In the Trenches With James Roy
So it's fitting that his primary client is none other than Korea's renaissance corporation, Samsung Group's Samsung Electronics, maker of myriad technology products from vacuum cleaners to semiconductors to high-definition TVs.
Delving into creative production has come naturally to James, who's learned while on the job at both small agencies and worldwide outfits. "I was a jack of all trades, master of none," James says. "I knew all the programs, but didn't have the training, so I got into the project management side of things."
Did he ever. Working for the interactive division of the North American wing of Korea's largest agency, Cheil Communications, Inc., there's plenty to manage. While Samsung may be CCA Interactive's sole client, its breadth of products and international reach makes it seem like a jillion. After two years at the agency, James typically juggles 10-15 projects at once, and expects the workload to grow this year.
CCA Interactive typically handles consumer-aimed campaigns for Samsung, developing traffic-driving games, banners, landing pages, and full sites. The agency recently launched a March Madness-inspired online basketball game for the technology product giant. Overseeing the development of creative from start to finish is James' true forte. He also recently became a certified Project Management Professional.
Although he considers his colleagues at Samsung to be more partners than clients, sometimes greater communication can become a tad excessive. After all, maintaining a degree of separation from clients is difficult when they work in the same building. "That proximity really takes a draw on my time," James explains.
Another challenge to which most project managers in the Internet world can relate: trying to marry project management principles to a fast-paced, rapidly changing environment. "The bulk of my day is being called on to do the impossible, so I have to make sure that resources are best allocated while keeping all balls up in the air."
Located just over the George Washington bridge in Ridgefield Park, N.J., the Samsung logo is hard to miss from Interstate 95. Despite the building's somewhat imposing presence, the people inside feel like family to James: "We don't have a lot of the political issues that you have in a larger agency; a lot of that element has been removed."
The work developed by CCA Interactive for Samsung is evolving continuously, and James would like to drive a shift toward better accountability through metrics. "We're definitely pushing for more application of metrics," adds James, "although it means a lot more work for me."
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