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The Shortlist

President’s Quarterly Update: June 2018

2018 Marketing Bootcamp SpeakersChapter President Nicole La (third from right) with the 2018 Marketing Bootcamp speakers. ©Emily Hagopian


Recap of the Chapter's 2017-18 Successes

In 2013, the chapter created a five-year strategic plan that focused on four core goals: Advance, Educate, Connect, and Advocate. With 2018 being the last year of that plan, this year’s Board of Directors set out an ambitious plan to deliver on our objectives. I’m proud of the progress the Board made this year. Here are some of the highlights:

ADVANCE: Outreach and Development Committee

We had continued success with our many O&D programs this year, including the Business Leader’s Forum (the chapter’s knowledge share program for senior members), which added a third location in the South Bay. Mentoring Pathways added 14 mentors and mentees this year, while our CPSM (Certified Professional Services Marketer) program reformatted its structure to focus on the Markendium content, drawing 12 participants. Finally, the Bay Area’s number one A/E/C networking event, Make the Connection, celebrated ten years of success.

EDUCATE: Programs Committee

The Programs Committee underwent enormous changes this year, recruiting a new slate of volunteers and simplifying the program planning process. Moving responsibility for the Chapter’s networking events to the Membership Committee gave Programs a renewed focus on purely educational content, and the Committee did a great job of brainstorming a roster of relevant topics and recruiting stellar speakers from inside and outside the industry. The Committee embraced the project management tool Asana, which was a great help in planning our signature program, the Marketing Coordinators and Digital Marketing Bootcamp.

CONNECT: Membership Committee

This year, Membership took on the responsibility of managing the Chapter’s networking events, our Holiday Party and Annual Business Meeting, as well as our Buddy Programs and Taste of SMPS, in order to welcome and connect new members. At Membership Madness, we recognized members who have been with SMPS for 20 and 30 years, an amazing testament to the continued value the organization offers! Finally, Membership created a Salary Survey and published the results in conjunction with our “Negotiate to Win” program. The Chapter’s last Salary Survey was conducted in 2011, and we are proud that we were able to bring back this great member benefit.

ADVOCATE: Communications Committee

The Communications Committee made it a goal this year to increase clarity of communications, adopting Calls to Action in the Chapter’s emails; refocusing our social media to highlight members, sponsors, and Chapter promotions; and transforming our content marketing strategy by moving “The Shortlist” from PDF download to a blog on the website. We’re especially proud of this last accomplishment, and hope that you will take advantage of the Chapter blog as a platform for sharing your own knowledge, as well as gaining from the knowledge of others.

Financial Development Committee

Often toiling in the background, Financial Development enables all the Chapter’s activities. This year the Committee restructured our sponsorship package by adding more benefits and a sponsorship level that would appeal to smaller firms (the $500 Redwood level). We refocused the sponsor experience to ensure that we clearly deliver on the benefits, and significantly increased the number of sponsors over last year.

Value of Serving as Chapter President

Serving as your Chapter President this year has been an extraordinary experience, one I recommend highly to any Chapter member interested in learning about leadership and increasing the strategic power of marketing in the industry. As President, I’ve been given the opportunity to exponentially build my network — not just regionally, but nationally. I’ve been privileged to have a platform through “The Shortlist” and emails to share the Chapter’s story, as well as my own. Locally, the presidency gave me the opportunity to address the public at Chapter events, and nationally, to present at the Society level through the Pinnacle Conference. I’ve built relationships with the Society’s staff and been invited to participate in a Society task force. I know that if I ever need anything, I can call on experienced Chapter members for advice.

Serving as the Chapter President is a crash course in running a business. The Chapter’s Programs are its product, Membership is the recruiting and retention arm, Communications is marketing, Outreach and Development handles training and development, Financial Development brings in funding, and, finally, the Executive Board acts as operations, providing leadership, strategic planning, budgeting, accounting (AR, AP, and taxes), signing contracts, and handling insurance.

At approximately 300 members, SFBAC is one of the largest chapters in SMPS — and is three times the size of my firm. Serving as President taught me skills that I may never have had the option to learn in the workplace. It is an opportunity to develop public speaking, writing and telling a story, delegation, and leadership, all of which are essential to leadership, but not always part of the marketing and BD purview. As a result, I can have conversations with firm leadership that I wouldn’t have been able to before. This has been particularly helpful to me as I am the only non-principal involved in my firm’s strategic planning.

SMPS’ society vision, “Business transformed through marketing leadership,” is contingent on marketers becoming leaders, and volunteering through the Chapter is one of the best ways to get there.

Your Path to the Board

So here’s my call: join a committee and volunteer! This is the perfect time: President-Elects are always looking for rising stars for committee and Board positions. You may be asked to take on responsibilities that are outside your comfort zone, and that’s the point! If you’re comfortable, you’re not growing. Don’t be afraid to take on more. You may think that you have too much on your plate, but don’t limit yourself by giving yourself an excuse. By building a strong team, you learn to delegate the work. You may need to work evenings and/or weekends at first, but the payoffs for your career are worth it.

Talk to any Board member and you’ll hear a similar story about what they’ve learned through SMPS. Get involved today, and the odds are that you’ll be writing this message at a not-so-distant point in the future!

“Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.”
-Brené Brown,
Daring Greatly

 As TEECOM’s Experience Director, Nicole La purpose-builds remarkable experiences for talent, employees, and clients. This means developing an understanding of how clients, staff, and potential hires interact with TEECOM’s services and products so that the firm can provide continuous improvement. Her strategic leadership at TEECOM sets the standard for the firm’s unified culture, brand, and communications, from recruitment through the end-user interaction with TEECOM buildings. 

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