We’re continuing to celebrate two decades of Bellmont Partners with plenty of nods to the good ol’ days – remember when flip phones with postage-stamp screens were the pinnacle of high technology? But it’s also an excellent time for us to look forward.
With 20 years under our collective belt, here are six focuses for our future – all rooted in the commitments we made in the past – and the lessons we’ve learned along the way:
Put people first. Even when there were just a handful of us, we worked really hard to create and maintain a culture we’d be proud of, and that would help us do phenomenal work for our clients. At the heart of everything we do is a people-first philosophy. We treat everybody at Bellmont Partners with respect and do everything possible to keep them authentically invested in what we’re doing by giving them both voice and opportunity. We’re staunch believers that employees who are supported and respected are able to focus on doing excellent work, which also promotes a no-politics, low-drama environment. And it’s paying off, everywhere from increasing team longevity and stability to cultivating a culture of going the extra mile for our clients – and each other.
Keep clients at the center. We use that same approach with our clients. We’ve built our team with outstanding people who are focused on delivering meaningful results, and created effective systems to ensure that our clients benefit from the way we work. We over-deliver. We don’t nickel-and-dime. We are respectful and collaborative. We say it a lot, but the “Partners” in Bellmont Partners is much more than just a name. It’s a strong reminder of our client-centric approach: Everything we do – including, of course, excellent work – is designed to build trust and strengthen our relationships with our clients.
Strengthen expertise in multiple communications disciplines. Even back when we started the agency, our focus wasn’t solely on media relations. Certainly it was an important part of the value we brought to our clients, but it wasn’t the only priority. We provided additional services, including writing, video production and event planning. And especially as public relations has evolved over the past two decades – sometimes dramatically – our agency has evolved, as well. We’ve stayed on top of changes within the industry, providing deep expertise in everything from content marketing and development to social media and digital strategy and implementation, as well as media relations.
Invest in technology and tools. This has been a major priority of ours since the beginning, even when our cutting-edge tech arsenal included hard-copy Bacon’s media directories, Palm Pilots filled with journalist contact information and fax machines that printed on actual paper instead of thermal rolls. And it continues to be a prime focus: Our agency takes great pride in the hardware, software and platforms we’ve been among the first – or even the first – to put through their paces.
Learn, learn, learn. We’re investing not only in tech and tools, but also in the skills necessary to effectively use whatever’s around the corner, and to connect the dots for our clients. We’re going to continue to commit to professional development and opportunities to sharpen our expertise, whether its national conferences, client-industry trade shows, seminars and internal lunch-and-learns, where our colleagues focus on teaching the rest of the team. We’re also big proponents of joining our clients as they learn more about their products, services and industry. The more information we can absorb, the better we can help identify and tell our clients’ stories.
Stay optimistic. Since the day we opened our doors in 1996, embracing a positive mindset has been integral to our success, and it’s really driven everything we’ve done. Most importantly, it’s allowed us to navigate the numerous challenges and hurdles we experience on a daily basis by reframing challenges into opportunities. We’re constantly asking ourselves, “How can we look at this from a different angle?” “How can we turn this into a positive situation?” It feeds our resilience, problem-solving skills and resourcefulness. Keeping a strong current of optimism running through our agency has made a huge impact on our work, our people and our clients.
It’s particularly gratifying to look back and see that the foundation we’ve built over the past two decades – with culture, clients, services, technology, expertise and mindset – are the very same things that are continuing to fuel our growth and success today.
Can we continue to improve on those and additional critical focuses over our next 20 years? I’m optimistic.