Posts Tagged ‘Pittsburgh ad agencies’

Industry Leadership & Embracing the Concept of Motion

Monday, April 27th, 2015

Image of spinning top for concept of motion: source from

As I browse through my lead generation literature, I secretly look for headlines that make me wonder, make me ask a question or even make me a little uncomfortable. I was recently flipping through my copies of the Pittsburgh Business Times craving a cool, new company discovery, but as I leafed through a previous edition of the Pittsburgh teQ (Pittsburgh Tech Council) magazine, the President’s editorial caught my eye.

Audrey Russo (President and CEO of the Pittsburgh Technology Council) entitled her letter “Never Get Comfortable”, (all it takes is a good headline to reel you in – and she reeled me in) I couldn’t resist the urge to find out more (every marketers favorite feeling, right?) …to find out why?

In her piece, Russo details the success and brilliance that results when professionals and entrepreneurs put themselves in constant motion. By “constant motion”, I mean they are always actively seeking fresh ideas and changes in the industry to propel themselves and their company forward among the noise. She reminds us that exposing your new business and ideas can be unsettling, but the only way they can grow into something exciting is if we let others shed some light on them.

Yes, we all know that sharing ideas is a good thing. That was not the inspirational part. It was the subtle reminder that being too comfortable can hinder our drive to keep creating and innovating. Our routines are assurance. We like to know what’s coming next. But as good as it feels to be able to predict our days and weeks ahead, that numbing easiness can also be our greatest enemy.

Russo also ties this concept into leadership – leadership is about adjustment, adaptation and personal growth; continuously and in perpetuity. Companies live in constant motion and experience constant, industry and environment tugs of movement that are competing for our attention and using up precious time. Leaders not only understand this concept of inevitable motion, but embrace it.

“It’s the steadfast belief in seeing the vision materialize surrounded by the right people, who have the right skills and attitude to participate in this journey—a confusing and liberating period in the new business process without doubt.”

-Audrey Russo 

In a time when trends come and go in the blink of an eye, stagnancy and complacency are only going to assure you that you will be left behind. Are you comfortable with that? I’m not. So maybe that pounding in your chest and sweaty palms is a disturbing feeling for a couple of minutes. But don’t think of it as an unsettling wave of uncertainty. Be a leader. Embrace it. Never get comfortable.

How do you embrace motion in your industry? Keep the conversation going on our Facebook or Twitter

The RO-Why of Social Media

Friday, September 3rd, 2010

So do we talk about the ROI of social media or KPI’s? Do you know the difference? The difference is similar to the difference between an advertising agency and a company that focuses on marketing. Or better yet, Heinz Field and PNC park.

From a purely definitive standpoint ROI is pretty basic, ROI = (X – Y) / Y, If you invest $10 and get back $30, your ROI is (30 – 10) / 10 = 2 or 2 times your initial investment.

Now let’s apply that to social media. Having solid goals and a realistic baseline measurement is crucial to figuring out your social media ROI.¬† So before you set out to measure and monitor your social media returns, you need to have a clear idea of what it is you want to accomplish. <—-Isn’t this something you would do in any business situation?

So once you have your goals defined, you need to gauge the baseline for your levels before starting or changing your social media strategy. For example, if your goal is to increase social media mentions of your company, in order to measure the ROI of any actions taken toward that goal, you need to know where you stand now. You can’t evaluate the ROI accurately without a baseline. If the baseline is zero, so be it.

Now KPI’s are completely different in that you’re tracking and making sense of interactions, which is a fundamental part of social media. Many of these metrics are factored into the notion of “Key Performance Indicators” and in the same way you can score different interactions to create some kind of interaction index, each one has it’s own merit. For instance here are 15 fairly common social media KPI’s.

  1. Alerts
  5. Email subscriptions
  6. Fans
  7. Favourites
  8. Feedback
  10. Forward to a friend
  11. Posts
  12. Social media shares / participation
  13. Uploads
  15. Widgets

So what are the KPI’s that you are using within your organization to measure your social media interactions?

What is Your Social Media Engagement Strategy?

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

Scenario #1 You live in Pittsburgh. In fact you live in Mt. Lebanon. You want to go to PNC Park. Should you take the parkway? Should you cut through the West End?Which way are you going to go and why? Should you take the parkway because that’s the way you always go?

Scenario #2 You’re an ad agency in Pittsburgh. You’ve had success in working with Hospitals like UPMC in the Pittsburgh region. Alcoa has called you and wants to talk about you handling a social media marketing campaign for them. Are you going to take what you do and did for the hospitals and apply it to the Alcoa job?

Scenario #3 You go into the Chinese restaurant downtown by the Grant building. You order a hamburger. Why? Are all restaurants the same?

Different channels require different strategies. Different companies need different things and have different audiences. Don’t forget that no matter how good you are at social media and how slick your Pittsburgh marketing company is, you need to listen.

