Friday, July 15, 2011

CoCo Designs Guest Blog Post on Marcus Design Blog: July, 2011

Client CoCo Designs had the opportunity to take part in this really fun blog series, "My Dream Home would Have to Have" courtesy of Marcus Design Blog. Guest blogging is a great way to build connections, contacts in your field, and credibility. It's also a great way to build in-bound links to your website (i.e., getting in front of new audiences and potential clients by having them click on your link to your website or blog via another website or blog). PR and Viral Marketing is all about thinking outside the box!  Here it is!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Forkfly Press Hit: July, 2011: The Inlander

The Inlander picked up recent news about moving into new market New Orleans and other publisher relations. Here's the snap shot:

CoCo Designs Press Hit: KPTV morning show "More" on Fox 12, July 2011

Lora Coburn of CoCo Designs taped a LIVE show for hit morning program "More" at the Fox KPTV studios. Check it out here!

CoCo Designs Press hit: AM NW KATU Channel 2, July 2011

Tammy Hernandez joined local Interior Designer Lora Coburn at The Rebuilding Center. Their mission? To help us look at things a little differently! As a designer, Lora can look at old things and see useful fun new pieces for our homes...

Watch the full video here!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Interview with Paul Wagner on Nw Forkfly Press Hit July 5, 2011

The online, daily deals and offers market is a very competitive one, with major companies like Groupon and LivingSocial--plus countless others--looking to occupy the space. Portland-based Forkfly ( is looking to take a different angle on the market, helping to enable local publishers to create their own, deal sites. We spoke with founder Paul Wagner about the company.

First, for folks who haven't used your app, what is Forkfly?
Paul Wagner: For the consumer, it's all about local deals with great local merchants. It's a pretty straight forward play on that end. It get a bit more complex on the other two thirds of the site, for the merchants and the publishers.

What do you offer for them?
Paul Wagner: On the publisher and merchant side, we have integrated a suite of tools to not just manage social couponing, social media, but a whole suite of things to manage the stuff internally. They can manage their digital spend with local publishers, manage print, and more. It's basically a suite of useful applications which they can manage themselves. It stems, in a large part, from our work with publishers. If you've ever read Groupon's financials, you'll see they are spending a half a billion on marketing, and have 5000 salespeople. It's pretty spectacular, really. For us, we realize that our media partners are wanting to stay relevant in both print and digital. They have the feet on the street, and the local trust, so they deploy Forkfly themselves. That allows us to expand not just into major markets, but also provides us with market differentiation from Groupon and LivingSocial, allowing us to gain traction.

Those publishers are mostly newspaper publishers?
Paul Wagner: We work primarily with print, and have seven sites deployed and another twenty deploying. When I'm saying deploying, there are those who aren't showing up on the site until they are ready to go live. We're in talks with another sixty properties, including working with radio and TV stations, who are also interested in deploying the technology. The nice thing about our platform for publishers, is there is one app which works anywhere in the country. You might start using the app in Charleston, South California, with the local city paper. But, if you visit San Francisco, we can also show them deals from that local area, too. In that way, we are helping publishers become a part of a network, because they don't want to be a little island fighting for survival.

How did you settle on this market?
Paul Wagner: We were one of the first coupon apps on the App store. We had originally taken a very traditional approach. I'd owned a restaurant as a side project, and had some frustration with CitySearch, which was about our only digital spend option. I ended up designing the interface, and had it built in Argentina. I flew down there, worked with a local development team, and we deployed it in 2008. I then realized very quickly that building a large team of sales people and selling to local merchants in Portland was wonderful, but there was no way we'd be able to ever expand beyond Portland, because it was too expensive. We had a low price point, and there was just no scalability in the original model. To make a long story short, someone in the publishing space approached me, and told me I had an interesting product, and if I had considered deploying it with newspapers. It was an interesting proposition, so we completely scrapped our code, rebuilt it to not just be a couponing tool for merchants, but also made it a place where businesses could manage their media spend through local publishers. We didn't have to spend on marketing, which was all done by our media partners. We left the sales efforts to our media partners, and focused on developing the technology.

