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AGENCY NEWS // AUGUST 16, 2017 //  

The Growing Influence of Influencer Marketing

RomoloTavani/Thinkstock.com

Amisha Gandhi, head of influencer marketing at the software giant SAP, wanted to inject more value into the company's Leonardo Live event centered on digital innovation and transformation. She invited five top influencers to participate in the two-day conference, which took place earlier this summer in Frankfurt, Germany, and attracted 1,500 attendees, including C-level and senior digital executives.

The influencers, all expert in areas such as machine learning, the Internet of Things, and big data/digital analytics, led breakout sessions and formed mini-groups featuring CMOs and CIOs discussing how they're digitally transforming their brands. The quintet was also available to answer queries from SAP's customers about the company's products and services.

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AGENCY NEWS // AUGUST 16, 2017 //  

Allison+Partners Launches Workplace Specialty to Help Companies Bolster Their Employer Brands

Allison+Partners today announced the launch of Workplace, a new offering focused on helping organizations become great places to work. This is of vital importance as new research from the agency reveals companies adopting an “employee first” mentality have a better chance of attracting top talent, building employee loyalty and, ultimately, inspiring customers to engage with their brand.

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A recent Allison+Partners’ study on consumer perceptions about employee engagement revealed that 68 percent will form or change their opinion based on how a brand treats its employees. Sixty-seven percent would be inspired to try or buy a product if an employee speaks positively about the brand, while 60 percent would actively avoid buying a product if the employee speaks negatively about the brand or company.

“When employees are proud of what they do and where they work, they help attract more customers and talent for the company,” said Hadas Streit, vice president and head of the Workplace specialty group. “Allison+Partners helps companies across many industries find their points of differentiation and create a compelling narrative that brings their employer brand to life and activates their people.”

Allison+Partners has deep experience using primary and secondary research, focused strategy sessions and robust internal and external communications to help clients turn their employer brands into their greatest asset.

“Allison+Partners’ dedicated Workplace team has supported us for the past three years on both national and regional levels to build our brands,” said Ed Blust, chief marketing officer of The Adecco Group, North America. “The strategic insights and media the team has achieved has been a critical part of our marketing mix, enabling us to drive business results.”

Workplace specialty services include:

Research

  • Employer Scorecards: A brief evaluation of the client’s benefits compared to their competitors, following a checklist of standard best-practice benefits for that industry. Results can be used to help internal stakeholders determine where they stack up against competitors, and improve their overall benefit package for better recruitment, placement on best places to work lists, and thought leadership.
  • Audits: An in-depth audit of the client’s internal culture, using employee surveys and interviews with key stakeholders to develop a comprehensive view of the current culture, including what is working well and areas for potential improvement.

Strategy

  • Brand Think Squad: A facilitated ideation session that brings together senior talent from across the agency to help clients with a specific problem or issue they are facing regarding their employer brand.
  • Best Places to Work (BPTW) Bootcamps: These intensive 1-2 day sessions map out the steps an organization needs to take with internal stakeholders, including HR, in order to be recognized as a “Best Place to Work.”
  • Employee Evangelist Workshops: A workshop that guides organizations to identify and empower selected employees with training and tools to better represent the employer brand on social media, job sites, through internal communications and recruitment.

Communications Support

  • Regional Retention + Recruitment (RRR) Programs: Media blitzes conducted to help retrain and recruit talent in strategic regions.
  • Internal + External Communications: Internal content (newsletters, blogs, etc.) and external efforts (media relations, conferences, job fairs, etc.), designed to help tell organizations’ employer brand stories to raise employee morale, energize sales teams and improve employer perceptions.
AGENCY NEWS // AUGUST 3, 2017 //  

Sweet Deal: See's Candies selects Allison+Partners as PR AOR

See’s Candies has picked Allison+Partners as its PR AOR, following a competitive review.

Allison+Partners is working to drive conversation and product consideration for See’s Candies this holiday season. The firm will support See’s Candies’ brand, product, retail, and business communications and consumer campaigns. The agency is responsible for strategic communications planning, creative campaign strategy and execution, national and local media relations, and event and retail support.

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AGENCY NEWS // AUGUST 3, 2017 //  

See's Candies Names Allison+Partners Agency of Record

Allison+Partners today announced that after a competitive review, it has been named the PR agency of record for See’s Candies, one of the most trusted and timeless U.S. candy makers since 1921.  Allison+Partners will support brand, product, retail and business communications, as well as consumer campaigns for the California heritage brand.

