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posted by Julie Turner Mar 27,2013 @ 11:14AM

Get it right from the get-go.

Time has never been more precious in (insert what you do for a living here). It’s a universal theme in just about every marketplace today. Profits are razor thin. How quickly can we get it all done? How can we do it differently than (insert competitor who is breathing down your neck)? How can we make (name of widget, service, event) relevant?

A marketing world that once measured budgets in whole dollars now scrutinizes every cent under an electron microscope. Being seen matters. Getting consumer brains to slow down long enough to process why they need to pay attention to you matters.

All the budgetary gnashing adds up to one imperative that even the greatest tactic cannot overcome. Having an effective, sound strategy is today’s marketing imperative. The right strategy answers key questions down the road. Are the (photos, tactics, content or messaging) right on-target or are they off-brand? Should we (reallocate funds, stretch our neck out, pass) on this opportunity?

The right strategy is a both a guideline and roadmap. Without one, you’re certain to wander off course. Even worse? You have nowhere to find your way back to!

posted by Cathy Monetti Mar 19,2013 @ 10:44AM

RP Welcomes Inbound Marketing Specialist Catherine Doyle

How pleased we are to (officially) welcome Catherine Doyle to Riggs Partners! A protege of RP Inbound Marketing Director Keely Saye, Catherine is an Inbound Marketing Specialist who will work with RP clients on Cross Channel and Inbound programs.

A native of Tulsa, Catherine is a graduate of the University of South Carolina where she served on the executive boards of Zeta Tau Alpha, Mortar Board and Dance Marathon. She also wrote for Garnet & Black, Discover Carolina, InterCom, and served as writer and publisher for The Odyssey.

Bonus? Catherine is working toward certification as a yoga instructor. Needless to say her Zen demeanor graces the WECO in a most elegant—and calming—way.

Welcome, Catherine!

posted by Teresa Coles Mar 13,2013 @ 06:26AM

Global Pro Bono? CreateAthon Worldwide? Believe.

“YOU are CreateAthon?

“Well, uh, yes, I guess I am.

“Oh my gosh, I can’t believe it’s really you! I talk to people in India about CreateAthon all the time!

That is what greeted me within 10 minutes of stepping into an evening reception at the Global Pro Bono Summit, hosted recently by Taproot Foundation. It was a moment that took my breath away, and the start of a 24-hour experience that filled me with the promise of good in the world like never before.

Joining me at the event in NYC was none other than CreateAthon Chief Evangelical Officer Peyton Rowe. That, in itself, is enough to get me pumped up on the matter of all things pro bono. Then there were our friends from Taproot Foundation, A Billion + Change, and other swell folks from socially minded corporations we’ve come to know. I expected to see these flag-bearers for pro bono, and to once again be inspired by their leadership.

What I encountered was something altogether different.

I was surrounded by people from about a dozen different countries who were part of Taproot’s global fellows program. Then there were “intermediaries,” people throughout the US who lead programs designed to mobilize pro bono efforts in their respective industries and/or communities. Like CreateAthon.

Before we intermediaries were introduced to the global fellows, Taproot Founder and event organizer Aaron Hurst provided some meaningful context to us on why these people had come to New York, and why we had been invited to meet them:

Understand that most of the people you’ll meet today come from countries in which pro bono is neither encouraged nor tolerated. In some cases, they are not only putting themselves at professional risk for advocating the practice of pro bono, but also personal. They can go to jail for this.

“You’re here to get to know them, encourage them, and connect with them from now on, so they can be prepared to carry out this work when they go home.

That got our attention.

Then here they came, 22 of the most delightful people I’ve ever met. Between their broken English and my heavy Southern accent, we often had to repeat ourselves or help interpret each other’s sentences. But what transcended that awkward dialogue was the immediate, shared spark of something between us: the belief in pro bono.

There’s so much to say about this experience — perhaps I shall come back here and unpack all of my takeaways — but for now, I hope you’ll be inspired by three things I now know to be true, thanks to this global gathering of good.

