Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Chat - Patrick Delaney of United Fresh

Dec. 23 chat with Patrick Delaney, communications manager at United Fresh:

1:27 PM me: Thanks again for being available for a Fresh Talk chat. for starters tell us about your job with United and what you do during a typical day...
1:28 PM patrick.n.delaney: Thanks for having me. A typical day for me starts with a combing of the top news stories pertaining to our work here in Washington, and our member work throughout the US and internationally. I try to break down the news coverage by hard news, editorial and blogs, divided between our different focus areas.
1:30 PM From there I take a broad look at the media outreach plans for out various initiatives, and either pitch stories or field calls for each effort.
me: interesting - you are no stranger to google alerts as well, no doubt
1:31 PM patrick.n.delaney: With our 2009 Convention in Las Vegas around the corner, we're currently concentrating on a great deal of print work, so I find myself editing more than usual, which is fine by me.
Absolutely. The Google Alert is a real lifesaver, and budget saver when compared to bigger clip services
me: What's your background - where did you grow up and go to school, that type of thing?
1:34 PM patrick.n.delaney: My background is in radio, actually. I got my start on air in Baldwin City, Kansas at a college radio station. From there, I moved back to Kansas City, where I'm from originally, and worked with several of the stations there. After moving to Washington in 2004, I shifted off-air to the promotions and marketing side, working as a development contractor in public radio, then with Clear Channel as a promotions coordinator while I finished my degree.
1:35 PM Before joining United Fresh, I worked in creative design and research for a small public relations firm in Bethesda, Md. handling project work and radio promotional campaigns for Procter & Gamble, Unilever, General Motors, British Petroleum and a few others.
1:36 PM me: That's quite a background... Do you see some podcasting in your future for United..and what do you like about United Fresh and working with the produdce industry?
1:37 PM patrick.n.delaney: I do love radio, but it's something that I enjoy much more now that I'm on the outside looking in, and having the opportunity to work WITH, rather than work FOR.
1:39 PM Podcasting is a really unique step in a great direction for communications, especially for member service organizations, and I would love to bring that type of exposure to United Fresh. At my last post, a colleague of mine put together a series of podcasts on pet health for a veterinary association here in town, and was met with some fantastic results.
1:40 PM It really is the results that speak so highly of podcasting. I feel that when viewed from a traditional media standpoint, the podcast can seem tricky or overinvolved, but if you really break it down, it's no different than a simple audio recording.
1:41 PM Podcasts would allow an organization like ours to push out critical information on a whole host of issues, engaging our members in feedback at the same time, so it's definitely something that I am interested in.
1:42 PM me: true..I need to get my arms around the podcasting concept a little better - I think it can serve an audience, providing there is enough critical mass to justify the work...
1:43 PM patrick.n.delaney: That is the tricky part, convincing the audience that simply because it's called a "podcast" doesn't mean that they have to jump through the hoops of downloading it, transferring it to an mp3 player, etc...
rather they can listen from their desktops at work or laptops at home.
1:44 PM The sangs lie in the perception, rather than in the actual function of the podcast,
snags, sorry.
me: i think technology ... as in Webinars, Webcasts, etc., will also be a part of future trade communications, both from media and of course associations
1:46 PM patrick.n.delaney: Absolutely. The industry is modernizing, and to keep up, we've got to modernize with it. As for work here at United, I've been amazed at the involvement I've had with all of our publics. From members, to press, to our Board.
1:47 PM me: i'll try the old question...what do you like best about United and what is the most challenging part of your job?
1:49 PM patrick.n.delaney: I have colleagues at large PR firms that have years of tenure, but zero client interaction, making it extremely hard for them to focus on the end goals of their respective campaigns. The best thing about being here at United Fresh is the fact that there's never a doubt who and what we're working for. Our members and our board have been eager and willing to help me acclimate to a new industry, and excited to see what I can bring to the Association.
1:52 PM me: good point...you are never far from member interaction
1:53 PM patrick.n.delaney: The most challenging part of the job here is finding the time in the day to publicize everything we want to publicize. At previous posts I've been confronted with the problem of trying to promote the unpromotable. That is truly not the case here, and from the convention to our member programs to our work with the school fruit and vegetable snack programs and beyond, there is always another press release to write or member alert to push out. We're not lacking in content by any means!
1:54 PM Traffic is the other difficult part of the job. DC isn't the place for a leisurely drive.
1:55 PM me: I appreciate your time but I never like to keep people too long in chat mode lest they won't come back. Good to visit with you and feel free to be a guest Fresh Talk blogger or guest again for a Fresh Talk chat. Thanks Patrick.
patrick.n.delaney: Excellent, Tom, thanks!

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