417 Magazine Honored deepster at “20 Under 30” Award Ceremony

Honoring Exceptional Young Professionals in the Springfield Area

Each year, 417 Magazine features 20 young professionals who are redefining the way we live, give and do business – all before their 30th birthday. These hardworking individuals are nominated by friends and co-workers and then selected by the staff of 417 Magazine for their exceptional leadership and community service.

417 Magazine's 2015 Class of 20 Under 30

Photo credit: 417 Magazine

This year, our very own assistant public relations manager, Bethany Bell, was chosen as a member of the 20 Under 30 Class of 2015. Her passion for public relations and social media paired with her sense of humility and servanthood made her the perfect candidate for this award.

Logan Aguirre of 417 Magazine Presenting Award to Bethany Bell

Photo credit: 417 Magazine

Her social media philosophy for businesses is simple—less for promotion and more for customer service. “Social media is a way to save your customers time, to educate them and to turn a bad experience into a good one by responding in a timely and gracious fashion,” she says.

To celebrate, 417 Magazine hosted the 10th Annual 20 Under 30 Party at the Highland Springs Country Club. A cocktail hour allowed members of the Springfield community to congratulate their favorite up-and-comers in 417-land while enjoying local food and beverages. The night concluded with an awards ceremony recognizing the members of the Class of 2015.

20 Under 30 Class of 2015

Photo credit: 417 Magazine

Congratulations to the 20 Under 30 Class of 2015, we can’t wait to see what the future has in store for each and every one of you!

To learn more about Bethany Bell and her impressive accomplishments, read her full interview.

Three Takeaways from the 2015 PRSA Western District Conference

Amid the bright lights and electric energy of downtown Los Angeles, I recently attended one of the largest PR conferences on the west coast — the annual Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Western District Conference.


This year’s theme — “Yes. Everything Is PR” — was reflective of the transforming world of this profession (some might argue a bit egotistical, but we’ll put that aside for now). From the disintegration of traditional media and the rise of social media marketing and analytics; from multi-layered communications strategies to cutting-edge technologies; from Big Data to Big Brands; from the constant desire for new ideas for brand awareness to the ever-present need for reputation management, this year’s agenda delved into all of these exciting topics, and many more.

I found myself wondering why I get so excited for these annual trainings. Maybe it’s because PR professionals are challenged with explaining what we do on a daily basis. To be fair, it’s not like I’m a user interface designer or an actuary (good luck explaining that one to Mom), but still a PR Manager ranks in the top 10 list of impossible jobs to explain to your parents. Seriously, there’s a list. Check it out.

As if that’s not enough, a quick google search turns up tons of articles for advice on how to explain your PR job to friends. So they don’t think you do this all day.

"You plan parties and play on social media? Now isn't that nice."

Maybe that’s why I look forward to being around my clan, people who share the daily challenges and can celebrate the same successes of working in this field. One that most of us studied in college, and has become the craft I’ve tried to hone for my 10 plus career years.

As the authority, this is how PRSA defines PR: “Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.” Simply put, this definition focuses on the basic concept of PR — as a strategic communication process.

With that in mind, I wanted to come away from this year’s conference with knowledge that made me a better PR professional. Certainly, in our increasingly competitive field, it’s often the advanced knowledge and current insights that give us an edge – an advantage we hope to pass along to our clients and leadership.

It’s hard to nail down just a few key learnings from a weekend packed with expert speakers and valuable insights, but one thing I know for sure – we’re all competing for attention. So I’ll highlight my top three takeaways.

1. Cut Through the Clutter With Influencer Marketing

I had this session marked on my agenda well in advance. Loosely defined as a form of marketing that identifies and targets individuals with influence over potential buyers, influencers hold the power and it’ll be our job to cater to them. Needless to say, my ears were perked even before I entered the room.

“We need to influence the influencers!” This phrase is heard in marketing meetings across the globe as companies look for solutions to cut through the clutter and reach consumers. In this panel, leaders from IZEA, including Crystal Duncan and Kimberly Kovacs showed how to find influencers, maximize relationships and get your brand message heard. It was interesting to see the social evolution from Myspace bloggers to YouTube and Vine stars, and also see success stories from some of the biggest brands around the world. But the below was the money slide for me, showing the expenses to utilize influencers and how much celebrity “endorsement” costs from some of the biggest names out there. Download the presentation.

