USA Today and Client Courage


USA Today recently posted this story about the Portland Trail Blazers and how the team was one of the early adopters of Twitter. Dan Harbison, Director of Interactive Marketing and Media for the Portland Trail Blazers, is quoted extensively in the article. He was very generous in mentioning Substance and our involvement in the Oden or Durant microsite, and how we brought the idea of integrating Twitter into the site.

This article is really only part of the story. As an interactive brand agency, it’s our responsibility to come up with the ideas and recommendations that are appropriate for a brand. But our clients are equally responsible for the idea, because they have the courage to try something new, to believe in our ideas. As mentioned in the USA Today article, no one in the NBA was using Twitter. We thought it was an interesting platform to use, but we weren’t 100% sure how it would work. (In fact, as Dan mentioned, the account has evolved since the Oden/Durant draft from being about the draft to being about the entire team.) But Dan had the courage to try it. It could have failed. But instead of failing, it’s grown from about 300 followers during the draft to over 6,000 people following it today.

On our first day of business, we posted our Declaration which states: This is a call to arms for the idealists, the daredevils, the brave and the believers. We’re not only talking about the people who work here, but our clients as well. We have the conviction to suggest new, different and engaging strategies; our clients, like the Trail Blazers, have the courage to believe in our conviction and recommendations. These new approaches are creating conversations and relationships between our clients and their customers, they’re creating new methods for using existing and future media and technology platforms, and they’re putting our clients on the forefront of what it means to be an “interactive brand” (as is evident in the USA Today article).

We can’t thank our clients enough for going down these new paths with us. In fact, you could say our clients are trailblazers.

Additional Reading and Links:

USA Today Article:
Dan’s Blog Post re: the USA Today Article:
Portland Trail Blazers on Twitter:

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