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“See’s Candies is a company that’s truly committed to its customers, never wavering from the quality of their product, no matter how large they grow,” said Lisa Rosenberg, chief creative officer and co-chair of the agency’s consumer marketing practice. “At Allison+Partners, we value the same sentiments, one of the many reasons we’re excited to partner with See’s, leveraging our deep roots in consumer marketing and retail expertise to help them remain a preferred choice for consumers.”

Working with See’s Candies, Allison+Partners will be responsible for strategic communications planning, creative campaign strategy and execution, national and local market media relations, and event and retail support.  Kicking off work in August, for the remainder of 2017 the agency will focus largely on driving conversation and consideration for See’s Candies around the holiday season.

“Since our inception, See’s Candies has always delivered the highest quality American-made chocolates and candies, and we’re excited to continue telling stories in partnership with Allison+Partners around our unmatched product, heritage, and exciting growth,” said Jensen DeWees, See’s Candies Marketing Director. “Allison+Partners’ high touch approach to client service and collaborative spirit, combined with its San Francisco roots, gave us confidence they would be a wonderful partner to meet our communications needs.”

The account is a significant win for the agency, joining other Bay Area-based consumer clients for the San Francisco office that include Driscoll’s, Impossible Foods and Velv Wine. The account will be serviced by a joint San Francisco and Los Angeles team with Meghan Curtis, senior vice president in the San Francisco office, serving as account lead.

AGENCY NEWS // AUGUST 2, 2017 //  

Allison+Partners Ups Zach Colvin to Newly Created Role as California Chair

The firm has also promoted Jordan Fischler and Richard Kendall to partner.

Allison+Partners has upped partner Zach Colvin to the newly created role of chair of California.

Colvin is reporting to Jonathan Heit, president of the Americas. In the expansion of his role, Colvin is responsible for the overall growth of Allison+Partners’ Los Angeles, San Diego, and Silicon Valley offices, as well as its San Francisco headquarters.

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AGENCY NEWS // AUGUST 1, 2017 //  

Allison+Partners Elevates Jordan Fischler and Richard Kendall to Partnership Team, Zach Colvin Promoted to Chair, California

Allison+Partners today announced that Jordan Fischler and Richard Kendall have been elevated to partner, and partner Zach Colvin has been promoted to Chair, California, reflecting their numerous contributions to the agency’s growth.

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Fischler serves as executive vice president, head of consumer technology and leads the agency’s work for Samsung, iRobot and Mozilla, among others. As partner, Fischler will add oversight of global agency initiatives to her existing focus on growing the consumer technology practice and ensuring best practices across all accounts.

Dating back to her joining Allison+Partners in 2003, she played an integral role in ushering the agency into the social media era with leadership roles on accounts such as MySpace and YouTube, and played a central role in growing the Samsung business to one of the agency’s largest clients. Fischler’s deep understanding of technical specifications combined with sharp insights and client relations skills have helped contribute to making the technology practice account for nearly one-third of the agency’s business today. Additionally, she was recently named one of PRWeek’s 2017 “40 under 40,” reflecting her leadership in the industry. 

Kendall serves as general manager of Allison+Partners’ Seattle office and has been pivotal in the agency’s expansion in the Pacific Northwest. He also leads the agency’s real estate specialty group, which works with such clients as Vulcan Real Estate, BioMed Realty, Beacon Capital Partners and Mortensen Construction, among many others. First joining Allison+Partners in 2012 as general manager of San Diego, he helped build a strong foundation before relocating to his native Seattle to grow the agency’s presence there. In 2014, he facilitated the agency’s acquisition of Frause, a move that solidified the agency’s position in the Pacific Northwest, opened the Portland office and strengthened Allison+Partners’ creative and production capabilities. As partner, Kendall will continue growing the agency’s real estate specialty group globally.

“Jordan and Richard both bring their unique talents to the table every day to help the agency evolve and grow,” said Jonathan Heit, president of the Americas. “Between their business-savvy, dedication and entrepreneurial spirits, they both are relentless in their efforts to further build out our capabilities, making us fortunate to add them to our partnership team. Most importantly, they have incredible passion for the agency and our people, continually thinking of new and interesting ways to make Allison+Partners a better place.”

In Colvin’s newly-created and expanded position, he will be responsible for the overall growth of the agency’s Los Angeles, San Diego and Silicon Valley offices, as well as the company headquarters in San Francisco. Colvin has held several leadership positions with the agency, including general manager of the San Francisco office, and was made a partner in 2015. During his tenure, he managed the 4G network launch for Sprint, helped WhatsApp break out of the mobile and tech trades, led rebranding efforts for Boost Mobile and played a key role in YouTube’s consumer public relations initiatives. He currently acts as the strategic lead on several key accounts, including ARM, Dignity Health, Driscoll’s, Zendesk and Waze.

