Eleven years after its launch in 1999, I have begun to watch the award-winning series The West Wing. I always knew that this was one of the best-written TV shows in history but now I know why. Aaron Sorkin, who developed the show, is a superb writer and really had his finger on the pulse of politics in the beltway. A few insider consultants didn’t hurt either. By the way, the first season of the show, which we just completed, takes the viewer through the first 19 months of the Bartlet administration. Martin Sheen plays Bartlet convincingly. In the show, this is a democratic administration much like we have now. What is amazing are the parallels between the Bartlet and the Obama administrations and how everything that goes around comes around.
One of the episodes centers around polling and how important it is to the engine of the administration. A downward trend really takes the air out of the balloon for all involved while a rise in the numbers can make everybody feel like they just won the Super Bowl.
This got me thinking about polling in a broader sense. How do we measure the success in what we do every day? Is it just the purchase order from our customer that tells us we are doing a good job or is it our own internal compass that tells us we met the project head on and we delivered? Every business is different. Certainly service businesses are measured differently from manufacturing companies whose products are either accepted or rejected by the market.
In the last couple of years, we have added a number of products to our former role as “the print specialists.” This blog and our e-newsletter are just two examples. A growing web development business along with associated search engine optimization support have been critical additions. Our PR services have gone digital and are distributed with a broader reach. We now do e-blasts and e-surveys while continuing to produce print ads, all types of collateral pieces, trade show graphics and so much more.
I’m sure your businesses have undergone major changes in recent years to keep up with technology changes as well as to adapt to the “lower cost without sacrificing quality” expectations that has taken over global marketing.
I would like to hear from some of you on how you measure your work in this new world. The pressures to succeed are never ending but the path to success seems ever changing.