Rural Success Stories
Rural Success Stories
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Big ideas for wide, open spaces
by Jennifer Chick
Phil Soreide has found rejuvenation and inspiration in small-town Nebraska where he incorporates big-town experience and ideas into his one-man ad agency.
Soreide started One Good Adguy in 2002 after seven years as a partner in an ad agency. At that time, he was living in Loveland, Colo. Before that, he spent 17 years working in ad agencies in California.
"I operate just like an ad agency," Soreide said. "I provide most of the same services that an ad agency can, but it's more personal."
The decision to strike out on his own developed from a desire to incorporate more freedom and flexibility into his routine, something that would soon work well for him when he and wife, Pam, moved to Nebraska where Pam had taken a job as director of the Holdrege Area Public Library. Nebraska is a state that rewards freedom seekers with wide open spaces and awe-inspiring vistas.
"We agreed that maybe a small town experience was good for us, and it has worked out just as it should," Soreide said.
The Nebraska Rural Living Connection
Shortly after moving to Holdrege, Soreide met his neighbor, Betty Sayers. What good fortune it was to move in next door to Sayers. She and her sister, Nancy Herhahn, had a business plan to encourage people to consider south central Nebraska as something more than just an agriculture base. Soreide was intrigued by the idea and lent his expertise of 30 years in the marketing communications business to develop that idea further. That small idea grew into this monthly e-magazine, Nebraska Rural Living, which reaches more than 40,000 visitors each month. Soreide is now editor of Nebraska Rural Living, and he has focused the e-zine on delving into all the positive aspects of living in south central Nebraska.
"I'm trying to capture it in terms of, we have a great lifestyle here," Soreide said. "We just need to find the right people to appreciate it and attract them here."
Not only does Soreide serve as editor of the e-magazine, but every month, he, Pam and Betty scour the area for the best eats for NRL's popular Rural Foodies section. It gives them all a creative outlet and a wonderful excuse to try some of the area's very best restaurants under the guise of sharing their experiences with readers.
A rural marketing specialty
His affiliation with NRL has also opened many other doors for Soreide. He has developed many contacts in the economic development community. He has designed websites and content for a number of Phelps County businesses as well as for economic development agencies such as the South Central Economic Development District and Just the Place Nebraska for the Phelps County Development Corporation. Recently, he was instrumental in helping Phelps County Development Corporation kick off an ambitious $3.5 million fundraising campaign to encourage economic growth in the county.
“I’ve done a lot of work for community-based organizations helping them market what they have to the wider world,” Soreide said. “’Rural living’ is a product to me, and it has features and benefits in the same way a physical product does. At some level, a secure, relaxed lifestyle and affordable housing are the same kind of features as good gas mileage and a smooth ride. What’s really fortunate is that I certainly believe in the product and my clients have given me a lot of creative latitude with how to express it.”
One man band
In the age of the Internet, Soreide is based out of Holdrege but works with clients across the country to create direct mailings, print brochures and ad campaigns as well as websites.
"Advertising and marketing is a fascinating part of business," he said. "It's the creative part for me. It's also a great place to observe businesses and see how businesses work. And I never do the same thing two days in a row. There is always something fresh going on."
In addition to his work with his own clients, Soreide works as a contract copywriter for SCORR Marketing in Kearney. This enables him to work in a variety of different market areas in a dynamic team environment that lends depth to his own work.
“I love it that I get to both work with a team and on my own,” he said. “Things could hardly have worked out better.”