I moved to Vashon Island, Wash., from Broomfield, Colo., almost six years ago. And it took almost that long for my business to fully recover from the move. There were a number of factors that played into what I’d like to call, ‘the lean years’, starting with the tanking of the American economy. The economy is still in recovery mode and may never become what it once was from the middle class’ perspective, as the gap between rich and poor grows with each passing day, but at least businesses are hiring and innovation is taking place in tech-centric communities, like Seattle.
I also underestimated the ability to move a business across country and not suffer some casualties. I tried to hold on to legacy clients from Colorado and did so successfully for four years, but that required continual effort in battling down agencies in Denver from afar who wanted those accounts. Sure, I had allies on the ground in Denver, but still, it’s like fighting with one hand tied behind your back. With no new biz pipeline in Seattle the business eventually fell out of balance. Why was there no pipeline?
My networking efforts upon arriving in Seattle were misguided, perhaps, but there is some truth to the Seattle Freeze rumors. I don’t like making broad statements without data, but anecdotally the very first PR person I reached out to after moving to the PNW invited me to his office and then treated me like dirt in front of his staff, and so I recoiled to the island and went into client retention mode. Problem was, the clients I was working with included a health care franchise and a data storage company. I was bored with storage and bummed from being mired in stories about Alzheimer’s. And so in August of 2012, I took a ‘job’ in downtown Seattle with a cool start-up that sadly no longer exists, working with some of the smartest people I’ve ever been surrounded by. I showed them and those paying attention how innovative PR strategies can move the needle, restocking the old portfolio in the process.
At the same time, I built a network of friendly Seattleites who share a passion for technology and the user experience. Now, here we are. Back in business again. In the two months since I decided to dive back into the consulting arena I’ve managed to engage some of the most intelligent and strategic thinkers in Seattle, and have built an enviable roster of new clients that includes; two of Seattle’s hottest tech start-ups in Lively and Estately; UP Global, the second-most talked about foundation in Seattle behind the Gates Foundation; and longtime Bulldog PR client Crimson Renewable Energy, which owns and operates the largest biodiesel production plant in California. It’s good to be back in consulting mode and even better to be rocking right out of the gate. Stay tuned for a flood of news related to each of the aforementioned new clients. . .