Improve Your Workflow Episode 05 with Rodger Roeser

21 August, 2019

Rodger Roeser is the CEO at The Eisen Agency, a boutique marketing and brand management agency.

Improve Your Workflow is sponsored by Digital Pigeon. For an extra long free trial, visit www.digitalpigeon.com/podcast/ and use the coupon code: WORKFLOW.

Learn more about The Eisen Agency:

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Transcript of Improve Your Workflow podcast with Rodger Roeser of The Eisen Agency

Voiceover:

Welcome to the 'Improve Your Workflow' Podcast, brought to you by Digital Pigeon. Learn from other creative and media businesses about attracting more work, delivering projects efficiently, getting paid on time and everything in between.

Paul Evans:

Hi there, and welcome to the fifth episode of Improve Your Workflow. My name is Paul Evans and I'm your host. The format for this show is really simple. I interview owners and managers of media, marketing, and creative businesses about their productivity and operations hacks as a way where we can all learn from each other and hopefully make our lives that little bit easier.

Our guest today is Rodger Roeser of the Eisen Agency. Welcome to the show, Rodger.

Rodger Roeser:

Paul, really appreciate you having me on.

Paul Evans:

Great, could you tell the listeners what you do and who you do it for?

Rodger Roeser:

Sure. I'm the CEO, so I'm the chief tuna and bottle washer for The Eisen Agency. We're a fairly large firm, headquartered in in Ohio, the States. We have an office on both ends of the state, one up in Cleveland and one in in greater Cincinnati.

Basically what we do is we provide high level marketing strategy, marketing planning, tactical execution, typically for clients in the professional services realm. So, these would be organisations like healthcare, human resources, IT, manufacturing, construction, real estate, things like that. What we do is we just help them either grow, if they need to be growing, or just better communicate with whomever their publics are so more folks know who they are.

Paul Evans:

Cool, so like creating awareness for them.

Rodger Roeser:

For sure, developing their brand, developing their brand message and just trying to sell more Vegemite to people that want to eat it.

Paul Evans:

Cool, so what would you say is your-

Rodger Roeser:

That's the extent of my Australian by the way.

Paul Evans:

That's all right.

Rodger Roeser:

I've exhausted all of it.

Paul Evans:

I liked you slipping it in there. What would you say is your number one productivity hack, like how you sell your services or how you deliver your work to your clients.

Rodger Roeser:

Right, we have clients all over the country and literally all over the world. So, we work with clients from Belgium and we work with clients in South America and we work with clients in New York. So, you know, we've got clientele all over the country and because of that we've got staff that's not always physically in their office space and whatnot. So, we've got folks that that travel quite a bit. We've got folks that are in and out, so we're not all together and that gets exacerbated by the fact that we're not physically all in the same space at the exact same time and neither are our clients. They're not all in the same space at the same time.

So, the challenge is how do you bring everybody together? There's a lot of tools that we use, but my absolute favourite, because I like simple tech, technology that's overly complex or complicated or you need a master's degree and you know whatever... how to use, isn't good for a CEO. I mean it's time consuming, it's a pain in the kazoo. So, we use this tool called Smartsheet and I just absolutely love this tool. It's not expensive, it's like 300 bucks a year. What it is, is it's a glorified like Gantt chart and workflow project management tool. It's all online, it's all in the cloud. So, basically whenever you're working with a client or you're working with a project, we're able to delineate where the project is in the process, what we need, or whose court the ball is in, and understanding exactly who needs to do what.

The beauty of this is, too, is once a project is complete in my universe, whether it's an ad or a direct mail piece or a press announcement or an article or blah, blah, blah, you can house it all on this sheet. That way if a client needs to see something or look at something, they are not needing to email you a hundred times or call you, "Hey, can you send me my logo?" Everything is right there. They're able to easily access it. They don't need to know where a project is or when's our website going to be completed or who were you waiting on this for, and I'll tell you what, when we do our weekly calls with clients and go over work and go over what needs to be done, everybody has their Smartsheet in front of you.

Paul, I'm not kidding you, meetings that used to take an hour or more, in some cases, we're wrapping up in five and ten minutes, you know what I mean, and really instead of just managing this tactical minutia, that time is able to be invested in discussing this is complete, this is complete, I need this and a lot more on the strategy side as opposed to getting bogged down in the weeds with the tactical stuff. So, Smartsheet is just a fantastic tool.

