I could — and perhaps should — fill a notebook with New Years Resolutions. Heaven knows I have plenty of room for improvement in my life. Instead I am going with just one resolution although it's an ambitious one. In 2012, I have the same resolution for myself personally and for our company: continuous improvement.

It's not that we're underperforming. Just the opposite. I think that in the past year or two our team has produced some of the best creative work of our 20-year history. We simply can't allow complacency to set in. Businesses have to continually improve and evolve or die. There is no treading water in business, especially a professional service firm like ours. Being stagnant is not an option.So, in 2012:

• We will continue to build our reputation as thought leaders, especially in the area of destination branding and tourism marketing. We have written extensively on the subject and in 2012 expect to develop speaking opportunities. We've done more than just talk and write. We've launched some amazing and highly successful tourism brands including Botetourt County, Alleghany Highlands, Roanoke Valley CVB and Upper James River Water Trail and we have a couple of others in development for early 2012.

• All the members of our team will stay up to date on tactics and trends in our chosen specialties of tourism, hospitality and foodservice. You have to know the boundaries before you can push them.

• All the members of our team will remain on the cutting edge of brand building and advertising practices so we can guide our clients through integrated campaigns, web strategy, social media, video, SEO, and viral marketing. These areas are changing rapidly and require creative thinking to maximize the clients' ROI.

• We hope to gain some new clients and pledge to give them all 110% of our energy. Since every client's situation is unique, working with each is both a professional challenge and a way to expand our horizons — an opportunity to learn.

• We will continue to write case studies and white papers because they are not only great ways to crystallize our positions on important issues but also to share them with others.

• We will strive to serve our clients better. The knowledge-based improvements like the ones just listed will help us offer expert strategic guidance to clients, but we also want to improve on the basics like responding quickly to phone calls and emails, conducting productive meetings and running an efficient organization.

To all the readers of this blog, our friends, clients and vendor-partners, best wishes for a prosperous 2012.


6 Walnut Avenue • Vinton, Virginia 24179

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