Friday, July 31, 2009

Notes from 7/31 OCA meeting

Great discussion at Friday's OCA.

Thank You letters - - How formal do we make them? Is there a risk with inserting some personality?
Group consensus: Err on the side of formality, but there's a need to stand out from the crowd - and if there was some rapport with the interviewer, be yourself. But... be mindful that letters are often forwarded. Don't cookie cutter them. Personalize each to a degree with something pertinent that was discussed with each person.

Great brands / brands that we admire? - a common interview question with marketing / advertising positions.
Talked about some of the brands we admire, even if we don't connect with them personally.
Honorable mentions included:
Dove -- Real Beauty campaign, and the brand extensions into social programs: Dove Self-Esteem Fund, and Moms & Mentors.

Apple -- Such a simple, brilliant brand which is driven into everything they do, from tv spots to the in-store experience.

Burger King -- hits the target (young males) at its core, and its agency, CP+B, has affected everything from social media (Facebook's Whopper Sacrifice campaign, which won titanium and gold at Cannes) to the chain's in-store communications.

Red -- bringing together multiple - and sometimes competing - brands (Apple, Microsoft, Starbucks, Converse, etc.) with a united cause. One word: INSPI(RED)

MADMEN -- Season 3 starts Aug 16
If you haven't seen this show, you have 2 weeks to catch up. Seasons 1 and 2 can be rented at Netflix or seen on Comcast OnDemand.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Job News

Lisa Ball - new Marketing Coordinator for Merrill Gardens, and
Steve Muran, who just accepted an offer to become Director of CRM for a Seattle-based company (to be named later).

This may be the 1st week we've had more people leave the group than join - a trend I can get used to.

NOTES from 7/24 OCA meeting

Welcome new members:
- Suzanne LeMere - recent graduate with a wealth of prior business experience
- Mary Beth Lambert - non-profit marketing expert

A record crowd for last week's Social Media and Marketing presentation with Spring Creek Group principal, Andy Boyer. A full room got a dose of explanations and insight from one the area's leading companies. Stories were told, laughs were had, and a lot of knowledge was imparted.

Below are some highlights of the discussion:
- Insights: "Social media is not a campaign, it's a culture." People aren't necessarily going to your web site to look for answers; they're going to chat rooms and the blogosphere to find out about your products and for customer support. (ex. YahooAnswers)
People can be extremely influential and make companies jump at the drop of a hat. "People are going to the highest mountain to shout where they feel they can be heard."
- Future trends: Anything that increases the conversation between a brand and its customers.
- Example of a company (or product) that has done well to integrate social media into its marketing mix: bing from Microsoft. They generated a buzz as to what the name of the search engine would be, then released the name just prior to the launch - and had more than 50,000 fans on Facebook within 20 hrs.
- B2B vs. Consumer social media - B2B has a much smaller number of influencers, so keep pushing relevant material to those people. Go deep, and know your audience. With Consumer brands, you're dealing with the masses - wanting to increase your number of loyal followers. This can be tricky, as you have less control, and can respond to fewer items - but the same goes in terms of knowing your audience.
- Words of advice for those in Job Search mode: "Control your brand." Before and after interviews, hiring managers are researching you. Make sure you have a handle on what's out there to be viewed. Check accounts on Facebook and any other digital source that could have info on you.

"What is the definition of Web 2.0?"
This question came up and was actually a bit difficult to answer for all -- because there is no right answer.

Christine Goetz sent over this link, which explains from a web design look and feel perspective: "It allows web users to use the web with great ease."

Another view, and how I would define 2.0, is the emergence of focusing on the interaction of the user / viewer.
From Wikipedia: "It is characterized as facilitating communication, information sharing, interoperability, user-centered design, and collaboration on the Web."

