8 Rules That “The Anti-Agency” Lives By

Bonehook is a mission driven company. The mission is to be the anti-agency.

The anti-agency plays by a different set of rules than those deployed by corporate America’s serfs.

The first rule of the anti-agency is: We Work With People We Like And Respect.

Marketing services is a business that runs on relationships, and relationships run on respect. When there is no respect from one or both directions, there is no reason to enter or continue the relationship. It actually is that simple.

The second rule of the anti-agency is: We Help Great Companies Grow.

There are thousands of companies doing amazing things to benefit humankind. Each of these companies has a story to tell and a need to share their story. Companies with faulty products, service and management often prefer to fabricate a story to help cover their very real weaknesses. The advertising of old supports that model of deception. However, we don’t make stuff up, nor do we participate in a client’s self-delusions. Instead, we dig for the company’s core truths and then find ways to magnify them to the proper audiences. For everyone’s benefit.

The third rule of the anti-agency is: We Value Time and Money.

Agencies and their client partners are notorious wasters of time and money. The practice is not productive and it drains peoples’ energy for, and interest in, the work.

The fourth rule of the anti-agency is: We Focus On the Big Picture.

Agencies complain that they are vendors, but you can’t complain when you set yourself up to accept project-based work. Great work happens as a result of trust between the client and agency. It takes time to build trust, and it takes time to learn the client’s industry. By investing in one another, both client and agency can achieve greatness together, over time. We all want results this quarter, but results aren’t magic. Results are the outcome of much planning, thinking and doing.

The fifth rule of the anti-agency is: We Are Artists.

We are writers and artists working to add beauty, truth and meaning to the world. Naysayers might wonder how there is room for this in a client’s marketing plan. Our reply is without beauty, truth or meaning in your corporate communications, you have little to offer that’s worthy of one’s attention.

The sixth rule of the anti-agency is: We Take Strong Stands.

Marketing service providers have a horrible reputation in the client community. Too often, we’re seen as expensive, pompous and out of touch. Decades of bad practices are at the root of this evil, and telling clients what they want to hear instead of what they need to hear is the worst practice of all.

The seventh rule of the anti-agency is: We Communicate Proactively.

This may be the information age, but it’s also the age of communication breakdown. As professional communicators, we can’t afford to participate in this blight on the culture. We must rise above by sending well-written emails, knowing when to pick up the phone and by keeping an open and honest dialogue going with clients and each other at all times.

The eighth rule of the anti-agency is: We Create An Atmosphere of Fearlessness.

In most agencies and in many client organizations people routinely fear for their jobs. They also fear to speak up or to speak truth to power. This is intolerable in any industry and a crime in a creative company. Our job is to put forth bold new ideas that help grow our clients’ businesses. Therefore, we can never be scared, or hesitant, to dream. Clients hire us to give life to new ideas. There’s a boldness built into what we offer the world, and we embrace the need to speak eloquently and consistently for what’s right.

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