Intern Spotlight: Emma Miller

Intern Spotlight: Emma Miller

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Name: Emma Miller
School: Indiana University, Fairbanks School of Public Health
Major: MS in Biostatistics, MPH in Epidemiology
Internship title: Communications Management Assistant
Hobbies: Hanging out with friends, traveling, watching mindless television shows and playing soccer

Duties at Hirons:

  • Facilitate communications for public relations and advertising initiatives to ensure timely response to clients, task coverage, data management, quality control, and intra-company cooperation
  • Draft scopes of work, project timelines, meeting agendas, communications plans, press releases, messaging, and collateral copy for client accounts
  • Track media coverage and follow up with media contacts to ensure placement of client pieces
  • Worked as a member of the branding team for Purdue University’s Krannert School of Management to develop a presentation, talking points, social media strategy, and messaging for the new STEM focus

Favorite part about interning at Hirons:

A small company like Hirons facilitates teamwork and nurtures friendships among co-workers. I have had the pleasure of working with a number of talented individuals, all of whom bring a unique perspective to Hirons and the creative process. This has enabled me to see how the same task can be approached from a variety of different ways. The people here seem to really care about identifying your talents and integrating them into the work that you do. At the end of the day, we support each other at work and in our personal lives. You never feel alone here!

Also, we are a dog friendly office (and this girl loves dogs). There are usually two to three dogs roaming the office at any given time, which really helps the office mood during high-stress times of trying to get a project out the door. Our furry friends remind us to take a break every now and again.

What have you learned during your time at Hirons? How does this opportunity relate to your career goals?

The skills I have cultivated at Hirons are highly transferable to the public health field. Being able to effectively convey your thoughts through written and verbal communication means that you will be successful in the business world regardless of your role. Most importantly, I have learned that you should treat yourself as your number one client to ensure that your actions are conducive to your end goals.

Most difficult aspect of the job:

Omitting the Oxford comma.

A Diverse City

By Matthew Neylon, Associate Copywriter

My great-grandfather was a tannery union organizer back in the early twentieth century here in Indianapolis.

Unfortunately, if you told someone who wasn’t from Indianapolis that leathering and tanneries were still a thriving business in this city, they would probably believe you.

To those outside of Indianapolis and Indiana at large, they don’t fully understand that our city is reinventing itself.

Let’s take a look at Indianapolis’ changing landscape.

Craft breweries are booming in this town – our consumer has an evolving change in taste, and that’s what’s causing a 50% increase in these breweries in the last year.

Indianapolis has always been a top sports city, but we also boast about being a top city for emerging industries in the life sciences, information technology, advanced manufacturing, logistics, motor-sports and clean technology.

So Indy has some pretty forward-thinking and savvy industries coming onto the scene. But what about the more creative industries? How’s our beloved advertising industry faring?

Looking at the big picture, advertising agencies have floated in a pretty stable industry. Economically speaking, advertising remains stagnant relative to the rest of the economy’s growth. The landscape hasn’t changed much for ad agencies, especially concerning diversity.

Eight years ago last week, the New York City Commission on Human Rights held hearings on how the advertising industry hires, retains and promotes minority employees.

I’m not going to get into the politics of the hearings, the outcomes or the status of the retention of minority employees (because honestly, if you need to turn in report cards to the government on how you’re hiring a brown person, there’s something systemically wrong). Instead, I’m going to comment on why diversity is important and why it’s exciting to be working in advertising in Indianapolis at a time like this.

White males have traditionally dominated the advertising workplace. It’s the old boys’ club. We usually liken it to Mad Men.

Let’s look at the numbers:

In 2013, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that of the 51,000 advertising and promotions managers in the US, 93.3% were white employees, 0.1% were black, 3.5% were Asian, 16.1% were Hispanic or Latino and 67.8% were women.

Of the 907,000 marketing and sales managers, 88.5% were white, 5% were black, 4.7% were Asian, 6.6% were Hispanic or Latino and 43.1% were women.

There’s not a lot of racial diversity going on here. But what is diversity beyond race and gender?

To me diversity is an inclusion and collaboration of different minds and walks of life.

Now what’s a minority? I believe this definition is malleable and subjective. When we see a lack of this so-called diversity, we can then easily identify a minority as the person that is missing from the picture. And when the so-called minority is in the picture, they’re the response for “which does not belong?”

