Ad Agency: Social Media | New Business Roundtable


Social media provides great opportunities for ad agencies to network with prospective clients. It is also provides opportunity to network with other agencies.

Stephanie Holland was kind enough to host a social media/new business roundtable discussion with a small group of us who I have worked with over the past couple of years. Stephanie is president/creative director for Holland + Holland Advertising, here in Birmingham, AL. Our group also included Jaci Russo, principal of The Russo Group, Lafayette, LA, S.A. Habib, president of Locomotion Creative, Nashville, TN, John Sonnhalter, founder and CEO of SONNHALTER, a B to B ad agency in Cleveland, OH, and Park Howell, president of Park&Co, a full service ad agency in Phoenix, AZ.

Though everyone had been introduced to one another online this was the first time that our group had met face-to-face. We decided to get together for a couple of days of personal interaction to measure how far we have come and where do we go from here.

This meeting provided an opportunity for us to learn from one another and create some camaraderie as we go forward. Too be a help and a resource for one another.

These were some of our initial questions and thoughts that were used to facilitate our discussions:

  • How do you monetize your social media efforts for new business?
  • What has been the best return on your time investment with social, best time management practices?
  • What still are your biggest challenges?
  • Reviewing and providing input for each agency blog’s positioning
  • Is your staff buying in and participating?
  • How to implement a call to action through social media?

It was an enjoyable and rewarding two days. We came away with renewed energy and focus.


Here’s a link if you’d like to see additional photos of our roundtable discussion group

You can review these agency principal’s blogs below. I’m sure each of them would welcome your thoughtful insights:

Blue Collar Branding (S.A. Habib)

Park Howell: A brighter shade of green marketing (Park Howell)

Razor Branding Blog (Jaci Russo)

She-conomy: A Guys Guide to Marketing to Women (Stephanie Holland)

Tradesmen Insights (John Sonnhalter)


About Michael Gass

Consultant | Trainer | Author | Speaker

Since 2007, he has been pioneering the use of social media, inbound and content marketing strategies specifically for agency new business.

He is the founder of Fuel Lines Business Development, LLC, a firm which provides business development training and consulting services to advertising, digital, media and PR agencies.


  1. Would be fun to get together and do this virtually . . .

  2. Michael,

    What a marvelous opportunity that you facilitated. Great idea. You should come to Detroit and do the same. In the meantime, I think I did spy the bowls of Halloween candy. Of course, there was the obligatory fruit tray.



  3. Many thanks to you, Michael, for coordinating such a great event and to Stephanie for hosting us in such a great space. It was really inspiring to set aside our agency roles and share case studies, best practices, and tips for how social media has worked for us. Through this round table we were able to see each other beyond just online profiles but actually as people. I feel like I gained strategic partners and more importantly, friends.

  4. Wow, some of the top brains in the industry, I would’ve loved to have been a fly on the wall. Just imagine the ideas being flung about.

  5. Steven,

    That would be a huge stretch to say we are the top brains in the industry.

    This was just a group that have developed a friendship and spent time together brainstorming ideas. It was good spending some face time together as a small group. Time well spent.

  6. Humbleness…a very good quality. Just next time, bring a video camera! 🙂

  7. Did this question get answered? How do you monetize your social media efforts for new business?


  8. I wanted to tape the sessions but had a problem with the video camera.

  9. Bonnie,

    Jaci Russo has seen the most monetary success from her social media efforts. Her agency has acquired 14 new accounts in ’09 by leading with social media. The agency’s net profits are up 104% over this time last year. 94% of her agency’s business is now coming from outside the Lafayette, LA market.

    You monetize social by having a “credible” presence and can speak with confidence about social to prospective clients. It is a powerful demonstrate to show a client how your agency is using social media.

    Holland + Holland, has been invited to participate in two national pitches. That has never happened before in their 25 year history.

  10. Michael:

    I hope you’ll do a follow-up post with highlights of the conversation? Some key take-aways would be great. It’s always interesting to hear other agency perspectives. Too often we’re so focused on the client work that we don’t step back and share with each other.


  11. Great stuff as always, Michael! Count me among those who wd love to see a video mash-up of comments and insights among the group the next time you all get together!

  12. Will do Pete. Thanks!

%d bloggers like this: