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R&R Partners expands into Mexico

R&R Partners has announced that the independent marketing communications firm would make its international debut, opening its ninth office through an ownership stake in CMV, a full service agency based in Mexico City.

CEO Billy Vassiliadis will make the formal announcement September 12 during a keynote address entitled “Translating Success – Learning to Do Business Across Cultures” at Austin’s BonusMX@ATX, a forum for creative industry executives in the United States and Mexico.

Mexico City marks a long anticipated move by R&R Partners into Latin America, and represents the firm’s fourth new office in six years behind Austin, Denver and Los Angeles.

“When you look at American brands like Microsoft, Pfizer and Wal-Mart, which are well-established in Mexico, you’re seeing how 20 years of NAFTA has helped erase many of the old trade barriers,” said Matt Silverman vice president and managing director of the R&R Partners Phoenix office. “R&R Partners is particularly well positioned to help international partnerships that already exist and are forming in Arizona and Mexico,” added Silverman.

Under NAFTA, intraregional trade in North America jumped from $290 billion in 1993 to $1.1 trillion in 2012, roughly half of which crisscrosses the U.S./Mexican border.

Vassiliadis sees opportunity in the 2014 Global Attitudes Survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, which found that six in 10 Mexicans are dissatisfied with their country’s economy.

“Mexico is at a critical point economically, politically and culturally and our skill set and partnership with CMV can have a real impact there,” said Vassiliadis. “Together, we bring an authentic Hispanic vision and voice and a proven track record in communications and government affairs work that will guide clients through this period of rapid change and growth.”

R&R Partners has long had a footprint in Mexico through their Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority client, which markets the Las Vegas destination there. In addition, R&R Partners serves international clients in West Africa, Central Asia, and Europe, as well as U.S.-based clients like Boeing that reach across the globe.

“R&R’s investment in CMV grew out of the recognition that our two agencies share a similar passion for tackling the tough issues, delivering key insights to our clients and building a strong internal culture of excellence,” said Diego Velásquez, founding partner and coach general at CMV. “It’s an ideal match that will continue to deliver top quality results across borders and languages.”

CMV/R&R Partners will use its deep experience in regulatory issues, public relations, crisis communications, research, media and branding to assist industries that face complex challenges in Mexico and Latin America. Areas of specialty include energy, telecommunications, packaged goods, technology, aerospace and travel and tourism.

“Being independently owned allows us to react quickly and guide our clients through the challenging regulatory environments they will find in Mexico,” said Vassiliadis. “It has also allowed us to pursue a rapid growth plan as an agency. International expansion was the next logical step for us.”

effie award - public transportation education

Valley Metro Education Campaign Wins Effie Award

The 2012 North American Effie Effectiveness Index rankings were revealed at the 44th annual Effie Award Gala in New York City. Among the winners was Valley Metro Regional Public Transportation Authority’s “Notes” campaign, which educates new riders on how to use public transportation. The campaign grew out of research conducted by R&R Partners, Valley Metro RPTA’s agency of record, who also conceived and produced the campaign.

“Winning an Effie Award is one of the highest honors an advertising agency can achieve,” said Matt Silverman, managing director of R&R’s Scottsdale office. “We are incredibly proud of how our work for Valley Metro has helped increase bus and train usage by 5.1 percent during the first year of the campaign, which is three times the national average,” he added.

In order to be included in the Effie Effectiveness rankings, Effie Award finalists and winners supplied detailed case studies outlining the challenges they faced and the significant results that were achieved, which were then rigorously evaluated by two rounds of industry experts.

For the Valley Metro “Notes” campaign, R&R Partners conducted research to uncover roadblocks to ridership, then used that data to educate potential commuters that riding the local busses and trains is quick, simple and entertaining—and something people should want to do. To appeal to a broad demographic, R&R Partners recruited five local bands that wrote and recorded eight original songs on how to use public transportation. Original animations were then designed around the music and lyrics and Valley Metro “Notes” was born.

The videos can be seen online at www.ValleyMetro.org/notes. This low cost, multi-year campaign began in November 2010 and was designed to bridge the adoption barrier that too often keeps good candidates for public transportation from making the leap away from car use.

“We listened and responded to the needs and concerns of our citizens by creating a fun and engaging campaign that demystifies riding transit and helps make it a viable option for more people,” said Heidi Gracie of Valley Metro. “The results have been incredible, even with a 30 percent cut in bus service routes we saw ridership gains and an increase in customer satisfaction.”

For more information on the Effie Award, visit their website at www.effie.org.