In short, because we judge what the clients need and our law of averages shows what this needs to cost. It fluctuates. Different members of the team have a different perceived time value. So with the MD as the first port of call, until clients work out who is who, they’d obviously delegate things to more junior members as needed. Juniors’ time is theoretically less valuable than senior management due to their experience levels, but it means management can involve themselves in the strategy and the key decisions, as well as the client liaison, whilst they get on with the actions.
When we offer a full-service operation we work daily in some way, with that spread across the whole team as needed. So whilst someone might be visiting a client, someone else might be monitoring their social media and responding to a query. Then one of us might be standing on an exhibition stand, whilst someone else was entering an award, and someone else was designing a flyer or co-ordinating some print. In the meantime, someone would always be in the office during business hours to answer a call, and as with an in-house team member, we would manage expectations of delivery of anything specific, based on client deadlines, and the length of the project in question. In other words it’s pretty impossible to attribute specific times, but based on averages, we know what it needs to cost to offer a full departmental service.
It’s our mission that our retained clients are never affected by our work for anyone else, we can be in two places at once, and we’re always contactable! We offer a fully outsourced marketing / PR department with our entire team at clients’ disposal. Whilst one of us might be sick, giving birth or on holiday, that would never affect clients, although we’d always let them know who to contact. We do close for the whole Christmas period – everyone needs a break, but apart from that we take managing our workloads very seriously, and any of our clients would vouch for our ability to jump when they say how high.