“The trouble I have is not finding new ideas but getting rid of the old ones” – Thomas Edison
Ain’t that the truth. I read somewhere that there are thousands of new regulations introduced every year. That in itself is crazy, but the really troubling part is that these regs stay on the books seemingly forever. No one has the responsibility for removing them. So how do we get rid of old ideas while introducing new ones? In public relations, as in any industry, the answer lies with leadership. A CEO must consistently look at his firm with a fresh set of eyes and ears, and to always change the mix to be positioned for growth and development. That doesn’t mean always making revolutionary changes. In my opinion, evolutionary development is better. “Steady as she goes” is just not about ships anymore. Keeping to the mission, remaining client-focused, and most importantly of all, retaining valued employees can be worth more than any directive.
So here is what we did and didn’t do at Middleberg Communications during 2011:
What we did – Place ever greater emphasis on social media and digital communications. In particular, we developed a proprietary program called “Influence the Influencers”. We all know that 10% of people in any profession lead the remaining 90%. Their reach and influence are enormous. Well, we have spent a lot of time thinking about how we identify the top 25-50 influencers in any given area and then how to impact those leaders for the benefit of our clients.
What we didn’t do – Of our 16 employees we lost only two; one decided to become a journalist and another moved into the corporate world. One of the things clients everywhere abhor is rapid turnover of their agency’s account team. It is enormously wasteful, time-consuming and expensive to constantly retrain. I’m proud of our employee loyalty and I know our clients are, as well.
The good news for us is that we start 2012 in a better position than the same time last year, and certainly better than any time in the last three years. With a strong base of clients in technology, healthcare, marketing and media and corporate/financial/and professional services, we have our most solid base yet upon which to build our agency. Most importantly, we have the best team in our history, with just the right combination of experienced senior executives matched with younger, enthusiastic account managers-all of whom are committed to providing the finest client experience in our industry.
So here’s wishing a great 2012 for everyone.