Feeling Darrin Stevens

February 12, 2009

Another late night — been a lot of them here lately. And nobody is complaining. What business these days isn’t happy to be busy?

It got me thinking about deadlines in the media world I came from vs. the agency world I’m in now.

Courtesy of Blogging Bewitched

Courtesy of Blogging Bewitched

News people talk about deadline pressure, but I’ve found that the kind of deadline pressure I faced as a newspaper reporter is far different than the deadline pressure that marketing, advertising and PR people face.

At a newspaper (or a TV station), the pressure is to get a discrete piece of work done by a certain time of day — usually late afternoon or early evening. In my experience, true deadline pressure was relatively rare. When you got close to the deadline, you either banged out what you had and went home, or accepted that you needed to do more reporting and would have to hit it again the next day.

Sure, there were times when a story was so important, and so time-sensitive, that you were there making calls and nailing down details and rewriting right up until the copy desk was screaming for you to hand in the damn story. But that didn’t happen all that often. And when it did, it rarely repeated the next day, or any day soon.

In an agency, you exist to deliver the goods for your clients. If Client A wants a proposal on Tuesday for a new e-marketing program, they don’t care that Client B is expecting a media relations plan the same day. It’s our job to do what’s necessary to get everything done, on time and in shape. And that may mean working long hours on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

We’ve had a few of those days here lately at Fast Horse. I wouldn’t want to live it 365 days a year. But when the storm hits, we do what we have to do.