GreenRoom Recognized As A Finalist for Four Major Industry Awards

GreenRoom is thrilled to announce it has been named a finalist for an agency record-setting three In2 Sabre Awards, and one PR Week Award. The Sabre Awards honor the most creative and impactful campaigns in the industry while the PR Week Awards highly outstanding agencies in the field. To be considered for both is a true testament to the agency’s relentless pursuit of innovative campaigns and exceedingly strong media relations.

“It’s a very proud year for us,” said Brian Metcalf, chief executive officer, GreenRoom. “This team has pushed the boundaries for our brands and it’s beyond thrilling to be recognized for our efforts on behalf of the brands that get us excited to come to work each day.”

“So many people still don’t equate Miami as a place of PR and digital innovation, so we’re even more thrilled to have this sort of recognition,” said Ben Burroughs, president, GreenRoom. “We’re showing our brands that we’re on par with any agency based in New York or Los Angeles by hiring great people and never getting complacent in our programs.”

GreenRoom is a finalist in the following In2 Sabre Award categories:

  • Best in Digital/Print Consumer Media (Earned)
    • Breathing Easy with Airthings: The agency executed a robust program centered around education on the dangers of radon exposure and the unique technology offerings with leading indoor air quality measurement company, Airthings. The program included a number of interviews, robust product validation in earned media and key national broadcast pieces with a former Olympian.
  • Best Use of Social Networks
  • Micro Marketing
    • CLEER Owns Its Moment: The wild success of the campaign was only made more impactful as it was completed on a very modest budget as defined by the submission parameters.

GreenRoom is a finalist for the PR Week Awards as well:

  • Outstanding Boutique Agency: From the agency’s growth to impressive programs and strong company culture, GreenRoom was recognized with only four other agencies to take home the top honor in the category.

Winners will be announced in the late winter and early spring timeframe in Chicago and New York, respectively.

About GreenRoom

We’re master storytellers with the passion and skillset to move the needle for the world’s most innovative consumer brands. Our award-winning public relations and digital teams work with a vast range of companies that all share a common mission: create innovations and deliver them to your audience. A results-driven, comprehensive strategy is the hallmark of everything we do here at GreenRoom

Our teams work collaboratively to ensure symbiosis of strategy, execution and key learnings. The result is a cohesive program that refines and expands the reach of your brand to help to drive success across all platforms. Whether it’s real-time counsel on top-tier earned media coverage or competitor and industry trends or the latest insights from analytics research, the teams stay in lockstep to advance your brand in the eyes of the media and in reaching consumers.

 

 

5 Strategies to Maximize Earned Media for your Brand in 2020

We’re only just a few weeks into 2020, but it’s already shaping up to be a banner year for earned media! It’s never been more useful in so many facets of marketing, and we’re seeing the added boon of increasingly positive ripple effects for sales.

Can you confidently say your brand is fully maximizing earned media? Many are still stuck in the early 2000s, so we’ve compiled a quick checklist that’s proven quite useful for our brands.

• Merchandising earned media within your owned properties: Does your website have an updated press room that’s more than just flat logos? Try a more fully designed page with a pull quote and a link back to the full piece so visitors can learn what the media is saying!

• Putting a link on your social channels is the bare minimum! Are you tagging the writer and outlet in the post for further amplification? Try using the piece in an ad that’s targeted to your core demographic. The content is public, and you can get creative with how you use it!

• Does your sales team understand the content from earned media? Too often, we’ve seen the coverage generated on behalf of brand travel to the marketing and communications team, and wither in a presentation or in an inbox. Arming them with the knowledge of a stellar review only helps them to communicate with retailers, other dealers or prospective customers.

• All about Amazon: Do you understand the affiliate relationships many outlets now have with Amazon? In many cases, choosing outlets based on this can result in your earned media being pulled into the product pages and giving additional validity to your listing!

• Have you talked to your PR team about the impacts of earned media? Depending on the level of insight you’re able to provide to your team, it’s critical they understand what is moving the needle and what isn’t. We’ve been surprised at times from analyzing the performance of earned media and the ensuing effects on sales and referral traffic.

As the media landscape consistently shifts and buying habits are ever-evolving, it’s critical to stay on top of all of the ways earned media can lift your brand’s visibility, but also your sales figures!

If you want more information about how GreenRoom can help you leverage your Earned Media and grow your business in 2020 click HERE!

