A Fresh Look

Oliver Russell & Associates has put a fresh look on their website within the past week or so. Most of the content on the site is the same as the previous iteration, but there are a few notable items.

New examples in their portfolio, as well as featuring portfolio pieces on the home page.
They’ve added more detail about their employees within the company section of the website.

More importantly, however, they’ve done a good job of incorporating flash, while at the same time making their website search engine friendly (or search engine optimized, if you prefer). A little peek behind the curtain reveals that for the more prominent pages, such as the company history, grants, etc. all have plain text embedded in the code to accompany the flash-based text that you see on-screen. In addition, each of the sections of the site have their own unique URL, which allows the spiders from Google, Yahoo, and others to dig further into the site and catalog even more information.

All in all I have to give Russ and crew credit for a job well done. This is a good example of how an agency can demonstrate its capabilities through its own website, rather than just talking about what they’re capable of.

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Rocky Mountain Oyster Feed

I would be remiss if I didn’t at least make note of the “discussion” going on around the commercials that were done for the Rocky Mountain Oyster Feed (a part of Eagle Fun Days) in Eagle this weekend. While my first thought was not to get into the middle of it here (since the spots were done by an agency out of New York), I thought I’d at let you know that there’s a lively discussion about it happening over at IdahoRadioNews.com.

UPDATE: Steve Hall over at Adrants picked up this story today as well. As it turns out, FCB in New York was the agency that did the work, on a pro-bono basis, as one of their creative directors was from Eagle. I’m guessing the discussion about this will last much longer than the actual event.

Transit Done Differently

So the idea of transit advertising is nothing new, but here’s one that caught my attention yesterday. I was out and about for lunch, and saw truck from Tri-Cities Meats making a delivery at a restaurant. The real kicker, however, was that rather than having their logo on the sides of the delivery truck, they had banners for Qwest, and some of their featured services.

Having spent several years in the restaurant business, I know how often those trucks are out on the roads each day, and how far they travel. I’d be willing to bet that people are going to be exposed to these that might not normally see traditional transit (bus) ads that are on a fixed route. I’m guessing that Qwest, and Tri-Cities are going to get a lot of mileage out of this (no pun intended).

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What’s Happening at Wirestone?

I noticed a display ad on the front page of last week’s (May 28th) Career section of The Idaho Statesman, as well as a “teaser” ad of sorts elsewhere in the same day’s paper — something along the lines of “how to work with Motorola in Boise.” The career section ad essentially listed all of the different job functions in the Boise office, and that they were hiring for all of those areas.

I’ve been chewing on this one for a while, but I thought I’d throw it out here — anyone care to shed some light on what’s happening at Wirestone? Is their business growing to the point that they are doing mass hiring? If that’s the case, good for them! Or are they just collecting resumes for future openings?

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We are not alone in this business

Lest you think that the goings-on in the agency business in and around Idaho are unique, here’s a small world story that confirms the fact that the business we do does not happen independently of the rest of the industry:

I was listening to one of the many podcasts that I subscribe to, in this case Episode 34 of Across the Sound from Joseph Jaffe. In this particular show, I caught a piece contributed by Tac Anderson, with Blue Line Results, located here in the Treasure Valley. Tac railed on for a few minutes about the “old agency model” and how even local companies have been incredibly slow to adapt to changes in the industry. He also made note of a recent event put on by the Idaho chapter of the PRSA, in which a whopping six people showed up. Yes, you read that right, SIX.

Oh where to begin…

Let’s start with the PRSA event. Six people is just embarrassing. But the first question that comes to my mind is where was the advance information about this event. Personally, I never heard a word about it. And with an event sponsored by a chapter of the Public Relations Society of America, you’d think that they’d do a better job than most of getting the word out in the press / media. Apparently not. When I can read a story about the former Governor’s Press Secretary taking a job with a PR Agency, reported by the Associated Press of all people (I’ll leave the irony of that alone for now), but I hear nothing about an event that should, and most likely did, have relevance for the agency business in Idaho as a whole, something’s just wrong with that picture.

Now, as far as the “old agency model” of doing business, for those of you who’ve followed my previous posts, you know that I’m a strong proponent of adapting to the changes that are happening all around us. If you’re not changing right now, you’re going to find yourself so far behind that you’ll end up spending significantly more trying to recruit talented, and qualified employees away from other companies down the road. To Tac’s point of trying to help out their competitors, I’m right there with him — they’ve had their chance. While its true that changes in the agency business in Idaho tend to lag behind what’s happening nationally, now is the perfect time for agencies around here to catch up with the rest of the world. With very few exceptions, every shop in this state is a “boutique agency,” and as such should be able to adapt incredibly quickly to these changes. Why doesn’t it happen? More often than not I’d be willing to guess that too many shops are comfortable with the status quo.

So, here I am sitting at my computer in Idaho, writing about a podcast that originates from Connecticut, among other locations, that included a comment from another listener here in Idaho. We are most definitely not alone in this business.

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