When I look back on 2017, on the work we did, the wins and losses, the terrific communication initiatives in which we were involved, faces get in the way. That’s right, faces. I try to focus on the work, but the people keep getting in the way.
Now, there are plenty of faces attached to plenty of projects — we opened 373 job dockets in 2017. This could be a really long list if I’d worked on all those projects. But I didn’t. I’m the guy they bring in when they “…need some grey hair in the room,” as they say. To my face.
So this is my very limited, highly personal take on the faces that stood out for me in 2017.
Some are new faces that I’ve come to enjoy working with, staff like Émeraude or Alainnah — our 49th and 50th employees in 28 years! Some are new client faces, like Kelly and the team at the Wilderness Tourism Association, or Steve (yes! — that Steve!) of Islander Reels in Victoria, engaging us in the kind of work that challenges and stretches and ultimately is deeply satisfying.
And who, once having met him, could forget Jaret of Co-space/Yukonstruct, an enthusiastic guy who knows where he wants to get to, is not sure of all the stops along the way, but is willing to partner up and go there together.
I see the faces of the people we’ve come to know well in on-going and meaningful working partnerships over the years. I’m thinking of you, Janet, and the vote of confidence which had us retaining the Yukon Energy Corporation account. If an agency had to describe what a good account looks like, one modelled on mutual respect, collaboration and an open mind to creative possibilities, this is the account they’d describe.
I see the faces of clients who signed up for the ride, even though it was a bit scary, a bit outside their comfort zone. Thanks to the great folks at Yukon Environment and Yukon Parks, we were able to develop the undiscovered campgrounds marketing strategy and then follow it up with a creative and innovative “Un” campaign. Who knew work could be so much fun, right Dan?
In early December, I met a number of new faces at the Communications Community Christmas Social, organized by YG communications staff. An interesting but youngish crowd, from my point of view. However, near the end, I saw a familiar face — Pat, from Health and Social Services. A lifetime ago, we traded the editor’s position at the Yukon News, and subsequent to that, produced a number of ground-breaking social marketing and awareness campaigns together. Good to see you again, old friend, still active, engaged and making a difference in the world.
Then there were the brand new little faces that showed up throughout the year: Corey’s baby Violet, Eleanor’s baby Keith, Rory’s grandbaby Roman, Nico’s baby Joshua-Paul and Mike’s baby Emily. Some people refer to us as a family business. This year, our staff really took that to heart.
Looking forward to 2018, there is one face you’ll see less of around here, and that’s mine.
Aasman Brand Communications underwent a significant change in the last month of 2017, as it transitioned to new ownership. Zeke and Corey are now 100% owners of the company. The deal is done and as of this year, I am simply an employee, working about 2/3 time (while they work about 4/3 time).
For now, my working future will be one primarily focused on the things I love doing: research, writing and communications strategy. I enjoyed developing the Marketing Communications course for the Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce, a series of workshops that we’ll continue to deliver this year. Thanks for giving us that opportunity, Rick, and for continuing to support it. One outcome of that work was a small book I wrote last year, The ROI of Branding, and it gave me other ideas I’d like to pursue about the things I’ve learned in a lifetime of communications in the North.
We’ll also be celebrating some anniversaries — Margriet and my 40th wedding anniversary on July 14 as well as the 40th anniversary of our arrival in the territory on Aug 21, 1978, Discovery Day no less.
For Aasman Brand Communications it means another busy year of adapting the communications needs of our clients to the reality of the territory’s size and limitations with innovative solutions that capitalize on their brand values.
And, of course, we’ll do it on purpose.