In Retrospect and Anticipation

Looking back, it’s almost hard to believe that today marks 29 years that I have been in the marketing communications industry. 29 years! I can’t decide if I should feel proud and accomplished or huddle in the corner and reflect on my age. Yeah, I think I’ll go down the pride route.

For those of you who don’t know, I started my career in the field of marketing communications on June 8, 1980. It was at that time I arrived in Amarillo, Texas—directly out of college from Spokane, Wash. where I was from. I immediately started working at an agency as an assistant photographer and videographer.

I remember my first project quite well. We were tasked with developing a promotional video for the Hereford Economic Development Association. Looking back at how we achieved that project then and how I would do it today is simply amazing. It’s remarkable how technology has changed so much! Back then, tens of thousands of dollars could be easily eaten up on a video project similar to what I did for the HEDA. Today, we can accomplish the same goal by reaching a wider audience for far less money.

As I reflect on all that I have seen and experienced throughout the course of my career, I am reminded that while the avenues of which we communicate have changed, the basics have not. You’ve still got to know your audience and have a strategic plan for the creative implementation. It does not matter if you’re looking to utilize a billboard or Facebook ad, the foundation of which you begin remains the same.

Far too many times have I seen businesses and organizations implement rogue ideas only to be let down when the end result doesn’t turn out to be what they had hoped for. The various mediums and tactics in which you can communicate your message today is far too complex, so the need for a strategy is ever-so imperative.

When thinking about the current state of our economy, I am also reminded about the past. During my career, I have experienced five down turns in the economy. With that said, things will definitely turn around. I’ve seen it happen before and it will happen again. Many analysts predict that we will bounce out of the recession (ugh, I hate that word) no later than by the fourth quarter of this year.

I know it’s a difficult time for many businesses large and small. Trust me—I own my own business. I understand. The thing many have to always remember is to never give up. Pick up the phone and make more phone calls. Get out there and meet more people. There is still money out there, but people just want to make the right decision on how to spend it.

As I now look to the two major milestones head, 30 years in the industry and 20 years of owning my own agency, I am excited about the opportunities that are present and have yet to appear. Keep your eyes peeled and a close ear as you too will see many new exciting things from myself and SRJ Marketing Communications.