the silver lining

A poem I wrote for a friend of mine who recently entered into a club that none of us should have to be a part of, ever, but I relate to all too well. 

a reflection
The loss of a father is deep, 
Some argue it’s unimaginable- 
Until you are amidst that loss, of course, 
It’s almost unfathomable.
Love shows its true form-
In the craziest of ways, 
Most always it’s unfair- 
Almost always for too many days.
Whether he was stern or simply easy, 
Regardless the demeanor- 
To not know him at all, 
Would have probably been easier.
His laugh was most likely contagious, 
Maybe not even a little at all- 
Perhaps you’ll always remember his smile?
Hopefully, you’ll remember it all.
One thing to keep in mind-
through all the clouds and all the rain-
Is to know now he’s an angel looking over you-
And no longer in pain.
I absolutely promise you this-
Through a most loving point of view,
With every fiber of my being, my Maurice-
Knows he was absolutely proud of the most fabulous you. 

social media cheat-sheet

Stay hungry, stay foolish.

-Steve Jobs.

Social media is that thing no one expected, but now many can’t live without. I have friends who commonly take screen-breaks or detoxes, give it up for lent, suspend their accounts, delete the apps – all in an effort to break the habit of the constant digital voyeurisms that take over their most valuable asset- time.

I get it, but embrace it. In fact, I’d probably do the same, but in being I use it for work- I simply cannot.

I have been working in the world of marketing/advertising/pr for the majority of my adult life- and actually went to school to do exactly those things. The social media element of marketing didn’t exist when I was sitting within the walls of the Carolina Coliseum, aside from AOL Instant messenger. So, I had to learn in real-time, as they happened- over and over again.

Embracing each new social media platform as they were released was a bit of a whirlwind, but I have kept up for the most part: Friendster (RIP), MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit, Vine (RIP), Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, and TikTok. Yes, I know there are MANY, MANY MORE, but I’m going to go ahead and assume you get the gist.

This recon came in handy when helping the people in my network. I am commonly asked, “What are the rules of how to make XYZ platform work?” Now, I do not pretend to be the foremost thought-leader in the rules of engagement via social media, but I have done it a long time, successfully.

Story Time/Fun Fact: I ran a Sheriff campaign here in NH a few years ago.

Backstory: The incumbent Sherriff was retiring. The “powers that be” had chosen someone to fill the seat who would not ruffle feathers and also had the backing of the local dignitaries- aka, they would have a puppet. The candidate had a 2 year jump start on my guy and three-times the budget. Looking from the outside in- they had an unscathed path to victory.

Keyword there: Had. My marketing strategy and social media content were so powerful for this campaign, the opposing Sherriff candidate’s team started COPYING my efforts- sometimes verbatim. I’m flattered by the fact they actually had to TRY because they took for granted that sometimes strategy and effort WILL overshadow the connected.

It took a LOT of patience and creativity to come up with content their team couldn’t possibly mimic, but I did it. They kept trying, though. By the end of the campaign, my husband made a passing comment to the guilty gentleman on their team, something along the lines of, “Where should my wife send the bill?” Yeah, you know what you did.

Did we win? No. BUT- we did win 23 of the 27 cities in the county- and only lost by 600 votes. Not bad at all for 1/3rd of the budget AND time on the campaign trail. I call it a win on another level, but that’s also why I’m telling you this story. Also, I didn’t collect one penny; the work made it completely worth it. THE END

I digress. back to the fun stuff.

Here are some good rules of thumb for social media. I welcome your feedback or any additional advice that can aid in my constant desire to become better and learn as much as possible. As always, these opinions are my own and pardon any mistakes. I am human.

