I am excited that I got the chance to talk to Kelly Francis, Technology Liaison Director for Barkley about advertising, battling cancer, and recycling.
Jason: Hi Kelly, let’s talk about advertising. What is your favorite TV commercial of all time and why?
Kelly: This is a tough one to answer. I loved the Bud Light “Wassup”series a few years ago. It coined a catch phrase that still gets used. The more recent Bud Light “Dude” series is equally good. Apparently I like beer commercials…which is interesting because I don’t like beer. : )
Jason: What is your favorite product that Barkley created the ad/marketing for?
Kelly: The Two Guys Sonic commercials, of course. People either love them or hate them…either way, they are being talked about. Which of course is still good publicity either way.
Jason: Here is one of my favorites:
Jason: What should small or medium sized companies be doing with their advertising / marketing in this economy?
Kelly: As the old adage says, “Advertising pays.” While budgets are being cut in just about every area of every company, it is still smart to keep your name/product out there. People are fickle and too easily forget if not reminded often of your product or services.
Jason: How easy is it to use a firm like Barkley?
Kelly: I’d be happy to put anyone in touch with our New Business department and let them take the lead there. Being in IT, we’re a little sheltered as to how it all comes together regarding obtaining new prospects and business.
Jason: What do you see for business in general for 2009?
Kelly: We, like most everyone else, are tightening our belts. Business is steady, but a down economy affects everyone. Not that it’s all doom and gloom though. This should be an opportunity for everyone to take stock of what is important and where changes can be made that would benefit everyone.
Jason: Fighting cancer seems to be a huge deal at Barkley. You are big supporters of Susan G. Komen. How did that start?
Kelly: Barkley was the first ad agency to brand a cause for Lee National Denim Days 12 years ago which benefited breast cancer awareness. The Susan G. Komen Foundation followed shortly thereafter because of being linked to LNDD.
Jason: How do you encourage other industries to get behind the fight against cancer?
Kelly: Our PR Department is instrumental in our Cause Branding efforts. A lot of companies want to be known for more than just the product they product or service they offer. They want to leave a legacy of giving as well, and we help them find their niche.
Jason: Kelly, I know that there are tons of cell phone recycling programs – why is Barkley promoting Cells for Cells?
Kelly: Two reasons: I like to use local companies whenever possible …whether I am purchasing items or donating to a worthy cause; and this truly is a worthy cause that I don’t think gets as much attention as some of the more well known and advertised organizations.
Jason: What recycling do you do at Barkley?
Kelly: We currently recycle paper, cardboard, plastic, aluminum cans, cell phones, electronic equipment (like computer monitors, printers, small electronics, TVs, etc.), and we are in the process of starting a program to recycle ink jet cartridges and alkaline/lithium batteries.
Jason: How long has recycling been a part of Barkley’s culture?
Kelly: It’s really grown in the last couple of years since we moved into our current building. We have implemented a lot of “green” processes besides just recycling. We also promote double-sided printing to save paper and use recycled paper products and utensils in our break rooms.
Jason: What do your hear your employees saying about recycling in the workplace?
Kelly: We offer an equipment recycle program twice a year to our employees allowing them to bring in whatever electronic items they have stored in their ba
sements or garage to be recycled or properly disposed. It’s been a very popular program.
Jason: How do you think you are positioned to best spread the word about recycling?
Kelly: My role as Technology Liaison Director is about communication. I am known as “The Link” between IT and the users, so I have the opportunity to spread the word effectively via posters in common areas, training sessions, department meetings, and of course via email.
Jason: On a bigger scale, what is Barkley doing to promote smarter recycling?
Kelly: We actually have a “Green” committee here called “Planet Fresh” that sends out tips for being greener and reducing our carbon footprint. Articles are published in our weekly newsletter that goes out to all employees with things everyone can do to live greener.
Jason: Have you or are you working on any major ad/marketing specific to recycling?
Kelly: Only internally with information that goes out to our employees with new processes we are putting into place, like the new ink jet and battery recycle programs that will be starting soon.
Jason: Do you see the other ad/marketing firms following your lead and participating in recycling programs?
Kelly: I’d certainly like to think so!
Jason: How do you encourage other industries to get behind recycling?
Kelly: I think just by being responsible citizens in general sets a good example. When we are in meetings with people from outside our agency, we encourage folks to put cans/paper/plastic/etc. in our recycle bins. We print 2-sided presentations or in Handout form which puts several slides on one page to reduce paper usage, or even better, we present via the web (no need to print at all!). Every little bit helps.
Jason: What is an easy recycling tip that you want to share?
Kelly: Junk mail is recyclable. You don’t even need to open it…just put it in the bin.
Jason: What is your favorite cell phone advertisement?
Kelly: Hmmm…I’d have to say the one with Ozzy Ozbourne talking and you can’t understand him, so he sends a text message…it’s just overall funny.
Jason: What cell phone do you currently use?
Kelly: I have an AT&T Blackberry Pearl 8100. It’s a couple of years old, fits nicely in my pocket and still works great. If it ain’t broke…well, you know the rest.
Jason: Last words?
Kelly: I like to look at everything as possibly either being recyclable or reusable. When you have something in your hand ready to toss in the trash, stop and think: do I really want this to be in a landfill.