Top 5 Risks for Ad Agencies, Graphic Designers, and Other Media Businesses
When you're running up against deadlines and coming up with creative pitches for clients, your media business will be exposed to all kinds of risks.
In this article, we'll look at some of your biggest risks and what strategies you can use to limit your risk exposure. To start with, let's define five of the top risks for advertising, graphic design, and media professionals…
- Copyright infringement. All designers and ad agencies can stumble too easily into infringement lawsuits. Using a copyrighted image without permission. Creating a design too similar to another company's. Even if you don't mean to, you can accidentally infringe on another company's copyright. That's a risk all creative businesses have.
- Miscommunication. Communicating specs and expectations with clients on numerous projects, it's easy for things to get lost in translation. To make matters worse, some clients might not be good at communicating with you. They'll tell you one thing, mean another, and expect you to read their mind.
- Client discontent. When clients don't see results from your ad campaign or think you haven't delivered work at the level they expected, you could have to defend your company from a media malpractice lawsuit.
- Missed deadlines. Creative projects timelines can run amok. The scope of a project can change direction without notice. Maybe the project simply kept expanding until you realized you'd need more time. Missed deadlines do more than just make you look unprofessional. They can lead to lawsuits if a client thinks the delay leads to lost revenue or missed opportunities.
- Loss of files. Every graphic designer or media professional has known the nightmare of losing a file on the eve of a deadline. Whether its work files, drafts, designs, or customer data and business records, your digital assets are important to your business. Loss or damage to these files could force you back to the drawing board.
Tips for Advertising Agencies: Reducing Your Top 5 Risks
- Preventing copyright infringement. While Errors and Omissions Insurance may cover the cost of some advertising injury lawsuits, media companies should do their best to avoid these disputes before they happen. Always double check with your clients that they own the rights to media they want you to use and train your employees on copyright and trademark best practices.
- Adopt a concise communication policy. Document all your communications with clients, send follow-up emails, keep clients in the loop with your progress, listen carefully to your clients' ideas, and get approval when your work goes in a new direction.
- Don't overpromise. It may be tempting to oversell your services to clients with promises of grandiose result, but you'll be in trouble if you can't deliver. Avoid overpromising and set reasonable expectations. See the section on media malpractice in our eBook to learn more about these lawsuits and how to protect your business with E&O Insurance.
- Stay on top of deadlines (and warn clients about delay). If you're at risk of missing a deadline, warn your clients ahead of time. While you'd rather not miss any deadlines, sometimes there's nothing you can do. In these situations, keep your clients are in the loop and plan accordingly. Keeping the lines of communication open will help you maintain a good client-agency relationship.
- Protect your data. It's crucial to implement a data loss prevention strategy. You may want to hire an IT consultant to ensure your technology is secure and help you set up a commercial-grade backup system. Investing in Data Breach Insurance can help protect you from the cost of data breaches and give you the resources to fulfill your legal obligations after a security incident.
For more risk management strategies and news, be sure to check out our blog Ad Diction.