Quinlan runs a colorful race at the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge

Sarah

Thursday, June 25 marked Buffalo’s annual JP Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge at Delaware Park. The race featured participating companies from all over Western New York. Quinlan was one of the many companies that ran, ate, drank and most importantly — to our creative team, anyway — participated in the t-shirt designing contest.

Oops! No we didn’t. Someone forgot to send in the official entry…but our own Michael Belfatto, designer of Quinlan’s Corporate Challenge t-shirts, was still the winner in our book.

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Internal competition fueled creativity

Earlier this spring, all Quinlan staffers were invited to create their own designs for our Corporate Challenge t-shirts. The top design was decided based on anonymous votes. Many of the subsequent designs were influenced by our team’s enthusiasm, sense of humor and unique personality.

“Everyone had originality,” says Brandon Stenzel, our interactive designer, “but a little spunk made each design stand out. Everyone did a great job.”

Michael’s design got the nod. He incorporated a series of different personalities into his design — it was colorful, relatable and fun.

“We wanted to reflect Quinlan’s quirky culture in our design,” Michael notes. “I wanted to include everyone’s different personality and roles and combine something that shows what a unique agency we are.”

 

What they wore

Dozens of companies — Wegmans, General Mills, Roswell Park, and Tops, to name a few of the biggest —  spent the evening unwinding from the 3.5-mile race from the Great Meadow in Delaware Park to Gates Circle and back, and we made sure to take a look at all of their t-shirt designs.

 

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So who took home the gold as T-shirt design champion? The official winners were ITT Endine and Kegworks. We’ll consider ourselves “The People’s Champion.” Congratulations, everyone!

For more information on the race results from the 2015 Corporate Challenge, visit www.jpmorganchasecc.com .

Don’t forget to tweet us your photos from the Corporate Challenge @QuinlanCompany!

Join our team: Content marketing internship

Grace

Enjoy an internship with a hard-working Buffalo advertising agency jam-packed with great people, interesting projects and all sorts of free parking. QUINLAN is offering a content marketing internship for the fall 2015 semester that includes such responsibilities as:

● Maintaining the Off Campus Living blog. We’re looking for one very-good-to-excellent blog post per week for the Off-Campus Living blog, our in-house content marketing incubator maintained exclusively by our student interns. Topics will include DIY projects, inspiration interviews with expert bloggers and light, everyday personality stories.

● Managing Off Campus Living’s social media accounts. They say never let the intern handle social media — we say, that’s how interns learn. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other platforms. Where do you think we should be? We want your opinion, too.

● Participating in Quinlan think sessions. You’re pretty smart, so we’d like you to sit in on some of our strategy sessions, brainstorming meetings and concepting conversations with everyone from company execs to our most recent hires.

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Need to Know:

The ideal content marketing intern will be available 9 to 12 hours per week and will be able to work on-site at Quinlan (385 N. French Road, Amherst, NY 14228).

This is an unpaid internship and must be completed for course credit.

This is a content marketing internship geared toward written communication — please, if you’re not a strong writer, this internship is not for you. Undergraduate communication, marketing, advertising, public relations, English and journalism students are encouraged to apply.

You’re here to learn.

As per New York State law and the laws of general decency, this is a learning internship. We will educate you about the work that we do, we will explain why we are giving you certain tasks and responsibilities and we will not push you around as an unpaid employee — we’ll treat you like a member of our team and as a student who wants to learn more about the ad world.

If all goes well, you will leave Quinlan with a better understanding of content marketing, agency life and at least one reference and letter of recommendation. An outstanding performance will open consideration for paid part-time or full-time work following the completion of the internship.

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Sound good?

If this internship sounds good to you, please apply as soon as possible! Send your resume and 2-3 writing samples to Ben Kirst at [email protected] by Aug. 15, 2015. Feel free to call (716) 691-6200 ext. 140 with any questions.

Quinlan is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate against any employee or applicant on the basis of age, color, disability, gender, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, veteran status, or any classification protected by federal, state, or local law. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply.

