At PUSH, We Love Technology

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At PUSH Agency headquarters in a small yet palatial office, just next to the accounting team, sits our robotic overlord who forces us to do his bidding. Also, he has an army of smaller robots, preparing to enslave humanity.

We just thought you should know.

Anyway, speaking of technology, here at PUSH, we have embraced it like crazy people who aren’t even aware that they are being enslaved by a robotic dictator, and are playing into his technological hands.

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We love our clients, but we don’t want them to be forced to call us every time they need to make a minor change to their booking – they should be able to push a button and move on! Client Console is a communications hub where our account and booking managers interact with clients, all under the watchful eye of our malevolent robotic ruler.

Also, until the robot army is complete we are stuck with these humans to staff our events. Selecting human talent can be difficult, unless you’re using our talent selection tool which allows our clients to view talent in real-time, including photos and stats. (Our human models are significantly more attractive than the clunky intimidating robots.) This is also important from an environmental standpoint because it means we don’t have to create portfolios and promotional material for each model, and the machines want a nice green earth when they eventually take over.

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Once talent has been selected, and if the logistics are challenging -highly technical product description, large campaign- we can train them online. Our video training has high production values… for a training video, I mean this isn’t Hollywood, and when combined with our robust screening process, it allows fast, efficient and effective training.

Once they’re all trained up, we inject all our models with a tracking dart, which slowly morphs them into a member of the robot army. Not really, but we do use GPS check-in technology so that we can make sure our team is safe, and on time. We also use sophisticated data analysis programs, and live-event recapping technologies to gauge demographics, potential foot traffic and other numbers that may be relevant to the client. Afterward, we compile data on the engagement, and this, when combined with the pre-event check-in materials, presents a broad picture for the client to use as part of their strategy. It also enables our robot masters to track humans.

*PUSH has no robot overlord, apart perhaps the head of finance.

CES – Robots, Wallpaper TV’s & Smart Everything!

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One of our core values is to ‘Be Zen.’Usually, this means being calm under pressure, and adapting to unexpected circumstances as and when they arise. This requires balance, self-awareness and the ability to calmly move from one task to another.

Then, there’s the consumer electronic show, or as you may know it, CES. Held in Las Vegas, Nevada each January, CES attracts the largest brands, the most innovative technology businesses, and a ridiculous amount of people who love incredible gadgets. It’s a chance for businesses to showcase their wares and demonstrate how forward thinking and revolutionary their latest products will be.

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Our job was to assist legendary electronics brand LG by presenting extraordinarily advanced technology to a highly sophisticated audience of thousands. Simple.

An event of this size is more of a logistical activation than traditional assignments. First, we assigned responsibility to our two most experienced project managers, who would coordinate the training, rostering and management of the 110 PUSH team members required…that’s required each day. That’s 440 total shifts over a four day period, and they all needed to be up-skilled in technology, some of which has only existed in theory until LG decided to unleash it on the world.

Planning, Planning, Planning

Our robust project management structures are nothing without efficient humans to ensure they are adhered to. Our project management team in Arizona, worked with our leadership group to create rigorous structures, combined with limitless fail-safes to ensure the best chance of a perfect outcome. Then, just when they thought their work was done, we told the projects team they had to go to Las Vegas and oversee the activation- because trips to America’s tourist mecca, with free tickets to the largest electronics trade show in the world, are just a few of the painful requirements of working for PUSH.

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Training, Training, Training

LG brought a massive amount of products to CES, and every one of our team had to understand how each product worked, and why it worked that way. This included The Hub Robot, which uses Amazon’s Alexa and connects with appliances around your home. Speaking of smart, LG’s smart home solutions were amazing – from the smart fridge that becomes transparent when knocked on, to the oven that learns your recipes and manages the cooking process, and the vacuum cleaner with a built-in video camera that doubles as a security guard.