Premium Influencer Costs

2. Maximize Out-of-Home Advertising Through Integrated Marketing

As a part of an integrated marketing campaign targeting Chicago and Los Angeles, this PR team was able to maximize advertising initiatives for the Arizona Office of Tourism. This included media relations for two distinctive out-of-home installations: a Chicago billboard featuring a woman kicking off giant flip-flops the size of sedans and in Los Angeles, a giant 3D chalk rendering of the Grand Canyon. Amy LaSala and Kiva Couchon showed us how this campaign resulted in top-tier media coverage, an installation video viewed in more than 100 countries, and thousands of article shares on social media, elevating the state as a travel destination. Download the presentation.

Giant 3D Rendering of Grand Canyon in Los Angelos

3. Evolve Your PR Strategy With Your Content Marketing

In case you haven’t heard, content is kind of a big deal. I was so excited to hear how others plan their content strategies and this list of do’s and don’ts was especially helpful.

 “Content marketing strategy” is a fairly new term coined as the communications industry evolves to ensure compelling content is in place. Today, it’s critical that brands publish owned content on a consistent basis to help garner the brand awareness they’re looking for. This plan helps lay the groundwork so your brand never has an unplanned moment of silence and each piece of produced content shares an interesting story. Dan Santy, President and CEO of Santy, talked about the tools needed to complement this plan through: public relations, social media, email marketing and influencer marketing. Download the presentation.

Content Marketing Evolves PR

You can bet our PR team will be evolving to keep up with where our profession is headed this year.

Bonus: 7 Public Relations Trends to Watch in 2015, from PR News

Amy-headshotThis post was written by Amy Rosendahl, who has 10 years of experience with PR communications, media relations and social media. As the Senior PR Manager at deep food marketing group, Rosendahl is responsible for developing and executing PR and social media strategies for all deep clients, including some of the world’s largest food companies. She is a board member for the International Foodservice Editorial Council and longstanding PRSA member. Rosendahl started her career in Kansas City and now works from the deep Seattle office, where she lives with her husband, son and adopted cat.

Friday Food Stories: Featuring Stephanie Kabbaz Hart’s Waffle-Cone-Creating Ancestors

That’s right, our very own Group Account Director, Stephanie, is related to the creators of the waffle cone—whoa.


Let’s set the stage. It’s April 30, 1904 at the opening of the World’s Fair in St. Louis, Missouri—a fair that took place on a total of 1,200 acres and to date takes the cake as the largest fair (based on area). More impressive than the size of the fair, however, are the developments that occurred and became popular on the grounds like the sweet and crunchy, totally craveable, sometimes-controversial waffle cone.

Why controversial? Well, besides the waffle vs. wafer vs. sugar cone debate I’m sure we’ve all faced, the credit for who actually created the waffle cone has also been under debate, with Ernest Hamwi typically being credited for the creation. But, according to the story passed down Stephanie’s family tree, her great grandpa, Nick Kabbaz, and great uncle, Albert Kabbaz, had a hand or two in the process.

As a couple of bakers, they were working at Ernest Hamwi’s pastry cart at the World’s Fair that year when a booth near them—an ice cream booth—ran out of cups. Unable to serve fairgoers ice cream in their hands, they needed a cup alternative, and they needed it quick. So, the Kabbaz brothers whipped something up.

As you might guess, they were serving waffle-like pastries from their cart that day. This allowed for the brilliant idea of making a thinner pastry that could be rolled into the shape of a cone to easily carry scoops of ice cream. Voila, waffle cone—an easy-to-hold cup that eliminates the need to find a trashcan when you’re finished. Talk about problem solving.

Ice cream eaters loved the edible carrier, so more cones were made. And proving by the popularity of the waffle cone today, it’s clear that Ernest Hamwi’s booth saw great success that year—regardless of who really rolled that first cone. But, whoever it was, we thank you for keeping the ice cream world spinning round.

