It's About the Work

The following blog post features takeaways from a recent Allison University webinar hosted by Kevin Nabipour, senior vice president of content marketing. Allison University webinars encourage professional development in the Allison+Partners’ workplace by offering training in PR, marketing and management from in-house experts.

Content marketing is storytelling that attracts, informs and entertains target audiences, prompting them to share, like and/or comment with the goal of increasing influence and profits for a specific brand. It’s an integral part of the communications sphere that transcends all disciplines, clients and industries. Whether you’re working with a B2B, B2C, small or large client, content marketing is imperative to every business’s success.

According to Kevin Nabipour, the secret to thoughtful, impactful content marketing lies in creating meaningful content that sparks audience interest and promotes brand expertise and values. This could include videos, photos, infographics, native ads, sponsored ads, microsites, events, contests, songs, podcasts, apps, tools and eBooks.

Need content inspiration? What’s happening in the world? Does injecting your brand into conversations surrounding a newsworthy event make sense? Think Oreo’s Super Bowl blackout post or Kit Kat’s bendable iPhone post. Be mindful of what’s transpiring around you and leverage those occasions to generate relevant, valuable content for your target audience. Also, check out great content campaigns like Volvo’s “Epic Split,” Coca Cola’s “Journey” and Red Bull’s “Mission to the Edge of Space.”

Remember, the best content arises when the brand-self aligns with customer interests.

As the plane took off, reality set in. I was leaving on a month-long trip to visit three countries with my dad, aunt and best friends. I had one bag packed for a 30-day trip to visit the following cities and countries:

  • Peru (Lima, Cusco, Machu Picchu)
  • Uruguay (Colonia del Sacramento)
  • Argentina (Buenos Aires, Mendoza)

The first ten days of my trip were spent brushing up on my Spanish and trekking in Peru with my dad to visit a multitude of cultural and spiritual sites including: the Koricancha temple, Sacsayhuaman fortress, Mt. Salktantay and Machu Picchu. One of the more memorable days of the trip was a hike up to a 14,000-foot glacial lake to acclimatize our lungs and bodies in preparation for the coming days that would be spent at 15,000 feet. While at the lake, a local Quechua shaman performed a ceremony to wish each of us good luck and good weather on our journey. The weather for the remainder of the trip was unbeatable, with rain only falling at night or during lunch while we were sheltered.

After eight days of physically and mentally challenging treks through Peru, we were rewarded with our first view of Machu Picchu. On our first full day exploring Machu Picchu, the city was shrouded in clouds and our hearts sank. By mid-morning, the clouds miraculously lifted to reveal the vibrant green grass and gray stones of the serene mountaintop city built hundreds of years ago.

From Peru, I flew to Buenos Aires where I met my aunt for a week experiencing the Argentine culture of tango, wine and steak. She is a dance teacher in Connecticut and was determined that I would learn to dance the Argentine Tango. I am a self-professed “meativore” and was determined that we would find the best steak in Buenos Aires. Together we succeeded and even had time for a day trip to explore charming Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay, across the Rio de la Plata from Buenos Aires.

For the last week of my trip, I continued to challenge myself to speak Spanish with anyone I interacted with, this time while wine tasting in Mendoza with my best friends. By the time I boarded my plane home, I felt more refreshed, relaxed and inspired than I ever thought possible after traveling for 30 days. I had hit the reset button and was ready to tackle new problems and challenges with perspective and fresh thinking.



Summer of Caring

This summer, Allison+Partners kicked off our Summer of Caring, one of two company-wide volunteer efforts we do a year, in addition to quarterly projects organized by each of our offices.  This summer, we organized volunteer activities that supported local charities in our communities, while also providing an opportunity to spend some quality time with each other away from our desks.

This year’s Summer of Caring focused on helping those in our local communities by donating food and time for individual families – people and pets.  We recognized that many families in our communities live in food-insecure homes and rely on school meal programs to ensure their children have breakfast and lunch. With school out for summer break, we knew this would create a greater demand on local food assistance charities and food banks.  And, we all love dogs and wanted to expand our profile of “the family.”

In all, we devoted a total of 100 collective hours and 3,100 pounds of food and pet supplies to charities, celebrating our firm’s unique culture by impacting our communities in need. After all, our motto – “it’s about the work” – really translates to “it’s about the people.” Our Summer of Caring provided us ample opportunity to focus on both the people inside our offices, as well as, in our communities.

