Backbone Media: A small town agency with a big reach

Backbone Media: A small town agency with a big reach

Spine Media’s twenty fifth anniversary got here on the finish of final yr.
Courtesy of Spine Media

In a small constructing on the nook of 4th Avenue and Colorado Avenue in Carbondale, the workers of Spine Media are working onerous to signify the manufacturers they consider in as they head into their twenty fifth yr.

Some work standing up, others in soundproof “zoom tubes,” and others simply stroll in after a morning of snowboarding. The workplace is filled with puppies wandering round in search of pets. The excitement across the constructing signifies that the employees is working onerous to signify their manufacturers outdoor.

In accordance with Spine President Greg Williams, their character as an company is a “mountain information”.



“The spine is an extension of the manufacturers we work with. We’re a community. And that community has grown over time by the manufacturers we work with.

They presently work with 100 purchasers, together with some fashionable out of doors way of life manufacturers comparable to Black Diamond, Eddie Bauer, and Osprey. One of many notable manufacturers they’ve helped for over 10 years is Yeti.



“when [Yeti] It began, no person’s ever heard of it,” Williams mentioned. “Now they are a multi-billion greenback publicly traded firm. We have been with them because the starting, and we have developed that relationship.”

Spine staff on bikes exterior Carbondale headquarters.
Courtesy of Spine Media

The spine of buyer relationships is paramount. Though they’re headquartered in Carbondale, they’ve an workplace in Denver and distant staff throughout the nation. Working from a small city comes with its challenges, Williams mentioned, however the positives far outweigh the negatives. Being in a mountain city the place climbing, biking, snowboarding, and climbing are proper exterior the workplace permits Spine to check the merchandise they assist.

“We have all the time been slightly little bit of a street warrior. We’re not afraid of being on the street. We would like a seat on the desk,” Williams mentioned.

Whereas some corporations could discover nationwide attain intimidating or intimidating, Williams referred to as it motivating. As well as, Zoom allowed them to speak with prospects and enabled them to do their work.

Spine could have began as a PR agency, however they’ve expanded their providers a lot that they do not consider themselves as only a PR agency anymore. Its 130 staff do the whole lot from digital media, media planning, social media, advertising technique, SEO, in addition to public relations.

“I have been simply shopping for advertisements for a very long time. There are actually 50 individuals on the group who simply purchase advertisements all day, optimize campaigns, and report campaigns,” mentioned Williams.

Staff usually are not paid to work with a model they do not like or know something about. The manufacturers each worker works for cater to the issues they care about.

“I’ve a small area of interest. I’ve constructed my enterprise with sustainability-oriented manufacturers,” mentioned Kelly Kropf, media director at Spine, who works on accounts comparable to Patagonia and SmartWall.

“I knew I wished to work in advertising, however not in simply any trade. I wished it to be an trade that I used to be captivated with and associated to what I like to do.”

The group at Spine is filled with passionate people and professionals who embody the saying “work onerous, play onerous,” Williams mentioned.

“They wish to develop and have an interest within the sort of work they do. We like to rent people who’re intellectually curious, entrepreneurial-minded and may work inside a corporation that has construction, but additionally has a variety of freedom.”

Typically, Spine’s workday appears like taking {a magazine} editor on the slopes with new gear Spine is making an attempt to advertise.

“It is enjoyable work for certain, nevertheless it’s additionally onerous work,” mentioned Charles Loesner, vp of digital media at Spine. “There’s a variety of accountability and a variety of reporting. In some methods, we’re like a portfolio supervisor for these manufacturers. They offer us hundreds of thousands and hundreds of thousands of {dollars}, and now we have to place it to work and get it to carry out in a really quick time frame.”

Advertising companies have a popularity for being robust, however not a spine, in line with Williams. He mentioned they take satisfaction in being a low drama company the place everybody cares about one another and have a good time one another’s successes.

“When somebody will get a promotion, when somebody runs a terrific marketing campaign, when somebody succeeds, we wish to have a good time that,” he mentioned.

The backbone would not do an annual reflex, Williams mentioned, as a result of retraction means going backwards. As an alternative, they do the corporate’s annual “payment,” the place they get collectively and speak about their subsequent transfer. Final yr’s cost was in Moab.
Courtesy of Spine Media

Williams’ patronage and show of management in direction of staff have earned them a spot on Exterior Journal’s “Best places to work” Listing for 5 consecutive years. Williams mentioned they wish to see each worker succeed, and can proceed to offer enterprise alternatives for group members to allow them to develop their careers.

With the brand new yr comes a brand new model for Spine Media, which can now formally be often called simply “Spine”.

“What we’re saying about our promise is, we join manufacturers right here and the subsequent day, not the right here and now, right here and the subsequent,” mentioned Williams. “We’re right here engaged, current, writing for the model. However we’re additionally wanting on the subsequent step.”

Going ahead, Spine will proceed to be an company for individuals who wish to be exterior and on the transfer. He mentioned their group, made up of “inventory specialists,” as Williams referred to as them, is all the time in search of the subsequent step for the manufacturers they work with.

“We wish to seem with vitality. We wish to seem with smiles on our faces. We wish to seem with enthusiasm,” he mentioned. “And that is necessary.”


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