c17c9-article-page-main_ehow_images_a08_04_qh_ice-cream-dates-50s-800x800So, after 25+ years of steady agency employment and going on two full years of a successful freelance business, I’ve decided to stick my toe (very gingerly) into the interviewing pool again, and I’m not really liking the temperature. “What digital experience do you have?” “Have you written a lot for social media sites?” “How many websites have you done?” “Do you understand coding?” Now, don’t get me wrong, I know how very important the digital platform is to engagement. And yes, I’ve written everything from Facebook content to microsites to display banners. But there I sit in interview after interview, with my own website full of years and years of great IDEAS – TV, print, radio, outdoor, non-traditional, and yes, digital work – and nobody seems to be paying attention to the fact that I can actually think and create and have big ideas. They’re more interested in whether I know how to supply write blog copy and understand SEO. Very frustrating. What happened to creative directors who are hired to lead, inspire and teach? There have been shops I’ve talked to that really do get it – that look at me for my creative and leadership abilities, and I really appreciate it. But there are others that are completely blinded by the whole digital thing and see it as the be-all-end-all instead of simply another effective tool, another great touchpoint, for consumer engagement. Social is a great way to tell a story and have a conversation with your audience. But so is a well-written print ad or an engaging TV or radio spot. And no matter how advanced we get with our communication toolbox, the ability to write and tell a story will never be a thing of the past. So (with all due respect and love to my sweet wife and kids), maybe I’ll just stay “single” when it comes to rejoining an agency. We’ll see.