CK Holiday Party 09

Posted by karl on Monday, December 14, 2009

Coates Kokes just celebrated the holiday's, making it the agency's tenth since becoming Coates Kokes. We won't even say how many (32) that makes it in total for a certain founder. This year's party was at the Oswego Lake House. As you may have guessed, it was right on the lake (which was frozen over and despite many attempts by this author, no one would bust out their ice skates). Food, drinks, more food and a gift exchange occupied the lot of us for a goodly number of hours. Best gifts included a Himalayan salt brick, a retro neon 80s jacket, multi-color duct tape and a "lady's night out" bath set that couldn't have been received by a luckier lady—Dan. Thanks again to Jeanie and Steve for the awesome party and happy holidays!

Whole Lotta Coverage

Posted by kate on Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Our PR team has been working hard to get press for the Cottages at Cape Kiwanda in Pacific City. The two separate tasks have been to promote the benefits of fractional ownership and also Pacific City as a destination. In one weekend, there was an article in the Portland Business Journal about fractional ownerships in Oregon, highlighting the Cottages and also a story in The Oregonian’s Travel section about visiting Pacific City, highlighting the Cottages as rentals. Way to go PR team!


My Love Letter to Portland

Posted by anne on Wednesday, December 9, 2009

I don’t know if it’s the time of year; where I start to feel thankful and grateful or if it’s the view this morning on my way into work… I feel so lucky to be living in Portland and to be able to take public transportation to work.  As I am quick to tell most people, I’m not a native Oregonian and I grudgingly moved to the Northwest 9 years ago. After almost a decade in this state I like to think my feet are starting to web for inevitable winter rain. Recently, we’ve had a rash of incredibly cold, but beautiful days. I took this photo on my way into work this morning while on one of the many public transportation options Portland has to offer, the MAX train.  On days like today, I’ll take cold and sunny over wet and warm any day.

Great Coverage for a Great Cause

Posted by kate on Thursday, December 3, 2009

Over the last few months, we have been working with the City of Portland on the Portland Plan which will help shape what the city will look like over the next 25 years.  Through social media, we have been trying to get residents to come to public workshops and share their opinion.  So far it's been very successful and today we opened our paper to some amazing coverage of this process.  It's definitely worth a look--especially if you live in Portland and care about the city's future.  Take a peek!  Here is a link to Oregon Live as well:


Media Relations and Great Label Design—The Perfect Storm

Posted by karl on Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Last year, the Pelican Pub & Brewery released the first batch of a bourbon barrel-aged barleywine called The Perfect Storm—a beer for true aficionados. Only 119 cases were produced so the Pelican wanted to create a buzz around the 2009 batch and ensure it sold quickly in order to create demand for next year. At $20 a bottle, we were up for the challenge.

Our PR team decided to start with the avid beer drinkers and their followers—beer bloggers. We reached out to several well-known Portland bloggers (one who wrote a long, rave review) and kept the bloggers updated on the number of cases left. These updates were then spread over a variety of social media, creating the sense of urgency the Pelican was looking for. Half the Pelican’s cases were pre-sold and the other half sold in less than two weeks. Buzz created, mission accomplished, great beer distributed. Of course the label we designed didn’t hurt the effort either.

Public Involvement through Social Media—The Portland Plan

Posted by karl on Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Our clients at the City of Portland’s Bureau of Planning & Sustainability came to us for help in shaping a city planning process that is anything but typical. For starters, the Portland Plan is a once in 30-year plan that will set the course for investment in Portland for the next three decades. In addition the City truly wants as much community input as possible, reaching beyond the “usual suspects.” Coates Kokes has been working fast and furiously with the City of Portland to engage its residents in this process that has just gotten underway.

When thinking about city planning, the image of a sassy grandmother shaking her finger doesn’t usually come to mind. But it was this kind of unusual visual approach combined with provocative language, such as “…Who gives a rip what you think?” that is bringing people’s attention to the cause.

In concert with our direct marketing and media relations efforts for the Portland Plan, social media is providing the backbone of the outreach effort. The social network and microblog platforms in Facebook and Twitter are allowing us to engage citizens who might otherwise be left out of the conversation. Specifically social media are being used to provide an opportunity for “lite” engagement, where people can give the City input in a context that is comfortable for them and where they provide more input than the City would have otherwise received. We also know from our work in behavior change that these lower-bar opportunities for engagement warm the audience up to more involved forms of civic participation—yes even stepping to the mic in a public meeting. Although the ultimate goal is to get Portlanders to attend one of the seven workshops, social media allows them to share insightful facts with friends, give some feedback within minutes and engage with the City in a whole new way.

