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–January 2014–

Christine Boyd Graphic Designer

Amy Hanson IMS Planner

Megan Deines Account Supervisor

Beth Gipson Executive Assistant

David Maupin Web Designer

Matthew Galbraith IMS Analyst

Sarah Mason Traffic Coordinator

Rob Young Managing Director

Michael Pope Proofreader

Deena Weinberg IMS Analyst

Neil Robinson Digital Media Buyer

Lara Trosky IMS Analyst

Do you have a column or article you’d like to write? Have suggestions for our Editorial team? email the Podium DL!

TAKE NOTE PEOPLE! These are the examples among us who rock! If you also wish to rock, take note of the rocking of these individuals! Erin Brackman – Sr. Account Executive Level 2 Drew Battleson – Account Supervisior Ryan Holzapfel – Media Buyer Johanna Kluemper – Cultural Ambassador Matthew Kluemper – VP of Interactive Marketing Kristopher Little – Chief Interactive Officer Jennifer Morris – Research Analyst Aaron Sporn – SEO Specialist Caitlin Stephens – Sr. Media Buyer







Employee of the Month Congratulations to Pete Amerio for winning PlattForm’s January companywide Employee of the Month award! The winners of these awards receive a plaque and the coveted reserved parking space. EOM nominations are submitted by director-level employees and above and the winners are determined by PlattForm’s internal board.





January 2013 Pete Amerio Director of New Initiatives

Jerry Award Jerry Award Winner for Valuing our SERVICE value “Integrity”

January 2013 Dory Reasoner HR Director

Wellness Class - Healthy Lunches Brought to you by Blue Cross Blue Sheild Date: 01/08/20134 - 9:00am Bring your lunch and enjoy. This wellness class will be discussing healthy lunches both at home and on the go. You will learn: - Simple tips for packing a healthy lunch - Ideas for eating out healthfully - How to make your lunch break healthy and enjoyable *This class earns you 10 WIP points Excel and the Big IF - An in-depth look into Excel IF formulas Instructor: Becky Siegel Date: 01/23/2014 - 9:00am The IF formula tests a user-defined condition and returns one result if the condition is true, and another result if the condition is false. This class will cover the main IF formulas - IF, IFERROR and ISERROR, COUNTIF(S), SUMIF(S) - and how they can be used together. Attendees can expect to be able to immediately apply and perform what they learn in this course. A laptop (either PF or personal) is required to attend this class.


BIRTHDAYS 01-01 Blake Walters 01-02 Josh Goodman 01-02 Ashley Pelton 01-03 Elizabeth Harryman 01-03 Clint Meade 01-04 Tracy Kreikemeier 01-05 Jonathan Gaikwad 01-05 Whitney Hoffman 01-05 Hanna Lane 01-08 Jessica Reed 01-09 Holly Soptick 01-09 Michael Vickery 01-10 Michael Mackey 01-12 Caitlin Stephens 01-13 Valerie Good-Turney 01-14 Megan Quillin 01-15 Kaitlin Tilley 01-16 Sean Bryan 01-17 Robin Bichsel

01-17 Anne Horrell 01-17 Ashley Regier 01-18 Ashley Lopez 01-19 Ryan Roper 01-19 Jeffrey Sikes 01-20 Kari Pirtle 01-20 Jeremy Schoen 01-21 Sarah Liebsch 01-21 Brian Woltkamp 01-22 John Begley 01-22 Shane Bryan 01-22 Richard Kitchell 01-24 Drew Battleson 01-26 Patricia Rojas 01-27 Elizabeth Sheffer 01-28 Brandy Blubaugh 01-29 Mallory Ragon 01-30 Ashley Powell 01-31 Justin Gill

01-01-1994 Michael Platt 01-02-2012 Kaitlyn Jones 01-03-2005 Casey Liddle 01-03-2006 Aaron Edwards 01-05-2009 Tracy Young 01-07-2013 Morgan Barker 01-07-2013 Robin Bichsel 01-07-2013 Joshua Coburn 01-07-2013 Erin Donaldson 01-07-2013 Gina Mengoni 01-07-2013 Holly Soptick 01-09-2006 Megan Roth 01-09-2009 Megan Whitesell 01-12-2009 Caleb Brattrud

