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The Benefits of Serving on a Board of Directors

joining a board

Being on a board is a major commitment, but incredibly rewarding both personally and professionally. Working side by side with colleagues across many different disciplines is a great way to learn more about other companies as well as share your story. A board is a great place to meet new friends, new clients, learn new skills, and in general build strong, lasting relationships.

When deciding whether or not to join a board, take the time to do some research. Do an internet search in your area for organizations that fit your interests. For example, if you are a marketing professional (like us!), you will find the Society for Marketing Professional Services Tampa Bay (for which our senior project manager, Nikki Devereux, serves as Director of Communications), American Advertising Federation Tampa Bay, the American Marketing Association Tampa Bay, and more. If you are an artist, a builder, an educator, or just about anything, there are several associations throughout Pinellas and Hillsborough County, so do some research and see what you find for your industry.

When you’ve found a couple organizations, check out their event schedules and attend a few events. Prepare by looking through the list of presenters and find out if any of them are people you’d like to meet personally – then make a point to do so at the event. At the event, see if you like the content of the program, mingle with other attendees, and perhaps introduce yourself to a board member or two. This exercise is not just a good way to do some research on the organization and its programs, but a good way to practice networking and hopefully meet some good people.

After you’ve decided on an organization that matches your career and interests, become a member and start attending events on a regular basis. Get to know the board members and find out if you can sit in on the board meetings to see how they operate. Take a board member out to lunch to build a relationship with them and to learn more about the board. Eventually, a position will open up, and since you’ve been proactive and are already attending board meetings, you may be a favored candidate.

networking

Society for Marketing Professional Services board members.

Once you’re on the board, it starts getting interesting. You may have signed up for a position that you’ve never had in your career before, so you’ll be learning on the job. You will be working closely with the rest of the board members, and planning events and monthly board meetings can be fun. It gets even more interesting when you start forming committees to take on special projects. For example, last year the Society for Marketing Professional Services Tampa Bay worked on an image campaign to rebrand the Tampa Bay Chapter into something more unique and thematic. The campaign brought a lot of the members closer as they were working in smaller groups and often meeting a couple times a month to work on the project. It was a super creative project, so it was a lot of fun for all involved and the results were amazing. Everyone on the board was proud of the final campaign.

In addition to learning a new position, you will find yourself spending a lot more time with these new people at meetings and events, and thus you become something of a family. You work together, you play together, you learn together. It’s a great way to build those long lasting business relationships and sometimes even friendships! Either way, it’s good for business as your fellow board members will learn to trust you as they work alongside you, and if they need your company’s products or services, they will more than likely turn to you. It’s a win-win situation.

Building a Reputation Through Volunteering

building-a-reputation

“Oh! I know Ginger!” My team often hears that phrase while talking with people at events around Tampa Bay. When the topic of work comes up and they mention Pinstripe Marketing, they frequently get that response. Years ago, after hearing dozens of those exclamations, our former creative director joked, “Geez, we should have buttons!” A project manager agreed and they decided to arm themselves with a response of their own at the next event. It caught on. Although silly, people would actually wear the buttons, causing others to say “I know Ginger; where’s my button?” or “Who is Ginger? I want a button.”

building reputation through volunteering

I am what many would consider “a habitual joiner.” Perhaps suffering from a severe case of FOMO, I wanted to be involved in everything – professional associations, business organizations, non-profit boards – wherever I could surround myself with people (typical ENFP) and give back to my industry and community. By being involved and serving on boards, I had the opportunity to illustrate my work ethic, organization, communication and marketing skills, and (hopefully) that I was friendly and easy to work with.

Through the relationships I’ve built volunteering, I have met some of my very best friends, business colleagues, and, most importantly for my business, clients. In fact, I can directly trace a significant portion of the agency’s annual revenue to connections made from my volunteer work.

Just recently, we landed a new client in a fast-growing segment of the GPS technology industry. When I asked the vice president of operations how they initially heard about us, he said, “I sent a query out to my circle of trusted associates and your name came back twice.” Similarly, when meeting with a local law firm that week, I asked the same question. The marketing director said, “I asked a group of legal administrators and you were recommended seven times!”

While most professional services firms attribute more than 70% of their business to referrals, I know our involvement in the community is responsible for even more. How do I know? Because we have rarely proactively pursued a client.

However, now is the time to leverage that reputation and implement a business development campaign to strategically target new clients. We’re looking forward to growing the business and building relationships with new clients who will ultimately make new referrals.

I understand that we’re all busy, and over the last several years, I have become more selective about where I spend my time. It’s important to identify what organizations will provide what you’re seeking – more knowledge, more connections, or more passion for a cause. Getting involved and serving in trade associations or volunteer organizations is an excellent way to build a network, particularly for introverts who may cringe at the thought of attending a big networking event or non-profit fundraiser. The idea of “working a room” is unappealing to most, but getting to know a small group of like-minded individuals working toward a common mission creates bonds that last.

I wrote this article because we have been planning for 2017 and analyzing many aspects of our business. This year especially, my involvement in the community has really paid off. So whether you are making resolutions or just looking to approach business development from a different perspective, hopefully this is a good reminder. We always recommend to our clients to stay heavily involved in trade associations and the community – for many reasons. Best of luck capturing more of an audience for your business in the new year!