about sums it up.
This is a little different than my social insanity post, which is also a fun little read if you’re bored.
  • Use the formula for posting in a pattern that will encourage engagement: promotional, factual, personal.
    • Promotional: Sharing information that relates to your company. This is a great tool to get users to go to the website and increase the numbers, but use it on a 33% share of voice. Overusing this one item in particular will encourage people to unfollow/snooze for 30 days/hide your content.
    • Factual: ANYTHING fact based and not opinion. Weather, upcoming seasons or events, “Did you know” type scenarios, “Top 10”, state of affairs, general knowledge that is interesting.
    • Personal: Show you. Show behind the scenes, your colleagues, your favorites- encourage people to share their favorites of a certain something, be a human people can relate to.
  • Remember your posts are ONLY visible to users who engage with your content- unless they go directly to your page.
    • If users are not engaging, the social media platforms will use the algorithm to hide your content and distribute new content the user WILL engage with- this is a fact.
  • Try to mix UPBEAT stories with the very depressing/toxic/bipolar media atmosphere that is currently taking over. Posting on the same topic over and over is no bueno.
  • PEOPLE LOVE LISTS.
  • USE IMAGES AND VIDEOS!
    • Make a habit of taking too many pictures and capture :10-:30 seconds of video when you are doing anything and everything that you might share. Mix it up.
  • Some subjects can invite a flame war. Be careful discussing things where emotions run high (e.g. politics and religion) and show respect for others™ opinions.
  • DO NOT FEEL THE NEED TO FOLLOW CURRENT EVENTS FOR CLICK-BATE.
    • ...but it is an easy way to get people to your social media pages using the appropriate hashtags.
    • Know what the current conversations are and what people are saying in order to see if, and how, you may be able to contribute a new perspective.
  • Always pause and think before posting.
  • Don’t pick fights, be the first to correct your own mistakes, and don’t alter previous posts without indicating that you have done so. Transparency builds trust- and I think we all agree the world could use a little genuine trust right now.
  • Try to add value to people’s lives. Provide worthwhile information and perspective. Your brand is best represented by its people, and what you publish may reflect both your company and you.
  • Speak in the first person. Use your own voice. Bring your own personality to the forefront.
  • Say what is on your mind. This makes it more relatable- which encourages engagement. Don’t try to use wording you think should be used. Be real.
    • BE INFORMED BEFORE- not after.
  • Utilize the “story” feature on your accounts. It’s a fun, quick and dirty way to keep people engaged with you.
    • Use the animated emojis, music, etc. to make it more fun and entertaining
    • Remember you can keep these to have as “highlights” on your respective pages
  • Get a CANVA account and learn how to use it. You will thank me later. This adds an element of professionalism, creativity and buttoned-up look and feel. You do not need to be or hire a graphic designer with this platform/software.
    • Don’t use it all the time
    • Learn how to manipulate the layouts to make them your own
  • Be sure that all content associated with you is consistent with your work and with you/your company’s values and professional standards.
  • Dishonorable content such as profane language, racial, ethnic, sexual, religious, and physical disability slurs should not be tolerated UNLESS it is part of your brand.
  • Post frequently. It’s a lot of work, but don’t post -then leave it for two weeks. People WILL forget about you, as they have 1,000,000 other options for stimulation.
    • Schedule your posts if you are taking screen-time off. Readers won’t have a reason to follow you if they can’t expect new content regularly.
    • Good rule of thumb is to schedule out posts on the 12s and 6s- unless you can keep up with more.
  • Encourage comments.
    • You can also broaden the conversation by citing others who are posting about the same topic and allowing your content to be shared or syndicated.
    • Remember that it is just that- a conversation. Talk to your readers like you would talk to real people in real situations. In other words, avoid overly pedantic or “composed” language.
  • Be careful when sharing information about yourself or others. Once it’s out there- it only takes one screen shot to make it last a lifetime, even if you deleted it.
  • Separate opinions from facts, and make sure your audience can see the difference.
  • Don’t over hashtag- #itsirritating (see what I did there)
    • Use exact hashtags, maybe add a couple current trends to garner new users to your content
  • Read the contributions of others.
    • Participation is the fuel of social computing.
  • Be external. You don’t have to be 100% internally focused.
    • Link to other blogs, videos, and news articles to encourage shares of your posts on their social media pages.
    • Retweet/Post what others have to say.
  • Don’t take it personal. People get mighty brave behind a screen.
  • MOST IMPORTANT: Be real and use your best judgment.

Well, that was fun. Now, back to your regularly scheduled programming.

i wonder where all my calvin and hobbs books are?

social insanity.

Fun Fact: A third of all divorce filings in 2011 contained the word “Facebook,” according to Divorce Online. And more than 80 percent of U.S. divorce attorneys say social networking in divorce proceedings is on the rise, according to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. May 24, 2012

Here is a Forbes article linking Facebook to depression.

Don’t take social media so damn personally! Seriously.

I write this note with so many stories to back up my feelings on it, yet am a hypocrite, as I have been subject to falling for the craziness that sets in resulting from over sensitivity to social media interactions. I’ll admit it. (insert brave face) I’m not ashamed. Side note: totally ashamed to have acted as such. I vow moving forward not to just bitch and give advice, but to practice what I preach.

