Named 2018 PR Firm of the Year by PRNews
There are too many amazing memories at Sachs Media for me to highlight just one. I particularly enjoyed the afternoons when we would stand in a circle, share jokes and laugh together.
The importance of proper digital communication via email, telephone and social media. Follow-up, follow-up and more follow-up. The importance of effective teamwork. Not taking NO for an answer and working with a relentless sense of urgency.
So many! Working on the Florida Wine Festival with Gay not once, but twice. Two words: Alex Penelas. Getting Dave Barfield to like me. Working with Art Carlson, who I watched on the local ABC affiliate growing up. My time with John Wark. Cindy, Carmella and Connie. Friday happy hours at Andre's. Ron's stories and the many, many pearls of wisdom he shared with not just me, but with everyone, because he wanted the best for all of us and for us to succeed. I wish I could be present to give everyone a hug and kiss. Be well. Cheers to another 20 years.
There are so many takeaways from my time at RSC (Sachs Media Group), just as there are many fond memories: getting hired, moving from the original location to Duval Street, growing with a company that was also growing and, of course, the people. My best friend is Jocie Jara, who worked at RSC at the same time as I did, and I keep in touch with Marah Binder (now Oberfield) occasionally.However, because it's fundamental to what we do, I'd have to say my biggest takeaway is being a better writer. The senior staff at the time--Ron, Michelle, Marsha, Sue, John and the always wonderful Art Carlson--were former reporters and they engrained in us the importance of brevity and storytelling. RSC played a huge role in my professional development and I'm forever grateful to Ron for giving the opportunity and to Gay (mother dearest) and Marilyn for their support and encouragement. Go Rhinos!
The dynamic atmosphere and brainstorming sessions in the large conference room. Staff birthdays and the holiday party!
To think big even to the possibility of starting my own consultancy! Being resilient in the face of new obstacles and challenges to achieve client success.
I learned that helicopters can fly with their doors open (yikes!), and that Dawn dish-washing detergent really does clean oil from pelicans and sea-birds! I have very fond memories of working with some really great clients, and helping to pitch and bring home business.
Working hard, working smart and delivering results are the critical ingredients for serving and keeping clients.
Promoting the work of organizations that make positive changes in the community, and seeing those changes firsthand at events our team helped organize.
Your job doesn't have to feel like work. When you're around people who are passionate about what they're doing, it's a joy to get up and go to "work" each day. At SMG, I was surrounded by a group of smart, passionate people who were a joy to be around.
Ron's 60th Birthday Party.
Everyone acted as a team. Great business culture.
There were many, many wonderful memories from my time at Sachs! A few that come to mind: -Sitting in Marsha's office as she coached me on media pitching ("Joc, the squeaky wheel gets the grease!") -Starting my first job alongside my best friend Andre. -My very first interview for an internship here. I remember interviewing with Ron, he noticing my English degree and hiring me on the spot because he knew I would write well... and PR was all about writing and telling compelling stories. -Ron's take on PR being the "private practice of journalism," which to this day helps me understand my role in shaping tomorrow's headlines. -Walking press releases into the media offices at the Capitol Press Corp and begging them to write my story. -Pitching Rick Flagg on Cialis. Till this day, I remember him LAUGHING at me. -And, I'll never forget my first REAL mess up... pitching an early voting advisory for Pasco County and mistakenly inverting the hotline numbers on the advisory... so the community called a sex hotline instead of the office. Till this day I remember where I was when Melba called to tell me about the issue, and where I was when I called Michelle to tell her what happened and how I fixed it. Lesson - proofreading is critical! I am so proud - and fortunate - to have started my career here. I still proudly have a wooden rhino on my desk as a reminder of my roots. Happy Anniversary!
I learned everything I know about PR at RSC! As an English major, I only took a handful of PR classes for my minor and came in blindly to this role - which ended up being the best education I could have gotten as I started my career. And, it was all about the "relentless pursuit of results" that helped shape the way I think about media and ultimately my clients' bottom line today.
Decorating the office for Christmas is a pretty special memory for me. Also, toward the end of my internship at RSC, RSC graciously sponsored my Ragnar Relay Team. Our team ran more than 200 miles from Miami to Key West to raise money for Alzheimer's awareness.
