by Chas Withers

July 11, 2022

There was a lot going on in 1952.

Elizabeth II officially became the Queen of England after the death of her father; Mother Theresa opened a home for the dying and destitute in Calcutta; polio was still a troublesome malady in the United States and resulted in more than 3,000 deaths and debilitating physical challenges for more than 50,000 American children; and, on a slightly lighter note, Mr. Potato Head was first introduced to the public. As was the Chevrolet Corvette.

The post-war economy was bustling, with low inflation and rising salaries, and a generation that would be called The Baby Boomers was living the American dream. The average cost of a new house was $9,000, gas was 20 cents a gallon (!!!) and a new car would run you about $1,700.

70 Years of Building Connections – and Trust

That same year, two gentlemen in Cleveland, Ohio, named Henry Eaton and John Dix decided to test their entrepreneurial chops and start what they called an “industrial advertising company.” Their seminal idea was to help companies and organizations tell their stories to a wide variety of audiences that included investors, workers, customers, communities and government officials, often leveraging the media as a primary channel for those narratives.

The storytelling was the “what” of the organization – but building relationships was always going to be the “how” of the firm.

With some fairly modest expectations, Dix & Eaton became a reality in 1952, and here we sit seven decades later and both the original what and how remain steadfastly intact. We build strong relationships and then help organizations unlock opportunity and growth through communications.

One of the early mottos of the organization was the simple phrase Communication Matters. And in the current time when trust and confidence are in sadly short supply, the ability to connect with your most important audiences through clear, concise, credible and creative communication has probably never, ever been more essential or imperative.

As we at Dix & Eaton proudly celebrate our 70th anniversary in 2022, we remain deeply committed to the success of others through our professional counsel and partnership. We’ve evolved, of course, over the lifespan of the organization:

  • Fully transforming into communications and marketing for a digital world
  • Embracing ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance), Sustainability and other good corporate citizenship guidelines
  • Adapting to and embracing a hybrid work environment by further entrusting and empowering our D&E partners
  • Converting to an ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Program) in 2014, which allows every employee in the firm to have a true ownership stake that can grow over time
  • Seeking to continually improve our own community and social impact, by establishing and building upon our own goals and mandates for diversity, equity and inclusion both internally and in the work we do for clients.

The Best Is Yet to Come … Always Moving Forward

Throughout 2022, you’ll be hearing more about our plans to celebrate 70 years as a leading national communications firm, as we unveil additional ways to give back to the communities in which we operate, celebrate our clients and bring people together. We will do all of this with a proud look back of what we’ve accomplished, while casting our eyes forward and thinking about the ways Dix & Eaton can create future impact that produces results while also fostering good.

We’re also going to be reaching out to many of you as friends and collaborative colleagues of the firm, to get your feedback, input and ideas. We want to hear about the trends, challenges and opportunities you see for your own organizations, and to express our appreciation for your longtime partnership and trust.

There was a lot going on in 1952, but in many regards that time pales in comparison to the complexity, division and difficult discourse that seemingly dominate our world today. Communication Matters remains critically important as a way to further dialogue, while building connections and relationships that can solve for daunting issues and also stand the test of time. That’s what Dix & Eaton has always been about over the past seven decades, and it’s also what we plan to stand for in the next 70 years to come.