I began my career at A.B. Isacson Associates, an integrated marketing communications agency that worked exclusively in the business-to-business market. I learned the trade while providing internal and external communications support for clients such as Avery Dennison, S.C. Johnson Wax, Sealed Air, Sonoco Products, and Windmoeller & Hoelscher.
This proved to be a tremendous advantage in terms of learning the profession because we had a relatively fixed set of channels and clear, defined target audiences (for the most part), so we could really focus on developing our skills. That, along with the leadership and support of the firm’s principal and namesake, is why you will encounter so many talented communications professionals who worked at this agency.
When I made the jump to Creamer Dickson Basford (CDB), I began by working in that firm’s business-to-business practice, serving clients such as Advanced Elastomer Systems and Monsanto’s Plastics Division. Unlike A.B. Isacson, where my work also included advertising and collateral development, the focus at CDB was primarily on public relations.
I went on to work for other business-to-business clients at CDB, though Air Products & Chemicals and Pure Air were technically in the corporate practice due to the fact that a lot of our work for them fell into the realm of corporate communications. Similarly, I worked on Panasonic’s Office Automation Systems, which was in the technology practice. These multi-practice accounts gave me an opportunity to expand my knowledge and experience beyond the business-to-business realm. And from there I took the lead on Disc Manufacturing, an account which straddled business-to-business (B2B), corporate, and technology – and even consumer (B2C), to some extent.
Despite branching out into other areas, business-to-business communications has remained a constant throughout much of my career. I relocated to California to open up a West Coast office for CDB and run the Prudential Real Estate Affiliates account. This business, like Disc Manufacturing, defied traditional roles in that there was a significant B2B component, in selling the value of the franchise to the affiliates, as well as a B2C component, in working to create that value and build the brand among the public. I also landed the AST Computers business just before they decided to cease B2C sales and focus exclusively on the B2B market.
And in my role as Director, CDB California, and then as Director of Marketing for both CDB and its successor, Magnet Communications, my focus was entirely on B2B marketing and sales. And it remains so as I run my own freelance communications business.