The biggest take away for me was learning how to pitch and knowing that the details are everything.
Walking through the halls of the Capital Press Corps for the first time and realizing that reporters are just people. Holiday parties with White Elephant gift exchanges. Ron sending an email that casual Friday attire did not include "something you would wear on a hayride," referring to the denim overall trend.
Hands-on exposure to all things PR. The opportunity to have first-hand experience writing, editing, developing ad copy, media buying, brainstorming, writing scripts, pitching news stories, leading meetings and much more helped establish a professional foundation that I have been able to build upon throughout my career.
Ordering in lunch with Lisa and Beth!
The industry is small, so network!
Acting in the lead role for the "Florida Quality of Life" campaign on behalf of the Florida League of Cities.
Learning how to effectively pitch print media and writing talking points.
Among the many fond memories of my time at Sachs, I particularly enjoyed walking the halls of the Capitol Press Corps to pitch clients' stories to media outlets across Florida in a matter of minutes.
The most effective communication strategies are formed through the collaboration of a diverse team of talented communicators with unique experience and perspectives.
I have a lot! I loved working with Marsha Koppe - she was my mentor when I first started. And one of my favorite projects was working with Ron on the Downtown Recycling Partnership. What a great initiative and way to make a difference in the city, and at the company!
The best people work at Sachs!! I still have so many friendships that were started there, and love to hear updates on happenings with everyone who has walked through those doors.
There is a lot I remember from that summer, but there are two events that come to mind. The first was landing my first "big" placement in the Sun Sentinel with a Lauren's Kids opinion piece. The second was working with Lisa Garcia and Jessica Clark on a photoshoot for Florida Healthy Kids. It was my first time "out in the field," and I had a lot of fun.
I learned a lot about PR at Sachs and how different aspects of a agency works. However, I would say the biggest takeaway was finding great mentors. Beth Watson, Lisa Garcia, Ron Sachs and others were and continue to be people I look up to and know that I can reach out for guidance at any point in my career.
Staff time with the Ron. He made the working environment so wonderful.
How to deal with a crisis successfully.
There are too many to count! A few are: Traveling the state to create a 30-minute TV program, winning the FPRA Dick Pope Award, office karaoke, eating LOTS of meals together, NYC awards trip with Michelle Ubben, impromptu Friday dancing with Lisa, annoying Herbie... on purpose, turning in a proposal with only 2 minutes left before 5 p.m., "Ron Coms," Walk in My Shoes events, scoring national stories for a client, supporting client with Congressional testimony about the Penn State scandal, working on amazing creative projects, late nights planning out the Oil Spill Commission visits and then being the "advance" for that tour, Emmy nominations, presenting at big pitch meetings, supporting the company re-brand and facilitating SMG building remodel, earning my PMP, driving around Miami with Ron Sachs etc., etc., etc.!
Lessons I learned from my time at SMG: -Listen and ask questions BEFORE you start talking. You achieve goals and deliver better services/products when you know the problem you are solving for someone. -Be entrepreneurial, continue to learn and offer up ideas to improve work for your client and the company you work for. -Be resourceful (thank you, Marilyn!). Don't ask how to do something until you've tried to solve it yourself. -Spend time asking people you work with what their passions are and how you can help them fulfill them. You end up working with the best of what that person has to offer. -Be assertive and decisive -Set personal and career goals and evaluate your success OFTEN. You can't make the best of every day when you don't know where you're going. -"Thank You's" are valuable -- we are in the relationship business after all! -Agencies are one of the best places to launch your career and you learn a lot about a lot of industries and skill sets. Agencies help you find what you love to do. -Fall in love with your work family (you are with them for 8+ hours a day!) -Laugh.......... a lot!
Walking the final mile of Walk in My Shoes with Lauren Book. Being able to see the look of accomplishment on her face was truly a powerful moment.
You're never too busy to be kind to those around you.
Quite a few. Happy hours outdoors at Andrews, holiday parties, staff lunch in the conference room, especially creative brainstorming sessions. In particular, spending time with Connie.
