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Ginger Reichl Appointed National Student Advertising Competition Chair for the 4th District American Advertising Federation

Pinstripe Marketing is pleased to announce that its president, Ginger Reichl, has been appointed 2019-20 Chairperson of the National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC) for the Fourth District American Advertising Federation.

Each year, a sponsor provides more than 2,000 college students with a real-world case study and an outline overviewing its product and their current advertising plan. Students must learn about their product and research the brand’s competition in order to develop a new campaign plan for the company. The college chapter members then develop a comprehensive plans book and an accompanying 20-minute presentation. This new campaign strategy is then “pitched” by each team to a line of judges. The judging panel is comprised of professionals from the communications industry. Students from AAF college chapters from Florida and the Caribbean will compete in April 2020 and the winner will go on to compete in a semi-final round where the top eight compete at ADMERICA, the AAF national conference in June.

Ginger was a member of Florida State University’s NSAC team during her senior year in 1993 and says it was one of the best experiences of her college career. She later served as Fourth District NSAC Chair for several years prior to taking a hiatus from board service.

“I have a big soft spot for advertising education and the NSAC,” said Reichl. “Working with the AAF, district leadership, and the team advisors is always rewarding, but seeing the student’s work always leaves me energized and inspired. These are the best of the best in the next generation of advertising professionals.”

The 2018 NSAC sponsor is Adobe.

Volunteering Builds New Skills

volunteering and leadership_news

For many years, Pinstripe has been committed to causes that are close to our hearts. Our own personal and professional growth can be tied directly to the many organizations that provide valuable services for our community. And, because of this, we have gained so much.

Leadership

Each opportunity with a nonprofit organization places us in a new environment. These organizations are short on resources, so you have to really know how to get the most from people you know, especially within your business network. Getting others involved in a nonprofit shows leadership and drive.

It’s through volunteering that you may get the opportunity to lead others, especially when there are limited opportunities in the office. Volunteering has taught us new leadership skills, such as:

  • Maximizing a limited amount of resources
  • Application of expertise in new ways
  • Using innovative ways to reach people
  • Leading a group of individuals with one common goal

More importantly, the relationships you build while volunteering can last a lifetime. These relationships will expand your personal and professional network, helping you to realize your goals.

Soft Skills

For recent graduates, soft skills have become more prized than technical knowledge. Business owners can teach them how to perform their job, but not how to interact well with others. If you have these skills, then practicing them is just as important as developing them. Volunteering is a good way to both learn and continue to practice soft skills.

What are soft skills? They include the following:

  • Communication skills
  • Time management
  • Problem-solving
  • Creativity
  • Being a good team player
  • Empathy and compassion

Developing these soft skills can have a big impact on your career. For millennials, this type of experience can boost credibility and give them the edge in a tight marketplace. Over time, volunteering teaches how perseverance and tenacity can overcome roadblocks and changes in the economic landscape.

Personal and Professional Growth

With all of the changes in technology and the way we do business, we need to be able to react swiftly and with confidence. We can vouch for the fact that volunteering helps us face new challenges without fear. Volunteering is as much about personal growth as it is about helping others. It allows us to engage with people in our community, listen to them and try to help. This gives us a deeper understanding of what the community needs and also experience in addressing those needs. Volunteering may start small, but who knows, over time this can change to even bigger roles. That’s up to you and how far you want to take it.

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.