We'd guess that local partners make it easier for you to differentiate?
Paul Wagner: That's exactly right. It's funny, but recently Groupon Now deployed in the Bay Area, and deployed in Portland. I received an email yesterday from Groupon, claiming that they had over 200 Portland deals, which was an outright fabrication. When I went to Groupon Now, I found 30 at most. In Portland alone, we have 195 active deals right now. Plus, consumers don' t have to pay a time to take advantage of our service. They can juts hold up a phone to get the offer. I do think that the more players that get into this space, the better it is for us. Publishers understand they have to go out and do this, or they risk losing everything. So, the more noise the better, it's a good space to be in.

Finally, what's the next big thing for you?
Paul Wagner: We're expanding rapidly, and what we've realizes is that, although the largeer markets are performing very well for us, what fun is working with small, regional publishers. Those are publications with less than 15,000 people in a rural market, which is a horribly underserved market. For us, it's been huge working with those publishing partners in those regions, because the acceptance has been absolutely tremendous. There is no noise from Groupon, LivingSocial, or any other daily deal platform in those markets. Those launches end up wildly successful for us and our publishing partners.


See the full interview here

Forkfly July, 2011: Forkfly Announces New National Sales Director and Sales Consultant

Portland, Ore. - Forkfly today announced the introduction of a new national sales director, Mr. Simon Mulverhill, and sales consultant Mr. Sammy Papert. The announcement comes on the heels of Forkfly's deployment into 20 new markets.

Effective immediately, Mulverhill will lead sales efforts in Forkfly's push to work with media partners in every major market in America. Over the course of the next few months, Forkfly will be making a series of announcements regarding new media partnerships.  

Mulverhill is a 15-year veteran of the alternative newsweekly business with advertising sales management and publishing experience.  Starting at Illinois Times, in Springfield (IL) as Ad Director in 1994, he was promoted to Publisher in 1997, and while there launched a parenting publication, Springfield Parent.  He then headed south as Publisher of the San Antonio Current in summer of 2000.  After five years, he moved into the non-profit world, with management positions at Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Texas, and Kids Sports Network.  He returned to the alternative newsweekly world in summer of 2008 as Advertising Director of The Austin Chronicle.

"We are honored to have Simon join our growing team at Forkfly," said Paul Wagner, Forkfly CEO. "Simon's extensive experience will help our current and prospective media partners to feel confident in our abilities to work within their industries."

Forkfly has also engaged the services of sales consultant Sammy Papert. His 15 years of selling tens of millions of dollars of newspaper advertising at the Papert Companies, a national advertising sales organization which represented 500 daily newspapers, will serve Forkfly and customers admirably. Papert served as Chairman and CEO of Belden Associates, the well regarded newspaper research and consultancy for ten years before founding Wormhole, LLC in February of 2009. Wormhole connects organizations to their business and consuming audiences in unique and fast ways by leveraging technology and the web - a perfect fit with Forkfly.

"Sammy's experience brings key insights from both the newspaper and research industries," said Forkfly CMO Stephanie Hooper. "We're looking forward to having both Sammy and Simon on board."

In addition to the most recent market deployments, Forkfly announced they are in active talks with over 60 more. They are projecting 80 by year-end, with more than 200 signed on by year-end 2012.

Forkfly's locational mobile coupon platform offers a wholesale platform for media partners to sell space to merchants in their own local community. Advertisers use Forkfly as a fully integrated measurement dashboard to manage their print, digital and social media buys. The Forkfly business model allows media partners, who get exclusive rights to the Forkfly platform in their DMA, to utilize their own sales team and existing merchant relations.

Forkfly offers a robust social network capability and built in customer loyalty program with smart phone redemption for both Android and iPhone.

About Forkfly
Forkfly is a marketing and promotional platform for media partners that benefit customers and merchants. Merchants can leverage social media networks, mobile technologies, and a creative distribution strategy to find new customers, engage customers, and build brand loyalty. Customers use Forkfly to find and redeem deals, perks, rewards, and other incentives from hundreds of merchants "on the fly." For more information, visit

Read the full story here!