Cross-Department Collaboration

It takes several department “cogs” working together to keep this complex machine we call advertising running smoothly. This industry is always whirring, always busy—an engine that never stops. GWL Advertising is no exception. Producing spots, building graphics, and running digital campaigns could not be accomplished without committed team members across departments working together.

Many other businesses operate with this collaborative mindset, but at GWL, we multitask with a twist: Our copywriters are creative directors, our account managers are production managers, and our digital personnel are graphic designers. Yes, we belong to specific departments, but GWL would not be the agency it is today without a healthy degree of creative cross-pollination! GWL President and Creative Director Christy Vandergriff and Vice President and Account Director Julie Barnett, have shaped this agency into a fluid system with interchangeable “wires and connections” for maximum efficiency.

From the start of every brainstorm to the end of each pitch, it’s all hands on deck. Brainstorms are crucial for an ad agency to develop with eye-catching graphics and develop concepts that will bring new business to clients.

A great example of this is the Arkansas State Fair. We designed their 2021 marketing campaign, which included a new look, tv/radio spots, social media, printed ads/pieces, graphics, website updates, and promotions. The idea to throw bursts of color across the black and white state fair photography came from our Social Media Director, Jorge Zavala. He was inspired by music festivals around the world that use colorful designs as part of their branding. The juxtaposition of bright, abstract splashes of color with black and white photos perfectly illustrates how the ASF attracts fairgoers of multiple generations and captures the fair’s new, exciting attractions along with its more traditional, nostalgic elements. The imagery we developed was paired with the tagline (developed by our copywriters), “See y’all there!” to culminate in the creative look below:

ALL creative ideas are welcome at GWL—rather than classify ideas as “good” or “bad” (a rather unhealthy dichotomy), ideas are merely catalysts for a more complete concept, stepping stones to the final product. One word or simple phrase can trigger a wealth of creative ideas and, eventually, we develop a fully-fledged creative campaign. The bottom line is this: When we add more minds to the mix and the more cross-department collaboration, we get more extraordinary ideas! 

We pride ourselves on developing and implementing marketing strategies for our clients and when it comes to our own marketing strategy, little changes. The entire company is invited to our monthly marketing meetings where we discuss internal events, social media, expanding our reach, branding, giving back to the community, and the GWL website. Because every employee sees the company through a unique lens, we possess a diverse powerhouse of creativity and strategy. 

While cross-department collaboration elevates brainstorms and meetings, it also ensures a healthy work environment that builds coworker rapport and breaks down barriers between departments. At GWL, working as a team keeps projects in check and everything moves at a reasonable pace. We highly recommend this way of working as opposed to the typical, “cookie-cutter” business structure. Everyone brings something new and different to the table, regardless of what their job title may be… so allow your team members the opportunity to fulfill their maximum potential and foster an environment of cross-departmental collaboration. The results are crazy good.