From Over Here: The Golden Rule

July 12, 2017 Robin Whalen

It’s simple. From a biblical perspective or not, most of us are taught early on to do to others what you want them to do to you.  It’s such a simple premise. But in the flurry of meetings, timelines, budgets, recessions, sales, margin compression and the frenetic pace of business, we sometimes forget about the Golden Rule.

Enter Segura; a Chicago-based design firm who just shared their ‘client contract’. Instead of a 12-page legal document designed to protect EVERY aspect of their business, it instead briefly documents a working agreement that essentially mirrors our inside voice.

What’s our inside voice when it comes to a contract? It’s the things we all want to say, on the client and agency side.

Be fair. Be strategic. Pay your bills. Don’t ask for more than you deserve. Do good work. Act with a conscience. I could go on and on and on.

So here it is in all its glory. Segura’s “Terms and Conditions”:

You give me money, I’ll give you creative. 
I’ll start when the check clears. 
Time is money. More time is more money. 
I’ll listen to you. You listen to me. 
You tell me what you want, I’ll tell you what you need. 
You want me to be on time, I want you to be on time. 
What you use is yours, what you don’t is mine. 
I can’t give you stuff I don’t own. 
I’ll try not to be an ass, you should do the same. 
If you want something that’s been done before, use that.

PRO BONO 
If you want your way, you have to pay. 
If you don’t pay, I have final say.

Let’s create something great together."

See? It’s essentially The Golden Rule along with a whole bunch of other good stuff. Let’s break it down:

Pay for the thing you’re asking your agency to develop. Agencies – make sure the thing you develop is worth the price tag. Don’t mail it in.

Our product is our intellectual property. If you don’t pay for it, you don’t own it.  If you do pay for it, don’t listen to your agency moan about where you choose to use it.

Time matters. Waste it and expect to pay. Agencies, if YOU waste time with shoddy process or inefficient manners of working, that’s on you.

You hire an agency for their talents in creative, ideation, strategy, etc. So don’t value a “yes man”. Invite dissent. It gets you to better work.

Everyone should be on time. Nothing more irritating than some-one who is chronically late. Period. Doesn’t matter who’s paying the bill.

And finally, don’t be an ass. Both sides. Don’t be asses. We all put on our pants one leg at a time. Just be good to one another.

So there you have it. Do to others what you want them to do to you.

A fantastic client of ours says “clients get the creative they deserve.”  I agree. I’d also add in that “agencies get the clients they earn.” Two-way street.

Amen to the Golden Rule.


"Contrary to popular belief, I'm not always right. But in all seriousness, I've walked the walk in many different aspects and this is just how I see things from over here." 

With a dash of wit and a full serving of insight, Robin Whalen, president of The Tite Group, shares her insights on the things, topics, conversations and general goings-on that have earned her minutes. 

This is an inside look at how her thoughts power her actions. 


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