Successful Public Affairs Campaigns Start With Strong Project Management

Best Practices Give Clients a Seamless Experience with Better Outcomes and Less Risk

Words by Tamrah Chalom, Marketing & Communications Manager
Published December 19, 2023
Last Updated June 24, 2024

Project management is the cornerstone of successful creative work, ensuring clients’ projects happen on time, stay within budget, and achieve optimal outcomes. Good project management gets the job done, but exceptional project management can do a lot more: reduce risks, provide a seamless experience for clients, and allow creative teams to do their best work.

“Project management is a foundational element that makes the entire process more direct, efficient, and frictionless.”
Nate Politi Chief Operating Officer

At NJI, we prioritize a rigorous and consistent approach to project management that results in flexible, tailored solutions for each client. This foundation is essential to project success and our long-term client relationships. Our project management team is the backbone of our award-winning campaigns and other services for clients who want to reach public affairs and policy audiences.

Strong Project Management Is a Key Business Asset

Clients need a seamless, proactive approach and—particularly in the public policy realm—an agency partner that can deliver quickly. But that’s only part of the equation. The best project management will also help clients in four other areas:

  1. Strategic Alignment: NJI’s project and account management teams work hand in hand to align each project with clients’ strategic goals and guide them toward the best outcomes. “Our deep understanding of diverse business landscapes ensures that our projects deliver real, measurable value,” says Vice President of Accounts & Project Management Melissa Carle.
  2. Risk Management: It’s not enough to react to unforeseen problems. Skilled project managers anticipate potential issues and establish contingency plans to minimize disruptions. Proper planning and vigilant oversight reduce the risk that clients will encounter delays, cost overruns, poor quality, and other issues.
  3. Support for Internal Teams: By assuming the heavy lift of planning and execution, experienced project managers reduce the stress and workload on clients. They can also help to align internal departments, foster collaboration, and manage vendor partners—all of which frees up internal staffers to address other priorities.
  4. Increased Efficiency: Clients rely on project management for seamless orchestration of every project component to maximize resources and foster a cohesive, efficient workflow. NJI’s approach is consistent yet adaptable, so we can scale to any project. “Our project management team adds efficiency, reduces costs, and removes unnecessary friction, allowing our clients to focus on what they do best,” says Politi.

“NJI’s approach to project management is not just about managing tasks and timelines; it’s about creating value, building trust, and delivering excellence,” Carle says. “This holistic and client-centric approach sets us apart, making us a preferred partner for clients who seek not just an agency, but a true ally in achieving their strategic objectives.”

Four Must-Have Capabilities in a Project Management Team

When partnering with a creative agency, clients should look for:

  1. Clear, Proactive Communication: Effective communication prevents misunderstandings, ensures everyone is on the same page, and allows for timely resolution of issues. Clear communication channels are crucial, together with regular progress updates to all stakeholders, including agency team members, clients, and leadership.
  2. Rigorous Planning and Goal Setting: Effective planning serves as a roadmap, guiding the team through each phase of the project. Planning should cover scope, timelines, resource allocation, budgeting, and risk management. It should also be adaptable to account for any changes or unforeseen challenges.
  3. Curiosity: The best project managers have a natural affinity to understand how something works. They invest the time to learn about a client’s business and understand their goals and challenges. They want to not only know what we are building, but also to determine the best way to build it. Combined with their innate attention to detail, curiosity can be a powerful asset.
  4. Quality Assurance: From copyediting to fact-checking, relentless quality assurance is essential. For our clients, who typically want to inform or influence the public conversation, audience trust is essential, and nothing impairs trust faster than an error.

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