The highlight, however, was the ridiculously thin, extraordinarily light and generally awesome, SIGNATURE OLED TV W – the W stands for wallpaper. This television attaches to the wall via magnets and uses a soundbar to produce an experience that will redefine the televisions. Or, as Richard Lawler, the senior editor at CES put it when awarding the best TV product to LG –

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LG’s flagship OLED is our Best TV winner for the third consecutive CES. Even as the technology is popping up across other brands, as and LCDs continue to improve, this is still the best display we’ve seen during this show. Shifting its smarts and inputs to its Dolby Atmos soundbar enabled the “wallpaper-thin” design that makes it seem more like a window into another world than any TV we’ve seen before. With that, LG once again remains a step ahead of the competition. — Richard Lawler, senior editor.”

The engagement was an unmitigated success, with LG being the deserved focal point, and PUSH assisting through our project management team pulling out all the stops, and the promotional staff going above and beyond. There were a few standout performers who deserve additional recognition –

Edgar, who came in early and stayed late, while maintaining his flexibility. This was an incredibly strenuous engagement, and Edgar’s and professionalism made him an invaluable member of the team.

Viviana, took on the mantle of brand ambassador for LG and made it her own. Her trainers pointed out how committed she was to representing the brand, and making sure she understood every facet of complex products.

Be Better: Excellence is not optional

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As The PUSH Agency has evolved, we’ve always looked for ways to improve, whether it’s our customer experience, service offerings, software, or the vibe of our office. We believe striving for continual improvement leads to growth, and that’s why one of our core values is “Be Better.”

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Ashlee Fisher, accounting specialist at PUSH, has been with the company for three years, serving in several different roles ––and each transition has given her the opportunity to “be better” as an individual and contribute to the betterment of the team. We chatted with Ashlee about what it means to her to be better and how keeping this core value top of mind has helped her blossom in her various positions.

“One of the greatest things about the culture here at PUSH is that Jonathan, our CEO, leads by example,” Ashlee said. “We see him working every day to be better, continuously looking for ways to improve upon the day before, and it trickles down. We can’t help but be inspired.”

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And this is key. When the leadership exemplifies the core values, it helps lift the entire team and instill the company culture until it becomes second nature to all involved. When all are brought into the core values, everyone holds each other accountable.

As Ashlee put it, “we all feel comfortable putting each other in check when needed.” Everyone has moments when they’re challenged but the support our team is able to offer one another on a daily basis helps us all build each other up and ensure we’re all giving our best effort every single day. It becomes something we don’t even have to think about.

Be Better – it’s a way of life here at PUSH. As the saying goes, “A rising tide lifts all boats,” and we believe when all are striving to be better, we all grow.

Culture Breeds Growth

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A message from our CEO, Jonathan Sacks

At PUSH, our company culture forms the basis of everything we do; from the way we interact with clients, to how we work with our diverse regional teams, right through to what is acceptable behavior in the office.

You see, to us, culture is more than just our dog park, or monthly rockstar awards; it’s a series of values that dictate the way we operate, and why we do what we do. We will be talking more about those values in future articles, but in the meantime, I wanted to discuss the importance of defining a culture to us, and what we have experienced as a result.

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Like most businesses, we didn’t start out with clearly designed culture. To a certain extent, a company’s culture is dictated by those within the organization itself, and something I’ve learned is the importance of owners and managers being the guardians of that culture, and adhering to something larger than themselves through apportioning responsibility to the business. Put another way, at Push, we have a way of doing things, and it’s my job as the primary guardian of the business, to ensure that actions taken by everyone in the organization, reflect our values and culture. That means, empowering managers to make decisions based on what PUSH-as a hypothetical entity-would do. In a sense, the business itself has become a personification for how we should act, and interact with each other, our clients and our prospects; our look and feel, if you like.

The best example I can offer is the way we choose new staff members. In the beginning, recruitment was fairly reactive; we would hire based on requirement, and whoever ticked most of the boxes was offered a job. The thing is, while our retention rate was good, we found ourselves in a position where we were ending up with people that ticked most of the boxes, but not all of them. For example, we would hire people who could technically do a role, but weren’t proactive, and didn’t like to take the initiative – which is very important to us. Now, we can interview based on this, but asking questions like that flat out, just encourages candidates to embellish facts.

