Tom Telesco says the innovation business idea of which he’s proudest is building a brand for a media barter company.
“I am the first ‘media agency guy’ to run a media barter company. For me, it was a matter of accepting a new challenge, taking my expertise in media planning and applying that kind of rigor to the way we do media barter.”
Tom serves ORION Trading as President, Worldwide, overseeing all of our efforts around the world. Tom came to ORION in 2011 from sister IPG agency Universal McCann (UM), where he was most recently an EVP Managing Director running the Verizon business. A three-time Effie Award winner with an 18-year run of success at UM, Tom is known for being a collaborative, passionate client advocate who cares deeply about his client’s business.
“When I first joined ORION, it was absolutely clear to me that this company was 100% filled with smart, client-passionate people. That said, we needed to project who we were externally, and what we stood for. People not only care about what you do and how you do it – but why you do it as well. So in a business that is largely numbers-driven and in some ways transactional, we needed to wear our heart on our sleeve. Because it is the quality of our people that makes the difference.
So, we went through the process of clarifying our mission and our beliefs so that we could all rally behind them on a daily basis. And, fortunately, our clients and prospective clients quickly recognize that we are who we say we are, and we’ll do what we say we’re going to do. Honest, accountable, respectful – those key words differentiate our brand– and us.”
Tom admits that his touchstone is historically NYC but, like Johnny Cash—“I've been everywhere man.” He notes, though, that his biggest international challenge is the various legal and financial contexts that exist per market. “A great idea may work well in a vacuum, but it needs to be modified and honed differently as you apply it to various international landscapes. The key is to get it right so it works in each market– modify as needed- but keep it true to the original intent, because a watered down idea that's been stripped of its brilliance isn’t worth pursuing. Better to leave it off the table.”