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The Back Deck

Our view on navigating today’s marketing landscape

13 Aug
2013

10+ Tips for Optimizing Your Email Content

In a recent white paper, I wrote extensively on optimizing email content. Read on below for an excerpt, beginning with a “Top 10″ list of tips to get your email program moving. 

KEVIN’S TOP 10 FOR EMAIL CONTENT:

1)    Integrate email into your overall content strategy. Use email as a testing ground for types of content and tone. A good email program will be the single largest driver to your content.

2)    Put a learning program in place, so ideas are tested, learnings are captured, each email gets better and the learnings are shared with the larger content program.

3)    Define a voice for your email. Is it the witty neighbor, the helpful expert, the loquacious socialite?

4)    Are the subject lines intriguing and descriptive? They should compel the recipient to want to see more.

5)    Determine the focus of each send. Have a theme and a clear hierarchy.  Make it clear which CTA is the most important.

6)    Use seasonal themes, pop culture references, topical issues to help be relevant to the audience.

7)    Mix your content types. Include videos, lists, best-ofs, etc.  Headlines that include a number often perform 10-20% better than other content.

8)    Develop content that spans issues and motivates the reader to open the mail issue after issue. Some popular features include poll results, top articles from the previous month and unique stats.

9)    Build your sharing tools around content, not the email itself. No one wants to share a marketing email; they want to share a story.

10) Incorporate some basic marketing automation and list segmentation. Develop a strategy to reengage non-openers, integrate content into transactional emails, and optimize call-to-actions based on segments.

Capture

VOICE AND STYLE

Having a consistent and unique voice is critical to building a long-term relationship. By defining the attributes of the voice, you help set the tone for the entire newsletter.

RETOUCH & ACTIVATE

You’ve gone to the trouble to collect email addresses, so it doesn’t hurt to put some effort into trying to retain those people who might not be opening your email anymore. Put together a program to track opens by individual and consider applying some of the below tactics:

  • Periodically resend your best newsletters to people who didn’t open them the first time. Be sure to wait at least a week before resending, and change the subject line. You don’t want to do this for every newsletter, just the ones you think will help keep your audience engaged.
  • Consider special offers or incentives to reengage consistent non-openers.
  • Create a list of people who haven’t opened the last three issues, and see if there are any patterns in behavior from this group over the last 12 months.

SUBJECT LINES

Only two things matter when people receive your email: the recipients’ relationship with your brand and your subject line. If you test nothing else, test your subject lines. If they don’t open your email, they’ll never see the great content.

Subject line rules:

  • Be brief: 30-35 characters
  • Be descriptive
  • Promote the content, not the newsletter
  • Be intriguing. Everyone loves a little mystery.
  • Amplify your voice. Take the voice you’ve established for the newsletter and use the subject line as a caricature of that voice.

CONTENT RELEVANCY

Each issue should have a theme that is relevant to the audience. The theme can be based on the subject matter, a culturally relevant issue or even a time of year. Use an editorial calendar to manage the themes and the content. Map these themes to other touch points like social media.

CHOOSING THE CONTENT

Come up with a list of key attributes for content and a filter to determine what goes into the newsletter and what doesn’t. About the content, ask yourself:

  1. Is it relevant?
  2. Does it drive usage, sales, adoption, etc.?
  3. Does it provide traffic to a priority campaign?
  4. Is it likely to be shared?
  5. Can we learn from it?

Establish a content mix that contains the ideal ration of CTAs and content types. As part of the learning program, test and establish standards for the mix. What’s your content attempting to accomplish: engagement, relevance, performance? Identify content areas and track first four sends to determine highest engagement, as well as look to incorporate cross-program and cross-promotional content with other marketing programs

CONTENT FORMATS

Most content consists of text and an image in a traditional article format. However, this is often not the best performing type of content. Supplement articles with video and images with video icons on them. These types of posts are clicked 40% more than all other content on average. Lists, slideshows, and reoccurring features also perform quite well.

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30 Jul
2013

“Real World” Advice from a CMD Intern

Jewel_Blog_Post_SmGuest post authored by Jewel Myers, former CMD Earned Media intern. 

Graduation is an exciting time. No more schoolwork, no more professors, no more exams and no more getting up early. You think the stress is all over, right? Wrong.

Now you have to worry about getting that first job. In this day and age, you can’t afford to slack off, and when you do land that first job it’s like being back in school. Your boss is your teacher, and this first opportunity is more than a test: There is no redo. There is no starting over.  For some, work ethic will come naturally and for others it will take practice. For those still in college, internships are the best way to start practicing for that first job.

As a graduate from the University of Oregon with a degree in public relations, I agree with majority of this New York Times article by Thomas L. Friedman on the importance of internships. I wish I had known earlier in my college career just how important they were. Luckily I was able to secure two during the summer and winter terms of my senior year. It’s not easy to land the perfect opportunity. But if you think getting an internship is hard, finding a paid one is even harder. Eleonora Sharef, co-founder of HireArt, sums it up in the article when she says, “it is almost as hard to get a paid internship today as it is to get an actual job.”

In the article, Nick Sedlet, co-founder of HireArt, discusses the “danger that only rich kids” can afford unpaid internships. I disagree. I would say that not all internships are created equal and that there is one out there for everyone no matter your financial situation. One company I interned for was very flexible with my full-time school and work schedule and let me work the hours I could. Yes, I was either napping or cramming food into my mouth during the almost zero free time I had, but the real-world experience is what I wanted, and it wasn’t going to just happen without hard work. Here, at CMD, I have a paid internship in the earned media group, and they are flexible with my schedule so I can have a part-time job on the side.

In addition to internships, there are some skills and projects specific to my field that I wish I had developed in college, which would have been relevant to my internships so far:

  • Research – My professors emphasized that research is important. But, I had no idea just how much that really entailed until I landed my internships. I wish I had fine-tuned my research skills before leaving college and worked with real-world applications such as TweetReach, Compete and Google Adwords to familiarize myself with how each application could help me with research projects.
  • Multimedia Applications – I was a multimedia minor, but I didn’t really dig deep into the applications. We lightly covered Photoshop, InDesign, Final Cut, CSS and a few others. I wish I had picked one or two of those to really expand upon and gain expertise in. It’s very helpful and valuable to have skills in other areas besides just traditional PR. I’m currently working on projects that require at least beginner skills in all those applications.
  • Blog – I was assigned to start a blog in school, but I really didn’t take it too seriously. It wasn’t until I changed the blog topic to something I actually wanted to write about that got me excited. It’s a good way to express ideas and practice writing on a regular basis. A blog is also a great portfolio piece that can showcase your writing abilities and give a future employer a peek into your personality.
  • Public Speaking – Now, I know this is a cliché, but it’s true. My public speaking is terrible. I get the typical dizziness, shaking voice, and hot flashes before having to speak in front of a group. Even though I would’ve been afraid to take the class, I wish I had taken speech in college to prepare me for work presentations.

With all that being said, it’s never too late to get more experience on a topic or application. My advice for young PR/social media pros is to start internships early in your college career and keep improving your skills no matter if it’s in a classroom or on your own. Only you can decide how successful you will become, but either route will take hard work. What’s the most valuable experience you’ve gained from one of your internships?

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26 Jul
2013

CMD Earned Media Review: Four Social Media Tools to Explore

TThe CMD incubator group originated as a way to discuss and explore the latest trends in digital and social media. With three years of early-morning gatherings (and lots of coffee) under our belt, we’ve found these sessions to be a great way to share the many things our curious-minded folks are reading, exploring and learning about.

This week, for example, our incubator session focused on four interesting social media tools. Here’s a quick run down of what we explored:

 

Synthesio, presented by @Liz_Johnlogo-synthesio

The Download: A content management tool that has the ability to organize and manage your social channel content distribution and engagement, as well as identify influencers and surface up some analytics.

Strengths: Particularly well-suited to brands that have a global social presence and channels in other countries that also require translation. Winner of a Forrester Groundswell Award.

Weakness: Fairly similar to other tools out there. Metrics capabilities and influencer identification are good, but pretty average.

 

Nestivity, presented by @messengerbird85

nestivity-logoThe Download: A tool that creates a “nest” out of your Twitter chats, giving you the ability to take the conversation outside of Twitter and have a more robust dialogue with your followers. More of a forum-like experience, helping you to better organize your Twitter chats. Limited-time trials are available for free subscription service thereafter.

Strengths: The group thought this tool had a lot of possibilities. Great for customer service initiatives, Twitter chats and Tweetcasts. Can also livestream Google+ hangouts. Compelling analytics reporting capabilities as well.

Weaknesses: Not many. This one is definitely on the hit list to explore and try.

