In Spring of 1997, when our firm was young and had relocated only six or seven months beforehand from Chicago to Portland, Maine, we had a visit from a media rep. David Corson called on me. He worked for a publication called “Retail Operations & Construction.”
I didn’t know who he was, what he wanted from us or our clients… or, anything about his magazine. But those were the days when we weren’t so busy, and probably, were a lot more hospitable. So I agreed to meet him for breakfast.
Immediately upon meeting, we found out we had some commonalities. Both had athletic backgrounds, were workout fanatics… and the pièce de résistance , both of us were members of the same national college fraternity, Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE). From the get-go, I liked this guy.
I liked him even more when at the end of our initial meeting, he said, “I think I know an account which would love your services.” Within one week, we added a new name to our growing client roster.
The years passed, our business grew as did David’s. He ultimately left the publishing company he was with and started his own firm. In what seemed to be no time at all, he was owner/publisher of Retail Construction, Hospitality Construction and Healthcare Building Ideas magazine & Commercial Kitchens. He developed and managed a number of tradeshows, summits, retreats and other networking events. He did well… and from our vantage point, never forgot us. As a matter of fact, he even hired us! For a number of years, Communicators International, Inc., was full-service advertising and public relations agency for David’s company. We had a blast together. But more importantly, we helped each other grow.
Like so many others in this industry, his firm and ours were hit by the recession. In July of 2008, Communicators had a client roster consisting of many overseas accounts that focused on America. Bam! All at once, we lost 60% of our annual revenue due to non-domestic firms cancelling annual contracts. David really got clobbered, and ultimately re-tooled his firm, winding down his tradeshows and bringing the three aforementioned magazine titles under one new masthead, which he still owns and runs: Commercial Construction & Renovation. In spite of his business hits, David was 100% honorable to us. Whatever he owed, he paid us in full.
Since that time, slowly and surely, both of our companies have come back. We moved to Florida in 2012; David’s firm continued to build up the magazine, added some addenda publishing titles and more. Over the years we’ve signed on a number of new accounts due to his recommendations. We’ve never forgotten the services we get from his firm over and beyond running our clients’ advertising. Bottom line, after 21 years, this publisher still cares about us… and, we still care about him.
In retrospect, looking back to 1997, all of our businesses have changed. 21 years ago, we were all becoming quasi-geeks, getting stoked about all the conveniences and digital tricks we were bringing into our respective companies. David’s firm was doing this, as were we. Like all small businesses, ours were changing with the times. But one thing never changed in the relationship between this media company and Communicators International, Inc. We were interested in each others’ success; we listened to each other; we helped each other… and both firms continually benefitted due to this ongoing, beautiful relationship.
In this blog, I want to publicly thank David Corson for being a great partner.
Phi Alpha, Bro!