Get Recognized

Whether you’re a new product innovator, industry disruptor offering a revitalized spin on a classic or a legacy consumer product with more than a century of success, nearly all brands have a compelling story to tell. From what’s often a matter of unearthing the gems or strategic positioning, PR teams are trained to work with brands to find their story, uncover the innovation and elevate the product, service or ethos to the forefront. Part of this discovery phase and deep dive into the brand lends itself to creating deeper and much more meaningful story arcs for the media. It also arms PR teams with the content and creativity needed for high-profile industry accolades and award submissions. A pivotal element of all robust PR programs and company profiles, relevant industry awards should remain consistently top-of-mind for brands and the teams representing them

Awards are far more than figures collecting dust on an office shelf or plaques lining the walls on the way to the breakroom. Not only do industry awards assist in garnering a significant amount of visibility for your brand and industry-relevant exposure, it also works to attract new customers, appeal to new retail partners, attract investors and give you an edge over competitors. Mapping out industry-specific awards relevant to your product category or service is an ongoing initiative for PR teams, encompassing a significant amount of planning and organization throughout the calendar year.

With the hustle and bustle of seasonal gift guide planning, major retail events, including Black Friday, Cyber Week and the holiday rush of product fulfillment and year-end planning, some of the most important awards can be overlooked. This is especially important for our consumer innovations and CE/tech partners leading into the holiday season. Not only is holiday one of the most important sales periods for consumer goods, it’s also when brands are preparing for the much-anticipated, annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. What’s essentially the Super Bowl, World Cup and Olympics wrapped up in one tradeshow marks one of the most important activations for tech brands of the year. While brands are wrapped up in finalizing booth designs, booking travel and mapping out essential retail meetings and tradeshow networking events, PR teams are gearing up for award season and all things CES to ensure our brands are ahead of the curve for making a major splash at the show. Planning for this should happen far in advance of the fall season, including working towards early bird submissions which can often mean discounted rates and more. This is not a principle that only applies to all things CES as most awards typically have a brief window for submissions that come at a heavily discounted rate prior to the formal deadline.

In addition to the important CES awards (also listed below), here’s a few more industry-related opportunities for brands and their PR teams to consider throughout the year:
• Fast Company, Innovation by Design Awards
• Red Dot Design Awards
• CES Innovation Awards
• TIME Best Innovations
• TWICE Picks Awards
• Last Gadget Standing (CES award)
• Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award
Has your team applied?

Partnering for Success: Why Hire an Agency if You Have an Internal Team

With summer in full swing, many in-house teams are laser-focused on seasonal trade shows, industry events and warm-weather marketing opportunities. This makes perfect sense, but raises an important question; why are their agencies focused on a different season?

At this time of year, as temperatures rise and heating systems become a distant memory, we in the agency world are talking about an equally distant concept — Holiday. That may seem premature on first blush, but agencies often serve as an essential complement to in-house marketing efforts.

This means that brands working with agency support have a two-fold advantage: an in-house team managing day-to-day execution of contemporary tasks while their agency partners develop future opportunities in tandem with the moment. This two-pronged approach is just one of the many reasons working with an agency can be so beneficial.

 

Additional Opportunities

When it comes to Holiday, there’s a distinctly different lifecycle to media coverage opportunities. Here at GreenRoom, we’ve been talking with editors and journalists about Holiday Gift Guides and annual award submissions as far back as our Spring Media Tour — and we’re seeing traction despite being months away from the colder weather. We’ve helped a number of new clients adjust strategy on the fly and add items to their calendar — secure in the knowledge that they now have the right resources to address them.

Our team-based approach to media outreach drives impactful coverage year around, not just during Holiday. We’re constantly cross-pitching, which means your brand is given more opportunities to gain media attention via roundups, briefings, and trend pieces.

This happens on the digital front as well. Marketing teams are often overflowing with work, so they’re unable to start tackling holiday campaigns until much later in the year, when options for partnering on large-scale initiatives are more limited. An agency partner keeps the ball rolling, and by the time fall comes around, Holiday campaigns are already in full development.

As on the media side of the house, our digital seasonal strategy isn’t limited to just holiday. Our team has spent the summer dressing models in sweaters and tailgate football gear, prepping for creative content that will publish in fall and winter.

Agencies can help in influencer negotiation and balancing seasonal initiatives

Industry Insight

Working with a number of clients facing the same challenges puts an agency in the ideal position to inform timing, budget, and strategy on both the media and digital marketing fronts. While we’ll constantly analyze the performance of your brand’s initiatives towards established goals, we’ll also compare this progress to the results we’re seeing from other clients. Because of this, you gain a greater depth analysis. If something needs to be changed, we can borrow learnings from other clients, and implement a strategy that we already know to be successful.

This is especially important on the digital front, where platform algorithms constantly change. If you’re working with just one brand, it may take months to analyze a trend that an agency will quickly see appearing across multiple clients. This means that clients partnered with an agency can better take advantage of platform updates, adjusting strategy to meet the needs of today.

