Thursday, January 29, 2009

Her Wisdom Makes A Difference

Q: Introduce us to yourself and your company.
My name is Nora Mishriky and I am the Director of Interactive Production at McKinney located in Durham, NC. McKinney is an independent, full-service agency. Our expertise is sparking conversations. Our goal is creating kick-ass user experiences. We aim for both with every brand we work with, including our own. We just launched a new website,

Q: Interactive Producers come from all walks of life, they are a hybrid of talents, tell us about your background and how you got interested in digital production?

My background is mostly related to streaming online media. I started my career with Nortel in their communications department and continued in the industry for a streaming company, called Talkpoint Communications in New York. I have always been interested in emerging media so my transition to digital online media was a natural one.

Q: How do you stay on top of emerging technologies and keep your team informed and motivated?
Every day I read several industry sites and feeds. Everything from FWA to the latest technology trends. I also keep my twirl widget handy on my desktop and read what others share. 

Q: What does your ideal client/project look like?

I appreciate a project that has a little risk with the goal of creating a unique experience for the user. If a client is willing to suspend their client hat and put on an end user hat, that’s ideal.

Q: How do you educate your clients and set realistic expectations for a project?

You have to take the time to communicate milestones, budget and stakeholders. Production schedules are usually pretty granular, but if you are able to extract major milestones and what it means to accomplishing the overall goal, then it’s helpful. Production estimates are sometimes difficult to nail down at the start of a project especially if you are producing something that hasn’t been done before and that’s something we crave around here. You have to be able to justify the costs and what it means to the overall integrity of a project. Stakeholders are the items or relationships that may be out of our immediate control but are necessary to the project. You have to explain how these will be managed and impact the overall project. Transparency is key.

Q: What was the best project you have ever worked on?
In December of 2007 McKinney decided to send a digital holiday card to our clients and partners. It started out as a small initiative and turned into one of our most successful viral projects. Snowglobe Boy emerged. Three live streaming feeds 24/7 integrated with live chat, a blog and Facebook page. Snowglobe Boy was seeded with an e-mail to about 300 people and over the course of 78 hours grew to over 60K viewers and participants that included several interviews, including the CBS Morning Show and The New York Times. You can check it out here:

Q: How many projects are you comfortable producing at one given time?

As Director of my department I don’t produce many projects but I am aware and involved in some fashion with most of what gets produced. When my role was interactive producer I managed several smaller projects simultaneously, but when a larger microsite or viral project was on my plate I concentrated my focus on just the one. Some projects require your complete focus especially if it has a short shelf life with real time participation.

Q: What does your dream production team look like?

Since my background is tied to streaming media, I love the excitement and engagement of live video and chat. There is a rush to producing something that is live and in real time. In production terms that equates to high vulnerability to ensure that the integrity of systems is seamless and the end user experience is positive. It produces a wow factor and buzz. I guess that’s why reality TV is so popular.

Q: How do you ensure that your client's best interests are met?

At the start of a project, you have to be aligned on how you’ll measure success. Digital is good like that. You can measure everything and learn and react accordingly. Whether it’s a simple banner campaign or a social media project, the metrics reveal how well you have initiated and maintained a conversation with your audience and how to make it even better next time around.

Q: What is your vision of what the next phase of our industry is going to look like?

I think mobile and social media will continue to grow. I also think there will be a greater focus on video and artificial intelligence within the digital landscape.

Q: Please share a snippet of wisdom that you would like to impart on our readers.

It’s my life motto: Accept the things you cannot change, change the things you can and have the wisdom to know the difference. It’s actually a prayer but I apply it to everything I do personally and professionally.

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