Mustang of All Trades

Image-1Imagine going to college and simultaneously majoring in every subject offered. In a way (a good way), that might be something like working at Mustang Marketing. As a full-service creative agency with a broad variety of clients, Mustang can easily be described as a “Jack of all trades.” And, in my role as an administrative assistant, which has made me a bit of a “Jack of all trades” myself, I have had the wonderful opportunity to learn about each of them.

Within the world of marketing alone, the necessary scope of knowledge and skill is impressive. There are limitless vehicles to understand, from traditional print advertising to social media to over-the-top promotional swag. And then, there is the matter of incorporating those vehicles into a successful overall campaign strategy, which—among many other things—requires constant monitoring of market trends, awareness of the differences between various demographics and the ability to allocate resources effectively.

But strategy itself is only the beginning. Once a campaign approach has been developed, its execution requires a host of tactical skills—from the visual creativity and Photoshop expertise of graphic designers to the eloquence and grammatical acuity of copywriters. There is also the networking and media knowledge public relations experts contribute and the coding talents of website designers. Not to mention the business savvy and communication skills account executives display when discussing the campaign with a client.

However, what truly makes working at Mustang similar to acquiring a few dozen academic degrees is the fact that, in addition to mastering our own expansive field, we also need to develop a thorough understanding of each of our clients’ industries. In my time at Mustang, I have learned about landscaping, wedding venues, flame-resistant clothing, politics, banking, Internet access gateways and satellite uplink trucks (to name just a few).

While the sheer vastness of the knowledge available can be intimidating at times, it is also incredibly exciting. In the seven short months I have been working at Mustang, my understanding of both marketing and the world in general has grown tenfold, yet it still feels like there’s so much more I can learn. And, I have a happy suspicion that in this world, that’s a feeling that never goes away.

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Pacific Coast Business Times Features Scott’s Article

What do resolutions, football and resumes have in common? Scott wrote about all of them in a recent op/ed, published by the Pacific Coast Business Times! See the original article here or read it below:

Screen Shot 2015-01-21 at 11.47.38 AM

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Fun with Desk Toys

The average American spends 40 hours per week from age 20-65 working. That is 10.3 years of answering emails, listening to hold music and sitting at a desk. Here at Mustang, we try our hardest to make that time as fun as possible.  And, what’s more fun then toys?

Everyone at Mustang has taken time to personalize their desks with something that makes the space uniquely “them” and gives Mustang some of its charm.

See if you can guess which desk belongs to each Mustang staffer:

A.

Scott Desk

B.

Chris Desk

C.

Randi Desk

D. 

Jess Desk

E. 

Nerissa Desk

F. 

Michael Desk

G. 

IMG_1037

H. 

Jenny Desk

I. 

Dianne Desk

J. 

Danny Desk

K. 

Randall Desk

 

Answers

A. Scott, B. Chris, C. Randi, D. Jess, E. Nerissa, F. Michael, G. Brett, H. Jenny, I. Dianne, J. Danny, K. Randall

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Let’s Talk Politics

Having outside interests is one of the things that keeps our creative staff so creative. While I’m not bold enough to think my creative talents approach those of Mustang’s writers and designers, I do have outside interests.

One of these interests is politics. For example, here is the op-ed I wrote that ran in the Ventura County Star last Sunday. I hope you enjoy it!

Here is a link to the article, or you can read it below.

Scott Harris: A do-nothing Congress? Thank you!

4:19 PM, Jan 3, 2015

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PICTURE BY J. SCOTT APPLEWHITE

The 80th Congress (1947-1949) was dubbed the “Do Nothing Congress” by then-President Harry Truman. This was based on the 80th Congress passing “only” 906 laws in its two-year term.

We are now reading quite a few articles and op-eds around the country lamenting that the 113th Congress (2013-14), whose term is now ending, “only” passed 296 laws — the second least since the 1940s. The current record holder is the 112th Congress (2011-12) with “only” 283 laws passed.

House Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, blames the Senate: “The House has passed hundreds of bills, including dozens of great jobs bills, that Senate Democrats have simply ignored. That’s not how our system is supposed to work.” At the same time, President Obama — and almost every other high-level Democrat — has been long pointing at the GOP as “obstructionist.”

Regardless of which side you agree with, it does seem clear that hyper-partisanship has reduced the number of laws passed over the past four years. And if much of this lack of productivity can be blamed on partisanship, then allow me to tip my cap to partisanship.

I have never once woken up in the morning and thought: I hope Congress passes more laws. Yes, I have on occasion supported the idea of a specific law and, certainly, some laws are good and even necessary. However, is there any rational person who doesn’t think that maybe we have a few too many laws? At what point in our history (perhaps it can be traced back to Truman) did we begin confusing the quantity of laws with the quality of laws?

Judging our elected officials based on the number of laws they pass is a recipe for disaster. It increases the number of laws that all of us are ignorant of and that many of us — due to said ignorance — break.

Many in law enforcement are suggesting that we have too many laws, turning too many good people into criminals, many unknowingly. Does New York City really need a law against selling “loosies”? The tragedy involving the death of Eric Garner might have been avoided if police weren’t required to cite/arrest a man for selling a lousy cigarette.

And please don’t suggest that police shouldn’t enforce what many would consider a silly or minor law. If the law is on the books and it is being broken, police do not — and should never — have the option of picking and choosing which laws to enforce and with whom they enforce them.

There are approximately 25,000 pages of federal laws. The Justice Department spent more than two years trying to determine the total number of federal criminal laws. They were unable to do so!

They did come up with an approximate number of 3,000, but if the Justice Department doesn’t know how many laws there are, how can those charged with public safety be expected to know? How are we, as citizens, expected to know?

Harvey Silvergate recently published a book entitled “Three Felonies a Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent.” You may or may not have committed three felonies yesterday, but don’t you find the idea that you might have just a little disconcerting?

At this point, you may be thinking, “No way. I’m a law-abiding citizen.”

Let me ask you a question: In the hustle and bustle of the holidays, any chance you mistakenly received junk mail addressed to one of your neighbors? If so, like most of us, did you throw it out? If so, you are guilty of “obstruction of correspondence” (18 U.S. Code, Section 1702), punishable by up to five years in prison. Curious now about approximately 2,999 other federal laws you may have recently broken?

Allow me to make a couple of suggestions. First, as those who elect the members of Congress, let’s find another way of measuring the success or failure of Congress than the quantity of laws.

Second, allow me to suggest to members of Congress that before you go racing off introducing new laws, how about taking a look at some of the antiquated existing laws and see if you can’t find a few to remove.

And finally, perhaps a thank-you to the 112th and 113th Congresses for “only” passing 579 new laws.

Scott Harris, of Thousand Oaks, is the owner of Mustang Marketing. Email him at scott@mustangmktg.com.

Copyright 2014 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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