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All in a Day’s Work: Heidi Lake

Making it all possible.

Monday through Friday, project manager Heidi Lake makes it happen for us here at Strateligent. Every morning, cup of tea in hand, she is greeted by her overflowing inbox.

  • Questions from clients
  • Clarifications from the team
  • New projects in the pipeline that need to be scheduled
  • Digital campaign stats that need to be verified
  • Vendor communications

And that’s just beginning to scratch the surface of what she does for our clients and our team.

In general, a project manager is responsible for planning and monitoring specific projects, ensuring that they get done on time, within budget, and as expected. How does that translate to the communication world? By taking on the planning, scheduling, and coordinating, Heidi creates efficiency—more time for our clients to focus on the day-to-day of their businesses and their customers, and more time for our writers to write, designers to design, creative director to strategize. Because of her experience, she has built many long-lasting, trusting relationships with both clients and partners. Our clients can sit back and relax knowing that Heidi is at the helm of their communication ship.

Here are five ways Heidi takes stress out of managing advertising campaigns:

1. She knows what our clients need before they do.

When we work with clients long term, we know their annual calendar—this means we can be in a position to help them with their marketing efforts well ahead of time. Using experienced intelligence and previous data, Heidi provides guidance in creating a communication plan that gets results.

“Working in the healthcare, government, and tourism spaces, we’ve learned the communication best practices in a variety of industries,” Heidi explained. “This allows us to share our experience and knowledge with clients, especially as we work on their communication plans.”

2. She acts as a single point of contact.

While our clients often work directly with our writers and designers to fine tune specifics, Heidi serves as the main point of contact that connects all the moving parts—from gathering information from the client and providing direction to writers and designers, to involving third-party partners. Heidi makes sure that client requests are fulfilled, that questions are answered, and that everyone is on the same page.

3. She ensures projects are completed on schedule.

As the project manager, Heidi coordinates the details so our clients don’t have to—and not only the details with our team. She works with ad reps and media buyers for radio, newspaper, and digital. And, she keeps a pulse on everyone’s workload so she can assign work to be completed efficiently. Clients appreciate this because they can be hands off knowing that their projects will be scheduled quickly and completed timely. Our team appreciates it because we know we’ll never be overloaded to the point where a timeline becomes unreasonable or unsustainable. Win/win!

4. She supports our writers, designers, and digital specialists.

“She’s a good juggler,” said Steph Swanson, Strateligent copywriter. “Unexpected challenges can pop-up, and when they do, we want to be nimble and adaptable for our clients. Heidi is able to shuffle deadlines and priorities around so we can complete projects when clients are presented with opportunities within their markets.”

Heidi makes good on our promise to clients that their projects are completed as they were intended—on time, on budget, and in good order. Sometimes that means jumping in to move things around, reassigning work, managing digital campaigns, or tapping into her journalism background to write a few words.

5. She turns the “why” into the “how.”

Our clients usually come to us with a specific goal in mind—maybe they want to increase sales or fill open positions. Maybe it’s even less straightforward and they want to redefine their brand or build brand awareness. No matter what our clients’ goals are, Heidi takes our creative director’s high-level blueprint of ideas, business strategy, and goals and turns it into an action plan that can be implemented by both our staff and our clients.

It’s not a glamorous job. But a talented project manager like Heidi is essential to the success of our clients’ campaigns and our business. Whether it’s a new or existing project, a groundbreaking idea, or a friendly advocate, Heidi is our point person—the lead wrangler, question-answerer, scheduler, and digital strategizer we can’t live without.

“Heidi isn’t just a project manager,” explained Aaron Hautala, Strateligent creative director. “She’s our Client Success Advocate. She sets our clients and our creative staff up for success from day one.”