We compiled a list of our favorite marketing stunts, company rebrands and unforgettable campaigns from the year.
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Christi shares on the importance of using surveys to gather valuable client and employee feedback.
CEO Amanda Hill breaks down the key differences between public relations and marketing, and why using public relations and marketing as complimentary functions is actually the best communications approach.
Every great campaign has a starting point. Ashley Capps of Fleishman Hillard dives into strategic planning, why it's important and how to do it well.
2018 is here, and we’re optimistic about what this year has in store for public relations and marketing. Here are the top five trends on our radar.
Co-branding is a powerful way to reach new customers and build brand loyalty, and it’s a force to be reckoned with in the marketing world right now. Brands are teaming up more than ever before to take advantage of this win-win strategy that’s designed to boost sales and awareness for everyone involved.
This morning, I read in PRWeek that Arizona State University is hiring former Edelman U.S. President CEO Mark Hass to teach strategic communications in both the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and the W.P. Carey School of Business in the fall. For years, PR agency leaders have been asking for this convergence...
An interesting article recently came out at CIO Dashboard, entitled “Who’s in Charge of Digital?” The world often presents dramatic business changes that cause questions about C-suite roles and responsibilities. But I'd caution leaders to pay close attention when changes are proposed to executive designations.
Earlier this month, PRSA Dallas hosted Martin Waxman, APR to speak at a well-attended social media workshop. He provided strategic insight that was easy to both understand and implement, but I was particularly interested in the concept of “PR by the micro-moment.” Google describes micro-moments as “a critical opportunity for brands to shape our decisions and preferences.” Where are we turning to in these moments? Presumably, our iPhones.
During the discussion, Waxman referenced an interesting article by Scientific American on how the Internet is beginning to replace a friend or family member as a companion in sharing the daily tasks of remembering things. Because of our dependence on mobile devices, we are increasingly turning to Google or Siri to give us the answer we want NOW.
What does this mean for marketing and public relations? Everything has changed. Waxman posits brands are looking at audiences the wrong way. Throw demographics out the window and instead understand that the immediate need of a consumer supersedes any brand loyalty.
Remember Google’s mobilegeddon? Website rankings are now penalized if not optimized for mobile. They did that for the convenience of their consumers, who could be your consumers too. Lisa Gevelber, vice president of marketing at Google, writes “When someone has a want or need, they turn to their smartphone for help—whether it's a karate newbie watching an expert do a move on YouTube or a mom looking for the best deal on a pair of sneakers. When a need arises, people turn to search and YouTube to look for answers, discover new things, and make decisions.”
Life imitating art yet? Here’s the takeaway:
First, you need to be there when the customers arrive in these micro-moments. This means creating a web presence that straddles search engines, social media networks and wherever else your audience may be lurking. Brand strategy also needs to incorporate more than just mere presence to win over a potential customer. The content available needs to be useful to the consumer. The information needs to be offered clearly and in an easily digestible way. Think DIY videos or short, practical case studies—whatever best meets their need. Finally, the strategy needs to incorporate a real-time component. How many times have you closed an Internet tab or exited an app because the load time took too long? Work to create a desire path making the user experience seamless and quick.
Micro-moments are completely changing the game and the opportunity is palpable. Whether you’re working with a corner store or Coca-Cola, shifting your focus to enhancing the consumer journey through these micro-moments will surely elevate your marketing success.
A recent Harvard Business Review article has been making the rounds in the marketing and communications circles, “Content Is Crap, and Other Rules for Marketers” by Greg Satell. We’ve all heard that content is king, so declaring that content is crap is a pretty strong statement to make. The point isn’t that content doesn’t matter. The point is you should want more than some flash-in-the-pan content—you should want a relationship with the consumer. The article explains, “Today, marketers need to build an ongoing relationship with consumers and that means holding attention, not just grabbing it. To get people to subscribe to a blog, YouTube channel, or social media feed, you need to offer more than a catchy slogan or a clever stunt. You need to offer real value, and offer it consistently.”
We like this idea. We see this as relationship building, and relationships are what drives engagement and results for businesses and organizations.
Thinking about this relationship-building and engagement-driven content, I wanted to highlight some organizations on our radar. These are just a few examples that have caught—and kept—our attention by keying in on the human experience.
General Electric– GE has been pumping out quality content since before Ronald Reagan was in politics. They are constantly innovating, and I, personally, am consistently impressed with its marketing efforts beyond the customary Facebook and Twitter channels. I have to admit I follow GE on Instagram, Periscope, Snapchat and even LinkedIn and Tumblr. It’s all different content, and it’s all done exceptionally well.
GE has come a long way since the days of General Electric Theater. If your team needs some inspiration in the digital space, check out how GE is and engaging the younger generations through #EmojiScience.
- Bonus: GE Health is also creatively promoting their new Automated Breast Ultrasound technology by explaining breast density with emoji. (Don’t worry, it’s pretty G-rated.)
Southwest Airlines – You’d be hard-pressed to find a value airline that has more LUV for its customers than Southwest. Enter its new trademark: Transfarency, Southwest Airlines’ philosophy that means “low fares actually stay low — no unexpected bag fees, change fees or hidden fees.”
So our bags fly for free, and the in-flight hot chocolate always hits the spot. We’re on board, but what’s really caught our eye with Southwest lately is its Periscope channel. While most big brands have jumped on the Periscope band wagon, Southwest has definitely set itself apart from the noise. Building anticipation through Twitter, Southwest shows us different sneak peeks inside the company that aren’t stuffy or scripted, and the company engages with its viewers by listening and responding to comments. Viewers get an inside look at operations, company events and employee life, and back in August, Southwest put the Texas Rangers to work for a day! Southwest is definitely one to watch.
REI – This company is truly all about relationships. REI is a co-op and values its members heavily. They offer special events, discounted rates for its Outdoor School and a great return policy for members—not to mention the year-end rebate. REI promotes clean, crisp and wanderlust-evoking images and videos on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram that make you want to quit your day job…
If you haven’t heard yet, REI plans to #OptOutside on Black Friday and is closing all 143 of its stores for the day. This bold move, which includes delaying any online sales that day and paying its employees to enjoy the day outside, aligns with the company’s core values. While social is still reeling from this news, we’ve also noticed a coordinated effort for holiday shopping encouraging “no inside gifts.” People seem to like the idea to #OptOutside on Black Friday, and admittedly, it’s probably going to create much more consumer-created content for them. Overall, well-played.
With everything floating out on the internet, we’re impressed by what these brands are doing to grab our attention and keep us engaged. We’re on the lookout for what’s next, what works and what doesn’t, and we’re interested to hear what you think, too. What’s on your radar? Comment below and fill us in!
Spring has officially sprung. For sports lovers, this means March Madness, the pinnacle of the college basketball season, is in full-swing. As I meticulously filled out my bracket (and watched it crumble after some surprising games in the first round), I noticed some parallels between the tournament and the PR agency world.
Although hashtags are still used to accumulate common posts, they’re being used more and more as a means to spread news, ideas or trends – a virtual word-of-mouth, if you will. They have also proven to be a valuable PR tool. In 2013, Baylor University's athletic department used a hashtag to help spread the word and build excitement about an upcoming football game.