This morning I wrote up some advice for a friend and I felt I would share. I’m not saying I channeled Hesse, circa 1922 Siddhartha, but I felt inspired. 

Words of advice I learned along the way regarding social media:

  • If people are heated about a topic on a public forum (blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc), it’s probably best to keep your opinion to yourself- unless you are prepared for the heat to be directed at you.
  • If you don’t understand a conversation, stay out of it. Not your problem.
  • If the conversation is not directed at you, stay out of it.  Not your problem.
  • If something is posted on social media that you don’t agree with- ignore it. Not your problem. Do you really want the drama?
  • If you insert yourself into someone else’s conversation- you are actually making the reaction your problem. It is 100% your fault if someone doesn’t agree with your engagement. You should have stayed out of it in the first place. (All together now) It wasn’t your problem.
  • If you do commit to putting it out there for all the world to read, own it.
  • If someone unfriends you on social media, or blocks you from a group or discussion- they were not your friend to begin with and you shouldn’t let it bother you. Have you had lunch with this person? Would you invite them to your Christmas party? No. Then why are yo so upset? They are not as wonderful as you anyway. Move on.
  • Don’t humble brag; It’s REALLY annoying.

I support the friends, colleagues, family and business portion of social media; Sharing life’s happenings, new developments, homes, babies, break ups, work news, pets, relationship happiness and promotions for brands (obviously). I do not support the part that causes drama anymore. Additionally, if you’re interested in learning how to read a paystub, it might be the best option for you and your business. Explore the power of paystubs and their significance in managing finances effectively.

For those of you who know me well, will smile at that last word. For those of you who don’t, probably are not meeting me for lunch anytime soon- and can consider themselves unfriended. Don’t take it personally, I know I won’t.  🙂

Keep it simple. I find that when life is boring, I smile a hell of a lot more. Try it. 

the fact this picture existed online when i searched "facebook depression" is just awesome. enjoy.
the fact this picture existed online when i searched “facebook depression” is just awesome. enjoy.

buy local.

well, sorta.
well, sorta.

Although the title of this post typically would apply to patronizing boutique mom-and-pop retail store locations and farms, I am going to apply it to a world I deal with daily: advertising media.

I work mostly with the advertising of national luxury retail brands in digital, print and event sponsorships. These brands target the fashion savvy, affluent, educated and classy in a given geographic region. Not to be a traitor to the national media agencies of the world (Leo, earmuffs), and this has NOTHING to do with the creative side of the house, but when a brand is trying to reach a particular regional market, here is my advice: invest in a media planning team who is LOCAL to the region where you are buying the media.  Oh, and while I have your attention: QUIT CUTTING REGIONAL BUDGETS!

It makes sense if you think about it. Which I do. All. The Time. 

being a planner ain't easy, that's for certain.
being a planner ain’t easy, that’s for certain.

Why? Because when you hire a NYC/SF based media agency, 95% of the time, the person planning the media is only looking at demos, numbers, stats and $ (basically a spreadsheet) and has NEVER actually been to the city. They don’t have an emotional understanding of the people. It makes for a very frustrating call for me, the regional media.  That team wants to spread the money nationally- ignoring the small unique markets that make this country a pretty wonderful place.  This causes the regional locations of those retail establishments to lose that local support.

Sales go down, people lose jobs, corporate is forced to “rearrange” internal staff. Boo.

Not to state the obvious here, but each city and state is unique. The people have different styles to which they enjoy their information, surf the internet, spend their money, speak (hello, Baaahston), share loyalties, spend free time, politically hang their proverbial hat, and pay attention to advertising.

Now, this is notwithstanding the benefit to hiring a national agency: the relationships with the media that are utilized to get better rates. If an agency spends $100mil with NBC and they have a new advertiser, who doesn’t quite have the budget of a McDonald’s, the media agency will be able to leverage the $100mil spend in order to cut a deal with NBC.

I have been on more phone calls with media planners, who have no idea how to pronounce the location of where the store is…nor have they been to Boston to see the store, yet they can tell me that one spot is better than another. Right. How can a brand, who is spending 15% on top of my rates, be confident in the decision that planner has made? Seems silly to me.

