Turning Traditional PR into Digital PR

When looking at the marketing wheel, each spoke represents an important element that keeps the wheel turning. These can include PR, digital marketing/social media, print & web advertising, television commercials, influencers, and other components. Each one requires a dedicated team to properly develop and execute a strategy for success. While many agencies try to offer every service possible, a great agency will know that results suffer tremendously if there isn’t a dedicated team for each service.

At GreenRoom for example, we hone in on two services that we feel are the best compliments for each other: PR and digital marketing.

With one team that is focused solely on PR and another focused only on digital efforts, there are plenty of efficiencies that come with having these two necessary components under one roof.

Benefits include consistent messaging along social media platforms and secured media, ease of communication between the two teams, and strategies that reflect the efforts happening on the social media platforms and in the media. We hear time and time again from companies who view digital marketing as a tool for customer relations, not as a tool to further market the brand and drive sales.

To us, digital marketing and social media are new frontiers of opportunity to place your brand in front of millions of potential customers. Better still, digital efforts can extend the reach of great PR and lengthen the life of heavy – hitting press pieces. What is news today will be old news tomorrow, but if you’ve been featured in an outlet with one of the highest reader and subscriber numbers, wouldn’t you want to turn that media hit into a tool to gain more customers? This is exactly what a targeted digital marketing strategy can do. By identifying an audience based on sales or desire to increase growth in a market, your digital team can take a great placement secured through your PR strategy and amplify the coverage across your social media platforms using advertising strategies to place these wins right in front of a particular audience.

At GreenRoom we take this a step further; while the PR team is busy engaging with the media, our social team is also engaging with the social platforms for of these media outlets. By working with an outlet’s digital team, we gain insights into how that media outlet posts. This ensures that the brand is included and tagged, while we offer suggestions such as hashtags and key terms. This is a great way to maximize a post even before any money is spent on the digital fronts.

Utilizing PR and digital marketing to work together to amplify and extend the life of great coverage is a powerful tool in your marketing toolbox.

Your PR team should always relay media hits as soon as they publish so your digital team can leverage these within their arsenal. Instead of the consumer relying on you to explain why the product is great and worth the purchase, you can utilize a review from a marquee press outlet and amplify it across your customer base. While this is a strategy overlooked by many, companies that are using this method are turning traditional PR into digital PR of the 21st century.

PR , Politics, and the Ever Changing News Cycle

More than ever, politics is taking center stage in different aspects of our lives, and the publications we read every day are taking their cue from this dynamic. As such, journalists who don’t typically cover politics are now pulling double – or – triple duty to keep up. From a PR perspective, this presents a challenge for brands to have themselves featured and written about when more and more stories are politics – based.

An agency with their finger on the pulse of the media will be well equipped to capitalize on this shift and secure great hits.

At GreenRoom for example, we are always ready to pivot and develop strategies that will ultimately position our clients to be successful. With journalists increasingly focused on producing politically – focused coverage and reducing bandwidth for product – oriented media, it can be challenging for a brand to get the attention they are seeking. Your team should have strategies at hand that allows you to leverage your brand within the evolving news cycle. One example of a strategy we employ is “media newsjacking”; our approach is to look at trending political stories and put our clients at the forefront of these topics. This is a good way for a brand to get great corporate and business – oriented coverage. Select a lead executive on your team and give them an opportunity to discuss the effects certain political policies are having on your industry. These soundbites and quotes may be syndicated across different markets and lead to the establishing of your company as an industry leader.

A priority for your team is to have a healthy, revolving mix of coverage that transcends different vertical markets.

While it’s always great to have a large volume of product spotlights, you will need to make sure that you’re focused on further establishing yourselves within your particular industry. It can certainly be difficult to break out of the mold of traditional press and move towards a more business – focused angle, but when you’re collaborating with a holistic agency such as GreenRoom our strategies are designed to leverage the current media conversation and ensure that your brand is involved.