The campaign kicked off with a news conference with Portland Mayor Sam Adams. The social media campaign has been launched and response so far has already been above expectations. Portlanders are giving their opinions, making suggestions and engaging with the Portland Plan on Twitter and Facebook in a way that the City has never seen with a process like this. The campaign is translating into civic action too, as the first workshop was attended by a standing room only crowd of engaged residents.

Communications Solutions for a Pandemic—Fighting H1N1 for the State of Oregon

Posted by karl on Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Coates Kokes is fortunate to have a number of causes as clients. It’s an area that has become a specialty of sorts for the agency in recent years, and it makes for rewarding work even if it is filled with the pressures inevitably involved when the environment or even lives are at stake. The State of Oregon’s Department of Human Services has recently tapped the agency to help in the fight against the H1N1 flu virus. One challenge in working with a pandemic is that the information is changing all the time based on input from national resources such as the CDC and the spread of the virus itself. Currently the state is facing a shortage of flu vaccines, but CK has just released a new television spot in the last week to remind people of all the things they can do on their own to keep from getting the flu and to keep from spreading it.

The tone of the spot is not an accident either. We intentionally employed a little levity to bring the message to life while staying within a boundary that is appropriate for such a potentially serious issue. The goal is to spur people into taking the appropriate action without further stirring the pot of anxiety that comes during a time when there is a shortage of the vaccine.

We concepted and produced the spot in just a matter of weeks to meet the State’s timeline. At the same time we produced an alternative spot that will encourage people to get their flu shots once the supply catches up to the demand. In the meantime we’re using print and television to build awareness quickly of what people can do behaviorally in the meantime. A social media strategy is getting underway shortly.

To view the first spot we’ve entitled, “The Gift,” click here.

To see some outtakes from behind the scenes at the TV shoot click here.

We’re proud of what we’re doing for the State and hope to keep Oregon as healthy as possible this flu season.

Granny Franny is named Portland's next top model

Posted by kate on Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Last week the postcard we created for the Portland Plan hit mailboxes around the city—now our model is famous…or at least The Oregonian says so. Reporter Anne Saker calls Mary Frances “Portland’s next top model.” We agree.  Check out the great coverage.

We're hiring an Interactive Art Director!

Posted by admin on Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Mike, the Creative Director will be taking all applications at Send 'em on in!

Coates Kokes is looking to add an Interactive Art Director to contribute in the conception and production of website design, interactive interfaces, online advertising and other digital communications such as social media and mobile marketing. This person will thrive while working with a team on projects for both consumer brands as well as business to business communications. The emphasis will be on driving overall look and feel of interactive campaigns and then working with developers through the completion of work. In addition, this person will be responsible for working with the creative director in order to searnlessly integrate interactive campaigns with overall advertising efforts.

Main functions:

  1. Creative concepting
  2. Design of compelling user-centered visual design concepts for interactive products, optimizing the use of screen layout and user interface elements.
  3. Establishes overall creative direction and creative platform for project based on creative brief, project objectives, and client and user needs analysis.


  • 2–5 years experience in interactive website design, agency experience preferred.
  • Expert in use of software such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, etc. used in the design and production of advanced interface graphics and highly creative web experiences.
  • Strong design style, knowledge of typography, user-centered design principles and creative design problem solving skills.
  • Strong understanding of capabilities of various web browsers and development constraints of the Web and other interactive media. Additionally the ideal applicant has a keen interest in interactive trends including social media and mobile advertising.

We offer a full range of benefits including health, dental, vision, life insurance, 401k, Tri-Met tickets, bike subsidy and more. Salary compensatory based on experience.

We are an equal opportunity employer and do not consider an individual's, race, religion, color, national origin, age, sex, disability, marital status, pregnancy, sexual orientation or veteran status when making an employment decision.

Rain or shine, baby. Rain or shine.

Posted by karl on Monday, October 26, 2009

It was a wet ride in this morning. What you can't see is the pool of water forming at Karl's feet or the socks he had to wring out. That's dedication.