- Christopher Darling
Valuing Your Vision
As decision makers in business, one of the factors we consistently take into consideration is the value associated with the options before us. Return on investment must be a driving force in our choices, or we face the consequence of loss. Those may be fiscal, social, or principle losses. Rarely, though, do the decisions we face have the potential to be gains in all three.
As business owners, my wife and I face the difficulty of navigating treacherous waters where public relations and advertising are concerned. Long gone are the days when a company could avoid advertising and hope to be successful, as are those when any press was good press. “Doing business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark. You know what you are doing, but nobody else does.” Stuart H. Britt (New York Herald Tribune)
Meeman 901 Strategies is a student-run advertising and public relations firm at the University of Memphis. They are a small group, and the staff consists of both undergraduate and graduate students who are gaining experience by working with paid and unpaid clients, on and off the campus of the U of M.
Following are some of the benefits to be gained from a relationship with Meeman 901 Strategies. Let’s see how many of them carry value for you.
When you work with Meeman 901 Strategies, you meet your designers, your message-crafters, your voice, personally. You will have the opportunity to sit down with the entire staff and gain a clear understanding of exactly who will be telling your story. It is through that relationship and communication that the staff learns about you and your business so that they can better realize the message that you want your potential clients to hear.
New to the industry = New ideas
These students are new to their respective fields. At least, they are new insofar as they have not yet been sullied by the trials of plug-and-play techniques that were effective for a soda company 15 years ago, but may be completely unrelated to your business plans for the coming year. Their fresh eyes bring new sight into their industries, and, with it, new visions of what the future holds for informing through media.
Unfed, therefore Hungry
With a portfolio to build and a desire to begin the careers for which they’ve been preparing, the men and women at Meeman 901 Strategies are anxious to put their studies to work. Assigned responsibilities suited to their individual strengths and motivations, the staff functions as other agencies do. There is value placed on experiential learning, and, because the students are nearing the end of the college careers, they have been exposed to the knowledge and are excited to apply it to the real world.
Younger professionals are more in tune with younger potential clients
With 84 million members, Generation Y (Millennials) is the largest age group in our country. And, studies have shown that they do not think of media, or respond to it, the same way that their predecessors have (like we needed studies for that, right?) When approaching any potential clients, a company’s public relations and advertising needs a clear understanding of how those potentials react and relate to different media and messaging. With a younger core staff, Meeman 901 Strategies insights into this group is not only derived through research, but personal experiences as well.
If Gen Y is not a part of your desired potential clientele, you may re-evaluate whether they should be. They are not going away, and their buying power is growing as they age. Furthermore, this generation has consistently shown stronger brand affiliation than previous generations. Once they like your company, they will trumpet that affinity to the world.
With both PR and advertising focused students, your account gains the added benefit of the attention of multiple disciplines. It’s equivalent to having two agencies rather than one.
Meeman 901 Strategies is a small, tailored-to-your-needs firm without the high costs typically associated with those agencies that dedicate such resources to every client. They won’t be the right firm for every business. However, I can feel confident that the return on my investment in PR and advertising is positive in more ways than one. With Meeman 901 Strategies, you will feel like a highly valued client, because that’s exactly what you are.