Delivering results for the client is how one measures success. In college, the emphasis was on process. But in my internship with Sachs I learned that professionals execute strategies and achieve results.
-In 1996, standing outside my office, a hesitant Ron asked me if he should start RSC... I answered "HELL YES!" -While shooting video for the RSC environmental show EQ off a houseboat in Everglades Nat. Park, on Ponce De Leon Bay during an exceptional sunset, Joe Karioth sang and played "All My Lovin" to Gay & Ron.
Winning an Emmy for Katrina Hurricane Show, 2005-06
Ron and I went on a road trip together. There were many parts of that trip that I will always remember (and some I won't talk about - code of the road and all that...) but the best was riding back in the car and singing (at full volume) Eagles, Beatles and Crosby, Stills Nash & Young with Ron Sachs
Prior to Sachs, my clientele was limited to Tallahassee. Working at Ron Sachs Communications allowed me to significantly improve my portfolio of work and gave me the opportunity to work with a team that won several Emmy Awards.
The staff meetings. Occasionally Ron would have us play the white elephant game as a reward, for hard work. He would have Gay (his wife) go out and buy very nice gift cards, from nice stores and restaurants around Tallahassee, and place them in gift bags. Essentially, one by one... you choose a bag and show everyone what gift card you got. Then the next person has the choice to steal your gift card or choose a new one. I recall Art Carlson choosing to steal the Victoria's Secret card that was in the bag I picked. I pleaded with Art, "Please Art don't take my Victoria's Secret card I really want it." "Why would you want it?" He smiled and said, "It's not for me." I ended up with a gift card to Bonefish Grill. Not too shabby.
Great people that I worked with there. Especially Ron who can create a campaign for an issue and sell it to the public like no one else I've ever seen in my life... he's enormously talented, bright, kind, generous and all-around an awesome man!
For Ron's birthday, we celebrated with a surprise flashmob! He was honored that the staff, his friends, and clients put together something so special and personalized for his birthday.
I found my internship experience at Sachs Media Group to be a career-enhancing opportunity. I learned the value and importance of detail when designing or crafting a message for a client because one word can make a difference in communicating an idea. This lesson carried through to my studies and additional internship opportunities, and now in my current position at The James Madison Institute.
My fondest memory at Sachs was working with Ellen who was a business management intern on projects because it put me in a position to teach her about PR tasks and reassure myself of my abilities simultaneously.
How to not let a "no" destroy me. Pitching reporters for "Florida Health Cuts Don't Heal, They Hurt" frequently required me to talk to the same reporters about a new commercial in a series of about 5 being released, having the reporters decline my pitch actually loosened me up and helped me find my rhythm. It also helped me develop some pretty thick skin.
The first time I saw our work result in actual change was a brilliant experience for several reasons. It was soon after I started as an intern. Reviewing the morning clippings, I read a story that was a big win for one of our environmental clients and most likely a result of our efforts. Ron was holding a meeting in his office. I knew he would want to hear of the news immediately but I was still intimidated by my new charismatic boss. I quietly tiptoed in to deliver the print-out and quickly shuffled out. Before I could sit back down at my desk, Ron yells for me. I scrambled back to his office wondering what I did wrong, but mostly shocked that he new my name. Ron gave me a huge smile, shook my hand and congratulated me (an intern!) for the success of our team's work. And I will never forget, "The Extern." It was all hands on deck as we brought to life the script Michelle whipped up - a parody of Donald Trump's, "The Intern," and a surprise for Ron. It was a hilarious episode full of melodrama, plot twists, inside jokes, and the staff playing caricatures of ourselves. But mostly it was full of love and appreciation as we paid tribute to our boss and to each other.
I loved working in a place where it was perfectly acceptable to argue passionately over the use of a single word or to debate fiercely about a punctuation mark.
Too many to pick one! Working the Bill Clinton-Obama campaign event alongside Lisa Garcia and fellow SMG alum Erica Villanueva...canoeing down the Suwannee with Nestle Waters Natural Resource Manager Kent Koptiuck and Drew Piers...Ron Sachs' 12.12.12 beach bash...most of all, doing great work with even better people and having a wonderful time while doing it. Once a Rhino, always a Rhino! Congrats on 20 years, SMG! <3
My biggest take-away was learned by watching Ron and Michelle embody the following: You can do well while doing good. And you can have fun while doing all of the above. Also, "Sometimes, you will hit the ball over the net and someone will not hit it back...run over there, and hit it back for them!" - RLS
All the people there. Our office parties, particularly holiday gift exchange.
