Lest you think otherwise, I'm about to whine about a high-class problem.
We've been on a real, new business run this year and our billings have increased by at least 20 percent. So, what's my issue? Just this: We have a real knack for winning clients who simply won't let us announce the business. I wouldn't mind if that were the case across the board, but I cringe each and every morning as I spy the PR industry trades announcing one new business win after another.
Our radio silence makes me think that others think that Peppercom's moribund. Please don't think that. We're vibrant and growing like a weed. We just happen to have worse luck than Wild Bill Hickok who, after drawing pairs of black aces and eights in a game of cards in a Deadwood, S.D., saloon, was shot to death by a jealous gunslinger. I feel just like Hickok. We draw a great hand and then, boom, we can't show it to the rest of the world.
There also seems to be a real double standard when it comes to announcing new business wins. I'll never forget our disappointment when, after nailing a $1 million win with Yahoo! a few years back, we were informed “…company policy forbade any new business announcements by vendors” (and, boy, do I ever despise the V word).
Sure enough, 15 months later, when a new top dog arrived at Y!, we were not only fired, but the news was spread near and far across the industry trades. I bit my tongue when a reporter asked me, “So, Yahoo! just announced they'd be replacing you as B2B AOR and Golin-Harris as B2C AOR. Any comment?” I had quite a few choice comments, especially one about their double standard on announcements. Instead, I took the high road and echoed G-H's CEO, Fred Cook, who said, “Clearly, it was time for a change for both parties.” I liked that. You go, Fred.
So, dear reader, do NOT read anything into the dearth of new business news from Peppercom (and other great firms who have been dealt the same dead man's hand). We're doing very, very well, thank you very much. We just happen to be doing very well with extremely introverted clients.
In the final analysis, I guess I'll take the billings and the opportunity to create award-winning campaigns over a headline in PRWeek anytime (especially when the client ends up breaking its own rules about announcements). Now, someone cut the cards. I'm feeling lucky.