Jeff Graubard: Why Being “The Other Agency” is His Perfect Fit
Why did Jeff Graubard name his PR firm The Other Agency? For starters, the name served a practical purpose, in that it was the other agency he started after spending more than 25 years running the Manhattan-based Graubard Group. The name was also a nod to the unique business niche Jeff had carved out working with major corporations like Wal-Mart, Verizon and the four major professional sports leagues. As we come to find out in this episode of the PR Talk podcast, Jeff’s experience as an older professional in the youth-centric world of marketing and public relations also gives his agency something of an outsider’s point of view.
The Other Agency Concept
As Jeff explains to PR Talk host Amy Rosenberg, he believes there’s a place for every agency model in the business world. While larger agencies are well-suited to handle the broad marketing and PR needs of large organizations, they’re not always able to handle the limited scope and smaller budget projects that still need to be done. That’s where The Other Agency comes in.
Jeff, and his team of senior-level consultants, offer clients the same services larger agencies do but with a more nimble approach that comes at a lower cost. For example, Jeff currently works with the National Wildlife Federation creating programs for National Wildlife Week coming in April 2021. The Other Agency targets retainers in the $7,500 – $10,000/month range. Jeff finds larger agencies can’t typically afford to take on this smaller work, and marketing managers don’t need to go up the chain for approval on a lower level spend.
Jeff and Amy ended their conversation with a topic that’s been on both their minds recently: ageism. As Amy mentioned, Veracity has been deeply involved in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion work with several clients over the last two years. During that process, she’s learned that inclusion is not just about race. Instead, it seeks to address any situation in which a person feels like an outsider in their workplace. In many instances, this can come when an older person works with a group of younger people.
While Amy and Jeff both admit they’re speaking from a place of privilege, they agree this is something they’re both beginning to deal with as (relatively) older members of the PR and marketing professional community. In particular, Jeff is over 60 and recognizes that he’s well outside the consumer purchaser demographic most of his work targets.
While there is value to a youthful perspective, Jeff believes that age does bring its advantages. Apart from the contacts and sound skills one builds over a career, you also develop wisdom and judgment, which is something younger colleagues can’t always offer. With larger agencies, the real work is often done by junior team members with some oversight from more seasoned professionals. This arrangement sets the stage for unintentional mistakes of youth, which can quickly get an organization into trouble — especially over social media.
Both Amy and Jeff recommend that companies working with larger agencies do a little legwork to determine who is performing the actual account work, and how much senior supervision the team receives. Or, they could partner with a smaller agency with older principles that don’t require the layer of oversight necessary to avoid unforced errors.
More From Our Guest
When Amy asked Jeff why he chooses to work alongside larger agencies, instead of staffing up and building a large agency of his own, Jeff says he’s been there and done that. At The Graubard Group, Jeff led a large team and spent much of his time doing non PR work, like managing the company benefits plan. Today, he’s reached the point in his career where he’d rather spend his time doing the work and collaborating directly with his clients, which is the sign of a surefire PR pro.
Listen to the entire episode to hear more from Jeff Graubard, including why the pandemic hasn’t slowed down his search for new clients. And be sure to subscribe to the PR Talk podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, iHeart Radio and Spotify for more great conversations with PR and marketing luminaries.
About the guest: Jeff Graubard
In his more than 30-year career, Jeff Graubard has served as a principal with two prominent PR agencies, spearheading marketing (both traditional and digital), business development and counseling FORTUNE 500 accounts. He also played a critical media relations role with a leading CPG company.
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This episode of PR Talk is brought to you by PRSA Oregon
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