My associate Sue Sassmann and I spent last week out in steamy Savannah, GA at the Association for Accounting Marketing conference. We had a blast catching up with old friends and meeting new people. I did a little presentation and we exhibited to launch our new project-oriented training for marketers. Great time.
The highlight, though, was winning an AAM Marketing Achievement Award for the niche-building campaign we've worked on over the last year with Tulsa CPA firm Stanfield & O'Dell.
Part of the firm's action plan included development of a blog...truly unchartered waters (see conference theme...) for CPAs. S&O's blog for ministries was the second "industry" niche blog by CPAs and the first by a multi-partner firm. These guys are true trailblazers and their results have been quite good and swift, too.
We're pretty excited to be part of their success as you can see from this picture (that's Captain Jack Sparrow between me and Sue--she's on the right).
Some snips from our press release:
At the recommendation of Golden Marketing, Stanfield & O’Dell became the first multi-partner CPA firm to launch a sector-specific blog (theministryblog.com). Innovative approach—and demonstrated results—were noted by judges in selecting Golden’s campaign from among several outstanding entrants....
The...campaign centered on growing the CPA firm’s practice specific to Christian ministries across the United States. The campaign included not only the blog written by the firm’s practitioners for national visibility, but also promotion of the blog by mail, trade-show appearances, and trade-publication advertising.
“We’re pleased with the visibility this award brings to the value of blogging for professional service firms,” explains Michelle Golden, president of Golden Marketing, Inc.
“When a firm gets out there on the Web, and demonstrates their expertise and commitment about a specific area of practice, it underscores their commitment and credibility. It also humanizes the firm and helps to create relationships. Stanfield & O’Dell are truly earning the results they are getting from this effort—I’m very proud of their willingness to pioneer this area that is completely new for accountants.”
Golden...notes that there are only 23 blogs authored by licensed public accountants for the purpose of reaching current and prospective customers. Of these 23 blogs, only four are industry-specific rather than service focused (e.g. general accounting, tax or other services). The Ministry Blog was the second of the four to launch.
“In contrast to the legal profession, accountants have almost no presence on the Internet,” says Golden. “There are thousands of lawyers who blog and are experiencing unexpected benefits from the relationships they are creating. Accountants are far more skeptical of this medium of communication and are far behind when it comes to understanding and working with social media.
"I suspect it will be many years before we see a large number of accounting firms with blogs—just the way it took years before the need for a website was understood. It’s a shame because the playing field is wide open for firms to be first-to-market with blogs in almost every industry sector save the three that exist now: ministries, health care and construction.”
To read the full release: Download aammaa_2007_media_release.pdf