In Indianapolis, if you look at me, I would be considered a minority. Don’t call me a professional on the matter; just consider me more cognizant than my Indy peers.

But why is diversity important?

Evolution is not possible without a little moving and shaking, a little change. We only see forward progress when someone asks “why?”

When someone asks the right questions, it leads to more creative ideas, perspectives, insights and experiences. In advertising, we are the creators of thought. We are the change agents. But we can only influence change when we’re familiar with it.

Plus, doing the same thing gets old. If I only had the option of eating vanilla ice cream, I’d get bored. I would want some variety to maintain my sanity. Albert Einstein famously said that insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

Regardless of the numbers, we need more diversity in advertising. After all, if we’re trying to speak to and influence the public, we should represent and know to whom we’re talking. That’s just common sense.

Our demographic makeup in this city isn’t the same as when my great-grandfather was organizing unions in the early 1900s. Yet for some reason, the advertising industry still looks as if it hasn’t changed since then.

Despite the lack of what I’ve been commenting, I’m just excited to be working in the job I love. I wouldn’t want to be working in any other industry right now. And although it isn’t reinventing itself as much the rest of the city, I’m glad to be at the forefront of the change. The only direction to move from here is forward. I’m also glad I work at an agency that embraces diversity.

I can’t wait for the day when we view diversity in advertising as an antiquated topic, like how my grandmother tells me stories of my great-grandfather tanning leather with immigrant workers. Imagine the day when we can say, “Back in my day, diversity was this new-fangled notion sweeping the industry.”

A Way with Words

By Madeline Morgan, Senior Editor/Writer

First, a caveat:

I’m a bit of a throwback. I cook dinner just about every night, bought my first smartphone earlier this year and have no clue when women stopped wearing pantyhose.

But as lead editor here at Hirons, I see a lot. And one thing I see is a bright future for good writers.

Granted, I want to see a bright future, not only for me but also for my youngest son, who is majoring in journalism at IU. Nevertheless, I see in him and in several of the young people I work with an appreciation for this very old form of expression —  the drive to find the right word, to say what you mean,  to say it in a way that is not only true but fresh.

It’s a love of language, and it is as much an art form as painting and music. Writers, like other artists, want to explore the unexplored, to show their audiences a new way of looking at the world. And, despite what you may hear, it is not a lost art.

Naysayers point to the dwindling ranks of newspapers and magazines as evidence that writing isn’t prized anymore. And they charge that email and texting are making nouns, verbs and entire sentences obsolete.

Well, businesses, governments and social institutions expect you to use all of those fine words and more when it comes to pleading their cases and telling their stories. They want words that are descriptive, persuasive and riveting. They want punctuation that is correct, unobtrusive and helpful.

So writers: Take heart. If your goal is to work for a newspaper, you might need to be open to other media. But most companies and nonprofits employ writers in communications, marketing and development departments, and ad agencies employ them to fulfill the communications needs of their clients. The subject matter may not be of your choosing, but the process is the same: innovation, clarity and precision in language.

I’ve written all my life, and I believe some of my best stuff – the most fun stuff – has been on subjects not of my choosing – the Baby Boom generation, parade floats, septic systems. But therein lies the challenge: How can I make this interesting to the reader, and to myself? How can I make the words sing?

It never gets old.

Blue, White and Dog Collars

By Matthew Neylon, Associate Copywriter

Bring Your Best Friend To Work Day would never fly. First you’re posed with the decision of assigning your best friend and possibly burning a few bridges along the way. Then you have to decide who’s the friend and who’s bringing the friend to work. Then once you get to work, you probably wouldn’t get much work done. Depending on the person, you would get distracted, probably crack some NSFW (not safe for work) jokes and even entertain the idea of skipping work early so the two of you can hit the town.

That’s why there isn’t such a thing as Bring Your Best Friend To Work Day. Unless, your best friend happens to be man’s best friend.

Take Your Dog To Work Day happened this year on June 20th. Offices all over the world opened their doors to our furry friends. Before, workspaces only saw the likes of blue collars and white collars. Now offices are seeing more dog collars.

Companies that allow dogs in their offices year-round include Google, Amazon, Etsy, Ben & Jerry’s and Salesforce. Add Hirons to that happy list.

