No Mad Man

Celebrating ab+c's 40th anniversary at a Mad Men themed party.

Celebrating ab+c’s 40th anniversary at a Mad Men themed party.

Many have heard me talk about how lucky I was to “fall into” the advertising business. Not sure it was pure luck—my dad owned an advertising/PR shop for many years that was located, coincidentally, about two blocks from my office today.

My entry into this business was pretty much accidental. I had given notice at my other job and told the agency I had been working with as a client that I was “talking to some folks.” To this day, I swear I had no appointments lined up, but the agency said, “Well, would you talk to us?” Three meetings later, I was in the advertising/PR world!Read full post...

Read more in

Weathering our business

Now at ab+c we are blessed with some of the most talented employees in the industry, but this weather makes our job harder.

Now at ab+c we are blessed with some of the most talented employees in the industry, but this weather makes our job harder.

Breaking news: This has been one horrible winter for any one living in the eastern third of the country. Let’s be honest, Illinois, Minnesota, Michigan, Illinois — even parts of Ohio and New York — you expect to get hit like this. But the South is wholly unprepared (according to my friends in Atlanta), and those of us in the mid-Atlantic region have been … caught off guard. Just talk to any school-aged kid who is losing most of spring break to make up for snow days!

Beyond the emotional frustration caused by this endless onslaught of nasty weather, there’s also the devastating impact on business. Don’t worry; I’m not going to bulldoze you with a lengthy lecture about market trends and impacts — although if you read this blog to its conclusion, you should get one marketing tip. But rather I’d like to focus on one very specific business segment — mine. Advertising and public relations.Read full post...

Read more in

Take a stand!

About three months ago, I made the commitment and ordered my new “workstyle.”

About three months ago, I made the commitment and ordered my new “workstyle.”

It’s so easy to fall into certain work habits. Some can help us be very productive, while others merely turn into … well, bad habits.

As a young account executive sitting at metallic desk in a not-so-semi-private cubicle, I aspired to one day have my own office, with a wooden desk and a fine leather chair that rolled smoothly and maybe had a little sophisticated rock to it! Such are the frills that fuel little-boy-like dreams. The important stuff, particularly in my chosen profession — full-service advertising and public relations agency work — is to find yourself working in the best possible agency environment, with smart, interesting people who love what they’re doing and therefore work harder every day to be better! And over the last 35 years, I have been lucky to work with lots of great people — not the least of whom are my 70-some coworkers at ab+c, many of whom I have worked with for more than 20 years. As a friend would say, “all good stuff.”

But let’s not forget about the frills.Read full post...

Learning all we can — and must

Don’t empty the mailbox (electronic or otherwise) and never stop thinking about what areas of business you’d like to understand better.

I suspect many other people in business face in the same dilemma I face nearly every workday. My inbox is filled with opportunities to participate in classes, seminars, conferences, webinars and more.

Each of these is led by world-renowned experts, proven professionals in their field and industry-recognized leaders. Like me, you may find it very gratifying that these highly respected individuals want to share their latest thinking with you.Read full post...

Read more in

Who needs a TAAN?

The benefits of our TAAN membership

Think there’s a typo in that headline? Wrong. TAAN stands for Transworld Advertising Agency Network.

TAAN is the oldest worldwide agency network and has member agencies in 47 markets around the world. From South Africa to St. Louis, members meet and share openly and willingly. Often they will partner on projects when the blend of expertise or location makes sense for the client.

TAAN is a membership-based organization with dues and benefits and responsibilities, created for agency owners. We are very honest about everything happening at our “shop” and look for advice from others. The most exciting part is that we truly are global. Every two years we hold global meetings where we not only learn new ways of approaching the advertising business, but get a chance to build or renew relationships with folks from other cultures and countries.Read full post...

Read more in

Here’s to being a better blogger in 2010!

My goal: be a better blogger.

My goal: be a better blogger.

So I am beginning to get it—this whole social media thing. I threatened to quit Facebook earlier this year…but didn’t. It’s still too intriguing to me. And yes, it is fun to connect with old friends and business associates…even some distant relatives have touched base.

So here is my commitment to myself and my company and many acquaintances—I will become a better (meaning simply a more involved and more active) blogger in 2010. Alright, this is my promise to all of you…I’ll start thinking about why you read blogs and what’s important to you. Why did you stop here? Curious about the agency? Our work? Our clients? Our staff? Or are you really that interested in me? I doubt that it’s all about me. My posts will be about what would interest you…not just what interests me. And hopefully that keeps you coming back to read new content.

Read more in

Facing “The Book” in my 50s

Am I too old for Facebook?

Am I too old for Facebook?

So it’s no secret — I’m well into my 50s. I learned the basics using pencils with portable erasers that were the size of small Volkswagens. Eventually I graduated to relying on secretaries who used carbon paper. These same secretarial resources also made my thoughtful presentations come to life using some low-cost overhead projections. Then life got fancy and we all started using slides! The fax machine really changed the whole mindset though — I was suddenly able to “do my own faxes” (well, usually). Read full post...

Read more in