Collaboration is a three-legged stool.
In our work, collaboration is one of our Strateligent values and we collaborate daily within our team. However, before we ever begin a client project, there is an even more crucial collaboration—when Aaron Hautala, Strateligent’s president and creative director, meets with a client and their stakeholders in a project’s initial planning phase.
The first leg of the three-legged collaboration stool occurs when Aaron brings the various stakeholders together to determine the purpose of the project and to discern their goals. Whether it’s consulting with a new client or an existing client with a new project, the people involved come from different backgrounds and viewpoints or they may want to approach the project using differing means or media. These stakeholders range from members on a board of directors, to CEOs, CFOs, marketing directors, stakeholders from the community, or others.
Due to their disparate viewpoints, Aaron meets with them either individually or in a group, depending on the situation. He is passionate about helping others deliver powerful communication using a proven process he personally developed to help them become aligned in their vision, goals, and strategy. The purpose is to help them find a path toward a win/win for all stakeholders. Getting everyone on the same page is an important first step in ensuring the assets we create mesh with the client’s goals and also ensures that our goals are consistent. It also reduces the numbers of proofs and speeds up the approval process.
The second leg is producing the project(s) that Aaron brings to the Strateligent team—the details about what the client needs to fulfill their goals. Our team isn’t provided with the exact words or the specific design, but we write, design, and create whatever communication tools are needed—as determined by their goals and the meetings Aaron holds with the client and the stakeholders.
For example, in 2020 a series of meetings was conducted with the directors and staff of Grant Integrated Services. They wanted to rebrand their mental health services with a new name and identity. It involved choosing a name and corresponding logo design; helping them create their new vision, mission, and values; a press release; plus writing and designing talking points for their staff to use in explaining the rebranding to the public. Did we mention that they are located in Grant County, Washington? And since it was during the 2020 COVID-19 shutdown, Aaron met individually via Zoom with each stakeholder—15 in all—to get the perspectives he needed. Once he heard from everyone, he worked with the group as a whole to collaborate about what they needed and, finally, to produce the tools under the new name of “Renew.” Location doesn’t hinder Strateligent’s dedication to achieving effective communication.
We also carry out all the planning and implementation for the projects.
“This includes consulting with vendors, such as printers, digital advertising channels, billboard companies, newspaper or radio scheduling, voice-over talent, and more,” said Heidi Lake, project manager. “We manage all the details necessary to bring the client’s projects to completion.”
Completing the projects ultimately connects full circle to the original meetings of bringing the stakeholders together.
“With everything we do, it’s not just a matter of filling space with pretty pictures or clever headlines. It’s helping our clients to accomplish their goals,” said Hautala. “Without the planning and the process of following through with their goals, they’ll get one or two years down the road and they won’t accomplish them. Also, with effective collaboration from start to finish, the final project is creative and visual—strategically designed to speak to their audience and leaving no questions about what it means.”
We’re more than a Minnesota agency. There’s no location too distant for us to meet and collaborate with a client—whether face-to-face across town or meeting remotely across the country.
Contact us to get your collaboration started.