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Savannah Business JournalArea’s Leading Public Relations Firms; Top CEO Profiles
Area’s Leading Public Relations Firms; Top CEO Profiles
By SBJ Staff Report
When you talk to Roy L. Akins, Jr, president of Southeastern Marketing of Statesboro, you just assume that he has a background in radio. He has one of those deep, rich and melodious voices that exudes enthusiasm and optimism – a good ‘PR guy’ type of voice – and in fact he has experience with sports reporting and doing hundreds of voice-overs for clients.
Q – How did you get into the business, and how did you capitalize your launch?
A - With a college degree in public relations, a few years in the newspaper business as editor of a thrice-weekly publication as well as seven years in financial marketing, Akins was looking for a new opportunity and saw one in the Statesboro area. With the help of some family-members who were "early stockholders" he explains, he was able to launch his full-service public relations and advertising company without taking on significant debt. He later acquired their stock and is the sole owner. "My banking background really helped me to put together a business plan," he also adds.
Q – What has been your best survival skill in this difficult economy?
A - "I think like any small business – but big businesses too, – controlling operating expenses, reducing costs and scrutinizing everything, has been the key. As you look back, you wonder 'Why didn't I do this a long time ago?'" he states. "As a result of controlling costs, the margins have grown. For our small company, we trimmed costs and have been fortunate to have clients who have been with us for decades. And, while 60 perccent of our business is from the financial section, we are diversified enough to weather the storm," in that sector.
Q – Social Media has clearly changed the public relations field. How are you integrating its use in your PR business?
A - "It's obviously important, and the internet has got to be an integral part of your PR plan. Look at its impact in the Middle East with all these governments," he says. "Social media is a place where you can build your reputation, gain influence and earn trust."
"We are exploring new ways to interact with our clients and their brands through social media. This may include creating awareness, educating shareholders, managing conflicts or directing behavior to facilitate a specific response," he adds.
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Statesboro HeraldRoy Akins: Works hard, gets 'lucky'
Georgia Southern grad founded Southeastern Marketing in 1984
By JAN MOORE
When Roy Akins opened Southeastern Marketing Advertising & Public Relations in 1984, some local residents thought Akins had made a mistake.
"I always wanted to control my own destiny by owning a business," Akins said. "Some folks thought I was nuts for opening an advertising and public relations agency in Statesboro at the time."
Akins had worked for six years at the Sea Island Bank as director of marketing when he decided to venture out on his own.
"I had gone as far as I could at the bank without lending money in some capacity," he said. "I would have failed miserably as a lender. One good story or one sad one, and I would offered the proposed borrower the keys to the bank. Anyway, if I had chosen to stay in banking, it would have required a move to a larger market and Statesboro was a great place to raise a family."
With experience under his belt including a stint as the editor of the Southern Beacon, an award-winning newspaper that was acquired by the Statesboro Herald in the late 1970', Akins opened his agency and began adding clients locally and from around the state. Akins has built a solid agency that has withstood the test of time and changing technology.
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