Monday, March 30, 2009

One Connection Away - take 1

This started as a group of job seekers getting together over coffee to share search strategies, leads, and general support for one another... and it has grown into much more. The group has quintupled in size in just 3 months (since January, '09) - saying something about the current state of the economy, but also about the power of networking.

With an active roster of over 20 marketing and advertising professionals in the Seattle area, we represent just about all disciplines of the creative realm. Branding, PR, product marketing, and interactive on the corporate side to account management, copywriting, art direction, graphic design, project management, and production on the agency side.

The group consists of strategic leaders with a wealth of experience within a wide variety of industries. We've worked for and with start-ups, Fortune 500 corporations, dot-coms, and marketing organizations on a local, national and global scale.

The idea behind this blog is to publish information we can use as job seekers and notes from our weekly meetings. But I also envision it as a way to publicize our credentials to anyone looking to hire talented professionals.

Friday, March 27, 2009

NOTES From Meeting #10 - March 26 (SVC)

"Ways to help a friend survive a job search."
Some great things to remember, once we get to the other side.

* John Turnberg, a contract recruiter for The Gates Foundation, met with the group and provided over an hour of insightful info on how to maximize our LinkedIn profiles and the network.
- Endorsements are crucial. Get folks that you trust to recommend you, because recruiters and hiring managers are are looking at those.
- John recommends not going back more than 15 years on your resume. High School info is not needed. Keep things current.
- Look to make your profile as complete as possible. (including adding a photo)
- John explained how to find people in the jobs you want in the companies you're targeting, and he provided some ways to tap into the internet to do so. (I'll try them out and will include in a separate note.)
- He highly suggests using Facebook as a means of reaching out to target company people; "you can e-mail anyone, even if you're not connected."
- John has a list of 1,000+ recruiters that he can share with us. If we look to LinkIn to them, it opens a whole door into those who are looking to fill positions and will extend our reach into the LinkedIn network.

* The group welcomed 2 new people:
- Geoff Tucker, marketing communications (WaMu)
- Eric Blanchard, sales
* Contact info for the Creative Circle recruiters that met with us 3/20:
Kirsten Thompson -
Sara Westerlund -
* Geoff mentioned the next Networking Social which will take place April 14th in Bellevue. DETAILS BELOW, along with his notes about using TWITTER.

* ALL - If you haven't already, please send your roster info to Sue, so we can update. (attached is the most current.)
Please include:
- 'title' / what you did and what you want to do, expertise (see attached for examples)
- phone numbers
- relevant URLs: LinkedIn, web site, blogs, etc.
- clients/companies you've worked for.
* Kelly E. to get John's contact info from Ariella and access to his list of 1,000+ LinkedIn contact names.
* Kelly E. to start a blog for the group with notes, links, etc. Will let the group know when it's up and running. (in progress)

* The Smalley meeting will be next Friday, April 3rd at 10am at the SVC. No guest speakers yet, but a handful of us will be meeting afterward at 11 with Centerstage director, Alan Bryce, about his marketing needs.

Monday, March 23, 2009

NOTES From Meeting #9 - March 20 (SVC)

* Kirsten Thompson and Sara Westerlund, from Creative Circle, fielded questions from the group regarding the best way to work with their agency, the market as they see it, and contract work.
- They recommend communicating with your rep on a weekly basis. You want to be top-of-mind when recruiters are gathering resources to recommend to a client.
- Creative Circle has 4 types of placement:
o day-to-day freelance (usually production)
o contract (usually weekly)
o project (usually monthly)
o full-time
- They recommend working with multiple staffing agencies, and encourage working with multiple reps within an agency.
- Areas where there is a lot of hiring currently: gaming, mobile
- Hot skills: flash / interactive
- Creative Circle does not currently offer benefits for contract employees, but they are looking into changing that in '09.

