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Park City company takes advantage of Utah’s tech-savvy workforce

When Shawn Miele moved the headquarters of Advice Media from New Jersey to Park City in 2011, he was hoping to take advantage of a little-known fact about the area.

Three years later, Miele says the strategy has worked to perfection. Advice Media has used Park City and Utah’s sprawling technology scene to remain on top of its field. It offers digital marketing services for healthcare companies both nationwide and internationally.

"People outside of Utah don’t understand how strong the technology skill set is here," Miele said. "You’ve got BYU, the University of Utah, Westminster College all churning out graduates every year. The pool of labor here for the types of skill sets that we need is fantastic. It’s way better than the technology community we can from in New Jersey."

But identifying the talent is only part of the equation. Advice Media has tried to develop a unique work environment to entice the talent to join its forces. The company models itself after research done by Google and Facebook to find out what makes people happy in an office setting. Miele notes that abundant natural light shines into the office, and employees have a clear view of Utah Olympic Park and the surrounding mountains.

Also important is a seating arrangement that offers privacy while still fostering teamwork and collaboration.

"We took all of (what Google and Facebook do) and incorporated it into this new office," he said. "Everybody gets this phenomenal work environment."

Miele says Advice Media is a key player in a time of transition for healthcare, which he says gets smaller reimbursements from the government and insurance companies than in the past. That has forced healthcare companies to unearth new sources of profit. One of the major ones is customers who pay with cash rather than through insurance companies — because their insurance either won’t cover services or they want a specific doctor.

To target those customers, companies turn to Advice Media.

"The pressures on healthcare organizations are immense right now to cut costs," Miele said, noting Advice Media has customers across a range of healthcare fields, including plastic surgery, dermatology, dentistry and orthopedics. "They’re looking to get this cash-pay customer, and the way to get them is through marketing. Because you’re not going to get a referral from your insurance company or from a general practitioner."

That has allowed Advice Media to experience rapid growth, Miele said. It moved into offices in Newpark in June and already is having discussions with its landlord about expansion.

"We’re going to be around for a long time," Miele said of the company, which was started in 1998 before coming to Park City.

The growth has opened up new positions within the company, and Miele again has turned toward the local technology scene to fill them. And even when Advice Media isn’t hiring, he is always on the lookout.

"We will bring people in to interview, knowing we’ll probably have spots opening up within a month or two," said Miele, who recruits from Park City, as well as the greater Salt Lake City area.

The key, he said, is finding people who fit well within the company’s culture.

"We’ve got the right kind of people to buy into that strategy," he said. "What we have found is the more people who work together in our organization, the more success we have for our customers. And that’s ultimately what it boils down to — we want success for our customers."


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