1901 Group Boosts Roster With Industry Vet As VP Of Marketing

‘At its core, PR is about great storytelling, but the future of it is about creating shareable, relevant content to give the customers a good experience and engagement,’ says Tricia Long, vice president of marketing and communications with 1901 Group.

With more than two decades of marketing experience, Tricia Long was recently promoted at 1901 Group, a Virginia MSP where she will lead the public-sector focused solution provider into 2020 as vice president of marketing communications and public relations.

“Our role as marketing and communications professionals is to help our customers understand what our company does because everyone is pushing out content,” she told CRN in a recent interview. “The biggest challenge is driving consistent, cohesive content. Now in the digital landscape, when we talk about our thought leaders, when we talk about our social, when we talk about web, all of those pieces have to have a common thread because the sum is greater than the parts and they all work in a multi directional fashion.”

Based in Reston, Va., with a recently launched enterprise IT operations center in Blacksburg, Va., 1901 Group is a ServiceNow partner with a focus on customers in federal, state, and local governments, including law enforcement and criminal justice agencies and commercial markets. Long said marketing has never been more important for solution providers as the demands of tech industry customers become greater and more complex.

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“I’m always a fan of what good looks like,” she said. “When a lot of people do marketing and communications we start with a plan and we build inward and outward. I found that over the course of my career, I have a different approach. I start with the thought leadership PR approach because the digital landscape has changed. The buying experience, the customer experience, how our customers receive information, everything is in real time. It makes our jobs a lot more complicated.”

In previous evolutions of marketing, Long said there were more hands involved in creating and carrying out a campaign, from an editor, to a designer, a social media guru, someone for events planning, but today, most marketing professionals are doing all of that themselves.

“There are a lot of challenges for people in our role. It’s a matter of what you determine is important for your company. What are your must haves?” she said. “At its core, PR is about great story telling, but the future of it is about creating shareable, relevant content to give the customers a good experience and engagement. Our role is the same as what our company does for our customers: giving them a good experience and keeping them engaged.”

With more than 25 years of experience in strategic marketing, corporate communications, media relations, and brand management within the IT industry, Long said she is thrilled at the chance to run marketing for 1901 Group, where she has worked to build up the company’s media and social channels where she has big plans for 2020.

“I want to make sure we’re still aligned to our capabilities,” she said. “Also, to help drive the dialog and shape the mission for Virginia’s industry sector. I think when you have a good trusted voice from a company you can help drive those initiatives because at the end it impacts all the citizens.”

Prior to joining 1901 Group, Long was director of marketing and communications at Salient CRGT where she led the corporate communications teams for health, data analytics, cloud, agile, mobile, security, and infrastructure solutions. There, she was awarded the Pinnacle Award for achieving extraordinary, measurable business outcomes.

She previously worked in strategic marketing at SRA International – now known as General Dynamics Information Technology -- as well as the MITRE Corp., Mitretek Systems -- now called Noblis -- Arnold Worldwide, and RJR Nabisco.