* The group welcomed 3 new people:
- Michael Cousins, client-side marketing (Nordstrom, Dir of Marketing for the Lottery)
- Carolyn Hazard, graphic designer (freelance, T-Mobile)
- Joseph Hunziker, project manager / support services (Publicis)
* Word from Andrea was that the SVC's course "SEO in a Day" offered last week was really good and worthwhile. Continue to check with the SVC's calendar for future workshops.
4/2 - "Google AdWords and AdSense in a Day"
4/7 - "Getting a Job in Tough Times" w/ Cris Janzen. (FREE)

* ALL - If you haven't already, please send your bio line to Sue, so we can update the roster. Please include 'what you did / used to do, and what you want to do' and contact info, LinkedIn/URL links, etc.
* Kelly E. to work on location for Thursday evening's meeting.
* Kelly E. to start a blog for the group with notes, links, etc. Will let the group know when it's up and running.

Monday, March 16, 2009

NOTES From Meeting #8 - March 13 (SVC)

* First, a HUGE Thank You to Ariella for her presentation on Search Engine Marketing (SEM) / Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Great introduction and discussion on the two topics.
* For a more in-depth look at SEO, the SVC is offering a course this Thurs, 3/19, from 9am - 4pm, titled "SEO in a Day."
And for truly brave, SVC has another course, "Google AdWords and AdSense in a Day," being offered Wed, 4/2, same time.
* Ariella's new roommate, a recruiter with The Gates Foundation, has offered to meet with the group to provide advice on the best way to set up your LinkedIn profile. (He said recruiters are using these!)

* ALL - If you haven't already, please send your bio line to Sue, so we can update the roster. ('what you did / used to do, and what you want to do')
* Kelly to work with Ariella and her roommate in setting up a time to have him meet with us. He's only available in the evening, so we'll need to arrange a time other than our usual Friday's at 10.
Would people prefer Monday or Thursday evenings??

* This Friday's meeting will include representatives from a local staffing agency, Creative Circle. Reps will be on hand for a Q&A session.

Monday, March 9, 2009

NOTES From Meeting #7 - March 6 (SVC)

- Larry Asher has graciously agreed to host the Smalley meetings going forward at the SVC. (free coffee, snacks, and wi-fi)
- This week and the following, he said we'll likely be in a different room, and we may need to park on the street (due to a class). After that he said we should be fine.
- Ariella has agreed to provide an SEM/SEO tutorial at this week's meeting, 3/13. Thanks, Ariella!

- Larry Asher introduced the SVC and classes that
- Introduced 2 new members
Jacque Coe - communications director w/ the Lottery
Ed Ferguson - product marketing manager.
- Had 3 guests from the video production world join us, which led to some great discussion about how they could approach local ad agencies:
Matt Billings --
Chris Bell --
Fred Northup --
- Discussed the shear number of applications companies are receiving for each job posting, highlighting the crucial need to network.

- Kelly to contact Larry about securing time/space going forward. DONE.
- Kelly to continue working with local staffing agencies for upcoming panel discussion.
- Annemarie to get Starbucks contact info to Jacque.
- Kelly to introduce Matt to Chris Witherspoon (DNA) and Adam Oliver (Publicis) as local production option.

Monday, March 2, 2009

NOTES from Meeting #6 – Feb 27 (Tully’s Capital Hill)

- Introduced 2 new members:
Jill Kraft - creative/agency project mgt
Michael Gurliaccio - copywriter with a focus on interactive.
- Discussion with Lance Leasure about ROI and what his company, Catalysis, is doing to make sure it's delivering results for its clients.
- Feedback on the Networking social: very crowded but a good way to practice the 30-second introduction.
- Agreed to put together a roster list with bio's from the group. (see below)
- Discussed the fact that we have, in essence, the makings of our own marketing organization, and how we could maybe apply our collective knowledge and talent to work on projects.
The Taproot Foundation was mentioned. Below are details.
It is pro bono work for non-profit organizations. Seattle is one of their hubs, and there are 3 projects currently staffing in the area.
- Sue discussed the benefits of starting a blog or some sort of journal to capture your thoughts on various topics. One that I read occasionally and very much enjoy is:
- Proposed moving our meeting time up to 10am to account for kids' naptimes, school pick-ups, etc. (And I realize it's not just the kids that want to take naps.) PLEASE let me know if 10am doesn't work for you.