I love rare finds.
The relics from yesteryear that evoke great memories.
Or those hard-to-find collectibles that inspire a smile and become great conversation pieces.
The ones that remind us of simpler days and innocent times.
Fortunately, rare finds can be people, too.
I’ve been lucky to have had a loyal gem in our agency for the past 21 years. And, in light of his retirement, I dedicate this post to him. Staying with any company for a long time has become an unusual feat in our job-hopping society where the average employment tenure is 4.2 years. Staying with one company for more than two decades is downright rare.
A journalism vet, Jeff Bray approached O&G 21 years ago in an ingenious way – he sent us a letter that opened with a series of numbers, suggesting we could play the weekend’s lottery, a 14 million to 1 longshot, or take a chance on him, a much better proposition. Back in the ‘90s, “jumping ship” from media to PR was not as common. It was a gamble, he thought. But having him join our team was an easy call – and among the best decisions we ever made.
Jeff is a writer extraordinaire. A true grammar guru with impeccable attention to detail – holding firm to AP Style while helping groom countless members of our account teams, reminding them to scrap the jargon, focus on brevity and always use “more than” instead of “over.”
Our clients valued his ability to transform sophisticated subject matter into digestible content that the average 5th grader could grasp.
We valued his rapid output of brilliant copy and savvy persuasive skills in garnering earned media coverage. Not surprising, as this former radio news guy was also the former local UPI Bureau Chief. Jeff knows news. Plain and simple.
But, above all, Jeff is a man of class and dignity who represents goodness to the core – moral standards which are the pillars of our agency philosophy (#GoodPeopleMakeGoodNews). His unwavering dedication to the greater good is a shining example for all who worked with him – including hundreds of O&G clients and PR professionals over the past two decades. Perhaps that quality is what I appreciate most of all.
So, to the classic “loyals” out there who demonstrate fierce commitment to your place of employment – you have my respect.
To the employers who keep our older workers happily employed despite societal pressure to focus on Millennial hiring – you have my admiration.
And to our wonderful, wine-loving wordsmith, who will retire exactly 21 years from the day he started — we could not be happier for you as you embark on your next adventure.
Congratulations, Jeff. You earned every minute of it.