6 Website Problems and WordPress Plugins That Can Solve Them

If you’re one of the 27 percent of websites powered by WordPress, you already know this is a powerful platform.

What you may not know is how you can take your website to the next level. Enter the world of plugins. With the right plugins, your site can reach new heights — without the assistance of an expensive developer or classes in coding.

Whether you’re looking to expand your email newsletter list or add functionality to your images, we’ve done the research on several website problems and WordPress plugins that can help.

1. You want more data from your website.

 

Honestly, who doesn’t want more analytics from their website? This is why the WordPress team created Jetpack, a free plugin that provides site stats in an easy-to-digest dashboard. In addition to the must-have insight, Jetpack crawls your site every five minutes, alerting you if any issues arise. In an era of daily cyber security threats, this added benefit is essential.

2. Your website isn’t SEO friendly. 

For every time a business owner has said “I want better SEO,” there’s been a later look of bewilderment as he/she views the overwhelming and often contradictory information about how to execute that goal. This is where Yoast SEO comes in: even if you’re not an expert, Yoast SEO helps you create more effective content and improve your SERP ranking. For example, this plugin shows you a Google search result snippet preview, so you can see exactly how your content will look when it appears in a Google search.

3. Your contact forms aren’t cutting it. 

While most WordPress themes come with built-in contact forms, it’s often better to create your own. Improve your UX with the WP Forms plugin. WP Forms’ drag and drop form builder allows you to easily create your own that can be customized for your use — ranging from contact information to payment collection. There are many plugins out there that have this functionality, but WP Forms makes it streamlined.

4. Your responsive website’s images aren’t optimized. 

If you have a responsive website, then Soliloquy is essential. This plugin creates simple image and video sliders though their pre-built templates. The media on your website tells an important story, and this plugin allows you to make the most of your photos and videos. Just drag and drop your images to begin building!

5. Your website isn’t growing your newsletter contact list. 

Do you have a recurring newsletter through MailChimp? Take your email lists to a new level with Mailchimp for WordPress! When you connect your accounts, you can increase your email subscribers through an opt-in form or add the functionality to allow your visitors to subscribe from other forms on your website, including your comment form, contact form or checkout form.

6. Your photos aren’t visually appealing. 

Envira believes you shouldn’t have to hire a developer to create a visually appealing WordPress gallery, and we couldn’t agree more! If you’re not satisfied with your website’s gallery, a plugin like Envira Gallery can make your photos look much more polished. Additionally, its responsive design and SEO-friendly features like quick loading images and image tagging make this plugin a no brainer. Even though it can be tricky to optimize photos for search purposes, Envira gallery’s features set you up for mobile and desktop success.

Do you have a plugin that you couldn’t live without? Share it in the comments!

How to Jump Start Your PR Career: Advice to New Grads

You’ve sharpened your PR skills, developed relationships and honed your copywriting craft over the last four years. Now what?

Entering the world of PR as a young professional can be daunting, but with jobs in PR expected to grow by 24 percent through 2018, there are plenty of opportunities to gain valuable industry experience from the start. While there’s no secret to success, there are tips and tricks we’ve learned along the way that can help you jumpstart your PR career. Here’s our advice for new grads:

 

Get Involved by Joining a Professional PR Organization

In a world where you are who you know, networking is essential.

Joining professional and volunteer organizations outside of the workplace will help build your presence in the community. These organizations provide you with the opportunity to hone in on your PR skills, while providing you with an avenue to share your knowledge with others. I joined Junior League of Miami, which is a part of the AJLI and it’s helped me network through volunteer opportunities.” said GreenRoom’s Rebecca Casamayor.

 By establishing connections and sharing your interests, you lay the foundation for a business relationship.

Not sure where to start? Ask a former internship colleague or a trusted professor.

