7 Marcom, a Washington, DC Area marketing and communications firm that has built its reputation around the concept of business storytelling, has relocated to the Greater Charlottesville Region.
The principals of 7 Marcom – Jim and Jenny Cudahy – are a husband-and-wife team that has operated on a local, national, and international basis in marketing and communications roles. Working with a team of trusted partners, the firm has a knack for engaging with clients, quickly identifying what differentiates them, and then finding ways to leverage their stories across marketing and communications channels.
“We operate on the premise that ‘your business has a story and we’ll help you tell it,’” said Jenny Cudahy. “Typically, organizations are good at explaining what they do, but they rarely are looking at stories through the lenses of their clients and prospects, boiling it down to what matters most to them. And that is the only lens of real significance.
7 Marcom has made its mark based on its ability to engage with clients, quickly immerse itself in their businesses, and mobilize corresponding marketing and communications efforts. “Usually a client wants a website or a piece of marketing collateral when they first contact us and we’ll help them with that,” said Jim Cudahy. “But, once we begin talking, they typically will realize there’s a more interesting, more powerful way to tell their story and they might not be delivering it in the right places. This means getting a better understanding what motivates their prospects, how they make decisions, and how they consume media.”
What Jenny likes most about working with clients of various size and shape is that 7 Marcom’s storytelling concept works on multiple levels. “Last year, we did some market research, which propelled a strategic-planning process for a Northern Virginia homeless shelter,” said Jenny. “We helped the shelter identify the next chapter in what already was an impressive story. More recently, we have worked with an international film festival and its need was different – to quickly get its story out there via social media and the press to a wide audience. Within the course of a few weeks, we had the festival up and running with an expansive social media and digital advertising campaign as well as high-profile coverage in major news outlets.”
“Every day is different,” said Jenny. “Every day is challenging but every day is fun.”
To that end, 7 Marcom has zeroed in on seven distinct phases around which sustained publicity efforts revolve: Think, Plan, Talk, Move, Write, Laugh, and Assess. “There are so many meetings and so much unproductive talk,” said Jim. “Most businesses don’t take enough time to do some deep thinking about their objectives and their clients’ needs. They want to move right to execution, the idea of: ‘Ready, shoot, aim.’ We compel clients to take a step back, think and plan, before we begin moving and writing.” And Jim emphasizes that if you don’t want to do some laughing along the way, 7 Marcom probably isn’t the right fit for you.
Prior to founding 7 Marcom with Jenny, Jim served in marketing and communications roles for more than 20 years in non-profit organizations, ultimately ascending to the CEO position at the National Court Reporters Association and the National Investor Relations Institute. Earlier in his career, Jim was head of marketing and communications at CFA Institute in Charlottesville. While in Charlottesville, Jim also was the volunteer president of the Virginia Gators, a year-round swim team. Clients learn quickly that swimming is part of the business’s DNA and corresponding analogies should be expected. In fact, Jim and Jenny’s youngest son, Dylan, is a freshman on the University of Virginia’s swim team.
Jenny’s background prior to 7 Marcom was more community and initiative-based. She ran programming and strategic planning for Centreville Presbyterian Church in Northern Virginia and, before that, for Peace Lutheran Church in Charlottesville. Jenny’s energy has crossed the spectrum of volunteer activities within churches, schools, and, like Jim, with their three sons’ swim teams. Jenny is the team’s social-media expert, telling organizations’ stories through Facebook, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
You can learn more about 7 Marcom at www.7marcom.com where you can sign up for the firm’s newsletter, “Seven,” which delivers curated, reusable content on the 7th of each month.