Gotta love social media. A few days after posting a piece about interruption marketing versus engagement and conversation, arguably exploiting a real live event and person to make my point, Craig Grant, aka The Stage Crasher, showed up in broad daylight. Actually he simply appeared in the comment section of this blog, but in doing so exhibited courage, won my welcome and earned congratulations from a few other readers.
He listened (by reading the post), engaged (with his comment), served up relevant content (in the form of an explanation), and invited a dialog. And guess what? A comment turned into a reply. A reply evolved into an email exchange. And an email exchange quickly became a personal meeting, a sharing of perspectives, and the beginning of a relationship.
I could use the rest of this post to talk about how engagement works better than interruption, refer to a bunch of examples from brands and individuals that prove it, and further argue my original point.
Instead I’ll share a few facts about Craig. Unfortunately, he, like many, is a victim of the economy, our industry’s consolidation and the rapid pace of technological change that makes it hard for all of us to keep up. His freelance art direction business has softened. His past emphasis on print and collateral make him an unlikely candidate for a purely digital job, which he knows. And, of course, he faces competition for employment; everything from crowdsourcing, to the 20-somethings who cost less, present clients with alternatives.
But I can attest to a couple of traits that might make him a worthy job candidate. He has taught at Emerson College for five years. He clearly knows how to mentor. He’s run his own small business for even longer. That takes responsibility, dedication, and client service skills. And he has both courage and integrity, evident by his willingness to come forward after my initial criticism.
To be honest, I haven’t seen his work; our conversation was about this other stuff. So I can’t offer a review of his conceptual or design skills. Besides, you would want to verify that for yourself anyway. But, if you need an art director, someone to do anything from advertising to collateral to direct mail, to basic web stuff, maybe you should get in touch with Craig, the homeless art director, formerly The Stage Crasher. You can email him at email@example.com.