Russell Martin & Associates is one of the IT industry’s most-loved training firms. Instead of delivering the standard, dull training presentations, they’ve developed an intimate understanding of how people learn, and they apply it to helping project managers and others in the IT world improve their efficiency, quality, and workflow (among other things).
RMA President Lou Russell is a popular author and keynote speaker largely because of the humor she brings to her work, and the entire company echoes her approach. Several years ago, she wanted to stay top-of-mind among her Fortune 500 clients, but couldn’t outspend or out-promote larger consultancies. So she turned to humor as a powerful tactic.
Walk into any corporate IT department, and besides a bevy of beady-eyed, caffeinated cube farm denizens, you’ll find comics pinned up everywhere. The Far Side, Bizarro, Dilbert — all sorts of humorous, somewhat subversive messages that help team members survive impossible deadlines and even tougher demands.
Lou worked with Scott Flood and a cartoonist to develop postcards that featured comics tied directly to the challenges her clients face, with messages addressing specific training opportunities. “Scott is the one person who always got our wacky sense of humor,” Lou explains. The comics struck a chord, and long after they were distributed, she’d find them on clients’ walls. Fast-forward to the email marketing era, and RMA is using a similar strategy with emailed messages. It’s a great use of humor that builds warm feelings — and keeps RMA on clients’ minds.