WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
Blog Post, Posted on July 08, 2014
Phinney Bischoff has been in the business of helping shape brands for more than 30 years. Over the course of our history, we also had the privilege to work with some of the best people in the business. Which got us to thinking: Where are they now and how has working at a branding agency influenced their approach to business?
Following is the first in a series of guest blog posts from Phinney Bischoff Alumni sharing their insights into what it was like to work here and how it carries through in their current line of work.
You caught my eye, now what? How Phinney Bischoff prepared me for freelance, and online dating — By Dena Taylor
I had been working as a copywriter on the client side when I interviewed for a position with Phinney Bischoff (PB). The turn-of-the-century house was stunning on the outside but it was what was happening on the inside that got me hooked. The collaborative spirit was undeniable, the thought put into client solutions, intimidating. You could learn a lot, I thought, fingers crossed that I’d get the job.
With immense gratitude, I was offered the job and jumped on board. I was immediately part of the team where everyone’s input was not only welcome, it was expected. There were no dumb questions, just exchanges to inform solutions. There was no design for design’s sake. The PB approach was to learn everything possible about a client’s business before exploring how best to help meet the objective. Sometimes clients were heavily involved in the creative process, sometimes they weren’t. We went with the flow. The result was creative that wasn’t just eye-catching, it delivered a message, formed a connection.
Having been a project manager myself, I especially appreciated the processes PB had in place. Creative briefs were mini-bibles we could revisit when stuck; schedules were thought through; presentations, professional yet personable. The account team set the bar high. (A decade later, I still haven’t found anyone who owns a project and represents the team more.)
We had a lot of fun too, using our creativity to celebrate each other’s birthdays and anniversaries, along with holidays and the occasional open house. There was balance, friendship and in 2003, a pit in my stomach when I announced I was headed for freelance, headed for Austin, Texas.
I didn’t realize it at the time but what I learned at PB would be essential in building my own business later on. Specifically:
- Know where clients are coming from — no one knows the business better.
- Go to creative lengths — not just exploring creative possibilities through a strategic lens, but encouraging client input too.
- Follow through — every thoughtful exchange, whether cell, Skype, email or text, builds a client’s confidence in you, makes them feel like they picked the right person for the job. This is especially important for freelancers, where a lot of work comes from word-of-mouth.
I’ve blogged about these lessons and more from a copywriter perspective but it doesn’t stop there. The same approach can and has been applied to my adventures in online dating.
- Catch someone’s eye with a current photo and authentic smile. Let go of the bathroom selfie in sunglasses after a sweaty workout. Seriously..
- Deliver on that photo with a thoughtful profile description of who you really are every day, who your date will meet over coffee. Refrain from listing all the things you don’t want, especially the “no drama” line, which can be translated to mean, “I’m not in serious relationship mode,” which is fine, just be up front.
- Collaborate on making a date fun or at least interesting with two-wayconversation. Even in the absence of chemistry, you can share travel or even dating disaster stories over some coffee or wine, and who knows, he or she might be perfect for one of your friends.
- Prepare, present and follow through. Shower and show up. If nothing else, it’s good practice for meeting new people, and does get easier with time.
Phinney Bischoff hasn’t talked with me yet about extending their brand-building services to those looking for love, but I expect to hear from them any day now.
Dena Taylor is freelance writer based in Denver. Find her at: @denataylortime and www.denataylor.com