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Employee Highlight: John Terrill


06.06.19
BY John Terrill IN Advertising

How did you become interested in design/advertising/PR/media/public affairs/marketing? How did you break into the industry and land your first job?
In the mid 70s I was a visual artist and I specialized in collage. A friend of mine ran a book publishing company in Bloomington and said that I would be a good choice for doing paste-up (the old way of laying out pages where the copy and images were waxed and pasted onto blue ruled pages – literally cut and arranged to fit). So, that was my foot in the door. Years later I applied for a job with Hirons and they had just gotten their computers, so they offered to teach me while they learned how to use the applications themselves. After that I was on my way, 28 years and counting.

What would you consider the specializations/most important tools of the trade?
Since I started with the old-fashioned techniques of print production I have continued with those rules. Learning how to use computers from scratch was a great way to get “working” proficient, so basically I am more or less self-trained.

What characteristics do you need to be successful in the industry?
I guess the most important thing is to be able to work well with people and also to keep up on all the never-ending technological advances.

Do you have any interesting hobbies/second jobs/bits of information that make you pop as an individual?
I’ve been a musician and songwriter for years and played in many different Bloomington bands. I’m currently the drummer in a band called ABC Gum. We are working on our second album now and hope to have something to release later this summer..

When and where do you have your best ideas?
There is no way to predict when the muse will strike. If I knew that and could reduce it to a formula I would be much more successful than I am. Not to diminish what I’ve been able to accomplish in my life, but I’ve found that keeping an open mind and not try to force it is the best medicine to help the creative juices flow.

What has been the most exciting project/campaign that you’ve worked on at Hirons?
Since I do print production, I’ve had my hand in almost every printed project that comes through. A favorite would be hard to pick.

Why is effective advertising/PR so important for the growth and success of organizations?
It comes down to getting our clients’ messages out to the public as a clean, understandable and concise product. Attention to detail is never a waste of time. And hopefully we can have some fun doing it.

What’s one important tip you would share with anyone looking to go into the agency world?
I guess be true to yourself. The very nature of advertising is a distortion of truth. It can get a little overwhelming at times, but if you keep a strong foundation of fact and remain true to your own beliefs then chances are the public will respond.

What is the most meaningful part of your job?
Getting the work out the door, free of errors and off my plate.

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