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SILVER OAKS COMMUNICATIONS BLOG

Silver Oaks Sponsors the QC Marathon
June 28, 2017
5, 4, 3, 2, 1, GO! Summer is here, and so is the road race season. But instead of lacing up our shoes, we’re creating and managing an advertising campaign for the QC Marathon! This is our third year partnering with the event, but we believe this year will be bigger and better. Why? Because it’s the 20th anniversary! With bigger and better, comes more strategic planning and Silver Oaks has that covered! The QC Marathon has a flat and fast course that features one of the finest, most scenic river views in the country. It covers 5 races, 4 cities, 3 bridges, 2 states, and 1 island, all along the mighty Mississippi River. With a captivating description like that, it’s an easy sell! What isn’t quite as easy is deciding how to place your marketing budget in the right places to reach the right people. This year the race is capping the number of participants at 6,000; so it’s important for the organization to spread the word as far and as fast as possible. That’s where Silver Oaks steps in! In years past, the QC Marathon advertised using traditional media -- print, tv, radio, and billboards. But as we all know, times have changed, and we're changing with them. This year we are using digital tactics to advertise this popular event! These tactics will include: Facebook ads and boosts, geo-fencing, e-blasts and digital banner ads. Not only do these tactics work well with a small budget, but they also allow you to choose your audience based on demographics, location, interests, and more! Another perk of strategically placing digital ads is that once you find the right audience, they’re just a click away from your website. With just a simple click, you can turn your target audience into a customer. A customer increases your ROI (return of investment)! And let’s be honest, besides crossing the finish line, that’s the end goal right?! We’re ready. Are you?! To register for the Midwest's favorite road race, please visit qcmarathon.org!
Welcome to Silver Oaks!
July 6, 2017
Silver Oaks welcomes two new employees! Julia Evans, Project Manager, Museum Services Originally from: Carroll, Iowa. Education: BA in History from Wartburg College and a Masters in Museum Studies from WIU. I’m inspired by: Quirky creativity. Favorite place traveled so far: Hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in Peru. Favorite drink? Caramel skim latte at Red Band in Davenport. Favorite book: Monuments Men by Robert M. Edsel. Museum that blew my mind: The British Museum in London. “Suddenly I found myself standing in front of the Rosetta Stone. It’s amazing to see famous artifacts in real life!” When I’m not at Silver Oaks, I’m….at the Analog Arcade Bar in downtown Davenport, bike riding or Netflixing -- latest binge: The Keepers. Art, history or science museums? Rank in order of your favorites. History, science, art. Museum bucket list: The Louvre, The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum and various Civil War battle sites. Lives with: Her cat, Lucy, and her boyfriend, Jason, a historian.   Gillian Renk, PreMedia Hometown: Davenport, Iowa Education: BA in Fine Arts/Painting from the University of Northern Iowa Favorite art forms: I’m into illustration and comic book art, and video game concept art. Pets: my cat, Gilgamesh. Favorite movies: Netflix crime documentaries, Marvel and Disney movies, the Oceans 11 trilogy and Pride and Prejudice. In my spare time, I: Work on my webcomic, Aether: Earth and Sun, make costumes, and do custom illustrations by commission. Foodie? Yes. My husband, Will, and I YouTube different recipes to try. He’s a great cook! We’re also interested in learning about different wines and are fans of a good whiskey bar. Board games or video games? Both. Dungeons and Dragons for the board game, and at the moment, The Elder Scrolls III – Morrowind, is my favorite video game. What are your duties at Silver Oaks? I do photo retouching, line art, and uploads to client databases. How do you like working at Silver Oaks? Silver Oaks is…great! Everyone here is super rad. And it’s kind of surreal, since I spent a lot of time here when I was growing up (my mom was a writer and video director!)
Dan Diederich: In Memoriam
November 10, 2017
This week, Silver Oaks lost a founding member, mentor, faithful colleague and best friend. Dan Diederich passed away on Weds., November 8th – a very sad day for all of us here at Silver Oaks. Dan was the head of the Silver Oaks Art Department from 1983 until this March. For 34 years, he was the smiling face who ruled the roost (from the best view in the building, it was said) with humor, hard work and humility. He shepherded more than a few designers here over the years, but he was more than “just” a boss. He was a true friend – as one of our designers said – “I always thought of Dan as my friend first, and my boss, second.” As a skilled and experienced designer, Dan was known as “Mr. Eyeballs” by his team, because he could spot a design element that could be improved from a mile away. He made projects and people better. Dan was small in stature, but big in heart. He never took himself too seriously – as is evident in the art department. Funny, Photoshopped images (think Cupid and Leprechaun) including a “life sized” – albeit short -- image of Dan adorn the walls and desks. He referred to our current design team as “his guys.” And they did consider themselves a family. Always the charmer, Dan shared with us his corny jokes, clever stories, and many words of encouragement. A regular in the lunchroom (with his reused brown bag, sandwich, and for many years, a cookie from his mom), Dan talked travel, politics, history and family. He frequently updated us on his nieces and nephews, and then his great-nieces and nephews. Among his other loves -- fast cars (both toy and real), great craft beer, a good cigar and a perfect day on the Rock River. Dan was truly one of the good guys. To say he will be missed is an understatement. Here’s to you, Dan. See you on the other side. Arrangements for Dan can be found here: http://www.esterdahl.com/notices/DanielDan-Diederich  
Happy National Pet Day!