Friday Food Stories is a spotlight series showcasing deepsters and their deep love for all things food. Check back soon for more!

Marlin Network Welcomes Field Notes Creator, Aaron Draplin

What is it about this guy that has me and everyone else so captivated? While listening to Aaron Draplin speak at Brick City, this question kept crossing my mind. I was curious to figure it out.


Designed by deep.

The Marlin Network recently invited Aaron Draplin, designer, illustrator and founder of Draplin Design Company to speak to the network. Most of the creatives were familiar with Draplin, and for those who weren’t, it’s likely they had at least seen his work. As the creator of Field Notes and someone who has contributed to the design cannon of Nike, Burton Snowboards, Ford and even the Obama Administration, Draplin has gained recognition over the years. Whether the audience knew these things about him or not, I’m certain the consensus was that he could entertain a crowd.

Here's Sr. Art Director Preston Brigham's original sketch for the Aaron Draplin poster. A great example of a creative idea coming to life.

Here’s the original sketch for the Aaron Draplin poster.

Over the course of a few hours, Draplin, sporting his signature DDC orange ball cap, overgrown beard and layered jackets, told us his story. It was an experience not unlike many in the late 70’s–kid grows up in suburbia, gets into snowboarding in high school, goes off to college, moves around for a few jobs before breaking out on his own to freelance. Nothing monumental or world changing. The story alone wouldn’t have drawn a crowd like this. No, it wasn’t the events in his life that had everyone listening, it was the way he told them.

Draplin had a sort of Mark Twain quality to his storytelling. Even the title of his talk, Tall Tales from a Large Man, alluded to his American folklore oration. He presented anecdote after anecdote peppered with “roll up your sleeves” advice and colorful expletives. He was engaging, to say the least. You could tell he lives in the moment and remembers it all. He puts a lot of worth in his interactions with people. It becomes obvious after a short time listening to him that while design is his passion, it isn’t his endgame. Building relationships, helping people out and collecting experiences is what he lives for.

Aaron Draplin with deep's creative team

Aaron Draplin with deep’s creative team

And that is why, I began to realize, I found him to be so interesting. He holds onto something many of us tend to lose after being in the business very long. He isn’t clocking in, day after day, only to churn out what is expected of him. No, he keeps room in his busy life for people and embraces all the weirdness and unexpectedness that comes with opening up to others. Draplin made everyone in the room feel like an old  friend. I’m concluding that as the reason why so many showed up to hear him speak. And also why some of us came back later that afternoon to listen to him give the same talk at Missouri State’s campus.


This post was written by Preston Brigham. As the Sr. Art Director at deep, Brigham works with the creative team to develop work that both solves the clients problems and is worthy of hanging on the fridge. Outside of the office his other interests include letterpress, illustration and wild food foraging.

5 Ways We Got Inspired at WFF

WFF? Do you mean the WWF?

Nope. We’re talking about the Women’s Foodservice Forum (WFF) 2015 Annual Leadership Development Conference, which took place March 8–March 11 in Orlando, FL. That being said, it can’t be argued that WFF is somewhat similar to WWF—the 3,000+ individuals who attended (including five, ahem, promising deep food marketers) are every bit as strong and determined as any fierce competitor. Also, it’s possible Hulk Hogan stopped by. But he probably didn’t. And that is definitely his loss.


Soooo, what’s your sentence?

This question, asked by Daniel Pink, General Session Keynote Speaker, kicked off the conference for us deepsters. Ultimately the point this best-selling author made was that all great leaders are known for one thing (maybe two)—their greatest contribution. It’s unreasonable to think you can do everything, so always focus on achieving the thing you want to be remembered for.

Feeling inspired yet? We were. And it only got better.

The educational sessions were next, including the hilarious Shari Harley’s “How to Say Anything to Anyone! Setting Expectations for Powerful Working Relationships,” where we learned the importance of asking more, assuming less and laying out everyone’s expectations for better results.


Source: WFF

Later that afternoon, we listened to a story or two from Kindra Hall in her “Power of Story: Secret of Exceptional Leaders.” She had us at “I hated my best friend,” and we were instantly ready to fill the position. Key takeaway: we should all tell stories, even when we’re more comfortable with bullet points. Kindra gave us the tools to find those tales.

