Do You Have What it Takes to be Ad Age’s Small Agency of the Year?

smallagencyawardsAdvertising Age, which freely admits that they follow the money in their coverage of the marketing and advertising world, is now on the lookout for the Small Agency of the Year.

What does that mean, exactly?  Well, from their website:

The aim of the awards is to try to uncover the best small agencies both in the U.S. (those agencies with fewer than 75 employees) and overseas (those agencies with fewer than 50 employees).

We are charging $150 per entry. Every shop that meets the size requirement is eligible, regardless of marketing discipline. And we’re not splitting this into categories by medium — we’re far more interested in finding the best ideas that did the most to move business.

There will be two categories: Best Small Agency and Best Small Agency Campaign.  Ad Age will recognize a U.S. and International winner for each, as well as finalists for both categories.  Profiles of the winning agencies will be published both in print and online on July 27th.

Cost to enter is $150 per entry.  If you think you’ve got the goods, the entry deadline is May 22nd.

Does Creative Matter? Absolutely.

Everyone and their dog has an opinion on what constitutes good creative.  Is it good if its memorable? Is it good if it tells a story? Is it good if its effective?

Sometimes, the answers come not from the industry, the peers and others inside the fishbowl, but from the clients and the results themselves.

Case in point: Last fall we featured work that was being done for the United Way of the Treasure Valley by a group of creatives in the Valley.  Last month, the United Way announced that their community campaign had generated $5.9 million in donations from individuals and corporations.  Today, the United Way announced 31 grant recipients of the funds.

Included in the article from the Idaho Statesman was a quote from Tod McKay, Vice President of Communications for United Way of Treasure Valley, recognizing the effort that went into the creative for the campaign:

The local United Way’s community campaign was hugely successful this year, despite hard economic times. The organization raised $5.9 million, a 9 percent increase over last year’s campaign and the most in the group’s 81-year history.

McKay said part of this year’s success can be attributed to a creative advertising campaign put together by some of the region’s lead advertising agencies free-of-charge.

“They helped us tell our story better than we’ve ever done before,” McKay said.

That’s when you know you’ve done a good job.

Congratulations, and well done, to everyone involved.

Coffee Morning

It’s about time to do it again.

The next Coffee Morning is scheduled for Friday, April 17th.

And, since it’s been a while since we last did this, here’s a quick reminder of what Coffee Morning is all about:

What is a Coffee Morning, you ask? Well, in a nutshell, it’s a loosely organized gathering, where people come together for coffee and conversation. There’s no agendas, no presentations – just an opportunity for people to chat, share ideas, and learn from one another.

All the details you’ve come to expect:

Date:  Friday, April 17th
Time:  7:30 am – 9:00 am (roughly – you’re welcome to show up anytime in between)
LocationJava Downtown, 6th & Idaho, Boise

Any questions in the mean time? Feel free to leave a comment here.

Upcoming PRSA Event: PR/Communications Experience and Education

The PRSA Idaho Chapter has an event coming up on Wednesday, April 22ndPR/Communications Experience and Education — How to Lead in a PR, PIO or Communications Role Without Them.  From the PRSA Idaho website:

Several PR practitioners, communicators and PIOs have landed in their jobs without previous public relations experience or formal training. If you are one of them and would like to get tips on how to become more confident and effective as a PR practitioner or PIO, this will prove to be a valuable meeting for you. During this session, we will hear from a number of communications professionals who can address this topic. Then, we’ll open it up for discussion.

Speakers include:

  • Beth Toal, Public Relations Manager, St. Luke’s Health Care Syste
  • John Foster, Senior Advisor and Director of Communicationsfor Congressman Walt Minnick
  • Chris Smith, Internal Communications and Corporate Affairs, Micron
  • Mary Frances Casper, Professor of Public Relations, BSU

Details about the event are as follows:

Date:  Wednesday, April 22nd
Time:  11:45 am – 1:00 pm
LocationRegence BlueShield of Idaho, Conference Room A (2nd Floor). 1211 W. Myrtle St, Boise ID
Cost (includes lunch):
 – Members: $8
 – Non-Members $10

RSVPs should be sent via email to Robbie Johnson, or by telephone to 208-387-6228.  RSVP deadline is Wednesday, April 15th.

Internship Opportunity

Seen recently on the Boise Craigslist:

Advertising agency seeks intern to support account team. Qualifications should include: Microsoft Office proficiency, highly motivated, self-starter, detail-oriented, organized, collaborative, and positive attitude.

Applicant should have, or be pursing, a degree in marketing, advertising, or a related field.

Please reply via email with resume and availability.

While the agency is not named, you can contact them via email through the original listing.

A Note About Comments

With the recent changes to the Idaho Ad Agencies site, including the new publishing platform, hosting and such, there are still a few kinks in the system to work out.  One of which is comments.

For the time being, comments are being loosely moderated.  How so, you ask?  Well, when you leave a comment, you are required to leave a name and email address.  If it’s the first time you’ve left a comment on this platform, it will be held for moderation.  Once that comment has been approved, it’ll appear on the site, and any comments you leave in the future should appear on the site automatically.

As time goes on, this process may get automated a little more, but for the time being, it is the way it is.  Thanks for understanding.

Changes at Drake Cooper

Or, a more polite way of saying that the staff size at Drake Cooper has decreased a bit.

A couple of weeks ago, word reached us that there had been layoffs at Drake Cooper.  Of the staff listed on their website, two full-time and one part-time had been let go.  A fourth, a limited-term contractor, also had their project scaled back at the same time.

I had a chance to trade messages with CEO Jamie Cooper about these changes, and he confirmed that they had made cuts, and also provided a little insight into the reasoning behind it:

Slower start to 2009 after a very strong 2008. No big changes other than the economy finally catching us a bit. The other thing I would mention is these moves are also reflective of the change to more digital work in our shop. Our client work in the digital realm (all sorts of work – not just websites) is growing quickly and our staff adjustments need to support that growth.

As has been the case with others, this is an unfortunate reality of the business environment that we’re in.  To those who were affected, give us a shout and we’ll get you listed in the Available Talent section of the website.

I fully expect that Drake Cooper, and other agencies that have gone through the layoff process recently, to bounce back in the near future.  As I’m sure many would agree, I look forward to once again writing about new hires and seeing a rash of job openings in the industry.

Client-Side Job Opening: Marketing Manager / Coordinator

The Idaho Botanical Garden in Boise is looking for a Marketing Manager / Coordinator.

From the job listing on their website:

Responsible for developing, maintaining and implementing marketing strategies to meet organizational objectives. Evaluates current programs along with client and market feedback to determine marketing plan changes as needed. Oversees all marketing, advertising and promotional activities. Works closely with key partners, IBG staff, and Board members to develop new tools and coordinate messaging and image of the Idaho Botanical Garden. 

This is an independent contractor position, and an estimated workload of 20-30 hours per week.  Resumes should be sent to the folks at the Idaho Botanical Garden by end of day Tuesday, April 7th.