A Day in the Life of a Marketing Agency Project Manager
What is the role of a project manager? A lot of times, when you hear the term “project manager,” most jump to thinking this is a job in construction, home renovations, real estate, etc. While that is true, there are actually many different industries that require a project manager, especially in a marketing agency like Serendipit. But what is the role of a project manager in an agency? To make it simple, a project manager works behind the scenes on any account to make sure the team is on the right track towards making the account successful and the client happy.
As a Senior Project Manager at Serendipit, it is my job to make sure my team is on budget, stays on timeline, and gets their sh*t done. 😉 Some of the key Project Manager Job Responsibilities include:
- Timelines, timelines, timelines! We make sure every project stays on track and does not miss a deadline. This includes following up with clients and internal teams to make sure we don’t get delayed.
- Provide direction to the creative teams. Our creative team members are fantastic at what they can do but unfortunately, they cannot read the minds of our clients. Project managers make sure the client’s vision is clearly communicated to our designers and copywriters so they can efficiently do what they do best.
- Manage the production schedule. We are here to make sure that our creative teams don’t get assigned 4,569 hours of work on a Monday. They won’t be happy and no one wants an unhappy designer, trust me, been there. There are a lot of moving projects from a lot of different account managers, and project managers need to make sure everything on the schedule is accurate, up to date, and meeting timelines.
- Budgets, billing, and invoicing – basically all the money stuff. If a client has a project request that is not in their current scope of work, the project manager handles quoting that project out. Monthly invoices? That’s us checking to make sure invoices are correct before our accounting team sends them out. Digital budgets? Us again working with the digital team on monthly approvals from the client. Late payment? Us again! We will reach out to the client to see what’s up with the delay. We also have to make sure our internal teams stay on track and aren’t going over our allotted hours on the account.
Those are just a few key responsibilities of a project manager but we also handle all the little nitty-gritty tasks where most assume they just happen by magic. I call these the project manager daily activities which include the following:
- Meetings – Coordinating calendars for calls, setting up the zooms, making agendas and taking meeting notes – that’s all in the role of a project manager. Without someone dedicated to organizing the meeting, it can turn into a cluster real quick.
- Proofing – As much as we would love to be perfect, we are not. We make mistakes just as much as anyone else. Project managers make sure all deliverables are proofed before going to the client.
- Client Communication – Whether we are sending a flyer design for approval, following up on copy feedback, or scheduling a meeting, we are in daily communication with our clients to keep our projects moving along.
- Manage Internal Software Tools – We have many different tools at Serendipit that we use on every client account. These tools are necessary and help keep the account organized. This includes our project management software, our file saving cloud, call tracking service, Google Drive, etc. Project managers manage and utilize these tools daily.
If you like puzzles, being busy, and always have a notebook at your side, project management might be for you. So what are the essentials for becoming a good project manager? Let me break it down:
- Organized! Everyone has their own style of staying organized but this is a key essential for a project manager. Personally, I have multiple to-do lists and even write in a different color pen every day to keep my notes organized.
- Handle Multiple Projects at Once. There are a lot of moving parts in an agency and a project manager needs to be able to juggle multiple projects and accounts at all times.
- Communication. This is key. A great project manager is an excellent communicator. We work with so many different departments and clients so our communication needs to be crystal clear.
- Team Player. Not to repeat myself but again, a project manager works with so many teams that it is essential to be able to work well with others.
- Be a SOLUTION Finder. This is a key trait in any role at Serendipit but it’s important for a project manager to be able to find a solution when a problem arises (it does happen). Instead of saying “I have a stuck and don’t know what to do,” a project manager would say “I have a stuck and this is what I think we should do to fix it.”
These are the core essentials every project manager must have, however, depending on what industry or sector you are in, you may need to have additional certifications. The Project Management Institute offers a variety of project management certifications that start with the basics and allow you to specialize your skillset based on the industry you are in.
A lot of times, project management can feel a bit chaotic but someone has to be there to reel in the team and keep the account moving in the right direction. It’s fun and no two days are the same. Project management keeps me on my toes and, personally, I think it’s the best role to have at Serendipit (other than the owner). Think you might be a great fit into our project management team? Give us a call or shoot us an email – we’d love to hear from you!