Paul Evans:

Yeah, I haven't heard of that one but it sounds exactly like what we need, to be honest.

Rodger Roeser:

I think everybody needs something like that. I've seen other project management tools out there that are, you know, again, just overly complex. If an employee doesn't like the tool that they're using, they won't use it. At the same time, we're a marketing and PR firm, I don't need staffers, whether it's a new staff member or a more seasoned staff member, spending all their time doing this kind of minutiae busy work. So, it needs to be simple, It needs to be easy to use, it needs to be intuitive, and it needs to ultimately save time and increase productivity and workflow, not make it worse, you know what I mean?

Paul Evans:

Yeah, not add to the work.

Rodger Roeser:

Right, exactly. So, this one really checks off a lot of those boxes. I am a big fan of SmartSheet.

Paul Evans:

Fantastic, yeah, I'm going to check it out straight after the show. Could you tell us a bit about the rest of your tech stack? Is there any other sort of software or tools that you recommend?

Rodger Roeser:

Yeah, I mean, our agency is pretty tech savvy. I mean, we've been using technology since it even existed and we were one of the first companies that were developing websites back in the day. You know, it's funny to look back on those, it looks like something a toddler would design now, but at the time it was so cutting edge, right? We use a variety of media relations software and our favorite is a product called Agility. The Agility platform allows you, again, there's dozens of these platforms out there and they all have various prices and sizes on this and that and bells and whistles, and this allows you to very quickly and easily find journalists and sources and media outlets.

It has all their social media information, basically anybody that's a journalist anywhere in the world on what they're reporting, every media outlet and what they're covering. So, if you have a real niche client, like a social security law firm or something like that, that does very niche type work, you're able to find all the media outlets, all the reporters, you're able to follow reporters really easily to see the types of stories that they're writing about, you can send customized letters, customized pitches, right to that reporter, the ability to target lists and make individual lists. Super powerful, super easy to use. You can send them materials, you can send them literature or background stuff. So, the Agility platform is a way... I don't know how my firm or really any PR firm would do its job without a tool like this.

Most firms have one, but if you're in search of a firm certainly you want to ask them what platform they use just to make sure that they've got something that's powerful, right, because you don't want to do it manually. Good Lord, that would be a nightmare, but this allows you to really reach out and find and target and really become a good resource for these journalists, for your clients. It's a super, super tool called Agility.

Paul Evans:

Yeah, right, another one I need to check out straight after this show. It sounds really good.

Rodger Roeser:

Yeah, If you're looking to do media relations and you're looking to get more media coverage, this really helps because, like I said, it's super intuitive. You can hone in on the type of media outlets that you want to work with, you can hone in on the types of journalists that you're wanting to relate to et cetera. So, it's just super, super nice and a really simple tool to use. We love it.

Paul Evans:

Awesome. All right, we're just going to take a few seconds now to hear from our sponsor.

Voiceover:

This episode is brought to you by Digital Pigeon. Digital Pigeon is the leading file-sharing service for creative and media businesses that can't afford to miss deadlines. With a focus on moving large files from A to B quickly and reliably, Digital Pigeon is the tool you can count on where others fail to deliver. Try Digital Pigeon out for free today at www.digitalpigeon.com/workflow for an extra long 90-day trial. Now, back to the show.

Paul Evans:

Yeah, that's fantastic. All right, Roger, if you could work with one brand that you don't already work with, who would that be and why?

Rodger Roeser:

Oh my goodness. That's a great question. You know, it's funny, I'm a real political kind of person, but I wouldn't touch politics or politicians with a 10 foot pole. So-

Paul Evans:

and me both.

Rodger Roeser:

Yeah, I mean, that's something that I would absolutely just be loathe to mess around with, but I think if I could work with any organization, you know, since I'm over here in the States, I'll use this one, but I'm a huge fan of Kiss, the band.

Paul Evans:

Right, yeah okay.

Rodger Roeser:

I just think that that would be the greatest job in the history of mankind, just to be like, PR guy, you know? I mean, especially back in the 70s, right, that would have been super awesome, but even now, I mean, Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley just appear to be just super guys and incredibly talented and they've got such a cool story to share. They do great work with, I think it's the Wounded Warriors Foundation or one of those with the veterans of the military.