On the PR front, agencies are the first to know when a publication is changing direction or when a new reporter is hired for a beat. This up-to-the-minute information creates efficiencies in media outreach and saves time and effort.

 

Negotiation

Negotiating pricing is another key area in which agencies pay dividends for their brand partners. Third-party vendors and influencers know that agencies have a broader client reach, so agencies can often negotiate better rates and find deals more regularly than a single in-house team.

Negotiation doesn’t just happen on the outside — sometimes internal marketing teams need additional resources to get senior management on board with a new initiative. This is also the time of year when marketing teams are pointing towards budget discussions that will impact the year to follow. We can help bolster the case for additional dollars that could mean the difference between running in place or speeding ahead. An agency can be that reliable outside voice, often delivering the essential push when a VP needs to ok a budget.

Agencies can provide in-house marketing teams with in-depth industry analysis.

When Is the Right Time to Hire an Agency?

We know that even the most skilled of internal teams can benefit from additional resources for seasonal initiatives, product launches and award nominations, among other milestones taking place in the back half of the year.

More often than not, we find that the best answer to the question “When?” is: right now. (Yesterday: no longer an option!)

The Right Time to Hire a Public Relations Agency

Often in our conversations with brands the question arises of when to hire an agency. While each situation is unique, there are a few times when agency support can be especially helpful.

Launching a Brand New Product

As an agency, we’re able to place our clients in a plethora of marquee media outlets. By giving the media a first look at the product, the brand is positioned to have a string of hard-hitting press coverage publish during the launch. This is a great way to generate buzz and place your new product at the forefront of consumer’s attention.

Holiday Season Buzz

The holiday season is a critical time of year for retail companies, as millions of potential customers are in “buying mode.” One of the most sought after media placements are Holiday Gift Guides, some of which are the only source of product information for shoppers! However, the timeline for this may start earlier than you think. We typically start Gift Guide conversations with reporters in June — yes, June! — in order to maximize coverage. Opportunities and placements will grow as we get closer to the holiday season.

Attending a Trade Show

When it comes to trade shows, our biggest priority for our clients is to make a huge splash. Whether it’s a large show like CES or an industry-specific show like Interbike, we strive to fully maximize the days you’ll be attending. In addition to booth support, we’ll secure meetings with top-tier media outlets during the show, giving you an opportunity to present your product front and center to some of the biggest names in media. On the social side, trade shows can be one of the best times to take advantage of live features and trending opportunities. Our team can be on-the-ground to handle photos, video, and live digital engagement.

Just Looking For More Brand Awareness

Maybe you’ve been selling your product for quite some time and feel like you’ve plateaued. You might feel that if you could just reach fresh eyes, your product would take off. That’s where we come in! We provide you with a PR and social “megaphone” that allows you to spread the word  to millions of potential customers. With sample units available, we’re able to create engaging social content that aligns perfectly with the brand story we’re telling  marquee media outlets. This one-two punch of social and PR will make sure your product is not only being seen, but being seen by the right people.

5 Fundamentals For A Successful Photoshoot

Every product has a story to sell, and every story has its setting to thank for being its ultimate foundation. Scouting the right location for a shoot can often be stressful, but it is definitely one of the most important features to telling a story, right up there with the storyline itself!

1. Have a clear vision.

The first thing to keep in mind when choosing a site is looking for a setting that fits your storyline. Once you have a script, you need to have a clear vision of the setting to know where to start with location scouting. You aren’t always going to come across the most aesthetically pleasing places, but your location is just a starting point. Choose a location that you are encouraged by and can draw on, with as many colors and mediums that you want/need.

2. Confirm you have permission.

Most importantly, after you have found a location that suits your vision, you want to make sure you have permission to shoot there. Whether it is a permit or another legal document to acquire access to the location, make sure you have it arranged in advance so you don’t run into any problems the day of the shoot. While it helps if you have it all planned out in your head, you may need to have it all planned out on paper… probably signed and approved.

3. Lock in your location.

Once you have been granted permission, the next step to ensure your location will work is to confirm that it will be available! Between holiday season accruing an influx of tourists and day-of events, unforeseen surprises can derail your shoot. Coordinate with your desired location to ensure that the space will be free and available on your scheduled date. By securing your spot for the date and time you need, you will have one less thing to worry about on the day of the shoot!

