Resiliency + Rochester
By Sharon Napier, CEO, Partners + Napier
I’m very proud to live in Rochester and run an ad agency here.
And, I’ve heard it all, just as I’m sure you have.
“Oh! That’s near Westchester, right?”
“Isn’t it cold up there?”
“How are you surviving ‘after Kodak’?”
Those questions really irk me.
There is so much more to Rochester.
But, because we get these questions so often, we have to work harder. We fight harder for our clients and for ourselves – to get credibility and recognition for the great work we do.
When I think about our headquarters being based in Rochester, NY – it doesn’t surprise me that the ad community has thrived here.
Our industry changes at the drop of a dime. And one thing is for sure – we are not strangers to change and transformation.
And because of this, I think there are three key characteristics that live in all Rochester advertisers:
Our resiliency keeps us grounded.
What I love about Rochester is that, as a community, we never give up. We are smart and we try harder.
The cold weather, the history of economic failure … they don’t, and can’t, stop us.
This drive, this work ethic, that resiliency … truly keeps us grounded.
We are humble. We remove the ego from our work. At the office, we often say, “Don’t work on your clients work, work in it.” And when clients hire agencies from this city, they know this.
We feed our souls.
Those cities that give that “instant credibility”– well, I’m in them often. And after a busy week of travel and commuting in NYC or LA, I come back with a refreshed perspective of my hometown. There’s one thing that stands out to me:
We have time. Time to feed our souls.
Commutes are shorter, houses are affordable, and schools are good, so our employees' families are here. And, we are a city that still lives and breathes the beliefs it was built on – women’s and civil rights, innovation, love of music and technology. And the arts and education, we have that in spades. Hey, we were even on a list of America’s "hippest cities!” There’s a concert, restaurant opening, or art exhibit almost daily. There’s a lot do here and we have the time to enjoy it – to feed our souls.
We have great, loyal talent.
Because we have all of the things I mentioned above, right here in Rochester, we have great talent at our agencies. And this talent is loyal to this city – in a few different ways.
So many people stay in their hometown of Rochester to start and grow their careers. They may have gone to one of the incredible institutions here like RIT, UR, Eastman or the incredible SUNY schools – all which have renowned tech, medical, musical, and creative disciplines. And because we are here to offer agency experience soon after they graduate, we reap the benefits of that amazing talent.
At Partners + Napier, we have a ton of "boomerangers" – folks who are from here or lived here after college, left for a big city – and then came back. They come back to feed their souls – they’re loyal to this place. And advertising agencies benefit from that. Former NYCers, San Franciscans or Chicagoans bring great perspectives and ideas that create change – which helps an agency grow.
And all of this is what keeps us so creative. And what makes this city so damn great. Clients’ success is our success. We still, and will always, believe in loyalty and treating our clients like partners. Our teams are the ones clients want in a foxhole with them because we care. It makes the work and, therefore, the results, better.
In my book, that's all that matters.
Now, it’s your turn. Tell me your favorite thing about the advertising industry in Rochester!