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  • Writer's pictureEd LaComb

Archiving Your Work. Is It Like Indiana Jones Trying to Find the Ark of The Covenant?

We’ve all been there. You create the PERFECT promo or spot. High fives abound. Compliments flow once it’s on the air. It’s a job well done. Then, the unexpected happens…the same time next year, the client wants that EXACT same promo, but only with a date change. Rut row. Did you archive it?

If you’re lucky enough to be able to answer that question with a YES…the next question is, are you lucky enough to have an archiving system that makes it easy to find it? That’s the real power of an archiving system that works for you.

At DSV, we have spent YEARS and $$ working on an effective, proprietary archiving system that we call our DTS (Digital Traffic System). It’s a powerful way to not only track our projects as they are in progress, but it also automatically informs our clients immediately once the projects are posted to our FTP…and provides them with a handy link right in the body of the email so they don’t even need to go through the login process on the FTP to retrieve their imaging.

Once work is complete and signed off by the producer(s), the information is tucked away in a database that we can search by any word…whether a keyword or even a word that was contained in the copy itself. Station WABC needs to revisit last year’s Summer BBQ promo? No problem. We search under BBQ in the station WABC directory and boom…there it is. Produced by Producer A on DATE and here’s the SESSION NAME that it was in. Just restore that session from the archive and go ahead and drop in the new date. Total time invested: 5 minutes. That’s putting the power of archiving to work for you.

It’s not a difficult thing to do. It just takes the consistent commitment to enter the information during the initial workflow so that it makes it easy to find it later. There are a number of great database programs out there that can assist with this task …and they don’t cost an arm and a leg to get ahold of. The important thing is to think about what information you will need ahead of time. Create a well thought out format for your file nomenclature and then stick to it. Be sure to enter all the key info that you may need later. If you can, include the text of the copy since that has more often than not been the key to finding specific things later on. We name our sessions in the following format: CALLLETTERS-001 (represents session number that month)-1218 (represents month and year)-Holiday Party (represents the basic idea of the package). So, WABC-001-1218-Holiday Party gives us a pretty good idea that in December 0f 2018, we did a package for WABC’s Holiday Party. It’s a great place to start with just a session name.

If the idea of creating an archiving system sounds daunting to you, trust me…the first time you find something within seconds and then can adjust it within a minute or two, you’ll be glad you did.

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