01-13-2003 Dawn Billinger 01-14-2008 Christine Nichols 01-14-2013 Yosa Addiss 01-19-2009 Megan Quillin 01-21-2013 Jenna Cooper 01-24-2011 Brandon Lewis 01-27-2003 Kristopher Little 01-29-2009 Heather Physioc 01-30-2001 Bridget Duffy-Hays 01-31-2013 Tara Denman

What is the worst give you’ve ever received?

by Anthony Pellettiere

“I know this is weird, but I don’t know that I can help on this one. I really can’t remember any horrible gifts outside of a white elephant.” – Caleb Finley “My mom one Christmas was being clever and wrapped several little presents and put them all in a new purse, as the big gift. One of the little presents was a stapler. Wasn’t even a red Swingline stapler, just an Office Depot standard black stapler! Needless to say, I re-gifted that to her the following year.” – Patricia Rojas “A boyfriend of mine got me a toaster oven for my birthday. A. Toaster. Oven. We had been dating for a couple of years at that point, so I guess absolutely all of the romance had fizzled out by then. Needless to say we’re not together anymore.” – Stephanie Sommer

“My grandmother gave me a winter/Christmas themed clock that would play holiday songs on every hour.” – Travis Kerkvliet

Team By ? inspire • engage • ser ve


HAPPENINGS By Jacquelyn Matthews

Happy Holidays with Team Phil Check it out! PlattFormers really got into the giving spirit this season, touting some very impressive stats! • 2 vans full of food for Olathe School District • 18 volunteer hours at Della Lamb • 7 wreaths donated to Marillac • 150 volunteer hours to Habitat for Humanity • 357 toys to 3 organizations: Della Lamb, 100 Black Men & R.U.B.I.E.S • $400 for Movember men’s health awareness • $1,000 in toys and home goods and 72 volunteer hours at City Union Mission Feeling left out in the cold? Well don’t! We have volunteer opportunities each month! We have an upcoming opportunity to volunteer on January 22nd with Heart to Heart. Follow us on Yammer to find out more about this event, and to stay in the loop for future opportunities. #CharityPTO

See How PlattFormers Give Back There are many articles out there about the benefits volunteering does for your mind and body. Don’t just take it from them, though; listen to what your fellow PlattFormers have to say about their experiences. Twenty-five PlattFormers volunteered 150 hours in frigid November weather to build a house for Habitat Humanity – view their story on Yammer #get2give.

Emergency Response PlattFormers donated $1,000 in December for disaster relief made easy by the Team Phil Foundation! The first donations from the fund were for $500 each to American Red Cross to assist in the aftermath of the November 17th toranadoes in central Illinois and to Unbound (formerly CFCA) to help families affected by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. Everyone at PlattForm can elect to have pre-tax dollars set aside from their paychecks designated for the Team Phil Foundation. These funds are then distributed to non-profit organizations, that way when disaster strikes PlattForm can respond with our goodwill immediately. You can contribute a set amount from each paycheck (are you really going to miss that $5??) or a onetime donation. To contribute, fill out the Charitable Donation Form found on Yammer (#teamphilfoundation) and SharePoint (HR – Shared Documents – Charitable Donation Form). Please reach out to HR or Team Phil Leadership with questions.

? Have you used your Charity PTO day yet? Drawings will be held quarterly at the EOM announcement!