Social Media and SEO-Where the rubber meets the road

Friday, August 13th, 2010

Here are 7 tenets of social media and seo that often go overlooked. The problem exists when social media companies or ad agencies do one without the other, or none at all. Campaigns fall flat and expectations go unmet. It’s imperative that you understand the impact.

  • If you do not understand the correlation of search and social media, then you are leaving money on the table. It’s as simple as that.¬† If you do not understand the impact and relationship, here is some required reading.
  • Creating an SEO strategy that does not leverage the social web is a huge mistake.
  • Creating a Social strategy without understanding search is an egregious error.
  • The audience that you are marketing to via SEO is currently out there and being social-you need to find them
  • You build sites that are optimized for SEO-the purpose of SEO is to be found in search.¬† The role of SEO in social is to help your customers find your content which ultimately leads your customers back to you
  • Understand the content that you write for SEO and the content that you create for social-though they are different, the end result should be engagement.
  • How are you measuring your SEO impact? How are you measuring your social impact? You are measuring right?

Patience with Social Media is an Oxymoron

Monday, July 19th, 2010

We live in a go, go go, world. Our offline expectations are starting to mirror our online deliverables. We expect it now and when we do not get the real time results within 30 seconds to 1 minute in the offline world, we freak.

So what happens to the C-suite or the marketing manager when the results that they expected immediately from social media or were promised by the ad agency don’t materialize? A bigger question might be, what were they expecting? And when were they expecting it?

Social Media is not a sprint. It’s not a marathon either, it’s more like¬† a half-marathon. Whoever is driving social media initiatives within the organization, it is up to them to temper any enthusiasm with a grain of reality and a dose of hard work. Social media is not a silver bullet nor is it driven by just flipping on a switch.

Ad Agencies in Pittsburgh that use Twitter

Friday, July 16th, 2010

Don’t you just love lists? Especially the kind that can mean absolutely nothing, with criteria that is so esoteric and subjective, that it will generally piss off more people than it does anything else.

If you’re evaluating ad agencies in Pittsburgh, you, at some point have to ask yourself, “what ad agencies in Pittsburgh tweet and how effective is their twitter strategy“?( if they have one) Why you ask, should you care about whether an agency uses Twitter?

Because most agencies today, if they are worth their salt, will be integrating some type of social media solution into their campaign pitches to you. So it might be good for you to know that when they suggest to you, mister client, that you use Twitter-that they themselves use it and understand it. Essentially-that they are drinking their own koolaid and eating their own dog food.

Yea I know, mister agency big shot, your agency is too busy to tweet because you’re focused on the client.

Without further ado, here is a list of ad agencies in Pittsburgh in no particular order that actually tweet. While we were at it, we decided to feature the agencies that don’t tweet; and for extra measure we decided to grade each agencies efforts, as well as their tweet quality. It is what it is. If you’re one of the agencies mentioned and you disagree, or you have an account that we missed-then by all means let us know!

1. Brunner/@brunnerworks C- minus for effort and a C+ for tweet quality

2. Sterling Advertising/@britishagent F- Why? The account is for someone from London who tweets (90 times) about London

3. Mathew James Creative/F No twitter account to speak of.

4. Elisco Advertising/@eliscoad C- for effort; At least they have an account, that’s a start and they are tweeting but… D- for quality. They’re tweeting nothing to no one and having zero conversations

5. Virtual Edge Collaborative/F No account

6. Apple Box Studios/@appleboxstudios C+ for activity and effort given the age of the account. B- for quality. Definite conversations, sharing, exchanging and promoting happening as well as proper usage of hashtags.

7. Capslock Communication/F No account.

8. Think Creativity or is it Think Inc.?/F

9. Smith Brothers Agency/@smithbrosagency D- Though they have an account they have only tweeted 16 times. D- for quality. No conversations with some self promotion built in.

10. Mullen Pittsburgh/ No local Twitter account but I do know of some folks in Boston who tweet.

11. Fitting Group/@brandspanking B+ for activity C- for content. The tweets are one way and there are zero conversations

12. Ledonne Creative/ F No account

13. Marc USA/None zip zilch zero.

14. Beyond Spots and Dots/@Beyondspotsdots D- for activity and D- for quality

15. Krome/Fail

16. Brady Communications/Fail

17. Jampole Communications/Fail

18. Steelcoast Creative/steelcoast Not much happening here-Haven’t tweeted since April D- for effort and D- for quality.

19. ?

Immediate results from Social Media

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010


I’m thinking the two mentioned in the same sentence is oxymoronic. That’s not to say that in some situations you cannot get immediate results from your social media engagement, it just does not happen overnight, nor does it happen in the first week or month. There has to be a certain amount of time devoted to establishing yourself in a credible, authentic, logical fashion. Agencies need to pay attention to authentic.

Getting Started with Twitter

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

Here’s something for all those “other” Pittsburgh ad agencies that might be struggling with how to use Twitter.