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Job Search Tips

The following are tips forwarded by Ed Ferguson. He receives a newsletter, titled The CONDOR Report, from Connie Dorigan, the "Tech Talent Finder." Here is her company's web site:

Good recruiters know exactly what it takes to find and land a new position for one of their top candidates. Action is critical...the Right Actions are essential.
1. Include Accomplishments on Your Resume
Most resumes resemble a Job Description rather than describing what you personally brought to your employer. You need to list accomplishments and the impact they had on your company. (Especially valuable are things you did that saved your employer money or time.)
2. Send Your Resume to the Individual Who Would Be Your Boss, or one level above your Prospective Employer.
It is the job of the Human Resource Department to screen OUT resumes. You dramatically increase your chances of booking an interview if you get your resume directly to the person who would potentially be your boss.
3. Handwrite Your Envelopes
Add: Personal & Confidential Most administrative assistants open the email for their employers. If they see a resume, they will forward it to the Human Resource Department. They will NOT open anything marked Personal & Confidential. This assures your resume will get in the hands of the person you have targeted.
4. Put Momentum behind your Search
You have to get your credentials in front of decision makers on a daily basis. If you are not working, you need to dedicate 40 hours a week to your job search. If you are currently employed, but looking for a new opportunity, you should dedicate at least 10 hours a week to your search.
5. Prepare your Questions in Advance
The questions you ask can help you uncover the priorities of the person who is conducting the interview, as well as the primary challenges of this position. Once you determine those priorities, give them sound examples of how your qualification can help solve their greatest challenges. Probing questions can help you ace out your competition.
BONUS TIP: If you interviewed for a position and did not receive an offer, contact that employer every three months for the following year. Often the person they hired did not work out, or other positions become available and your level of interest will often result in them contacting you for an additional interview!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

FRIDAY'S AGENDA - social media / marketing with Spring Creek Group

Friday's agenda is confirmed. This Friday's meeting (10:30 at the SVC), will be a presentation on Social Media and Marketing. Andy Boyer, a principal of Spring Creek Group, will be on hand to talk about both, answer our questions, and preview two workshops that he and one of his colleagues will be teaching later this summer at the SVC.

To help facilitate the meeting and to prep Andy, please send any questions you may want covered to me by EOD Wednesday - and I'll put them together for him to take a look at prior to Friday. Thanks, and looking forward to a great session!

Sunday, July 19, 2009


I confirmed with Michael Gurliaccio that he's accepted (and already started) a job as a Writer at Sur La Table's headquarters here in Seattle. Congrats, Michael!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

NOTES from Meeting #24, July 10 @SVC

- Nicole Morry has landed at ad agency, TMP, as a Client Strategist. Congrats, Nicole.

WELCOME to two new members, who joined us last week:
- Vanessa Gallant, most recently the Marketing Manager with Callison (Seattle's largest architecture firm).
- Daniel Holland, most recently a Brand Planner at Publicis - and recent Silver Lion winner for his work on the Washington's Lottery work, "Birds." If you haven't seen it, do yourself a favor and watch it.

GREAT DISCUSSION on a variety of topics, including:
- How to stay 'top of mind' when working with recruiters and hiring managers, and waiting out the interview process. Is it better to be 1st in the door, last in? How to remind them how great you are.
- One thing that came up is using LinkedIn to connect with hiring managers that hired "another candidate." If there was a rapport, but just not the right fit, they could be an excellent source for other openings in the market. All of us agreed, though, that it's better to LinkIn after the process. Otherwise, it's awkward.
- We talked about cover letters, too. The consensus is that you should include, if you can - but don't spend a ton of time customizing and making perfect. Not having one could single you out, but with 100's of applications, they're not being read as much as you'd like to think.
- Discussed areas that seem to be continually hiring, one of which is Healthcare. Seattle is a hotbed for health and research companies. They tend not to be on some of the sites that are popular now, but rather with 'older' methods of looking for recruits: online newspapers, etc.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

OCA Stats

Some points of interest about One Connection Away, for those who like stats:
· 23 meetings since forming in January.
· 16 guest speakers, covering everything from SEO/SEM to LinkedIn to Staffing Agencies to Interviewing and resume tips.
· 49 people currently on the OCA active distro list.
· 9 people have landed full-time jobs.
(and that's not counting several people who are currently consulting, temping, or freelancing).
· 39 OCA Blog entries and counting.

We're back on tomorrow, the 10th, at 10:30. (networking, sharing stories, meeting others -- several folks have joined recently.)

Next week (7/17) -- Andy Boyer, from Spring Creek Group, will join us to talk Social Media / Marketing and to give a preview of 2 upcoming SVC workshops.

Friday, July 3, 2009


After 23 consecutive weeks, we're observing our 1st holiday, and will reconvene next week, July 10th.