Client Services Year in Review By Lori Turec For Client Services, 2013 was the year of Bulldogs and Black Belts. Last December, we determined that the strategic imperative for CS in 2013 was to build a strong team of people dedicated to success and then give them the tools to make that goal reality. Working with feedback from internal teams and CS, we developed 5 Core Competencies for all members of CS. These 5 Core Competencies are: 1) Consistently deliver value to clients. 2) Be an expert on PlattForm Services. 3) Be an expert on EDU marketing. 4) Be professional at all times. 5) Be a lifelong learner. Each competency has three levels of mastery to achieve – White Belt, Green Belt and Black Belt. In April, each CS member completed a selfassessment and an online needs assessment to determine where they were strong and areas for growth. This resulted in 60 individualized plans for development. Throughout 2013, CS team members have worked with their supervisors on their individual plans and nearly all have shown significant improvement since April.

implemented with HR, an updated agencywide new client onboarding process, a weekly At Risk report identifying accounts that are at risk of leaving PlattForm; and through working with Sales, MarCom and other internal teams, we’ve developed a successful, systematic approach to new business pitches for upselling and cross selling to existing clients. Also in 2013, we increased the number of accounts and services offered, each by roughly 20%, while our personnel count remained flat. In Q4 alone, we cross sold over $3 million and had two record-setting months with CPI cap increases, securing $798,524 in January and $842,279 in October.

CS is a large department involved with every group in the agency, so timely communication is important. To keep news, deadlines, goals, etc. in front of the entire team, we use the Plan, Do, Review model each day. For Planning, we send out daily morning briefings known as Pod Feed to leaders who huddle up each morning to make sure people have their plan and are set up to succeed. Each evening for Review, all CS team members submit a nightly Roll Up to their supervisor outlining Wins, Concerns, Items Elevated and Recommendations. The It’s not enough just to know the right information, supervisor reviews these nightly and elevates it’s important to live it. Team members who relevant information to the right people. It’s consistently live the core competencies are all part of our commitment to being Bulldogs known as Bulldogs. The Bulldog mascot was and delivering what is needed for our clients chosen because of what they stand for – to succeed. loyalty and commitment to excellence. Every month a Bulldog Account Team is named and CS could not have had the successes we’ve each quarter the Supervisor team meets to seen this year without significant help from determine how their direct reports are living every department at PlattForm and from our these values. clients. For that, we are very grateful. Looking ahead … for 2014, upselling and cross selling CS has seen some great outcomes through will be our strategic imperative, so get ready these initiatives including: a CS hiring for impressive growth! and onboarding process developed and

Interactive Year in Review 2013 is in the record books and 2014 is lining up to be another exciting year in the world of interactive marketing. Let’s take a few minutes to look back on 2013. The past year was defined by changes in how consumers search, where advertisers place their messages and how Google interacts with its advertisers. More and more, consumers are utilizing multiple devices to research topics and access internet content. Some recent stats from Google confirm that we are indeed living in a multi-screen world. • 81% of users reported watching Television and using a Smartphone simultaneously • 66% use a Smartphone and Computer simultaneously • Google Display Network saw a 239% YOY increase in mobile queries • January 2014 mobile search traffic is expected to be 51% higher than 2013 Given this compelling information, Google announced its first steps moving towards cross device attribution. “Estimated Total Conversions” was released to Adwords in October 2013. “Estimated Total Conversions” is Google’s initial tool towards allowing advertisers to see a more overall picture of conversions attributed to their Google ads. According to an article in SearchEngineLand, “Google is calculating cross-device conversions by using a sample of data from users who signed into their Google accounts on multiple devices. The population of logged-in users is Google’s proxy for general user activity.” In the same article, Google SVP Sridhar Ramaswamy is quoted as saying “Consumers just want information; they don’t care how they get it. Today’s announcement is about measurement and catching up to the consumer behavior in the real world.” To read more, check out the full article here: http://searchengineland. com/google-launches-estimated-cross-deviceconversions-in-adwords-173133. Advertisers are also evolving where they place their messages in front of consumers. This was the year that Native Advertising became mainstream. According to Wikipedia, Native Advertising is a “web advertising method in which the advertiser attempts to gain attention by providing content in the context of the user’s experience. Native ad formats match both the form and the function

