Celebrating 2014

By Jamie Wilson
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It’s been a massive year.

As 2014 comes to a close, it’s great to be able to stop and reflect on what we have achieved as a team.

And, as I look at what lies ahead for the coming year, it’s amazing to think Coordinate will reach ten years of existence in 2015. We’ve come a long way from the days of starting in the storage room above the Griffith supermarket.

2014 has been by far the most challenging, rewarding and consuming year that I’ve ever had – but it’s been one amazing ride.
I have to admit one of my strengths and weaknesses, is my ability to continually self-assess, self-evaluate and push myself (being overly critically along the way), so I reflect on the year with this in mind.

Coordinate is not just an advertising or marketing company – to me, that is a service we provide but it shouldn’t define who we are or what we stand for. I believe a business purely dedicated to economic measures is a business of little wealth. Because of that, I’m really proud of the year we have had. Yes, we have been financially prudent, because without being strong financially at the core, the things you care about and want to contribute to, simply cannot happen.

We set a mission this year to really grow our community footprint. Being a champion for CBR is something that’s important to me. So, we continued to support a growing number of charities, young entrepreneurs and philanthropic initiatives. 2014 was our third year supporting the Snowy Hydro SouthCare Rescue Helicopter and we fostered relationships with Lifeline, Sids and Kids ACT (through the Christmas Lights campaign), the Physical Activity Foundation, Tuggeranong Hawks Australian Football Club, YWCA and Barry’s Army Stroke Foundation.

The creation and management of the CBR BRAVE (with long time friend Peter Chamberlain) was one of the most difficult yet rewarding projects we have undertaken. The BRAVE community was born and we oversaw a team rise from the ashes of the Canberra Knights who proudly marched into the finals for the first time in a Canberra team’s existence of 33 years.

Next year, we will formalize and launch a new program to find, foster, support and develop the brightest young talent in CBR. We need to keep young talent in this city and help them realize the potential of setting up business here. To do this, we need to all be accommodating, encouraging and supportive (emotionally and financially). By using our skills, resources and contacts, we will aim to provide business acceleration through marketing, digital and video. We will also bring in our partners in legal and accounting to provide greater structure and support.

This year, we were proud to form two critical relationships with market leading businesses that will provide even greater (external) depth and experience to our team. We set a goal to find new and innovative ways to drive creative collaborations and partnerships to increase the mix of skills we can provide clients in a smarter, more agile way. Our partnership with HerCanberra is unique. It’s the first time an advertising/marketing company and a publisher have aligned to create a rare part agency/part publisher model. Being able to work with the amazing Amanda Whitley and gaining a greater understanding of how she’s developed a passionate and loyal fan base has been a career highlight.

Our partnership with Swell Design Group is also unique in many ways. Too often companies in the same industry get highly competitive and territorial. The respect I have for our competition and in particular, Swell Design Group, is enormous. They are incredibly talented, professional and humble and I really look forward to learning, growing and working with them on projects in the new year.

On the client front, I’d love to mention them all because they all contribute to the company we are, but that’s not possible in a short article. This year, we were reappointed to manage the Brand Canberra project – words will never summarize the passion and pride I have for CBR. And, we had the privilege of developing the identity for new programs to fuel growth in the Capital, such as the CBR Innovation Network, The Future Sessions and Canberra, Create Your Future.

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We were also reappointed to lead marketing for ActewAGL, which was a highlight, and a testament to Warren’s passion and commitment for that brand.

And, in the last week, we have perhaps landed one of the most exciting projects in recent memory – working with GUVERA, the world’s fastest growing music entertainment platform that legally allows consumers to stream music for free. This business is operational in Australia, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Phillipines, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Ukraine, UAE and the USA. The fact that a small business in CBR has been appointed to work across brand, marketing and sales for a global brand, is a real example of the brilliant possibilities we have here in Canberra. This market should not be underestimated.

Finally, it’s important for me to acknowledge my partners and staff. I truly believe in the quote, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with”, and my staff continue to inspire, motivate and challenge me everyday.

I had a vision nearly ten years ago to create a communications company where young, talented, humble professionals would come together to collaborate. Led by the quote “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts”, Coordinate has definitely reached that vision and purpose this year – and for that, I’m extremely grateful of those who have shown the dedication and commitment. It’s often equally rewarding as it is scary, to see that I’ve created a business where the people in it add as much value (if not more) than what I as founder can. I’m equally proud to have recruited people who can provide a skill set to our clients that I can’t. My team is brilliant. Today, Coordinate is not about one or two individuals – its about a team coordinating to achieve amazing things. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither was Coordinate.

Look out 2015, we’re coming.