Freeland PR firm creates company video profiles

FREELAND — For people and businesses who need a unique brand of exposure, Northwest Public Relations in Freeland might be the answer, video frame by video frame.

Owner Jonathan Sage established Northwest Public Relations in Freeland in 2005 and has focused on video production as the way for businesses to make an impact with potential customers.

“Public relations is going through a huge paradigm shift right now. Broadcast and video production is making a huge impact on communications,” Sage said.

“The Internet is growing exponentially and has never really stopped and the bandwidth seems to be getting wider and wider.”

The increasing use of cheaper technology has allowed Sage and his team of seven people to create 90-second video profiles for businesses.

“One of the reasons we got into the short engaging video profiles was that it met a need. It fit a niche. People want to know a little bit of information,” he said.

“A 30-second commercial doesn’t give you anything. A-90 second video profile can actually connect with the people.”

His business makes it easy for other ones to get their message out.

“We travel to the location and we take a camera operator and an interviewer who sits down with the innkeeper or the head chef or the owner of the retail store,” Sage explained.

After 20 minutes of casual conversation with the business owner about who they are, what they do, and why they got involved in the business in the first place, the camera operator shoots video footage that will accompany the interview.

“That information gets boiled down into 90 seconds. We put it together and before you know it, their personality really comes out and that is when a video becomes valuable because it begins to communicate on the emotional level between two people, the viewer and the person talking,” he said.

Sage’s business career got a caffeinated jumpstart. When he was 15, he worked as a barista at a local coffeehouse.

Sage longed for something to do other than to sling coffee, but it was not until his curiosity about a customer’s digital camera led him to computers and the Internet.

The customer with the camera was the owner of a local Website design business, and he happened to be in the market for an intern. Sage’s questions netted him the job.

“I spent a year under that guy’s wing. I met him halfway by buying a laptop and he had all the equipment, books and software, everything I needed to understand how to put the sites together,” he said. “He had clients. So he gave me the direction I needed.”

Sage learned the coding for sites and within a year, was building his own. Sage’s life was to change again when his mentor moved back to the Southwest.

“He shut the business down and he moved away,” he said. “I had a choice of either going back to food service and being a barista again or going out on my own and trying to see if I could find a client. I created a sole-proprietorship and found my first business.”

Sage loved what he was doing because of its creative and flexible nature, and it helped that he kept on finding clients. Before the end of his sophomore year of high school, Sage had 13 clients on his roster.

While attending classes at Sno-Isle Skill Center, he met another businessman who owned Squad Studios in Seattle. Within weeks of the meeting, Sage and the man had merged their client lists and he served as the chief operating officer in the new partnership.

“By the time I left the company, we had tripled the size of the business in personnel and in clients,” Sage said.

He stayed with the business for two years, later joining a manufacturer’s rep agency to pick up skills in sales and corporate communications.

Sage said his current business has long-term potential.

“These video profiles aren’t going away. They are going to become an integral part of everyone’s form of communication. Every company should have a short business profile and it’s affordable for every business.”

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