How The GodwinGroup Staff Makes Me Love Coming to Work

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by Philip Shirley

If you don’t love the ad business with a passion, it will drive you to the brink. A typical day will bring impossible deadlines, overlapping meetings, tight budgets or no budget at all, last minute changes after the materials are about to go on press, and people who think creating ads is easy—just take a photo with your phone, spend ten minutes writing a little headline, and put the logo and phone number at the bottom.

That’s not to say that we don’t have our great days and moments. We do. Lots of them. When a client calls to say the phone is ringing from a new TV spot or website visits are skyrocketing since the online ads broke, we celebrate. When a company starts expanding and adding jobs, we celebrate. When we hear someone quote from our ad campaign (“I’m not your mama.”), we celebrate. And when I hear of how much these folks put into their jobs, I celebrate.

I’ll tell you right up front, this story is personal and maybe will sound self-serving to GodwinGroup. But I promise it’s not meant to be. It’s a story of personal sacrifice to achieve client success and an inspiring set of actions that deserves to be told. It’s a reminder of why we often say It’s great to be Godwin.

Today, I’m celebrating what I consider the day-to-day heroics of a team of four women to help a client with a small budget shoot for a big victory, despite some personal obstacles along the way. This story involved a small hospital in Kosciusko, Mississippi, called Montfort Jones Memorial Hospital. The hospital wanted to announce its new Emergency Department and a few other advancements. The budget was far from extravagant, but a small team of three people in our Creative Department said We can do this. Let us figure it out.

The objective was to produce a series of three radio spots and three print ads, with original photography of doctors and patients. Brand manager Tobi Miller worked with the hospital CEO to arrange the shoot, which was scheduled to start soon after sunup to achieve the lighting that would help restricted-budget photography look good. Jessica Russell was the copywriter, Megan Harris art directed, and Cheri Magee—usually a graphic artist—agreed to wear her photographer hat this day.

No problem. Everything was set. The group would assemble in Jackson at 4 a.m. for the ninety-minute drive and be ready to shoot after sunrise.

That’s when things began to unravel. First, Cheri’s father has open heart surgery the day prior to the event. Jessica had an issue with her eye that required constant eye drops to be applied, which ran out around 3:30 a.m., and Megan got a migraine that should have prevented her from being in a car due to nausea. Everyone had a valid reason to say they couldn’t make it.

But no one dropped out. The group kept communicating as the night went on. Jessica had someone go out in the wee hours to get more eye drops. When Megan couldn’t go any more on the trip up, they stopped the car. Cheri worked out how to stay in touch. They were on a mission.

In the end, things worked out. Another day in the advertising world. Another reason I’m excited to come to work every day.

The fruits of their dedication, skill, and hard work are below. Have a look, and let us know what you think.


Montfort Jones Memorial Hospital logo, designed by Cheri Magee. Click the logo to visit the Montfort Jones Memorial Hospital microsite, designed by GodwinGroup.

Three 30-second local radio spots:

“Montfort Jones community member Katherine Carr Esters and Montfort Jones Director of Emergency Services Dr. Brady Richardson.”

“Montfort Jones LPN and community member Gloria Cain and Montfort Jones Director of Emergency Services Dr. Brady Richardson.”

“Montfort Jones Senior Care volunteer and community member Marie Harmon and Montfort Jones staff physican Dr. Tim Alford.”

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