3 Advertising Trends for 2015 (and beyond) from Media Director Malorie Benjamin

Sarah

Advertising changes constantly  in the digital age. Brands are always testing the mix to find the best way to reach potential customers: television campaigns, video ads within digital and social media, rotations of 15-, 30- and 60-second spots on traditional radio, podcasts or  music-sharing services like Spotify and Pandora, print and mobile display ads, and more – it’s a constant rotation of creative, media and tactics.

Quinlan Media Director Malorie Benjamin was recently selected to participate in a panel discussion with four local experts at the Buffalo Broadcasters Association  Advertiser Roundtable Breakfast on June 4 at The Buffalo Club in downtown Buffalo. The audience, consisting in large part of of sales executives from businesses throughout the Western New York region,  was eager to learn about media purchasing and how their  teams could maximize this  side of the business.

“We discussed what type of information media planners and buyers need and can provide to media sales reps”, Malorie noted. “We talked about social media and digital campaigns and comparing performance to traditional media. How are we assessing the campaigns and how do we compare which is working best?”

Here are three trends that were identified during the panel presentation:

Trend #1: Traditional advertising techniques can still work with new media.

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Part of Malorie’s discussion emphasized how content delivery companies such as Hulu and Pandora are considered part of the television and radio mix, instead of just “digital” ways to advertise.

“I wanted to include other options outside of what we would typically think of with TV and radio,” Malorie noted. “Hulu is considered just another station on a TV buy rather than just a digital form, which is a major contributing factor in the way the landscape has changed.”

According to the Marketingcharts debrief  “How is the Marketing Media Mix changing?” , media budget cutbacks seem to still stray away from digital and are focused more on traditional. However, when there is a conglomerate of both traditional and digital, there will be a greater  variety of possibilities and combinations for advertising strategies.

“I wanted to include other options outside of what we would typically think of with TV and radio,” Malorie said.

 

Trend #2. Attribution models are the wave of the future.

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Attribution models are defined as a set of rules that determine how credit for sales and conversions  are assigned to touchpoints during the conversion path. For example, would a message communicated via television be given credit if a consumer saw the ad and made a purchase? Or would it be the digital display ad the consumer saw? Or an audio ad on a podcast? And how do you tie that back?

“Attribution modeling is getting more popular among larger clients and in larger markets,” Malorie said.  “We are starting to see this being used in media buying and apply it to where it makes the most sense.”

Attribution models requires an advertiser or an agency  to have a deep understanding of  their business model and strategy and demands  definition regarding how each marketing and sales channel works together within the decision-making funnel.

 

Trend #3: Digital marketing continues to disrupt the media-buying environment.

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“To me,” Malorie explained, “ the digital world makes work more diverse which is interesting and complex at the same time. However, the importance of TV and radio buying is also affected, and it forces media planners to become more educated in what they do and how they do it during a time of constant change.”

According to the Marketingcharts debrief, the advertiser’s budget for digital advertising has increased  by 15% year-over-year.

“95 percent said they would increase their digital brand advertising spending if they could verify that it created the desired result,” Malorie noted, “and 82 percent would do so if they had the ability to verify that the advertising was actually delivered to their intended audience.”

According to CWS article “How to Market using New Media” , with new media comes new metrics — numbers and statistics that  open a whole new world of opportunities. An example would be finding what are called intenders for new media such as Pandora. The one-minute commercials can find intenders who may intend to buy, for example, a Honda,  and hyper-target to that region in that specific area code. Interactions and online behavior are made available for many advertising outlets.

The Buffalo Broadcasters  Media Night Out will be the next event where advertising and PR experts can come together and explore the many different realms of working with the media.

For more information about the Buffalo Broadcasters Association and upcoming events, visit http://www.buffalobroadcasters.com/.

Tweet us your thoughts on advertising trends @QuinlanCompany!

8 Ways to conquer conferences when traveling solo

Kristin

More than 40 million Americans attend a convention, trade show or conference each year, according to the Convention Industry Council. It’s the perfect opportunity to learn, make connections and implement strategies within your business or agency.

