Agency Review, 2009

A pessimist sees adversity in every opportunity; an optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty.

 -Sir Winston Churchill

Tough, that’s the only way I can describe 2009. (Well, there are other ways but this is my PC choice.) Q2 and Q3 were especially difficult as everyone seemed to pull back at the same time. Thankfully, by the end of Q3 and through Q4, business accelerated, clearly not at the pace of a few years ago, but better for sure.

As one who has been through difficult times before, I know that this is a great time to implement change. It is an opportunity to build services and, more importantly, add great talent to the agency.

The Dowd Agency Joins Middleberg Communications

Jim Dowd and I combined forces in November, and am I glad we did. It was a huge step forward for us. Now we have a terrific consumer group, one that is particularly skilled in broadcast and social media, as well as traditional PR. Jim and his team are bright, creative, and enormously enthusiastic about what they do. Together only two months, it seems that we have operated seamlessly for years.

Today we are an agency of nearly 20 staffers representing a wide variety of clients—from Barclay’s Wealth and Hollander Home Fashions, to Meredith Publishing and Yahoo. We have moved from being a boutique firm to one that is solidly in the mid-size category.

New Journalist Study

As some of you may know, I have always taken a keen interest in studying technology’s impact on journalism. In 1994, my firm partnered with Professor Steve Ross of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and for the next 10 years conducted the largest study of journalists anywhere in the world. Starting last year, I teamed up with the Society of New Communications Research (SNCR) to better understand how journalists are using social media. Results of our 2010 study—and they are fascinating—will be published early this year and can be found on our agency’s website,

We’re Moving

In keeping with our growth, our agency is moving to new, larger, and very cool quarters at 317 Madison Avenue (entrance on 42nd St). We hope to see you there soon.

So here’s to a healthy, prosperous, and happy 2010 for us all.