The Smaller The Pond, The Bigger The Fish

Joe Erwin of Greenville, SC agency, Erwin-Penland wrote a piece for Ad Age on attracting creative talent to smaller markets.


He suggests mining the local talent pool for all its worth and employing PR tactics. He also suggests “investing considerable resources in promoting the surrounding area” as Erwin-Penland has done with “Food for Thought: A Convention of Unconventional Creativity.” This three-day celebration, co-sponsored by Michelin and BMW, brought together innovators from across the country.

I don’t have a problem with Erwin’s suggestions, but I do have some additional thoughts on the subject. The number one consideration for people considering a small market is quality of life. In Greenville, SC and other markets like it one has room to breathe, it’s easy to get to and from work and most importantly, it’s affordable.

The big drawback, as I see it, is there’s typically only one or two places to work in a small market. Technically, there are many more, but for top tier talent there’s one or two. Even bigger cities like Austin and Portland are one horse towns. So, if something goes wrong in a smaller market, you’re SOL.

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