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Posts Tagged ‘advertising’

In interviews, and in general, I often claim that one of my strengths as a MarComm writer is “my ability to dive into an unfamiliar situation and quickly learn enough to market some product or service that I may not even heard of a week before.”
And the person I am speaking to says, “Fascinating!”
And I’m like, “Thanks!”
And he says, “No, I think it’s fascinating that someone who writes for a living would open his blog with a 46-word sentence.”

Anyhooo…the Quick Study is a talent, and in the Agency Environment (another of my big buzzwords) it’s critical to your success and longevity. This is particularly true in these times when the $20K projects are all dormant, and you have to substitute four $5K gigs in their place.

My point (that only took 3 paragraphs to reach) is that there is a specific place where I learned these things—a tenacious little Dayton OH agency called Concept Company. Concept has been around many a moon and does a bit of everything…print ads, public relations, web development…for a variety of clients. However I think one of their biggest strengths is in locking up a really arcane niche: Graphic Arts, or GA for all you abbreviators out there.

GA is pretty much anything involved in printing and packaging:

  • Commodities like ink and paper
  • Services like printing, labeling and converting
  • Capital items like presses, splicers, and feed/rewind devices

Glamorous, no? Um, no.  But to me, that’s the genius of it.  My samples are full of Concept/GA projects, as well as other Concept projects in manufacturing, defense contracting, real estate, sporting goods, and so on. So take a look at some samples. And visit Concept Company’s site today! (a call to action, even…I really did learn something there!)

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wiki

“No better friend, no greater adversary…”

Expertise..acquiring it fast and cheap. As we used to say at ImageMatrix: “It CAN be Done!”

As famed guitarist and alcoholic Joe Walsh once said, I can’t complain but sometimes I still do. From time to time you may detect a note (or perhaps a symphony) of cynicism in my tone but, truth be told, there are parts of my job I truly love.

This will sound lame, but my favorite part is learning new things. (Note: warning the reader that something will sound lame does not make it less lame.) By this I mean new businesses, new fields, new products and so on. I have spent a few really productive years in an agency environment, both full time and as a freelancer. There I was exposed to a barrage of new clients in various fields, from shooting sports to military research to graphic arts to public radio.

Believe me, after a solid decade plus in healthcare communications, it was a definite paradigm shift (corporate douche-speak? Mike, you promised!) Sorry. Anyway, I loved the challenge of digging into the materials, interviewing the client, learning about their company, their competition and their industry at large.  And I loved being the proverbial fresh pair of eyes in the room. I guess the biggest lesson I learned was…how to learn. (Tonight on a very special Lively Exchange, Mike learns how to learn.)

All of these tender life lessons came in handy yesterday, when I had to dig into yet another field I knew nothing about (and cannot really discuss.) My mission was to turn 5,000 words into 5,000 different words, with another 2,500 words added for sheer volume.  I’d have to check the AP style guide, but I’m pretty sure that’s “a butt-load.” It promised to be a steep climb, but I was really looking forward to it precisely because the topic was so new. I was exhausted by the end of the day but, as they say, it was a good kind of tired.

How about you, my fellow ink-stained wretches? What’s your favorite part of the job?

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