Walker Sands PROI Exchange Recap: A Week in Seattle + A Day in Portland
Like my colleagues, Kelsey Gunderson and Payal Shukla, I also had the opportunity to visit a PROI partner agency. Last month, I ventured over to the West Coast to spend time with C+C, a creative public relations and social media agency for companies that help people and the planet. I spent time in their Seattle headquarters as well as a day in their Portland office. They also have offices in Boston and Washington, D.C.
Here’s a look at my visit:
What I Learned
I spent most of my time in meetings with practice leads where we exchanged case studies and processes. Here are a few of my takeaways:
- Dull, niche subjects can be fun – We like to pride ourselves at Walker Sands on our ability to make obscure B2B tech interesting to broad audiences. We’re not alone. Many of C+C’s clients include equally niche, complex organizations: utilities, food labeling, diversity organization, etc. But that challenge is exactly what makes our job as creative marketers fun!
- Definition of “success” varies – Contrary to popular belief, “success” doesn’t always mean placement volume or lead generation. For some of C+C’s clients, changing consumer behavior is the real goal. For some of C+C’s clients, that means registering for health screenings or switching to green energy sources. It’s important to define success for each client or campaign to set expectations.
- B2B can be B2C – It’s easy for B2B clients to get stuck in the mentality that their customers are businesses. But the reality is that humans work at those businesses (at least until robots take over), and the best results for clients come when we take a more consumer-friendly (read: less intimidating jargon) approach.
What I Did
Of course, I had some fun in the Emerald City with and without the folks at C+C. Besides the obligatory trips to the Space Needle, Pike Place Market and the OG Starbucks, here are a few of my highlights:
-PRSA Totem Awards – My visit happened to overlap with Seattle’s PRSA Totem Awards dinner, so I crashed C+C’s table and cheered on their wins for the cool campaigns they shared with me.
-Coach Mary – One of the best perks at C+C’s Portland office is a personal trainer, Coach Mary, who visits them once a week. I was there on Coach Mary day, so I participated in a surprise afternoon workout.
-Amazon Go – Amazon dominates downtown Seattle, and the city was abuzz with the opening of the cashier-less store. It was only open to Amazon employees at the time, but like any good Walker Sandsian, I pressed my nose up against the glass to peek inside.
It’s hard to believe I only spent three days with C+C! I learned a ton while I was there, and I can’t wait to go back to Seattle. If you’re ever given a chance to visit, go!