Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Does the number of employees you have matter?

People ask me the question all the time.  "How many employees do you have?"  I've always wondered, why are they asking me this question?  Does it give them a better feel for how big my business is?  Does it put me in a different category than other agencies?

Actually, I chuckle because it means absolutely nothing.  Oh wait, yes it does, it means higher payroll taxes, higher overhead, and more headaches.  I'm not saying employees are headaches because I've had some really good ones.  There's nothing more rewarding than an employee taking ownership in your business.

When we incorporated back in 2007 at Mooreshots Direct, we had a goal of providing one-on-one attention with our clients and partners, and we've stuck to that formula.  We hire the best talent available for every project.  Our production partner, Mike Greif, has been with us basically since the inception.  I had the luxury of working with him while he was production manager at KNDU back in the late 80's, while I was serving as Sports Director. I also worked with him from 1997 to 2003 when I returned and worked in sales.  We have done many projects together, and captured nice awards along the way.

More and more businesses are going to telecommuting, working from home, and employees working like independent contractors.  It cuts down on overhead, and passes through the savings to the customers.  That is our motto here too.  We want to make sure everyone has fresh messages out there, in the most efficient way possible.  Often times we only have one chance, and its pivotal to put our best foot forward at all times.  We treat their investment in advertising like it was our own.  We hire entrepreneurs because they get the work done, in a timely matter.

So the next time someone asks you how many employees you have maybe you follow up with a question of your own.

"Does it matter?"

Sunday, January 20, 2019

My thoughts on the passing of Blake Nordstrom

I was in my early 20's and trying to figure out what I was going to do with my life.  I had two years left to graduate from college but didn't have any money.  I needed something to do to get back on my feet.

That's when I got a call that changed my life.  It was from the Nordstrom family.

Taking a job at Nordstrom was one of the pivotal things in my life.  It allowed me to have some responsibility and make good money as well.  It provided me great benefits, better yet, great training.  It was at Nordstrom that I learned "the customer is always right".

There's lots of testimonials and stories out there since the passing of Blake Nordstrom.  He was a true leader that demonstrated the importance of letting people run with their potential, and he always did it with a smile on his face.

I was fortunate to work in the same building as Blake when I did my time at Nordstrom at the CafĂ©, Shipping and Receiving, and Brass Connection.  It was there that I learned the Nordstrom way, and it was the best training ground anyone could ask for.  I loved my time there, and I will never forget it.  Blake had such a positive presence at the store because the way he treated others, and his leadership.  He was always a positive influence, and he had fun doing it.

The Nordstrom family lost a great one, and I'm truly grateful that I was able to be part of it.  I still use all of the same principles today in business that I learned during my time at the Bellevue Store.  I can't thank the family enough for the great training I received, at a time when it was needed most.


Wednesday, November 28, 2018

How change early on defined us

It's the 26th of November of 2018 and I'm sitting here in my office thinking to myself, 'where has the time gone'?  It's been 11 years now at Mooreshots Direct and a day doesn't go by that I don't think about how we got started.

So here we go.

I never had ambitions of being an advertising agency.  I really didn't.  We started out with an upscale direct mail product called Gloss Pak, and everything evolved from there.  I was working long hours selling the product, producing the product, collecting for the product, and trying to deliver results to clients so they could see the impact.  We were forced to make an executive decision moving forward. It was time to switch gears.

“When patterns are broken, new worlds emerge.” —Tuli Kupferberg

Six months into this thing I had 12 agency clients on my lap and we were off and running with Mooreshots.  It was time to embrace what we never had ambitions of doing and run with it.  We didn't have time for Gloss Pak anymore.  We were a full blown advertising agency.

We never looked back.      

As I zoom out now there's plenty that we could have changed along the way.  We focused on all the things we do well and kept things simple.  We tell stories and tell other people's stories.  We compare results of campaigns, some are good, and as always in advertising, some we push under the rug.  One thing remains constant, we work hard every day to gain market share for our clients and partners.  We treat every decision as if it was our own.  We look at every situation as if it was our own business.  I think we make better decisions and are more efficient because of it.

Everyone needs a mentor.

One of our B2B products
All of us have that one person that has been instrumental in our success.  In my case his name is Danny Traffas.  When I was thinking of going out on my own he was the first person I called.  After talking to him I didn't need to talk to anyone else.   He assured me and guided me through the process.  He was a great support system.  Little did I know he would become my friend, my golf buddy, and most importantly,  my mentor.  A few years ago Danny died suddenly and a day doesn't go by when I wish I could pick up the phone and call him.  He was always there for me regardless of the situation, and his positive attitude always got me through the tough times.  He gave me the opportunity to work in many radio and TV markets and help them with their advertising and drive revenue.   It was a nice addition to what I was already doing.  We sold a B2B product all over the country helping TV and Radio groups gain market share.  It was a huge success early on.  We had a great partnership together.  He even called me "Touchdown Tommy".

I miss Danny every day.

As we move into another year,  we continue to grow, learn, and adjust to the changing environment in marketing and advertising.  The strong momentum of digital media is taking a strong hold.  Regardless of what you hear or read, TV continues to be a powerhouse-the 800 lb gorilla, and in our market and the surrounding ones,  radio still serves its purpose.   But one thing remains the same.  The great people of this community and the areas around it make it a very formidable place to be.  It's our clients and partners who play a big role in making it so great.  There is no bigger compliment than you putting your trust in our hands.