Learned how to manage heavy work load and how to tap into my creativity at deeper levels.
We were as much a family as a firm in those days. The work was intense, but so were the feelings of love and respect for one another.
Creative energy is precious, as are the people like Ron and Michelle who have it by the bushel.
My fondest memory at Sachs is watching Ron follow scavenger hunt clues to find puzzle pieces I'd stashed around the office.
Work to live; don't live to work.
Aside from daily lunch at Harry's? As a PR intern working on a dual degree in graphic design, I was afforded the opportunity to work with the creative department on occasion and really learn how both sides of the industry work to bring a campaign to life. I really enjoyed the opportunity and use what I've learned daily in trying to grow my business. I'm very grateful for the opportunity, Happy 20th!
My time at Sachs taught me a ton about the standards and expectations that give a top tier agency its claim. In addition to quality of service provided, as a director of my own growing firm now, I regularly draw from the organizational structure and practices that I learned at Sachs.
"Sleeping with the boss." Ron had two big comfy couches in his office and in the afternoons you could go lay in there on one and he would lay on the other and you could just chat or nap if you weren't feeling well. He would also let us out at 3pm on Fridays and we'd all go and have happy hour together or have it in his office and just catch up on our week/clients/life. It was a very warm, loving, family, fun environment there and I was proud to be a part of the RSC family!
"I laughed, I cried, It became a part of me" - Ron would say that every time he proofed/approved one of my press releases or op-eds, to this day I use that when I'm proofing someone else's work, especially the many interns or assistant's I've had over the years. Ron taught me to be meticulous in my writing/work and the true fundamentals of PR, especially how to handle a media crisis. I still advise folks that even if they are caught at the scene of the murder with blood all over them and are being walked out in hand cuffs their quote to the media should be "I look forward to telling my side of the story in court".
My many chats with Connie at the reception desk!
I learned so much from both my mistakes and my successes as a public relations intern at Sachs. This was my first experience in a public relations environment, and it was eye-opening. The biggest lesson I learned was that success comes from action. Don't wait for something or someone to come to you. Seek out information, seek out responsibility, and be bold in taking the next steps. Change does not happen with just an idea; it happens when you take the first step.
Working on the Explore Adoption campaign for Gov. Crist was an amazing and rewarding experience. Following three Florida families who adopted children and working on the team that produced the resulting 30-minute TV special was incredible. One of my career highlights, still to this day, is winning an Emmy in recognition of our work to support Adoption in our State.
RSC (now SMG) was my first job in public relations and for that, it will always hold a special place in my heart. Leaving news reporting and transitioning into PR changed my life. I learned so much about client relations, account management and the industry during my time at RSC. Working there helped shape me into the PR professional I am today and set the foundation for my continued success. For that, I will be forever grateful.
There are so many! We had a strong "pod" of account execs and shared many laughs with Kristin Heilman and Brandon Fuller. The work culture at RSC was so friendly and supportive.
I gained unparalleled skills in writing, public relations and communication during my time at Sachs!
On my last day at Sachs Media Group (then Ron Sachs Communications), Mr. Sachs brought me into his office with his wife in attendance. They both gave me compliments on how well I did that summer. I was so thankful to Mr. Sachs; he saw potential in me and gave me my first job! Congratulations, Mr. Sachs, to you and your company. May God bless you with FIFTY more years to come!
Continue to invest in your staff and your staff will invest in your company.
Winning the firm its first Emmy for the Hurricane Survival Initiative.
Learning (finally) to listen and organize.
I remember the photoshoot for the Andrew's menu when us interns all posed with the various dishes. I have friends still comment on seeing me on the menu when they eat there!
It was my first opportunity to produce video in a professional setting, and the great hands-on experience and guidance I received absolutely set me toward everything I've accomplished since.