First, I told my friends that I had an interview coming up with a top advertising agency in Austin, Texas.
Then, I told them that the CEO during my phone interview went to the bathroom and said, “You’re about to hear me pee but it’s chill, all our clients have too.”
Then a few weeks later, I texted my boss that I’ll get back to her the next day (Sunday) as Saturday was my birthday. She responded with “Check PayPal. Can only be used for yolo-ing.” I show my friends the text and the $50 I just cashed out (was used as directed).
People don’t believe my boss exists.
But here’s why she’s slowly becoming the weirdest and best boss I’ve ever had.
Annie Liao Jones takes no shit. She is not afraid to “wtf” you in Basecamp and say you’re awesome but I expected better. She will not filter her words in front of clients – in fact, clients love that our team will argue in front of them. Something about it showing how much we actually care? Groundbreaking!
WWAD: What Wouldn’t Annie Do
Annie will text you at 10pm and say “I hate bothering on weekends but your work from last week was amazing and important. U rule.” She will email clients in all caps about how SHE LOVES THIS ROI REPORT IT’S JUST SCREENSHOTS RIGHT NOW AND THE OFFICIAL REPORT WILL LOOK BETTER BUT I COULDN’T WAIT.
She can come off as unfiltered, with a negative connotation, especially when you first meet her. But in my short first few months with Rock Candy Media, I see why we’re a top advertising agency in Austin, and I know for a fact that Annie will never lie to me. She will never beat around the bush. She will say straight to your face why she won’t give you a raise yet. She will never make up excuses.
Does Your Boss Take Calls on the Toilet?
She will pick up client phone calls while on the toilet. She will text and say “It’s that time of the month and I’m exhausted but just needed to tell you that I didn’t forget about that one assignment.” She doesn’t play by the rules or put on a face in front of clients, and they love her more for it (after a reasonable grace period I lovingly refer to as the “Annie adjustment”).
I’ve never questioned the fact that CEOs signed their emails formally, or that other creative advertising agencies schmooze clients to avoid responsibility for a mistake. It’s what 99% of the “best” brand consultants do. They put on a show in front of their prospects or customers — for whatever vibe they want to give off and trust they want to get (and probably don’t deserve).
The Queen of Going All In
But I’ve never begun to trust someone as fast as I trusted Annie. There is no vibe she wants to give off except that “This is what we do and we’re good at it so let’s not waste time on email etiquette and formalities. Let’s get creative.”
And clients respond. They enjoy the relief from all the other calculated emails they get. They appreciate the irreverence. They can text her with passing thoughts just to see if it’s helpful. They can give straight feedback, knowing they’ll be returned the favor.
If there’s ANYTHING prospective Rock Candy Media clients should know, is that you’re in for a new kind of Austin advertising agency and a new kind of personalized advertising partnership. In short, we stay true to ourselves. And that helps us get things done. Want us on your team? Have a sit down with Annie herself. We promise it won’t be in a bathroom stall.