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The answer lay in our company culture. Instead of asking more questions, we told the story of PUSH; from its origins, through to how we became the largest supplier of promotional talent in North America. Through this narrative, we were demonstrating who could thrive in our environment, and equally, those who would be better served elsewhere.  We encouraged candidates to talk about how they would see themselves in an environment like ours – highly energetic, diverse and perhaps at times annoyingly loud. We have heaps of fun in the office, but there is a lot of pressure, which comes as a result of each person setting high expectations for themselves and others.

When interviewing based on culture, we discovered that candidates would eliminate themselves, if not literally, it will become apparent quickly who was excited about working in a culture like ours, and who would become frustrated.

We have echoed this approach through to other parts of our business, allowing the core narrative to be the dominant force in promotion, internal rewards, and our management ethos.

A big part of our success in establishing our culture has been clarity around what it is. Paying attention to who we are, and, importantly, who we aspire to be, has been crucial as we continue to develop and grow. Reaching the point where we could confidently ask the question, “is this who we are?” made decision-making far easier, almost as if there is another person in the room, reminding us of our original vision.

While our culture will continue to develop, and we will remain fluid as it does, our fundamental values and vision will remain the same. Through defining, and understanding who we are, we have put ourselves in a position where we can move more quickly, do more things properly, and have more fun.

Be Zen: Choosing how you respond in high pressure situations

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At the PUSH Agency, we live and breath by our core values. They were put in place to ensure the success of every member of our team and therefore the success of our company as a whole. One of the most impactful of these values is “Be Zen.” A recent chat with Cat Cherland, national accounts manager, and Lisa Marks, sales manager, revealed just how powerful the zen mindset can be in helping us achieve our goals, not just in the work environment, but in every area of life.

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PUSH is a fast-paced environment with lots of activity at any given time ––there’s a lot we have to juggle. Of course, this also means it can be all too easy to get overwhelmed, but as Cat says “you can make a conscious choice on how to deal with the everyday pressure.” Indeed, being zen is a choice. Those who are practiced at it may make it look easy – like it’s just their innate personality – but the truth of the matter is it takes practice and real effort.

According to Cat, one of the keys to maintaining that even keel is to remember everything is impermanent (“this too shall pass” is a good mantra when you’re stressed) and not everything is within our control. However, with that said, being prepared and having a contingency plan in place is imperative to ensuring the best possible outcome.

“Hope for the best, but plan for the worst,” Lisa explains. “Expect for something to go wrong and know ahead of time how you’ll handle it. Because inevitably, something will always come up, but if you’re ready for it, it won’t be a problem.”

It can be easy to fall into freak-out mode when situations don’t go as anticipated. But it’s how we respond that either exacerbates the issue or resolves it.

“Any time we complain or let ourselves get to a place of panic, we’re not being skillful,” Cat says. “The more time we waste talking about things and operating from a place of frenzy, the less we’re actually doing to solve the problem.”

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Our energy impacts everything we do and everyone around us, thus mindfullness is imperative. The more we embody

zen under pressure, taking a step back and thinking rationally about what we’re facing, the more peaceful the entire environment surrounding us will become. Again, it comes down to choice. If you choose to let a problem consume you, it absolutely will. If you choose to remain calm and have confidence you can find a solution, you will.

Love in the Face of Evil

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Few evils exist in the world that require our urgent attention as much as the exploitation of children. HEAL International is a non-profit organization founded to protect trafficked and vulnerable children through empowerment and health programs. These children get to see themselves as they truly are – worth loving.

HEAL’s work transforms lives, and they don’t only work to rescue, but also create new beginnings for victims of sexual trafficking. This is vital work, as many girls have had not only their self esteem, but the awareness of their own humanity taken from them. This is not glamorous or headline grabbing; in fact, for both the workers and the girls it’s often draining, arduous and frustrating – but that’s the importance of it. Returning children back to the world, and helping them realise that in spite of all the terrible things they’ve experienced, there are those of us who care enough to help, with no expectation of receiving praise, but because they deserve someone to be there for them, to care for them, and to remind them that they matter. HEAL does this work, not because it makes them heroes, but because it’s the right thing to do.

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PUSH for Love – was founded by the Push Agency to promote joy.. It’s ethos is simple; in order to do good, we must educate and change minds, we need to bring in other members of the business community, raise money for the right charities and continue the conversation.

