Trillium Absinthe Superiere

Party planning – it’s a rough life, but somebody’s got to drink it

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that planning a party is nowhere near as fun as the actual partying part of the party planning process.

Depending on how hard you party, the aftermath can sometimes be even less fun than the planning. I’m not super into that whole “cleaning up after” part either. Basically, I just like things that are fun.

I say all this as a way of prefacing the following statement: Planning the office-warming party for AM:PM PR and 7/Apps has been the kind of blast you can normally only get from a two-liter bottle of diet cola and a roll of Mentos.

That’s primarily because, early on, it was decided that I would be the liaison between AM:PM and Distillery Row , the area of southeast Portland that stretches from Burnside to Harrison and from MLK Blvd. to 12th Ave. Local craft distilleries such as Integrity, Highball, New Deal, Deco, Stone Barn Brandyworks and House Spirits make sure that if you’re sober around these parts, you only have yourself to blame.

Not sure why, exactly, my coworkers thought I would be a good fit for this particular mission. I’ll think about it while I finish this Sazerac.

Where was I again?

I’d love to tell you that it was some major feat of salesmanship on my part that got the distilleries involved, but in truth, I found that these were enthusiastic folks who needed only the tiniest of nudges to get on board. It helped that we were as excited about showcasing the Buckman Neighborhood and the unique businesses that populate it as we were about showing off the cast of characters that make up AM:PM PR.

In the process, I’ve gotten to hang out with Tom from New Deal, Rich from Integrity and the rest of the individuals who bring these individualistic spirits to life. Their personalities are about what you’d expect from the people behind products such as Trillium Absinthe, Hot Monkey Pepper Vodka and House Spirits’ Apothecary line of experimental small-batch liquors.

They’ve got more stories to tell than I have memory to record them. With that realization, we decided to begin filming a series of videos that will showcase the people, places and processes behind some of Portland’s finest intoxicants. They will appear on this website in the days to come.

As a friend once said, with great liquor comes great responsibility. While working with Distillery Row, we’ve also gotten to know our other neighbors, the ones that provide the kind of snacks so necessary to fortifying your stomach in times of plentiful imbibing.

Also bringing their delicious offerings to our shindig will be Meat Cheese Bread, Zell’s Café, Nicholas Restaurant, Clive Coffee, Nossa Familia, Sheridan Fruit Company, Buckman Village Brewery and Eat Your Heart Out.

We’ve been fortunate enough to come into contact with artist Chris Haberman, who will fill the former bunk room of Fire House No. 7 with visual art to complement its culinary counterpoint. Children’s Healing Art Project will be on hand to sell art and cupcakes in order to raise money to take art programs to local children’s hospitals.

Finally, we locked down the services of Cadenza Academy’s Kevin Pardew, who also plays bass for local Celtic rockers Amadan, to provide live music for the event with a band consisting of Dakota Max and Ashley Bread from the Dirt Jake Replicas. Web developer Zach Hoffman from Phoogoo will DJ in Bremik Construction’s offices next door, and attendees – or party people, as I like to call you – will be able to grab a glass of wine from Zanzibar and stroll between the two spaces.

It’s now apparent to me that this blog has turned into me giving props to the many fine people involved in this event, which was never my intent. I wanted to talk about myself and the many hardships I went through to turn my dream of free and plentiful liquor into reality. Oh well. I’m sure you get a sense of the nightmare that is my existence despite my wandering ways.

For those whose invitations got lost in the mail, the party will be held from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 26. Please don’t cast a spell to make us sleep for a hundred years.

am:pm pr early logo illustration by Molly McCormick

Collaboration – We like it this way

When our team decided to spin out and start our own thing, we wanted everything to be new and we wanted everything to be “us.”

Our most enjoyable and successful experiences had been through collaboration.  From day one, we decided to collaborate on everything.  We brainstormed our mission together. We decided on open office space where we would sit around one table, without offices that separated us from each other. We shopped for office furniture together and covered our walls in white boards for our many spontaneous brainstorms.

We planned our website together.  We all participate in client development activities.  We’ve realized putting our heads together makes us much more creative. As leadership guru Ken Blanchard teaches, “None of us is as smart as all of us.”

Our collaboration became so natural and organic that we extended this way of working to relationships with our clients, partners, neighbors, peers and friends.   Our clients become part of us.  We absorb them as members of our team. We hope they see us the same way.

We recently decided to partner strategically with 7 Apps, a smartphone app developer.  We realized more of our clients are asking about apps as marketing tools.  Our partnership gives 7 Apps access to market research and marketing expertise to support apps it’s developing for its own clients.

We hold weekly PR 3.0 meetings (Thursdays at 3:00pm) and invite our PR peers and clients to join us for roundtable discussions about the latest happening in social media, SEO and mobile.