From May 12-15, I had the opportunity to attend Copyblogger Media’s content marketing conference — Authority Rainmaker — in Denver, Colorado. This wasn’t my first conference, but it was my first conference traveling alone – and let’s just say that flying from Buffalo to the Mile-High City to spend the week with complete strangers can be somewhat overwhelming.

As it turns out, attending conferences alone can be extremely liberating. Between the speakers’ sessions, the after parties downtown and my time spent exploring Denver, I quickly owned the solo role – and came back with a few life lessons of my own.

How to Conquer Conferences when Traveling Alone

1). Know your goal before attending.

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What do you hope to get out of your experience? Are you spreading awareness about your agency? Writing a blog post on the conference? Want to focus in and learn more about strategies moving forward? Plan ahead and determine which events and sessions will be most relevant and beneficial for you.

Authority Rainmaker only had one venue, one session at a time. One of the best parts of the conference was that I didn’t have to pick and choose (and miss out on keynote speakers). However, conferences don’t always go this way. Make sure you’re prepared to do your homework.

2). Stay at a conference hotel.

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Conferences will often offer discounts through select hotels in the area. In my case, the hotel was conveniently located 0.2 miles from the conference venue. Not only can you save money, but walking a short distance alone isn’t a big deal. You’re also more likely to run into other attendees throughout your hotel.

The Denver Hyatt Regency was packed with Authority Rainmaker attendees. The first morning of the conference, I bumped into a lady in the hotel wearing her Authority Rainmaker lanyard. After chatting for a while, we ate breakfast and walked over to the conference together. She ended up being a contact I still keep in touch with.

3). Overuse social media.

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Live tweeting may seem like it’s overdone, but when you’re flying solo at a conference, it’s a necessity.

Tweet quotes that resonate with you, post photos on Instagram, and interact with people. Using the conference hashtag (#Authority2015) and Twitter handles of keynote speakers are great ways to spark up conversation. If you’re interested in meeting up with people after the keynote, ask them! You’d be surprised at how many strangers became friends because of tweet outreach.

Bernadette Jiwa, one of the Authority Rainmaker keynote speakers, responded back to me (and I even had the privilege of meeting her). Demian Farnworth, Copyblogger Media’s chief content writer, also favorited my tweet and followed me. A little goes a long way.

4). Socialize – even if it’s out of your comfort zone.

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Using social media is one half of the equation, and making it count is the other half. Attending a conference alone may seem like an uncomfortable situation, but it’s the perfect time to step out of your comfort zone and strike conversation with other attendees.

At my last conference, two coworkers accompanied me. It was easy to attend events and socialize in a group setting, because I had a team of my own. This time, instead of being surrounded by my own organization, my only option was to network with others – and surprisingly, it was easy. People are more likely to connect with you when they see that you’re alone. I met up with three ladies on my very first day who also traveled alone, and because of this, we had the opportunity to share dinners and outings together.

My one tip of socializing advice: always be prepared. Have your elevator pitch memorized and your business cards handy. You never know when you’ll run into somebody.

5). Always attend the after party.

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One of the biggest values of a conference is the after party. You’re not taking notes, you’re not focusing on the speaker’s takeaways – you’re unwinding after a long day. You’re getting the chance to meet people on a personal level.

Authority Rainmaker offered three different opportunities for attendees to network outside of the conference venue. They weren’t mandatory, but I took advantage of two of them. Out of the entire week, these two nights are when I networked the most. It was here that I learned about other organizations, discussed common goals and exchanged business cards.

The after party is more than just cocktails and craft beers, it’s making lasting connections to bring back with you. After all, conversations are much more valuable than sessions – so make them count.

6). Don’t be afraid to explore.

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You may have spent a day traveling to and from this conference, but don’t let the conference consume your trip. You’re there to learn and network, but you’re also there to have the full experience. So take advantage! Don’t be afraid to stroll through the city, check out the local shopping scene or take a road trip to the neighboring town. It gives a very different perspective on attending a conference.

