4 Questions We Ask In Our Impact/Failure Meetings

Communications plans can provide a way to align all of a project’s messages and tactics in pursuit of our goals. But what happens when the project is complete?

In most cases, analytics are exported, working files are archived, and team members head on to the next priority. Unfortunately, this approach can sometimes miss out on an important learning and evaluation opportunity.

As a part of our approach to more empathetic communications, MediaStyle prioritizes our Impact/Failure meetings as a part of our typical project processes. These 45-minute meetings held after a project is complete allow us to have an open, non-judgemental conversation about a range of questions relevant to what took place.

In the interest of sharing some of the way we do our work, here are four questions we ask at our impact/failure meetings.

1. Did we achieve our goals?

We are small by design, and take pride in working with teams that are engaged in important work. It is important to us as a business, and as people wanting to ‘do good’ for our broader communities, that our clients succeed.

At the outset of projects we collaborate with clients on developing a creative brief, a living document that clearly outlines the project’s goals, deliverables, timeline and other important considerations. We return to this document throughout the project to check-in and ensure we’re staying on track. This contract becomes the goal posts for evaluating our success in meeting clients expectations.

2. Did the project align with our values?

As a B Corp, social enterprise, and agency committed to help people that work towards more equitable, resilient communities across Canada, we want to know our work is having a positive social impact. We discuss whether the project fits within the framework of ‘doing business for good,’ and our business pillars including advancing meaningful reconciliation and improving health outcomes for Canadians.

We evaluate whether the project successfully sets up clients to achieve their social impact targets. We consider related questions such as whether we purchased goods or services for the project from local, minority or women owned businesses, and whether we considered the ownership and environmental policies of businesses used during the project.

3. What value did we bring?

As a small business, it is important to us to set, and keep budget targets. This allows us to provide the benefits our team deserves, commit to pay increases and have some fun add-ons for the team, like bi-weekly Friday team lunches. We look at what we initially thought the work would involve and the value associated with it, and evaluate whether we stayed within the scope we predicted for the project. Campaigns don’t always take off as planned, and the best intentions to stay within budget can go sideways. Afterall, the most important thing is to ensure our clients are successful, so we do what we need to in ensuring this. We use this meeting to understand why a budget was exceeded, helping guide future project pricing and/or team processes that led to this.

4. What did we learn?

Everyone at MediaStyle strives to be T-shaped, building on our unique knowledge and experience to expand and gain new skills. This is why we allocate three hours a month to everyone on the team for self-directed professional development. We love taking on projects that push our boundaries, help us learn new skills, be it finding ways to troubleshoot Zoom and Facebook live episodes, producing a unique animation, and learning to successfully use the latest digital trend.


Andrea Harden is a Senior Strategist at MediaStyle


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