“During his tenure, Zach has demonstrated great strength in helping to build out our presence in both Northern and Southern California, while becoming intimately familiar with the responsibilities of leading offices in these markets,” said Heit. “This new role is a tall order, but one that Zach is particularly well-suited for, and I look forward to working closely with him to ensure continued progress and success.”

AGENCY NEWS // AUGUST 1, 2017 //  

40 Under 40 2017: Jordan Fischler

The dawn of the digital age was a career incubator for Jordan Fischler. She developed and executed initiatives that introduced consumers to technologies that changed the way we communicate, work, and play.

"One of our first consumer technology experts, Jordan helped usher the agency into the social media era, with leadership roles on accounts such as MySpace and YouTube early on, and dozens more since," says Jonathan Heit, president of the Americas division of Allison+Partners.

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Fischler had a central role in growing Samsung from a tiny, $7,000-a-month client into the agency’s largest account with billings on pace to hit $5 million in 2017. She established Samsung as a leader among enterprise tech brands, and she elevated the brand against competitors with breakthrough communications around the award-winning Notebook 9 series of laptops.

Fischler led more than 100 product launches across Samsung’s enterprise, consumer, and mobile divisions, growing the business annually since 2009, and more than 350% since 2015.

As an assistant account executive, Fischler secured the new business lead for Sony, Allison+Partners’ first marquee tech hardware brand and a client for 14 years. She drove the strategy for the launch of Roomba 980, iRobot’s groundbreaking robo-vac, resulting in the highest sales figures in company history to date. The consumer technology leader also spearheaded the launch of Mozilla’s Firefox 4 to widespread acclaim, propelling the company’s development cycle into hyperdrive as it went up against Google Chrome.

Fischler made geolocation pioneer Gowalla the thought leader in the space, differentiating it from early players such as Foursquare.

Her strategic insight and commitment to excellence have made Allison+Partners’ technology practice the $13 million profit center it is today.

  • Fischler guided YouTube from its startup phase - operating over a San Mateo pizza shop - through YouTube Live and the Visionary Awards, to its acquisition by Google.
  • She co-led the launch of the original MySpace.
  • She counseled Washington, DC, area tech entrepreneurs through Fosterly, a regional community of creatives tackling challenges in business and technology.
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AGENCY NEWS // JULY 28, 2017 //  

Why Moe's Southwest Grill declared a queso war on Chipotle

Moe's Southwest Grill

Moe’s Southwest Grill has ruled the queso roost for 17 years, with its "famous rich ribbons of liquid gold." So when Chipotle said it was testing queso with consumers to determine if it would become a permanent menu item, Moe’s ignited a war of cheese.

The turf war started on July 10, when Chipotle unveiled its only public-facing test kitchen in the Big Apple, called Chipotle Next Kitchen. That day, Chipotle announced its plans for queso, which was baffling for some, as the chain had previously said the cheese would not appear on the menu anytime soon.

Upon seeing Chipotle’s news, Moe’s Southwest Grill quickly entered the conversation, said the chain’s president, Bruce Schroder. Moe’s internal comms team collaborated with PR AOR Allison+Partners to come up with the strategy.

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AGENCY NEWS // JULY 21, 2017 //  

Overwhelmed, but grateful: What really happens when a brand turns a random person into a social media celebrity

PRWeek

At the start of the month, Josh Avsec had 730 Twitter followers and could, as he puts it, "post any stupid, silly thing" he wanted to. That number has since rocketed to 23,000.

Avsec and Michelle Arendas, both Kent State University students, were transformed into social media stars overnight, thanks to Tinder. The dating app, through which the pair met, is sending them on a first date to Hawaii based on a humorous tweet Avsec posted about the two avoiding each other over the past three years.

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AGENCY NEWS // JULY 18, 2017 //  

Allison+Partners Promotes Lisa Schmidtke to Phoenix GM

SAN FRANCISCO: Allison+Partners has upped Lisa Schmidtke from SVP to GM of the firm’s Phoenix office.

Schmidtke stepped into the role last month and reports to Cathy Planchard, president of Allison+Partners’ digital and content unit, All Told. Planchard previously held the GM responsibilities.

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AGENCY NEWS // JUNE 26, 2017 //  

The not-so-secret weapon in cause marketing: engaged influencers

YouTube

Consumers who follow digital influencers are more likely to share information about and engage with a cause, according to Allison+Partners’ Influence Impact Report, released on Monday.

Of users who follow digital influencers, 35% engaged with a cause due to an influencer’s recommendation and 31% were open to the idea of doing so due to an influencer’s vouching, according to the report.

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