Monday, December 21, 2009

Notes from 12/18 OCA Meeting

Welcome to new member Carl Larson. Carl, a recent graduate from UW, last worked as a Marketing Assistant with NW Territorial Mint when, unfortunately, the company relocated to Nevada.

John Gaines, from Microsoft, was our guest speaker and covered the topic of "Going Digital."

- We first discussed "Digital Natives / Digital Immigrants," the difference between the two, and why we should be aware of each as we seek jobs in the digital realm. The term Digital Natives refers to students, K through college, who represent the first generations to be surrounded by and using the tools of the digital age: computers, video games, cell phones, digital music players, etc.

According Marc Prensky, who coined the phrase, they "think and process information fundamentally different from their predecessors." On the flip side (and that phrase, which all too well is a great example of the difference) is the group he calls Digital Immigrants. "Today's older folk were 'socialized' differently from their kids, and are now in the process of learning a new language." We're adapting to their environment and learning to teach, work, and communicate in new ways.

[Author's Note: I'm currently living this difference, with a 3-year-old who, this summer, asked why I couldn't play The Killers' "Human" video on my phone. (My kids don't listen to Elmo or The Wiggles. Give 'em Johnny Cash, The Beatles, Bruce Springsteen, and yes, The Killers) "Because mommy has the iPhone, Tommy." And why I also have a 5-year-old home on holiday break who's not being subjected to game shows and soap operas, but rather can watch any number of PBS 'educational' cartoons recorded on the DVR. Because of examples like these, I'd also add "... a life of, and need for, instant gratification" to Prensky's dissertations.]

John shared links to two articles by Prensky, which while written in 2001 (with no reference to the advent of Google, Facebook or Twitter), provide a basis for understanding the digital chasm between these generations.
Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants
Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants - Part 2

- John and the group also discussed the importance of having an online presence: a blog, a web site / digital portfolio... something that literally demonstrates to hiring managers that you have the chops to put one together. John suggested as a great resource for putting together a personal web site.

- We also talked about our ability to build digital street cred with the relative ease of which we can now shoot, edit, and post videos. John did it. Landed a job with Microsoft. Are they directly related? No way to tell, but it helped. I brought up another example, where former OCA member, Arik Abel, did the same thing with an experiment he called "The Unemployed Gourmet." Now Arik is employed full-time at the user-generated advertising company, Zooppa.

- Lastly, John talked about the need to understand the real difference between Traditional and Social marketing. Traditional marketing creates a one-to-many relationship with the consumer, whereas social marketing involves the consumer in a many-to-many relationship. Companies (and job seekers) looking to leverage social media and marketing need to realize that it should be viewed as a communications strategy and not just a tactic.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Art and Science of Origami

This week I came home from an Ad Club holiday social, sat down to eat dinner at 9:15, and turned on the television. Expecting to see the latest SportsCenter, I found that someone had left the TV on the PBS channel. Before I could flip over to ESPN, I found myself riveted to a documentary about paper folding. Origami.

The 55-min film, titled "Between the Folds" tells the story of mathematicians, physicists, and artists and how they "reinterpret the world through paper."

Below is a trailer for the film. To watch it in its entirety on, click on "Between the Folds."

Inspiration of the Holiday Type

I've seen this spot several times and find it funny every time. Great casting, simple writing. And the campaign drives home the client's message of where to save during the holidays.

While somewhat short-lived, I also really liked Target's campaign for their 2-day sale with Maria Bamford.

Notes from 12/11 OCA Meeting, Job News!

One new member joined us last week at our Friday OCA meeting. Please welcome:
- Terry Moos, marketing copywriter, who was with Attachmate for more than 13 years. Terry has recently contracted as a marketing manager at Vertafore.

Job News!
- Alison Worthington has landed at Microsoft as Marketing Director for Bing. Alison has a ton of big brand management experience (Starbucks, Coke), and had been consulting recently before getting in the door with the "large software company located on the East Side."
- Daniel Holland inked a 60-day contract with the Spring Creek Group, working on Bing.

If you can't tell, the Bing group at MSFT is generating work in the Seattle area, both within the company and through its vendors. More evidence that 'going digital' and getting up to speed on "Search" is a viable career direction.

Healthy discussion at our last meeting about contracting, and how it can impact your status with the unemployment office. We had two different takes, depending on circumstances and who you may have talked to at Worksource.
- If you have a finite contract (say 3 months) and a definitive end date, you can pick up where you left off with unemployment when your contract ends.
- If, however, it's a situation where you may be on a 'trial basis' through a short-term contract, and the trial doesn't work out (for whatever reason), the unemployment office will then open an investigation to determine your status.