I am not saying pull national advertising, nor am I saying fire your big planning agencies for that matter, but what I am saying is be a bit more creative with budgets of every size. Put some in the national hat and put some in the regional hats to where you’d like to show support (i.e. where you have retail locations).  This not only creates jobs (no, I am not running for office here) in the local markets, so everyone who wants to work in media planning doesn’t have to move to the big cities, but it’s smart. Perhaps the big agencies could create more small regional offices for a win/win scenario: You have the relationships and the local insight.

Remember this, planners of the world: Regional media is here to help retail locations grow their business, not annoy you with sales calls. We actually want the advertising to work for the brand. If you don’t win, we don’t win. Oh, and when sales grow, YOU look good too. Just saying.

If you want “local” media planning, invest in the locals.

 

 

 

not for the faint of heart.

This might be a long one, but if you are a 30-something woman reading this, bear with me because you just might relate.

Through the years, I have always tried to stay fit, but occasionally, I will spice up my routine with a new fitness craze. I’m not trying to channel Patrick Bateman or anything, I just get bored with my usual running/bike/elliptical routine. I’ve tried barre, spin, step, Tae Bo, plyometrics, YouTube videos for problem areas, weights, zumba, and yoga. Well, today I tried something new: bikram yoga.

i mist say i was a little surprised with his choice of the tighy-whitey.
i mist say i was a little surprised with Patrick’s choice of the tighty-whitey.

Note, I will NEVER do the following trends: Cross Fit, Strip-aerobics, jazzercize, aerial yoga, or any kind of a boot camp. This list will probably grow in time.

Barre was awesome in theory. Every article I had read basically told me I would look like a supermodel by the time I was done. So, I went three times, until plantar fasciitis made its home within my foot. Anyone who has had the pleasure of that ailment knows the pleasure it brings. Next. I’ll be a supermodel another time.

Spin I love. I began my love affair with spin in Chicago. It was the teacher, really, but I also liked the physical results. Then, I found a teacher here who used weights during, and was equally as fantastic and energetic as my Chicago spin instructor- so I was hooked again. Lately, I have not been because I’m just too damn tired to get up for the 7:30am Saturday class. I attempted to go this weekend, but having just got back from a trip- I opted for laundry instead and hit the gym around 11am. Hi treadmill, I missed you.

Step was a college thing. I used to do the advertising for Campus Recreation, so I took the classes of my friends who were studying to become instructors. It was fun. I fell a lot.

Tae Bo I don’t even remember when I did this, I think also college. Double and triple time killed me. Where is Billy Blanks these days anyway?

Plyometrics was awesome until a friend of mine broke his foot mid-class during one of the jumps. Yep, next.

YouTube I still do sometimes. I’m most recently in some pain because of this inner thigh workout. I did it twice this last week. Try it, you’ll see what I’m talking about. Then try it two days in a row. Ouch. I will probably do it again this week once I stop limping.

Weights are an “every once in a while” thing. I know I should do them more, but I also know that when I do them too much my arms make some smaller men jealous. No, thank you.  But yes, I can probably beat you in an arm wrestling match. Sorry, I’m German- it’s natural.

Zumba: I was laughing at my lanky body in the mirror the whole time. Seriously. I just kept laughing. There are mirrors everywhere! While I did find this fun as hell, I don’t think I would waste another hour of my life humiliating myself with just how white I really am.

Yoga was something I REALLY wanted to get good at. A lifetime of running without stretching has left my body a knotted mess of lactic acid. I have tried with individual instructors, small classes, beginner and advanced teachers- I just don’t think my body was meant to bend that way. I also got really creeped out when they touch your feet. I’m all set with their bendy ways. That is awesome that you can touch your toes- show off.

TODAY was going to be different. Today was the day I was going to do BIKRAM YOGA and be good at it! I would go to the whole 90 minute class, love the heat, sweat and feel amazing. I even convinced my friend Beth to go with me- which is a feat, getting her out of bed early, on her one day to sleep in. Sure, she gave me a few caveats: “Katie, it’s really hot.” “Katie, it will smell.” “Katie, when I pass out, you are carrying me.”

I lasted 34 minutes before starting to see stars and black out.

We left. Fuck you, Bikram Yoga. 

Guess I better update my iPhone with some new songs cause tramps like us, baby, we were born to run.  So true, Bruce, so true.

 

#2.

Derek Jeter: His existence has caused me a couple of frustrations in my lifetime and I should be angry at this guy, but I’m not. Why? I’ll explain it all.

