My Three Cents


I enter a CEO office, and what do I see?  Trophies!  Lots of them.  Not unusual.  But this time they are not for tennis, golf or baseball.  They are for a different kind of competition.  They are NOT for hitting .300.  Hitting .300 is great for baseball but not for the communications business.  In communications, you have to hit .800 or you won’t be in business.  The trophies recognize the championships you have to win if you are to build business and gain more clients!

And Makovsky did just that!!  Makovsky took 12 trophies – STEVIES they are called – at the American Business Awards held in late June in New York City.  And among them was the GRAND STEVIE – awarded to only 10 firms out of the 153 award recipients that night.  Makovsky was #7 among the Top Ten!!  Wow!  Lots of hoopla.  But why does any of this matter.  Is preparing the entries and competing for the big prize worth it?  You bet.

It serves so many purposes and is more than worth it!  First, it recognizes that the team did championship work for the firm’s clients. One of our jobs is to make our clients look good, and clients take enormous pride in showing off the trophies to their own management.   And of course, there is the tremendous pride felt by the team at Makovsky who did the work.   They got national recognition.  Two of our clients won Gold Awards and a Silver as well, the highest awards given other than the Grand Stevie.

Most awards programs are directed primarily at recognition of clients.  But the ABA recognizes every level, from the entire firm to clients, top executives, and those who support the company in human resources and administration.

Makovsky took the Silver for “Company of the Year – Advertising, Marketing  & Public Relations!”   Recognition among thousands of such companies and something to tell clients and prospects about!  And Makovsky took the Bronze for “Public Relations Agency of the Year.”  More stature!

I was flattered to win the Silver for “Executive of the Year – Advertising, Marketing & Public Relations.”  And our own Stacey Wachtfogel took the Silver for “Human Resources Executive of the Year.”  And because ABA went deeper this year to recognize administrators, my assistant, Leslie Montenegron, won ”Best Support Staffer of the Year!” and our office manager won “Support Staffer of the Year.”  This is the first time these folks merited national recognition.  Those trophies touched deep!  It’s great to know that others outside of the company know how good our own people are.

So let’s get philosophical for a minute.  Those at the top of the corporate hierarchy are the ones who will most likely be cited for awards, if they are going to happen.

And even for those executives, the awards, while often tossed off lightly by the winners, do spur these executives on and to do more, as they are very self-fulfilling.  No one dislikes being recognized.  They may not want more trophies, but they will not turn down opportunity for recognition.  Face it!  It is fun!  Those less apt to be recognized are those on the lower rungs of the hierarchy –particularly administrators.  Staff functions like HR are often forgotten.  So, this was a big night for Makovsky.  So many folks who do a great job and don’t often see their names in lights—did! Is all the work put into the applications worth it?  You bet!!

thought leadership


228 East 45th Street
New York, NY 10017


1101 Connecticut Avenue NW, Suite 450
Washington, DC 20036