We are not alone in this business

Lest you think that the goings-on in the agency business in and around Idaho are unique, here’s a small world story that confirms the fact that the business we do does not happen independently of the rest of the industry:

I was listening to one of the many podcasts that I subscribe to, in this case Episode 34 of Across the Sound from Joseph Jaffe. In this particular show, I caught a piece contributed by Tac Anderson, with Blue Line Results, located here in the Treasure Valley. Tac railed on for a few minutes about the “old agency model” and how even local companies have been incredibly slow to adapt to changes in the industry. He also made note of a recent event put on by the Idaho chapter of the PRSA, in which a whopping six people showed up. Yes, you read that right, SIX.

Oh where to begin…

Let’s start with the PRSA event. Six people is just embarrassing. But the first question that comes to my mind is where was the advance information about this event. Personally, I never heard a word about it. And with an event sponsored by a chapter of the Public Relations Society of America, you’d think that they’d do a better job than most of getting the word out in the press / media. Apparently not. When I can read a story about the former Governor’s Press Secretary taking a job with a PR Agency, reported by the Associated Press of all people (I’ll leave the irony of that alone for now), but I hear nothing about an event that should, and most likely did, have relevance for the agency business in Idaho as a whole, something’s just wrong with that picture.

Now, as far as the “old agency model” of doing business, for those of you who’ve followed my previous posts, you know that I’m a strong proponent of adapting to the changes that are happening all around us. If you’re not changing right now, you’re going to find yourself so far behind that you’ll end up spending significantly more trying to recruit talented, and qualified employees away from other companies down the road. To Tac’s point of trying to help out their competitors, I’m right there with him — they’ve had their chance. While its true that changes in the agency business in Idaho tend to lag behind what’s happening nationally, now is the perfect time for agencies around here to catch up with the rest of the world. With very few exceptions, every shop in this state is a “boutique agency,” and as such should be able to adapt incredibly quickly to these changes. Why doesn’t it happen? More often than not I’d be willing to guess that too many shops are comfortable with the status quo.

So, here I am sitting at my computer in Idaho, writing about a podcast that originates from Connecticut, among other locations, that included a comment from another listener here in Idaho. We are most definitely not alone in this business.

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Rizen’s feeling a bit awkward

So apparently Rizen Creative is feeling a bit awkward. A visit to their site recently proves it. Give it a look for yourself.

Two things:
1) Gotta give the folks at Rizen credit for acknowledging that they know people are going to their site looking for information. Its a step up from their previous “New Year New Us” single page that had been up for the past four or five months.
2) The excuses for not presenting your own work will only get you by for so long. While doing your own internal work is not billable time, the potential for future (billable) client work as a result should be more than enough of a justification for working on your internal stuff.

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It Comes in Waves

So its no big secret that activity in a given agency tends to come in waves. You’ll be obnoxiously busy at a given time, only to have things slow down just a tick or two shortly thereafter. That seems to be the case on a larger scale with the business in general around these parts. From an external point of view, it seems that there was a flurry of activity earlier this year, but now most shops are pretty tight-lipped about what there up to.

Now I’m sure those on the inside would say that this is the time that they’re the busiest, and what is seen on the outside is a result of the work that’s happening now. That’s all fine and good, but I’m still going to throw that reminder out to all of the agencies in Idaho that you are your own client as well. And if you play the “busy card” when thinking about your own work, you’re doing a disservice to yourself, as the client.

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