10/24 Meeting Recap: Workshop with T3


By: Leslie Ortega

For our meeting we had T3, an advertising agency that finds innovative ways to develop a brand’s identity and marketing campaign. T3 employs 230 people across 4 cities with clients including Allstate, UPS, Whole Foods and Capital One.

T3 believes that consumers’ expectations have changed over time and it’s not just about communication anymore. They help companies get to the core of the business problem by framing solutions and building useful brands. They’ve mostly worked in digital advertising but also do different channel digital advertising experience.

Our meeting consisted of a workshop dealing with rideshare commuting problems. The challenge was to reimagine a better rideshare commuting solution and focusing on digital ideas and opportunities. 3 out of 4 commuters drive alone so how can we encourage people to be the driver and pick up others with them?

First, we established our key audiences: the established commuter and emerging commuters, then, we looked at ethnographic studies. The consensus across the studies were that commuters were hesitant to give up their freedom and flexibility, a negative stigma of carpooling, and being uncomfortable riding with strangers. T3 then reframed the challenges into opportunities and by modernizing carpooling and fostering a sense of community, it could change people’s perceptions on commuting.

Our activity included creating a journey map for emerging commuters by identifying key moments in a person’s commute journey and marking their peaks and troughs throughout the ride. This showed the commuter’s perspective and how it could be improved. Some of our members provided suggestions, such as modernizing it into an interactive app or offering rewards like gift cards, as a way to encourage ridesharing.

The final takeaway from our workshop is that this journey structure can be applied to anything else in communication while helping with tactics and overall user experience.


9/26 Meeting Recap: Striking a Chord

IMG_9985.JPGBy: Leslie Ortega

For our first meeting of the semester, we had a guest speaker from Margin Walker, a live-music promotions marketing company. Matthew Barron started a digital media company to mix digital marketing with creative and experiential marketing, which allowed him attendance at every music festival to take high level pictures for free. This has lead to his current employment at Margin Walker as a creative director. Matthew spoke to Texas PRSSA about experiential marketing and taking a creative approach to advertising.

When taking a creative approach, Matthew emphasized that one-on-one marketing is essential but also said to personalize things and remember to hone in on the audience you want. South by Southwest is one of the biggest events to try out these marketing ideas with big companies going head to head to see who can attract the biggest audience.

Matthew also explained that social media is a 360° appeal because it’s how consumers appraise your company. Digital presence should be a first priority as one represents their company on their social media posts. A great example of this is Wendy’s twitter account as their digital presence is known for their tweets and replies to consumers and other companies.

Lastly, Matthew talked about experiential marketing and creating experiences for your consumers. The epitome of what you give consumers at experiential marketing events is a lasting experience that they can keep forever. Examples of this include limited edition gifts and opportunities, such as hats, posters, and meeting celebrities.

One important thing to remember is that what and who you’re marketing is very important, but make sure to keep your audience in mind when creating these opportunities.

4/18 Meeting Recap: Best Practices for New Business



By: Leslie Ortega


For our final meeting of the semester, Texas PRSSA had Hill+Knowlton Strategies come talk about the steps of acquiring new business within their firm. With over 86 offices in 47 countries, H+K is a full service global strategic firm that helps brands and the public communicate while coordinating with counterparts to pursue global opportunities and campaigns. Here’s a review of their presentation.

First, H+K starts off by finding leads on new business. H+K generates leads through either their website, personal connections, referrals, or even cold calls. After finding these leads, they check to see if this opportunity works with their company by using these 4 objectives:

  • Revenue: making sure their client’s budget is inline with them
  • Relevance: having work examples that can help with the new business or partners with past experience in this field
  • Reputation: is the client company viewed in a positive light?
  • Resources: are there adequate staff and resources to do the work?

If they decide to move forward, H+K schedules a meeting with the client to make sure they tailor to them and start to build a relationship. They have to make sure that they match what they do with what the client is looking for. They also ask questions like why they chose H+K, who they view as their competition and why they issued an RFP (Request for Proposal).  

  • RFP: An RFP typically is a 30-day process but it can vary with each client. A project timeline of a 30-day RFP includes:
    • Day 1: RFP is qualified
    • Day 4: Submit questions
    • Day 10: Written response
    • Day 24: Pitch
    • Day 30: Contract negotiations

Next, H+K gathers research and insights in order to understand the client. This includes finding company profiles as well as information on a company’s board of directors, number of employees, markets they work in and whether they’ve been in the news lately. H+K uses this research as guideposts to shape creative ideas. They first start off with templates and canned language but these are building blocks, not the final products. No matter how big or small the company is, they make sure to customize ideas to their needs.

After gathering research, it’s time to handpick the team that will be pitching to the client. Roles are assigned to each member based on their past experience or relevance to the new client. H+K makes sure to know the team they’re pitching to and where it will be taking place. After collecting this information, the team works on their presentation. Submissions tend to be more text-heavy while pitch presentations more of an emphasis on photos and visuals. Those on the pitch team don’t usually have scripts but rather notes so that they won’t sound too scripted. They also have to be able to read people in the room – it’s important that the client connects with the pitch team.

If they win the account, H+K starts working with other agency partners to help the company. If they don’t win the account, they take steps to find out why and how to prevent losing the next one. It’s important to know the strengths and weaknesses of your pitch team, so asking for feedback afterwards is necessary. Most companies feel comfortable sharing what they didn’t like about the pitch, which makes it easier to improve and grow the company.