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3 weeks Ago By / AJ Ross Staff

They are a part of the fabric of our organization.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the president and CEO of the Orange County Partnership. We’re a private, not-for-profit, economic development office in New York. We were founded 30 years ago by private sector and business industry leaders. Our focus is to attract new business and assist companies here in Orange County with their expansion needs. Our goal is to create more jobs for our residents.OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with AJ Ross?

I’ve worked here for 15 years, and they’ve been our agency of choice for quite some time. AJ Ross worked with our organization long before I came onboard. They created our brand and worked with the partnership for several years. Our CEO at the time changed to another firm for a while.SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

When I was hired, I looked at the work that AJ Ross did in comparison to other companies. We met with them and originally retained them to do basic newsletters, video marketing, press releases, and writing work to test the waters. One of the things that they taught us years ago was to get ourselves into the Wall Street Journal. They created an opportunity for us to target a very select group of commercial real estate brokers and site selectors within the New York Metro Area. AJ Ross created an insert for the New York Times that landed on their desks and pushed them back into our office. We had some very big success stories out of those campaigns. Now, when we do things like geofencing and targeting industry sectors, we’re using the technology that is available to us today. They do a lot of that for us as well as print material, all of our web work, and all of our search engine optimization. They also assist us with public relations work in the political arena. The scope is really quite large.

For example, we recently attended a conference where our target market were the attendees. They worked to push information to our attendees and drive them back to our website and sites that we wanted them to see. The increase in activity on our website during those couple of days of that conference was enormous.

An invaluable service they provide is their willingness to meet with us on a regular basis to discuss new technologies and opportunities. They educate and enlighten us on anything in the marketplace that would be beneficial to improve awareness for the partnership. They are a very hands-on organization, and they proactively ensure that we’re using cutting-edge marketing.

How did you come to work with AJ Ross?

We like to stay somewhat local in the New York Metro Area. We interviewed five or six other companies, and it wasn’t even close. AJ Ross wasn’t the least expensive, but they had the ability to come up with new ideas and teach us. I took a typewriter to college, so for me, it’s important that I’m educated as the technology changes. I have a young staff who can also see the value of the changing technology, but it’s very important that I’m aware and in tune to using the most cutting-edge products out there—and that’s what they do.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with AJ Ross in 2003 for this engagement, and the work is currently ongoing.RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

We’re not in a business where we create a widget and try to sell more of them. We’re in a business where we have to drive traffic to us. During the recent recession, we learned that the more you market during the worst of times, the more you will be able to see change as you pull out of those recessions. We spent a tremendous amount of time and treasure during the recession, focusing on the companies, site selectors. and brokers who we wanted to get in front of.

When the tide started to turn, we did far better than our competition in the New York Metro Area and neighboring regions. I think a lot of that is attributed to the smart planning and extending ourselves more during that time. This quality of work is who they are. They bring a lot to the table. Sometimes, we can’t afford everything they offer, but they work with us to stay within our budget. They’re a cutting-edge marketing firm and always make sure that we’re in the right place.

The genius behind AJ Ross is that they are always focused on raising awareness of the brand. I always wanted to hit our goals of getting new business and attracting new leads and opportunities. In addition to that, they taught us the importance of creating a brand that people know they can go to for excellent service. We now incorporate that into everything we do.

How did AJ Ross perform from a project management standpoint?

They’re very connected to us, almost an arm of our organization. We meet regularly to discuss projects and set goals together. They also report on results to us.

What did you find most impressive about AJ Ross?

I would say it’s their loyalty and commitment to the mission. I haven’t engaged with many companies who actually feel like they’re part of the team. AJ Ross will send me things they read in the paper on a Saturday if they believe it’s something important I should know about. They are a part of the fabric of our organization. The service we get from them sets them apart from any other consulting firm that we hire.

Most of the time, when I share some of the new marketing initiatives we undertake with colleagues or friends, they tell me they’re never heard of that and want to know more. Based on the feedback I get from investors, supporters, board members, and partners, it seems that we’re the most cutting-edge. They have tremendous customer service. They’re responsive and passionate, and those qualities mean a lot to me as a leader of this organization.

Are there any areas AJ Ross could improve?

I can’t say that they could improve on anything.

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