PR Niblets

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Black Ink is the New Black

My career path has spanned a wide range of journalism and communications endeavors -- on-air newscasting for several radio stations; the assignment desk at WCBS-TV in New York; several public relations firms; and even a stint as head of corporate communications for an international telecommunications manufacturer -- in total nearly 30 years.

I've been priviledged to launch and build several hundred companies, take many of them public and support several multi-national organizations. The body of work has spanned numerous industries from trucking to tech; for-profit and not-for-profit to highly unprofitable; and domestic and international.

Despite having worked for so many entrepreneurs and consulted for so many other organizations, nothing quite prepared me for the roller coaster of emotions and milestones related to the launch of my own business.

December 2008 was filled with lawyers, accountants and real estate agents (oh my!). Friends, colleagues, recruiters, clients and other insiders lined up with often conflicting advice.

On Jan. 2, 2009, our fearless team of four launched Feintuch Communications. Three days later, we incorporated. The first months were filled with serving our early clients -- 3rd Dimension, GAIN Capital, Marketcetera and Tervela -- while at the same time, moving, naming our entity, creating our corporate identity and brand, hiring staff, developing systems and creating a corporate culture. All this while trying to figure out the straightest line to black ink -- a formidable task in the heart of the greatest recession in decades.

My wife, Alice, a geriatric social worker and care manager for the Westchester County chapter of the Alzheimer's Association, went from second income status to primary breadwinner. We all tightened our belts to settle in for the long haul to give the new business as much runway as possible.

In April we launched our website and added new services. We disseminated our own launch press release and announcement cards went out. News articles began appearing. And slowly, things began to click. Referrals started coming our way from our ECP Global international network and our network of hundreds of friends and business colleagues from around the world. While we sadly observed many of our friends' firms contract and downsize, we slowly added accounts. Bluenog. Moire. AccelerOptics. The Linux Box. Hanger Network. RadMD.

Last Friday, half way through our sixth month, the lastest chapter started unfolding. Word from an advertising and marketing prospect that we were hired. More good news today from a life sciences company. And so now, as the clock strikes midnight on the east coast, and as I prepare to take my wife to dinner and Broadway to celebrate our 25th anniversary (June 17), the red ink dried up and turned black.

The adventure continues -- staff hiring, new business meetings, launching our new clients, hustling to satisfy our longer-term clients and preparing to speak at the PRSA International Conference in San Diego. To our clients, friends, supporters and families -- thank you. We hope to continue earning your trust... and black ink.

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