I woke up this morning to several congratulatory comments from followers on LinkedIn today. According to LinkedIn, I’m celebrating eight years at Eckel & Vaughan.
It’s hard to believe that nine years ago, my good friend Albert Eckel and I started talking about building an agency together. What’s even harder to believe is that I’ve now been with Eckel & Vaughan for as long as I was with Rockett Burkhead & Winslow (RBW), one of Raleigh’s “Big Three” agencies at the time—an agency that took a chance by giving me a start in the advertising business.
While RBW is no longer around, my experience there has stuck with me. I had the unique opportunity of working closely with and learning directly from the founders: Howard Rockett, Scott Burkhead and Michael Winslow—giants in the industry, all of whom created and are still creating great work today.
Out of everything I learned while at RBW, the most important was this: We’re not in the business of creating beautiful ads. We’re in the business of solving business problems.
It was this belief that led me to MBA School while working at RBW. I wanted to better understand how businesses worked so that I could counsel business clients through business challenges.
And it is this belief that drives what we do at E&V every day. We’re fond at E&V of using what we call a strategy or creative brief. Agencies use a brief to create clarity, agreement and benchmarks between the agency and client teams on communications projects.
The first question on the E&V brief since day one has been this one: “What’s the business problem we’re trying to solve?” We start there because the most beautiful advertising or best laid communications plans will not work unless everyone involved in the effort truly understands the business problem that the skills we bring to the table—the communications arts—must help solve.
This is a challenge that our team embraces every day for clients in all sorts of industries with all sorts of needs. And I hope there are many more opportunities for E&V to solve these problems because we love doing it.