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The Spark Awards: Judging Updates for 2015 It’s that time – the 2015 Spark Awards are right around the corner! Whether it’s an individual project or a campaign, group up your best work from 2014 and submit it for the chance to receive a snazzy trophy and recognition from the regional marketing and communications community. Entry packets will be due on Wednesday, February 18. We’ll have our annual drop-off party at Dean Davis Photography (216 W. Pacific Ave., Suite 102) from 4 – 6 p.m. The Spark Awards Ceremony will take place on April 22 at the Spoka… Read More >

12 Dec 2014

I can’t tell you how, but I was able to get my hands on a copy of Santa’s Naughty List for 2014 (let’s just say I know some elves up north). It is meticulously indexed and separated by industry, which is weird. I flipped through the “Marketing and Communications” chapter and found some unsettling things. I won’t name names, but it gives you a good idea of what not to do, lest you want to upset Santa. So here is a sampling of some marketing and communication tactics that could land you on Santa&rsqu… Read More >

19 Nov 2014

DECEMBER 2014 PROGRAM Build an Event Marketing Plan You've planned an amazing event, but how do you get people there? Will the media care? Creating a comprehensive marketing plan to fill the seats is just as important as the event itself. Join us for a discussion on event marketing with panelists Lerria Schuh, West Coast Entertainment, vice president marketing and sales; Crystal Schaeffer-Flynn, event consultant; and Elizabeth Giles, Inland Northwest Blood Center, marketing and communication officer. Friday, Decembe… Read More >

MarCom Mumblings: Planning a Nonprofit Event PLANNING A NONPROFIT EVENT By Barbara Comito, MarCom Events Chair Here’s an irony – an introverted homebody writing a blog post about how to throw the perfect party. Full disclosure: I have an aversion to party supply stores, crowds, small talk and anything resembling a game. I’m bad at organization. I don’t decorate, and I’d much rather put on PJs and cuddle up with Dickens than don a little black dress and heels or mingle with VIPs. Still, my fellow MarCom board members were adamant (tyrants!): the… Read More >

“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said, ‘faster horses.’”        - Henry Ford Henry Ford, as you might recall, developed the first affordable automobile. It changed our way of life and is – in my opinion – one of the two greatest inventions ever (the other being the personal computer).  That quote, though, flies in the face of what many of us do quite often: research. If Ford did research on what the public wanted back in his time, nobody woul… Read More >

22 Oct 2014

NOVEMBER 2014 PROGRAM From Sterling to Umpqua: Managing Communications and Change through a Merger Join us for a discussion with Marty Dickinson, executive vice president and cultural enhancement executive for Umpqua Bank. Last year, Portland-based Umpqua Bank bought Sterling Bank, creating the largest community bank on the West Coast. Friday, November 7 7:00 am - 7:45 am Networking & Breakfast 7:45 am - 9:00 am Introductions & Program T he Lincoln Center* – 1316 N. Lincoln Street *Parking is free! … Read More >

17 Oct 2014

Today’s news cycle is a fast one. Is that a good thing? Yes and no. Marketing and PR professionals will someday be faced with a crisis, or some bad news from your organization. A fast news cycle pushes that bad news off the front pages sooner than in the past, for better or worse. But a fast news cycle also means your good news is pushed off the front pages sooner. That’s why it’s important to be precise in getting the attention of your audience and being creative so you keep that attention. And sometim… Read More >

16 Oct 2014

Last month I had the great opportunity to travel in Europe for three weeks. Work was the vehicle that got me there (big thanks to HOTSTART!) so it's only fitting that I glean some knowledge from the experience that will hopefully make me a better employee. Here are some highlights of the trip (just to make you jealous ;-) ) and some insights I learned from stepping WAY outside of my comfort zone. The work still has to get done: The main reason for my trip was a trade show in Hamburg, Germany. Trade shows are probably 40% of what I do… Read More >

12 Sep 2014

The Scene will take a look at the marketing and communications industry each month, analyzing campaigns, providing opinion and allowing readers to be informed and enlightened. September 15, 2014 We all know decision-making is a valuable skill in the marketing and communications industry (or any industry, really). A good, smart and strategic decision can do you and your company or organization a lot of good. A bad, shortsighted decision can cause it all to hit the fan. You decide what to tweet, what reporter to call, who to h… Read More >

02 Sep 2014

SEPTEMBER 2014 PROGRAM Doing Good While Doing Well: Tips for Successful Cause Marketing When a business and a nonprofit come together for a greater good, the results can be beneficial for all involved. Learn the ways to make it work for your company or organization. What are the expectations from both sides and how do you measure your results? Find out from our experienced panel, featuring Founder and CEO of Crowdswell Eric Dahl, Avista Senior Communications Manager Jessie Wuerst and Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery Development … Read More >

