Diana LaRue is CEO and owner of Appleton Creative, an award-winning and unique full-service agency that is at the core of innovative advertising and marketing. Diana has cultivated an agency that leverages its creative excellence and strong focus on branding into valuable results for clients. A community leader and supporter, Diana and her company have donated their many marketing talents over the years to help those in need develop and thrive. She also instituted the Appleton Awareness Gallery at her offices as a means to shed light on local causes through art. Diana is a recipient of the American Advertising Federation of Orlando’s prestigious Silver Medal Award as well as Orlando Business Journal’s Women Who Mean Business Awards 2013 Business Owner of the Year. In addition, Diana serves on the ATHENAPowerLink Governing Body, and she was a founding board member for Zebra Coalition and Victory Cup Initiative.
Appleton Creative works with local, national and international clients to provide marketing strategies through print, web, digital marketing, public relations and video production. Over the years, Diana has developed a comprehensive creative portfolio that illustrates her abilities to grow brands beyond traditional means. Her track record covers a variety of industries, including real estate, healthcare, real estate development, and travel and leisure. Clients that benefit from Diana’s creative direction and leadership include Orlando Health, AAA, CNL Companies, Orlando International Airport, The Golf Channel, Westfield, Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando and Seaside Bank, to name a few. Diana has used her strong leadership qualities and creative marketing talents to help companies, including her own, grow and flourish.
What you’ll learn about in this episode:
- How Diana developed her business as a person with “the first Mac in town” and diversified just as the web started taking shape in the late 1990s
- Ways that she incorporated her love of the arts and concern for social justice into her professional life
- Reasons that she expects her designers to have some experience in fine arts so that there is a balance between knowledge of advertising principles and experience with creative activities
- How she has incorporated art shows into the company’s Orlando, Fla. headquarters as a way of connecting the art aesthetic, her business, and the community
- The importance of creation, expression, and innovation when working with clients to propel them to a new level and higher audience, using in-house web talent, environmental branding, and other inspirational approaches
- Ways that the staff assembled play to each person’s strengths by determining who would thrive in a particular project and bringing together the best resources and talent for each project
- Why change is important in advertising and marketing so that we keep fresh in our ideas and never get stuck in one place
- How technological enhancements have sped up to cycles and schedules of change within businesses
- The significance of building and maintaining a team within a small staff and cohesive environment
- How innovative companies understand ways to build and maintain energy and involvement of their talented staff