4. Pay attention to details.

Take notes on the details that matter before the shoot even happens. Are there power sources readily available? You may have to bring in your own outlets. Is your location too hot or too breezy? A cold temperature may be exactly what you’re looking for, but your camera battery may not be able to brave the chill. If the shoot is outside, you can expect the lighting to be inconsistent, so you may need a plan B. If you plan to be indoors where lighting is more static, you may need to bring in additional lighting to achieve your artistic vision. It is always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to on-location shoots!

5. Take notes for next time.

If you love the location and want to use it again for another shoot in the future, take notes about the experience and anything you may need to change for future shoots. If you (unfortunately) had a bad experience with the location, you’ll want to document what you wish had gone differently. You can even write down notes about camera/audio performance in the space so that it may be taken into consideration for the next shoot. There is no such thing as TOO many notes!

Whether you’re a professional in the field of videography, or just dipping your toes in the water, checking off the steps on this list will help you to be successful in whatever type of shoot you intend on capturing. It is always a good idea to do the right research before taking on such an important project. What is your best practice when shooting on location?

The Importance of Face-to-Face Meetings

How many times have you sent a text or email and that was later misinterpreted, either by a friend, family member or even a client? Although the world is becoming increasingly digital, the benefits of face-to-face interaction are irreplaceable—despite Skype and Apple’s aggressive efforts at video chatting! The following are a few reasons why you should think twice before scheduling your next call with a client.

1)            Body Language

Digital communication with clients and the media has its perks. It’s quick and straight-forward; however, digital communication can be tricky, especially when the relationship is new or a special project is at stake.

Let’s say you have a scheduled call with a client to propose a new outreach plan that includes pitching a product or aspect of the business through non-traditional angle. Once you finish laying out the strategy, there is a long pause on the line followed by, “Yeah, sure that’s a good idea.” You’d probably wish you wish you were sitting face-to-face to witness their initial reaction and body language? Instead of having to dig through a series of follow-up questions hoping to figure out your client’s actual sentiments, a face-to-face meeting would have allowed you to sense their attitude from the beginning and address the issue accordingly.

2)            Quality Collaboration

When was the last time you woke up without dozens of unread emails? While ubiquitous, shuffling through emails can often suck time and creativity from your work.  Do you think that world’s most creative teams come up with cutting-edge campaigns through an email thread? Unlikely.

Creative collaboration through email can prevent the natural flow of ideating, a vital component of any successful brainstorming session and project management discussion. A face-to-face meeting allows you and your team to bounce ideas off each other on the spot, rather than having to navigate an overflowing inbox.

3)            Establishing Trust

Trust is a critical component of any working relationship. In vendor relationships, which have the added pressure of expected results and the need for effective counsel in order to push a business’ bottom line, this trust needs to be developed especially quickly.  Face-to-face interaction goes miles in establishing this trust.

A study published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology measured the effectiveness of a face-to-face request versus an email request and found that face-to-face requests were 34 times more effective than emailed ones, due to nonverbal cues and perceived trustworthiness. Although technology has done wonders for society’s overall progress, the fact remains that we like facing each other. Technology isn’t going anywhere – we don’t want it to—but it’s important to realize the power of face-to-face communication isn’t backing down either.

Inside the Algorithm: What Facebook’s Changes Mean for Your Content

Facebook’s latest update

Since its launch in September 2006, the Facebook News Feed has been in a state of flux. From the introduction of Like buttons to the prioritization of popular posts to the crackdown on clickbait and fake news, Zuckerberg and company have continually updated the News Feed to optimize the user experience. Since a 2015 report in the Journal of Experimental Psychology that mindlessly scrolling Facebook could be detrimental to mental health, the platform has concentrated its efforts on driving active participation on the platform.

With the latest algorithm update in January 2018, Facebook overhauled their ranking process to focus on engaging content from family and friends over content from brands and publishers. Vice president of News Feed Adam Mosseri shared in a Newsroom post that the updates would prioritize “posts that spark conversations and meaningful interactions between people.”

How does Facebook determine what is meaningful?

The platform is using reactions, comments and shares to adjudicate how compelling a post actually is. While it may seem that engagement spend is the easy answer to this, friend-to-friend interactions will take precedence. Companies will have to think less about what the brand wants to push, and more about what their target audience wants to see.

What does this mean for content creation?

Creators should put themselves into the shoes of their social customer and ask, “What kind of content would I want my best friend to see?” Thought leadership and philanthropic efforts are more likely to organically take root within an organic community than flash-in-the-pan sponsored posts. Similarly, this type of content is more likely to generate long-term benefits than its ephemeral meme-like counterparts.

Additionally, because we can anticipate that users will be spending less time on the platform, there should be a stronger focus on snappy, succinct content that contributes positively to a viewer’s Facebook experience. Gone are the days of sharing a meandering ten-minute YouTube tutorial on your Facebook page; concise, meaningful content is in.