Now let’s take a look at companies that don’t allow dogs in their offices: Dunder Mifflin (The Office), Initech (Office Space) and Springfield Nuclear Power Plant (The Simpsons). Michael Scott, Bill Lumbergh and Mr. Burns would notice the difference in happiness and productivity levels if they allowed dogs alongside their miserable employees.

Studies show that employees who bring their dogs to work report higher levels of work satisfaction and lower levels of stress. However, the facts aren’t just a comparison between TV and real-life companies.

Research from Virginia Commonwealth University shows that simply having a dog nearby can lower a person’s blood pressure and heart rate. That’s a byproduct of that calming, happy feeling you get from oxytocin. Oxytocin—the “trust hormone”—is the same hormone released when mother’s breastfeed. It’s the hormone that allows us to love, trust and form relationships.

So in a way, dogs allow us to simply be human. That’s a good thing too, since research gathered from common sense shows that humans generally make good employees.

As I write this, one of our associate art directors, Luke, just brought his dog into the office. One year-old Rosie, a German Shepherd-Hound mix, has a lot to learn from Hank, our veteran Golden Retriever. Like how to take long naps and comfort the creatives when they get a little stressed.

As the two pups play together, you can just feel the tangible happiness in the air. Dogs just make everything better.

Those who own dogs appreciate knowing that they help us stay cool and collected. They remind us not to take things too seriously. They remind us that everything, in fact, will be OK.

Even those who don’t own dogs can appreciate the benefits of dogs in the office. In addition to lowering our stress levels and raising work satisfaction, dogs provide what some office resources sometimes just can’t. Dogs provide unconditional love and social support. They provide affection and contact that would otherwise go unseen in office spaces.

Dogs also hold us accountable. They make us take breaks every now and then; whether its stretching our legs and relieving some stress, or stretching our legs and relieving their bladder.

Dogs are good for the office. They remind us to care, something that is usually forgotten between the hours of 9am to 5pm.

And so, until we can find a way to make Bring Your Best Friend To Work Day happen, man’s best friend will be top dog in the office friend category.

Ad Agency Success: What Being Creative Really Means

By Jim Parham, Chief Operating Officer

At Hirons, a successful Midwestern advertising and public relations shop, we have a department officially designated as the Creative Department. This has been a standard practice in the ad biz long before “Mad Men” made us famous, or infamous.

I contend that just about everyone in the communications business, whether media buying types, public relations teams or advertising experts, are, by their very nature, creative.

Carolyn Gregoire, a features editor at the Huffington Post, recently wrote an article on what makes people, well, creative. In her article, 18 Things Highly Creative People Do Differently (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/04/creativity-habits_n_4859769.html), she suggests that creative people fail up. Meaning, of course, they are not fearful of failing and are not detoured by roadblocks.

Here’s an excerpt from her article:

“Doing creative work is often described as a process of failing repeatedly until you find something that sticks, and creatives — at least the successful ones — learn not to take failure so personally.”

She cites Forbes contributor Steven Kotler, writing about Albert Einstein: “Creatives fail and the really good ones fail often.”

While for most businesses, failure is not an option, creative people in the communications business spend a lot of time thinking, rethinking, then testing and redoing a lot of work. Why?  Re-examination and retooling make a better final product.  And, creative communications people are not at all adverse to critical input and smart suggestions to make the work better. Just ask any reporter about how important an editor was to the final product.

While exceptional creative work may not take a village, it requires at least several pairs of eyes to think about the work as the client and final recipient will view it.  Hence, many agencies test the creative work (display ads, television spots or key messaging) on targeted publics before it goes final.

We’ve all heard the statements about right brain versus left brain and who is truly a creative type. Overall, while brain science is important and cannot be discounted, almost anyone can be successful developing a creative solution to a pressing problem. Just ask Rube Goldberg, a Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist, inventor, engineer and sculptor.

Dropping Knowledge: 5 Steps for Transforming Your Boring Workspace

By Luke Woody, Associate Art Director 

I am now three weeks into my internship here at Hirons, and it’s safe to say this place is the bees’ knees. (You know, if bees had knees.) And since I am new, this is my first blog for Hirons. Most novice bloggers would write about how they feel at their internship or tell some story about something somewhat interesting, but not this guy. I’m going to provide you with a step-by-step break down of how to get comfortable at your desk.

I live in the creative department here, so I like to make my workstation feel more like a break room when I need to take a mental break. It probably ramps up productivity to take a break at your desk, but I’m no scientist. However, I do feel like I have mastered the science of being comfortable. So listen up!

