It is hard to believe but 5 years ago this week, Matt and I left relative job security as equity partners in another professional services firm to venture out into the unknown as entrepreneurs and partners in a new public relations firm venture. We knew it would mean, for a time, no income. We knew it would mean building a client base. Of course, we had no idea that the economy would soon sink to all-time lows. It was the best professional decision either of us have ever made.
What was most important to us, and still is, was building a corporate culture that would promote teamwork, professionalism and mutual respect – in short, an agency where people would want to work and clients would want to work with toward outstanding results. Some clients followed immediately; others as soon as legal issues were resolved. Soon, we began building a staff of talented PR professionals who shared our values and valued our mission.
We also, from Day One, recognized the importance of being flexible and agile when it came to billing arrangements. The recipe was simple: provide value, get results, build the relationship and bill for our time. Through honesty, transparency and, again, mutual respect, client trust and comfort levels were achieved in the short and long term.
It is interesting and important how the term ‘mutual respect’ stands at the core of how we operate and what we believe in. It is how we have continued to build productive relationships and alliances – not just with clients and team members but also with outside collaborators and referral sources. It is how we have weathered economic stormy weather while continuing to grow our company each and every year. It is a recipe we highly recommend for others looking for success in 2012 and beyond.