April marks the beginning of “presentation season” for our marketing
It’s a two-month period when we focus on a mammoth project that once sucked
up time and resources all year long.
At my company, we produce an array of presentations for staffers to use
when meeting with their various clients. There is a new business
presentation (for prospects), an account services presentation (for
standard clients) and several line-of-business presentations for
specialized clients. We work with different departments and different sets
of stakeholders for each presentation.
Before we took our “presentation season” approach, we worked on these
presentations throughout the year. Account services team members needed
theirs in October. Sales reps needed theirs in January, though our year-end
numbers typically are not available until April.
We ended up with differing versions of all our presentations—which we were
continually updating, all the while juggling other content demands from
stakeholders. (“Can the opening slide of our presentation be green instead
of blue?”) It was a frustrating, time-wasting morass.
Thus we have “presentation season.”
During “presentation season,” we ask that all changes and content updates
from our stakeholders be submitted in April. Because this deadline
coincides with when our year-end numbers are available, we work hard during
this month to make sure we have the latest information from all
stakeholders. Also, if any redesigning or rearranging is necessary, we
complete that in April.
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Next, we spend May updating the differing presentations and obtaining
approvals from all stakeholders. May is “speak now or forever hold your
We make it clear to everyone that we will not make any content updates or
design changes to presentations after May 31. What they receive on June 1
is the presentation to be used until we revisit the process the following
Although there is an astounding amount of back-and-forth and up-and-down
wrangling about content, commas and colors, that wrangling occurs only in
May, not all year.
By intently focusing on this project for a short time and enforcing
deadlines, we end up with presentations that meet everyone’s needs, better
collaboration among our department and stakeholders, reasonable timelines
for everyone and less frustration all around.
If only redesigning the Intranet could be that easy.
How about your PR Daily readers? How do you manage out-of-control
Laura Hale Brockway is a regular contributor to
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