My first “real world” job was in advertising. Driven by client relations, my daily routine would revolve around conference calls, creative briefs, media, creative, production direction and budget-to-actuals. In essence my role was anything and everything under the sun — but the most important aspect of my job was listening to my clients.
In the advertising world clients were constantly revealing parts of themselves and their companies during phone calls, meetings and more. That’s why I found it is crucial to be aware of these key clues that help trigger creative inspiration.
Regardless of your field, if you are a service provider the most essential part of your job is listening. Listen to your clients’ needs. This sounds so obvious but in reality it is easily omitted by many.
Whether you are in PR or not, this advice can help us all. As I learned in the advertising field, if you really listen to your clients you can accomplish a lot by learning, collaborating and creating an open line of communication.
Every time you communicate with your clients they are providing you with key elements that help facilitate your next press release, event, campaign, or even strategy. Therefore listening becomes one of the most important parts of a PR practitioner’s job.
We are pleased to announce the addition of Monica Komperda to the Rosenberg Marketing team. Monica comes to RM with experience from both the advertising and public relations realm. Her everyday routine revolves around delving into client needs while helping us maximize each client’s potential.
“When I became exposed to public relations I realized I had discovered my passion. I am beyond excited to start this journey with Rosenberg Marketing,” said Komperda. “Each day is not complete until I feel that I have brought something to the table for every client. I am dedicated to focusing on their needs, while continuously brainstorming new ideas.”
Monica came to us from an advertising agency where she worked as the sole Account Coordinator for nearly a year with the President. Her drive and ambition has already shone through as she continuously makes herself a sponge to grasp every task that is put forth.
We’ve been very impressed from day one as Monica is a quick learner with a natural talent for public relations. She is the newest rising star to watch in the industry.
As I pulled out my calculator for the third time this morning, I had a revelation. Math is essential to my career! A major reason the PR field originally appealed to me was because it didn’t require any math. Or so I presumed.
One of the best pitching tips I ever received was from Christina Williams at Sustainable Business Oregon. She said “business press loves numbers.” Apparently I have really taken this to heart. Nearly every business pitch I create leverages some kind of percentage, statistic or number. Oftentimes gathering this information, viewing the facts strategically and ultimately relaying them in an understandable manner takes a lot of creativity.
I thank my clients who get that math is a necessary evil in PR. Without their help I would not have any business news to pitch! These articles are examples of how PR and math mesh:
Rather than saying I was up with the chickens this morning at Rosenberg Marketing, I was up with the Pope, figuratively speaking. The Pope had an overwhelming presence during today’s live morning show shoot with Joe V. from KPTV’s Good Day Oregon.
The shoot was scheduled to promote Saturday’s Classic Wines Auction — one of Oregon’s largest fundraisers, which raised nearly 2.5 million last year for local charities.
CWA donor and event partner, SE Wine Collective hosted us for the shoot. Proprietor Kate Monroe told the TV audience about the Collective — a cool urban winery that allows other winemakers to create their blends onsite. A public tasting room then highlights their work at SE 35th place and Division.
Next up was CWA Executive Director, Heather Martin, who filled us in on Saturday’s sold out event. The audience must have been impressed when she said they’ve already shattered previous attendance records — drawing 920 people to the gala auction.
The President of CWA beneficiary, Friends of the Children, Terri Sorensen followed. She was a natural when she told us that “Friends” selects the most at-risk kids while they are in kindergarten and mentors them all the way through 12th grade.
As always, we had saved one of the longer segments for the cooking demonstration. All was running smoothly during the interview with Scott Dolich, esteemed auction guest chef and owner of the bent brick and Park Kitchen. But when Joe gingerly sped up the cooking demonstration, we knew something was awry.
All morning KPTV news managers were updating Joe on the Pope’s whereabouts during his final day. The Pope apparently decided to take the stage during Scott’s cooking demonstration. We lost one minute of coverage — almost half the segment. Joe still managed to expertly plug both restaurants and the auction while smoothly expediting a cooking demonstration.
The viewers had no idea. Not an easy task for Joe.
The Pope kept everyone in suspense with an address that lasted longer than expected. KPTV understandably decided to stay with the Pope and cut our last two segments. That’s show business!
