It’s hard to believe, but eight years ago today Echo Communications was born. For those of you that don’t know the history, I’ll give you a quick run down…
After many years of handling in-house PR for technology companies – namely Delrina, MGI Software and Delano – it was time to go out on my own. I had just been laid off from my job at Delano along with the rest of the marketing team (the company was faced with a huge dose of reality after the dot.com bubble burst) and figured that no one would hire me in my pregnant state (I was about four months into my second pregnancy). That’s when I made the decision to accelerate my plan (by five years) to work as an independent PR consultant.
After a month of networking, there was no going back. And on July 23rd, 2001, Echo Communications (a play on my name, of course) was officially registered.
Before long, I signed up my first client for a writing contract, and was given the opportunity to work as a PR consultant for a network-based PR agency. It was in this role, as a white-labeled PR consultant, that I formulated the model for my own consultancy:
- As a virtual agency, I wouldn’t have any overheads in my business(no employees, no offices, etc) and could therefore lower the cost of services provided to clients;
- Consultants on my team would have no less than 10 years of PR experience (it didn’t matter if it was in-house or at an agency);
- Flat rate billing would means no surprises for clients. Regardless of who on the team would be involved in an initiative, expertise would be guaranteed and the rate would not scale based on that expertise;
- We would establish budgets for our clients, not retainers. Rather than being billed a set amount each month, clients would only pay for actual time used;
- I would be involved in every client account.
Eight years later and I’m happy to report that I’ve never looked back. I love what I do and look forward to the challenges and opportunities that each day brings.
Of course, Echo Communications wouldn’t be what it is today if it weren’t for the amazing clients we work with (current clients include Anyware Group, A. Farber & Partners, BlackBerry Partners Fund, Capital C, Descartes Systems Group, Farelogix, Iristel, Jazinga, Schenker of Canada, Wishabi, and Xenos Group) and the incredible team of virtual consultants who put their hearts and souls into the accounts they work on. I’m also extremely proud of the fact that all of our business (yip, every single client we’ve worked with over the years) has come to us through referral – perhaps a testament to the model we’ve embraced, the service we provide and the results we deliver.
Thanks to everyone for making the last eight years so memorable. Here’s wishing that the next eight years continue to provide each of us involved in Echo Communications with an opportunity to: achieve our goals; learn more; teach others; set new benchmarks for success; and work in an environment that is stimulating and rewarding both personally and professionally.