The News Chair
  1. Looking Back, Moving Forward

    October 13, 2016 by Tiffany Whisner

    Ever since I started working at Coles Marketing — almost a decade ago (yikes!) — my coworker, Chris Mercier, has been a wonderful mentor and friend.

    dsc_0098And at the end of this month, she’s retiring. I can’t imagine the workplace without her, so I thought a spotlight on her for this blog seemed quite fitting.

    Q&A with Chris Mercier (it rhymes!)

    Q: How did you get started with Coles? Why have you stayed so many years?

    A: I joined the company when it was known as Coles & Morrison. I met Candy Morrison first through a non-profit. Working part-time at the non-profit was my first job going back to work after staying home with my two children. In 1998, Candy introduced me to Barb, and I joined the company.

    d20_1669Q: Describe Coles Marketing in one word.

    A: Family

    Q: How has the PR/marketing/communications industry changed over the years?

    A: When I first joined the company, six of us shared one email account. We sent news releases through the mail (snail mail). Social media wasn’t even on the horizon. Advertising was limited to print or broadcast. Clients have many more opportunities today to tell their stories.

    img_2037Q: What qualities do you think are required of a leader for success?

    A: I think a leadership role requires you to think on your feet. Develop honest relationships. Listen to your client to formulate a strategy to help them accomplish their goals. I enjoy the critical thinking it takes to come up with workable strategies for each challenge.

    Q: What kind of impression or impact do you hope to leave on Coles Marketing and its employees?

    A: I hope people remember that I was a hard worker with a sense of humor.

    Q: Offer a piece of advice for up-and-coming PR and marketing executives.

    A: My advice to future execs is to be a supportive and contributing member to the team. Always stay one step ahead by staying organized. Don’t be afraid to take on more responsibility, and embrace change.

    mercier_5inQ: What’s ahead for you?

    A: My husband and I look forward to spending more time in Scottsdale with our daughter, two grandchildren, Jim’s mom and dad and extended family of close to 50. We will also be closer to our son in Portland and hope to travel the western U.S. in the next few years.


    Chris, we will miss you. You can never be replaced, and we will always remember you as a hard worker with a sense of humor … and so much more!

  2. Building a Strong Public Health Campaign

    September 15, 2015 by Tiffany Whisner

    public health campaign

    Tiffany Whisner

    Tiffany Whisner

    It takes organization, planning, a solid leader and a supportive team to pull off a public health campaign.

    Coles Marketing is in the process of working on a public health campaign for the Seafood Nutrition Partnership, a nonprofit organization with a mission to inspire a healthier America by raising awareness about the essential nutritional benefits of eating seafood.

    Team leader Chris Mercier has a lot on her plate as the team works to hook some meaningful partnerships.


    Changing the tide on seafood

    In 2014, Indianapolis was one of two pilot cities selected by the Seafood Nutrition Partnership (SNP) to conduct a grassroots public health educational campaign.

    Chris Mercier

    Chris Mercier

    “Indianapolis was one of the cities selected because of our high incidents of heart disease and also because we are a population without as much access to seafood, therefore lacking the knowledge of how to select and cook it,” Mercier said.

    Only one in 10 Americans follows the USDA Dietary Guidelines of eating seafood twice a week. And the biggest barrier to eating seafood is a lack of confidence to select, buy and eat it.

    Coles Marketing was chosen to lead the campaign in Indianapolis — which included a series of educational events in business, healthcare and culinary communities — to raise awareness of the benefits of seafood and how to include it more frequently into daily meals.


    Ingredients for a whale of a campaign

    This year, as Coles Marketing prepares for a new wave of activities in October as National Seafood Month, Mercier highlighted the essential ingredients to a successful public health campaign:

    • Coalition: “Develop a local coalition of community leaders who support your mission and goals,” Mercier said. “It’s important for them to have an influential network of followers or constituents to help carry the campaign’s message.”
    • Events: “The goal of these educational events is to bring awareness to large and diverse groups of people about your message — in this case, seafood nutrition and the benefits of eating seafood.” These events include health fairs and cooking demonstrations.
    • Health screenings: Depending on the particular health campaign, coordinating screenings may be an important component, whether it’s Omega-3 screenings, or screenings for blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes or osteoporosis.
    • Communications and media outreach: “Use e-newsletters and other communications to keep your coalition in the loop, offering them information and updates to share with their network,” Mercier said. “And getting the word out through traditional and social media channels helps give that third-party recognition, endorsing and validating the campaign.”


    How to reel in success

    But what do you need to do to set your team up for achievement? Mercier said:

    1. Start early. “Get your messaging down and event dates secured in advance as much as possible.”
    2. Stay organized. “You are handling so many different tasks; you are bound to miss something if you don’t keep organized.”
    3. Have a committee. “Share duties with your team. Each person can work on a different aspect of the campaign so one member doesn’t have to do it all.”
    4. Gather a team of experts. “Meet both face-to-face and over the phone with coalition partners and other campaign leaders to get their feedback and support early on in the planning process.”
    5. Follow up. “It’s your duty to follow up with coalition members, team members and members of the media to keep your campaign on their radar.”


    If you need help getting the word out about your health campaign, let us help you capture the message and audience you want. Contact us today!

  3. Say What? New Additions to the Dictionary

    September 2, 2015 by Tiffany Whisner

    DictionaryI don’t know about you, but I’m always interested to see the new additions to the Oxford English Dictionary each year. And this list is no less shocking to me. Some words I have heard of … others not.

    Will you think the words chosen are awesomesauce? Or do you just want to head to the cat cafe because you are hangry?

    From Oxford Dictionaries: “NBD, but are you ready to fangirl over our dictionary update? Abso-bloody-lutely. We’ve got some awesomesauce new words – no, rly – that will inform and entertain whether you’re hangry or it’s already wine o’clock. Mic drop.”

    These are some of the words added most recently to the online version of the dictionary:

    • awesomesauce – to describe something as excellent
    • bants – short for banter
    • bruh – describing a male friend
    • Grexit and Brexit – the potential departure of the UK and Greece from the EU
    • hangry – adjective used to show feelings of anger or irritability as a result of hunger
    • manspreading – when a man sits with his legs wide apart on public transport encroaching on other seats
    • mic drop – instance of deliberately dropping or tossing aside one’s microphone at the end of a performance or speech one considers to have been particularly impressive
    • mkay – the informal pronunciation of OK
    • NBD – abbreviation of no big deal
    • pocket dial – to accidentally call someone while your phone is in a pocket
    • rage-quit – to angrily abandon an activity or pursuit that has become frustrating
    • weak sauce – anything of a poor or disappointing standard

    See more of the list here!

    Want to know how new words get added to Oxford Dictionaries? Check out this video!