April 11, 2018
April 11th is National Pet Day! In honor of National Pet Day, we asked all Silver Oaksians to send in photos of their favorite four-legged, winged and wet-nosed "fur babies". They're endlessly entertaining, and they love us unconditionally.  Shouldn't we all strive to be the person our pet thinks we are?! And after a long day at work, they're always happy to see us. Zoey Age: 3 years Owner: Nick Scott, President "Zoey's favorite things are cleanly washed, balled-up socks and Whitey's ice cream. She gets a vanilla dixie cup every time we get Whitey's."     Gus Age: 9 months Owner: Matt Mock, Sales Representative "Gus enjoys walks at the forest preserve, stealing underwear out of the dryer, and chewing on Ugg slippers. He's currently in training as Silver Oaks' Rockford office executive assistant. It appears training will be ongoing for some time."   Joel Owner: Julie Myers, Project Manager Age: Unknown "Joel only comes out at night. He loves Dove dark chocolate, Reece's Peanut Butter Cups, Babe Ruth's and leather bags. He does not like mouse traps."     Boetje (Boo Boo) and Lily Ages: 2 and 8 1/2 years Owner: Anne Kirkpatrick, Writer "Boetje's nickname is Boo Boo and her signature look is 'durp'! Lily frequently looks like she'd like to hurt us, but instead sits on our laps and purrs. Her signature look is withering disapproval. These two like to chase each other through the house and when they wrestle it sounds like two grown men having a grudge match. We are highly entertained by them on a daily basis."     Annie Age: 6 months Owner: Danny O'Leary, Designer "I like long walks at the dog park and the occasional scent of a nice butt. I keep my family safe by staring out the front window and barking at imaginary things. Oh! And that Pete the Opossum, big mistake there buddy! I will have none of that! My guilty pleasure is my plush squeaky bone and lounging on the couch when no one is looking. My super power is my puppy dog eyes."   Lucy Age: 2 years Owner: Julia Evans, Project Manager "Lucy loves to flop over on her back to show us how food deprived she is. As you can see, she most definitely is NOT deprived of any sort of food. She also likes to 'hunt' the cardinal pair that come to the bird feeder by running at the window as fast as she can until they fly away. She always has to be within at least 2 square feet of wherever I am in the house, and is always ready to curl up on my lap. She does not like plastic grocery bags."   Cotesworth "Coe" Age: Just turned 12 - Coe is a St. Patty's Day Puppy! Owner: Grace Kocinski, Project Manager "Coe is a Yorky Bear and basically looks like a teddy bear. He is truly the all-around perfect pet and an incredibly amiable best friend -- that is unless it's 4th of July or I want to enjoy a cozy fire in the winter - then he is quick to disown me. Like any Yorkie, he is intent to de-stuff or de-squeak any toy in record time, so his toy options are pretty limited. I won't lie, Coe lives a very 'cushy' life! His favorite pastime is to window-watch and keep an eye on all the neighborhood happenings. As you can see, he's a true member of the family - he even has his own portrait!"   Fungus ("Gus") Age: 4 years Owner: Chris Cashion, Sales Representative "Gus 'chose' us by wandering into our yard and sticking around. We swore we didn't have a cat, but kept feeding him anyway. When he went missing one day, we were devastated. After fruitlessly looking for him, we discovered he'd been picked up by animal control and taken to 'kitty jail'. We paid to get him out, officially adopted him, had him neutered and got all of his vet work done. His favorite things are sleeping upside down, following me around and teasing dogs. His real name is 'Fungus'. (Fun-Gus). We call him that because he's fun to have around, and he grew on us!"   Madison "Maddie" Owner: Tim Wren, Sales Representative Age: 5 months "Maddie is a miniature beagle who eats absolutely everything. She not only chews on stuff, but actually ingests everything she comes in contact with. Maddie also goes by 'Mad', 'Maddie Girl', and 'Cujo'."   Callie, Daisy, Koda, Luna, Zues, and Levi (top left to bottom right) Pet Sitter: Tracey Sands, Project Manager Owner: Friends + Family Ages: 9 yrs., 4 yrs., 5 yrs., 8 mos., 2 yrs. and 11 yrs. "I am unable to own a pet at my rental house so to get my dog fix, I dogsit for friends and family! Each dog has a different and unique personality. Whether they like to run 5+ miles or sleep all day, I join them in their favorite activities. But no matter what, all the pups enjoy puppy kisses, eating, and cuddling!!"   Meow Meow Age: 1-1/2 years Owner: Dylan Atwater, IT "Meow Meow's favorite toy is anything she's not supposed to play with, and she loves waking me up by meowing at my face. When she's not being a terror she enjoys sleeping, occasional cuddling, and of course, meowing."   Gilgamesh ("Mesh") Age: 9 years Owner: Gilly, PreMedia "Mesh loves to bite us when we don't pay enough attention to her, beg for small bread and meat bits, and curling up with us when we're having a rough day."   Rex Age: 12 years Owner: Will Berry, Programmer "This is my good boy, Rex. He's 12-years-old, but he still runs around like a puppy. He likes to bite at floating dust particles and chase birds that land in our yard!"   Teeny and Mr. Bird Ages: 1 1/2 years and  4 years Owner: Scott Kelty, Graphic Designer "Teeny came from a caged bird show close to Chicago. At that show, he escaped and flew up into some of the lights in the venue, and we figured that was why his feathers were all crinkly when we got him. Apparently not -- he went through a molt last year and all his tail feathers and some of his other ones came in curly. He looks like he has perpetual bed-head. His song has more sharp, higher notes to it. Mr. Bird about 4-years-old and we got him from a canary show near Joliet, Illinois. He was there for a singing competition, but didn't win because he won't sing if someone is in the room with him. So he wouldn't sing for the judges! His song is pretty mellow."   Dr. Sheldon Cooper, Zeus, and Bella Ages: 7 years, 5 years, and 9 years Owner: Matt Wince, Photographer "Sheldon is king! He likes everyone. He has to be the center of attention. Zeus likes to eat USB portable drives and SD cards. Bella loves her daddy! She likes to sit on the keyboard while I am typing."
