Most in-house creative groups are known for their "bread and butter" work--the products that make up the majority of their work that they've likely created for years. But in addition to those products, the creative team likely produces many other products of which only a small percentage of their client base is aware. I've heard many creative leaders say their teams sometimes act the part of a communications hub for their clients. For example, the creative team may be working on a 30-second web promo for a client in Business Unit A that another client in Business Unit B would find helpful for his business, but because the clients in the two business units rarely communicate, the client in Business Unit B doesn't even know that the creative team can create web promos. But when the designer or account manager mentions Business Unit A's project to a client in Business Unit B, synergy is born.

These one-off conversations are great, but require stars to align in order to make traction. Instead the creative team needs to own and manage this type of interaction. One way to do this is by creating a capabilities brochure--and not necessarily a printed brochure (we all know finding money to print these isn't easy). But you can consider creating a website or an HTML newsletter to promote your team's capabilities. And the best part is, this is an easily delegated task. And the truth is, it's done best when delegated.

Years ago my creative team was known just for production work--we were very good at it: low error rates and quick turnaround at a fair price. But the company's creative needed to evolve and so did the members of my team. We were starting to dip our toes into Flash & Actionscript, Motion and FinalCut Pro but our clients weren't aware of our abilities in that space. Therefore we created a campaign we internally called "Beyond Books and Binders"--as the majority of our production work was published in books and binders. Externally we called the campaign "Have You Seen Us Lately?"

I knew the content I wanted featured, but wanted to leave the creative up to the creatives (wouldn't that be great if our clients always did the same??). So I selected a few team members who were invested in evolving the department and asked them to design an approach and layout to market our team's evolving capabilities. In the brochure (we did an 8-pager created by printing double sided on two 11x17s and then folding them in half--"free" to print on our internal color printer), the team featured screenshots of actual products, along with web addresses (where applicable) and most importantly a blurb on the business challenge or need solved by the product. In addition, the brochure featured some of the team members working on these products. I felt this was important because some of these folks were new to the team with deep outside talent (which always brings credibility) and others were up-skilled internal folks (it was important to help them establish their new roles).

In addition to featuring our cool, "new" sexy capabilities, we also featured how we evolved our core capabilities. This was most important from an internal standpoint-- I wanted to make sure the team members who weren't involved with the "cool, new sexy capabilities" did not feel de-valued, as their contribution continued to be extremely important to the success of our department and company.

Later the brochure was turned into a website on our intranet--this allowed us to easily update the content and allowed us to market in the medium we were boasting about.

If you're looking to evolve your team's core service offering, consider creating a capabilities brochure (or website or newsletter). In addition to the client-facing benefits, your team's morale will be positively impacted by your public support of their talent.