Big Idea: Fred Haberman, Haberman

Fred Haberman, CEO of Haberman, believes agencies should look to make the world a better place.

At Haberman, we do not simply talk about how the agency can make a difference in the world - it is part of our core mission statement.

We encourage continued consideration of our legacy. How will we be remembered? Not just for our client work, but also for our own personal passion projects. And, more importantly, what sort of positive mark can we make on the world?

As marketing pros, we are always thinking about telling our clients' stories, helping to build their missions, and having them consider what they want their long-term footprint to be.

Neglecting ourselves
But as is often the case, the shoemaker's children go without shoes. It strikes me that the important work we do for our clients is work we neglect to do for our own agencies.

Marketers, especially PR pros, wield a lot of influence. We understand communications channels, know reporters, help shape dialogue, and are experts at making emotional connections. How are you going to use these powers to cement your legacy? What good could you create from your company's collective passions?

Our staff have gathered storytelling superpowers to create movements from scratch, such as the US Pond Hockey Championships and our employer-sponsored gardens initiative.

We are now helping to shape the national dialogue around sustainable agriculture and health through our new venture, Urban Organics, transforming a shuttered, historic brewery into the largest indoor aquaponics farm in the US, and breathing new life into a blighted St. Paul, MN, neighborhood.

New challenges
Creating something and marketing it challenges us at a different level and maybe, we hope, inspires others to pursue their dreams, too.

What's more, by creating and marketing your own venture, you will understand better how your clients think. You will experience for yourself the pressures, anxieties, hopes, and dreams of a business owner.

I didn't really get that until I was that guy - first for pond hockey. Suddenly, I was responsible for doing my own interviews, diffusing crises, and managing an entire enterprise. That is when I understood the bigger picture. And it has made me a better business partner for my clients.

Unearth the story you want people to tell about the work you've done and create your own movement. Then, you will feel good about what you have built and you can use it to showcase how your agency can execute high-impact marketing programs, too. That's a win-win. And you can help make the world a better place.

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