What We’ve Learned in Ten Years

by Ashley Russo & Katie Santana

Ten. Years. Ten years! ASR Media Productions is celebrating its tenth year in business, and we have many lessons to share. From humble beginnings as a team of three to now eleven and multiple Mid-Atlantic Emmy® wins, we’ve faced adversity, built a culture, created thousands of videos, and believe we are at a point when we have some wisdom to share.

We take the hard lessons learned as guidelines for growth. Pillars set early on still support the core of ASR, keeping us true to who we are and what we value. Our advice is tried and true and fairly practical. Here’s what 10 years as a flourishing business has taught us:  

Remain mission driven. ASR is rooted in the original goals and dreams that launched the company. Ours is to help local businesses and nonprofit organizations share their stories. We have had a number of opportunities to add or change services but staying on the course has helped us become the best at what we do.

Build culture. A professional team won’t perform optimally without a strong company culture behind it. For the last decade, we’ve built loyalty, trust, and accountability within our team, which has led us to the best outcomes. Our leadership understands how to guide openly, honestly, and with integrity, sharing common goals with both our team and clients.

Prioritize clients. Of course, we do, doesn’t every business? Perhaps it’s the way in which we prioritize that is the differentiator. Personal relationships and consistent communication let clients know that they’re important to us. Behind every project is a human being placing faith in your product. As a busy company, ASR always has work in various stages of production. Still, we know our creation may be a client’s only marketing initiative for the year, and we treat every project with creativity and respect. The personal touch makes all the difference and keeps clients coming back.

Be flexible. The best results come from honest dialogue and constructive criticism. Sometimes, this means you have to roll with the punches to reach the desired result. We encourage each other not to let failure define a situation, but rather, it’s a chance to learn and improve. Some ideas work, and some don’t— you won’t know until you try. 

Say yes to opportunity. There have been many times we have committed to a project or idea only to figure it out after the fact. Taking on new opportunities has defined us and made us thought leaders in the industry. One of our most uncertain moments was determining how we would operate during the pandemic, but we said yes to figuring out how to live stream and offer virtual events. It turned out that this growth opportunity was much needed by our established clients, brought us new ones, and launched a successful product for ASR Media. 

Lean on experts. We don’t claim to know how to do it all, and we have found success working with local professionals to cover our blind spots. Whether that means entrusting our marketing efforts to a local firm, outsourcing accounting, or bringing in a freelance photographer to get the perfect shot, outcomes are always better when we collaborate and let a professional handle it.

It’s essential to reflect on our past when looking forward to our future. Each day, the ASR team is fine-tuning skills in order to produce the best content for our clients, and we can’t wait to see where the next ten years will bring us.

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