By Rebecca Streeter

of the user experience in which it is placed.” In other words, the ad looks like the content and is harder for consumers to distinguish. Therefore more consumers see it. Native advertising has spurred a banner year in social media advertising. According to Google, 73% of advertisers are now using social media ad units. Finally, Google has thrown us a few curve balls this year on both the paid and organic sides. On the paid side, this was the year of Enhanced Campaigns. According to Google, enhanced campaigns “let you easily manage complex targeting, bidding, and ads for different platforms like mobile and computers all within the same campaign.” Enhanced campaigns (with subsequent releases) have allowed advertisers to control their bids more granularly on device, location and time of day variables. However, it has also taken away the ability to manage tablets and desktop campaign separetely. With enhanced campaigns, desktops and tablets are considered one cohort without the ability to bid differently on each device. Enhanced campaigns also caused a reworking of all campaigns for all Adwords users. The work is now complete and we’re ready to reap all the positive benefits of enhanced campaigns in 2014! On the organic side, Google slowly (and then quickly) took away all keyword level data in Google Analytics for non-paid traffic. Keyword level data is still available in Adwords for all paid campaigns. This has really changed the face of SEO (in many opinions for the better). Web marketers are now forced to focus more on conversion paths and content which is bringing all users better web experiences. In addition, it is reinforcing the need for PPC and SEO to work together on a cohesive strategy and gives those companies that are embracing the combined approach a leg up in the ever-competitive search market. As if this wasn’t enough, Google also released 15ish (there is some controversy involving one of the updates) updates to their algorithm. This is keeping SEO on their toes! Overall, 2013 was a fantastic year for marketers ready to embrace change. 2014 is shaping up to be a year of cohesive strategies, both in type of marketing (traditional, organic, paid) and also device type (mobile, tablet, desktop, TV). So, thank you to everyone who made 2013 fantastic and here’s to a great 2014. Cheers!

Auld Lang Syne By Arianna Suddreth January has arrived, the Christmas season is behind us, and we are all making our resolutions for 2014. We are telling ourselves this will be the year that we exercise more, eat better, get our financial lives in order, etc. The truth is we should all do those things more often, but by March our resolutions will seem like some far off dream we had once upon a time, and we will more than likely start falling into the same patterns. Now, don’t misunderstand me. This is not all ‘doom and gloom’ and ‘if we’re all going to fail why even bother trying’. Not at all. Instead, maybe we can resolve for something different this year?

of starting something instead of the negative premise of stopping something I think I was far more successful at keeping my self-made promise.

Last year, I did not make a resolution to give up anything – I ate pretty much whatever I wanted, went to the gym occasionally (which reminds me, I should probably call my trainer), and still can’t really balance my checkbook (thank goodness for electronic banking). But what I did do was decide to start doing things instead. By allowing myself the positive notion

START A NEW HOBBY Is there something you’ve seen and thought to yourself ‘that looks really interesting’? Well, now’s the time to try it out! Perhaps it’s learning how to sew or knit, or make those amazing wreaths that you see at Hobby Lobby. Well, did you know that Hobby Lobby and Joann’s both hold classes to teach you how to do those things? Maybe it

My promise for 2013 was to “focus on the positive things in my life.” To realize that while every day would not be a perfect day, there would be perfect moments within every day and I strived to remember to look for those moments. I was not always successful, but with each new day came a brand new chance to try again. Here are just a few things that you can START in 2014:

is learning a new language; a lot of community colleges offer language courses that anyone can take. Johnson County Community College usually sends out a Continuing Education catalogue that contains a number of classes that you can take. The prices are pretty reasonable and the courses are usually pretty flexible with existing schedules.

for 12? That’s just one book a month – easy peasy, right? If reading more is something you’d really like to accomplish, but aren’t sure you can do it without an accountability buddy, look for a book club to join, or better yet, start your own! GIVE THANKS ALL YEAR Looking at the year that has passed, I realize I have so many things to be thankful for: a nice home, a great job that allows me to utilize my passions, a wonderful family and amazing friends, and the world’s most patient husband. So my promise for 2014 is to look for ways to make sure the people in my life know how thankful I am for their love and support. I’m sure I won’t be perfect at it every day, but at the end of the year, if I can say that the people in my life know how much I appreciate them, well, then I will call that a pretty successful year.