We learned a good lesson in live TV — be flexible! No one can control the news. When something comes up that is more newsworthy than your story, just go with it. The reporter who is with you is even more invested in airing the story than even you are.
According to Your News, Inc., we still logged over 18 minutes of air time; with a total ad equivalency of $29,645 (the cost if you were to buy the coverage) and $88,935 in total calculated publicity value (the monitoring service adds more value to earned media).
We consider this a success and will share the stage with the Pope on his final day.
Congratulations to our client, Logical Position (LP), who was recently recognized as one of Oregon’s 100 best companies to work for by Oregon Business magazine. The digital marketing agency ranked number 12 for medium companies in only its third year of business. Along with making the list, LP ranked first in the category of “Management and Communications,” second for “Work Environment” and third in “Career Development and Learning” among all medium companies to work for in Oregon. Based on all survey results, the most important area to employees was how they were treated by their supervisors and management.
The annual rankings are based on employee surveys and a benefits report from each nominated company. Companies are sorted based on employee size into three categories; small (15-34), medium (35-99) and large (100+). In the past ten years more than 1,000 companies have participated and more than 200,000 employee surveys have been completed.
Public Relations Case Study: PR Coverage Increases Sales 50%
Clackamas Federal Credit Union, Habitat for Humanity & On The Go With Joe
Summary: it’s wonderful to get a lot of TV coverage and the below numbers may be impressive, however membership numbers from the credit union paint the true picture of what happens when you combine a solid community relations campaign with public relations. In the month following the coverage, Clackamas Federal Credit Union (Clackamas) experienced a 50% increase in new accounts than what they historically experience during that time period.
Molalla is a small, growing community where Clackamas Federal Credit Union (Clackamas) was actively seeking to grow its membership and deepen relationships. Because it is about 40 miles outside of Portland’s city center, we knew that marketing through traditional earned media methods would be tough (because it’s typically too far away for a reporter based in Portland to travel to) but necessary to reach this demographic.
We needed a strong campaign that would generate broad-reaching media to make a lasting impact on the community of Molalla. We strategically sought a partnership with a notable charity that would truly change lives in the town; choosing to partner with Habitat for Humanity to help build a house in Molalla. With community involvement being one of Clackamas’ core principles — combined with the fact that the media loves a good human interest story — this partnership was a home-run.
Working with Habitat represented a strong public relations opportunity to show employees giving their time and energy to make a difference. In addition to newspaper coverage with the local newspaper, (Molalla Pioneer), Clackamas recognized the campaign had potential to appeal to media outside of Molalla and sought television coverage from a TV station based in Portland.
Unless it is real news, most television markets will not run stories their competitors have already ran. Therefore, we strategically targeted morning show coverage with a reporter that would give us the most on-air time possible and have a strong following: Joe “V” with Good Day Oregon on KPTV (the FOX affiliate in Portland).
Convincing the reporter to drive all the way out to Molalla as early as 4 a.m. would be no easy task. Not only would we need to paint the visual aspects necessary to resonate with television, we needed to appeal to the human interest side of the story and offer real actions that he could partake in (again, television is visual!). We also needed to provide him with solid ideas for his live segments that aired approximately three times each hour during the show’s four-hour timespan.
The pitch to the reporter detailed the above mentioned necessities, segment ideas included:
Getting a hammer in the reporter’s hand — letting him actually help “build” the home on live television.
Showing Clackamas employees volunteering their time — providing both a visual element and a demonstration of a company culture works as a team to give back.
Profiling the person that would be a new homeowner because of the assistance that Habitat and Clackamas jointly provided — offering a human-interest angle that journalists love while humanizing what could be seen as a typical donation/volunteer effort by a community entity (Clackamas).
The reporter was enticed through creative writing in an email format that laid out all of the above, along with follow up phone calls. With the morning show booked, now we needed to deliver on what was pitched and provide content that would make for good television to further our relationship with this reporter, while deepening our roots in Molalla.
We worked closely with the reporter ahead of time to plan the 9 live segments he would cover during the morning of the television shoot. We then organized interviews with the charity (Habitat), new homeowners, and Clackamas representative (CFO, Andrew Vahrenkamp). Each interviewee was carefully prepped ahead of time — even if they were not with Clackamas — to not only put key talking points in place, but to ensure everyone was comfortable, creating a smooth, stress-free morning.
