Perspectives from the Field

Articles from In-House Creative Leaders

As part of the In-House Creative Industry Report, we ask in-house creative leaders to share their stories as they relate
 to shared challenges and goals across the industry. We've archived those articles here. Please note, the opinions expressed in these articles are those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cella.

Content Management and Automation

by Andy Epstein

Over the past few years Cella’s consultants and in-house agency staff have been witnessing an increased emphasis by companies on more effectively managing and leveraging their content assets and intellectual property. continue reading >>

Think Locally, Act Globally

by Cindy Ponce

There is a growing demand of in-house agencies (IHA) to expand their services to a global scale with brand continuity and supporting local business partners as the primary drivers. continue reading >>

Strengthen Your In-House Team to Boost Your Brand

by Robin Colangelo

In-house creative leaders have their fingers on the pulse of the corporate brand, which is one of the top value-drivers internal clients identify with having an in-house resource. continue reading >>

Block Kryptonite, Enhance Superpowers

by Wayne Barringer

In-house transformation. Value-seeking. Driving efficiency. Generating creative power. All major initiatives in our industry over the past 5-10 years. continue reading >>

The Impact of Process Improvements

by Chee Wei Potter

Life is a process, and just like life, our work too is a series of continuous, repeatable and sensible actions. By practicing and improving upon our processes in our daily work, we can become more successful. continue reading >>

The Perpetual Evolution of a Digital Design Team

by Bob Calvano

The digital media landscape is evolving at an incredibly rapid pace. It’s more complex today than ever before with an endless stream of new platforms, devices and screen sizes, and new ways to consume content are being added every day. continue reading >>

Becoming a Strategic Partner and AOR for a Line of Business

by Jennifer Mans

As a 17-year veteran of account management for pharmaceutical advertising, I have learned that your ability to think strategically is key to being successful. The number of creative concepts presented, or the analysis and understanding of the science behind a brand, is what will secure the business. continue reading >>

Tectonic Shifts and The New Paradigm

by Andy Brenits

There is no more exciting time to be a creative professional than now. If you haven’t noticed yet, we are in the midst of a paradigm shift in the creative industry. Some of the best creative work in design, advertising, photography and video has been coming from in-house teams for many years now. continue reading >>

Opportunity in Unexpected Places

by Christine Sheller

It’s no secret that the demand for design is at an all-time high these days — in particular for the corporate creative. It’s desirable for companies; they’ve learned that bringing the role in-house ensures a better understanding of their business, brand and culture. continue reading >>

Suffer Fools: A lesson learned the hard way over the course of a creative career

by Peter Leeds

I started working as a creative a couple of decades ago at a time when business felt very different. There was a different dynamic between clients and their agencies and technology meant something different entirely. continue reading >>

Marrying Right-Brain and Left-Brain Thinking

by Carol Carter

As the regard for in-house creative has risen in recent years, so has the scrutiny. It is no longer enough to produce outstanding work that drives business goals – you need to do it in a way that shows the firm your team is smart about using the resources you’ve been given. continue reading >>

Making the Case for Project Management

by Patrice Marturana

When our leadership team proposed additional growth and modest restructuring of our project management team, we knew we would need to back up our request with supporting data. continue reading >>

Drive Forward by Harnessing the Power of Your Data

by Don McAdang

As the creative organizations we lead continue to evolve, we can make better use of reporting to effectively inform our decisions and optimize our creative operations. Using the data we capture about our work and people, we can extract valuable insights that help us tell compelling stories about our creativity and efficiency. continue reading >>

The Evolution of Saint-Gobain’s Creative Services Team

by Amanda Froehlich

One of the greatest struggles for in-house creative teams is getting a “seat at the table,” showing that you are a strategic force to be reckoned with! So the question is, how can you do this when you feel like you’re driving down the road into oncoming traffic? continue reading >>

Adapting the Corporate Performance Review for Creatives

by Jeff Kortenkamp

My current approach to performance reviews goes back 11 years, when standard forms from HR just really didn’t do the job! I met with the entire Creative Services team and had an hour-and-a-half pizza lunch and brainstorming session on “how do you want to be reviewed?” continue reading >>

