Marketing company abuzz about downtown
SCHENECTADY Overlooking all of State Street, Buzz Media Solutions has an office that is both cozy and inviting, and thriving with creativity.
Its co-founders — Susan Bardack, chief executive officer, and Jeff Goronkin, chief strategy officer — sit at desks facing one another. Colorful lights hang from the ceiling, a couch in the center of the room faces a white board and a large window opens up to downtown Schenectady.
“I was out here eight years ago, and I never even thought I would have an office space in Schenectady,” Goronkin said. “It is so much more vibrant. ... It is great.”
“You can see the changes that are happening,” she said. “It is alive.”
Buzz Media, a company dedicated to marketing and communication services for companies and businesses, was founded five years ago.
Back in 2007, Goronkin had a startup company, iZoca.com, a social media network for communities and groups. Bardack, formerly at CBS 6, came on board with iZoca as the chief marketing officer. She said she was passionate about working for a startup from the beginning.
“That same kind of passion and enthusiasm Susan brought to that startup company, she brings to all of our clients,” Goronkin said.
“iZoca.com didn’t become the next Facebook, but I think we have a really strong team, and we are working on that. And today, here we are in our fifth year of Buzz Media Solutions, and it is the team that has made it last, and it is growing.”
In 2009, the pair decided in order to move iZoca.com along, they actually needed to start another company to be able to afford to do that. Thus Buzz Media Solutions was born. It is separate from iZoca.com, which remains in operation.
Buzz Media’s business quickly began to expand, and even in its early months, it helped put on some major events for clients, including the Brown School in Schenectady.
The company helped coordinate an event and media attention for actress Goldie Hawn when she visited the Capital Region. Her educational program, MindUP, was being used at Brown and another local school.
“It was really successful, and it was really fun,” Bardack said, “and it really showed us the kinds of things that we are capable of, but also we figured out how to better work as a team.”
Buzz Media currently has more than a dozen clients. They range from startup companies to well-established businesses. Clients have included Cirque Du Soleil, DreamWorks, Best Fitness, the Albany Symphony Orchestra and CE Collision Experts. The company helps with everything from website design and public relations to social media development, promotions and branding, among other things.
The two are both from Clifton Park and said when the time came to move their growing business into an office space, they surfed around the Capital Region before settling on Schenectady. The official ribbon-cutting was last month.
“This location is great,” Goronkin said. “The rents were so low compared to Saratoga, Troy. ... The space sold itself.”
The pair bounced around a company name for a while, and finally it seemed obvious, they said.
“We create buzz for people,” Bardack said. “It sort of evolved.”
“When we sit with a client they always say, ‘We need buzz,’ ” Goronkin added.
The company has expanded quickly.
“We thought we were going to be focusing in one area, but we have a range of clients,” Bardack said. “Every company needs marketing communications.”
“What we do is, we start off with every one of our clients, sit down with them and really get into the nuts and bolts of the business,” Goronkin said. “What we like to do is understand the sales process and their goals.”
Buzz Media Solutions focuses on three specific areas with a company: creativity, strategy and execution.
“We start with the creativity, and we get creative with the client,” Bardack said. “We brainstorm with them. Sure, we generate ideas, but usually it is in collaboration with them. We want to hear what their vision is and hopefully kind of take that to another level.”
Goronkin said whether a company is looking for just the basics or out-of-the-box marketing solutions, Buzz Media Solutions can help. He said they are hoping to hire a few more people in the near future and continue to not only expand their staff, but their clients and opportunities, as well.
Several weeks after Goronkin said that, Buzz hired a communications specialist.
“When you ask where do we want to be in five years, well, we never want to lose sight of being creative,” Goronkin said.