New Beginnings: I’m Here, Again

Blogs are like learning to play the first chords of a guitar: In your head, it sounds good, but to the listener it may be flat, dissonant to the point of being a rambling annoyance. Here I am writing a blog again, promising to write guitar riffs worthy of Slash or Chuck Berry, while wondering if I sound like a bare ass cat on a hot tin roof.

Let us get down to business. I own an advertising agency. As agencies go, we aren’t large. We’re a pimple on the size grade. However, in terms of ambition we are a giant. Our ideas are expansive, innovative and I hope they will truly help a client’s business grow. Unfortunately, in all professions there is a knowledge curve. Moreover, as it is with life, there are situations to avoid, and lessons to learn. I learned a lot last year, mainly how to work smarter.

I am not a person given to cynicism, believing a person has to be ‘crazy’ to be involved in advertising. I will go on a limb and say that if you are purpose driven and caring, it will reflect in the work. How many charities fade because no one they don’t have the money to pay for an agency to publicize it? Talking about my agency specifically, I must confess that we have not acquitted ourselves very well in this area. Opportunity is lost to prove not only the good things about a conscientious ad agency, but it is falling short of fulfilling civic responsibility in the community.

2013 started as a year of promise but ended as a debacle. A series of bad hires, awful, ungrateful clients and personal decisions made the situation worse. And, oh yeah, my accountant stole a significant amount of money from us. As my friend, Raul would with his considerable accent: “Beach.”

We have crossed the cusp of 2014. There will still be that sour taste of opportunity lost, the sting of disrespectful former employees, and of course, lost revenue.

There are many reasons for optimism for this year, 2014. One of them is a renewed sense of vitality – I truly enjoy what I do. It’s also possible that I will associate with some dynamic people on this journey.

The term advertising agency to truly encompasses and reflects our business service capabilities; but we will also be an integrated marketing firm. Public relations, crisis and reputation management will be provided only to businesses. The last entertainer we helped danced her ass through the door and fell off the balcony of oblivion.
So what will happen in 2014? A great deal. The agency will be rebranded as CDM Digital Advertising and Integrated Marketing. Look for the announcement soon.

The texture of our staff will change as well. I want a professional and consistent sales staff, hopefully cross-generational, formerly involved in real estate, mortgage banking, and sales. In other words, a strong agency begins with a salesforce. Of all the things that we have lacked, it was that.

As I learned to play the chords of the guitar, hopefully these notes will resonate melodically.

Check you later

Bernard A. McNealy, CEO

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