Interview with Alex Shade, President of First Generation

In today’s episode, I interview Alex Shade the president of First Generation, an integrative marketing firm based in Allentown, PA.

Alex has guided strategic marketing and training initiatives for companies including Crayola, Olympus, Touchstone Theatre, Mack Trucks, The Department of Veterans Affairs and The Department of Education. She has held various management positions at The National Broadcasting Company (NBC) and Disney/Buena Vista Television and has vast experience overseeing production for television, videos and multi-platform campaigns.

Listen to our conversation where she gives insight to running a creative business, the balance between managing and creating, how to delight your clients and how to consistently stay inspired to create the best.

Here’s a rundown of our chat:

1:52 — How Alex defines creativity

2:38 — Alex on the creative process at First Generation

4:00 — When clients aren’t sure what they want

6:29 — When the creative team and the client don’t agree on what’s creative

9:22 — How to toggle from left to right brain and back; how to balance account management and creative implementation

11:43 — How Alex and FG work to keep their account management and creative teams aligned, empowered, respecting each others’ skill sets and beings sympathetic to challenges

13:27 — How Alex coaches her staff to build trust and honor the client relationship

15:35 — How to build a solid relationship with your client

16:45 — How to keep an open line of communication and keep your client at ease

20:34 — How the definition of creativity has changed since Alex started FG two+ decades ago

22:51 — Shifting the needle for clients. An FG client success story: CIY — create it yourself craft video series for Crayola

26:47 — What pure creative force means to Alex

28:10 — Creative as active and passive force: create and walk away for a different perspective

29:10 — How she encourages her team to stay inspired

30:43 — How failure has been a great driver and teacher

32:32 — What Alex is most proud of creating

34:10 — Her 3 pieces of advice for managing a creative business

More About Alex

Successfully pulling off the The Olympus Rocks National Sales Meeting in Las Vegas which included taking some extremely smart and buttoned up executives and turning them into bonafide Rockstars complete with training sessions from actual rock stars, pyrtotechniques and an awesome live performance for an audience of 1300.


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