Awards Make Great Wallpaper
Sure I'm proud of having scored more than 50 awards for work in all media, and clients are pleased to share the plaudits.
They deserve to.
Without their backing, my ideas would've gone nowhere and it's the clients' faces I see first whenever I look at the trophy wall...
A young restaurateur allowed me to pull out all the stops and produce one of the most outrageous radio campaigns ever mounted - which packed his place and swept all radio categories, then went on to win "Best of Show" against more than 600 regional entries, among them multi-media campaigns costing a hundred times more.
An agency head called me in to set dynamite under a staid utility company - then agreed to go another way, when I found sound strategic reasons to focus on informational outreach that year.
Our "Energy Update" campaign was rewarded with increased community goodwill and prizes including a first for marketing strategy from the Public Utility Communications Association.
In the following year, given public support, we got fancy and the multi-media awards rolled in.
A trailblazing attorney, first in his region to take advantage of permission to advertise, asked for a campaign sure not to offend anyone.
The tasteful solution was to create ads and spots that could legitimately be presented as a public service.
Rich in story appeal and legal news concerning issues like joint custody, these were award-winners, too.
A homebuilder, one of the most ethical men I've ever known, sponsored several prize-winning billboards - not only for his own developments but also for cultural organizations in his community.
A neurosurgeon who was a natural on-camera served as spokesman for a first-place TV campaign introducing a new hospital - this shortly after he went into administration and wanted help to launch the then-novel concept of an HMO. Through the years I worked with him, its membership grew by 3000%, while he also brought other worthwhile "firsts" to the Southwest:
neighborhood urgent care, for instance, and specialized facilities devoted to occupational health, women's health and senior behavioral services.
And what a kick it is to deal with fashion people!
Loads of the prizes for trade and consumer print came from launching seasonal apparel and accessory collections and entire new brands, from repositioning a traditional westernwear manufacturer who went fashion-forward (complete with war paint) and from work with talented retailers.
You can read the whole Awards List, if you like.
The point is that long-haul, trust-based relationships are accomplishments I care far more about than wall decor.
Nice how they often go together, though.
Making a Difference Matters Most
Besides building relationships and earning professional recognition, I've always wanted to make a difference. Who doesn't?
In a sense, the first huge project I worked on set the tone for my career: We played a major role in saving the American Eagle, when I was a PR rookie at The Southland Corporation. We also called attention to many other endangered species through a special series of Slurpee cups sold by 7-Eleven stores in the mid-70's. Proceeds from these bought an eagle refuge, America's first, for the National Wildlife Federation. After producing countless stories on the project's progress, I was asked also to write the speeches given by top management in Washington, DC - and chose to emphasize how the aims of business aren't at variance with the public good.
Knowing that commercial and non-commercial aims can coincide beautifully with just a little effort, I subsequently created many successful partnerships between my accounts and worthy charities or cultural groups.
Again in this connection, my clients deserve most of the credit; they truly wanted to help.
There's a lot of satisfaction in every aspect of growing brands and businesses you believe in.
Developing first-of-type campaigns for totally new technologies is tremendously exciting. So is bringing worthwhile companies and investors together. So is expanding international connections, so that people needn't reinvent the wheel in different places. So is exploring the frontiers of new media and finding brand-new ways to put smiles on people's faces.
How about telling me what you want to accomplish next?
That's what the "contact" button's for.