 

Be Patient When it Comes to Finding the Right Position

As a fresh college graduate, you’re naturally eager and anxious to land a paying gig. However, you shouldn’t settle for just anything. Practice patience, as GreenRoom’s Dani Frank highlights here:

“Finding your first job won’t always happen in the first month, three months or even six months after you graduate. Don’t let this stress you out. Focus on finding an office you’ll be excited to show up to each day, a boss that you’ll be able to learn from and a company where you’ll have the potential to grow,” Frank said.  

In short: Look for a job that will provide you with the experience and growth opportunity that’s right for you.

Feeling frustrated during your job search because you’re not hearing back from applications? Try updating your LinkedIn profile with these tips.

 

Don’t be Afraid to Stand Out in Your New Position

Starting your first PR position can be overwhelming, but it’s important to remember that simply trying (and sometimes failing!) is the best way to grow. Make a strong first impression at your new job by taking on unfamiliar tasks and sharing your fresh ideas.

“Accept new challenges. Don’t be afraid to go all in on something you’ve never done before. In my career, I’ve done everything from mitigating international crises to rebranding a city to speechwriting for the chairman for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. There’s not a class in the world that would have taught me how to do any of the above. But a willingness to learn and the courage to take risks will get you far in your career,” GreenRoom’s Austin Langlois said.

 

Stay up to Date with PR Industry News

Although you’re not physically sitting in a classroom anymore, learning is still a top priority. As the world of PR and media constantly evolves, so must you to maintain your expert status. Not only will this help your career, but sharing insights can make you a thought leader in the industry.

“The media landscape is constantly evolving. Although you have officially graduated from college, it is important to keep your finger on the pulse by indulging in industry literature. It’s always impressive when a recent graduate is well versed on industry happenings.” Casamayor said.

Looking for outlets to utilize? Visit PR Daily, Adweek and PRSay to stay in the loop on the latest best practices.

 

Understand Clients Goals From the Start

While every company wants to sell its product or service, that doesn’t mean every company has the same goals.

“You have to know what your clients’ goals are. Without that, you cannot be successful,” GreenRoom’s Alex Onaindia said.

The company could have very external goals like heightened brand awareness or selling into a key market, or a more internal focus like impressing an investor or improving employee retention. Ask questions and get specific when talking with your client.

By being persistent, establishing a network, and taking risks, you’re sure to set yourself up for success. Don’t forget, every PR professional was once in your shoes, so listen and learn from their experiences.

Now that you’re ready to begin your career in PR, read our blog post Letter to Future Public Relations Practitioners to find out what a career in PR really looks like from a recent graduate.

Coachella 2017: How Brands Competed for the Crowd’s Attention

Since it first took over the desert in 1999, the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival has become an annual pilgrimage for music-goers during two weekends in April.

This year was no different as the attendance exceeded 125,000. With such a large audience, brands at Coachella 2017 competed with bands for the attention of the millennial crowd.

Festival sponsors including Absolut, H&M, and Marriott all vied for the interest of attendees, which included three GreenRoom team members. They share their brand marketing experiences at Coachella below.

 

HP’s Antarctic Dome offers a chill spot with video

With temperatures over 100 degrees in the California desert, HP gave crowds a break from the heat with its Antarctic Dome. A massive domed projection screen took guests on a visual journey in an air-conditioned, planetarium-style theater. A kaleidoscope light show was all fueled by HP technology and was a hit with the Coachella crowds.  Check out our team’s experiences and take on the Antarctic Dome:

Patrick Gevas: “Beyond the stunning visuals and thunderous sounds in the dome, it was a great example of blending the latest tech to create a truly unique experience. The AC was a welcome respite from the heat!”

Jonathan Lubic: “It was an immersive visual experience that provided the perfect addition to an already event filled festival. For 8 minutes, HP and their technology had my undivided attention. This feat in itself is impressive due to all the other acts playing at that time across the festival ground!”

