Agency Life: It’s Only Been a Month
Kurt Panton moved from Miami to Mannheim. How lucky for us. Here he writes about his first weeks at Callies & Schewe.
If you’ve landed on this blog you already know what Callies & Schewe do. No need to go over something a click away. This post is about life at our agency. If you’ve never worked in an agency you might think it is some diluted version of Mad Men minus the smoking inside the office. In a way yes, life at this agency revolves around creative ideas and clients. One creative idea after the other, some reach the client, others land in limbo, but the train keeps moving because before you know it is time for another topic, another new client, another presentation, and of course another creative idea. The wheel keeps turning and turning and creativity flows from one direction to another. But I could be describing just about any agency.
As I’ve said before this is not about what we do here. It is more about how our creativity reaches the client. What sets this agency apart is that we are first and foremost a business-to-business agency. In other words, we primarily market goods and services where a lot is at stake and you, the average consumer doesn’t just buy them. Windmills, for example. Or software for a company with 30,000 employees. We are cautious about guerilla marketing techniques or viral campaigns. Nevertheless, we think and act creatively. We ask: Do these ideas make economic sense? We communicate with a human touch but always with personality and professionalism. It may sound unorthodox, but it works every day around here.
At this agency we disrupt the conventional limits in what we do but more importantly in who we are. We have fluid responsibilities. Those years at a university and the degree that came with it won’t restrain you here. Neither will your past experience. Both will only help unleash your growth. In my first month at C&S as a writer I’ve been involved in creative meetings, website and video production, started my second career as a voice over artist, improved my German, and of course I’ve done some blog writing. Here it is not just about what you know how to do but it is also about what you can do for the team. It is also about not just being creative but being able to transfer that creativity in meaningful ways for businesses.
I’ve had to channel my inner punk during my first month here. I’ve also been a technology writer that sees hydrogen as the future of the marine industry. I’ve learned more about the last Facebook data breach than I’m comfortable with but I also know how businesses can learn from it. The important part of everything I’ve worked on at this agency is I’ve brought ideas that translate into meaningful projects.
Goodbye Miami, Hello Mannheim
An unconventional agency needs unconventional people. And as you may have noticed, I have no traditional background at all. I came from Miami to Mannheim. Left a secure job as a teacher at a public school in the USA to start over in a country where I had two friends and didn’t know the language. I have accepted the challenge and am now here in this agency with people who are not only here for different motives, but also challenge themselves again and again. Together we have lived in over nine different countries and speak six different languages. All these cultural experiences are brought to the table with every new idea. That’s how. Companies that want to address global markets need an agency that is truly at home in those markets and can understand different cultures. If you add the inherent creativity to the diversity of people here, you get a mix that everyone can feel in the room. Each task is a new opportunity to realize one’s own ideas for the benefit of our customers.
And it was only my first month here.