Warning: this may be the most self-indulgent blog post ever.
Then again, isn’t that what blogs are all about, self-indulgence? That’s definitely what I thought when I started at I-COM, five years ago, when I was the only copywriter in the business (still am).
Back in those halcyon days of 2009 I also had no idea what Twitter was, had only been signed up to Facebook for two years, and thought that a blog post was called a blog and multiple blog posts were called blogs.
I also couldn’t use apostrophes. Some would argue I still can’t.
Over the last five years, I’ve seen I-COM almost double its workforce, building strong teams in new fields like content marketing and social media, and achieve some fantastic results for clients.
But who cares about all that. Increasing revenue, getting great results, growing the brand, that’s all stuff for the PRs.
These are the moments I’ll remember (too cheesy?):
1) My First Client Meeting – For Real, or Bizarre I-COM Hazing Ritual?
I went into my first client meeting at I-COM slightly nervous, but excited to hear the client’s feedback on the copy I’d slaved over.
After an hour of being called a ‘f**king idiot’ by an angry bald man, who also insisted on making spelling and grammar corrections that were patently incorrect, I wasn’t so eager.
There was shouting, red faces, a LOT of swearing, and I like to think I held my own in the reasonable and patient corner.
Really, this first meeting was so bad I’ve come to think of it as a set up; a kind of hazing ritual for the new guy.
2) The Funk Bed
Really, this was the moment I first thought, ‘I-COM is a great place to work’.
When you work somewhere where part of your working day involves sitting down with a colleague and coming up with April Fool’s ideas for a bed retailer, you know you’ve got it made.
The Funk Bed was a James Brown-themed bed with built in sound system/alarm which played, you guessed it, Get On Up.
Each bed post was a miniature sculpture of James Brown in a different pose.
When we pitched the idea to the designer, I remember his face mangling into a bemused expression as we eagerly repeated, ‘You can draw something like that, right?’
3) Jurassic Park
Just a quick one, this; some of you may know that Jurassic Park’s theme music is one of my favourite film themes of all time.
Thus, the opportunity to listen to it at full volume, in the office, on Christmas Eve, with a fellow employee who shared my sentiments, stands out as a massive highlight.
4) The New Office – Moving In
The new office is great. The old one, over on Lloyd Street, had the business split in half by a corridor, a horrible, peeling wooden floor and a tiny fridge that didn’t work (it did, however, have windows).
However, one of the stand-out moments for me was moving in and seeing the number of I-COM employees willing to give up their weekends to help with the move.
You know a company respects its employees and treats them fairly when they’re willing to come in, unpaid, to help out with a big move like that.
5) Copywriter’s Rhyming Slang
A few examples for the uninitiated:
Chairman Mao = Now
Whitepaper = Bog Roll
Facebook = Feed the Ducks
Update Facebook Now = Feed the Ducks Chairman Mao
And so on…
6) All of Tim’s Speeches
Tim’s speeches had two settings: angry Tim, or motivational Tim. That being said, you could always count on them being entertaining.
Somehow, he managed to make cheesy business-speak and anecdotes promoting familiar business tropes like DRIVE, and SELF-BELIEF, sound convincing, even to someone as jaded and cynical as me.
I’ll never know how he did it. Perhaps it was the conviction he put in to every word; the relentless energy.
Oh, and Tim, if you’re reading this, just let me know when you’re ready for me to ghost-write your ‘autobiography’.