From the Desk of our Strategic Comms Intern

SEATTLE CENTER- In the shadow of the Space Needle and shaded by maple trees, the Cascade Public Media building is home to some of Seattle’s best media outlets, including PBS member station KCTS 9, public-interest journalism group Crosscut, and Piranha Partners, an audio/visual creation group with whom The Keller Group is proud to begin partnering with. I recently had the opportunity to tour their studios and see the filming and preproduction of some of their amazing content—including materials for the Girl Scouts of Western Washington, like these videos!

I then sat down to talk with Mark Allan, the Chief Creative Officer at Piranha Partners, and Angela Moorer, a former Keller Group intern and current team member at Piranha, on their experience in the creative industry and our future work together.

Eva: Can you both introduce yourselves and your careers in media?

Angela: “I started out as a journalism student at the University of Washington and then interned at the Keller Group, which was one of my first experiences in PR about 12 years ago. Lee was great, she showed me the ropes in terms of pitching, communicating to the media, and building relationships with the media and I was suddenly like, “okay, maybe I can do PR!”. The Keller Group has a number of non-profit clients who are about public service and education and working at The Keller Group made me feel like I could do this and feel good about doing it. Working with Lee was a huge influence on me.”

“Since then, I have dabbled in all types of media, from video production to more traditional public relations and digital marketing, and mainly worked with nonprofit clients including the ALCU of Washington and RAINN. I’ve had a lot of great experiences with a lot of great organizations where I’ve been able to use my skills in relationship building, creativity, and strategy.”

Mark: “I was an on-air talent and personality in the world of radio, and I also had a TV show for a while. Essentially, what I was doing was honing my skills in being an incredibly efficient entertainer. After a while, the entertainment industry changed, and I found that we were always on defense: instead of giving your audience a reason to tune in, which I loved, we now had to make sure they never had a reason to tune out.”

“But, the place where you could still surprise, delight, and engage an audience, oddly enough, was in corporate and nonprofit communications. So, I took my skills in entertainment and pointed them at commercial production, corporate communications, and community engagement. That’s kind of where Piranha Partners came from. We are always entertaining, and our absolute focus is to reflect our audience, not our industry. Nobody sets out to watch a video. Lots of people appreciate a good one when they see it. Our job is to find fast, current, contemporary ways to engage an audience.”

(Speaking of surprising and delighting: check out this piece on misinformation that Piranha created for the University of Washington!)

Eva: Continuing the theme of Piranha Partners, what type of clients do you typically serve?

Mark: We break it down into four groups: first, commercial production for TV and radio. The second one is corporate communications- most successful brands have an aggressive communications strategy directed inward, every bit as much if not more than their strategy outward. We’ve been fortunate enough to be very experienced in building that inward corporate culture and connecting the boardroom to the breakroom. The third is community: for us, that’s not-for-profits, which we’re really proud of like Angela said. And recently we’ve been partnering more with PR firms like The Keller Group to do government work, and we’ve been written into State budgets a couple of times now, which is pretty wild!”

“What we’ve been successful with is being a viable department not located in the client’s office. We can be the engine room and supply the creative support to our partner’s plans. The name is Piranha Partners- we are here to make other organizations better and play with more people, more often.”

Eva: What services do you provide to your clients?

Mark: “We have a background in entertainment, so we understand exciting and motivating an audience. As a part of Cascade Public Media, we have a television station and an independent news station. With the television station comes one of the biggest, sweetest sound stages in our area, it is just spectacular. We have an animation station with Claymation and stop-motion, we specialize in motion graphics, we have full audio capabilities: basically anything that has to do with contemporary media—or anything you can make up—we can do.

Eva: That is so amazing. What are you two looking forward to in the future?

Angela: We are so thrilled to be working with The Keller Group because you serve the type of clients that touch us the most and make us excited to do this work. We love partnering with other people who have heart, passion, and a genuine desire to make Seattle, and our world, better.

Mark: I think one of the pieces relevant to this is what we’re built on: do good. Do good work and do good things when no one’s working, get better and continue to improve, and have fun. And by partnering with The Keller Group, we hit all three of those.