A Solution to the Prioritization Problem

by Ann Buice

No matter what your company does, the right project management software is essential to completing jobs in a timely and efficient manner, especially when you have several in process at once—which we all do! Taking the time to select the right software features for your unique team is important, and it’s crucial that it works with your processes and job roles in order for your team to be successful. But software alone isn’t enough. continue reading >>

A Creative Team. A Creative Approach to Adopting a New PM System.

by John Briggs

Our staff had a love-hate relationship with our old project management system. They struggled with its lack of flexibility, but they knew how to use it and it served as the central hub of our business for almost 15 years. So when the time came to evaluate new software packages and make a clear but painful change, we brought our own in-house creative talent on board to drive the process through every step. continue reading >>

METRICS AND REPORTING Using Data Analytics to Measure Risk/Reward

by Chris Moore

First and foremost, if there’s one thing I’ve learned in my now 18 years in professional services, it’s that you have to prove your relevant business value every day. Working inside a consulting firm, it’s assumed that good infrastructure teams will manage themselves like a business inside the business, accounting for and recovering their time against services performed… not unlike a client engagement. As the assembly of those engagements develops into a body of work, it then becomes paramount for business process leaders to rely upon the accumulated data to refine and sharpen the value proposition. continue reading >>

We Are Great…But We Can Be Better

by Andy Epstein

In a post last fall on the site, Michael Lee posed a critical question for corporate creative groups in the title of his piece: “Can in-house agencies ever be great?” continue reading >>

Getting What You Want From a PM System

by Annika Vaughan

The evolution of automation in the world of modern communications is well documented. Many of us who have been in the creative communications industry for more than 20 years can still remember early software applications that promised to make us faster, better and more creative. continue reading >>

Built–In Automation Isn’t Always Better

by Tony Fernandez, Jr.

The evolution of automation in the world of modern communications is well documented. Many of us who have been in the creative communications industry for more than 20 years can still remember early software applications that promised to make us faster, better and more creative. continue reading >>

A Global Creative Team—Brady Bunch Style

by Carol Carter

It isn’t quite the story of a lovely lady who met a man named Brady.

Yet, not unlike that 1970s blended TV family The Brady Brunch brought together in holy matrimony, our Global Creative Services team came together as the result of the corporate equivalent of marriage—–mergers and acquisitions—that resulted in transformational changes to our firm in just a few short years. continue reading >>

Evaluating Service Lines Using Portfolio Analysis

by Tracy Pearson and Paul Naquin

In managing a creative services team, identifying appropriate new trends and services to pursue is an evergreen process. While creating service lines may open new opportunities, these offerings must not distract from the core business of the creative team. continue reading >>

Perhaps Moving Up Means Moving Out: Create Your Own Path

by Bob Calvano

You are an in-house creative leader. You’ve been at it for some time now­—5, 10 or, maybe, 15 years. And there has been a lot of blood, sweat and sharpies used up to get you and the team where it is today. continue reading >>

Inspiring and Motivating Your Team

by Barbara Moser

Inspiring and motivating team members to give their best is a complicated issue, as evidenced by the thousands of articles and books produced by writers and bloggers on the subject each year. It is as much about interpersonal relationships, as it is about design and software skills to meet job challenges at hand. continue reading >>

The Pros and Cons of Outsourcing Overseas

by Matt Stein

Shrinking budgets. Shorter turnaround times. Extended hours of support. Increased scale. Expanded scopes of work. continue reading >>


by Sarah M. Halgas

Nearly everyone is a videographer these days, thanks to the availability of Web cameras and the popularity of social media websites. But what if your organization wants more professional-looking videos? Is outsourcing the only option? Absolutely not! continue reading >>

Scaling When Headcount Is Not an Option

by Elizabeth Wood

Since forming our in-house Creative Services department at Villanova University 5 years ago, our mission has always been clear: committing ourselves to providing the kindest, most accessible and strategic service to our university community, while using the creative talent of our team. continue reading >>

An Unexpected Path to Strategic Partner

by Tracy Sullivan

We had just returned to work from our Creative Director’s Riverbend home after a relaxing and refreshing creative retreat. Our department (at two different locations, including two account executives, a copy manager, a creative manager, a traffic manager, six designers, one Web designer, one developer, five writers and two traffic coordinators) was teeming with creativity. continue reading >>