15 Insights from 15 Years – Notes from a PR and Ad Agency Survivor

This year marks Bailey Gardiner’s 15th year. Recently, I’ve been spending some time reflecting on what I have learned about agency life during that time. Yes folks, it’s time to tear back the onion peel and look a bit more deeply into this world of “integrated communications” and agency life. For some of you, this will be an affirmation of what you live. For others it will be a glimpse into a business that is quite unlike what many of you call “work” each day. It isn’t a whole lot like Mad Men portrays it to be (except for the drinking), but it’s sure been a great ride for us.


This year marks Bailey Gardiner’s 15th year. Recently, I’ve been spending some time reflecting on what I have learned about agency life during that time. Yes folks, it’s time to tear back the onion peel and look a bit more deeply into this world of “integrated communications” and agency life. For some of you, this will be an affirmation of what you live. For others it will be a glimpse into a business that is quite unlike what many of you call “work” each day. It isn’t a whole lot like Mad Men portrays it to be (except for the drinking), but it’s sure been a great ride for us.

1. Most people who start an agency are really good at one thing, and that thing is rarely running a business. From hyper-talented creative types to type-A account people (ahem), we rise through the ranks of our agencies and decide it’s time to start our own thing. So exciting. Look! We have clients. Wow! Our first office. Zikes! We’re winning awards. Wait, what? What do you mean I have to spend time on human resources, payroll, health care, legal contracts, the clogged kitchen sink? This industry needs to get better at training its rising stars to be managers and not just good fill-in-the-blanks.

2. People who have self-confidence in presentations will rise to the top. I’ve watched really talented people choke in presentations and it’s not pretty. Get good at it. Go to Toastmasters. Say yes to every presentation opportunity. I’ve also seen lots of people overcome their fear and go on to be outstanding presenters. It has definitely helped their careers. Leer más “15 Insights from 15 Years – Notes from a PR and Ad Agency Survivor”