolve, and I ensure that everyone leaves the meeting with all questions answered. Everyone is happy and we are all looking forward to the shoot in three days’ time. 5pm The designer calls to say that the Smirnoff work is ready.
The work looks good and I take it up to the creative director’s office. I know the client is now anxious to see the work so I am relieved when the CD approves the work for client review. I call the account director and give her the news. She is relieved too and I send her a copy of the work so she can present it to the client. I end the day finishing of a few estimates and following up on a few loose ends from the pre-production meeting. 6pm After a hard but productive day’s work, the account director and I decide to head down to the bar (oh yes we have one at work) for a welldeserved ice cold beer. Nice.