We had the good fortune of connecting with Suzanne Jameson and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Suzanne, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
When I founded my boutique marketing and public relations agency 10 years ago (wow, those years went by fast!) my mission, from day one, was to create a unique and affordable service for small businesses and nonprofits based on honesty and results.

More importantly, I wanted every client I worked with to know how much I cared. They were not just a number – they had a champion.

A transplant to sprawling Phoenix from little New Mexico, not knowing a soul, I first started volunteering my marketing and PR services to nonprofits and large events, including the Arizona Centennial Conference in 2012. From helping design online registration systems, to obtaining articles in local publications and TV segments, to eblasts – no job was too small or too big.

I drove all over the Valley in my Honda (often getting lost, I might add) meeting with editors and producers and experts to partner with on special projects. Based on my corporate background, I also developed reporting systems so clients would know, real-time, what was happening with their project or campaign. It was all about being accountable and providing excellent service for a fair price.

The organizations I worked with were impressed with my ability to get things done, reputation for being reliable and easy to work with, and things pretty much grew organically from there. Before long I was pleasantly surprised with great word of mouth on social media, referrals and paying clients. I also like my clients to have fun. I believe life is too short to not enjoy what you are doing.

Now with over 100 free (earned media) TV segments for clients, and 350+ published articles we’ve obtained, it feels good to know that I, with my associates, have helped bring new awareness to some of the most interesting businesses and people in Arizona and nationally.

It sounds so simple, but I believe that the most important factor in my success is treating people like they are important – because they are. Everyone deserves to be treated with dignity, respect, and honesty. I won’t even take on a project unless I feel a solid result can be produced.

Perhaps Mary Kay Ash, a marketing legend and founder of Mary Kay, said it best: “Pretend that every single person you meet has a sign around his or her neck that says, “Make me feel important.” Not only will you succeed in sales, you will succeed in life.”

She was right.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?

People who know me will probably be shocked to learn that I started my career in Information Technology many years ago, managing million-dollar projects for systems integrators. Being one of the few women in IT at the time, I worked on projects with the State of New Mexico and as a contract administrator on JIT (Just-In-Time) projects for Sandia National Laboratories and Los Alamos National Laboratories. I am even certified in Total Quality Management – which would be impressive except that no one has a clue what that means anymore but it was a big deal “back in the day.”

I was even almost one of the early employees of Microsoft – now wouldn’t that have been nice? (FYI: The person who beat me out for the job was way, way, way, more qualified than me.)

I left IT when I discovered the men working for me were earning more than I was (not fun) and due to the unwelcoming corporate culture for women. Then a friend, who had a small marketing firm, hired me to work on projects with her. It was fun, creative, and I did this for several years. 

I discovered I truly loved to market and went back to school to finish my bachelor’s degree. Soon I was working in marketing in the petroleum industry traveling around the country. A few years later, as a pure act of serendipity, I was recruited to launch an experimental for-profit division of a beloved nonprofit in Santa Fe.

One day the Executive Director walked in my office to tell me the board wanted to promote me and that this new position would involve being a spokesperson for the organization.  I was utterly terrified, but when you have bills to pay, it’s amazing what you can learn to do! I began appearing in TV segments and in radio interviews and was able to obtain numerous published articles for the nonprofit. People (shockingly) began commenting on how good I was – that I was a natural. Who knew? This is when I discovered the power of media, especially what it means to businesses and nonprofits who have limited marketing budgets.

When my now husband was transferred to Arizona, I was given the great gift to be able to do what I am most passionate about with my own company: Public relations, marketing, and helping others. It’s funny how the twists and turns of life can take you exactly where you are supposed to be.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Arizona has so many interesting places to visit! One of my very favorite spots in Phoenix is the MIM (the Musical Instrument Museum), a gorgeous world class museum featuring the instruments of music greats and exhibitions from around the world. You can even play some the instruments! You can spend days at the MIM and still not see everything.

For day trips I love to visit Tubac, a small artist community, and dine at Elvira’s (fabulous food). Or you can visit BIsbee, a quaint town with a unique history that feels like you are in Europe. Of course, there is always Sedona with its beautiful red rocks, and eat lunch by the Oak Creek at L’auberge de Sedona (which I am biased about, because I was married there).

If you like more down-to-earth (albeit tacky but in a really cool way) places, in Tucson you have to check out either the Cowpony or Kon Tiki, and if you enjoy outdoor activities you can hike at Sabino Canyon or drive up to Mt. Lemmon. Arizona is so diverse – it truly has something for everyone.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are so many individuals and organizations to thank that I hardly know where to start. I am grateful to all the editors and producers who have taken a chance on my story ideas, to the wonderful clients who have put up with my incessant questions and need for photos ASAP (they probably dreaded getting an urgent message from me – LOL!), all the poor reporters who I’ve tracked down and pestered, my husband for putting up with my working around the clock on big projects, my kids (and now grandkids) for understanding when I would say, “Not now, I’m under deadline!)- the list goes on and on. I especially appreciate the businesses, nonprofits, and corporations who I’ve worked with for years. I’ve had the pleasure of working with some of the best people in Arizona. How lucky can I be?

Website: http://www.jamesonassociates.net/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/suzannegjameson/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/suzanne-jameson-ba00944/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jameson_suzanne

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sjamesonmarketing

Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/jameson-and-associates-phoenix

Other: https://www.alignable.com/catalina-foothills-az/jameson-associates

Image Credits
Everardo Keeme Photography

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutArizona is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.