Cesar Paublini: “The Antarctic Dome was one of the most astounding attractions at Coachella. It featured a 360 degree screen on the roof playing videos simulating being launched into space, it was mind blowing and something you would want to experience.”

 

Heineken House sets the stage for entertainment

This year, Heineken returned for another edition of its Heineken House concept. In addition to serving its signature beer, Heineken created a digital art installation where guests could enter an interactive simulation and create their own artwork using a stencil or tag a selfie with a spray can. The Heineken House featured music lineups both weekends of the festival with acts like Grandmaster Flash.

PG: “They created a very trendy place to not only get a cold beer, but enjoy the music and take advantage of fun games on the back patio.”

CP: “The music, the people and the atmosphere blended so well together that I felt like I was in a movie.”

 

American Express targets trendy Coachella crowd

The official credit card of Coachella created the American Express Experience where you stared in your own mini-music video. AmEx also incorporated the Coachella app in its marketing by offering AmEx customers $10 after spending $10 at the festival using the app.

JL: “What was fun about this was it had little to do, if anything, with actual American Express credit cards. In fact, it was just a fun ‘music video shoot’ that had AmEx’s name on it – certainly positioning AmEx as a fun, young brand as opposed to a bank that issues credit cards.”

 

GreenRoom’s tips and tricks to leave a mark at your next event

Large scale events like Coachella provide brands with opportunities to reach its target audiences with personalized brand marketing. Do you have an event coming up? Try these four tactics:

  1. Create a branded Snapchat geo-filter to elevate your presence at the event
  2. Partner with the event or festival organizer to provide branded swag for invitation or ticket send outs
  3. Offer access to your product in exchange for a branded social media post
  4. Give guests the ability to make content they can save and share on their social channels

Remember to keep it in line with the event and allow for guest personalization. Additionally, take advantage of sharing live content of the event to engage with both digital and in-person attendees.

Have you been to any music festivals or events this year? What brand marketing did you notice? Share your experience with us!

10 Chrome Extensions to Make Your Work Day More Productive

Did you know Google Chrome is the go-to web browser for all internet usage, with 41% of people using the browser in 2016?

As the internet continues to consume our daily lives, the constant feed of GIFs, videos, and social media updates can be distracting, to say the least. That’s where Google Chrome browser extensions can help. Whether you want to improve productivity or avoid spending two hours reading every article on your Twitter feed, try these 10 Chrome extensions to increase your efficiency.

1. OneTab

If you find yourself with an excessive amount of tabs open at once on a daily basis, you need this Chrome extension. OneTab converts all your tabs into a list and saves your computer memory by reducing the amount of tabs open in Chrome.

 

2. Boomerang

Optimize your inbox with this Chrome extension that allows you to schedule messages, track responses and set up reminders all within Gmail.

 

3. LastPass

Instead of remembering all the passwords for your logins, remember only one with LastPass. Use this Chrome extension to create a LastPass account and save all your usernames and passwords to auto login to your sites.

 

4. StayFocused

Do you sit down at your computer determined to be productive only to find yourself two hours later on social media with nothing accomplished? Stay on track with StayFocusd. This Chrome extension allows you to set limits on the amount of time you can spend on time-wasting websites.

 

5. Grammarly

There’s no excuse for bad grammar with this Chrome extension. Grammarly checks your spelling as you type and integrates within social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

 

6. Momentum

Create a personal dashboard with Momentum where you can craft your own to-do list and get inspired with a daily quote and photo.

 

7. Rapportive

Rapportive saves you time by doing the research for you. From within your inbox, this useful Chrome extension shows your contact’s Linkedin profiles, recent tweets and lets you to take notes on each contact all from within Gmail.

 

8. Zest

Do you need to stay up-to-date on industry news, but don’t want to take the time to visit multiple industry outlets? Enter Zest. This Chrome extension is a tab feed of the latest content and news made for marketing and PR professionals.

