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“One leg is PR, one leg is marketing as most people know it, and the 3 leg, which balances the stool, is community involvement, what we call “outreach.”

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John Chamberlin is a Principal of Rock, Paper, Scissors, Chute and has been involved in assisting profit and nonprofit organizations grow market share, grow their brand and grow their ultimate line. John has over 20 years of marketing, advertising and sales/outreach oversight.

Rock, Paper, Scissors, Chute was created to be a niche-based marketing and outreach asset to small and medium-sized companies. They are able to provide marketing strategy and execution as if they were the “internal marketing department.”

John Chamberlin, Rock, Paper, Scissors, Chute - Principal

MO: How did you come up with the name for your company?

John: We are pretty light-hearted.. almost pranksters. When we started the company, we wanted to parody the traditional law or accounting firm business that use three names, i.e. Alexander, Alexander and Smith. Since “Dewey, Cheatem and Howe” was already taken by the 3 Stooges, we started to look for 3 words that would work together.. and VOILA.. Rock, Paper, Scissors. As a kid, we always yelled “Shoot” as we put our hands out. However, some people didn’t play that way, so the Shoot turned into “Chute” is a little confusing.

From a marketing standpoint, it’s a NIGHTMARE when someone asks for our email addresses. On the other hand, once someone has the address, they don’t forget it!

MO: What influenced your decision to focus on being a niche-based marketing and outreach firm?

John: There are 60+ marketing firms in the Pittsburgh metropolitan area. Some of 100’s of employees and some are your typical 1 or 2-person shop. We thought who in the world needs another marketing firm. But we realized, we can buy media for companies, do creative like others but, one area where we truly could differentiate was “outreach.” Real, two-way marketing.

As a marketing firm, we advise clients that building a “brand” is a 3 legged stool. One leg is PR, one leg is marketing as most people know it, and the 3 leg, which balances the stool, is community involvement, what we call “outreach.” As long as community involvement is genuine, a good outreach activity, community involvement, can really raise a company’s brand recognition.

MO: Can you tell us about your “foot in the door” projects and why they are so popular with your clients?

John: We established a “customer service” program.. 365 Critical Customer Care.. it comes from our medical background. The fact is, there are numerous customer service “Idea of the month” initiatives for companies to use. Ours takes into account the real environment in which the audiences to whom we are presenting.. healthcare providers, delivery drivers, receptionists and explains how to make customer service very practical. This is our foot-in-the-door project because, typically we tell the customers, there is no reason to market yourself if you suck at delivering the product or service. So, let’s fix the service and customer issues, THEN let us help you market yourself!

MO: What’s the main difference between “community outreach” activities and “PR/marketing?”

John: Again, a 3 legged stool balances better than any 2 or 4 legged stool. As a marketing firm, we advise clients that building a “brand” is a 3 legged stool. One leg is PR, one leg is marketing as most people know it, and the 3 leg, which balances the stool, is community involvement, what we call “outreach.” A company can get so much PR, “customer adhesion” and customer interaction out of a community outreach activity.. it’s like live, 3D social media interaction because your staff are in the community where your customers live.

MO: I love that you help your clients focus on how to service customers better, within the context of their business, and then work on the marketing strategy. Are clients always responsive to this approach or are some reluctant and want to market their product/service before it’s been refined?

John: No question, some just want to buy advertising, print fliers, and build websites. When it all somes down to it, customer service, or fixing internal problems can take a very long time.. especially if the internal training is poor and the culture truly isn’t adopted. So, just like an attorney advises a client on the best approach, the client always has the right of the final decision.

MO: What’s the most exciting thing on the horizon for you personally or professionally?

John: We just started a relationship with a company called DonorPro.. the have a customer, or DONOR, resource management software that helps non profits build strong databases about their donors. We are starting to work with them and some of their more than 500 nonprofit customers, to help build revenue and outreach strength. Just like an athlete, there is a technical side to what they are doing and an operational aspect. To become a professional, you work constantly to improve both. DonorPro is makes its nonprofit customers extremely powerful technically. I see RPSC as being to help their outreach/business development staff with the PHYSICAL part of the job.. how to become more organize, how to triage targets, etc.

Personally, its exciting to grow the business. We executed this business part time while I was the VP of Marketing of a local company. When that company was sold to a competitor, I decided to push my own company forward vs. trying to find a “real job.” That was almost 2 years ago and I truly enjoy growing MY own business.

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