 

Union Metrics, presented by @messengerbird85

union-metrics

The Download: The first Tumblr-endorsed metrics and analytic tool. Pricing available for individual Tumblr bloggers as well as brands.

Strengths: A new way to measure Tumblr engagement (reblogs, likes, notes, influencers, etc.) A no-brainer for social media programs that emphasize Tumblr as part of the mix, as measuring this channel has been a challenge for most.

Weakness: Relatively expensive as an add-on to the other social media measurement tools you may be using. For those who prioritize Tumblr as part of their program, the additional cost may be worth it.

 

YouTube advertising options, presented by @JesseLeeDavis

The Download: Users now have a variety of options for advertising on YouTube: In-Stream (video pre-roll), In-Display (right-hand side/served up related video content) and In-Search (other suggested content). Target options by what people are viewing/their interest (type of videos they are watching) and search terms (similar to Google ad word targeting). Fee is 5% of your budget spend as a baseline.

Strength: It’s a misconception that you must have a big budget to advertise on YouTube. Recent experiences have proven that advertising efforts perform quite well if you take the time to determine your strategy and tweak your approach based on analytics.

Weakness: It’s not easy to learn about the advertising options. If you have a small budget, don’t expect a personal response from Google’s or YouTube’s sales team. It’s truly a DIY initiative for anything less than a six-figure budget.

 

What new social tools intrigued you?

 

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24 Jul
2013

How to Mix the Secret Ingredients for a Good Corporate Blog

What are the ingredients for a good corporate blog?

This question has plagued mankind since the dawn of, well, the Internet, some 20 years ago. In that time, brands and corporations have been attempting to attract readers and spur interaction, but many fall short of success.

We’ve been thinking a lot about corporate blogs recently at CMD and what makes them succeed or fail. So we did some research and at the end of the day came back with this definition of a good corporate blog: a good corporate blog helps make customers smarter. There, I said it. A good blog educates.

Our theory was confirmed earlier this year when a blog that we manage for a client—which features an educational strategy—won the BtoB Magazine award for Best Corporate Blog.

In order to understand what makes a corporate blog good, we first must explore what makes a corporate blog bad:

1) We, We, We Syndrome: Too much focus on the company. Nobody wants to read a blog that is all about the company, announces company news, explains how great an organization is, and links to product brochures. If this were an actual disease, the Center for Disease Control would classify it as an epidemic, because this type of blog is everywhere.

2) Casket-itis: A blog that has not been updated since June of 2007 is officially dead, and turns away readers who are looking for current information.

3) Lackus Strategyus: English translation: no strategy or cohesion. This type of blog puts bits of information together piecemeal in hopes that it will appear as an organized unit.

So back to the original question: what are the ingredients for a good corporate blog? Here’s my take:

4) Serves educational content: A corporate blog that addresses industry hot topics and shares its point of view encourages conversation while helping customers understand the key issues. Brands have an incredible opportunity these days to become their own media outlets and speak directly to the market with educational information that years ago was reserved only for trade publications.

5) Offers rich media: A blog should contain multiple ways to educate. A mixture of written blogs, videos and podcasts lets visitors choose the format in which they want to consume the information.

6) Presents multiple voices: A good corporate blog is a platform for the participation of others, as well. Invite your best customer to contribute a guest post, or interview a key supplier and ask for their view on a pressing issue. Adding multiple voices from inside and outside your organization demonstrates your willingness to foster discussion, and to help readers, rather than simply push product.

7) Posts consistently: Posting every week shows the audience you are serious about the effort and will attract repeat visitors. This also helps to fill the sales lead funnel.

As early adopters of this content philosophy, we are now starting to see the real results of engaging directly with customers and becoming the “media.” CMD saw this trend coming and took action about three years ago with a client’s corporate blog. Our recommended content strategy at the time (talking about industry trends, inviting guest posts, showing videos of experts in the field, hosting informational webinars) was to focus on industry hot buttons from a journalistic approach; basically everything except the client’s products.

This client understood what we proposed, and welcomed taking the position of a thought leader who facilitated conversations with potential customers. Now, the BtoB Magazine award for Best Corporate Blog hangs in their office.

What questions do you have about corporate blogs?

 

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17 Jul
2013

Matchmaking for Content Creators: What Agencies and Brands Really Want

 

Get Connected

So you want to monetize your blog, or perhaps you’ve been at it for a while and want to put a finer point on your social ROI and your interactions with business partners. The good news for content creators is that brands and the agencies that represent them are hot on the trail of finding social media influencers who can spark a deeper connection with target audiences. The not-so-good news? Partnering with an influencer can be a bit like dating: Is there any chemistry? Does one party see potential in the other, perhaps in an unexpected way?

The key insight here is that with a little bit of prep, one can take the unpleasant surprises out of the matchmaking process. Our team at CMD started working in the intersection between brands and influencers before Twitter was a gleam in Jack Dorsey’s eye, and I will be participating in a panel on blog marketing and monetization at BlogHer later this month. I’m looking forward to hearing from the BlogHer community about finding a good pairing for their business goals.

In preparation for the session, here are some thoughts on the fundamentals of a solid partnership:

1. Desperately seeking shared interests

Specifically, in the target audience. Is your content addressed to the same audience that an agency or brand is seeking out? When defining your audience it pays to be as specific as possible and to think beyond standard demographic shorthand. Just saying that your content targets women ages 25 to 34 doesn’t cut it in today’s environment, where big data analysis rules many marketing decisions. Brands and agencies need to know more psychographic and behavioral data—for example, whether those women ages 25 to 34 represent connected moms or road warriors—and what content of yours resonates with them most.

2. Must be highly engaged

Engagement is one of those marketing words that’s bandied about as if everyone fully understands what it means. The truth is that agencies and brands often define engagement in different ways, and it’s important to understand the specifics involved. To one brand, engagement may mean user actions on your content, such as comments; to another, it might add up to web page views and time on site. The first step here is defining engagement for yourself and your own community, regardless of social platform. Then understand how your intended partner defines engagement and find the common ground together.

3. Ready for commitment

Make sure that you and your partner have an agreed-upon vision for the outcomes, so there’s no unexpected conflict later on. It’s important to ask partners: What does success mean to you? An example of this might be a target number of signups during a certain timeframe or benchmarks for engagement, such as likes, ratings or comments within your community.

Salesforce’s blog recently posted an excellent overview for those who want to go deeper into the subject of social media ROI.

For all the not-so-lonely content creators out there, if you’ve forged a great partnership with an agency or brand, we’d love to hear about it. Share your thoughts with us and a link to sponsored content that particularly resonated with your community.

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2 Jul
2013

Herding Cats: Corralling Content Chaos [SlideShare]

Content marketing is all the rage these days – turning marketers into publishers and storytellers via a variety of digital channels and multimedia integration. But what are the best practices when it comes to determining your content strategy, how can you organize it and tell a compelling, consistent storyline that both reinforces your brand and motivates your audience? Darcie Meihoff and I recently led a content marketing Boot Camp at the Digital Marketing Conference in Portland, Ore., and our presentation explores tips, techniques and tools that can help you build an effective content marketing initiative designed to generate results. View it below and share!



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28 Jun
2013

What We’re Reading Now: Big Data, Hashtag Trends, Converged Marketing

As marketers we’re constantly challenged to think differently. Shifting one’s perspective is definitely the theme of the week from our team’s roundup of favorite articles. From putting big data analysis in its proper place to fresh perspectives, content marketing and working with social influencers, this week’s headline roundup offers and eclectic mix of insights.

  • From Darcie Meihoff: Don’t let the increasing focus on big data make you lose sight of the fact that your customers are human beings. New read on HBR.
  • From Elizabeth Johnston: Think you’re clever? Here’s a post that helps us work through some of the pain points when logged into multiple social media tools.
  • From Kevin Murphy: Of interest for marketers who are seeking to connect with teens—a great read on current trends among this age group. Teens aren’t abandoning “social.” They’re just using the word correctly. Also, a practical path for creating customer advocates.
  • From Megan BlankenshipContently’s blog, Strategist, takes up the daunting task of exploring the social conversation titan, the hashtag, including recommendations for how to extend its social shelf life, and the benefits of developing more lean (albeit still dynamic) hashtag strategies.
  • Finally, a few thoughts from an influencer—Yahoo! Small Business Advisor is running a series of interviews with Pinterest influencers so marketers can hear directly from them. What a concept!

What are you reading lately that has shifted your point of view on converged marketing?

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12 Jun
2013

The Healthy Agency-Client Dynamic

A positive long-term relationship takes care, attention and ongoing checkups

Just like any relationship, the best client-agency partnership is a give and take.  

No matter how big or small the budget, the stronger the relationship is, the more both sides will get out of it. And I’m not just talking about better work. Clients who can establish really great working relationships with their agencies will naturally find them willing to go above and beyond and throw in a few “extras” when push comes to shove (and push always comes to shove).

