As I’m delivering the last Spark! Awards to our winners, I’m fortunate enough to see these companies with fresh eyes as I’m still learning all that Charleston has to offer. Each company I stop by has its own story, its own KPI’s, its own clients, and most importantly: their own teams filled with HUMANS. They are so very unique and different from each other, yet they all have more things in common than you’d think, the Charleston lifestyle and AMA are the easy ones to point out. I’m sure we can all agree that they all have another major common denominator in creating the best work for their clients so that they keep coming back. This is where I love the Spark! Awards, the best in CHS shine and CAMA gets to brag about it.

Once we dig in, we also find that there are a lot of things we have in common along with the reasons why we should come together as a community. There, I said it, this is our call to action, this is our north star, we are calling for our members to support CAMA with our mission to bring our community together and find growth, together, in our local economy because of it. Look at what the Tech industry is doing with The Charleston Digital Corridor. We can do that with advertising and marketing.

We need to come together and share each other’s stories, for reasons I don’t have to mention (2020 did happen).  

CAMA is in the beginning stages of this Community > Membership campaign. You may have heard that Zuckerberg might famously close his meetings with the mantra “Company over Country” with his fist-pumping in the air. We are taking a different approach, one would say, the opposite approach.

CAMA feels the need to come together as one to put CHS on the map as a creative hub that knows advertising and marketing, not only in the hospitality and tourism industry, but also with the big brands in technology, healthcare, and nonprofit industries. We further lift Charleston as a lifestyle destination for: 

  • Marketing execs that want to escape their (mostly) cold headquarters
  • Recognize and capitalize on the plethora of talent (it is vast!)
  • Charleston’s ever-expanding HQ hub of major brands who continue to build and expand 
  • The booming diversity of small startups, new boutique shops and independent entrepreneurs

The workplace is so remote these days that the HQ or the CMO can be elsewhere and you can still build a prosperous business with a rich marketing strategy. Charleston has so many ties to large organizations or remote workers who are here because they choose to be. People are moving from all over to grow our community. 

I realize I may be alienating or making some execs (SUITS!) feel uneasy with this campaign of Community > Membership, but that’s where I believe we grow. Within these uneasy feelings, begins new conversations, real conversations about corporate consciousness, connecting to the next generation, driving authentic experiences, and truly reaching out for diverse POV’s. 

Technically, I am one of those suits, and as an agency owner, I feel that it’s important for us to constantly be putting ourselves and our businesses out there with authenticity and a touch of vulnerability that will help our culture thrive along with our KPI’s and ROI. This is not a new concept, but it’s finally getting the respect it deserves. Be HUMAN, put people over profit, share your stories, share your strategies, be vulnerable, your brand will grow and you’ll help your client’s brand grow with you, instead of the other way around. Beiber sings about it, lol, you’re the BRAND now!

For that to happen, we have to start by being the change, we have to be the voice and complacency is not an option. Know that when you join CAMA you aren’t just joining a club, a grocery store coupon list, a gym or just paying a yearly subscription to discounted CAMA events – you’re joining our community. Our growing, thriving, interesting Charleston marketing community.

Community > Membership.

Email me if you want to participate in this campaign with us:

Mike Compton
Director of Membership