Sunday, February 1, 2009

Growth Oriented

Q: Introduce us to yourself and your company.
Hi, my name's Sonya Parker! I work as the Project Manager over at Grow Interactive. We're an interactive advertising and design studio based out of Norfolk, VA. We may be a bit "out-of-town" but our clients range from top advertising agencies to small local businesses.

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?
I actually just fell into it, which seems to be how the best things in life happen. Prior to moving down to Virginia, I was working in the music business in NYC. A friend of mine, and now coworker, told me about a position open at Grow, and I was lucky enough to land the job. I've always been somewhat of a computer/internet nerd, so it was a great fit.

Q: How do you stay on top of emerging technologies and keep your team informed and motivated?
We've got a fairly small group of people working here, and we share everything with one another. We're all responsible for passing around info on the latest technologies at one time or another -- whether it's info found on a blog, in an magazine, or word of mouth. Team work is where it's at :]

Q: What does your ideal client/project look like?
Ideally, we love landing jobs where we can handle everything from concept to creation. We've got a great team of designers and developers, so ideally we'd utilize both and knock out an awesome project from start to finish. We're somewhat of a progressive bunch, so we like client's with a sense of humor and openness to hear our ideas. We also like working on socially conscious projects -- within the last year we wrapped up a site called The Girl Effect for the Nike Foundation with W+K. The whole concept of the site is that a single girl (or girls) can impact economic growth and the health and well-being of communities. Landing that job was a breadth of fresh air -- projects like that help you look at the bigger picture and appreciate life just a little bit more.

Q: How do you educate your clients and set realistic expectations for a project?
It's all about planning. Our new business guy, Eric Green, does a great job setting expectations initially, and it's my job to make sure those expectation are met throughout the duration of the project. Communication is key -- keep the client aware of what's happening at all times, as it's more rewarding for everyone if they are a part of the overall process from start to finish.

Q: What was the best project you have ever worked on?
I've loved all of them for different reasons, but my favorite thus far was a site we did for Bon Secours St. Francis Health Care System in Greenville, SC called Happy in Greenville. We were lucky enough to handle everything from design to development, and we worked with a great agency called Brains on Fire along side Bryan Martin. They were a pleasure to work with, and the end result was amazing. The site is one of the cutest things I've ever seen. It's full of some obvious, and some not so obvious animations -- and it's a lot of fun exploring the site to find them all!

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

I'm not married to a specific number, and I don't like to limit myself -- it really depends on how large/small and complicated each is.

Q: What does your dream production team look like?

I couldn't be happier with the production team we have in-house. Everyone is super talented, and very dedicated.

Q: How do you ensure that your client's best interests are met?
Again, communication is key. Keeping the lines of communication open during development is key -- not only between myself and the client, but within our internal team as well. One misstep could mean the entire schedule is thrown off, so knowing what everyone is up to at all times is a priority. The most important thing is that the client is happy, so we'll do whatever we can, regardless of fault, to make sure that's the case.

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

I wish I knew! But, I think we're going to see some really innovative and creative talent emerge in light of the suffering economy.

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

Welcome change, stay organized, listen and never be too proud to keep learning.

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