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Senior Member Profile: Michael Reilly, FSMPS

November 9, 2010

This November, SMPS Boston is proud to profile Senior Member Michael Reilly, FSMPS, Principal Consultant at Reilly Communications.

How long have you been working in the marketing industry?
25 years

What has your involvement in SMPS been like? When were you president?
I was Boston Chapter president in 1993-94 and national SMPS president in 1998-99. You could safely say I’ve experienced every volunteer role – chapter, regional, and national – you could think of! I’ve learned so much from my peers over the years, and continue to learn by staying involved in SMPS. The old adage of getting back more than you put in is absolutely true. I love our tradition of taking the help and learning you were given and paying it forward.

How has the industry changed since you started?
The most dramatic change is the way we market now and the strategic role – still evolving – of the marketing professional inside successful firms. When I started, the message was all about past projects and portfolio. Today the sales message starts with how prepared you are to solve the business problem of the client. Clients need partners who think the way they do and can bring in extraordinary expertise.

What is a lesson learned from your time in the industry as a marketing professional?
I’ve learned that the best projects and the highest profits are won by firms able to position their people and teams in a distinctive way. Positioning was brought into the mainstream by Al Ries and Jack Trout in their breakthrough book, “Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind,” three decades ago, and the benefits of successful positioning and message are clear to see today.

What piece of advice would you tell a young marketer just starting out?
Be curious about everything. Read like crazy about the business you are in and your firm’s clients are in. For yourself, start to develop a niche area in marketing based on what you most love to do – and would love to be doing every day. This niche expertise will provide rich career opportunities down the road.

The recession has made a large impact on the marketing profession and the marketer’s role in a firm. What would you advise marketing professionals to do in terms of “showing their value” to firm principals?
Two things. Become the missing research arm of your company. Strategic research about clients, prospects, capital funding, etc. always delivers tangible benefits. Second, make sure your principals know about all the important things you are doing. Show them how much you contribute to the business development and reputation success of the firm. Never assume they know this! Post your work on the walls and the intranet, celebrate the wins and shortlistings, and distribute any media coverage for everyone in the firm to see.

Want to know more about Mike’s point of view? Check out his recent column about Social Media Marketing!

Have a recommendation for senior member profile? E-mail Franceen Shaughnessy at


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