At CMD, we’re fortunate to work with stellar clients who set great examples for how to get the most out of an agency team. In fact, we’ve had some client relationships for 25-plus years. What it has taught us is that to keep a relationship strong, it’s wise to take pains to avoid the troubling syndromes that can trip up even the best client-agency dynamic. Here are our top 10 bad cases to watch out for:

#1. The “Um, you wanted what?” syndrome

The best relationships are the ones in which the agency knows where it stands. Is the expectation clear on whether the agency is a strategic, executional or simply project partner? Is the agency welcome to bring new ideas to the table, or do you just need strong execution? Clear expectations are key to avoiding confusion and frustration.

#2. The “I think I have that somewhere in my inbox” syndrome

The best agency-client communication style is consistent, responsive, organized, concise and direct. Issues are flagged early and the agency and client work together on the solution.

#3. The “We know better than you do” syndrome

Agencies need to realize that they will never be as much of an expert in the client’s business as the client is, and the client should trust the agency for its outside expertise. Both sides need to be willing to learn and listen. Enough said.

#4. The “Whoa, those recommendations are way off base” syndrome

In a healthy scenario, everybody’s marching to the same beat. Great clients provide clear direction, goals, insights, expectations and help prioritize based on budget and constraints. The agency responds with solutions that are squarely in-line with the direction set. Both work together to eliminate surprises. Budgets and scopes are clearly defined, but as project demands change, so do budget expectations.

#6. The “No risk, no reward” syndrome

Some tolerance for risk-taking is allowed, and all parties understand how far creative limits can be pushed. The team learns from successes and failures as a way to improve and advance future programs and efforts.

#7. The “Are we having fun yet?” syndrome

Great creative work takes inspiration and motivation. It’s a challenge that’s all at once exhilarating, addicting and full of highs and lows – but if both sides feel beaten down, the work will probably suffer as well.

#8. The “This will go viral, right?” syndrome

Agencies that promise things they have no real control over are doing clients a disservice by not being honest. Conversely, clients who have unrealistic expectations of their agencies are setting themselves up for disappointment.

#9. The “Decision by committee” syndrome

Processes, such as how many rounds of approvals does the budget/timeline account for, are clear. The client manages internal stakeholder feedback and gives the agency specific direction to help eliminate back and forth.

#9. The “One way street” syndrome

Partnership is rewarded; agency loyalty is rewarded with increased opportunities and arrangements that allow for greater collaboration; the client is rewarded with greater agency investment and dedicated teams who are committed to their business on an ongoing basis.

#10. The “So, did we succeed?” syndrome

The client and agency work up front to define success for what can reasonably be accomplished given the timing, resources, budget and position in the market. Key metrics are outlined and results are showcased in ways that make both sides look like heroes.

Great relationships are founded on mutual respect and appreciation. For more perspective, I found this white paper from the Bedford Group to be particularly good: http://bit.ly/ZKmMwL

Every agency and client I know has a story about great and not-so-great partnerships, and could probably add to this list. What would be your number 11 syndrome to avoid?

What’s music to our ears? When clients like Expedia are so happy with the outcome of a project, they serenade us (really!)

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20 May
2013

What We’re Reading Now: Content Marketing

Content marketing is top-of-mind around the office this spring. All of the posts and articles that have caught our attention recently discuss different shades of content marketing, especially ways to stay relevant within the customer’s buying journey.

From Kevin Murphy:

  • 5 ways to make your research stats in content marketing more credible. Read
  • Forrester Forum, Part 3: The New Customer Journey Lifecycle – learning the difference between depth and relationship channels. Read
  • How the big brands are doing content marketing—we are big fans of the UX of Intel’s Digital iQ magazine – here’s advice from one of the key contributors. Read

From Elizabeth Johnston:

  • Risk-taking is sometimes a part of content marketing – here’s a fresh take on getting out of your comfort zone. Read

From Stefanie Week:

  • From this fall, here’s a helpful resource for understanding what type of content drives B2B lead gen at certain points of the process. Read

From Brandon Wick:

  • Social media is a part of content marketing – this article shows social skills are correlated to share price. Read

For my picks, I really like these two posts from the Content Marketing Institute:

  • Great tips for optimizing content for mobile devices. Read
  • Here’s an excellent list of common pitfalls – 13 Reasons Why Your Content Marketing Might Fail. Read

What is your top content marketing tip for the year?