Meet our Account Manager, Chris!
April 4, 2018
Chris Cashion is an account manager with Silver Oaks whose had her finger on the pulse of the local business community for more than 25 years. She’s helped create comprehensive marketing campaigns and award-winning ads, spent time as a reporter covering government and business, and previously taught small business marketing at Black Hawk College. She holds a BA in Communications from Teikyo Marycrest University. What made you decide to come to Silver Oaks? I decided to join Silver Oaks as an account manager after more than 20 years in the newspaper industry. I loved what I did, but I felt I had given my clients everything I had to offer in that field and needed a new challenge. Silver Oaks has a reputation for being the best in the business, and I knew that’s where I wanted to be. What are you goals for your clients? For Silver Oaks? My goals for my clients are to always give them first-rate service and first-rate products. We have the perfect team for that. My goals for Silver Oaks include making sure that as the Quad Cities continues to grow, we are a part of that growth.   What keeps you motivated? Constantly learning new things keeps me motivated. I love learning, and I enjoy working with people who are passionate about what they do. At Silver Oaks, I’m surrounded by people who are incredibly talented and passionate about their jobs.  They’re always willing to educate me about what they do. Our clients are really varied, and I'm constantly learning new things about a variety of industries. Each project is like an education in a different field. What makes you a successful account manager? Part of being a good account manager is being a good listener. I started my career as a reporter, and you learn to hear the things people say, as well as the things they don’t. The other part of being a good account manager is being surrounded by a great team, and the creative team at Silver Oaks is phenomenal. What does good customer service / client relations look like to you? Good customer service varies so much from client to client. But what it all comes down to treating people with respect and kindness, while managing expectations. Those three things go a long way in any industry.                             Favorite Food: Fresh seafood. I travel to Florida every spring, and the first thing I do when I get off the plane is go in search of a grouper sandwich. Favorite Quote: "It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up." - Vince Lombardi Favorite Book: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. But that can change at any moment—that’s just the last book that made a huge impression on me! What do you like to do in your free time?: I need more hours in the day because there are way too many things I like to do! I like to travel, read, garden, run, practice yoga, try random new fitness classes, go kayaking, write, cook, go hiking, try new wines...life really is too short! If you could vacation anywhere, where would you go?: Anywhere with a beach and a tropical breeze is right up my alley, but one day I’d like see Ireland, and I’d love to visit Australia.   To meet the rest of our talented and creative team, click here!
Get The Most Out Of Your Partnership With Silver Oaks
July 9, 2018
How do you maximize your advertising dollars and build brand loyalty? When you hire a creative agency, solidifying strategy is the first step. To maximize your return on investment you must have these three things ready to share with our team to ensure success. A Deep Understanding of Your Customers Who are your customers? Do you have a buyer’s matrix developed? If you are selling B to B, what are the positions and titles of your buyers? What are their roles and responsibilities? What challenges do they face? What is their status quo, and what are the change drivers? Having this data will help guide the messaging and the tools that need to be developed to deliver messaging to your customers. Your Current Marketing Plan Share with us all aspects of your marketing plan and the goals that you hope to meet. Having the big picture and an understanding of your approach will allow us to identify holes and explore key areas for improvement. Analytics Share any and all of your company’s analytics with our team. We want to understand how your website is converting traffic into leads or sales. We need to know if your digital strategy is successful, and what the return on investment is. How are sales leads generated? Are they coming from landing pages, Facebook, outbound calls, tradeshows, TV, or radio? Having this data will help us understand your revenue, customer acquisition, lead and engagement goals. When you partner with Silver Oaks, our team will be with you from start to finish to bring your ideas to life. By combining strategy, data, and a team of creative professionals, we’ll help you build your brand from the ground up.

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