On my afternoon off, I decided to rent a car (extremely affordable) and travel an hour to Rocky Mountain National Park – easily one of the most beautiful destinations on the planet. By taking some time to travel, I was able to take in the full Colorado experience, see how the locals live, and enjoy some time in the mountains before the conference began.

7). Turn contacts into connections.

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Once you’re back home and settled into your daily routine, take the time to follow up with the contacts you’ve made. Whether it’s an email, a phone call or a LinkedIn request – turn those contacts into connections.

I began by sorting through my business cards and made sure I requested my contacts on LinkedIn. I also exchanged numbers when I was in Denver, which will allow me to reach out and reconnect in the future. Be sure to keep them in mind for your next conference (and as you move forward in your career).

8).  Share the love.

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Your organization invested time and money towards your professional development, and you’re coming back with knowledge to share with your agency. Set up a team meeting to share your top takeaways, organize an internal presentation or write a blog post on what you learned on your trip. By doing this, you can help connect the value of the conference to direct business goals.

“If you send someone to a conference and they learn and network and create content, then that’s great,” notes Janine Popick, founder of VerticalResponse and writer for Inc. “But, to truly make it valuable, they’ve got to bring all that back and share it with all the folks who didn’t get to go to the conference but could benefit from the good stuff.”

Have you traveled solo to a conference? What are some of the challenges you’ve faced and lessons you’ve learned? Share some of your thoughts with us on Twitter @QuinlanCompany.

Conjerti named new Quinlan creative director, Kirst as content marketing lead

Sarah

Quinlan is proud to announce the recent promotion of two key employees: Ben Kirst and Frank Conjerti.

Frank Conjerti: Creative Director

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Mr. Conjerti was previously Quinlan’s digital creative director. He now oversees all aspects of Quinlan’s creative work, including strategy, concepting and design.

“My role has grown from not just digitally focused, but overseeing creative work for all different mediums and working closely with the content and design teams,” Mr. Conjerti explains. “We all work together to make sure everything is on brand, on target, and innovative.”

Mr. Conjerti joined Quinlan as interactive developer in 2010. His creative work in video, animation and graphics has garnered the company local and national recognition from the Advertising Club of Buffalo, the TELLY Awards and the Marketing Communications Agency Network (MCAN), among others.

“Your work follows you for your entire career,” Mr. Conjerti says.  “You should be proud to show it off. I think we’ve done some excellent creative work over the past few years and are continuing to change the way clients and the community see Quinlan.”

Mr. Conjerti recently completed a stint as secretary for the Board of Directors of the Advertising Club of Buffalo. A Lockport, N.Y. native and graduate of the University at Buffalo, Mr. Conjerti currently resides in Tonawanda, N.Y. with his wife, Katie, and their daughter, Kennedy.

Ben Kirst: Director of Content Marketing

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As the new director of content marketing, Mr. Kirst leads a team of three writers and public relations professionals. He is responsible for all content marketing efforts for Quinlan and its clients.

“I am excited to take a more active role on the creative side and come up with strategies for clients,” Mr. Kirst says. “I want to continue creating award-winning work while delivering effective content marketing based on solid strategy, outstanding creative and a close eye on analytics.”

Mr. Kirst is the recipient of multiple industry awards, including three Bronze Telly awards and two Addy awards, for his work as copywriter at Quinlan. He is a former board member of The Advertising Club of Buffalo and a 2013-14 Buffalo Niagara 360 Spotlight Professional.

Mr. Kirst joined Quinlan in August 2013 as copywriter and content strategist. Mr. Kirst was previously digital communications manager for The Buffalo News and public relations assistant for the State University of New York at Fredonia.

A Dunkirk native, Mr. Kirst is a SUNY Fredonia graduate and currently resides in North Buffalo with his wife, Amy.

Congratulations Ben and Frank!

Tweet us your thoughts @QuinlanCompany.