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1 May
2013

It’s a “Beautiful” Thing: CMD and AC Portland RAISE to Support Area Youth

 

Pro-bono assignments can present a challenging predicament for any agency.  On one hand, the agency team is typically very excited to lend their creative expertise to develop something truly special, often for an inspiring nonprofit cause. On the flip side, (while rarely stated) an agency must evaluate the overall pro-bono commitment and ensure the proper resource allocation is in play–after all, paying clients take precedence.

CMD was recently presented with the opportunity to help AC Portland, a local nonprofit organization whose mission is to transform communities through youth soccer.  The specific assignment focused on AC Portland’s silent auction fundraiser, the organization’s first, held on March 7, 2013. The money raised from the fundraiser would help AC Portland continue serving 400 Portland-area students with soccer programming, creative writing, service learning and nutrition education.

Why was CMD so excited for this opportunity?

Let’s face it. We live in Portland, Oregon, aka Soccer City USA.  Many CMD employees bleed green and gold for The Timbers. The Thorns of the NWSL recently took the city by storm in their inaugural home match.  CMD played an instrumental part in the JELD-WEN Field sponsorship development and implementation. We then get to leverage this passion for the beautiful game and help kids in need.  What could be better?

Selecting a pro-bono project team that is eager and excited about the challenge at hand obviously sets the stage for success–and that’s just what CMD did. Our team’s mindset was to treat AC Portland just like any other client that comes through CMD’s door. While this effort may have required more night and weekend hours, our intention to deliver sound strategy, creative solutions and flawless execution never wavered.

RAISE 2013 Takes the Field

So what exactly did CMD do?  It started with AC Portland coming to us with a kernel of an event idea.  Given this was AC Portland’s first foray into an auction-focused live event, we evaluated a series of solutions based on a variety of parameters.   While we were certainly presented with challenges along the way, CMD and AC Portland remained optimistic and flexible to ensure the best possible outcome.

We worked in lockstep with the client to establish the most effective approach and lay the groundwork for the overriding fundraising theme–RAISE 2013.  The theme was developed not only for this lone event, but also to serve as a rally cry for future AC Portland fundraising activities.

The RAISE campaign took shape and extended into all facets of promotion including the event landing page, posters, email and social media outreach.  CMD’s approach with all event communications was to infuse a fun and energetic tone and stay away from the “tug-the-heart- strings” messaging technique.  Further, CMD was heavily involved in the procurement of auction items and coordination of all event logistics.

But something was missing.  The essence of AC Portland’s mission, beyond the information provided on their website, needed to be captured through an inspiring statement. CMD proposed telling this story through the voices of the children whom AC Portland impacts most.   The result was a short video that was shot during a special soccer session held on the adidas headquarters pitch.   Capturing this story was important, but even better was seeing AC Portland’s commitment to these kids firsthand, not to mention the ecstatic and energetic attitude of all participants. Once the kids hit the pitch, they never slowed down!

Event Night

The sold-out RAISE 2013 event was held at Casa Del Matador NW, which provided an intimate atmosphere for attendees to socialize and preview the wide array of auction items.  Andy Carson of Fox 12 Portland served as emcee while event-goers rubbed elbows with Portland Timbers players Darlington Nagbe, Brent Richards and Futty Danso. Also on hand were mascot Timber Joey and Portland Thorns’ local superstar Danielle Foxhoven, who played an instrumental role in helping with the auction.

In the end, the silent auction saw a lot of participation with folks bidding on everything from valuable soccer memorabilia to a variety of goods donated by local businesses.  The overall result was not only a healthy financial contribution but also great awareness building of AC Portland’s mission.

The Most Important Lessons Learned?

Not to state the obvious, but the best lessons learned are simple. When taking on a pro-bono assignment:

  1. Commit to the effort just like an agency would for any other paying client
  2. Embrace the opportunity to lend strategic, creative and executional resources to an organization in need
  3. Give the client your best work and don’t forget to have fun along the way

Here’s what AC Portland said about the experience:

“It was such an honor to get the opportunity to work so closely with the CMD team to help RAISE 2013 be a success!  As executive director of AC Portland, I have experienced the ups and downs of the nonprofit world. So often, people promise the world and underdeliver.  CMD treated us like a client, and gave 110% of what was promised!  For that experience alone, it restored my hope in nonprofit work.” - Ben Dudley, Executive Director, AC Portland

The results speak for themselves and in a word are…beautiful.

 

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