Small Business Awards: Armstrong/Shank has grown as needs arose

04/19/2012 5:00 AM

08/05/2014 6:57 PM

When Susan Armstrong started Armstrong Creative Services in 1981, she envisioned her one-woman shop would primarily offer writing services.

“Instead, it grew very quickly into a full-service … advertising-marketing company,” she said. “It became a matter of growing to meet the needs of the client.”

After Ed Shank, who is now retired, joined the agency, it became Armstrong/Shank Marketing Advertising and Public Relations.

“It seemed like we kept adding clients and then adding people to make sure that we had the right talent to do the job,” Armstrong said. “It just grew like magic.”

The agency added graphic services and media planning and placement.

“We started doing more research-based projects,” Armstrong said. “What we have discovered is we do our best work when we have more information.”

She said her team likes to meet with clients and their customers to find “not just what the client offers but what the customer wants.”

“We’re really using research to determine the strongest message possible,” she said.

Mark Chamberlin, director of marketing and public relations, said it’s strategy that matters, not determining which medium – broadcast? print? digital? – to use.

“Those are all worthwhile tacks, but if you don’t have a strategy that you’re really pointing toward, then you’re not going to get the results you’re hoping for,” he said.

The agency has been designing websites for a long time, but in recent years it has started offering more comprehensive Internet services, such as e-mail blasting and social media management.

The agency employs 15.

“It’s a great size,” Armstrong said. “It still feels like a close-knit team, but we have some depth there.”

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