GETTING TO TODAY
HERE'S THE VISION. -- HERE'S THE FUTURE.
Here's my proposal... Here's my FREE offer.
There are many ways to grow a community; high/bio tech, advanced manufacturing, education, tourism,
culture, retail, medical, and more. Each provides opportunities.
However, most all require infrastructure -- much of it new... therefore, some require a
major capital investment... some are cyclical / seasonal / or short-lived... some add burden to the city's with indefinite
Then of course there is the job. Some require degrees -- often advanced... some require levels
of security... or some require non-sensical barriers such as one's last pay-stub (which makes no sense
since people who want to have more, may have been under-appreciated, blocked by a boss, in a poor paying company, etc.)
or such as a credit rating, which may wrong... in dispute... or negatively affected by health -- theirs
or a family members, or a death in the family.
Seemingly, none of the above address the famous quote of President Teddy Roosevelt:
"Do what you can do with what you've got"
Here's what we've "got" in Pittsfield without a dollar more to be spent;
the ability to become a viable marketing center for the entire country.
BACKGROUND IN REMOTE
"One can hunt from the lodge."
My career is in sales and marketing. In the mid-70's, I pioneered remote selling for big-ticket
computer hardware and software Since the Greek word for remote is "tele" let's call it tele marketing, but not
in the current sense which has caused the creation of "Do Not Call."
In 1977, I employed a UNIVAC mainframe in NYC to perform database marketing by Telex/TWX machines
that had speeds so slow that they are incomprehensible by todays standards. BUT IT WORKED. (For younger people:
The TWX, or telegraph, machine was a clunking machine that looked like a typewrite which you see and hear in vintage
movies with newsroom scenes that had a "Contol G" function which rang the machine's bell to alert the newsroom that
thhere was "breaking news.")
I'd like to tell you that it was "genius" that drove my career in this direction, but in fact
it was "hate!" I hated driving hours in traffic... arriving dishevelled... wearing out suit pant thus rendering
the jacket worthless... playing on the buyer's turf, so to speak... not having immediate access to in-office staff
and resources to answer a buyer's question and the list continues all the way down to waiting like a dog for a cup of coffee
while my borish prospect sipped his or hers.
CRIPES! CAN ANYONE PLEASE GET ME A COFFEE!
I just travelled over an hour, paid $30 to park,
and walked three blocks in the rain to get here.
At the same time, through thousands of TELE (you now know the meaning) phone calls,
I received feedback that my accent sounded as if I were from the mid-west. (Pittsfield does not have have
a Boston or New York accent). This was a great thing! Back then, the "perfect" speech was theoretically
one promulgated by NBC for its news anchors. Its was basically a mid-western accent and there I was making a living
with that natural accent. Cool!
Fast forward: In 1983 I formed a direct marketing agency. No surprise, telephones --
inbound and out -- were a significant part of the business. Often, I would be told by potential clients
that they did not want a person with a Boston accent on the phone. More often, I would receive compliments that
the people did not have one.
Remarkable! Despite the moaning about the Mass Pike bypassing Pittsfield
back in the in the early '60s, I realized that PITTSFIELD'S ISOLATION (other people's words not mine -- 20 mnutes to
the Pike is nothing compared to hours wasted on Rte 128) had a significant advantage to my tele-approach to sales and marketing.
Back in the mid 80s, I had this pencil-add-the-eraser-moment.
Isolation plus remote sales/marketing = advantage to Pittsfield.
Pittsfield had the ability to be significant player in direct sales and marketing arena.
Over the years such companies have thrieved in and around the city; however, the city never really exploited this
When I returned to Pittsfield a few years ago, many things had changed -- the moaning about
the Mass Pike induced isolation had not.... though USPS /UP / FED EX and big box store make to this "remote outpost"
Two of the most notably changes are
1) "New Yorkers," however defined, who one were once tourists to the Berkshire were now owners in
2) there are some slick, award-winning marketing companies / subsidiaries / departments
/ individuals (for ease I'll use "marketing" as the broader term for the inclusive advertising, promotions... the
works... specialties) knocking down significant accounts through their excellent work; and
3) despite these current and past success, the idea that Pittsfield and area can be the hub of
marketing and the resort office just up the street from Madison Avenue has not sunken in.
Think about it. Really think about it from all perspectives:
0) Everyone in business has to go to market. In Pittsfield and the surrounds, there
already exist excellent independents and agencies which both validate the promise of the the industr'y possibilities and
will benefit from such a concentration through an improved talent pool.
1) All the infrastructure which needs to exist to make this a reality is in place.
Even the colleges currently offer the requistie courses for specific and interdiscilinary study.
2) The city and region desires creative people; the region is liked by creative people.
Layout an ad... Block a stage... Design an interior all require people having visual accuity and talent. Pitch
an idea... pitch a political platform... pitch a proposal requires the salesperson / pitcher to pull all the
3) Many visitors to Pittsfield and the Berkshires are upscale... desire to vacation here... might
love to find a reason to open a legitimate office here and just need to see the possibilities if overtures were made.
Agencies and specific areas in marketing department are easily "remoted."
3) It's figuratively equidistant from NYC -- the bastion of advertising Boston which has many
powerful agencies with major accounts. It is even a shorter distance or Albany / Capital District, Harford, Springfield
4) Having watch high tech shift (the total disapperarance of computer manufacturing and marketing
in Boston during the 70s)...with regions shifts as well, there is one absolute truth in business... THERE WILL ALWAYS
BE A NEED TO MARKET A PRODUCT, SERVICE, NON-PROFIT, or OFFERING.