agencyQ is very happy to welcome Graham Gunn as SVP, Strategy and Creative reporting to Steve Marino. Graham specializes in creating digital solutions that harness the potential of the social web to inspire, engage and persuade.
Graham strengthens agencyQ’s digital offerings with expertise in content and social strategy, brand development, digital engagement, visual communications, interface design, information architecture and usability. He will be responsible for the creative and strategy team’s vision in translating concrete business objectives into extraordinary digital experiences.
Prior to joining agencyQ, Graham served as Senior Vice President and Creative Director with MSLGroup in New York where he was charged with forming a design & build capability within the agency. Additionally, he trained account teams in the best uses of social media, and developed new creative offerings that helped clients better target their audience and voice in the conversation age.
Prior to his work with the MSLGroup, Graham served an extensive tenure as Senior Creative Director of the 360° Digital Influence team – now called Social@Ogilvy – an award-winning digital word of mouth marketing practice within Ogilvy Washington for over 6 years.
His creative thinking can be seen in campaigns spanning such diverse brands as: the Blue Cross/Blue Shield Association; BP; Crest; Centers for Disease Control; JP Morgan Chase; Lenovo; Pepto-Bismol; Swiffer; and Underwriters Laboratories (to name a few).
I was recently tasked to do a Sitecore Discovery for an information intensive site. I had to write a Sitecore discovery sheet sort of like a checklist of things I should be asking and looking for, to come up with the most informed requirements to be able to assess the level of effort required to develop the site in Sitecore; basically answer the ever-nagging question, “How much work do we need to do?”. But how can you answer such a question, without hours of UX planning, rounds of IA, requirements gathering, arguing with developers about what can and can’t be done, fighting evil eyes, engaging creative, playing devil’s advocate on the developers side then on the PM’s side, identifying use cases, fleshing them out, mapping out flow charts, ERD’s and sequence diagrams, think of every possible alternate flow to every process, and continuously trying to answer the WHAT IF’s, and do that once more, and then once again.
I’ve lived through many, many website implementations. I’ve seen the good, the bad and the very ugly. I’ve seen some through from kick-off to go-live, and I’ve contributed to others during certain phases of the process.
One thing I know for certain is that the question of “How much work do we need to do?” always comes up at the beginning, the middle and during the final home stretch when you’re on your desk at 2 am with coffee stains on your shirt, almost deafened by the Mario brothers soundtrack you’ve been playing continuously for the last 7 hours, trying to make it come to life and share it with the rest of the world by the mere of one last click. A website development project, especially a good one, requires a lot of work, commitment and coffee, but it almost always starts with “how much work do we need to do?”
The odds of answering that with a 100% accuracy are low. Things happen, dogs die, earphones get broken, Mario doesn’t save the princess and we run out of coffee but we still need to come up with an answer to our question, to establish a baseline, a foundation and, if we are lucky some solid boundaries to our project. Looking for an answer for our question is a task in and of itself; where do I start? It can be a very overwhelming thing to do, indeed. Sometimes we don’t have the resources – time, money and brain cells- to assess the amount of work needed for the job, and yet we have to act fast. Very fast.
So when I was asked to come up with a checklist for things I would look for implementing a site using Sitecore, I had to stop for a minute, trying not to overwhelm myself, and think about everything I have learned (and love) about Sitecore in the past 2 years. The answer I found was blatantly staring me in the eye- it’s everything I’ve been looking at the past 2 years; the Sitecore Content Tree. I didn’t want to get lost in the weeds of front-end development requirements and all the bells and whistles of UX, because that’s not what the task was, so I needed to stay focused. All I had to do was go to Sitecore, open the Content Editor and voi la, all of I needed to start putting that checklist together was in the Content Tree. Taking it from the top: the Content, the layout, the Media Library, the System, the Templates and all their children, and Jazz.
On a very high level, if I could answer, what content is served on the site, how is it related and populated, how it is reviewed and published, what my pages are and how they are laid out, what media items I have and how I manage my media library, what languages am I supporting, who manages my site and who manages parts of it, then I would have answered a fairly good chunk of the “how much work do we need to do?”.
All I had to do next was make my checklist look pretty, but that’s just cosmetics.
After majoring in fine arts, apprenticing in organic agriculture and a few years as an Italian chef — programming was the natural next phase for this multi-talented new hire. Prior to joining agencyQ, he’s worked for companies from Bethesda Softworks to National Geographic, with a specialty in obsessively well built, object oriented applications.
Monday’s historic Presidential Inauguration took weeks of careful planning and attention to detail as Obama was sworn in for his second term. One million+ supporters came out to support the President and capture each moment for their friends and family. Check out the agencyQ “Obameter” below for a look at some of the most interesting event planning, facts and photos from the attendees!
Founded in 1999, agencyQ delivers award winning social, mobile and interactive solutions that transform the way organizations reach, engage and inspire their key audiences. With a unique ability to align our creative, technology and marketing acumen with clients’ strategic goals, agencyQ has generated measurable results for a global base of corporations, governments and associations over the past three decades. To learn more about agencyQ and its work, visit www.agencyQ.com or follow @agencyQ on Twitter.
On January 2, Q welcomed Andrew Dawson, the newest member of our digital team. With a background in music and history he brings an eclectic range of skills in content creation and digital strategy. Prior to joining agencyQ, he worked as a account associate for MSL Group in New York City, focusing on social media strategy and content creation for brands that ranged from Swiffer to Nutella. He is a graduate of American University.