They're just an amazing story of just two knuckleheads from New York City who just by sheer determination and hard work created this just iconic brand, you know? Kiss, I think, surpasses music and I just think that that would be one of those just nifty brands that would be a lot of fun to work on.

Paul Evans:

That's a really cool answer.

Rodger Roeser:

Isn't that fun, but if I have to pick a business, I don't know, maybe

Paul Evans:

No, no, KISS is a business.

Rodger Roeser:

Right, KISS is definitely a business, but maybe Jack Daniels would be fun to work with too.

Paul Evans:

That would also be fun, for sure. How do you go about solving problems that you don't know the answer to? So, you're not allowed to say Google because that's the obvious answer, but is there specific blogs or do you use mentors or is there some sort of other resource that you go to when you need to solve a problem?

Rodger Roeser:

Yeah, I mean, again, that's a great question. I'm very blessed that I have an incredibly talented staff and I think any CEO or boss that says he knows everything is clearly a moron.

Paul Evans:

Correct.

Rodger Roeser:

So, you know, there's so many things that I don't know how to do and I am blessed to have a good staff and that's usually my first line of defense is I'm going to a team member and saying, "Hey, I don't know how to do this" or "I don't understand how to do that" or "Do you have a solution to this?" I've also found, Paul, that my clients are just tremendous resources and wealths of knowledge where we're able to share things. So, I think some people feel that that makes you look vulnerable and I think the act opposite, you know?

I really value the relationships that we have with our clients and they've got different experiences, but at the same time, just like me, they're CEOs and leaders of their business and they've certainly faced similar issues or similar challenges that I've faced and especially some of the folks that are either older or younger, a different experience and a different perspective. You know, I never cease to be amazed at how much I learn about something from a client.

So, if it seems to be something that I'm really stuck on and I need a mentor, I have those clients and we as a team do these monthly round tables where I bring in as many of my clients as I can physically into our space, and then the ones that are national and international, we do something similar to what you and I are doing here with like a zoom. We'll sit and discuss just general business challenges that you don't often get to see. So, in the same room, I've got a couple of my law firm clients, I've got a couple doctors, I've got an accountant, I've got a HR person, I've got an IT professional, and a contractor, you know?

It's just amazing how so often we face very similar challenges and somebody in the group will say, "Oh yeah, here's how I solved that," or "Here's what I did." It's just been an incredible team building exercise where you're showcasing the fact that you know, "Hey, I don't know everything, but I really value your opinion." For all my agency brethren out there, that's a tremendous way to solidify your relationship with your clients.

Paul Evans:

Yeah, I think that's a fantastic answer, not one I expected, but a really good approach to, I guess, you know, building that relationship with your clients.

Rodger Roeser:

Hey, if clients were smart enough to hire me, they're smart enough to give me some good ideas, right?

Paul Evans:

Agree. Last question, Rodger, where can our listeners connect with you?

Rodger Roeser:

Sure, so if they want to get in touch with us, theeisenagency.com is our website. T-H-E, Eisen is spelled E-I-S-E-N,agency.com I'm on LinkedIn, just Rodger Roeser on LinkedIn. Those are the two best ways to get me, and if you're ever in Cleveland and want to take a tour of the rock and roll hall of fame, give me a call.

Paul Evans:

Will do, thanks for being on the show, Roger.

Rodger Roeser:

Sounds great. Thanks, Paul, I really appreciate it.

Paul Evans:

Well that was another great interview. Thank you so much Rodger for your insights. My biggest takeaway was to make things self service for clients, so that they can check in at anytime on who is doing what, and being able to access their own files such as things like logos, marketing assets and so forth. And what that’ll do is, well it will probably help cut out emails but it’ll also help those catch-up calls or WIP meetings quicker than the traditional ones. So thanks Rodger and until next time, keep on delivering.

Voiceover:

Thanks for listening to the Improve Your Workflow podcast. If you enjoyed the podcast, please leave us a review on iTunes. Go to www.digitalpigeon.com/reviewpodcast for more info, and we'll add you into our monthly draw to win a Digital Pigeon t-shirt. Bye for now.


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