Pro bono is going to become an industry, not a nice to do.

We can capitalize on it and make a living giving it scale throughout the world. What some may have once considered a pipe dream is now quickly becoming a force.

People are different. Their hearts are the same.

The power of human connections around a central cause has never been more palpable to me than in the last two weeks. All it takes is one moment, and an extended hand.

The impact of CreateAthon has only just begun.

Our 24-hour marathon model is being noticed in places far from here, not just in India. In France: “We now have a marathon model in place inspired by CreateAthon.

In the Netherlands: “Oh yes, we've heard of you. What a great program!

In Germany: “We love CreateAthon, and I am going to get you to Berlin to teach us how to do it.

Where do we go from here? Global fellows, corporate leaders, and intermediaries like us will reassemble for Global Pro Bono Summit II a year from now. In the meantime, we’ll be connecting with each other, one by one, sharing ideas and offering encouragement. We’ll also be working together on a number of initiatives coming out of the summit that will help to move the global pro bono movement forward in the next 12 months.

The last thing I know for sure?

If you have a little idea, it can be big.

posted by Kevin Smith Mar 11,2013 @ 08:36AM

Teach Your Customer Well

NPR’s Planet Money reported recently on “Business Secrets of the Amish.”

In the past 20 years, many Amish have moved from farming to business, and as such they need to advertise. Vanity or boastfulness aren’t allowed, so Amish ads are purely informational. It is an approach that has worked remarkably well, one can deduce, given the notable success of the business ventures.

Giving customers information so they can make informed choices— how refreshing.

This got me thinking about how rarely advertising is used today as a tool to inform prospective customers. But this hasn’t always been the case. When I was in high school in the late 1980s, I loved BMW’s prints ad so much I used them as notebook covers—ads that had more content than imagery.

 

All isn’t lost, however. Information has merely moved to the web as content. For example, check out Lowe’s “Creative Ideas” website.

Lowe’s allows prospective customers to subscribe to a blog, e-newsletter or magazine. They don’t sell Lowe’s; they sell the idea of home improvement.

Much more modest, and much more effective I believe. We 21st century marketers have much to learn from the Amish.

Teach your customer well.

posted by Ryon Edwards Mar 04,2013 @ 08:03AM

We came. We bowled. We helped out.

Saturday was a great day for bowling, and Team WECO came out to play. Our team raised $451 during the Big Brothers Big Sisters fundraiser "Bowl for Kids' Sake." Props to Yanti Pepper for spearheading our team's fundraising effort and to Kevin Archie for being Team Captain (our signup sheet was very well-designed). Thanks to in-person support by Gabrielle Pepper and Will Weatherly, who ended up bowling in the courtesy round. And a big shout-out to everyone who donated some coin to our team — thank you thank you thank you! Big Brothers Big Sisters met their goal of raising $55,000 (yea!) and everyone's contribution helped out.

Post-bowling libations and general celebration happened at a nearby cantina — thankfully, talk of after-after party at Rags-2-Ritchies's was, indeed, just talk.

We think Jeff Lebowski would be proud.

.

posted by Apprentices Mar 01,2013 @ 02:30AM

On bowling for kids.

This Saturday, Riggs will be sending five brave Weconians to compete in Bowl for Kids' Sake, a fundraiser event for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Columbia. In honor of this just cause, we bring you this week's inside stories:

What is your strategy for winning?


Cathy Monetti
Not being on the team

Kevin Archie
A dangerous mixture of spin moves and enthusiastic yelling

Ryon Edwards
I'll be wearing tube socks, sweat bands and tight gym shorts to distract and disgust competitors.

Yanti Pepper
Request a lane with gutter bumpers.

Kevin Smith
Step 1 - Find a left-handed bowling ball
Step 2 - Hand sanitizer

Julie Turner
My strategy is bowling alley french fries. That's where the turkeys come from.

 

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