By Megan Hamby, Editorial Director

At Hammock, we like to think of ourselves as a 31-year-old startup organization. Although we have a long history of serving clients and delivering powerful content marketing solutions, we strive to be “disruptors” in the industry—changing the ways organizations think about content.

This philosophy comes from Hammock’s founder, Rex Hammock, who announced his retirement from Hammock on April 6, 2022. More than 30 years ago, Rex saw an opportunity for brands to go direct to customers—initially with print magazines. When he started Hammock Inc. in 1991, it was a custom publishing agency, utilizing the then novel technology of desktop publishing to create creative media that was every bit as good as what was on the newsstands. Today, Hammock Inc. is a unique agency that creates content to be deployed across a diverse media landscape—and we owe that reputation to Rex’s strategic vision and leadership over the past 31 years.

Rex was a pioneer in the content marketing industry. Prior to founding Hammock, he was the founder/partner of a public relations subsidiary of one of the largest regional advertising agencies in the South, a congressional speechwriter and a press secretary. In 1999, he co-founded the national trade association that today is called the Custom Content Council. That same year, he started, a site dedicated to helping small-business owners and managers get the right information for important decisions. Rex was a trailblazer in blogging—in 2004, he became the first person to blog a meeting with a president, when he met with President George W. Bush.

Most importantly, Rex created a positive company culture at Hammock—one that values teamwork, engagement, communication and collaboration. In an industry where people change jobs every few years, Hammock’s employees have stayed on board—with some celebrating 25th anniversaries. He has cheered his employees on in professional and personal achievements, celebrated marriages and growing families, and made us laugh more times than we can count.

On April 6, 2022, Rex and John Lavey, incoming CEO, announced the completion of a management buyout. The transaction is part of a long-term succession plan that Rex and John developed together over many years—and it allows Hammock Inc. to continue successfully executing their strategic vision, aligning it with the market’s need for effective and innovative content marketing solutions. Although Rex will no longer be driving Hammock, his legacy lives on in the way we approach content marketing and deliver the highest-quality service to our clients. 


This post is part of Hammock’s award-winning Idea Email series. Idea Emails are sent every other week and share one insightful marketing idea. Idea Email comes in two flavors: Original and Healthcare. To subscribe to the original Idea Email (general marketing ideas), click here. To subscribe to the Healthcare Idea Email (healthcare marketing ideas), click here.



By John Lavey | Hammock President and COO

If your company slowed or stopped sharing content with clients since the pandemic started, have you begun to reemerge? Or are you struggling to figure out what conversations to have with your clients right now?

If so, you aren’t alone.


“Us Tareyton smokers would rather fight than switch” was a classic advertising slogan of the Don Draper era. Featuring a smiling model with a black eye, the grammatically incorrect Tareyton print ads ran from 1963 until the early 1980s. (Cigarette advertising on TV ended in 1971.) On its surface, the slogan was a clever way to encourage loyalty to the Tareyton brand. Yet beneath the surface, it was an insidious and not-so-subtle rallying cry for smokers to ignore the evidence linking smoking to cancer that started mounting in earnest with the 1964 Surgeon General’s report.

In the 55 years since the report was issued, the percentage of Americans who smoke has fallen from 42% in 1964 to 14% today. But nearly 34 million Americans still smoke, apparently willing to fight to the death than switch.

By Rex Hammock, CEO

If you google “the lost art of storytelling,” you’ll find link after link of people longing for a bygone time when there were great storytellers. “We’ve lost the ability to tell stories well,” they lament. We lost it in a time and place called the good ol’ days, they mourn.

In reality, we are living in a golden age of storytelling. Never have there been more stories, more ways to tell stories, more outlets for sharing stories or more fans of storytelling.

farmers insurance
By Rex Hammock, CEO

The term “campaign” is used in many ways, in various contexts.

A political campaign is the process candidates must successfully follow to be elected to a public office. A military campaign is a series of battles that are part of a larger war. An advertising campaign is a coordinated series of advertisements, typically using several media channels, that are tied together with a complementary style and personality. Each type of campaign reflects a recurring commitment, discipline and multi-pronged approach to success.

By Steve Sullivan

Deciding on partners to help your business is a tough job. We must all decide: Is this function core to our business, or can we benefit from outside help?

By: John Lavey | Hammock President/COO

The dramatic shift from print to digital media, one of the big marketing stories in our lifetimes, happened to coincide with the Great Recession that lasted from 2007 to 2009.

Marketers were more careful with dollars coming out of the Recession and for good reason. There were fewer of those dollars. Cheaper was appealing. And what better way for wary marketers to spend their dollars then on areas where they would be able to see the impact of their spend.

Forbes Magazine recently recognized Hammock’s founder, Rex Hammock, as a leading voice in the field of content marketing. In an article published in late October, Rex described how Hammock uses content to build brand loyalty and tell stories to create long-term relationships with customers.

Rex discusses the challenges of defining content marketing, explains the best way to use content and pulls no punches in calling out good and bad uses of content marketing. The industry pioneer also shares the most effective customer-marketing components that have been the secret to Hammock’s success over the past 27 years.

To read more of Rex’s expert observations on content marketing, find the full article here.

Last week we showed you five amazing photo finishes—to inspire you to meet your year-end content marketing deadlines with style and flair—and show you how collaborating with Hammock can help you cross the finish line in an award-winning fashion.

Today’s inspiration comes from the realm of basketball—the buzzer beater. You probably have a favorite—that last-second dunk or half-court shot drained right as the shot clock expires and the buzzer sounds. It’s that fraction of a second when a long-shot contender knocks off a No. 1 seed and grabs the championship. A “buzzer-beating” finish is pure excitement—but it takes a smart, talented, hard-working team to set up those winning shots.

As part of our countdown to year-end projects, we thought we’d share a few of the ways we have been able to speed up our processes in ways that can help our clients meet their important goals and deadlines.