Why did you choose Lee County?
My husband and I lived in Lee County (many different areas) since 1984 and 1990 respectively. While we’ve done work in other local counties and nationwide, this is home. When we started our business 11 years we knew it would be here. We wanted to grow personally and professionally here and be better situated to give back where we live.
What is your Secret to Success?
Being true to our core values. We made a commitment to our team and ourselves to never waiver on our primary principles
- Ethics – We believe in and practice “do the right thing for the right reason – even when no one is looking”. It stems from the idea of reputation over riches and has created the foundation for our relationships, internally and with clients (some who have been with us for 8+ years)
- Education – Professional development is critical in our industry with tools, channels and trends changing virtually every second. We make sure there are resources (time and funds) available for our team, but we extend that to our clients and our community as well. We host quarterly Power Hour sessions providing education on marketing communication-related topics, provide resources on our blog and in our newsletter. Samantha also presents regularly in the community to non-profits and other groups, helping them continue to learn.
- Community – Giving back is part of our company culture. It’s one of the pillars of our organization and something each of our team members take part in. They each have their own personal involvement, but we corporately support the community as well through a variety of means.
Little Known Fact?
We started our business doing direct mail and printing in Bonita Springs, FL in 2006. Derek established and ran it for the first year and I joined at that point. We started offering public relations services at that point and grew it further after the sale of the direct mail/printing arm in 2009.
What Differentiates You?
We focus on strategy and measurement, not advertising. Most firms similar to ours focus on advertising as the means to meet a client’s goals. We don’t; rather we view advertising as just one of many tools in our tactic tool kit. We focus on strategy followed by specific measurement. By focusing on the plan vs. the tactics we can ensure we’re on the right path from step one. By measuring along the way we can make critical adjustments, determine what’s working and what might need adjustments, and ultimately get to the goal in the most time and cost effective manner. We’re strategists, not an ad agency.
Advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Get involved. It’s hard to think about adding anything else to your plate when you decide to go out on your own, I remember, but it’s critical. Get involved with industry groups or associations and make connections. Get involved with your community, whether that’s a cause or non-profit you’re passionate about or by giving of your time, talents or treasure. You’ll make a different and reap dividends – immediately and in the long term.