Dec 8, 2009

Watchin' the Wheel Go 'Round and 'Round... Again!

The Southwest Louisiana marketing & advertising world, like most sub-cultures, has it's own gossip pipeline, and the valve has been opened once again. Since I moved back to the area 5 years ago, I've seen this pipeline pass information from person to person, office to office, email to email, around our area and back again in a matter of minutes (around and around and around we go... where we'll land, nobody knows).

Over the years, there have been names that almost always float to the top of this pool of information. Sadly, these are the folks that I will most likely never have a real, or meaningful conversation with, because the the hard-boiled truth is that my information isn't safe with them...and neither is yours. I suppose, for those folks, being "in the know" is more important than being trustworthy. Who knows?

The local cycle always seems to be in flux (guess that's why it's called a cycle), usually kicking into gear every 6 months or so. Every time one of these shifts happens, the whole advertising community is ablaze with predictions and theories. It's pretty funny to watch, actually.

I remember getting my foot in the door to the local marketing community, hearing the "big" names in the local business (I've worked with more than a few of them). Folks talk. Who's the best at what we do, the most talented, the smartest, on the rise? Who has better clients? Who's working for who? Who's leaving who? Who's unhappy with who?

Since those first days in the market I've seen some folks rise to the top, take a tumble, start over at the bottom and rise up again. Others have shifted job titles and companies multiple times, never finding a semi-permanent home. Heck! I suppose that could even describe me, to a large degree.

It's all a bit silly, actually. Who's the best at what we do? Who is the strongest "agency" in our market? What's going to happen if such-and-such leaves this-and-that company? Now that person-x has left left company-y, and now works for company-z, what does that ultimately mean?

I honestly just do not care (I suppose I care a little, or I wouldn't be writing this post, but I digress). You see, for all of the soothsaying that goes on in our market, not one of these predictions actually does anything to make the market stronger. It just puts the same tired cycle into motion, over and over again...and we all play our part by continuing to pick up the phone, pass emails, tweets, Facebook posts and whisper in each others ears at parties, events and lunches...spreading our delicious information.

Well, you guys have fun with that.

I plan to just stand by and watch the next wave of musical chairs come and go. Folks'll settle in and get comfortable and before long it'll be business as usual...until the next time the wheel rolls around. In the meantime, I'll just focus on what matters to me most as an advertising professional; being honest and straightforward, working hard for the clients who trust me, and getting the job done on time. You see, that's what's really lacking in our market. If we all worried about what was going on in our own house a little more, and about spreading gossip a little less, we'd all have happier clients and a stronger market too.

That is all. -OP
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