The numbers are looking good for Green Olive Media
For Elizabeth Moore, partner in Green Olive Media with designer/husband Jeff, it all comes down to numbers. Of course, that’s natural for someone who spent the first 10 years of her career in accounting.
Before joining Jeff full time in 2000 and helping to build the PR side in what had primarily been a restaurant-focused branding & communications agency, Elizabeth worked as an accountant in a public accounting firm, then at Equitable Real Estate Investment Management, Turner, and finally The Coca-Cola Company.
“Jeff worked for two years with one employee out of our Candler Park house,” Elizabeth told us Monday as she and Jeff vacationed in Texas. “They were making a lot of friends but not a lot of money. So I jumped on board and started hiring folks from different disciplines who would collectively make a real difference in our clients’ businesses … graphic designers, PR people, marketing people… We now have 12 full-time employees, seven on the PR side.”
Born to entrepreneurial parents who owned a meat packaging company, Elizabeth moved around a bit during her grade school years, eventually landing in Gwinnett County. Elizabeth went to Brookwood High School and was attending Stetson University in Florida (downstate from her grandfather’s cattle farm) when she was offered an internship working in an accounting firm in Atlanta. She took the job and took advantage of their college funding benefit to finish her accounting degree at Georgia State.
Later, taking advantage of employer sponsored tuition reimbursement programs, Elizabeth earned another degree in English from Georgia State and went on to complete post grad work in marketing and PR. Her longtime mentor proved instrumental in advancing her career in accounting, but the writing was on the wall once she met her husband (at a laundromat near Emory).
“I got started in the PR business because restaurant people were always showing me the books and asking how they could do it better,” Elizabeth said. “I looked at marketing programs and their ROI and from that I could see, they really needed PR.
“Our early clients were great chefs and food and beverage brands but they needed storytellers to shine a light on their offerings.”
Green Olive Media has been in business since 1998. Most of the early work was in fine-dining (including heavy Atlanta hitters Aria, Restaurant Eugene and Canoe). Now, the firm’s client base also includes a host of fast casual restaurants (Taqueria del Sol is opening in five new markets) and Buffalo’s Cafe, where they are running a contest to give away 10 Big Green Eggs as part of their rebranding effort. They are also working on a 10,000sf “food hall” idea for a hospital in St. Louis, basing their restaurant concept and design on what they have found in London and other major cities.
Coming up with a concept for restaurant investors has become a major part of Green Olive’s focus. For example, the company just wrapped the launch of a concept they completed for the Georgian Terrace Hotel, Proof & Provision. They handled the actual concept development, name, identity and website and are responsible for the marketing, social media, and public relations campaign.
“I still do the books,” Elizabeth said. “For me, a lot of what drives my decisions is numbers. For instance, I know exactly the sales figures many clients posted last night. The point is that I like things to be measurable. That’s the biggest struggle in PR. We struggle with getting people to understand how we measure and what the value is in the media we deliver. An impression doesn’t always translate to what it is worth.
“When money is tight, one of the very first things restaurants cut is the marketing budget,” Elizabeth said. “As an accountant, I advise clients they can maybe cut some aspects of their marketing budget, but PR and particularly social media provide such a high return and value for such a small an investment.”
How is it working with her husband, Jeff?
“I don’t know any different,” she said. “We’ve been together nearly 15 years. Having a child and managing career with family is difficult. Any working mother will tell you that. Our seven-year-old son has practically been raised by chefs all over the country.”
At Green Olive, the numbers are looking good.
– Chris Schroder