We even crowd-sourced our logo, asking everyone we knew to help us choose the image that identifies our firm.

Now there’s another big opportunity for our friends to collaborate – in celebrating an open house for our new venture (save the date – 8/26/10 4-6:30pm).

We came from downtown, Class A office space and for AM:PM PR we were looking for an office location distinctly different.  We found the perfect place in an iconic historic firehouse with available space in an eclectic area of SE Portland.  A big bonus is that we can be part of a real neighborhood.

Rather than just show off what we’ve got (and the new space we’ll be moving into with 7 Apps), we decided to invite our neighbors to show off to our friends what an amazing neighborhood we’re in.

Bremik Construction (next door neighbors and the builders who did such a beautiful job restoring the firehouse and the adjacent buildings that are now Bremik’s home) even decided to open up their space and deck for our event.

We’re big fans of everyone we’ve invited.  Expect to taste:

We’ll even be showing off art from the wealth of local artists, hardware from our favorite little Ankeny Hardware across the street, and much more.

We like this way of working.  We have found real value from the psychic income of collaboration, enjoying the work we do and the people we are surrounded by.  Our new, bigger space should be completed by the end of the year.  It will have the same open feel and include gathering areas for peers and clients to come and just hang out if they need a little collaboration time.

So come on over – August 26 for the open house, or anytime.  Our place is yours.

American's continue to spend more time on social networks

We’re Spending More Time on Social Networks


UPDATE: January 9, 2015 – Time on Social Networks Still Increasing

Pew Research Study Social Network Usage Stats

From the Pew Research Center Study on Usage of Social Networks:

In a new survey conducted in September 2014, the Pew Research Center finds that Facebook remains by far the most popular social media site. While its growth has slowed, the level of user engagement with the platform has increased. Other platforms like Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn saw significant increases over the past year in the proportion of online adults who now use their sites.

The results in this report are based on American adults who use the internet. Other key findings:

  • Multi-platform use is on the rise: 52% of online adults now use two or more social media sites, a significant increase from 2013, when it stood at 42% of internet users.
  • For the first time, more than half of all online adults 65 and older (56%) use Facebook. This represents 31% of all seniors.
  • For the first time, roughly half of internet-using young adults ages 18-29 (53%) use Instagram. And half 0f all Instagram users (49%) use the site daily.
  • For the first time, the share of internet users with college educations using LinkedIn reached 50%.
  • Women dominate Pinterest: 42% of online women now use the platform, compared with 13% of online men.

Nearly a quarter of the time Americans are online is spent on social networking sites according to The Nielsen Company’s June 2010 study, What Americans Do Online, released August 2.  Time spent on social networks grew by 43% from levels reported in June 2009.

One reason?  So many more people continue to join social networks – especially Facebook.

Oregon is a good example.  Last month, blogger Nick Burcher posted state-by-state numbers showing the growth in Facebook members from July 2008 to July 2010.

In July 2008, 242,500 Oregonians were active on Facebook.  That grew to 815,660 by July 2009.  This July, Facebook reports 1,648,820 members in Oregon – a growth of 102% over last year and 580% over 2008.

It’s unlikely the number of Oregonians on Facebook will double again by next summer.  While 2010 census data aren’t yet available, the July 1, 2009 estimate of Oregon’s total population was 3,823,465.

Based on those data, more than 43% of all Oregonians now have a Facebook page.  Compare that to the 14% of Oregonians who read one of Oregon’s 18 daily newspapers.

Neilsen reports Americans are spending 906 million hours a month on social networks.  Online gaming now occupies the second biggest block, up by 10% from 2009.  But people are spending 28% less time on email, which slipped to third place.

If it wasn’t evident before, social networking is changing how people connect with one another.  If brands and businesses want to engage their customers, it’s clear where they can find them online.

A Smarter House of Cards

CardStarI’ve never been one to bother with loyalty rewards programs even though I’d probably benefit from them considering my propensity for excessive shopping. But with the addition of a Smartphone to my life – and the creation of a free, user-friendly application like CardStar – I find myself toying with the idea of spending my weekend making the rounds of local stores and actually signing up for each of their respective loyalty rewards cards.

Similar to the idea in Jake’s blog entry last week, it seems new technology can have a real impact on our day-to-day behaviors. Something I was never interested in, has now become more attractive in electronic form. I always hated the idea of having a bunch of extra plastic cards taking up valuable space in my wallet.

That’s where I keep pictures of my cat Gus.

The idea of tapping a few buttons on my Smartphone and simultaneously earning shopping points AND Foursquare points, on the other hand, makes me just itch to head to my local Fred Meyer for some additional cat-themed accoutrements I don’t need.

How about you? Have you noticed any other fantastical, amazingly stupendous, ways in which your Smartphone and its apps have changed the way you do things and the things you’re willing to do?