We are Christina and Peter Pilarski, founders and leaders of CIPR Communications and hosts of Two Babies and a Business. In this bonus podcast in our marketing agency vs in-house series, we interview one of our clients, Leah Stewart from the Alberta Ballet School. Here are some of the highlights from the interview. We asked Leah why she decided to work with a marketing agency and where she is now, with both in-house personnel and CIPR Communications as her marketing agency.
Q: How did you get into hiring an agency?
A: Absolutely. I’ve been involved in the school’s marketing for three and a half years. When I was brought on at the school, I had come from a totally different industry that did not act in any sort of social media activities. Taking on marketing is a completely daunting task when you are starting from scratch. When I met you two, it was like the sun shone down, saying, “Here’s somebody who knows what they’re doing.” So for me, the agency came first before the in-house person.
Q: Can you give a bit of background from how our relationship evolved from working with you on social media to hiring an in-house person?
A: One of the things that I have learned in my professional career as a leader, especially in marketing, is you don’t have to know how to do everything. You just need to know how it affects your overall perspective of the organization’s strategy and then you hire good people in order to execute that.
I had the fortune of having an individual in our organization who was heavily involved in social media following the dance world and so I was able to bring that individual over into the marketing department as both our marketing coordinator and someone to oversee the social media.
Q: When it comes to you and your marketing team, can you tell us about how you effectively manage your agency? (H2)
A: I honestly feel that the agency manages us, and that’s why I hired an agency. I don’t want to hire a professional to tell them what to do, so I rely on your team to manage me and say, “This is where we need to be; this is what’s gonna respond well to your client base.” So when it comes to managing the overall social media strategy, your agency should know your brand, they should know your tone, and they should know your audience. They should be managing you to ensure you hit those milestones that we need to get content to our audience. I trust you guys.
Q: Would you have changed anything in terms of the way things evolved? (H3)
A: Absolutely not. You worked with me and communicated to me in a way that made me comfortable. I think if you find an agency or are approached by an agency and it feels right, and if something clicks, you have to trust your gut. You hire good people to good work, and you hold them accountable. And my gut was right, and we’ve been working over three years together. I am fortunate that I have a strong agency and in-house person.
These are just some of the key topics we discussed in our interview. If you want to hear the full interview, follow us on iTunes, Spreaker, or Spotify to hear Leah’s full journey in a new organization starting from scratch to now having both in-house marketing staff as well as a hired agency.
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