Technology can only take us so far, innovation and creativity are powered by human interaction!

Over the past few years working in planning here at OMD UK, I’ve seen the number of digital methods we can communicate with clients, colleagues and suppliers grow exponentially. Today it’s easy for a planner to operate in almost silence, tapping away at their keyboard or mobile. Whether it is communicating on messenger, email or via social networks, the temptation is to type away and ping questions or briefs across with the click of a button.

This faceless method of communication does 100% have its place and for recording information, sending FYIs and following-up will not diminish over the next few years. However when it comes to proactive, positive thinking, then there is no substitute for face time. Think about the last brief you received in an email note, however long the explanation and detail that the author provided, I have no doubt you were less inspired than when a project-lead has talked it through, shared their energy and provided the ultimate direction they want to take. This energy is crucial to deliver inspiring strategy and the best work and is undoubtedly the case whether dealing with clients, suppliers, internal; junior or senior!

Put simply, here at OMD UK we recognise the significance of this observation. Whether it is bouncing off colleagues in a brainstorm in the OMD reception, assessing people’s reaction to an idea in an all agency presentation or solving client problems in real time, face to face delivers empirically and this cannot be argued with.

For those who suggest email is always more efficient, look at a recent email string in your inbox and you will see how a verbal conversation will often have been a more effective and quicker route (with potentially a follow-up email agreeing the actions and next steps). Importantly, discussions can even be cathartic and whilst a problem shared is undoubtedly not necessarily a problem halved, alternative perspective can often improve the situation and provide a light at the end of the tunnel.

It may be cliché, but people buy people and the more this is front of mind, the better!! So in summary, get out there and get talking!

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Richard Evans

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