02 / 27 / 2015
Tips for better meeting minutes
8 / 21 / 2014
A client once asked me to help them determine whether they were marketing “garlic toothpaste.” I’d never thought of it this way, but I can’t think of a better way to pose the question: Are you marketing a product people aren’t going to buy?
How would you answer this question? No matter the industry (consumer, non-profit, services, etc.), everyone is selling something.
If your answer is “no” or “I don’t know,” I’m going to recommend you divert some of your precious advertising or public relations budget to finding out.
You’re probably thinking, “Wait, the marketing agency guy is going to recommend I reduce my budget?”
That’s right, because it just might make my job easier if you’re dedicating those dollars to getting your product and brand experience (not your logo) right. Of course, you may have a healthy research budget or can borrow from someone else’s line and can leave your marketing budget untouched. Either way, it’s important to learn about your product through the consumer’s eyes, and your agency may be equipped to help.
If your product and its delivery mechanism (just as important) aren’t right, there’s a chance your marketing is exacerbating your challenges. Promoting a product that’s not right is not only counterproductive, it can be downright damaging to an entire brand. If people try your product and don’t like it, they likely won’t be back, no matter what you do. And, if they decide to share their experience with their friends, you’ll have an even higher hill to climb.
Don’t underestimate the power of word-of-mouth marketing. How many times per week do you see posts on your Facebook wall asking for some sort of a recommendation? What would people say about your product if asked? Better yet, would they actively promote you to their friends?
For example, I tried a new restaurant for lunch the other day and liked it. When I got back to the office, I felt inclined to tell some people about it. Translation: free marketing for them.
On the flip side, I was at a local festival and tried a beer from a new brewery in town. It was the only beer I’ve ever willingly dumped out. I won’t be back, and I’ll likely dissuade anyone I’m around from ordering one of their beers in the future. And while I’m not the ultimate beer judge, I wonder if the brewery thought it was putting its best foot forward.
So, how do you figure out whether you’re selling the right thing?
Start with listening to your customers, which will likely require investing in some research. You have to figure out what your customer really wants and how they want it delivered to them. Don’t just pay attention to what they’re saying. Examine their actions too. You know which one speaks louder. And, take a look at your organization’s Facebook page comments. You’ll find clues there too.
There’s a common tendency for organizations to have a “let’s get to work, and we’ll figure it out as we go” mentality. But if you don’t take time to learn about your customer, can you really be sure you’re not marketing “garlic toothpaste?”
Sometimes what your customers are telling you is tough to swallow, but if you really listen and are brave enough to make changes, you’ll be better for it. I’ve never navigated a customer study with a client where I didn’t feel we were set up for success once the product updates had been implemented.The views expressed by this employee blogger are not necessarily the views of Borshoff, Inc.
8 / 07 / 2014
Borshoff is proud to be the only Indianapolis-based agency to be named to this year’s Top Places to Work in PR list, by PR News. This is the third year in a row that Borshoff, a leading advertising and public relations agency, has been recognized with this national honor.
PR News selects companies annually for the ranking, based on applicants’ answers to questions about workplace culture, opportunities for advancement, mentoring programs, diversity and more. The list recognizes honorees for paving the way in the communications and PR industry through innovative solutions.
“We’re humbled that PR News recognizes the efforts Borshoff makes to create an encouraging and rewarding work environment,” said Susan Matthews, managing principal at Borshoff. “From our signature Bring Your Baby to Work program to our thought leadership initiative that empowers employees to express their individual voices, we strive to offer a workplace that motivates our professionals to produce excellent results for our clients.”
Borshoff promotes professional development, supporting employees’ memberships in professional affinity groups and funding industry training opportunities. The agency is also a generous supporter of community causes and gives employees opportunities to support such organizations as United Way of Central Indiana, Herron School of Art, the Ronald McDonald House, the Indiana Sports Corporation and more.
“Many of us across the globe look at Borshoff’s practices as the ‘Gold Standard’ to which we measure our progress in the domains of human capital acquisition, development and engagement,” said John Scheibel, CEO of Trefoil Group and global president of IPREX, an international network of communications firms. “They are generous in sharing their best practices with our partner agencies.”
