My New Home

by Kerry Howl

This is my first blog for Richards/Carlberg, so I thought it would be appropriate to look back at my time with the agency and reflect. I’m just coming up to my one year anniversary at the agency and can honestly say it has probably been one of the most challenging, exciting and, at times, emotional 12 months of my life.

In January 2016, we moved our family to Houston from a little town called Warrington, near Manchester in northwest England. It was the start of a new adventure in our lives and the start of a new chapter in my career.

The first few months of living in America was a blur of just “trying to survive.” We were completely clueless. Everything was different. I had to learn to drive on the wrong side of the road. I had to navigate supermarkets that were bigger than my entire hometown. I felt as if I had to learn a new language (gas not petrol, Kleenex not tissue, elevator not lift, candy not sweets). And I also had to try and explain to my four-year-old son why people spoke with a “funny voice” (12 months on and he now speaks in that same “funny voice”). But slowly we have acclimatized to the Texan way of life. We have the boots and hats, we have put on at least ten pounds, we eat tacos for breakfast and we even own a whole family of Buc-ee’s characters. Yes, it is safe to say Texas was now our home.

Once we had finally settled here and felt vaguely like locals, it was time to focus on looking for a job.

I was nervous, daunted, excited and very apprehensive about finding a job in the U.S. Sure, the whole of America loves my British accent, but would they love my experience and the way I do things? I have worked within the marketing industry for the last 18 years and have been part of some amazing creative agencies. Houston had a lot to live up to when I was looking for my next job. So, I immersed myself in the Houston agency network, familiarizing myself with potential employers to contact.

In a city that is known for its oil and gas industry, you would not imagine it was home to so much creative talent. But just like the cultural diversity of the city, the agency landscape seemed pretty diverse, too. New, old, local, national, full service, digital specialists – I just had to find the right fit for me.

For some reason, I had the perception that agencies over here would be different than back home, but the simple fact is that there is no difference. We still face the same challenges, we still have the same goals and we all want to do the best work we can. And, just like in the UK, we all strive to establish our uniqueness and individuality. We all want to find a way that differentiates us.

For some it’s about their culture and personality, selling to clients who thrive on the agency experience. For others it’s about profile, focusing on clients who look for prestige and a global presence. But for us, it’s about both of these things plus one more: expertise. We immerse ourselves in our clients’ worlds to really understand their industries. We put ourselves in their shoes to help us craft, develop and deliver the most effective creative possible. I was amazed at the number of industries Richards/Carlberg has supported for over 40 years. And that was another important differentiator: history. Under the direction of Chuck and Gayl Carlberg, this agency has been on the same rollercoaster ride that this city has experienced, and they are still here, thriving and growing their reputation as one of Houston’s most successful creative agencies.

Twelve months on and I don’t just feel part of Richards/Carlberg, I feel as though I am part of Houston. This agency has really made me feel at home.

So, when people ask me what makes our agency different, I simply tell them it’s because Richards/Carlberg has a brand that both our employees and our clients believe in. We have an amazing history, we’ve worked with some amazing clients and we truly deliver some amazing work, not just here in Houston but across the U.S. That’s a lot of amazings!

If you’d like to find out more about our brand story, please click through to our website. There are some great case studies to read which will give you some more insight into the Richards/Carlberg world.