Coles Marketing is a company where family is a way of doing business. For this entry of Coles After Hours, we’re checking in with Media Planner/Buyer Whitney Coles, who is married to the firm’s Chief Marketing Technologist/Owner Brian Coles. Learn about what she does after hours and what drove her to join the family business.
Outside of Coles Marketing, Whitney Coles is raising two future pro-athletes. When she’s not at her desk, she’s cheering on the sidelines of her sons’ various sports activities. This is familiar territory for her, as she was a cheerleader throughout high school and college. But being a mom is like being the ultimate cheerleader.
“I know more about sports now than I ever did as a cheerleader,” she says with a hearty laugh. “I’m not sure I ever really understood what 1st & 10 meant in the eight years I was on the sidelines cheering at football games. Now I just ask the boys! Our sons are involved in hockey, lacrosse, flag football, baseball, swimming, the list just keeps growing!”
Whitney worked in the world of marketing long before Coles, but she put her professional life on pause shortly after her first son, Will, was born. Two years later came Max. A couple of years after that, Whitney felt like she had the hang of parenthood and was eager to get back to work.
Coles had the perfect opportunity in store — an open part-time position that would scratch her marketing itch and provide the flexibility needed to care for her kids.
Now, with increased working from home, she’s in an even better situation. Not only can she keep a close eye on the kiddos, but she has Brian just around the corner.
“I can just poke my head in his office at home and ask a question or bounce an idea off of him since we’re working in such close proximity,” she said. “We have different strengths and personalities, but they complement each other well and we really enjoy working together. He always says I’m the yin to his yang.”
While schedules and work-from-home procedures are likely to change, one thing’s for certain — Will and Max’s sports will always be a part of their after-hours lives.Edit this post
Creativity is key to our work here at Coles Marketing. On a regular basis, we’d like to give you a peek inside the mind of a team member and show what’s inspiring them lately. What are we watching, reading, playing or making that’s fueling our creative energy?
For this entry, we’re checking in with Financial Manager Teresa Christ.
When Teresa’s not crunching the numbers at the office, you can find her studying and experimenting within the world of glass art. She recently binge-watched the Netflix reality series, Blown Away, which follows 10 artists as they compete in glassblowing sculpture challenges.
“It’s exciting to see all of the different things people can create on that show,” Teresa said. “It’s also nerve-racking because their creations are so fragile.”
Teresa’s fascination with glass art predates Blown Away. A trip to Rossi Glass in Niagara Falls first sparked her interest.
“Seeing the artisans make pieces there was so cool and inspiring,” she said.
Teresa has now tried her own hand at this artform. She has taken classes at GRT Hot Glass Studios and made her own glass art.
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Check back soon for an after-hours visit with another member of the Coles team!
Fortunately, working remotely is always an option for our team, but of course, it’s a necessity right now. Although our business office is closed, our home offices are open, and we are continuing to build our clients’ brands.
While COVID-19 is slowing down activities in some markets, it is providing opportunities in others. For example, we recently teamed up with Indiana Historical Society to build an online tool that allows Hoosiers to submit photos, videos and stories documenting how they are dealing with the “new normal” of life amid COVID-19.
We have been helping another one of our clients explain the financial aspects of this new normal on an almost daily basis, developing and distributing e-blast messages to their customers about tax filing and payment extensions, new loan programs, etc. To house the numerous financial updates, we created a COVID-19 Resource Center on their website.
We are also helping a senior living management company promote temporary jobs that have opened up in the wake of COVID-19, and we are documenting the many ways in which they are keeping residents and their loved ones connected despite visiting restrictions.
How are we doing all of this from the comfort of our homes? Here are a few tips and tricks that could help you and your business during this time as well:
Zoom Meetings: Zoom is the most popular video conferencing solution for companies with 500 employees or less. It’s gaining users rapidly amid COVID-19 concerns, adding roughly 2.22 million monthly active users since the start of the year. Allowing us to see each other and communicate face to face brings back a sense of normalcy and “business as usual.” It’s also keeping our company’s collaborative, creative spirit alive and thriving!
Task Lists: When everyone’s operating remotely, it can become easy to lose sight of what we’re all working on. That’s why we’re all sending each other bulleted task lists every morning. We also utilize Trello, which organizes everyone’s tasks in separate boards and lets you track each team member’s progress.
Sharing on Slack: Slack, our office newsfeed, has been our best friend lately. Not only does it allow us to stay in touch, but it’s been a great tool for boosting employee morale in the midst of COVID-19. Sharing pictures of our home offices — and the pets who break into them — is a particularly comforting activity.
Tapping into Creativity: When the mechanical shark kept malfunctioning during the production of Jaws, director Steven Spielberg took a less-is-more approach, making the monster’s presence known through menacing music and underwater point-of-view shots. This creative solution saved the film and made it even better than it would have been before. Think of COVID-19 as the malfunctioning mechanical shark you have to work around in order to keep your business booming.
By Brian Coles
Chief Marketing Technologist / Owner