IN Agency Life

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?

I graduated from IU Bloomington with a degree in education, but got a little sidetracked along the way. Before I started working for Hirons, I consulted with them on a couple of projects for one of their Bloomington clients. While working on one of these projects, Tom mentioned they were looking for someone to join their (very small) team. I enjoyed the work, so my new career in advertising began. That was 1980!

What would you consider the specializations/most important tools of the trade?

As Hirons’ print production director, it is staying on top of an ever-changing industry. Technology and vendor capabilities change daily. Also, vendor relationships.

What characteristics do you need to be successful in the industry?

Be flexible, adaptable and ready for anything. You may have your day pre-planned and, poof, it goes up in smoke. Though that can be a little stressful, it also makes the work exciting. You never know what will happen.

Do you have any interesting hobbies/second jobs/bits of information that make you pop as an individual?

I like to think I’m a little bit crafty. I dabble in art and painting, and I enjoy making gifts. Last year I knitted winter hats for family and friends. I believe the end count was over 35. I’m also the crazy aunt who is our family’s historian and genealogist.

When and where do you have your best ideas?

Mostly in the middle of the night. I will wake up and not be able to go back to sleep until I resolve an issue in my head. I make sure to either write it down or dictate a voice memo on my phone.

What has been the most exciting project/campaign that you’ve worked on at Hirons?

This is such a difficult question to answer. Since I have worked at Hirons for almost 40 years, there are too many to mention. I always enjoy working on campaigns that have a positive effect on the community. One that I remember with pride occurred during my first years at Hirons. We worked on a campaign to save and restore the Monroe County Courthouse. The city was prepared to tear it down but the campaign was successful, and now the historic building is a focal point of a booming downtown.

Why is effective advertising/PR so important for the growth and success of organizations?

A public relations or advertising message that educates and informs people about the contributions of the company can enhance its reputation. A company’s reputation with its customers, its community and its employees is a key to any company’s success.

What’s one important tip you would share with anyone looking to go into the agency world?

Be curious. Ask questions. Learn something new every day. Find a mentor. Wait, that’s more than one.

What is the most meaningful part of your job?

Solving problems. For work to be meaningful, it needs to challenge you – even keep you up at night sometimes. I always say I’m like a dog with a bone. I try to forecast what could go wrong in the project cycle and try to prevent it.


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