This past week, I taught the newest HMA-ers the fine art of media planning. My father taught me this skill many years ago, and I like to think I refined the HMA process to be a bit better. I taught Amanda how to plan media eight long years ago, and already, she has further improved the process. We hope our newest employees will embrace this tool that is merging into the digital realm, but still requires the research and dedication my father insisted we use.

As we teach media planning, one of the first things we do is insist the HMA teams knows all of their media reps. One of the comments from our newest employees is to wonder why most of our media reps are all really good, personal friends of ours. I don’t even have to think about this. We are blessed with some of the smartest, most talented media reps in the business. I lean hard on them to teach me what I need to know to best achieve my clients objectives. They are a wealth of knowledge for trends in the industry, what other companies are doing and what messages are being taught.

We are blessed that these people become friends as they walk through the door, give us a call or send us emails. Because they are just good people, they always share a little bit of themselves. It is this group of people to whom I owe so much of my success. They steer me right when I go wrong. They give me the insight I need into the various industry trends. They help me measure the effectiveness of my work.

When my dad first taught me media, it was for a client who depends (to this day) on us for their leads. It is one of the hardest clients we have as Dad reminded me that if we do not generate the leads they need, we might end up putting some families out of work. I have taken that responsibility seriously for 16 years. Amanda takes it seriously, and we will see if the newest HMA-ers can translate that to what they do.

Media, printed or digital, is a critical part of communicating brand value. There are lots and lots of ways to do that. We shared those as well as our secrets (translate demands) that certain things be done certain ways to ensure success. But above all else, we shared the delight of introducing our wise and trusted friends to the newest group of HMA-ers. Happy research kids. Have fun.