A conversation with Jim Klunk of Klunk & Millan Advertising

He started his career at Lieberman-Appalucci Advertising in Allentown, initially as a graphic designer and later as associate creative director.

After several years at Lieberman, he left and joined a startup as executive creative director.

In 1989, he co-founded Klunk & Millan, which this fall will be celebrating its 30th anniversary.

He has a bachelor’s degree in advertising from Kutztown University.

A resident of Allentown, he enjoys spending time with his family, playing squash and golf, and staying fit. He and his wife also enjoy collecting original art, primarily in support of local artists.

LVB: Technology has had a significant impact on the way business is conducted in today’s world. What are some popular trends or tactics in regard to social media and other technological platforms that help companies market their business?

Jim Klunk: Social media channels have undoubtedly earned their position at the cutting edge of today’s digital marketing strategies. These platforms allow for instantaneous communication with customers, reach on a massive scale with a single inspiring tweet or post, and the latest features to help brands bring their message directly to their target audiences.

One digital avenue that has grown in recent years is paid social media advertising. These ads are cost-effective, clean and unobtrusive, and leverage advanced targeting capabilities that simply aren’t possible with the majority of digital advertising mediums. Paid social’s growth potential is the emergence of new features, functionalities, ad formats, targeting and reporting capabilities.

LVB: What is your guiding philosophy as a business leader?

Klunk: Work hard, respect and help others, know when to step forward and when to step aside, and remember that success is largely not because of yourself but because of the help of others, both present and past.

LVB: If you could change one thing about your industry, what would it be?

Klunk: Although we’ve seen it changing, there are still requests – typically in requests for proposals – to develop speculative creative and/or a marketing strategy without proper understanding of scope and budgets. Our best work results from a collaborative effort with our clients to plan and produce strategic, intelligent, honest and creative communications.

LVB: How does Klunk & Millan Advertising directly stimulate the local economy? How does it get directly involved with the local community?

Klunk: Our firm has grown to a staff of 24. Those employees and families alone add significant impact to our local economy – homes, schools, living, and recreational spending. Nearly all of our firm’s materials and professional support services are purchased locally too: insurance, legal, medical, financial, etc. We support many not-for-profit, educational, and civic organizations – serving on boards and volunteer committees, sponsoring events and scholarships. We’re a charter investor of Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corp. and a member of Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce since our inception.

LVB: What have been some of the most notable projects that you’ve completed on a local level? Do you work solely in the region, or do you expand into other markets nationally and/or globally?

Klunk: Recent local projects include establishing the digital presence for City Center Allentown to attract new businesses and talent to the region. We’ve also developed a new creative platform and go-to-market strategy for Pocono Raceway. Other clients including Olympus, Air Products and Crayola Experience are headquartered locally, but their reach extends globally as well as nationally. We’re often on the road, as some clients, such as Stanley Black & Decker and Bulbrite, are based outside the region. Keep your eyes peeled for Bulbrite, a lightbulb manufacturer, as we’re establishing its brand in an extremely competitive category. In fact, Bulbrite’s decorative lightbulbs can now be found on the American Idol Hollywood set.