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After 21 years in advertising, you might think that the creativity well might have run dry. Not for Shelley Gregory. Gregory, a graduate of Kent State with a degree in journalism, is the owner of Media Matched Advertising, a full-service advertising agency in Albuquerque.
With plans of making it to California, Gregory found herself in Albuquerque starting off with a small automotive ad agency and eventually working up to management positions with KRQE and KOAT television stations. During her tenure Gregory noticed inefficiencies in how advertising was being placed with various campaigns, and so began the spark for starting her own business. “Ad agencies at the time would develop creative messages, with placement being a secondary consideration,” Gregory said. “As long as advertising is wonderful, where and when it was placed didn’t matter—and I didn’t believe that. There is a balance between the message and how you decide to show it, especially on a local level.”
In starting her own business, Gregory acknowledged that there were challenges—including establishing trust in her business while there were so many already established agencies. Additionally, a lack of resources and people made getting her business started even more difficult. And while these are all challenges that any business owner faces, they are often exacerbated due to gender bias or inequality, especially in media 20 years ago. Gregory, however, gives tremendous credit to the business community in New Mexico. “I never felt, in any way, that I was not considered for a job because I am a woman.” On the contrary, Gregory found that clients were willing to put their trust in her representation of their brand, even in fields that were predominantly male-oriented, such as the automotive industry and large government accounts. She felt her work spoke for itself. The experience that she brought to the table and the results she delivered were more important to the clients she worked with.
In speaking about small-business challenges and more ways that government could work to help small businesses, Gregory had recommendations for local lawmakers regarding Requests For Proposals (RFPs) for government contracts. “It’s very clear that the state of N.M. wants to give contracts to small businesses,” she said. “The process now is very lengthy and very time-consuming. They need to make the RFPs smaller and simpler to be able to give enough opportunity for smaller companies with limited resources a chance to compete and show what they can do.”
Gregory’s company employs six people and works with over 35 clients. As an established business owner, Gregory tries to be a mentor and share knowledge and experience whenever possible. It’s her way of passing the torch. “We’ve been fortunate to bring on interns and have them get involved in projects,” Gregory said. “I enjoy that because they get real-world experience through these learning opportunities.” Gregory is always an advocate for supporting local businesses and helps to keep opportunities, employment and revenues in New Mexico as much as possible.