Borshoff will learn of its ranking within the list of Top Places to Work in PR during a special awards luncheon at the Grand Hyatt in New York on September 16. For a complete list of this year’s PR News Top Places to Work in PR, visit http://www.prnewsonline.com/top-places-2014-luncheon#finalists.
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Borshoff is an Indianapolis-based advertising and public relations agency whose professionals deliver results through strategic, creative solutions. Founded in 1984, the agency’s 56 employees work with more than 70 clients in a variety of industries. Borshoff is a member of IPREX, an international partnership of independent firms.The views expressed by this employee blogger are not necessarily the views of Borshoff, Inc.
5 / 02 / 2014
Borshoff has been named one of the year’s “Best Places to Work in Indiana” by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce. Borshoff is among 100 companies statewide to be recognized with this honor.
Borshoff was one of 41 companies recognized at an awards dinner last night in the Small Companies category.
“We are thrilled to be a Best Place to Work in Indiana,” said Borshoff Managing Principal Susan Matthews. “Providing our clients with high-quality service is critical to our mission, and we are able to do that by attracting talented individuals to our team. We are committed to a vibrant work environment where every employee grows professionally and makes critical contributions every day.”
The Indiana Chamber of Commerce selects companies annually for this honor, and applicants must submit employer reports and comprehensive employee surveys focused on workplace culture, opportunities for advancement, communication, diversity and benefits. The Best Companies Group, which handles the selection process, oversees similar programs in 23 other states.
According to a release issued by the Indiana Chamber, “This year saw the most number of applicants ever for the program,” said Indiana Chamber President and CEO Kevin Brinegar. “We have a lot of great employers in Indiana that are providing a productive, employee-friendly work environment that also leads to success for the organization.”
Among features contributing to Borshoff’s standing as a Best Place to Work is the company’s “Bring Your Baby to Work” program, which allows a new parent to return to work, sharing office space with his or her child between the age of six weeks and six months. In addition, Borshoff promotes professional development, encouraging and paying for employees’ memberships in professional affinity groups and for industry training opportunities.
For a complete list of this year’s Best Places to Work in Indiana, visit http://www.indianachamber.com/index.php/media-center/press-releases/2992-2014-best-places-to-work-in-indiana-rankings-announced.
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Borshoff is an Indianapolis-based advertising and public relations agency whose professionals deliver results through strategic, creative solutions. Founded in 1984, the agency’s 54 employees work with more than 70 clients in a variety of industries. Borshoff is a partner in IPREX, an international partnership of independent communications firms.
The views expressed by this employee blogger are not necessarily the views of Borshoff, Inc.
3 / 03 / 2014
Boot Camp. Though the name sounds a little intimidating, our Diversity Internship Boot Camp was such a treat to the students and to us, as hosts. The Boot Camp was part of Borshoff’s diversity initiative, which helps our agency create and maintain a diverse workplace where we embrace each other’s differences including race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, lifestyle, age, disability, religion and culture. We believe everyone is important and brings value to the agency.
The purpose of Boot Camp was to teach students about internship opportunities at Borshoff, equip them with the knowledge they need to develop as standout interns, and grow our pool of qualified minority internship candidates. We had the privilege of hosting students – mostly freshmen and sophomores – from Butler University, Franklin College, Indiana University, IUPUI and UIndy. Thirteen students committed half of their Saturday to talk about public relations, communications and design. Several members of the Borshoff team shared advice on how to be standout interns, and the students responded with enthusiasm and insightful questions as we explored effective writing, resume and portfolio tips, social media pitfalls, career paths and other topics.
To help students get the most out of Boot Camp, we enlisted outside help as well. A few of the community’s brightest and most talented communicators – Gene Ford, IU Health; Danielle Neveles, Eli Lilly and Company; Jae Park, Interface; and Gene Rodriguez, WellPoint – shared their internship experiences, professional journeys and career advice. The students’ wide eyes, rapid-fire questions and “ah-ha” expressions were indicators that our panelists hit the mark! And when the panel discussion was over, the students lined up to keep the conversation going.
It was so inspiring to watch the students eagerly soak up information that could one day shape their futures. It made me feel great to play a small role in their journey. And I look forward to doing it again next year!The views expressed by this employee blogger are not necessarily the views of Borshoff, Inc.
