A Shock to the System

When I started this blog I thought, sure there’ll be some great tales to tell along the way. But something like this feels way too soon to be reporting on. Today, we found out that our agency was letting go about 35 employees including the closing of two offices. Now, I would feel lucky if I were to say that this was the first time this had happened since I started with the company, but alas, this is only one of many. Those who work in ad agencies can especially empathize with the growing pains of a company that’s trying to go from selling traditional media to selling interactive media. It’s no surprise that although interactive is growing by leaps and bounds; it can’t quite balance out the fall of revenue in other areas that are falling. 

It makes sense on paper. It’s a little bit stickier in the real world. And today my world just got rocked. There’s no getting around it. Oh settle down, I didn’t get the ax (you would know by my desperate attempt to monetize myself on here). However, someone in my department did. It was a terrible day. And to take make matters worse it was purely for budgetary purposes. The guy was a hard worker, innovative thinker, team player, liked happy hours (that was key)…all the qualities of a must-have marketer.

But what really brought it home was that we have the same job title (partially). We’re both marketers (although I sway more towards the copywriting side of things). We both have a lot to offer. The only difference is that I have a couple weeks more experience and I like writing. That’s really all that separated us.

Needless to say, it was a big reality check. I’ve read a lot of articles about being marketable, and standing out from your peers, growing your strengths, yada yada yada. Well I get it. I really get it.

So this is my new motto. If you’re comfortable – you’re vulnerable. Always strive to do better and keep your chin up. Ha. Okay, a little corny at the end, there, but you get the jist.

As for the co-worker? Well I wish him the best of luck and I hope he continues his attendance at our happy hours.

Published in: on January 21, 2010 at 12:03 am  Comments (1)  

Industry Guru…stuff

If you don’t know this yet, you should be aware that I despise people who claim to be “gurus” related to anything in an agency. Social Media Guru? Don’t care. Mobile Guru? Sure. SEM Guru?  You lost me at hello.

So why then did I title this “Industry Guru?” Because it’s more fun than saying, “Hey here are some cool industry updates that I think you should know about”…and truth be told, it optimizes nicely. But seriously  – here are some cool industry updates. Take em or leave em.

1.  Social Media etiquette. It’s about time people learned to use some manners on Facebook. Sheesh!

2.  Speak of the devil! It would have been just as well if they used “Social Media Guru” in this title vs. Social Media Expert. I might have to get into a little analysis on this later. Trust me I have some experience dealing with these so-called experts.

3.  This is amazing. Everything Stephen Colbert touches turns to gold. Not that I really care that much about speed skating. But I can’t wait to see what he’ll endorse next. Remember when he tried to run for President?

4.  When you work for an ad agency you get a feel for what clients need and what they really need. Across the board I can say with 100% confidence that everyone REALLY needs to embrace SEO. So I can’t help but pass on articles that try to let others know that it’s NOT that scary or hard! Really!

That’s it for updates. More breaking news to come, though. The economy strikes again. Oy vey!

Published in: on January 20, 2010 at 6:49 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Give thanks for what you’ve got.

Tradegy strikes Haiti again. It’s unthinkable that an aftershock of that magnitude could hit Haitians, but it happened. Please do everything you can to help those in need. Text, donate, organize relief efforts, whatever is necessary to help. For the full story click here.

Published in: on January 20, 2010 at 1:23 pm  Leave a Comment  

Catching up to the rest of the world.

Ahhh. Paid holidays – one of the few perks of working with an ad agency. True it was more of a government holiday, but I’ll take what I can get.

So today is a bit of a catch up. On Thursday and Friday I labored over an article that I was ghost writing for the CEO of our company. I knew he had to submit it to the publisher on Monday so I sent it over at 1pm on Friday and told him to email me over the weekend if he needed any changes.

Fast forward to today. My VP wants a status update on that article. Did it get to the CEO? Did he have changes? Did he submit it to the publisher? Well. Turns out he didn’t. Which, thankfully I had documentation for my alibi. But what about the CEO? Well, after our VP called the CEO to see what the status was on the article, he finally replied to my email with, “Good to go, nice job!”  It seems that he hadn’t even looked at the article until that very moment. Which was fine. I was off the hook, my job was done. So did he submit it to the publisher? No. But it got there because of some smaller fish looking out for him. To which I think – must be nice.

I think a lot of people in an ad agency would have reason to complain about those on the top of the ladder. Always trying to fight tooth and nail to get to the top. I beg to differ. Maybe that’s because I’m not trying to climb that ladder. I’m more of a lateral mover.
But I do have a “fighting” personality. Not the type of personality that finds competition in everything. No – you won’t find that type A girl here. But due to my attention to detail that has only grown with each new position I take on, I find the battles that I know I can win, or think I have a REAL good chance at winning. Sometimes the impulsive side of me takes over, and that’s when I find I learn the real hard lessons like the following:

1.  Never be mean to your co-workers. Burning bridges won’t get you anywhere, and eventually you’ll need help, but it won’t be there if you’re a meany.

2.  Make your heads look good. Is this kissing up? Only if it’s not tactful. Keep it classy, San Diego.

3.  Always have an alibi. Document everything and keep a careful file system. You’ll need it when you least expect it. 

4.  If you know you did something wrong, be the first to point it out. Owning up to your responsibilities is what will lead others to trust you, even if you make mistakes.

5.  Learn how to stick it out. Unless it’s hurting your morale. People hate whiners, so if the situation stinks, try to make it better. 

Well, enough lessons learned for today. Stay tuned for the stories behind these lessons.

Published in: on January 20, 2010 at 12:29 am  Leave a Comment  

Good god. It’s January?

Hello all you fellow agency underdogs. Welcome to the world of James Lynn. If I were a superhero I’d probably be “Most Willing to Please Others Girl.” sounds….awesome, right? Hah. Not really. Anyways, I’m starting this blog because I have been working in an ad agency (which will remain nameless…for the time being) for the last 2.5 years, and I think I know a thing or two. Am I a “social media guru?” Well. Aren’t we all? Cmon now. I have no claim to fame. But I like to tell stories and I like talk about work. Cause everyone’s got a story. And I think mine’s pretty good. And I’d also like to use this as a way to call out some people (Yes, this blog may be fueled by some passive aggressive feelings, but you’ll like it, I promise). 

Alright, well stay tuned and I’ll be sure to give you some great tales as an agency underdog.

Published in: on January 18, 2010 at 7:10 pm  Leave a Comment