The Fetch Blog

Curated reads and events for professionals

Event Review: Stump the Strategist — August 23, 2012

Event Review: Stump the Strategist

What: Stump the Strategist #28 featuring Dan Ilic – each monthly event has a themed topic followed by the chance to share your marketing challenges for the resident strategists to solve.
Where: Step Change, Level 13, 338 Pitt Street Sydney
Over Heard: “It’s like drunk football!”

I had the pleasure of attending my first Stump the Strategist event this week with guest speaker Dan Ilic. It’s on every month, hosted by the folks of Step Change. They bring in a variety of cool speakers, put on food, drinks and get some discussions happening. It’s a free event too (woo hoo) all you need to do is register beforehand.  According to their website, it’s like ‘Who’s Line is it Anyway? Mixed with ‘The Gruen Transfer’ and a little bit of ‘Thank God you’re Here.’ 

Dan’s talk was on the death of television, and had the audience interested and laughing right away. I found that Dan’s thoughts on working with online influencers particularly resonated with me. When we look to the future of advertising it’s not in traditional television, but in a new age of bloggers and even vloggers. After the talk, Dan and our team of strategists took four unscripted audience questions to answer. They were timed and had nine minutes to address each marketing or business challenge. The audience could then vote if they answered it… or had been stumped.

Overall a great night, and enjoyed the focus on audience participation. If you’re interested in finding out about future Stump the Strategist events, keep an eye on The Fetch Sydney. You can also get a preview of the current upcoming talks on the website.

Interview: Perth Local, Bernadette Jiwa — July 9, 2012

Interview: Perth Local, Bernadette Jiwa

Perth curator Justin Strharsky learns a bit about how to tell a brand story from Perth expert Bernadette Jiwa.

Name: Bernadette Jiwa

Website: http://thestoryoftelling.com/

Twitter: @bernadettejiwa

Works at: The Story of Telling

You help entrepreneurs and newer businesses craft what you call a ‘brand story’ – what’s that?

A brand story is the sum of all the parts that make up your brand, from your product, name and copy, design and marketing, to your mission and how your customers experience your brand.
I’ve written a post that details the various elements.

I imagine that many entrepreneurs are overwhelmed by the demands of a new business. How do you explain why telling the story of their brand should win their limited resources?

It’s as simple as understanding that it doesn’t matter how good your idea is if nobody knows.

You primarily work with entrepreneurs and newer businesses – why is that?

Actually I work with startups and entrepreneurs who are further along the track with developing their business. The best time to work out what differentiates you is right at the start, that way you can take your product to market with confidence. Sometimes people come to me when what they’ve been doing hasn’t work and then we track back to work out why.

Should the stories of newer businesses be different than those of established companies? Why?

Newer businesses are often at an advantage because they get to tell te story they want to tell. More established businesses have shareholders to please.

What’s the most common mistake entrepreneurs make in telling their stories?

Not understanding what really makes them stand out from the competition. Overlooking something in the detail, because they are too close to what they are doing to see the big picture.

What makes you uniquely suited to helping others tell their stories?

There is no formula for this kind of work. I guess you could say it’s a gift. Part science and part art. I got to be good at it by doing the work, building bridges to where I wanted to be as an entrepreneur, failing, learning from failure, then getting up and doing it all again only better next time.

You’ve seen (and helped) lots of young businesses. Are there any characteristics that make some stand out compared to the others?

The ones that stand out are the businesses who do what the big guys can’t do, or didn’t think was possible. The entrepreneurs who go narrow and deep.

Have you encountered any brand stories that are best left untold?

Actually most of what I encounter are stories that should be told that aren’t. The kinds of stories that illustrate why brands are least like their competitors. The ones they often overlook.

Interview: SF Local, Ashley Brown — June 30, 2012

Interview: SF Local, Ashley Brown

To kick off our city profiles in the US, Kate chats to Ashley Brown – a relatively-new SF transplant who heads up marketing and communications at local delivery startup, Postmates and loves shooting stuff. (I originally had the pleasure of meeting Ash at the Women 2.0 Conference back in February.) Check out her response below:

Name: Ashley Brown
Website: http://brownashleyk.tumblr.com and www.postmates.com
Twitter: @ashbrown
Works: Director of Communications & Marketing, Postmates

You recently starting heading up marketing and communications at Postmates, can you tell us more about the service and what it offers over other delivery companies?

Postmates operates at the intersection of local commerce and delivery. With our app, Get It Now, users can order from any restaurant or store in the city and have items delivered in less than an hour. Order from Little Star Pizza, Papalote, McDonalds, Nordstrom, the Apple Store, you name it. Our fleet of Postmates will purchase your items and deliver them; payment is done entirely through the app so there’s no fumbling for cash or swiping your card through a reader. Currently, there is no startup that offers the same extensive functionality as Postmates. There are several “task” startups that we are seeing pivot into our space, but no other company currently has the same product capabilities and focus on local commerce. Prior to Postmates, I was on the agency-side, working with startups like Siri, Klout, Wolfram-Alpha, Roku and Beluga. In my experience, the companies that succeed are those with a rock hard vision, unwavering dedication to product and strong technical chops. We have our sights set a lot higher than just sandwich deliveries and I’m excited to be a part of the team that has paved the way for what is becoming a huge market opportunity.

What do you like best about working in the marcomms/PR/community intersection for startups?

