It’s always very threatening when a client hires a new vice president of marketing. The new executive can easily justify appointing a different PR agency for supposedly a fresh start. It’s always a possibility.
This time it was a whopper. We went from a timid and laid back marketing boss at Samsung, to the most energetic and highly- animated personality you could ever meet. His name was Peter Weedfald. He joined Samsung from Viewsonic. Peter was eager to show the business world his creative talents in his new job. He wanted a PR agency that could match his ambition.
He wasn’t sure HWH PR was up for the task, even though we were Samsung’s PR agency for many years. He more or less told me that. It was one of those times that you could only pray to your higher power to keep you employed. You just didn’t know if anyone else would come to your rescue.
Peter called the entire HWH Samsung team into headquarters. I think there was six or seven of us at the time. Peter grilled us about our capabilities. We all felt that if he did any investigation beforehand, he would have known we were doing an outstanding job.
Just when I thought we might lose the battle, the door to the room we were in opened. In walked IS Hur and JH Ahn, the Samsung executives in charge of Quality Control. They heard we were in the building.
Right in front of Peter, both executives handed HWH PR a bonus for the remarkable job we did generating record-breaking product reviews, plus garnering a few Editor’s Choice Awards.
Getting the bonus money was terrific, but watching Peter Weedfald’s reaction to what he just witnessed, was so much better. He sat there in astonishment. He became gleeful. I could see that he loved experiencing triumph. Perhaps we were the agency he could trust after all.
The story doesn’t end there. Peter wanted to be sure we had the editorial connections we needed to get future high profile stories placed. He actually conducted an oral test with Jose Cardona, one of the Samsung account executives at HWH at the time. Peter would name one of the publications he was interested in, and Jose would rattle off everyone on the staff that mattered.
They went back and forth about 10 times. It was just fabulous to watch. Jose didn’t miss a beat. He knew the name of everyone. Peter loved it. We loved it. And we went on to create some of the most exciting days at Samsung.