Then there was Laura Berman Fortgang (definite BFF material), who made us laugh and love her even before she’d asked her first question in “The Art of the Question: Ask New Questions, Get Better Results.” We saw firsthand how asking a question differently can extract answers no one knew were there—it was as amazing as it sounds.

Finally, Valorie Burton, exuding calm and positivity (and wearing some amazing shoes) walked us through the building blocks of examining our goals (to make sure they’re the right ones) along with the guidance to actually achieve them in “Goal Setting, Goal Getting! Reach Your Goals Faster.” The kicker: she makes it completely doable.

Source: Nestle Professional

Source: Nestle Professional

We’re ready to take over the world now.

These gifted speakers are only a few of the authors, coaches and entrepreneurs featured at WFF with impressive accolades and monster magnetism. With fresh perspectives that force individuals to change their thinking and inspire success from within, the five of us headed back to deep with our brains rebooted and our spirits fed. Now we’re asking more questions, telling more stories, changing the questions we ask, and are working on achieving our newest goals. So bring on the challenges! As for our sentences—they’re in the making.

Shout out to all of our clients who attended WFF, including Kim Lehouiller—a WFF celebrity.

sharon-kuntzThis post was written by Sharon Kuntz—a Sr. Copywriter at deep and a self-proclaimed foodie with more than 10 years of experience in foodservice marketing.

The Power of Listening: B2B Marketing Insights from 2015 Social Media Strategies Summit

Everyone has a morning routine, and more often than not, a daily stop for a fuel, breakfast or coffee. All the employees know your name and exactly how you like your nonfat hazelnut latte with extra foam. That simple errand or task is a sacred morning ritual laying the foundation for your entire day.

Imagine one Monday morning going into the same café you always go to on your commute. Barista greets you by name and you order the same drink as usual. However, today, when you go to take your first sip, your lips are met with a lump of wet, bitter coffee grounds. Distraught because it’s already Monday, you angrily tweet the café as you continue on your path to work. To your surprise, the café promptly responds apologizing for the bad morning and offering to make it up to you with a free coffee tomorrow.

Now, your attitude likely does a 180 turn and you have an unexplainable pep in your step. Not because the coffee magically tastes better, but because someone listened to you.


As this story illustrates, the no. 1 trend communicated at the 2015 Social Media Strategies Summit in Las Vegas was the importance of listening with intention on social media. This powerful strategy can revolutionize a brand’s social media activity by taking it from a bullhorn of corporate news to being a true community of company advocates. Listening takes many shapes and forms, however. Depending on the company’s goals, listening on social media can deliver authentic consumer insight, solve customer issues quickly, build genuine relationships, craft data-driven content or seize real-time opportunities.

LISTEN for Consumer Insight and Research

First and foremost, social media listening is an incredible research tool to gather real customer concerns – even if the company is not on social media. For example, Botox listened online to gather complaints, misunderstandings of the product and side effects. They then addressed that real feedback in their traditional marketing messages without sending a single tweet.

In another instance, a manufacturer lost distribution in a national fast food chain to a competitor. The company immediately started monitoring social media for positive or negative reactions to this menu change. They found that customers were extremely vocal about their distaste of this new product on the menu. Armed with that real consumer data, the manufacturer built key account presentations around this adverse reaction to land bigger and better chain relationships.

LISTEN to Solve Customer Issues Quickly

In addition to a research tool, social media has become an expected avenue for customer service. In fact, 70% of Internet users (age 45-60) expect brands to be responsive on at least three social networks, and as illustrated in my opening story, 87% will stay and purchase more if the support response felt quick enough.

One of the keynote speakers, Julie Hoffman of MGM Studios said it best when she said:

“Social media is an opportunity to give your customers back their time.”

To save you and your customers’ time, ask them for social media handles. By streamlining sales and online support, you make it easy for employees to “remember” a customer no matter how they decide to reach out. Because at the end of the day, we long to work with people who know us by name.