I touch everything that has a public face. Whether it’s an article, an internal blog post, a push notification or web copy, I work with Bastian (our CEO) to create messages that communicate both product function and company ethos. It’s a LOT of work, but we’re at such an exciting stage in our life cycle where we’re still small enough that I work directly with our founders to manage PR and marketing as well as partnerships and sales. When you’re small, you can’t have an ego. Everyone plays their part and wears multiple hats to get the job done.

Tell us more about the Sandhill Golf & Gun Club – do you like shooting stuff?

I love shooting. I was always afraid of guns, but it’s true that the more familiar you become with your fears, the less daunting they become. I prefer shotguns over handguns and rifles, but I do shoot all three. I enjoy the sport aspect of skeet and trap shooting much more than target practice. It’s social, it’s competitive and here in San Francisco especially, you’re shooting in the beautiful outdoors.

You’re also a member of the Sandbox Network – what’s it about and how did you hear about it?

Sandbox is an international network of entrepreneurs under 30. Members work across various industries, but everyone has the same goal: we want to make the world a better place. There are rocket scientists and journalists. Startup CEOs and founders of non-profits. Writers and designers. The list goes on. I have met some of the most incredible people since I was accepted two years ago. I originally found out about Sandbox during SXSW from San Francisco ambassador, Max Marmer and have since connected with members in NYC, DC, Austin, LA, Melbourne, London, Paris, Zurich, Berlin, Beijing, Hong Kong, Nairobi, Buenos Aires, Mexico City, Amsterdam – just off the top of my head!

You moved from Austin to SF a year ago – what do you think of the startup and creative scenes in each city?

Austin’s startup community is a topic of many a happy hour conversation and blog post. The startups in Austin often complain that there’s a lack of exposure or that Silicon Valley is overrated. They have lofty goals for how to build the city into a hub for innovation. And I have no doubt that they’re capable of it, but the fact is, Silicon Valley is increasingly more well established. There is an unlimited source of hungry developers, access to funding, and the opportunity to watch trends and markets develop. As a consultant that needed to have an understanding of the market as a whole – players involved, trends, new competitors, publication shifts, etc. – I found that spending time in the Bay Area was extremely important and ultimately felt that living in SF was the best decision professionally. It doesn’t hurt that it’s one of the most beautiful cities in the world. 😉

You interned a bit in your earlier career – what recommendations do you have for upcomers and recent graduates?

I attended a relatively competitive university in DC, so internships were the norm. Most students interned on Capitol Hill but I also had friends working for non-profits, law firms, design agencies, and news stations. I worked everywhere from a Swiss news station to a web development firm to a lifestyle magazine to an ed-tech startup, all before I finished my undergrad. I firmly believe students need to experience a balance of the rigidity of higher education and the responsibility of work at a real company. One of the best pieces of advice my parents have ever given me, was to experience as much as possible within the safety of college. You’re expected to change your mind about your career constantly and take risks. Don’t miss out on that opportunity. In my experience, the students that were laser-focused on the career they “thought” they wanted, are now either miserable or taking time to re-focus.

Who else do you think is doing cool stuff in our communities?

I really love what Path is doing. It’s a simple concept – creating a micro community – but, it’s the same segmentation and implementation of actual human behaviors that I admired in Beluga. I’m a sucker for products that integrate communication research. One of my other favorite companies is Liquidspace. They’re most notable as “the Airbnb of workspaces” but they have this entire vision for underutilized office space, that is not only environmentally compelling, but has incredible market opportunity and ties directly into the already established collaborative consumption trend.

What’s next for Postmates and yourself?

At Postmates, we’re focused on perfecting our model. I’ll be the first to admit, we may make it look like a simple, but there’s a LOT that goes into this. Once we have that down, we’ll be expanding to new cities reasonably quick, so I’m preparing for that. Personally, I’m having a ball just exploring this San Francisco and the entire Bay Area. I work long hours, so my boyfriend and I try to go for a drive at least once every weekend – out to Marin, Tomales Bay, up to Mendocino, down to Carmel, etc.

Announcing custom email and content curation: we’re here to help — October 23, 2011

Announcing custom email and content curation: we’re here to help

  • Do you ever find yourself not knowing where to start with your content?
  • Have you been handballed email marketing in the office but can’t cope with another thing on your plate?
  • Has your creativity and keen-eye been zapped by corporate zombies or 4-o’clock-itis?
  • Do you have better things to do than spend 24/7 burrowed in your laptop trawling the web?
  • Do you hate reading endless questions?

Well, whatever you answered, I wanted to share something new we’re working on at Fetch HQ. After a steady run this year in Melbourne and Sydney, and our soon-to-launch other cities, we like to think we’re getting this niche sorted. We’re experiencing promising organic growth, becoming a highly-trusted (just see the open and click-through rates) online resource and giving our covered communities a vehicle to discover, connect and share. Most importantly, we love and know email and social.

That’s right… we enjoy it, we create it and we get it. I often feel sorry for content distributed via poor email. In some circles, it’s somehow perceived to be uncool. We simply don’t understand it. I’ve been doing email and content for five plus years, and still get the inspiration chills when I received a well-designed and thoughtfully-crafted enewsletter.

So, if you like what we’ve created so far and are looking at your own content and email desires – we’re keen to chat about:

  • End-to-end, interesting, relevant and smartly-laid out emails for your community
  • Beautifully designed and standards-compliant email development
  • Hosting and sending with access to our own easy-to-use platform if needed
  • Tutorials, analytics and training
  • Content strategy, creation, curation, aggregation, other ‘ations’, seeding, and social sharing
  • Community engagement and audience development
Sounds like it could be a fit? Just email contact@thefetch.org to discuss your vision and needs.
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