When did you start Approach Marketing and why?"
In 2010 Approach opened its (virtual) doors! At my previous agency, I watched as many of our clients could no longer afford their high-priced monthly retainers. Knowing they still needed and wanted access to PR/Marketing services, I set out on my own, with the idea of bringing together a network of independent consultants situated throughout the country who pair their expertise to clients of all sizes. Approach has nearly doubled in size every year since.
How have you seen it grow and evolve over the years?
What’s been so delightful, is to see the level of talent we’re able to bring on at Approach. We’re fulfilling a need for our clients and also delivering a huge benefit to our consultants who, after a decade in traditional agencies, were desperate for work-life balance. We can offer them that at Approach, and in turn, bring the most talented PR and marketing professionals directly to our clients. It has been my favorite thing to see our talent evolve as I’ve watched this business grow.
What makes you great at your job?
I say this all the time, but I really do care about our clients … about their businesses. I love working with a team who understands the challenge of meeting goals and objectives, reaching target audiences and growing businesses. It sounds corny, but I’m passionate about delivering ROI and that makes me really good at this job.
How would you describe our ideal client relationship?
Our ideal client sees the value of outsourcing PR and marketing and is looking for a team with expertise in making recommendations to meet their goals and objectives. That is ideal for me—a client who sees the value in outsourcing to experts.
What do you love about working with the consultants on the Approach team?
This team is brilliant! When I have our consultants together in a room, I am blown away by the level of talent. Everyone is smarter than me, more talented than me, more experienced … and truly wants to help our clients. A traditional agency could not afford to keep this team on project, but with our business model, we can. It’s really impressive.
What words would you use to describe the Approach Marketing culture?
Efficient and passionate. The whole virtual concept and how we utilize consultants’ time is about efficiency. We’re not about wasting time, we’re about using budget effectively. We’re nimble, fast-paced and make decisions quickly. We’re efficient with budgets because we hold ourselves accountable for delivering on what we promise.
Our consultants are also passionate about this business model because it’s changed their professional lives. The independent consultant model creates a super cooperative, friendly and supportive culture. When you are your own business owner, you aren’t worried about your next review, your next promotion or who manages the biggest team. Everyone at Approach Marketing is driven by the philosophy: What’s best for the agency is best for me.
How does the virtual agency model benefit your career and personal life?
The virtual agency model is an obvious benefit to our clients. But on the consultant side, to offer work-life balance in this industry is unheard of. Personally, I knew I wasn’t going to spend my 30’s and 40’s billing a million hours a week. My life is too important. My kids are too important. My sanity is too important!
In this model, our consultants choose how much they want to work and with whom they want to work. They can hone their craft, work as experts in their field—and still be at home with their spouse to cook dinner. This team (myself included) has been on the other side, we’ve all worked the traditional agency. Those jobs simply can’t compete. Period.
Where do you live and what do you love about your city?
I live in Worthington … within miles of the house I grew up in. I think that speaks to what a great community Worthington, and Central Ohio, really is. I spent the first part of my 20’s in Chicago and I came back. I love that in Columbus we get to work with amazing home-town brands AND many of these companies are leaders in their industries and the community. It’s also the perfect size to raise a family.
When your work is done, where will we find you?
At home with my kids. Or out with my husband without the kids (ha!). Also, a few years back we bought a historic home in Worthington, built in 1884. Working on our house, whether its remodeling or fun home design projects is a de-stressor and a creative outlet for me.
What accomplishment (career or personal) are you most proud of?
I’m proud I have been able to grow this business and still have a family—and to prove that having a big job and being a good mom at the same time is possible. But man, it’s hard. I’m reminded over and over again that being a working mom is so much harder than I ever gave my mom credit for. It’s the most challenging and rewarding job. I’m also proud that I’m raising a daughter who can see what it’s like to stand out in her field and who is learning that anything is possible.
What is the most memorable compliment you ever received?
I’m most delighted when I get compliments about my team. It makes me so proud. I’m delighted when they show the same passion that I have for our clients and when our clients take notice.
What industry trend or technology are you excited about?
I think the rise of consumer journalism is so freaking cool and I think it’s going to completely shift this industry. As publicists we have to stay on top of it—sourcing a balanced mix of influencers, social celebrities and everyday consumers posting about products and services they love. I just read somewhere that 92 percent of people now trust recommendations from individuals over brands. We have to be on top of that and it’s exciting.
What advice would you give to someone starting their career in PR and marketing?
Figure out where you want to work and do absolutely anything to get in the door, answer phones, sweep the floor. Just get in the door. And then do fantastic work.
What is your favorite quote?
"If your dreams don't scare you, they're not big enough."
My approach to life is...
Carpe the hell out of this diem.