Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Notes from 3/5/2010 OCA Meeting

Last week's meeting had six new faces.
- Marina Babic was most recently a pre-press tech at C2 Media and has nearly 4 years of printing experience.
- Lane Buechet, owner at S&L Lending, has 15+ years of sales management experience in the banking industry.
- Mark Farmer, former marketing director for the Condominium Law Group, PLLC, has one of the most interesting backgrounds within OCA... social work (he's a lawyer), police officer, and social-network Internet entrepreneur.
- Teresa Lizotte, most recently a senior graphic consultant with Stella Color, has over 17 years of experience in the printing industry.
- Tim Rose, creative/art director, was most recently with the Sterling-Rice Group out of Boulder, Colorado. Tim has close to 20 years of art direction experience, 6 of which were spent living and working in Europe.
- Marcella Van Oel, content manager at start-up (a site that hosts career management tools and resources), is a web production consultant and strategist.

Rick Peterson, president of Hydrogen Advertising, was our guest speaker at OCA's 3/5 meeting and provided a wealth of information about a wide variety of topics.

- Rick's company, which he has guided since 2001, has seen the worst that the Great Recession has thrown their way - and has survived to have one of its best months ever. They are busy on a number of fronts, developing projects for clients in multiple media venues, including web, broadcast, and print.

- Lean times over the past 18 months have led to a lean, effective, efficient, and partially outsourced staff for Hydrogen. Rick and the group spoke of today's need for virtual staff members and a freelance model which is not entirely new to the advertising world. As expected, some things can be more easily outsourced, such as creative talent. On the flipside, account management, which is often key to the client relationship, should be a steady force within the agency.

- The economy's effects have also made clients much more fiscally frugal, squeezing budgets and expecting more with less. Clients are asking for lower rates and often wanting work done in less time. Given the three-legged stool of money, time, and resources, you can see how the latter is often what is impacted most. And because good business can result in repeat business, it also means that Rick's team needs to blow away his clients with every piece of creative work.

- We discussed an interesting parallel between the cost of responding to RFPs and the job search. In both cases, both can be extremely time-consuming (and costly), so it's extremely beneficial to be networked and to get in the door before a search (for an agency or an employee) goes the official route.

- Regarding today's job search market, Rick feels everyone should have a portfolio. "Can you show your stuff? Can you sell? How can you describe what you've done in the past?" Utilize case studies to concisely explain your work, regardless of role. And when asked about the current job seeker's dilemma of being 'overqualified,' Rick understands hiring managers' fears, but said he would much rather have the experience.

- In talking about Hydrogen's own needs, Rick discussed what he would look for in a job candidate: someone who is enterprising, a problem solver, and multifaceted. Hardworking. "Are you a person who is interesting and interested - in Hydrogen and their problems?" Do you have an insatiable curiosity? And, last but not least, "No Assholes" need apply.

And did I mention they're hiring? Click
here for details.

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