I don’t think I’ll ever get used to LA traffic. After 13 months of walking and biking to the office, I just feel so lazy sitting in the backseat of a car—especially for an hour at a time. The whole situation bums me out, because they’re actually extending a subway line down here but it doesn’t open until 2016. If only I had waited another year!
Traffic aside; the one thing that’s always puzzled me about LA is why I couldn’t grab the attention of more local agencies while scouring for our final stop. Back in 2013 when #TGAA was in its initial planning stages; I spent most of my time convincing the first batch of agencies to come on board. Thankfully, once Recess Creative joined, it showed others I wasn’t some sort of nutcase. So, when I reached out to other agencies I had past relationships with, several of them were already eager to take part (Red Tettemer included). After that it was much easier to sell the project in our remaining cities and by the time February rolled around I had every stop accounted for—except LA.
The months came and went and the next thing I knew it was already August and I still had no clue where the project would wrap up. I’d always had my heart set on LA, because it seemed rather appropriate to go coast-to-coast. Yet, months and months of using the same tactics and selling points that brought 13 other agencies on board just weren’t enough for most of the shops here. Toward the end of summer, I was finally able to get a few call backs, but they never did amount to much.
Why the gigantic disconnect? I’m still not 100% sure, but I think it has something to do with the isolated nature of the communities here. I’ve learned that just because you live in LA doesn’t mean you’ve been around the area. In fact, the friends I’m crashing with say there are actually people in town they rarely see, because their commutes are just too much—even though it's often only a few miles in length. I think that mindset may have fueled many of my interactions and caused some to never truly understand the point or purpose of the project.
That’s the best explanation I can come up with. So, for anyone out there who wants to land a job in LA, just keep in mind that you have to utilize a whole different set of tactics if you want to get noticed here. Then again, you should strive to never use a "generalized" approach. If you really want to work somewhere, present a highly customized offering and it'll definitely get you noticed. Either that or befriend some super rad people from Philly. They just might swoop in and save the day.
Although an important lesson was learned, I do think everything worked out for the best. I'm thrilled to be back at RTO+P. I'm having an incredible time at the office and the people here are downright stellar. Plus, being at a different branch of an agency I've already visited allows me to bring a brand new perspective to the month. Honestly, I couldn't ask for anything more and I'm overjoyed with how it all worked out.