2 / 10 / 2014
A colleague sent around this infographic of 35 Habits of Highly Productive People. As with most of these types of things, I found that I do some of these things very well (manage anxiety; if you don’t write it down, record it; treat time as money), and other things not so much (define your fashion uniform; routinize your diet; take naps).
Lists such as these are reassuring when you see many things you do regularly – and they give credence to what you do naturally. Other parts of the list are disheartening because you think, “I would never do that.” For me, the elements in the latter category are those that require doing the same thing day after day. In any given week, I wear a variety of clothing types, eat a variety of foods, and work on a variety of projects. It’s why I’ve loved my career in PR/Advertising, and the dress code is one of many reasons I could never be POTUS.
The infographic also reminds me that what’s highly productive in one field or walk of life is highly unproductive in another. For example, “Tune out the news, nothing important happens most of the time.” Um, I work in PR, interacting with the media every day, so this is like telling a chemist, “Stop using chemicals, they’re dangerous.”
Many of the items, however, are helpful in any industry: “Notice the 80/20 rule. Which 20 percent of work produces 80 percent of result?” Prioritization is critical to productivity. It doesn’t mean we can ignore the less productive work, but getting the big stuff done reaps more results, which is the ultimate goal of any job.
Speaking of 80/20, I would say I possess 80% of the habits shown on this infographic, and may be just fine with that.The views expressed by this employee blogger are not necessarily the views of Borshoff, Inc.
10 / 28 / 2013
I attended an outstanding Critical Issues Forum on “Content Frenzy” sponsored by the Council of PR Firms in NYC on October 24. About 300 professionals from large and small PR firms around the nation heard from a slew of experts on how to handle the current mania around strong digital content driving ideas and brands.
Here are a dozen quotes I picked up during the conference.
The views expressed by this employee blogger are not necessarily the views of Borshoff, Inc.
5 / 07 / 2012
Media training is one of the many services we offer at Borshoff. In these sessions, we teach valuable information to prepare people for giving rock-star interviews. We provide an in-depth look at today’s media landscape, the do’s and don’ts when caught in a crisis, and tools to ensure you come across calm and collected on camera, radio or in a print article.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind the next time you have the opportunity to conduct a media interview:
These will ensure you give a great interview and don’t leave thinking, “I wish I had remembered to…”The views expressed by this employee blogger are not necessarily the views of Borshoff, Inc.
3 / 01 / 2012
In college, I spent one semester as the social chair for my fraternity. My main responsibility was coordinating a homecoming mixer and planning the annual fall formal. Each was a disaster.
It didn’t really bother me because I thought those 12 weeks would be my first and only foray into event planning. At that point in my education I thought public relations was only about crisis communication and media relations. I was way off.The views expressed by this employee blogger are not necessarily the views of Borshoff, Inc.
10 / 03 / 2011
What better way to introduce one of our newest account coordinators, Tim Coxey, than by using one of his favorite pastimes: Twitter! Here’s a little bit about Tim, 140 characters at a time.
#Wisconsin born, Northern #IN raised, #Indy resident, #Eastcoast enthusiast. I absolutely love eating here every year: http://www.auntcarriesri.com/
Spent 4 yrs @uindy. Participated on @UIndyCPB #speechteam @UIndyTopDog @UIndyPRSSA and @UIndyMinute. BS in Communication, minor in Poli Sci.
My interest in govt communication led me to intern @Indianasos #FF to #teamoutreach @melanie_woods @burtonjeremy and of course @ToddRokitaThe views expressed by this employee blogger are not necessarily the views of Borshoff, Inc.
9 / 30 / 2011
By Jackie Koumpouras, account manager
Whether you work in public relations, advertising or marketing, it’s important to understand and keep up with current developments in the field. One of these ongoing evolutions is digital marketing. At Borshoff, we understand digital marketing is about meeting customers where they are most—the Internet. Whether on their smart phone at the grocery store, reading the news on their iPad, or viewing the latest sports replays online—let’s face it—our world has gone digital.
As more and more companies invest in digital marketing, it’s crucial to understand the lingo. Are you up-to-speed on the most common words and software? Check out our digital marketing terms glossary and tell me, what’s missing?The views expressed by this employee blogger are not necessarily the views of Borshoff, Inc.