If your memory is exceptional, you may remember that month in history included Prisoner of war United States Army Private Jessica Lynch being rescued by U.S. forces from Nasiriya, Iraq; Michael Jordan retiring from professional basketball while playing for the Washington Wizards and Apple Computer revealing a new online music store, entitled the iTunes Music Store, for its iTunes and iPod products.
And, one month later President Bush landed on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln and declared that major combat operations in Iraq over while standing in front of a banner reading “Mission Accomplished.”
Of course, that mission wasn’t accomplished, and neither was ours. By a long shot.
It hasn’t always been ideal, but we’ve had an excellent run here at PR Agency Matter Communications – and along the way we’ve had tremendous staff and clients, and we’ve done outstanding work. Based on our past decade, here are a few recommendations on how to thrive:
Hire well. I couldn’t possibly overemphasize the importance of hiring solid professionals at every step of the growth process. All hires are critical, no matter the position. And, don’t hesitate to hire good people over better PR people. Our staff happens to be both, but for certain you want good people by your side when you’re staring down the barrel of failure unless several things go right. Fortunately, several things did, and many of our good people stayed with us.
Always be starting something new. Sure, it’s been a decade, but I find myself telling people more now than ever that “we’re just getting started!” I believe that. I feel it in my bones. Our momentum is still building, and it’s fueled by leading communication trends such as digital content creation, high-profile social media programs, and SEO. Don’t be static, but rather always be moving.
Stick to the knitting. Do what you do – and do it very well. Our gang currently runs social media programs (from strategy to execution) for some of the nation’s largest brands. We have an exceptionally talented creative team delivering informative, content-rich videos and graphics across multiple platforms and myriad audiences. Meanwhile, as always, we’ve got tenacious PR people pitching stories that directly support a client’s business objectives. We’ve got the right people in place who do what they do best. It’s been an unwavering approach – and for us it’s worked very well.
Don’t underestimate your finance people. A really good banker and an even better accountant are huge pieces of our success. In an economy when fellow agencies were scaling back due to a shrinking and increasingly challenging economy, we had smart analysis and spot-on recommendations that helped us thrive. It was exceptional perspective that directly contributed to our success.
Make a difference. Dedicate time to – and leverage your success for – the benefit of others. Challenge yourself to do more than launch/create/run a business, and find ways to give back. As proud as we are of the success we’ve experienced in PR and social media, we are equally proud of the support we provide to a number of charitable (and just good!) organizations in the community we call home. We give because it’s the right thing to do, and we’re a culturally richer agency because of it.
It’s a family affair. You can’t do “this” gig without serious support at home. I’m not so naïve to think this is unique – and know well that support at home is central to success of so much in this world. Entrepreneurial ventures rarely adhere to a plan, and commonly have roadblocks and detours along the way – and our ride has been no exception. An immeasurable benefit over the past decade has been a strong, creative and level-headed sounding board at home, always extremely patient and understanding. My beautiful wife served as my foundation all these years, and I am as appreciative as any husband can be.
Tonight we’ll celebrate with a few adult beverages, just the Matter crew. Truly, we’ve earned it together.