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  • Writer's pictureBen Finzel

Two Things I’ve Learned In My First Two Years in Business

Today marks the second anniversary of RENEWPR. It’s been a fantastic two years and I’m excited for the next two and many more beyond.

On our six-month anniversary, I wrote a blog post about six things I learned in my first six months in business. I just re-read that post and I’m happy to say that they all hold true today. Rather than repeating them, I thought I’d take the occasion of our second anniversary to add two lessons learned since that post in the summer of 2015.

1) Energy and environmental communications challenges have only become more urgent. After a twenty-five year career focused mainly on energy and environmental issues, when I launched RENEWPR in 2015 I wondered (to myself) how my new firm’s focus on those longtime issues would be received. Would it be too limiting? Would there be enough opportunities to build a business? With COP21 in Paris, the Clean Power Plan, the continued rise of renewables, energy efficiency and natural gas in the nation's power mix and the ongoing fallout from the 2016 election results, I needn’t have wondered. Energy and environmental issues and opportunities are front and center in the national and international dialogue. And I’m flattered by the many opportunities I’ve had to work on so many of them in the past two years.

2) Strategy, messaging, media and partnerships aren’t just communications offerings, they’re key challenges clients want to address. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the types of client projects I’ve been fortunate enough to work on with my Network Partners and Collaborations in the past two years. Since January 23, 2015, RENEWPR has (among other things): refined the strategy and branding for a nearly ten-year old energy industry public safety initiative; developed messaging for an organization representing a fundamental building block of the nation’s economy; secured media interest and coverage in a key information resource on sustainable energy; and helped to identify and foster new relationships in climate and energy for a global financial organization. And we’re just getting started.

2017 is off to a confusing, confrontational start. It will be a year unique any other in recent memory. But one thing is certain: at a time when we’re arguing about “fake news” and “alternative facts,” the role of communications in explaining, defining and connecting our world will be more important than ever. I didn’t foresee the current political climate when I declared two years ago that RENEWPR would be focused on “restoring common sense to communications,” but I knew that I wanted to build my business on truth, clarity, engagement and collaboration. As it happens, those pillars of communications are also important principles for business in 2017 and beyond. Lucky us!

Looking back, I know we're off to a fast start. Looking forward, I know we're not slowing down. Onward and upward!

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