The latter is obviously a more precarious spot to be in, though it may be required by the hiring company. They're taking their time to further check you out, not necessarily wanting to commit to full-time employment, nor benefits, until they feel it's a great fit. This has been more prevalent lately, given the economy. On the flip side, you may be balancing a need to replenish finances and getting back into a work environment with "What happens if this isn't the right fit in the end?" or even "I know this isn't a fit or where I want to land full-time, but a bird in the hand...". Then what?

OCA will be on a 2-week hiatus during the holidays and will resume meetings January 8th.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Notes from 12/4 OCA Meeting, Job News!

3 new members joined us last week at our Friday OCA meeting. Please welcome:
- Beth Pascarella, most recently with Majestic America Line, has just finished several web related courses and has both marketing and agency-side experience.
- Will Powers, former VP of Marketing at Restaurants Unlimited, brings a wealth of strategic marketing and branding experience.
- Dana Pruiett was a marketing communications manager with with Fluke Corporation for more than 8 years. Prior to that, she held media and account management roles at local ad agencies.

Taking classes are a great way to use downtime to upgrade your skill set or to simply reinvent yourself.
We had a healthy discussion on local courses and workshops that can help add to your current skill set, specifically in the digital realm.
- Beth recommended Seattle Central Community College as a spot that offers classes that are affordable and up-to-date. They also have a Worker Retraining Program.
- The SVC, which lends a hand to OCA by donating meeting space, has just announced its winter sessions.

Job News!
- Jerome Thiebaud just landed a job as VP of Marketing for K2 (software). He's also asked to stay connected with OCA and has been a great asset to the group over the past several months. Congrats, Jerome!

Upcoming guest speakers and events.
12/18 - John Gaines, former colleague at Publicis who has made the 'digital transition' from traditional copywriter and is now contracting at Microsoft, will be talking about "Going Digital."

1/15/10 - Kristin Flor, VP of Business Services at the ad agency Radarworks, has also offered to come talk to us. Topic details to come.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Networking Events, Week of 12/7

Hi Everyone! There didn't seem to be many events just before and after Thankgiving, but this week we have two Networking events.

PSAMA Executive Luncheon
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Pre-lunch networking 11:30-12:00
Lunch and Presentation 12:00-1:30

Washington Athletic Club, Seattle
Measuring the Bang in Your Buck: How to Analyze and Optimize Marketing ROI, Featuring James Lenskold
PSAMA Members and Students: $38
Non-Members: $50

Online registration closes at 11am the day prior to the event. An additional $5.00 will be charged after that time for phone registrations (call 206-623-8632) or registrations at the door.
Follow this link to register for the event online:

For you early birds, or those that live in the south end:

Thursday, December 10th PRSA Presents "all a-twitter: how social media change news gathering"

Twitter feeds on newspaper Web sites. Facebook pleas for sources and story ideas. Online comments printed next to letters to the editor. The media lines have blurred.
Sharpen your focus with a panel of media/social media gurus to hear how they use social media to connect and engage with audiences. Reporters and PR professionals will cover current insights, best practices and what’s next in this hot field.

The South Sound Group meets at 8 a.m.—doors open early for networking—in the first floor board room at Metro Parks Tacoma headquarters, 4702 S. 19th St. Cost is $5 for PRSA members, $8 for nonmembers. Please sign in at the door. Refreshments are included, no reservations necessary. Directions: From I-5 north or south, take SR-16 toward Gig Harbor. Take the 19th Street East exit toward Cheney Stadium, turn right on 19th, then right into the Metro Parks Tacoma parking lot. Note: please leave the customer-designated parking open for Metro Parks. If you require special accommodations for a disability, please contact Sheree Trefry at 253.305.1059 or at least 48 hours in advance of the meeting.
If you'd like more information about the benefits of PRSA membership and how to apply, please check out our Web site at If you have additional questions, please contact our South Sound co-chairs:
- Jennifer Aalgaard, MultiCare Health System, 253.697.2029,
- Karrie Spitzer, APR, City of Tacoma, 253.591.5790,

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Twitter Advice and More from Michelle Goodman

Ran across this 11/29 article in the NW Jobs section of the Seattle Times.

"Twitter Patter: Tips on building your profile and tweeting your way into a job," by Michelle Goodman, provides practical tips and great advice for another way to network with potential employers:
- Start following your favorite employers and recruiters on Twitter.
- Build rapport and community by tweeting (and re-tweeting) relevant items, such as "ideas, questions, inspiring quotations, and links to articles and resources..."
- Don't mix business with your everyday life. Nobody at the company you'd like to work for needs to know what you made for dinner last night.

Michelle also has a book out that was brought to my attention:
My So-Called Freelance Life: How To Survive and Thrive as a Creative Professional for Hire.
... and she has a blog on, called Nine to Thrive, which offers "fresh tips and trends for attaining that crazy little thing called work/life balance."