Oh, and let me know if you want a button. 🙂

 

Below are some resources for getting involved and building your own reputation.

Find a Trade Association

Networking for Introverts

Fundamentals of Serving on a Board

 

Et Cultura Announces Art, Music & Film Festival Participants

et-cultura-array-art-music-festivalEt Cultura, a brand new four day art, music, film and interactive festival, plans to announce some of the music headliners, film presenters, pop up art show presenters, featured makers, and interactive sessions at Station House St. Pete in downtown St. Petersburg, FL on Friday, September 16, 2016 from 7:15pm to 10pm.

“We are excited for Et Cultura and want to share that excitement with the community. Events like “Array” allow us all to celebrate together – the artists, the attendees, the volunteers who are working on the event. It’s all about community and sharing,” says Joel Malizia, co-founder of Et Cultura.

For more information, visit the “Array” Facebook event page at https://www.facebook.com/events/1759044234338323/

About Et Cultura

Et Cultura is a festival of creative culture, bringing film, music, art, makers and innovators together for five days of cultural activities in the heart of St. Petersburg, FL. For more information on the festival and how to attend or participate, visit www.etcultura.com.

Join us for a legal marketing presentation and social

Tampa Bay legal marketing
The Legal Marketing Association Tampa Bay City Group Presents: Get in the Game: The Gamification of Business Development with Jill Huse & Heather McCullough of Society 54 followed by Happy Hour Sponsored by Pinstripe Marketing

We’ve all heard that many of the skills needed to develop business are counter to how attorneys are wired. But we do know that attorneys are competitive by nature so that begs the question, can the skills and habits needed to develop business be taught and instilled through playing a game? Businesses of all sizes have been using gamification, defined as “game design elements in non-game contexts,” for many years with great results. Gamification of business development is simply another internal tool that can be used to help build engagement in the process and confidence in an individuals’ ability to build a base of clients.

An effective internal “game” includes:

  • outlining what outcomes the firm hopes to achieve
  • identifying which behaviors will be changed
  • defining how progress will be measured
  • clearly describing success in the program and how it will be rewarded

This hands-on, interactive session incorporates case studies, training and roundtable brainstorming on how to create and implement a successful business development game within a firm. It is not a one-size fits all approach so the practical ideas and tips that are presented will allow attendees the opportunity to create a program that will drive real results within their own firm.

SPEAKERS

Jill Huse Jill Huse, Partner, Society 54

Society 54 Co-Founder Jill Huse is renowned as a trusted professional services advisor. Jill, a certified business coach, is highly regarded for her progressive ingenuity, research-based strategy and, most importantly, her ability to deliver results for clients.

Jill has worked in legal marketing for more than fifteen years, after starting her career in accounting marketing. Clients have said that Jill has an innate ability to identify, encourage and develop their unique and differentiating professional strengths, and to help them to leverage these strengths to meet and exceed bottom line goals.

As the director of marketing and business development at one of the most reputable AmLaw firms in the southeast, Jill structured and led her team in developing, implementing and managing award-winning communication, business development and marketing initiatives. Further, Jill is a tenured member and past president of the Southeastern Chapter of the Legal Marketing Association (LMA), which, as the second largest LMA chapter, serves more than 450 members across nine states.

Heather McCulloughHeather McCullough, Partner, Society 54

Society 54 Co-Founder Heather McCullough is two parts wit and one part tenacity, with heaping doses of creativity and intellect on the side.

Heather represents the power of hard work, strategy and collaboration. For more than 14 years, she has brought game-changing results to professional services firms across the Southeast. As the director of business and practice development at one of the most well-respected law firms in the Carolinas, Heather oversaw all aspects of firm branding and business development, including communications, client relations, events and business development – – all while keeping a keen eye on budgets and ROI.

 

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

4pm – 6pm

Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney

401 E. Jackson St.

Tampa, FL 33602

Map

REGISTER NOW

Plan to stay after the presentation to join your fellow LMA members along with Jill and Heather for a Happy Hour sponsored by Pinstripe Marketing.

pinstripe-marketing

 

Special thanks to Buchanan, Ingersoll & Rooney for hosting our May program.

buchananFounded in 1850, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney is a full-service law firm with approximately 500 lawyers and government relations professionals who serve the legal and business needs of regional, national and international clients. Our offices are located in 18 cities in Pennsylvania, Florida, Washington, D.C., Virginia, New Jersey, Delaware, New York, North Carolina, Colorado and California.

Ginger’s interview with the American Advertising Federation – Tampa Bay

Ginger Reichl interview with the American Advertising Federation - Tampa Bay
Ginger Reichl has been a member of the American Advertising Federation for more than 23 years – from the Ad Club and National Student Advertising Competition at Florida State to president of Ad 2 Tampa Bay and a variety of chair positions with the 4th District and local AAF chapter.

In this interview with AAF Tampa Bay, she provides insight into Pinstripe’s humble beginnings, our favorite project, the best of what St. Petersburg has to offer, and a bit of advice to professionals joining the industry.

See the full interview on the American Advertising Federation – Tampa Bay web site.

If you’re interested in learning more about the organization and becoming a member, we’d love to have you!

 

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