Blog 5: Navigating Conflict

One of my biggest challenges during this internship has been learning to handle broad or conflicting requests. One of Saatchi’s clients is PSG (Paris Saint-Germain, the soccer team), and recently there has been a ton of press coverage surrounding their American tour schedule, particularly their presence in Miami and some of their current licensing partnerships. I’ve been enlisted to track much of this coverage via Excel. However, as the weeks have progressed and more coverage has appeared, I’ve had to field a lot of different requests surrounding how to properly manage this press and organize the data for the client.

Initially I had to track any news coverage I can across at all. Then, I was told only to include articles specifically about PSG being in Miami, and only articles from the US and Canada. Sometimes I would check back on the spreadsheet after a weekend, and articles had been added that were UK based, or covered something other than Miami. I’d email my higher ups just to confirm if this was correct, and receive broad or conflicting responses. Sometimes no response at all (during busy weeks!). In instances like these it’s hard to interpret what my boss (or bosses) may want to see in their coverage reports, or which requests I should give priority to.

This is a simple example, and perhaps doesn’t reflect my larger responsibilities at work, but in these conflicting situations, I’ve found it best to ask questions. Even if I don’t always receive an immediate response, it’s good to show that I want to accurately complete my task. However, it still needs to be completed, so if I’m not receiving a response or am receiving conflicting responses, I’ve learned to just trust my gut and go with my initial interpretations of project requests. Many time these interpretations are correct, but I’ve definitely had my fair share of blunders. When I mess up, it’s best to admit I made a mistake, and assure my boss I’ll amend that mistake as quickly (but as accurately) as possible.

Ultimately, I’ve realized it’s okay to go with my gut, but it’s equally as okay to make mistakes. Just learn from them.

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