It was very important to the reporter that we show an active site with a large group of volunteers building the home. This task was initially intimidating because with any ordinary organization, getting employee participation early in the morning would have been difficult. But it was surprisingly stress-free with Clackamas. Community involvement is one of Clackamas’ core principles, so a large number of staff volunteers showed up on time and in high spirits — resulting in a fun and rewarding experience for all. Of course everyone was wearing a Clackamas shirt, furthering our brand reach.
One hiccup in the planning stage that could have cancelled the entire television shoot occurred when Habitat raised the concern of noise disrupting the neighborhood since building would happen from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. The last thing any of us wanted to do was annoy the neighbors and make a bad impression! Therefore, we worked closely with Habitat to choose activities with the most minimal amount of noise disruption.
The broadcast coverage resulted in 9 live segments on Good Day Oregon on KPTV-FOX (local FOX affiliate), a segment on MORE Good Day Oregon and coverage on the Five O’Clock, Six O’Clock and 10 O’Clock news. According to the news monitoring service, Your News, Inc., the coverage was worth the following:
$119,583 in calculated publicity equivalent
$39,862 in calculated advertising equivalent
Over 24 minutes of on-air time generated through public relations
While the above numbers may be impressive, membership numbers from the credit union paint the true picture of what happens when you combine a solid community relations campaign with public relations. In the month following the coverage, Clackamas experienced a 50% increase in new accounts than what they historically experience during that time period. More specifically, with the coverage running on 7/16/12, 209 new accounts were opened from 7/16/12 – 8/16/12, while during that time the previous year (7/16/11 – 8/16/11), 139 new accounts were opened.
Additionally, a story and photo ran in the local paper (Molalla Pioneer) and the paper’s website —furthering our goal to reach that community specifically.
Deceptive Internet marketing practices hurt entire industry
- Guest Opinion Published in the Portland Business Journal, January 11, 2013
While advances in Internet marketing have helped many businesses succeed, often there are companies and individuals who are unethical in their Internet marketing practices and tactics.
This is called “Black Hat” — industry slang for “shady” practitioners who manipulate the algorithms used by the search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo!, etc.) and/or the Internet-browsing public by using techniques that are disapproved of by the search engines or involve deception.
As a nonprofit business association made up of individual practitioners, students, traditional companies and marketing firms, the Search Engine Marketing Professionals of Portland (SEMpdx) has seen this too many times, prompting us to proactively take action.
We find it unfortunate that many companies and individuals misrepresent what search engine marketing and social media marketing are and what “success” should look like, giving a perception of value to details that are truthfully meaningless to the client. These companies are unethically creating websites with irrelevant content, creating “spammy” links (such as auto-generating blog comments), purchasing links on unrelated websites and/or keyword stuffing.
While we are unable to police the entire $40 billion-plus online marketing industry, we can put the onus on ourselves and vow to conduct business the right way. As a resource for students, local practitioners, SEM professionals and area businesses, SEMpdx has voluntarily elected to adopt a Board Member Code of Ethics.
SEMpdx has been catapulted into change-making status as the first nonprofit Internet marketing business organization to take action.
In summary, our Code of Ethics states that board members will not engage in practices that knowingly may be harmful to a client or their website, nor make factual misrepresentations. We will also refrain from making knowingly factual misrepresentations as a part of our sales process.
We will fulfill all obligations we agreed to provide and not market or sell any worthless or misleading services or products. Additionally, board members agree to perform contracted services in a manner consistent with the highest level of ethics, honesty and integrity. SEMpdx also expects our member individuals, organizations and sponsors to abide by the Code of Ethics as well.
This topic is gaining significant momentum throughout the digital marketing world. Internet marketing groups from across the country are taking notice, as evidenced by the Minnesota (MnSEARCH) group, which recently adopted a similar Code of Ethics based on SEMpdx’s.
Search Engine Marketing Professionals Organization (SEMPO), the national business association for search marketing, will be conducting an ethics survey of its members and constituents in the coming months. Bruce Clay, current President of SEMPO, is also the author of “SEO Code of Ethics,” which has been adopted by many and is available in 18 languages.
In an industry wrought with deception and misinformation, this is a small step. But it is an important one we believe will help move a fringe industry further into the mainstream.