Step 1: Evaluate your surroundings. Look at other co-workers’ desks to see how they decorate their areas. Sometimes they have some pretty cool stuff, but nobody wants to be a copycat, except for a copycat I guess. Also, be sure to look at your own desk and get an idea of how much room you have to work with. Obviously.

Step 2: Make a list of awesome things you enjoy. Here’s my list:

  • Toy monster truck (for paperweight purposes)
  • (Knock-off) Nerf guns
  • Mustache coffee mug
  • Small foam basketball with hoop
  • Juice boxes (because I’m still a 5-year-old)
  • Remote-control helicopter

Step 3: Bring all that cool stuff to work. Make sure the “feng shui” is just right. Also, be sure not to do this during billable hours. There are people that get paid to do that, like movers and interior designers, but not interns who live in the creative department.

Step 4: Personalization is key. I wrote general notes on the darts of the (knock-off) Nerf guns like, “Look @ me” “Question?” and “Message 4 U.” When you personalize your stuff, it not only lets people know that it’s yours, but it lets them know what you’re about. For example, my coffee mug has a mustache on it. That means I like mustaches, right? Correct. Another way to personalize your desk is to change your desktop and screen saver to a picture(s) that describes you or your interests. I like antique cars, therefore my desktop is a photo of a 1936 Cord 812.

Step 5: Go to work. There’s no point in going through all of this trouble if you don’t get any work done. Why? Because if you don’t work, then you get fired and you no longer have a desk during which to take a break. The point of a creative workstation is to be comfortable and keep a jovial attitude while getting more work done in the process. Like I said, I’m no scientist, but I’m sure there’s some correlation there.

So there you have it, step-by-step instructions on how to make your work area more enjoyable; it might even encourage your co-workers to do the same!

Intern Spotlight: Kayla Pointer

Intern Spotlight: Kayla Pointer 

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Name: Kayla Pointer
School: Indiana University, Bloomington
Graduation Year: 2012
Major: Gen. Studies
Minor(s): Sociology, Public Health & Human Development and Family Studies
Internship title: New Business Intern / Office Coordinator’s Assistant
Hobbies: Traveling, Reading, Yoga, Photography, Volunteering & Loving on animals

Duties at Hirons:

As a New Business Intern, I’m in charge of providing account support for prospective clients and the New Business Department in the day-to-day management of potential accounts. Responsibilities include: attending internal meetings, managing prospective client history, research and meeting reports, and knowing and understanding established communications objectives and producing materials consistent with those objectives.

Favorite part about interning at Hirons:

My favorite part about interning at Hirons is the atmosphere. I’ll never forget walking through the doors on the first day and feeling like I had just stepped into a building located on the West Coast. It not only has a modern and funky feel to it, but there’s also this easy-going vibe that permeates the building. It’s not that we don’t work hard (because trust me, we do), it’s just a very welcoming place to be. Maybe it’s the high-spirited people I work with, or maybe it’s all the kisses from our two lovable work dogs that hang out in the Creative Department.

What have you learned during your time at Hirons? How does this opportunity relate to your career goals?

I’ve learned that it’s not so much what you know, but who you know. Of course, being knowledgeable about what you do is very important, but in using your contacts and extending your network, you begin to find more opportunities for success. This opportunity absolutely relates to my career goals and in all sectors of work. Whether you’re in PR or Epidemiology, networking is an important skill to obtain.

Most difficult aspect of the job:

I’d say the most challenging aspect of this job was coming into it with little experience in PR. Fortunately, I was trained by some great staff members and have had the opportunity to meet some very important individuals in the industry. This internship has largely contributed to my ongoing pursuit of knowledge in these fields. I’m so glad I took the leap of faith when applying at Hirons, and I’m so glad they jumped with me!

Fun facts about Kayla:

  • She’s participated in two cross-country bike trips with deCycles Bloomington.
  • She knows WAY too many strange animal facts.
  • She lived abroad in Mexico for two months.
  • She has a serious obsession with ethnic foods.

 

 

Hirons Announces Promotions and New Hires

Hirons Announces Promotions and New Hires

Indianapolis – Hirons Advertising and Public Relations is welcoming four new staff members to the team, in addition to promoting four tenured employee owners.

