We know how important knowing your audience is, so we decided to get to know the ones using our product better. Today, we’re having a chat with Connie Miller, Director of Creative Services at Rawle Murdy, “a marketing and communications firm made up of independent and innovative thinkers.”. We had many things to learn from Connie and we’re sure you might do too!
How do you describe yourself as a creative and the work you do?
I am a very creative individual but not in terms of design… but more in terms of resourcefulness. I have a knack for problem-solving and foreseeing possible challenges. I keep lots of hats spinning at one time. I am the hub of the work that flows through our agency. I make sure that our projects are staffed, deadlines are met, proper specifications are adhered to and the final product is released to the proper media outlet after production.
In addition, I manage all purchasing for the agency and train our staffers on our online project management tool and online proofing tool. Often I establish new procedures, document them and train… all in the effort of streamlining workflow.
What is your definition of a creative person?
Someone that can take very obscure, and incomplete direction, lots of copy and create a beautiful layout that contains all the mandatory and is still visually appealing. Basically… taking nothing and creating something meaningful and beautiful.
How does a day in your life look like?
Most days I feel like I am standing in the middle of the room with the firehose. Just putting out fires… one dies down and another pops up. I just keep putting them out until the day is done and all the AE’s go home. New jobs open, new challenges are presented, I work through them one-by-one until they are completed and out the door. Then it is on to the next new job challenge. No two days are the same and there are always new things to learn.
What difficulties did you face at the beginning of your career and which are your struggles when it comes to the job you have now?
I have been in the business for 20 years. The way we do things now is very different from our process back then. Digital photography was non-existent, we shot film and had to send our images out to scan for use in ads and printed materials. Proofs were sent to clients for review via FedX… emailing PDF’s was not done yet. There was no such thing as digital advertising – banner ads, Flash animation, HTML5, or mass emails.
All of this is new and has completely changed the composition of marketing today. We do fewer print ads, outdoor boards, and printed brochures. We may design them but they are most often put on websites for consumers to download, view online or on digital outdoor boards. When we do print…they are very often small runs.
How do you optimize your time?
I would say that organization and adhering to a strict procedure keep me sane and on task. With the help of technology, I am able to know the current status of each of my jobs at any given time. And, I use my inbox as a “to-do” list. I try to have as few emails in my inbox as possible. Clutter brings on confusion. I have a filing system. I read the email and if it is for information, I file it. The emails left in my inbox are flagged based on actions needed. I go through the inbox anytime I have a free moment to accomplish whatever I can get done in the amount of time I have. And I start at the bottom and work my way up.
If it is something I can knock off quick, I do it then and there and move on.
How do you stay engaged and creative?
I am so busy every day! There’s no choice to be engaged. I am motivated by variety and challenge. My job provides a TON of both every day and it challenges me to be creative through problem-solving.
What’s the best advice you have heard lately?
Let the work speak for itself.
What are the trends that you think will influence your domain in 2017?
I am always amazed at how digital marketing/advertising evolves on a daily basis. It seems to always be changing and becoming more complicated. It would be great if there could be some standardization in the industry among the media vendors. This had dominated my domain since Jan 1, 2017, and I expect this to continue throughout the year.
Thank you, Connie, for giving us an insight into your life as an unconventional creative!