1. For some reason, the University of South Carolina lured many people from the greater New Jersey/New York area.  Many of them were my friends, and all of those friends LOVED baseball.  Side note: I also loved and adored my southern friends, but they were more into Carolina football WHICH ANYONE WHO KNOWS ME KNOWS I APPRECIATE, so watching baseball was reserved for the “yankees” of the school. I digress. Now, there will always be the rivalry within with The Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees.  This caused for some interesting interactions at Sharky’s (I tried to hyperlink this to the site, but as anyone who has worked, drank or driven by could assume- they don’t have a website). One particular evening, I was feeling saucy and decided to take the bet of “whoever loses has to take a shot of the winner’s choice.” Well, we all know what happened during that game in 1999 (ACLS series): Thanks for the shot of Everclear, Jete. Ouch.

A term and nickname created by Southerners and Confederate Civil War soldiers for a personwho is from the North (Midwest/Northeast). It was especially given to Union soldiers who fought in the American Civil War, usually havingto go into into The South in order to engage the enemy in combat. The Union forces invading Southern territory and also incidents where a few groups of soldiers pillaged and destroyedproperty and people’s lives resulted in making this nickname derogatory by some.
Ex. Northerners and Midwesterners get called “Yankees” a lot by many Southerners.

2. During the summer of 2005, my friend Mardi and I found ourselves in the VIP area of Whiskey Park (I guess it is closed down now). Well, us and the entire starting line-up of the Yankees. Don’t worry, A-Rod didn’t stay, as he was leaving as we walked in the establishment. However, we got to bond with some Yankees, as they drank and made strange conversation. Jeter sat with his K-Swiss sneakers and proceeded to try to hook-up with one of our friends, until he decided he didn’t want to talk to her anymore and my glasses were more amusing to him. Mardi and I had successfully avoided direct contact with any of them, aside from conversation, and merely accepted the free drinks (you know you would have too). He asked if he could try on my glasses. Mind you- the seeing kind, not sunglasses; I’m not that hip. I said no, to which everyone laughed. He had a HUGE head, and they were new, so I wasn’t about to have them ruined. “Like he can’t afford to replace them,” I believe came out of Posada’s mouth, to which I snapped back “LIKE I AM GOING TO SEE HIM AGAIN?!” I finally caved, he tried them on, stretched them- tried to fix them and “snap.” Thanks again, Jete. Those were Prada.

Frustrations and BAD relationship stories aside (Mariah Carey), I have a lot of admiration for the guy. He is an amazing athlete and has loyalty to his team- and seems to be a regular guy from my interactions. Okay, so there was this moment:

ahh, memories.
ahh, memories.

Lately, the news (and his PR team) have done an excellent job at showing the “real” him. I gotta say, I respect it.  In this world of beatings, natural disasters, crazy people with guns and knives, war, and beheadings; I am appreciative of positive/happy and uplifting news. ESPN did a piece on him here.  But the thing that you know warms my heart is the recent Gatorade ad. My eyes watered. I simply LOVE this commercial. Watch it with the volume on.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xfgS1lvqX8I

His last game of his career in Boston is this Sunday. Bittersweet. It won’t be the same watching the Boston/New York games without #2, although now some of our rookie pitchers will have a chance to get better, without being scared as hell to throw to him.

I wish you the best, Jeter, and if you happen to read this post- can I have the money for those glasses?  Thanks.

 

 

leo.

I have been asked why I love advertising so much, and where this love was rooted.  Well, I remember the moments exactly, actually.

Back story: My mother’s side of the family lives in Milton, MA, so I spent my childhood in the way back of a station wagon (or whatever the car was of the moment), staring at the sites from NH to Boston. If you know the drive (and did it in the 1980s-1990s),  then you might remember how long it was to a kid. Well, I remember something else. I remember the ads and billboards I passed along the way. Saugus, Route 1: the plastic cows and giant cactus at the Hilltop Steakhouse and the orange dinosaur, just at the road splits, at the mini golf place (that I swear use to be purple). As you enter the city and see the buildings, there was a giant inflated Pink Panther that sat on top of a building, and the multi-colored water towers, just as you pass the city behind.  An ad with a model in a pair of jeans on the side of a building.  My memory tells me it was Marilyn Monroe in Lee jeans, but I have Googled the thought to death and I can find no proof.  My memory is that the ad read something along the lines of “Our models can beat up your models.but as I said, I can’t actually prove that, and it may just be the memory of a six year old.  However- whatever that ad said, and whoever was in it, it stuck.  I loved everything about those bright shining images, and looked forward to them every holiday.

