Being a college student, people are always interested in my life. The first question they usually ask is, “What’s your major?” At family reunions, work and even out with friends people are always asking this question. A lot of the times when I get the question, my sister is standing there as well and will be asked the same question. For her, it’s simple. Nursing. The reaction of the person asking the question usually goes something like, “Oh how nice! You’ll make a lovely nurse,” as he or she turns to me for my answer. “Public relations with a minor in marketing,” I say with the hope they might have the slightest clue what I’m talking about. Ninety percent of the time, though, I’m met with a blank stare and a puzzled look. “Well, best of luck to both of you,” the person will say as he or she turns to walk away. So, let me explain to any readers who do not know what public relations and marketing is.
According to PRSA’s website, the widely accepted definition of public relations is the strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics. More blank stares. It’s hard to simply put what public relations is. It’s a lot of putting whatever company your working for in the best light while maintaining its image to the public and getting its name in the headlines.
According to AMA’s website, the widely accepted definition of marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering and exchanging offerings that have value for costumers, clients, partners and society at large. I saw marketing and public relations as going hand-in-hand with each other, so that is why I tacked on the marketing minor.
I’ll have it known that I could never be a nurse. As much as I respect the profession, cleaning bedpans and working with sick and complaining people does not sound like my cup of tea. I also wouldn’t trust myself giving shots, passing out medications or taking vital signs. And I’m sure Kelsey would never enjoy writing press releases, managing social media and making presentations. As much as we are similar in many ways, we differ in that aspect. We never really thought we would be in the same major together.
Now, let me introduce to you Randy and Donny Vaughn, also known as The Marketing Twins. First of all, I’ll start by saying how generous and kind these two guys are. They were truly great people to work with. Randy and Donny’s agency is based out of Fort Worth, TX and works with marketing strategies, social media coaching, branding and design and integrated marketing. What do you think it would be like working everyday with a sibling? I had the chance to talk with Randy and Donny about their background and experiences. Check it out!
1) I know some twins are closer than others. How close were you two growing up?
Randy : We were pretty close. We have an older brother named Gary. We all grew up in a small town called Littlefield, Texas. There wasn’t much to do in Littlefield so we spent a lot of time together. We would drive to the big city of Lubbock (home of Texas Tech University) for fun so we had a bunch of time in the car together.
Donny: As twins, we had our own language with our dog. That’s close! Our older brother didn’t know the language and neither did our parents – just us! Seriously, we were very close – we did everything together.
2) Where did each of you go to school? What were your majors?
We both went to Abilene Christian University (Abilene, TX). We were marketing majors together. We didn’t start out that way as we were Advertising majors together in the Mass Communication department. But we made the decision to move the Business school and become marketing majors at the end of our sophomore year.
3) How did you two decide to go into business together?
Randy: After spending some time in the business world after college, my wife and I felt the calling to the mission field in Africa. We spent almost 10 years in the bush of Africa planting churches. But the whole time, I was doing marketing and graphic design projects on the side. So when we got back to the States, I knew I didn’t want to do ministry work full time. I wanted to do something fun and exciting and I had an open slate. After a period of time of working for others, I decided to launch our marketing business on my own. It was just a few months later that Donny joined me.
Donny: About 6 months after Randy returned from the mission field, my Fortune 100 company announced as mass reduction in force. I was in the HR department at the time and we found that the HR group would be impacted as well. But I remember seeing the words that jumped off the page – “We are asking for volunteers and we are providing incentives to do so”. Wow! My wife and I prayed about the decision and ultimately decided to leave my office job that I had done for 15 years to join up with Randy and it was a great decision! I’m thankful God has paved the way for us to work together.
4) What is it like working with your twin brother?
Randy: The most exciting part is we get to work together and create ideas for our clients. It’s a blessing to be working together.
Donny: We get along great. In fact, the last physical fight was in college!! Fortunately, we work through our differences in a much calmer way now. But we compliment each other so well. There are things Randy is great at and there are things he is horrible at. And the same goes for me. But where I’m weak, he is strong and vice versa. Working together with someone like that makes it great!
5) What are your favorite things about being twins?
Donny: Being a twin is like being in a unique fraternity. I have a special connection with my twin brother Randy that I don’t have with anyone else.
Randy: I agree completely. There’s just nothing like it and we love being twins!
As close as Kelsey and I are, I’m not sure if I could work day-in and day-out with her, so kudos to these two! To hear more from The Marketing Twins, check out the podcast below!