We are very thankful for that.

Monday, October 22, 2018

A Saturday to remember

Let's just put it in the books as one of the greatest Saturdays, ever.

No words can explain the atmosphere, beautiful Fall colors, the pageantry of college football, and our beloved Cougs pulling off a win in a jam packed Martin Stadium.

There was a lot to be proud of on this Saturday.  I was worried going in that the distractions of the week would be just too much for these young kids.  Mike Leach might have pulled off his best coaching week as a Cougar, I can't remember a first half that was written any better with Oregon only having one yard of total offense going into their last drive of the first half.  Textbook to say the least.  The Cougars maintained possession most of the first half, keeping Oregon's highly touted Quarterback off the field.  He really wasn't even a factor in this one.

The bus ride up was festive as always, recapping an awesome GameDay segment that I'm sure was special to anyone who has spent anytime in the Pacific Northwest, or in the Pac 8, Pac 10, and Pac 12 for that matter. ESPN put their best foot forward and pulled off a dream show.

There's arguably only 8 to 10 teams in college football that really have a legitimate chance for a national championship, which is another reason why this day was so special.  It's one of those days that will always be remembered.  It will be in the media guide for years to come, there will be pictures hanging on the walls of the Cougar Football Complex, memories saved on smart phones.  Butch and Lee Corso dancing around the set.  People across the country finally learned what it's really like to be a Cougar.  Ol' Crimson made its way back home.

GameDay finally made it to Pullman.

As Reece Davis said to the crowd prior to the open, "Holy Shit!".

That pretty much sums up this day.

A Saturday to remember.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

History to be made Saturday in Pullman

I've been wanting to talk about this Gameday situation in Pullman so here we go.  My phone has been blowing up since it was announced that the crew will be coming to Pullman, I never realized it had this much magnitude.

The most heated debate is who will be the Guest Picker, to me it's a no-brainer.  The main reason they are coming is the years of Ol' Crimson being waved on Gameday for some 200+ games over the years.  I don't have the exact number but who really cares at this point, right?

I can only see one thing happening.  Tom Pounds enters holding the flag and gets his chance to tell the story in front of a nationwide audience.  Lee Corso puts on the Butch hat after he picks the Cougars to win and the rest is history.  ESPN will be greeted like never before, it will be a beautiful fall day in the Palouse, and more importantly it will be a recruiting frenzy for the WSU program.  This will be Mike Leach's biggest year of gathering the best talent in the country.  Young student athletes will get a first hand look at how special it is to be a Cougar. (WSU Cougar, not that other type:)

The best part of this?  Coug fans will be able to hang together like they always do on a Saturday, this time in front of a national stage.  We also get a chance to say goodbye and pay tribute to Bob Robertson, who announced his retirement this week after 52 years covering WSU Football.

Sounds pretty good to me.

Monday, March 19, 2018

A Tribute to Dave Dalthorp, The Statesman

Our community lost a great one this past week.  Dave Dalthorp, nicknamed "The Statesmen" by our close peers passed away and left a lasting legacy behind him.  I first met Dave in 1987 when I joined KNDU TV as Sports Director.  He was genuine from the start, even though I was fresh out of college and I really didn't know what I was getting into.  He always made me feel at ease with his tremendous support, no matter what the circumstances.

Dave was not only a mentor, but a great friend as well.  I always knew I could talk to Dave about anything.  His door was always open and he always listened.  He always had great advice, and his best attribute was his ability to shield his employees from the sometimes harsh things that can happen in the corporate world we live in.  He also never showed the stress he was going through.

Dave made many friends while serving as the Station Manager at KNDU TV.  He was respected by everyone, and admired by all.  He loved the WSU Cougars, and he was a die hard Pasco Bulldog.  He loved to fish, and he loved to talk about fishing.  I remember sharing a Salmon I caught and will never forget the look on his face when I gave it to him.  I will never forget the 11 foot Sturgeon we caught at Hell's Canyon on a team building trip, and how proud he was of the catch, and his team.

He glowed when he talked about his wife Herta, and tears would come to his eyes whenever you talked about something that was dear to his heart.  I miss having "a cold one" with Dave, but more importantly, I will miss the man.

May your wonderful soul rest in peace.   Your family has a lot to be proud of.

RIP Dave Dalthorp, The Statesman.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Happy Valentine's Day!

Valentine's Day is more than just that special sweetheart in your life.  It's about the support systems in your life.  We all look forward to that special note, text, letter, e-card, or very rarely anymore, that special phone call from someone telling you how special you are to them.

For those of us that have been through a few of these days, it may not have the meaning it used to, but it's still an important day.  Are you going through health issues?  Maybe trouble at work?  Are you having some challenges with your kids, or maybe a relationship? 

Today is the day to reflect on those support systems in your life that make those difficult days that much better.  The support systems that pick you up when you are down, or maybe center you when you get out of whack.  These are the Valentines that touch our gut when we really need it.  These are the ones that really matter.

It's time to pick up the phone and make someone's day.  Put a smile on their face.  Tell them how much you appreciate them.  Make their day.

You will be glad you did.

Happy Valentine's Day!