Fast forward to my sixteenth birthday. My mom, aunt and uncle took me to New York City.  We did the whole “tourist” thing, and I feel like I saw everything. From our waitress in Planet Hollywood telling us a story about how this guy, who plays Opera man on SNL, won’t stop calling/bugging her roommate, FAO Schwartz, The Plaza, Central Park, getting my make-up done by a make-up artists of the stars (or so she claimed), and seeing a very nervous Steven Spielberg inside Saks Fifth Avenue (with a woman trying on shoes, who was NOT Kate Capshaw).  And then: Times Square.  At the time, Calvin Klein was making it’s mark, once again, with a scantily clad model. You might remember him:

good vibrations.
picture this, but like really really big. good vibrations.

It was amazing and I was captivated by it all.

When I was in college, one of my favorite classes talked about the history of advertising.   It’s origin, the greats, the icons, the moment makers. I loved every bit of it.  I didn’t know what I loved most about it, so I made a point to have an internship in every angle of it. Television, radio, newspaper, media buying, creative, etc. I majored in it. I LOVED it. This will add a little more merit to the reference I made one post back, regarding me falling asleep in the front row of a lecture, by a major agency CEO. I tried writing a letter of apology, it was ignored. Life lesson? I have no idea, but it’s probably best not to have a narcolepsy phase.

Outcome: my resume was awesome upon graduation, and I had a broad knowledge of the ins and outs of the field, but I wasn’t necessarily amazing at any one aspect of it.  Most people focus on a specific thing, well I wanted it all.  I guess it doesn’t really work that way, unless you are a savant, but I have never stopped loving it.

a personal favorite.
a personal favorite.

When I lived in Chicago, one of the most memorable moments of that time was in an elevator. I was in a building in River North, heading to a top floor for a meeting.  The elevator stopped on a floor. The door opened and I saw this:

don't bunt. aim out of the ball park. aim for the company of immortals. -d.o.
don’t bunt. aim out of the ball park. aim for the company of immortals. -d.o.

Tears started streaming down my face like a girl at a One Direction concert. It was not only bad timing, as I was on my way to a meeting, but it was unexpected. Quit crying like a baby, Katie! I had the same experience upon looking at the Leo Burnett building for the first time. I can honestly say that aside from the view in my apartment on Lake Shore Drive, the thing I loved most about Chicago was the cluster of amazing advertising icons who graced it’s streets throughout history.

As of today, I have been in the “marketing” field for over 15 years. Yes, I count the time spent in college because I was working my ass off! I still love it. It’s certainly changed, and I can’t say the greats of today have hit the mark with every ad, I can say that the people making it should know there is a girl in Maine always appreciating the people who founded it for us to love.

hanging in my office, right now.
hanging in my office, right now.

A common question people ask is “if you could have (fill in the activity- drink, dinner, etc) with one person, living or dead, who would it be?”  Well, I think you know my answer: Leo, of course.

October 21, 1891 – June 7, 1971. American advertising executive who created the Jolly Green Giant, the Marlboro Man, Toucan Sam, Charlie the Tuna, Morris the Cat, the Pillsbury Doughboy, the 7up "Spot", and Tony the Tiger.
October 21, 1891 – June 7, 1971. American advertising executive who created the Jolly Green Giant, the Marlboro Man, Toucan Sam, Charlie the Tuna, Morris the Cat, the Pillsbury Doughboy, the 7up “Spot”, and Tony the Tiger.

I might have to bring some tissues though, for he doesn’t strike me as the type who appreciates a good cry.

 

tidesmarticles

My agency created a new blog called TideSmarticles. It’s a play on words with the company name + articles.  Get it? We like it.  Anyway, I wrote one of our first posts and I thought I would share. Mild brag: I not only won this business for the agency, but I was the account lead on the event I am about to describe! We have a full schedule of events for many of their labels for 2014, but this first event for The Seeker Wines was the kickoff to a beautiful relationship.

How Experiential Marketing Made A Simple Tasting Event An Event They’d Never Forget

Recently EMG3 was posed with the task of assisting our new client, The Seeker Wines of Kobrand Corporation, with an event they were previously scheduled to attend: The Aspen Food and Wine Festival.