Evil thrives when nobody talks about it. Inspired by the work HEAL is doing in Arizona and East Africa, PUSH for Love answered with a giant YES. “Yes, we will speak up!” “Yes, we will do something for these children!”

At a stunning residence on Camelback Mountain in Phoenix, PUSH for Love, hosted an event to introduce people to HEAL. True to form, the event was a celebration of joy, and an open conversation. Live music, a casino night and a silent auction were just some of the highlights. Throughout the night there were heartfelt reminders as to why we were joining together; to give children who have been sexually trafficked, a bright future. HEAL gives these children love, empowerment, and safety to them. Without these services, the future looks like more of their past — atrocities most people can’t imagine..

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But it wasn’t only a conversation, the wonderful people who attended the holiday soiree, put their money where their outrage was, and as a group, we raised $10,000 – enough to fund the entire HEAL program.

It’s just a start – nowhere close to being enough. Those who donated contributed more than money – they told the victims that they are not forgotten, and that organizations like HEAL and PUSH for LOVE won’t stop until slavery and the exploitation of children are banished to the backpages of history.

If you would like to contribute, please get in touch with us, or visit http://www.healinternational.org/

Experiential Marketing by the Experts at PUSH Agency

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experiential-marketing-1 Experiential marketing refers to initiatives that get you in front of clients and prospects; giving them a taste of your product, and helping them to understand your business and what you offer. This could take the form of a trade show, private event, or even a promotion in a shopping centre. The act of directly interacting with your ideal target is the simplest way to, not only engage with the right people at a meaningful level, but also to learn more about what they want; their expectations, frustrations and how you can best satisfy them.

At PUSH, we take a holistic approach to experiential marketing. Instead of a structured process, our team will work with you to create an engagement that will connect you with the right people, and give you the outcomes you desire – be that sales, information or market penetration.

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We have worked on campaigns as diverse as Heineken’s Aston Martin giveaway party, and the Jameson Whiskey Bartender’s Ball, through to guerrilla marketing initiatives, such as giveaways for a supplements start up, which took place in local gyms, and street promotions for numerous brands to increase brand awareness, and increase revenues. In the end, the only thing that matters is understanding where your target demographic is going to be, and getting the right type of talent in front of them. With the largest talent database in North America, and a robust system which enables rigorous searching and vetting, PUSH is able to combine exceptional events with brand ambassadors that are experienced, and fit ideally with your brand or product promise and values. We learn about your organisation, and offer talent that reflects your organisation as if you’d hired them yourself – because a perfectly planned and executed event, with the wrong people engaging the public, is a substandard outcome.

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Experiential marketing, done well, can complement your marketing strategy, and add significantly to the bottom line. It’s an ideal “real world,” initiative to enhance a digital strategy, or a great way to offer something unique to engage a localised demographic in the case of sales, product launches or other regional activity.

As more marketing initiatives go exclusively online, and the ability to engage specific people becomes diluted through the amount of information being put out by you and your competition – usually on the same or similar platforms – experiential marketing can be a key differentiator, and a good tactic for driving traffic to an online store or website.

To learn more about experiential marketing, and see examples of our previous events visit our website at pushagency.com

Jameson Relies on Luck of the Irish and PUSH Agency

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Jameson Irish Whiskey loves a good party, and the Jameson Bartender’s Ball is the hottest ticket in…well, a lot of towns. Those lucky enough to attend are treated to live music, and an open bar packed to the brim with incredible Jameson Premiums. To call the ball a party would be like calling the ocean a swimming pool. It’s big, okay?

Attendees are stars of the bars. Servers, hosts, managers and bartenders – it’s a way for Jameson to say thank you to those who share their product with the world.

Legacy Marketing was given the responsibility of making this event epic – and not just once, but dozens of times; the ball goes on tour, with one or two events every week from October through December across the United States.

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That’s where PUSH comes in; who else do you turn to when you need incredible brand ambassadors across a crazy massive geography? With locations as diverse as Cincinnati, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Chicago, Rochester, Houston, Nashville, Dallas and Miami to name a few, we made the most of having the largest database of talent in North America.