 

9. Full Page Screenshot

Don’t waste time trying to take the perfect screenshot of a specific area. Full Page Screenshot makes taking screenshots of entire websites and page elements easy and there’s no sign-up or login required.

 

10. Note Anywhere

If you prefer to take notes digitally, Note Anywhere is the ideal Chrome extension for you. Take notes on any page, and the notes get saved in real time so when you revisit the page, the notes are loaded automatically.

 

It doesn’t stop there, though. Click here to read our blog post on which five uncommon foods you should add to your daily menu to boost productivity.

4 Crisis Communication Do’s and Don’ts to Avoid a PR Disaster

The past month has been quite a rollercoaster ride for companies like United Airlines, Pepsi, and United Airlines (again) who found themselves in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons. At GreenRoom, we thought it prudent to put together four quick dos and don’ts when faced with a crisis. In the case that Oliva Pope doesn’t pick up the phone when you call, it’s critical to have a plan, which leads me to our first piece of advice:

 

DO have a plan of execution

4 Crisis Communication Do’s and Don’ts to Avoid a PR Disaster GreenRoom Agency

With the amount of time spent planning announcements, marketing campaigns, trade show logistics, or even a vacation, the thought of having a “crisis communication” plan tends to fall to the wayside. Ensuring a designated spokesperson is prepared, and the message to media contacts is clear, having both an internal and external order of operations helps streamline conversations in the event a brand is faced with a crisis.

 

DON’T wait until the crisis comes

As you can imagine, this is easier said than done. Your day is filled with attending to pressing matters that could determine whether you hit your fiscal year’s goal, and the last thing you want to focus on is a hypothetical situation that may never occur. Generally, when corporate entities scramble, it’s very clear to the public and companies typically begin making terrible decisions. The potential snowball effect can lead to unintended consequences that prolong a crisis.

 

DO view the situation from the audiences’ point of view

4 Crisis Communication Do’s and Don’ts to Avoid a PR Disaster GreenRoom Agency

Once the crisis presents itself, take a step back and understand who is truly being affected and why. Sometimes when a company finds themselves in a crisis, the reasons aren’t always obvious, and other times it’s right in your face. Social media offers the ability to see the conversation in real time and can give perspective on the situation which can lead to a more effective and compassionate solution.

 

DON’T assume the audience is wrong or overreacting

The term “PR nightmare” exists for a few reasons and often arises out of an expectation that was amiss. Perhaps a concept was not meant to be insensitive but was perceived in a way that unleased a tornado of backlash. While it’s impossible to always know what someone will think, trying to view a campaign from a multitude of angles can avoid a misunderstanding. However, it’s always important to exercise empathy in the wake of something the public deems offensive.

 

DO move quickly

4 Crisis Communication Do’s and Don’ts to Avoid a PR Disaster GreenRoom Agency

In the PR world, timing is EVERYTHING. Whether you’re preparing a launch event and need to assure a high volume of press coverage is published or looking to secure longer-lead opportunities for a seasonal marketing initiative, it is imperative that everything is timed correctly so you don’t miss what could be a major opportunity for brand awareness. The same thing applies in a crisis situation! Once a fire starts you need to begin putting it out before it burns down a village. This is closely intertwined with preparation, so you’re not wasting valuable time bouncing ideas off one another (in an already stressful situation), and immediately begin executing your plan and mend your brand.

 

DON’T wait it out

In a world of 24-hour Snapchat Stories (or at this point, Facebook and Instagram stories), it can be very easy to assume that certain things will blow over soon enough. While that may be the case, companies that find themselves in a crisis learn rather quickly that sitting on the sideline can only make matters worse. When someone wants an answer, they want it now!

