SeeDepth Masters In Marketing Interview: Author And Consultant, Linda Pophal
Linda Pophal is the founder/owner of Strategic Communications, LLC, a marketing communication consulting firm, and a communication consultant and business writer, specializing in marketing, brand management, strategic planning and new/social media. She is the author of a number of books on marketing and business strategy, including The Everything Guide to Customer Engagement(Adams Media 2014).
We caught up with Linda to learn more for our Masters in Marketing series.
1) Tell us a little about your company, Strategic Communications
Strategic Communications, LLC, is a marketing and communication consulting firm with deep expertise in content marketing, driven to a large degree by my experience as a business journalist and copywriter.
(2) What do you love most about being a journalist?
I most love the ability to continually learn about new things through research and through my interactions with sources across a wide variety of industries and backgrounds.
(3) You write a lot about HR and motivating employees. What is your secret to managing and empowering your staff?
My management philosophy, based to a large degree on the role models I had as an employee, is to be very clear about expectations, to provide the tools, resources and support needed, but then to get out of the way. My focus as a manager has always been on outcomes - I try not to micro-manage in terms of telling employees how to do a particular task. As long as they achieve the result we’re looking for, they’ve been successful. I recognize, though, that I play a role in that success in terms of providing education/training, resources, support, etc. What has been most rewarding to me as a manager has been seeing employees who have worked with me develop new skills and move into more responsible roles over time.
(4) You have written several books on important and timely topics. Do you have any more books in the works?
I have a couple of ideas in my head, but no specific books in the works at this time.
(5) What technology do you feel you cannot live without in your daily work life?
There are a couple of things I could not live without. Dual monitors at my desk is one; this has been a huge productivity improvement tool for me and also helps me manage client projects seamlessly. The other is a recording/transcription tool called Livescribe. I use it to take notes, when I conduct focus groups, research projects, etc. It allows me to ensure that I capture everything and, even though I find I don’t often actually go back to listen to the notes there is definitely a sense of comfort knowing that I could! I recently upgraded to a wireless model that now allows me to access my recordings/notes from anywhere. One of my big “resolutions” for this year is to move my entire office to the cloud.
(6) Favorite book? Favorite movie?
These are always such tough questions! I’m an avid reader and also love watching movies (have an ongoing debate in my own mind about whether it’s best to read the book first and then see the movie or vice versa…)
I’d have to say my favorite book is To Kill a Mockingbird. I’d say my favorite movie is Gone With the Wind.
(7) What is next for you in 2015?
I’m hoping to further expand my content marketing/management work to help clients build their thought leadership impact, primarily online. It’s been one of the most rewarding aspects of our work at Strategic Communications, primarily because the results and impact are so measurable and relatively quick to materialize. Along these lines, I’m planning to develop and document strategies to allow the company to grow and scale to meet more client needs. These are exciting times in the field of content marketing, I think, with many opportunities for those who can combine strong writing skills with solid strategic thinking focused on generating results.