LISTEN to Build Genuine Relationships

Beyond research and being there for your customers, listening can be the gateway to authentic community building. Just like relationships in real life, it’s imperative to listen to your friends – not just talk at them.

At the SMS Summit, Mallorie Rosenbluth of Likeable Media summed it up nicely by saying:

“We have three screens and two hands, so we can see more than we say.”

Pure Barre is a great example of a brand doing this right. They do not only engage with fans talking about being sore from their workouts, but they also post relevant memes or gifs. Just like you’d send your best friend. While this tactic will not work for every brand, the heart behind it rings true for every company: it’s powerful when your customers know they are heard.


LISTEN to Craft Data-Driven Content 

However, listening can be more than just a way to engage with customers; it can inform what content drives results. By tracking social media and current trends, marketers can craft content that is grounded in data and nearly guaranteed to drive results.

Another keynote speaker, Allen Gannett of Track Maven, put it this way:

“We’re trying to retrofit gut-driven marketing of the 1960’s to the digital age and it’s not working.”

Gannett also shared a story of how Netflix built the House of Cards TV series by analyzing all of their user’s watching habits and taking the most watched actor, director and genre. They bought two seasons upfront and everyone thought they were crazy, but the results speak for themselves. Since the show debuted, the company has gained 2 million new subscribers and 86% of users are less likely to cancel.


Source: Netflix


LISTEN to Seize Real Time Opportunities

The final way to use social media listening is to look for real-time opportunities to showcase your brand. Ever since Oreo’s infamous tweet during the 2013 Superbowl, brands have tried their hand at commenting on current events and news.

However, we can’t all be Oreo. In fact, some brands have gotten in trouble for “news-jacking” by inserting themselves into irrelevant online conversations. Before posting on that trending hashtag on Twitter, consider: “Are we adding anything meaningful to the conversation?”

One example of a company doing it right is when Walmart called out the New York Times on their corporate blog. The post pointed out the inaccurate claims the reporter made against the company in a humble, light-hearted fashion. This single piece of content garnered so much attention, Chad Mitchell of Walmart, was invited to discuss the topic at this year’s conference.

The Power of LISTENing

In the end, the time of pushing content and more content on our fans is over. From consumer research to crafting content that works, brands need to step back and invest in listening strategies on social media.

Listening and engaging online can be the difference between an angry customer tweeting about a terrible Monday with grinds in their coffee and earning a lifetime advocate because you solved their problem before the end of their morning commute.

Which company would you want to do business with?



This post was written by Bethany Bell. As the Assistant Public Relations Manager at deep food marketing group, Bell develops and executes PR and social media strategies for global food brands. Before joining deep in 2013, this Missouri State graduate was the Person in Charge of Getting the Word Out at Askinosie Chocolate, an artisan, bean-to-bar chocolate maker in Springfield, Missouri. Growing up in the coffee industry, Bell is also a strong advocate for supporting local.


Learn How Deep Uses Facebook To Reach New Shores Of Talent In PR News’ First Social Media Guidebook—Hot Off The Press

According to Staff.com, 66 percent of companies use Facebook as a recruitment tool. Find statistics like these and more in deep’s article of the PR News’ social media guidebook.

According to Staff.com, 66 percent of companies use Facebook as a recruitment tool. Find statistics like these and more in deep’s article of the PR News’ social media guidebook.

Social media is a rapidly evolving field. Tailoring content to your target audience in real-time has never been easier, but how are PR and social media professionals supposed to keep up with the ever-changing landscape?

To address this concern, PR News released its first ever social media guidebook, and deep is proud to say our social media team helped contribute. The 11-chapter guidebook gathers real, actionable insights from agency practitioners, brand managers, academics and tech leaders to bring a comprehensive social media strategy guide to professionals.

The article by deep’s social media team explores best practices for agencies to attract talent through Facebook. Get a firsthand look at how to revamp your Facebook strategy to be a window into everyday agency life. Also, learn how to best curate content from employees across disciplines to showcase office culture. Using the strategies outlined in the guidebook, deep’s engagement on Facebook doubled in less than five months.

Learn more about attracting the best employees with Facebook by purchasing a copy of the ultimate social media guidebook here.


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