TRAIN FOR A RACE 2013 seems like it was the year of the marathon. Everybody was running a marathon or training for one. Why not make 2014 the year YOU run a race? Marathons are hard work, and definitely not for everyone to just jump right into, but if you’ve never raced competitively before, or are out of practice, there are plenty of 5K races to train for and an endless supply of apps to help you along the way. The Couch to 5K app is a really great starting tool. It guides you along the course of several weeks and at the completion of the training guide, you’re ready for your race! I hope that 2013 was good to you. That you received everything you needed, most of the READ MORE We can probably all stand to things you wanted, and that it was a year full do more reading, and I’m not talking about of life, laughter, and love. If 2013 was less than reading status updates and tweets. One of my perfect for you, then I hope that 2014 brings friends has a goal of reading 50 books this with it the promise of being better. year. My cousin’s eight year-old daughter’s goal is to read 300 books! Maybe you can start out with a less hefty goal; why not try

Happy 2014, PlattFormers!

January Events 16

Flowers by Emily Floral Design Classes - Park Place, Leawood, KS 6:00 PM


KU Basketball 1/18/2014


Sister Act: The Musical Dates: Jan 21-Jan 23


The Original Harlem Globetrotters: 2014 “Fans Rule” World Tour Date: January 27, 2014 St. Joseph Civic Arena


Trey Anastasio Band Date: Jan 31

vs. Oklahoma State

Lawrence, Kansas

Music Hall Kansas City

Uptown Theater

3:00 PM

Show times vary.

7:00 PM

8:00 PM

February Events 01

Mizzou Tigers Date: Feb 1

vs. Kentucky

Mizzou Arena

12:00 PM CT

The Band Perry: We Are Pioneers World Tour Independence Events Center

06 Date: Thu, Feb 6, 2014 10

Kansas State Basketball Date: Feb 10 vs. Kansas


Valentine’s Day Date: Feb 14


Chippendales Date: Saturday, February 15

7:30 PM

Bramlage Coliseum 8:00 PM CT

VooDoo Lounge at Harrah’s Casino

7:00 PM

STEVE’S QUIRKY QUERIES 1. How would you feel about a printed version of Podium? • I’m for it. I prefer to read a physical copy. 39% • I’m against it. I like reading it online; plus, it’s more environmentally friendly. 61%

• Imagine Dragons 11% • Passenger 2% • Katy Perry 19% • One Direction 7% • Avicii 6% • Who are these people? 20%

2. Which video game console brand do you prefer? • Sony (PS4, PS3, PS2, Playstation) 21% • Microsoft (Xbox One, Xbox 360, Xbox) 21% • Nintendo (Wii, GameCube, Nintendo 64, SNES, NES) 46% • Sega (Dreamcast, Genesis) 4% • Atari 8%

4. What is your initial impression of our new CEO, Steve Fireng? • Great first name 28% • Awesome first name 33% • Terrific first name 39%

3. Which of these artists currently sitting on top of the Billboard Hot 100 would you most want to spend a day with? • Eminem/Rihanna 11% • Pitbull/Ke$ha 5% • OneRepublic 8% • Lorde 5% • A Great Big World/Christina Aguilera 7%

5. What was the most regrettable pop culture trend in 2013? • Harlem Shake 9% • Twerking 49% • What Does the Fox Say? 21% • Amanda Bynes news 15% • Sharknado 6%

Behind the Scenes: PUBLISHER Dave Admire

EDITORIAL BOARD Arianna Suddreth Jacquelyn Matthews EDITORS Lori Turec Valerie Good-Turney Rebecca Streeter Erin Donaldson Anthony Pellettiere Steve Bennaka DESIGN/LAYOUT Jennifer Baker



Podium – January 2014  
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