Here are some of the highlights from the summer:

The Atlanta office donated 50 pounds worth of wish list items to the Atlanta Humane Society that included newspapers, plastic bags, pet food, treats, grooming supplies, litter, etc. The office also packaged more than 500 meals for delivery to Project Open Hand, a local organization that helps people prevent or better manage chronic disease through Comprehensive Nutrition Care.

Meanwhile, the DC Office kept busy volunteering at the Capital Area Food Bank, where they collected, donated and delivered 30 pounds of food from the organization’s wish list. This included pasta, canned foods, healthy snacks and baby food.

The Phoenix team collected 97 pounds of food to donate to the Desert Mission Food Bank. The team also packed approximately 400 emergency food boxes for the Mission’s clientele.  A food box will feed a family of four for about three days and the service can be utilized by families six times a year for free.

The San Diego Office collected 30 canned good items for Feeding America San Diego, as well as, held a food and goods drive for animals. All together, the office collected 24 items to donate to the San Diego Humane Society.

In San Francisco, the team spent three hours handing out 2,100 pounds of rice and 767 pounds of cereal to those in need of food at the SF/Marin Food Bank.

The LA office organized a food drive to benefit the Westside Food Bank in Santa Monica.

Thank you to everyone who donated their time, money and resources to benefit those in need in our communities. We’re excited to see where our “do-good energy” will take us with our winter service project… stay tuned!

We are thankful for all the brave men and women who have served in the military to protect the liberties of others, especially:

Rick Beal

“My dad, Rick Beal, served as a Lieutenant in the US Navy from 1967-1971, including two Vietnam deployments in 1969 and 1970. His experience shaped him and I am so thankful for his service and the service of all men and women in the military. Listen to their stories, thank them for their service, and the next time you’re in the midst of a PR crisis, remember that someone else is making a much bigger sacrifice so that you can fight the good fight with the media over here. So, thank you Dad – maybe this is the year I’ll finally be able to recite the entire military alphabet by heart (without making up my own version along the way).” – Stephanie Mussell

James W. Dubois

“My dad, Colonel James W. DuBois, who completed two tours in Vietnam as a fighter pilot with the US Air Force. His “go big or go home” philosophy has taught me to be a better person.” – Virginia Anderson

Gina Dixon

“My cousin, Gina Dixon, is a retired Major in the Army Reserves. She did multiple tours as a linguistics experts and is fluent in Russian and Arabic, among other languages.” – Ashley Nasser

Louis Frank Fraass

“My grandfather, Louis Frank Fraass, Sr., was a petty officer, second class in the US Navy and served aboard the USS Randolph from 1944 to 1946. He didn’t share his war stories often when I was a child, but I’m thankful for his bravery and service.” – Courtney Fraas

The Allison+Partners team would also like to thank military personnel who currently serve, including:

Jay May

“My best friend was commissioned into the Navy a year ago. His name is Jay May and he is currently attending flight school in Pensacola, Florida where he’s learning to fly helicopters. We went to high school and college together, and he led his ROTC group the last two years of college, getting up at 4:30 a.m. three times a week for all four years to attend morning workouts. He had a wonderful commissioning ceremony last year when we graduated.” – Laura Beshire

Matthew Corsey

“Every Veterans Day I remember when the City of San Diego unveiled a refurbished “Kiss” statue by the USS Midway on Valentine’s Day. Matthew, my husband and a U.S. Navy hospital corpsman, and I attended the festivities at Navy Pier along with hundreds of other sailors and marines, including many older veterans in full dress uniform who danced to WWII era music. Years ago on another Valentine’s Day, my husband Matthew gave me an copy of the famous LIFE magazine photograph, which inspired the statue, autographed by George Mendosa, the actual sailor caught in the act. Every time I drive by the Navy Pier and see this statue, I am reminded of the many joyous sailor homecomings each year in our Navy town, but on Veterans Day, I remember my friends whose husbands didn’t come home during the past decade of war. I’m grateful for their strength and for our country’s new time of peace that their sacrifice earned.” – Jenny Corsey

Brent Almeling

“My older brother, Brent, is in the army, currently stationed with his family in Okinawa, Japan. I’d love to give a special shout out to him!” – Leah Almeling

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