 

DO be transparent

4 Crisis Communication Do’s and Don’ts to Avoid a PR Disaster GreenRoom Agency

When you find yourself with your reputation on the line, the last thing you want to do is add fuel to the fire and give people more of a reason to be upset or distrusting. Honesty and clarity are key. Explain the situation in conversational language and paint a clear picture on how you plan to resolve the issue. There are always two sides of a story, and sometimes it takes a company explaining their side of the story to help clarify misconceptions. By not addressing the issue head on, the audience can become even more unforgiving and elevate the situation to unfixable levels. Always be honest and never mislead, which takes us to our final don’t…

 

DON’T lie

This one is a no-brainer but has been ignored in the wake of a crisis when people are not thinking clearly in tense situations. While it may seem like an easy way out, the moment it comes to light that a company lied, trust is violated, which is something consumers take quite seriously. You don’t have to take our word for it, just ask Samsung.

There is no perfect formula to resolving a crisis, as some situations can take months or even years to fix. Being prepared and having a plan of action can go a long way when you find yourself in this situation. However, if you’re a company that can do-no-wrong, there are still plenty of great reasons to hire a PR agency. Keep in mind though, there isn’t a company on this planet that is immune to a crisis, as we learned when media darling and source of nutrition for Millennials was put on the spot – I’m of course talking about Chipotle.

Do you have any crisis communication tips to share? Comment to tell us your insights!

 

4 Ways Brands Can Welcome Facebook’s Messenger Day

Facebook launched its latest Snapchat-influenced feature last month with the debut of Messenger Day. The social media platform with 1.86 billion monthly users aims to add more visual communication functionality with the new addition of stories.

Users now have access to the updated Facebook camera that allows them to overlay special effects on photos and videos, and then share content to their Facebook Stories, News Feed or with individual friends via Facebook Direct private message.

As visual storytelling becomes more integrated with Facebook and other social media platforms, brands will need to add this new function into their marketing strategies. Below are four ways brands can effectively incorporate Facebook Stories into their current social media efforts.

Today, we’re excited to introduce the new Facebook camera. We think it’ll give everyone more ways to express themselves and share what they’re up to. So from now on, you can just let your camera do the talking.

Posted by Facebook on Monday, March 27, 2017

 

 

1. Share behind the scenes content

GreenRoom

Unless you work in a highly regulated industry, content generated by employees can be equally as effective as user-generated content. Because this new feature is only available to Facebook user profiles, this is a way for brands to build awareness through employees by showing behind the scenes stories or other aspects of your brand that consumers don’t typically have access to. Keep in mind, your employees are your biggest brand ambassadors, and with Messenger Day this is made easier.

 

2. Capture and share a live event

GreenRoom blog

Do you have a trade show or industry event coming up? Use Messenger Day to share images and videos from the event. According to SEO Journal, posting content from a live event can increase engagement by 178 percent. This is a great way to expand your reach by showcasing your brand to a broader audience.

 

3. Utilize the power of brand influencers

GreenRoom Blog

Brand influencers can be major advocates for your business, and if you’ve already found influencers that connect with your audience and your brand’s values, Messenger Day can not only strengthen that relationship but also increase brand awareness with heightened exposure. Encourage your brand influencers to utilize Messenger Day as another medium to engage with your audience and test out which content resonates best.

 

4. Drive traffic to other social platforms

Are you looking to promote your new blog, website or Facebook page? Utilize Messenger Day to direct your audience to your other content sources. Promote a recent post or optimized website page with a Call to Action at the end of a Messenger Day post that directs followers to the specific content. Above all, this new Facebook feature can be utilized to promote your brand’s spectrum of content and drive traffic to specific areas.

As with any new social media feature, just because Messenger Day is new, doesn’t mean it will appeal to every audience. Test out Messenger Day with different forms of content to gauge what appeals to your audience, or if Messenger Day is a platform that’s even worth your time.

In the interim, we’ll be excited to see if and when Facebook launches Messenger Day for business pages. What are your thoughts on Messenger Day? Have you created a Facebook Story on your feed yet? Comment below to share!

When is the Right Time to Hire a PR Agency?

