Greg Hunter is Group Creative Director / Principal of the Dallas-based advertising, marketing, and PR agency: Firehouse. He was recently promoted from Associate Creative Director. He attended the University of Texas at Austin and spent three years at Mother New York as a copywriter. The Makegood recently spoke with Greg about his “meteoric rise” through the company.
The Makegood: Congratulations on your promotion, can you speak a little bit on your rise through Firehouse? What traits of yours do you believe helped you secure a more favorable position in the company?
First off, thanks for the congratulations. I appreciate it. I’ll attempt to coherently answer your questions.
I joined Firehouse a little over three years ago as an Associate Creative Director, and have worked on pretty much every client in the building at some point. That’s one of the things I love about being at a smaller shop. You never get bored. One day I’m selling car batteries, the next I’m immersed in the world of competitive cheerleading. And somewhere between the two I’m writing taco commercials and encouraging people to become organ donors. It’s a good time.
As far as my meteoric rise within Firehouse (that’s how people are referring to it, right?), I think I’ve been traveling the path any creative who aspires to take on a leadership role must travel. At some point, you have to become more than just an idea generator and ad-executor. Obviously, being able to present and defend the work is part of it. But a bigger part is gaining the trust of those you work with and the clients you work for. Sometimes that means pushing and making everyone in the room a little uncomfortable. Other times that means adapting and going back to the drawing board when necessary.
Being a nice guy also helps.
The Makegood: How will your role differ from your previous one?
Firehouse is a pretty layer-less place. Basically, anyone is welcome to take on as much responsibility as he or she chooses. And we don’t get caught up in the limitations or privileges of anyone’s title. For those reasons, my day-to-day life at Firehouse won’t really change. As potentially lame as it sounds, this promotion was more of an acknowledgement of the role I was already playing. So much so, that after the promotion was announced, our media director confessed to me that she had no idea that wasn’t already my title. So I told her, “YOU NEVER PAY ATTENTION TO ME!” and ran off to my room.
The Makegood: What has been your first order of business now that you are Group Creative Director / Principal. How have you been accomplishing it and have any early issues come up?
My first order of business as GCD/Principal was to let all my friends, family members and LinkedIn connections know that I was now a GCD/Principal. I’ve yet to decide my second order of business.
The Makegood: What sets Firehouse apart as an ad agency? Why do you enjoy working there?
We’re a smaller agency in a market that’s not nationally known for kicking out great creative. And to be honest, we’ve got a bit of a chip on our shoulder about it. It’s a healthy chip though. Growing the reputation of Firehouse, and the Dallas ad-scene in general, is a constant motivation for us. Because of that, the place has a pretty scrappy mentality. We don’t have the luxury of sitting back and waiting for the big, obvious, award show winning assignment to land in our lap. So we work to squeeze every drop of opportunity out of whatever assignment is in front of us at the moment.
That hunger and constant sense of dissatisfaction is something I think all great agencies, well known or not, have in common.
The Makegood: Do you see yourself advancing further in the company in the coming years?
Yes. In fact, I’m working on a plan to overthrow our CEO as we speak. It relies heavily on the element of surprise, so it’s best I not discuss it… crap.
The Makegood: Thank you, Greg