Thankfully, there’s more to our database than just size; we were able to identify the most experienced – from taking coats and checking people in, to tending bar for bartenders (which is like serving a meal to a chef) we created a duplicatable process for each location, with the help of some incredible talent. Rockstars include – Leslie SNikki CVanessa R

It’s fair to say the client seemed pretty happy:

“The Promotional Models have been amazing, and The PUSH Agency has been so helpful!”

And so did the PUSH team:

“Everyone loved the event, and we interacted with hundreds of people.” -Nikki C

It’s a challenging activation, but heaps of fun and when you’re working with a brand like Jameson, and an agency as incredible as Legacy Marketing, you know you’re in good company.

 

Checkers & Rally’s and the A3C Hip-Hop Festival

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The A3C Hip Hop Festival is epic. With over 1,000 performers, for 5 days Atlanta becomes the centre of the hip-hop world.

Checkers and Rally’s make epic food and with nearly 800 locations, they’re an American institution.

We’re epic. With the largest talent database in North America, PUSH Agency has been involved in some of the most exciting events and promotions of recent time.

We couldn’t find the person who answered the phone when Checkers first rang us, but we assume it went something like this –

“Hello, PUSH Agency.”

“This is Checkers and Rally’s calling.”

“You guys are epic.”

“Correct. Now listen, we need to create a promotional campaign using an online system that enables peeps going to the A3C festival to get free fries.”

The guy on the phone probably had a very squeaky voice when he said, “That’s so many epic things!”

“So send some incredible promotional talent, and when people text, they can be there to hook them up.”

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Having hung up the phone, the following formula was emailed around the PUSH offices –

Ch + Ra x PUSH +A3C = EP

The message was clear – 12 models were selected for each night of the festival and offered a detailed brief –

Be epic. Also get pics with Rick Ross.

Mission fricken accomplished. Check out the legendary Rick Ross’s Instagram to see shots of the PUSH talent combined with a shoutout to Checkers & Rally’s and the A3C Festival.

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Most importantly, everyone had a great time, and all the clients saw tangible outcomes, including nearly 4000 guest interactions.

That’s crazy.

Our MVP’s for this event showed grace, energy and general all-round brilliance – Jennifer GDakeybria E, and Ashley D 

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The reviews of the festival, promotion and interactions were incredible, both from the client, concert goers, and our team, but Rick Ross summed it up best –

“Checkers and Rally’s runs the game.”

Celsius Fuels PUSH Brand Ambassadors As They Burn Through Dozens of Demos

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Flo Rida drinks Celsius Energy Drink, so do Khloe Kardashian and Jillian Michaels from the Biggest Loser. More importantly, we drink Celsius, for it’s low calories, fat burning properties and caffeine boost – and a good thing too, because when we got the call from Celsius asking us to create a promotional campaign involving over 200 of our incredible Brand Ambassadors, we needed all the energy we could get.

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We turned to the brainy people who sit in the corner, use big words and ensure our talent database – the largest in North America – is a living breathing talent searching monster. Using Geo-Batching (which apparently means applying data science to defining where we should be assigning talent, and how many ambassadors we’d need – we formulated a plan to ensure maximum effectiveness. This involved locations around the country, including Florida, Miami and Dallas.

That was lovely, but then we had to make sure the talent had all the tools they needed when they arrived, so we created a promotional plan. We wanted to do more than just sampling; our talent are more than just pretty faces; we wanted engagement with the public, and sales to go up for our client.

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Rather than just pouring drinks, PUSH Talent chatted with patrons at various location, explaining that Celsius is more than just an energy drink – it’s wide ranging endorsements speak to that – it’s a fat burning, life improving can of yum, and it helped that the PUSH team agreed –

“This product is great! I will be drinking this myself.”

Nice. And the results speak for themselves – some locations sold out of Celsius, and the engagement is ongoing! Now we’re a part of the overall marketing solution, and we couldn’t be prouder.

Our MVP’s for this engagement (so far) have been Arianne MariaMichelle O., and Jose W.

#respect – great attitude, passionate and…well just generally awesome.