Archives For KW2

We put on a live concert once a month at KW2. We call it Music:30. It’s a thirty minute concert, just for our clients, staff and pals to come together and relax with a little entertainment. April’s show brought Nick Brown into our Ad Lounge for some wonderful songs about lost love and hard knocks. Go check Nick Brown out next time you get the chance.

On October 7th and 8th, our company will do another 24-hour round-the-clock marathon, donating advertising and marketing goods and services to Dane County non-profits. It’ll be our sixth year. So far, KW2 and its partnering businesses have contributed almost $1.5 million.

We call it Goodstock.

Since non-profits are businesses, and they’re constantly strapped for cash, time and expertise, and they do so much good for so many people, we think this is a nice way to help out, while making our community a little better.

It’s wild. We pick about 10 non-profits (out of about 350 in Dane County), and literally, from noon on Thursday to noon on Friday, we sprint and think and work and drink Red Bull to complete thirty to forty different projects, from TV commercials to logos to public relations proposals to web-based tools. It’s exhausting, but immensely gratifying. We reveal the work at a big party at the High Noon Saloon.

But we want to do more good this year by asking others to directly help some non-profits on the 7th and 8th as well. Not at our offices, and not through us, but on their own. What can individuals, and schools, and groups and associations and businesses do? Really, anybody can simply contact a non-profit and ask what they need, right? How hard is that?

I thought we could ask senior citizen centers to contribute baked goods, or knitted stuff to soup kitchens or homeless shelters. We could ask schools to have kids to take the 7th to make some cool, inspiring art. Maybe some non-profits just need a new coffee pot, or copy paper, or new toys, or a rake, or a fridge, or gift card to Office Depot. Businesses can allow their employees to take the day off and volunteer. And then there’s the old stand-by, writing a check. Even in this economic fun-house we’re in, lots and lots of businesses can afford to cut a $50 check.

Think of how much extra good we can generate in just 24 hours. It’s exciting.

Do you have any ideas on how we can get more folks to do more good for non-profits on October 7th and 8th? Please let me know. Thanks. (a job search site) did a survey, and weighed 21 factors that can create job stress. “Factors that weighed into stress levels  included work environment, job competitiveness, opportunity for  advancement and even perceived risk of unemployment.” The results?

Advertising account executive was rated the #9 most stressful job.

10. Real estate agent
9. Advertising account executive
8. Public relations officer
7. Highway patrol officer
6. Commercial pilot
5. Police officer
4. Surgeon
3. Taxi driver
2. Corporate executive
1. Firefighter

Yes, firefighters, surgeons, cops and pilots have stressful jobs. Bad stressful, not good stressful. People die and get maimed and horrifically scarred, physically and emotionally in these professions. That’s stress.

But advertising and public relations? C’mon. We’re here to help people, and sell stuff and change attitudes and perceptions and behaviors. Sure, it’s stressful. But nobody dies. Nobody gets maimed. There are no explosions, guns, fires, cancers, or crash landings. The scars are quite tiny by comparison. We get free pizza and make TV ads and we create art and have fun and laugh. And nobody dies.

I’ve  known tons of ad folks over these 20 years, and I’d say only a handful were stressed out to the point where it affected their life. Most took the stress as the fuel. The juice. The energy of the job. And many absolutely loved the juice. I sure do. It’s a daily, exciting affirmation of being alive.

Take that, musical instrument repairers. (They ranked 1st on the least stressful jobs.)

Every six weeks, we feature an artist’s work in our lobby, and have a reception for the artist. Here’s Heather Densen talking about her oil paintings. Coming up in April, Madison photographer Nick Berard.

I bought Knupp & Watson in August of 2008. It was not exactly the best time to purchase a company, let alone an advertising, marketing, creative communications company. If you’ll recall, that recession thing had just taken off like a rocket around that time. Needless to say, Mrs. Wallman was a very brave soul.

But the company had a great 2009, adding clients, and staff, and we had a hell of a good time along the way. We’ve created some fantastic work, achieved some great successes for our clients, and worked to make it the best place our people will ever work.

Yesterday, we officially became Knupp & Watson & Wallman. (As a co-worker put it, “the ego has landed.” Ha!)

The name change signals the second generation of this 23 year-old company. We’re pushing ideas and creative communications like never before, and are offering more and more web and motion services, in addition to the traditional communications vehicles that have existed since my Grandfather had a shop on Madison Avenue in the 1930’s.

Check us out here. Our new Web site is a living breathing organism that, like the rest of the online world, will be in a constant state of exciting change and evolution. Check back frequently.

Part of the site includes a big effort to participate, find, and share things within social networks. We park a lot of the insightful and inspirational ideas for you to enjoy here.

With one day under the belt, things are feeling very good. We’ve already received tons of congratulatory emails and calls from throughout Wisconsin, and beyond. We thank you for that.

How do we feel about our future? Well, our good friend Frank sums it up here.

FutureLab gives us a cool look at some trends in the workplace for 2010. Creative thinking, women, small businesses leading the way in the bounceback economy, employee happiness becoming a bigger currency, and personal brands will bump into traditional ones. It’ll be interesting to see what pans out.

(1) Organizations will embrace Design Thinking.

(2) Women will play a more important role in re-defining traditional notions of work.

(3) Small business owners will become the new stars of economic growth.

(4) “Happiness” will become a way to measure economic prosperity.

(5) Personal branding will become the buzzword of talented workers around the world.