With more marketing dollars shifted to digital mediums every quarter, the search engine marketing industry will continue to grow and only flourish when the “Black Hats” become the minority and their “techniques” ineffective. As Google, Bing and other search and social networks continue to uncover nefarious acts, penalize offenders and most importantly stop rewarding deception, those of us who market the right way will continue to be rewarded.
Mike Rosenberg is CEO of Rosenberg Marketing and is also board president of SEMpdx, the local nonprofit business organization for digital marketing.
August 14th marked the fourth annual SEMpdx Rooftop Networking Party. The party was completely sold out, with over 500 people bustling around, sharing business cards, and using their free drink coupons. Local marketers partied for a cause on the rooftop of the Hotel deLuxe.
Nearly 250 lbs of coats were collected – photo courtesy of Kenneth Benjamin Reed Photography
Attendees were enticed to donate a coat by SEMpdx who offered a exclusive “coat prizes” to contributors. The drive benefited children of all sizes (adults sizes fit many teenagers and youth) who need help due to the loss of a parent’s job, domestic crime, illness, or being victims of fire or other disasters. Over 249 pounds of coats were collected in total. SEMpdx will be donating 10% of the proceeds from the rooftop party, and all other events from this entire year to the Sunshine Division.
KGW Live@7′s Joe Smith interviews Mike Rosenberg – photo courtesy of Kenneth Benjamin Reed
The event ran very smoothly with wonderful food, music, and professionals to talk to. It was a great way to meet other Portland marketers, especially if you were looking for a job or new business lead! We even got a visit from KGW’s Joe Smith (interviewing our own Mike Rosenberg, current President of SEMpdx) to discuss the growing attendance the rooftop party has acquired. I’m ready to get my tickets for next year!
Yesterday was another rewarding day for those of us at Rosenberg Marketing. We started the day early at the Boys & Girls Club where we had set up a surprise for children in a Movie Making class! The Boys and Girls Club is a wonderful organization that provides a safe environment, fun activities, and meals for students through high school in their area. The Boys & Girls Club in Sellwood, where we were yesterday, is about 75% low income children, who love coming in for camps during the summer instead of playing video games at home.
We were so excited to be able to represent Costume Kingdom as they donated 25 amazing costumes to the twenty 6-12 year old children in a two-week long Movie Making class. The students would usually just bring clothing from home, but with Costume Kingdom’s generous donation, were able to really expand their creativity.
We wheeled the costumes in on a coat rack, and the children began to squirm with excitement! New costumes really made a difference in the type of production the kids could put on, and it was amazing to talk to some of them as they described how excited they were.
It’s basically a big party, outside, in the sun with marketing, advertising and technology peeps…on the Rooftop garage of Hotel deLuxe. The beer is always flowing (and provided by ethology) and I’ve heard there will be even more food this year…ALL FOR ONLY $15! Register here
Whether you are going to just have a good time (which should be had by all), find a job (I know of at least four people that can directly attribute employment to this event), find a client (I can personally vouch for this one), win amazing prizes or drink wine in the corner by yourself, you will not be disappointed.
Sunshine Division Coat Drive
And if that wasn’t enough, we are also hosting a Coat Drive for SEMpdx’s 2012 Charity of Choice The Portland Police Bureau’s Sunshine Division who will be on hand to collect coats for kids in need. I’m sure most of you have at least one coat that you haven’t worn for a really long time that is like new (adult sizes too as lots of kids are as big as you).
Not that you need another reason to help those in need…but…there will also be a “Coat Prize” (like a door prize except you are only entered if you donate a coat). The “Coat Prize” is courtesy of Columbia Sportswear and features two Columbia Sportswear Jackets (men’s and women’s) that the winner will pick up when they get to visit the Columbia Sportswear Employee Store!
There will also be additional regular door prizes for everyone that attends (and drops a biz card) including two passes to SearchFest 2013, two Platinum Seattle Interactive Conference (SIC) passes, an Ogio Kirby Backpack and more!
Lots of Great Sponsors
PSU’s Professional Development Center, ethology, SEOmoz, SyCara, Bonfire Marketing, AMA, Mac’s List and the Portland Digital Marketing Conference will all also be in attendance as event sponsors!
If somehow you still need inspiration to attend, check out the promo video put together by new SEMpdx Board Member Nathan Isaacs of Seven G Media