Kendall Bybee, Candice Ingram and Blair Tilson all join Hirons as Account Coordinators in the Communications Management department. All three will be supporting Hirons public relations and advertising clients and senior staff.

Bybee graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Journalism, and has interned with the International Art Project and Keep Indianapolis Beautiful. In addition, she served on committees for both the Spirit & Place Festival and the Beth Wood Chapter of PRSSA at Indiana University.

Ingram is a 2012 graduate of The University of Alabama, where she holds both a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and Telecommunications and Film. She has interned at WVUA-TV in Tuscaloosa, the Kansas City Chiefs, the Indiana Pacers and the Cleveland Browns.

Tilson is a recent graduate of Taylor University, with a degree in Public Relations. While in school, Tilson served as the Co Editor-in-Chief of the student newspaper, The Echo. She has interned with Taylor University, and served as the Vice President of the Taylor University PRSSA.

Deb Nowak has been hired as Executive Assistant. Nowak is accomplished in her field, with past experiences at Faegre Baker Daniels LLP and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, in addition to serving various leadership roles on committees for the Town of Speedway.

Chloe Lyzun has joined the agency as an Account/Traffic Coordinator. Lyzun is a graduate of Butler University with a degree in Public Relations and Advertising. She has interned with Live Nation, MOKB Presents and Do317 prior to joining Hirons.

Four current staff members have been promoted to new roles within the agency.

Kayla Carmichael has been promoted from Executive Assistant to Account Manager. Carmichael will use her knowledge gained throughout her seven years with the agency to lead clients including the Speedway Redevelopment Corporation, Eskenazi Health, and Stratice Healthcare.

After 14 years with Hirons, Jill Dodge has expanded her duties; in addition to serving as Print Designer, Jill is now lead Web Designer. Jill has worked on various major web projects, including the recent relaunch of IndianapolisZoo.com.

Erin Kimbowa has been promoted from Account Manager to Senior Account Manager. Kimbowa, who has been with the agency for six years, provides strategic leadership to accounts including Country Mark, the Indiana State Museum, Compass Rose Academy and Kelley Direct.

Karissa Tepe has been promoted from Account Coordinator to Account Manager. In her new role, Karissa provides leadership to accounts including the Indiana Secretary of State, Indianapolis Airport Authority, Eli Lilly Federal Credit Union, St. Elmo Steakhouse and Harry & Izzy’s Steakhouse.

“This is an incredible time of growth and evolution,” said Tom Hirons, CEO. “For 36 years, we’ve been providing our clients with bold ideas. Welcoming a new ‘class’ of employee owners and watching another group continue to advance in their careers with us is both humbling and thrilling.”

Hirons provides a collegial work environment fueled by innovative and passionate practitioners. Peer mentoring and collaboration inform everything we do, from conceptualizing to presenting award-winning solutions to our clients. Hirons employees are more than just worker bee; they’re the actual owners of the company. In 2013, Hirons transferred ownership of the company to a trust on behalf of its employees through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). By giving our employees the keys to the agency (literally and figuratively), our team is uniquely motivated to produce the very best work possible — after all, they own the place.

To learn more about potential employment opportunities, visit http://hirons.wpengine.com/contact/career-opportunities/.

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About Hirons
Hirons Advertising and Public Relations, established in 1978 by Tom Hirons, is headquartered in Indianapolis and is ranked as both a top 100 advertising and top 100 PR firm in the U.S. Hirons is a digital leader in advertising, public relations, public affairs and media buying. Hirons’ clients include leading private, public and nonprofit sector organizations locally and nationally. Hirons is an employee-owned company. For more information, find Hirons on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Intern Spotlight: Aly Weigel

Intern Spotlight

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Name: Aly Weigel
School: Indiana University
Graduation Year: 2016
Major: Journalism/Public Relations
Internship title: Communications Management Assistant
Hobbies: Drinking coffee, going to concerts, traveling, blogging, and finding a balance between working out and loving food

Duties at Hirons:

Hirons has allowed me to do a little bit of everything. Some of the things I have done during my time here are: research and organize information on current clients, write the first drafts of press releases, assist with projects and events, organize social media timelines and content, write blog posts, deliver samples and documents, create lists of local media outlets and contacts, and write and send pitches for news stories to local media.