What does this mean for marketers?

Marketers will need to think outside of the box of engagement baiting to create content that is genuinely engaging, rather than artificially popular. Clickbait-style promotions, including giveaways that use “Comment below!” or “Like this post to enter!” will have higher CPM rates, higher cost-per-click and lower organic reach overall than they have in the past.

It will take months for these updates to roll out across all of Facebook’s products. As we learn more about what these changes mean for brand reach and how to best spend in the new digital climate, one thing is true now more than ever: it’s all about your audience.

Incorporating a Color Palette into Your Brand Marketing

Oreo and Coca-Cola have bright, signature colors that they use in almost all of their collateral

Iconic brands use color to grab audience attention and establish trust.

Picture a box of Oreos. The container’s shade of royal blue is likely one of the first things you were able to conjure. This is, of course, because the package itself is blue. However, that image has been reinforced by multi-million dollar marketing campaigns that consistently incorporate a perfect stack of white and black cookies and a glass of milk on a simple background that includes that iconic box blue. This long-term color branding is one of the reasons AdWeek has named Oreo one of the top 10 brands.

Oreo is far from the only brand with this level of color palette recognition. Take the red picture above, do you know what brand it is?

Coca-Cola instantly came to mind. The company’s “Coca-Cola Red” is so ubiquitous with the brand they were able to trademark it.  The strongest and most memorable brands always use their brand color in marketing: logo, print marketing materials, signage, websites, social media graphics, blog posts and presentation decks.

 

Branding for Growing Businesses

GreenRoom Agency clients Soundcast and Sound of Sleep use color to establish trust in their brand.

Brands large and small can benefit from a strong use of color in marketing materials.

However, the value of a color palette isn’t limited to household names. Growing businesses can start to reap the benefits of a color palette using their brand colors in product photography and digital compositions as a background color. Not only does this help establish brand recognition, but this color selection can heavily impact how viewers feel about your company and its products.

Thinking beyond backgrounds: brands can subtly choose to incorporate brand colors into props and other seemingly small decisions. Notice the color of the napkin on the table beneath the Oreo cookie pancakes. This is not just coincidence—it’s an impactful example of an attentive designer intuitively establishing brand recognition for viewers.

GreenRoom embraces color in the creative work across clients. For Soundcast, a high-end Bluetooth speaker brand, we leveraged the company’s bright orange and charcoal gray in a holiday carousel ad campaign that resulted in the company’s most successful click-through rates to date.

In a subtler approach, GreenRoom edits or skillfully selects light blue and white items—a blanket, shirt, wall, or lamp—for sleep client Sound of Sleep. These colors non-explicitly send a message of peace, calm, and relaxation in images that are used in social media posts, on the website, across digital advertising, and even in the images we send to press that are ultimately incorporated into media reviews and roundups.

For each brand, the goal of a color pallette is to create a consistent brand experience that ultimately leads to stronger brand recognition. When you’ve achieved this, your target audience will intuitively trust trust and enjoy the products more, easing the transition into top-of-mind purchase research and, ultimately, sales.

CES 2018 and Beyond

CES 2018 Trade Show Collage

Images from GreenRoom and its clients during CES 2018 and the PGA Merchandise Show, both industry trade shows.

Each January brings the first of many industry trade shows in the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Brands across a wide spectrum of vertical markets participate, and many clients say that the show (and its allied events such as Pepcom) can be incredibly impactful to attract media attention, drive brand awareness, and develop relationships with partners and consumers for the year ahead.

Planning for industry trade shows and events such as these can be challenging; how to select which shows offer the best opportunities to execute communications strategy, budgeting for them successfully (both in terms of dollars allocated and internal resources dedicated), and building media calendars for public relations/ leveraging digital and social media content into success at the trade show itself.

One great example of this is utilizing an industry event or trade show to promote new partnerships. At the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, we aided our client Blast Motion in the announcement of an exclusive deal with golf giant TaylorMade. With all the biggest names in golf media attending the show, this provided a platform to amplify the news in the right place at the right time. The GreenRoom team has a strong track record in developing successful strategies for such industry events, and helping clients manage participation to maximum effect.

Following each event, leveraging media and industry contacts into high-profile coverage and dynamic relationships often overwhelms internal teams focused on a number of deliverables. Here, too, we find that having a team of professionals, such as a communications agency, at your command expands the amount of time and energy brands have to plan for future events on the calendar. This can drive media coverage and sales opportunities throughout the year, resulting in met or exceeded marketing goals, all while engaging consumers and building a community of brand ambassadors.