The Push and Pull of Paper and Pixel

Singular Role

As Vice President of Creative and Digital for talkStrategy, I occupy a unique and unusual area of responsibility. In the agency world, creative teams typically focus on aesthetics, design, brand, and message. These are folks who appreciate the beauty of negative space, or a well-turned phrase, and of the perfect marriage of the right visual with the right copy.

Laura Hotten | talkStrategy

On the digital side of the house, we focus on driving actions and engagement, data points, the hand-off from one page or experience to another, and usability and navigability of those experiences. In my role, I orchestrate the intersection where this right-brain, left-brain thinking comes together.

My personal background in traditional advertising, software UI/UX, and web programming, made it a natural fit. This may be a non-traditional way of thinking about the output of a communications agency, but through a consumer lens it makes complete sense.

Communications Pluralism

With major breakthroughs in technologies like home internet and the birth of the iPhone, modern communication evolved radically. These advances have fundamentally changed how we shop, communicate with each other, and consume and create content. Because necessity is the mother of invention, this evolution directly led to changes in how we view our business. 

From our beginnings as a public relations and crisis communications shop, we quickly saw that even earned media needed support from strong visuals and graphic elements. Thus our creative department was born. We watched as social media shifted from being a way to stay in touch with friends, to a critical opportunity for brands to interact directly with consumers, and then to evolve yet again into a real-time news source. Enter our dedicated social media team. As the role of owned paid media on social networks and demand-side platforms became increasingly important to help our clients achieve their various marketing goals, we said—yes, that too—to a new service offering.

All our services, from government affairs to branding and marketing to strategic public relations now rely on the same set of tools and channels, and just about everything is tethered to the digital world—even grassroots and event marketing. What ties everything together, regardless of the channel in question, is a strategy that unifies the message and is rooted in authenticity, and a commitment to cross-channel synchronization—what we call Integrated Marketing.

Sweet Spot

From this perspective, it makes complete sense to constantly be thinking about the intersection of paper and pixel, creative and digital, offline and online, push and pull, owned, earned, and paid. Bringing balance and harmony to every equation. 

Some may call me a trailblazer, a geek to the core, a triple threat.

I have never shied away from embracing new technologies even if it may feel unfamiliar and a little daring. Some may call me a trailblazer, a geek to the core, a triple threat. But my role feels necessary, logical, and forged by real-world usage. We think agencies have an obligation to shed their traditional thinking to embrace how real people behave. Our Integrated Marketing approach is our response to that. So whether you are feeling like disrupting a category, or finding a flow for your brand in today’s communication currents, let’s talk about it, and let’s talkStrategy.

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