Do you have a great product but feel like you could be reaching more consumers? According to Nielsen Research, 66% of consumers trust earned media, such as online reviews, making it the third most trusted source for brand information during the buying process. With increasing consumer trust in social media, online and mobile advertising, investing in PR is becoming a necessity for businesses. But when does it make sense to hire a PR agency? Here are four circumstances where you should consider enlisting the help of a PR agency:

  1. When you’re launching a new product

Using a PR agency provides the media with a first look at the product. This positions your brand for strong press coverage in advance of the launch, which results in robust coverage throughout the launch as well.

 

  1. While planning for the holiday season

Because consumers are already in “buying mode” during the holiday season, this is an ideal time to utilize a PR agency to place your products in front of target audiences.

 

  1. In preparation for a trade show

To maximize time at trade show, a PR agency can secure meetings with top-tier media outlets during the show. PR pro’s media connections can help your brand make a lasting impact and better position your product.

 

  1. When you need to increase brand awareness

For many brands, hiring a PR agency can generate fresh media placements that share products with millions of potential new customers. Keep in mind, success from PR doesn’t always happen immediately, which is why creating a program that lasts beyond a few months is crucial. Continuously integrating PR into your greater marketing strategy can ultimately increase your market reach and ROI.

 

Want to get a better glimpse at some of the award-winning PR and digital marketing work GreenRoom does for its clients? Click here to view our case studies. 

5 Things We Discovered at SXSW 2017

The annual South by Southwest Festival (SXSW) in Austin, Texas was the epicenter of everything tech, film, and music related from March 10-19.

This year, speakers included former President Barack Obama, WWE Superstar John Cena, Kesha, the cast of Veep and more. In years past, SXSW wasn’t complete without the launch of an innovative app – like the unveilings of Twitter, Foursquare, and Meerkat at previous fests. But SXSW 2017 was different because it focused more on products rather than apps. Below are 5 significant takeaways from this year’s fest.

1. Health and wellness products are expanding popularity.

With all the health-centric apps utilized today, it only makes sense for more products aimed at improving wellness to hit the market. One product with this focus at SXSW was Habit, a startup selling $300 kits to help users determine the best food for their bodies. The kit provides tools for an at-home test which users take and send in to receive a personalized nutrition plan accompanied with matching meal kits.

 

2. Mattress company Casper has people talking.

SXSW wasn’t the year of the app, but rather the product and Casper is the perfect example of that. The mattress-in-a-box company utilized clever marketing to capture the attention of the SXSW crowds. They partnered with a local downtown Austin hotel and offered a daily promotion at 3 p.m. to release 20 hotel rooms for $99, which was much lower than the going rate in the area. The rooms were complete with Casper mattresses, pillows, slippers and transportation provided by Tesla. If guests wanted a bedtime story and tucked in, Casper provided that, too.

 

3. Virtual reality continues to capture the spotlight.

VR headsets captured the attention of many attendees at SXSW this year. With Sony’s announcement of the PlayStation VR headset available in October for $399 and the Meta 2 headset available for $949, VR will be more accessible as the year progresses. Would you buy a VR headset at these price points?

 

4. Companies explore digital software.

GreenRoom Agency

 

Virtual software was a staple at SXSW this year as more and more brands venture into digital solutions and offerings. One example, Shiseido, a skincare and makeup company, developed an app that virtually applies makeup in different styles, making them up for a conference call or FaceTime session.

 

5. Pandora started a premium streaming music service. 

GreenRoom Agency

Although Pandora is one of the oldest music streaming services, it’s now following its competitors lead with the launch of Pandora Premium. The $9.99 per month service allows users to listen to any song or album on demand. What differentiates Pandora Premium from others like Spotify, Apple Music, and Tidal? Its user base of 81 million active listeners and strong personalization features. It will be interesting to see how its competitors react. Would you be interested in trying out Pandora Premium?

For more information on SXSW, visit their website here.