“Cause Marketing” is the topic for our first breakfast of the new MarCom year.           That got me thinking about some other “Cause Marketing” campaigns I’ve come across, and one in particular.     Recently, the Internet has been flooded with videos of folks dumping ice cold buckets of water on themselves. They’re doing this to raise awareness for Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease in the … Read More >

I love MarCom programs. Each one has a few golden nuggets I can take back to my company to help with internal communications, our social media strategy, or how we market ourselves. Here are a few of my favorite takeaways from this past MarCom programming year. What was your favorite golden nugget?     1. People need to be prepared for change.             Ketti Mulrine with IKEA taught us about the importance of being intentional when communicating changes that a… Read More >

21 Apr 2014

MAY PROGRAM: FRIDAY, MAY 2 "How to be a Good Client: Creating a Healthy Client-Agency Relationship" Agencies rely on their clients and clients rely on their agencies. It's a two-way relationship that must be healthy in order for both to be successful. Our May breakfast will feature a panel of local marketing and communication professionals discussing the right and wrong ways to work with clients and agencies. Our panelists are: Shawn Davis, Zipline Interactive Lucinda Kay, Let it Shine D… Read More >

17 Apr 2014

How to Be A Good Client (and Agency) How to Be A Good Client (and Agency) The art of the client/agency relationship By Kelly Fry, MarCom Membership Chair   Agency creatives and account staff (whether it be advertising, public relations, design, etc.) earn their living building brands, implementing campaigns and coming up with “The Big Idea.”   But without clients, an agency is nothing but great lighting and fancy computers. A good relationship results in stronger brands, satisfied partners and loyalty. A bad relationship causes hear… Read More >

04 Apr 2014

APRIL PROGRAM: FRIDAY, APRIL 4 "Leading Change Communication" When change occurs, there is an important marketing and communications element that must be used strategically. Join us April 4 as Ketti Mulrine, Change Manager for IKEA, will present on leading change communication. During this presentation, you'll learn the role of strategic communication and what to focus on when leading a change process. You'll also learn about the impact people can have on your objectives, as well as tips on how to manage resista… Read More >

17 Mar 2014

By Annie Gannon, MarCom Events Chair Whether it’s an auction for hundreds or a small board meeting, planning an event can be stressful. But it can also be a great way to show off your organizational and leadership skills in a very public way. To make sure it goes smoothly, here are six tips for a successful event: 1. Don’t assume anything. This goes for every vendor you’re working with, regardless if you’ve worked with them in the past. They can’t read your mind. Be very specific about how you want … Read More >

20 Feb 2014

MARCH PROGRAM: FRIDAY, MARCH 7 "Building Brand Ambassadors" When you talk about your brand, your company, your much does it resonate with your customers and the larger public? When other people talk about your brand, your company, your work....does that resonate more? Years ago, STCU realized that its members were its best possible brand ambassadors and began using testimonials on all of its communication channels. Hear how the process has evolved over time and what the credit union has learned about do… Read More >

18 Feb 2014

by Jennifer Van Eps, Marcom Visual Communications Chair Producing beautiful, award-winning designs is tough. The quality of a piece, whether print or web, is closely tied to the quality of the message you’re sharing. To reach your target audience effectively, clear input and direction from a client to the designer (either internal or external agency) will result in the best end design. Here are a few tips on WHAT NOT to say to your graphic designer as a client. Follow these and you’ll be on your way to Spark Awards f… Read More >

17 Jan 2014

FEBRUARY PROGRAM & WORKSHOP: THURSDAY, FEB 6 "Brand Storytelling: How to Captivate and Transform Your Audience with Great Stories" Lisa Gerber of Big Leap Creative will teach you how to use great stories to transform your audience. In this workshop, you'll learn: What makes a great story and how it adds value The types of content that grows business How to tell a better story in your social, email and website content Editing tips and tactics If you have a website, a social media pr… Read More >

08 Jan 2014


How to write an award-winning entry With the entry deadline for 2014 Spark Awards just around the corner (February 19), we know you’re all diligently working away, crafting eloquent entries that will dazzle our judges. Or…maybe you haven’t even started thinking about it yet. Well, whether you’re putting the final touches on your entry or just getting started, we wanted to share a few tips and tricks to developing an award-winning entry so you can be #WINNING at the ceremony on April 16. Here’s what we t… Read More >