Wednesday, May 31, 2006

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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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Job Opening

Davies Rourke has an opening for a receptionist/project assistant. The full job listing can be seen here.
(Courtesy of

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Thursday, May 25, 2006

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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Monday, May 22, 2006

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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Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Job Opening

DTX Media has an opening for an entry level graphic designer. The full listing (what little of it there is) can be found here.
(Courtesy of The Idaho Stateman/CareerBuilder)

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Friday, May 12, 2006

How Do You "LIV ARGE?"

The past few days I've seen one of the "wrapped" Valley Ride busses around Boise. This particular bus is an ad for Corey Barton Homes. While it certainly does grab attention, at first glance I thought it said "LIV ARGE" on the side of the bus. The graphic behind the text appears to be that of someone lounging either in a chair, on the floor, or something similar.

As with everything that Corey Barton Homes has done recently, the Live Large tagline is in red. The kicker, however, is that the model in the picture behind the text is wearing a red shirt. While the colors are not identical, they are close enough that at first glance the bus is not very readable.

So the question I have to ask is, why didn't someone step back and look at it from a distance before it made it to the side of a bus? Up close, and on a computer screen, I'm sure the different shades of red were easy to distinguish, but from 50 yards away, the pretty much blend together. The end result? LIV ARGE.

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Thursday, May 11, 2006

New Hires and Changes

Es/drake has been making some changes as of late. Recently they acquired AB Positive, and merged them into the company. Everyone at AB Positive is now a part of es/drake, and have the following roles:

Gary Martinez is Director of esdrake+interactive.
Chad Connalley is Web Developer.
Josh McDannel is Application Developer.

Also, Joanne Taylor has been hired to lead es/drake's PR practice.

Congratulations to all.

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Non-Advertised Job Openings

I have it on good authority that there are a couple of shops in Boise that have job openings, although they haven't been advertised anywhere. They're both entry-level type positions:

Es/drake has an opening for an account coordinator.
Stoltz Marketing Group has an opening for a programmer.

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Wednesday, May 10, 2006


Its now Wednesday, and Oliver Russell's website is still not back up...

Monday, May 08, 2006

The Devil's in the Details

So here's an interesting little tidbit for a Monday... On a quick roundabout of the web this morning I noticed that Oliver Russell's website was, shall we say, a bit off. I poked around a little more and found that the domain name expired on May 5th. It was renewed this morning (May 8th) and everything should be functioning correctly again within the next day or two.

But the point here is that while little things like domain name renewals, making sure phone numbers are correct in the phone book, etc. may not seem like major issues in light of the overall business, those little details can make all the difference in the world.

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Job Opening

Murie Design Group has an opening for a graphic designer with traditional design background, as well as computer, pre- press and web experience. Additional details can be found here.
(Courtesy of CareerBuilder)

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Friday, May 05, 2006

New Hire

Shannon VanAmburg has joined Oliver Russell as their new administrative assistant.

Congratulations Shannon.

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Thursday, May 04, 2006

Job Opening

Murie Design Group has an opening for an Account Executive with a minimum of 1 year agency experience. The full job listing can be seen here.
(Courtesy of CareerBuilder)

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Job Opening

Publicis has an opening for an Account Executive with 4 years agency experience and/or education in marketing. The full job posting can be found here.
(Courtesy of Monster)

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Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Types of Agencies

There seems to be a trend in the types of agencies that we have around here.

There are those who are perfectly content to do business the way that they’ve always done it. It’s a proven formula, and has always worked in the past, so why change now? It seems that agencies in this mind-set are those who work primarily with local or regional clients, and aren’t willing to take a lot of risks.

There are the agencies that focus more on the larger clients, and as such don’t give the appearance of having much of a presence at the local level. They crank out their work as a satellite office for whatever larger entity they’re a part of, and leave it at that.

There are also those who are willing to take a few risks with/for their clients and try new approaches, different tactics, etc. These are the types of agencies that are getting a lot of attention in the larger “agency world as a whole” press, and the ones that everyone seems to be fawning over.

Then there are the shops that are the shops that seem to be dabbling a little in each of the other areas. These are the ones that, while they are most likely profitable at present, probably don’t have any sort of defined business direction, and as such you’ll find different groups within the organization trying to go different directions. These are the ones that will eventually have to “grow up” if you will, and make a decision about what kind of business they want to be.

I’ve got my opinions about where I think a good number of the agencies in Idaho fit into this list, but I’d like to know what those of you reading this think about it. The "target for discussion" is up. Feel free to shoot holes in it.

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