Last year, Americans sent more than 107 trillion emails. Only the timely, relevant messages even got opened.
Flint Group clients reach more customers and prospects thanks to Digital Marketing Strategist Eric Piela, who is based in our Fargo office. He manages our Engage automated marketing and related interactive programs.
And it’s not just those results that sing.
Besides being a true father and husband, Eric’s passion is music: Making music. Listening to music. As he explains, “I’m not sure there is anything more powerful and provoking than music.”
Ask anyone within earshot of Eric’s office, and you’ll hear that music is a constant,” Eric says: “Music is a catalyst for inspiration some days and therapy for those days that just don’t seem to end. I believe music is about expressing emotions, beliefs and stories through instruments and lyrics. You can make parallels to composing a successful marketing campaign: instruments optional.”
Our resident rock star
His most infamous musical endeavor (so far) was participating in the Fargo Star local singing contest.
“I submitted a video of me singing a capella or ‘Aca-Piela (a nickname of mine in high school). The public voted on the posted contest videos, and the top-10 ranked entries performed live at an area restaurant/bar. I survived the cut.
“While most contestants sang slow country ballads, I took a different approach and performed a club favorite, ‘Yeah’ by Usher. The pulsing bass, junior high dance moves and attempt at R&B vocals must have done the trick – the votes were tallied and I was crowned the 2008 Fargo Star,” Eric says.
Watch Eric’s Usher performance:
Making messages come alive
Eric’s workdays are filled with campaign strategy meetings as well as executing email campaigns for clients. As he explains, “While I’m filling others’ inboxes with relevant and timely messages, I also manage my own inbox, often putting out client fires as they come up. Saving lives, one email at a time.”
Trading protein shakes for Pinot Noir
Until a few months ago, Eric’s weeknight evenings included workouts at the YMCA followed by protein shakes and TV dinners while watching sitcoms with his wife, Jill. Then, they were blessed with a baby boy, Elliot. “Now, it’s bottle feedings, fishing for those first few smiles, tubby times and lullabies, followed by a sizable glass of red wine,” Eric says. “Pinot Noir or bust!”
“The greatest of games”
Weekends, Eric and Jill really focus on family time. “In addition, there’s obligatory house cleaning and errand running,” he says. “I’m a movie buff so we usually snare a rental at Redbox. In the summer, we head to Minnesota lake country and I try to squeeze in a round of golf. Golf is the greatest of games.”
Growing up Glee (or not)
“As for my music prowess, it’s a one-two punch of nature and nurture,” Eric says. “My older brother and I were born with the ability to carry a tune. Perhaps more importantly, music was a thread stitched in the fabric of my upbringing. I sang while my grandpa played the accordion. We had Willie Nelson Taco Nights: my dad made tacos while I wailed with Willie Nelson records. I was also involved in piano recitals, international music camps and high school swing choirs. Mine were not nearly as sexy as Glee portrays!”
Life is a musical
“I don’t have delusions of grandeur about my music prowess, but I still love to sing whenever I can,” Eric says. “Formally, I sing as part of worship team at Hope Lutheran church. Likewise, I’ve been the wedding singer for many friends, family members and strangers. Informally, life’s a musical. Much to my wife’s chagrin, the shower, office holiday parties and the frozen food section at Hornbacher’s grocery store are everyday stages for me. I guess I don’t have a filter, mostly I don’t even realize I’m singing. My friends call it a musical Tourette’s syndrome.”
“I listen to Sinatra when it’s time to cook,” Eric says. “I listen to CCR when it’s time to camp. I listen to Zach Brown Band when it’s time to chill. I listen to Jay-Z when there’s time to kill. I listen to Mozart when it’s time to think. And listen to Black Eyed Peas when it’s time to drink!’
Follow and connect with Eric:
Get to know a Flintster: Q + A with Eric!
What’s your dream job? Ryan Seacrest’s job
Which job would you not want to have? A diaper genie
What was your first job? Bus boy at a local Chinese restaurant
What did it teach you? Sometimes in life you just have to clean up someone else’s mess. Oh, that and apparently getting paid cash from the till each night isn’t a common business practice.
What is one thing you’d be willing to practice for an hour a day? Break-dancing; When I was 8 years old, I learned to “moon walk” by watching a Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” VHS video over and over again.
What’s the best advice you ever got? “Dance like no one is watching. Sing like no one is listening. Love like you’ve never been hurt and live like it’s heaven on Earth.” – Mark Twain
What sound do you love? A golf ball dropping in the hole
What scent do you love? A campfire; can’t help but reminisce of childhood camping trips