Wednesday, September 26, 2007


I'm headed to NYC on Thursday to meet the newest graduating class from Miami Ad School. This on the heels of the latest Ad Age supplement about recruiting and retaining the industry's best talent. Read Sally Hogshead's article. It's a good one.

General recruitment tactics? Money. Perks. The promise of good work. A great creative city. Etc. Which begs the questions: why would a great creative want to make their way to Dallas?

Here are 10 good reasons to start (or restart) an advertising career in Dallas.

10. Dallas is a city that's all about new: A new light rail, new roads, new infrastructure, high-tech upgrades citywide. Dallas also embraces retail trends in its own unique way. There's some historical stuff, but the eyes of this city have always been on the horizon. What's next.

9. Dallas is a city with sports teams. That's important. The Cowboys, Mavericks and Stars are all consistently great teams. Championship teams. And you can actually get tickets to the games. So you can go to a game and the home team might win. (We call that a win-win)

8. Food. As Mike Hughes said, people don't go to Richmond for the restaurants. Dallas, however, takes its restaurants very seriously. This is one of the three reasons I moved back to Dallas. And something you may want to consider before taking a job in Harrisburg, PA.

7. Dallas has a well-rounded ad community. Texans. Transplants. Folks who spent ten years at the Richards Group and now run their own agencies. Folks who worked at their own agencies for ten years and now work at the Richards Group. Cutting edge interactive agencies like Slingshot. Graphic design boutiques, Latin agencies, traditional agencies, hybrids. And a ton of editorial, post production and new media places. Big enough to have some choices, small enough to build some cred.

6. A first-class airport. When you have to climb on a plane, nothing is more than 4 hours away: Boston, Belize, Miami, Canada, LA, or Portland. On a direct flight. It's as easy to vacation as it is to travel for business. And Southwest (out of Love Field) can get you around the state for the price of a bus ticket.

5. It's near Austin, but it's not Austin. I love Austin, but the traffic congestion and the price of rent are insufferable. Drive down for the weekend (or fly down on a $100 Southwest flight). Most decent Austin bands put Dallas on their schedule too, so we definitely bask in the glow of the Music Capital of the World.

4. It's cheap to live here. And the housing crisis hasn't hit us like it hit Miami and LA. So you can spend more money on plane tickets, clothes, a new computer, a barbecue brisket sandwich. And less time sneaking into happy hour buffets (although I know a few of those down here too).

3. This city is crawling with new business. There are 11 companies in this year's fortune 500 headquartered in Dallas. And this is a city of VC. Of business professionals with big ideas. And deep pockets.

2. This city isn't afraid to pay good talent. Look it up. People get paid very well in Dallas. And that money goes a long way compared to the standard of living. (see #4) Plus there's no state tax. As a recent expatriate from Pennsylvania, that is a huge consideration.

1. Texas. I love Texas. I'm a transplant and I probably have no business liking it as much as I do. Texans are good people. They respect and value family. And Dallas is an intriguing mix of southern charm, business professional, oil cowboy, and serious multicultural diversity.


J_Fox said...

Number 4 is true. The rest, lies. Especially the one about pay. You should be a copywriter.

James-H said...

Nobody will ever be able to pay you what you're worth, Fox.

BT said...

You've almost got me convinced to reload the rental truck and move right back.

Make the logo bigger said...

Okay, what about the heat thing and that twister thing.

Or, that wasn’t hot yet when I was there in August.


James-H said...

Bill: The twister thing is no more daunting than the hurricane thing. And the heat thing? You know what they say - if you can't handle the heat, turn on the friggin AC. Electricity is cheaper than heating oil.

BT: We need copywriters.

Irene Done said...

Seriously, that's really a nice list. I moved here a long time ago and I was pretty obnoxious about what an adjustment it was for me. Not my finest hour. I think if people come here with an open mind, they find plenty to like.

Every August, the heat thing does make me insane. But there's that point -- somewhere around February or March when the Midwest is still snowbound -- that I'm thankful for our weather.

Jetpacks said...

Why can't I live where I want and telecommute?

That's a good list and pitch though, James. You've got a promising career ahead of you in sales.

J_Fox said...

Ummm, how about pay commensurate with experience? Or just commensurate with the position?

James-H said...

Fox: If they could pay you commensurate with dry funnitude, you could by that BMW double-stroller you've been eyeing.

Dave: Thinkin' about it.

Irene: The heat ain't shit compared to the allergies. Jesus. Is that 14 foot tall ragweed??

I'm concerned that Mark Cuban and his little lip-synching act is casting my fair city in a troublesome light. I can't wait for the night they can his ass and he mouths off to the judges. Oughta be Youtube-worthy.