A letter to Ad Age’s Small Agency community
I wanted to reach out to you all and let you know that Ad Age is here to help you through this time of instability. Small shops and startups in particular are a hardy lot, and may even be better equipped than larger rivals to ride out the economic storm caused by the coronavirus. But we also believe there is power in sharing and that there are lessons to be learned that can strengthen the small agency community overall.
For starters, I want to assure you that our Small Agency Awards will be proceeding as usual—with one small change. The entry forms ask for revenue figures and we will still be requiring them. However, given current economic headwinds, no entry will be penalized for showing a loss. This is a hard time to win new business and convince clients to spend more, so rest assured that a dent in your financial column will not rule you out from being considered for an award. What counts, as always, is your creative product, your strategic thinking, your outcomes for clients and your responsiveness to your employees.
I am excited to let you know that we have already selected our panel of outside judges for the awards and will be announcing them likely next week. In the interest of safety, all judging will be conducted online.
Second, at this point our conference will still be held in July in Portland Oregon and we are planning an agenda filled with actionable advice to grow your business and help it prosper, including workshops and speakers who can relate directly to the issues small agencies face.
Last, we want to be the place for you to share ideas, best practices and advice with the rest of your community. Small agencies, by nature, live on the edge—an account loss, a key employee leaving or a client cutback can have a far greater impact than a missing cog in a big holding-company wheel. To that effect, I would like to invite you to share your stories for a new section I will be editing called Living on the Edge. The idea is to tell your story of how you came back from any kind of setback or crisis, and/or how you are dealing with the impact of the coronavirus at your shops.
These stories are intended to be uplifting and informative—turning around campaigns quickly, changing a shoot schedule on a dime or even finding ways to engage and rally employees who are less connected and working remotely. I invite you to email me directly at [email protected] with your ideas for this regular feature.
I’d also be open to hearing ideas for the conference in July, where I look forward to seeing you all and celebrating your excellent work. Until then, stay safe and most importantly stay connected. We are here to help.