Seeker Food Wine Marketing

Usually what happens at events of this nature: The participating brands will set up a table, within a tent.  Attendees of the event will stand in a line to sample a taste, then move on to the next. Done and done.

The Seeker Wines wanted to increase their presence within the event, aside from the tasting table.  Their goal was to build brand recognition, but potentially grow their customer base within the small Colorado city– and overall make the most of the weekend marketing dollars.  Larger advertising options were presented, such as branding the Silver Queen Gondola to the top of Aspen Mountain, but didn’t seem like a fit for the desired goal.  EMG3 was eager to the task.

Seeker Food Wine MarketingOur solution: hire a team of brand ambassadors to spread the fun and worldly experience of The Seeker Wines all over the city outside of the event.  The Seeker Wines have done an amazing job of building their brand’s identity with Steampunk décor, so we used this to our advantage within the costuming and event set elements. The “Seekers” saturated the market place with sweepstakes contest entries and free glasses of wine. Word of mouth spread quickly about the “Seekers” and soon they were the talk of the town, with increased popularity and brand recognition.  The “experience” also increased the distribution of the brand in many local establishments.

Overall the experience was one Aspen, the patrons, and The Seeker Wines would never forget!  (See for yourself) The Seeker Aspen (video)

How could your brand increase its presence and brand recognition with an experience?

a funny observation.

Often times when I work out, I find that I am able to run longer distances if I don’t know how far I have run already.  My farthest, non-stop, is 4.04 miles (this is an amazing feat coming from a former sprinter).  One of the tricks I use is to block the screens with a magazine.  Typically I can’t find any new ones, and I have to deal with the ratty old ones I have read 10 times.  Today I got lucky!  While on the treadmill at the gym, I was reading the most recent People magazine. It is dated for November 5, 2012- even though the topic of Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel’s wedding is basically old.

oh joy.

I wrote a post earlier about peculiar ad placements. I believe I have come across another and I wanted to share. In the midst of the wedding album, I see this:

It scares other bacon to bits. No, really.

While I appreciate the planner’s vision of a highly trafficked section of the magazine’s cover story, it just struck me as a silly place for bacon.  Who knows, maybe it was on the evening’s menu?

#digitalhousekeeping.

I wrote this a while back for GY&K’s blog. Thought I would share, as these tips are always useful!

Four Easy But Sometimes Overlooked Digital Marketing Basics.

It can be overwhelming to think of all the digital options in today’s marketing world. It’s completely understandable to feel like the #trends are happening quicker than you can keep up. After all, your digital marketing efforts can make a big impact on your company’s visibility. Before you take off for summer vacation, check out these simple digital maintenance items, which can be easily overlooked:

1. Website content

  • Is the contact, profile, company and product/service information correct?
  • Do you have any typos? When was the last time you really went through and analyzed your website copy? Does it all make sense?
  • Is the press/media information up to date?
  • Have you installed Google Analytics? Have you been tracking it?

Updating content not only helps keep your brand fresh, it also helps those little magicians in the back end of your computer happy. I’m talking about SEO. For a refresher on alt-tags, keywords and more SEO basics, visit seomoz.

2. Google Alerts

  • Have you set up a “Google Alert” for your company name and your direct competitors?

Google Alerts monitor the Web for new content. You know you’re going to check email from the beach, right? Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on your queries.

Here’s what it looks like in your inbox:

you’ve got mail.

Here is a link so you can set up your own #GoogleAlerts.

3. Facebook and Twitter

Facebook:

  • Have you optimized your page for the Timeline yet? Not sure how? That’s okay! Our PR and Social Media Manager Liz Pollock gave us the basics here. It is also a good idea to make sure all the content and company information is correct. Encourage your employees to become fans!

Twitter:

  • Is it time to update your bio or background image? You might also want to make sure you are engaging appropriately with new followers.

4. LinkedIn Company profile

  • Update company information (address, basic bio, etc) as this will encourage people to “follow” any changes with the goings on of your business – changes such as new employees, position changes, contact changes.

be careful who you stalk on Linkedin…there is a link to see who has viewed your profile.

  • Don’t forget to remind employees that they can impact your company’s digital presence in a positive way by posting about the company on LinkedIn and other social media outposts.

Now that you have your #DigitalHousekeeping in check, make sure you are analyzing the metrics of the progress of your work. Look at your likes, followers, Google placement and analytics to see if these simple steps boost your digital presence.

Do you have any other digital housekeeping tips that might be easily overlooked?