No one that I personally know would accuse me of being overly caring. I am not one to gush praise or support on someone. The value that was drilled in to me as a youngster was, “you don’t get a pat on your back for doing your job.” The best compliment I know how to give sounds more like this, “Not bad. Do better next time.”
I have been a partner at bloomfield knoble for 17 years. During that time I have personally supported a number of charitable causes and movements through donations, pro bono work or volunteer work. I always viewed it as self-serving to promote the fact that I did so. Therefore, I never made a big deal about it. Chris Weatherley, my business partner at bloomfield knoble, has always been a charitable supporter and advocate, as well. Over the years, we have personally lent our support to several different organizations.
Recently I read about the lack of support many worthy groups, movements and charities are receiving in today’s financial climate. In a recent online column, I read an opinion piece that argued that NOT letting others know that we support charities, causes and movements is selfish and counter to supporting those same causes.
It made sense, the opinion went on to say, to tell others about the support one provides to encourage and grow awareness about one’s donations or volunteer efforts. A large part of the responsibility, the article pointed out, is to raise awareness so more people can throw their weight in to solve or support a cause. (Apparently, throwing money at a problem isn’t enough!)
That statement – to raise awareness – is obvious if one thinks about it even a little. The issue is getting past the conceit that others would view promoting the fact that we support a charity or movement as exploitation.
Throughout the year, we will highlight one of the ongoing groups we have supported for so many years in an effort to raise awareness and encourage others to follow our lead and example. Also, as has always been a bloomfield knoble tradition, we will use social media to promote these charities and their efforts through pro bono work and simple reposts, retweets, etc. However we can help, we will help.
Personally, I encourage you to find the passions that drive you or your business. Beyond family and friends, as a company we live to fish and adventure. Therefore, the Coastal Conservation Association (of Texas) is a logical choice for us, just like Stop the Pebble Mine. Finding your company’s passion is not hard. You probably already do more than you realize.
Once your company gets behind a cause, it empowers everyone to do better for the world every day. If nothing else, it reminds us that it is not all about a pay check or an advertising industry trophy. It re-emphasizes that we are instrumental to the community and we don’t need a gold statue or pay stub to tell us we are special.
(Personal Note: If what you get from this post is that we, at bloomfield knoble, support charities and movements to feel better about ourselves, then you got one part right. Now, I say directly to you, “Do better today and get yourself and your business involved. I won’t give you a pat on your back. However, I will consider you a peer.”)
Eric J. Hirschhorn is a principal at bloomfield knoble. For 17 years he has helped lead the Dallas-based advertising agency from start up to becoming a premier, full-service agency whose clients include some of the most influential companies in America. Eric lives to spend time with his family, to work and to travel the world in search of unique fishing adventures.