New CJRW CEO Says Expect More Change

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 227 views 

The “C” in CJRW stands for “Cranford” – one of the original founders of the Arkansas advertising powerhouse – but it might as well stand for “change.”

In an industry and within an agency that is undergoing massive transformations, Darin Gray was tabbed two weeks ago to be the new CEO and Chairman of the 50+ year old Little Rock-based advertising, marketing and public relations shop. Gray will also retain his title as President, which he inherited when he came on board less than two years ago.

“Obviously, this world is changing. Our clients’ needs are changing,” Gray said on this week’s edition of Talk Business & Politics, which airs Sundays at 9 a.m. on KATV Ch. 7. “You’re seeing this industry as a whole try to respond to those things, be more flexible, more nimble, more understanding of their specific industries. And that just takes a lot more moving parts than what we used to have.”

Gray, who lives in Springdale and once led the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal, will work from CJRW’s Northwest Arkansas office as well as its new headquarters at the entrance to downtown Little Rock’s Creative Corridor.

The new Little Rock digs give the agency – which represents clients such as Arkansas Parks & Tourism, Oaklawn, Tyson Foods, Centennial Bank – more abilities to serve its clients with advancing technology.

Gray said between the industry tumult, staff turnover, leadership transitions and technology advances, the change CJRW has undertaken has provided plenty of challenges.

“I would say this agency has probably gone through more change in the last year-and-a-half than most companies will go through in a decade. That can be stressful, but when necessity calls for it, you have to be respond to the call,” Gray said.

Watch his full interview in the video below.