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Small Town Ad Agencies Take Note

Chris Burdge - Sep 25th, 2010

n288799577374_9618.jpgYellowknife had never really crossed my mind as a place to visit, or vacation. I knew it was “up there” somewhere but that was the extent of it.

Then a few weeks ago I got an email from William Kellett of Kellett Communications (Yellowknife’s second largest advertising agency). Bill was planning a one-day workshop for a few of his 18 staff members and some select clients. Doug Brown from Copeland was doing the afternoon session on the client–agency relationship and Bill wanted me to do a Social Media workshop.

I did some quick research on YZF, Kellett and their clients. A sweet gig all the way round. I was thrilled and jumped at the chance. I did my best to hide my enthusiasm when discussing my fee as I was really excited about seeing Yellowknife, meeting him and the rest of the agency folk. And I’m always excited to talk to people about social media.

Investing in Clients
One of their largest clients is Northwestel so I started doing my homework to make the workshop as relevant and valuable as possible. For a city of 18,000 and a total market of about 100,000 in “the north”, as they call it, they have a fairly vibrant social media community. It reminds me of Victoria about a year and a half ago.

As I suspected Kellett Communications is staffed with some extraordinarily bright and creative ad people. It the two days I spent with them and over a few drinks and meals I saw a real camaraderie that is a combination of a tight-knit office, corporate culture and the way of “the north”. 

Investing in Your People
Major kudos to Bill for having the foresight and the chutzpa to not only know his agency needed to understand and leverage social media for themselves and their clients, but having the commitment to back it up by bringing someone in to do the training.  I could tell the clients in the room were equally impressed and appreciative of him inviting them to participate in the day.

YZF-SocialMediaWorkshop.jpg

I know that Kellett cares about building relationships and creating exceptional experiences for clients and “suppliers” (referring to myself – in quotations as they may not use this term), because when I arrived at my room in YZF after a long flight I was greeted by a six pack of Heineken (3 of them chilled), a gift and a hand-written note. Nice touch! 

Around Yellowknife

After all the work, we had a half-day to wander around and see the place. Doug and I toured old-town in Bill’s Jeep (he threw us the keys). As we toured the town with its rocky terrain, wolf-like canine, and a bone-chilling wind whipping through our skimpy Victoria jackets, the only words we could find to describe it was, “these are some hardy folks”. 

I can’t wait to go back, but hope it’s closer to July or August. I want to see the midnight sun.  

PS – I took lots of photos but didn’t bring the cord for my camera so haven’t downloaded them yet. I’ll post them here later today or tomorrow. 

Chris Burdge is the founder of bWEST Interactive. His passion & profession is helping clients leverage social media to create genuine and lasting relationships with their target audience and customers.

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