Favorite part about interning at Hirons:

There are a couple of things I’ve really enjoyed about interning at Hirons. First of all, the staff here is absolutely wonderful. They are always so willing to help out whenever needed, and I never have to hesitate to ask questions when I don’t understand something. It’s apparent that the people who work here truly love their jobs, which has made me enjoy my time here that much more. Secondly, sometimes when you think “internship,” you think of mindless tasks and busy work, but that’s certainly not the case here. I’ve had the opportunity to work on important projects that have given me real hands-on experience in the fields of public relations and advertising. I feel like my time here is truly valued and utilized to the fullest, which keeps me motivated to work hard.

Most difficult aspect of the job:

Being a young college student who’s still trying to figure it all out, you could definitely say I have successfully mastered the art of procrastination. In a professional environment though, procrastination could potentially lead to a loss in business. The biggest challenge I have faced during my time at Hirons is learning how to manage my time wisely. Getting things completed efficiently, but also paying attention to detail is very important, especially in the world of public relations and advertising.

What have you learned during your time at Hirons? How does this opportunity relate to your career goals?

I really wasn’t sure what to expect when I walked through the doors at Hirons on my first day, but I was definitely ready to soak it all in. Getting real life experience in the field that I hope to one day have a career in and developing my skill-set has been so exciting! In terms of what I’ve learned though, I think the real question is: what haven’t I learned? Having the opportunity to help with media plans, pitch to media outlets, communicate with clients, and even work in a professional environment are all things I had not previously experienced. These are skills that you just can’t learn while sitting in a classroom. I’m so thankful that I was able to have the opportunity to be a part of a thriving agency like Hirons and use my short time here to its’ full advantage.

Fun facts about Aly:

  • I’ll eat anything that involves peanut butter
  • I have lived on both coasts (California and North Carolina).
  • I also work at Scotty’s Brewhouse in downtown Indy, so if you’re ever in the area, stop by and say hi!

Blog Your Way to Effective PR

By Jim Parham, Chief Operating Officer

Long gone are the mimeograph machine and soon-to-be shelved fax machine. (Did you know that fax is short for facsimile?) Email is now the gold standard, and the U.S. Postal Service has become more of a direct marketing company than a carrier of love letters. Twitter handles a large amount of the amorous outreach, and it takes only 140 characters … thankfully.

Now comes the rise in blogs, Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat. And most companies have a website, correct?  If the institution doesn’t have a Web presence, then something is usually very wrong at the firm. After all, we’re now getting a majority of our information from the Internet. Remember the Yellow Pages? Well, maybe you use the online version, but where are those bulky big yellow books?

How do blogs leave a footprint in our public relations turf? Good question. Here are two interesting facts from the blogging site PR Connection: Nearly 40 percent of U.S. companies use blogs for marketing purposes, and there are 152,000,000 blogs on the Internet.  Well, that was yesterday’s number. I’m sure it’s 155,000,000 by now.

Blog Friendly PR, which maintains a high-visibility website, says blogs are a new and fresh way to market product and services in an affordable and effective way.  Blog Friendly PR, after all, was created to bridge the gap between brands and bloggers. So, in others words, blogs are a cheap and direct way to reach your customers. Let’s not forget, too, that thousands of journalists scan blogs looking for scoops, trends, rumors and innuendo.

I attended a public relations seminar where the speaker stated, “Either be part of the conversation or let the conversation be one-sided, and that might not be a good thing for your business.”  He was referring to digging into social media and countering the unabashed, unfiltered content on the Web. Blogs are an ideal way to start a conversation, comment on other happenings, or respond to negative comments and erroneous online postings about you or your company.

Speaking of unfiltered, a great advantage to social media and blogging in particular is providing content to highly engaged stakeholders (and possibly tangential ones) without the media filter. You can go “direct” to your customers, influencers and decision-makers without having a mainstream media editor determine if it’s worthy of reprinting or re-broadcasting. Now that’s convenient.

A major disadvantage of blogs, however, is their ineffectiveness if no one reads them. That’s where savvy marketing comes in. You must be visible among the throngs of postings and rise above the daily buzz and clamor. To do this, it’s best to turn to a social media marketing guru. Now, almost every public relations agency has a social media expert who knows how to navigate much of the uncharted waters of the blogosphere.

So, put down the traditional, hard-copy collateral material (that few people read anyway) and start blogging your way to improved company awareness and success. Online is where most of the customers spend a majority of their time. Don’t believe me? Just ask Amazon.

— Jim Parham, Vice President, Chief Operating Officer