Posts

Potential Marketing Material You’re Missing Out On

What comes to mind when you think of a cease-and-desist letter? A few paragraphs filled with legal verbiage, reprimanding and threatening a business or person for participating in some type of illegal activity? Usually, you’d be right. Most cease-and-desist letters follow a similar format and structure. However, Netflix stirred things up with latest recent cease-and-desist letter to an unauthorized bar themed around the company’s original series, Stranger Things.

Netflix made the letter casual and lighthearted–emulating the series and its characters’ overall mood and spirit. Ditching the typical formal greeting, the company started off the casually-written letter by addressing the owners of the bar by nickname, Danny and Doug. What followed was just as informal and playful, with references to the show’s notable use of walkie talkies, the Upside Down an even Dr. Brenner. However, despite the informal tone, the company made it very clear that if the owners didn’t shut the bar down, there would be serious consequences–like the Demogorgon or their mom getting involved (yikes!).

Showcasing Your Company’s Personality in an Unexpected Way

Although entertaining, the letter is much more profound as it showcases the company’s brilliant understanding of marketing. For years, companies have tried to showcase their personality to the public through different marketing materials. For companies with bigger budgets, these materials are usually in the form of commercials, provocative billboards  and a strong social media presence. For those with smaller budgets, a grassroots approach is more likely to be utilized. However, would you ever consider a legal document with potentially serious ramifications as a form of marketing? Netflix demonstrated clever marketing which was leveraged as  a solid public relations story that achieved their goal without tarnishing their reputation. Netflix enforced it copyrights while portraying itself as a fun and cool company, which is quite a feat.

In another unique example, McDonald’s flipped its iconic golden arches upside down across different outlets, including a branch’s outdoor sign, to celebrate International Women’s Day. The company could have simply sent out a tweet acknowledging the cause, but chose to make a serious statement and  flipping one of their restaurant’s outdoor signs. In doing so, the company sent a message and strategically placed itself as a serious advocate of women, which consequently strengthened the company’s image of being socially responsible.

Ultimately, companies like Netflix and McDonald’s prove there are countless–and frequently overlooked–opportunities to spotlight and heighten your brand’s image. Whatever image you wish to present to the public, whether it’s a creative and user-friendly personality like Netflix’s or a socially-conscious and thoughtful personality like McDonald’s, could be conveyed through all aspects of your company. So, the next time your PR department is constructing a press release or your HR department is sending a letter of warning to a fellow employee, conceptualize ways your brand’s personality could shine through and be reinforced.

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.

Sharpen Your Savvy: How to stay on top when working for a marketing or public relations company

If it’s true that marketing agencies’ last client on the totem pole is always the agency itself, it certainly follows that a marketer’s last priority is typically also themselves. However, it is imperative for continued personal and professional growth that marketing and PR professionals invest in themselves both inside and outside of the office to advance in the future and stay sharp to handle the challenges of right now.

How exactly do you do this when the client-related things on your checklist only seem to grow by the hour? Here are a few tips on how to make investing in yourself a habit and not another overwhelming item on your agenda.

Get Out

Some of the best business opportunities, learning experiences, and in-depth conversations I’ve had have occurred during chance meetings with total strangers at bars, business events, or sitting on airplanes. After an exhausting day of work, most of us are typically ready to zone out at home with the Netflix and a glass of wine. But what if you pushed yourself for one more hour and dropped by the coding seminar you’ve been thinking about attending, or that charity event your coworker invited you to? You never know who you might meet. It could be your next client, partner, or employee. If you never expand your social circle, you’re limiting the number of opportunities, perspectives and ideas you’ll come in contact with as well.

Read Up

As a marketer, especially if you work in PR, content marketing, or social media, a large portion of your day is devoted to reading: client emails, journalists’ stories, bylined articles, Tweets, and that’s just before lunch! Reading for pleasure is a concept most marketers will laugh out loud at. However, reading is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to expand your knowledge base. To make a habit out of this, try taking the first ten minutes of your day before you even open your email and reading one relevant article while you sip on your coffee. It will help you start your day feeling in-control and you’ll be brushing up on important skills. Some of my favorite reading material comes from AdEspresso, Social Media Examiner, Adweek, Business 2 Community, and KissMetrics. Bookmark your own favorites, or subscribe to newsletters so that you always have fresh material on hand.

Have a Hobby

For many in the agency world, we could proudly wear t-shirts that say “work is my hobby.” However, according to Inc. Magazine, the most successful people are committed to developing skills and hobbies ex-officio. Right now, I’m rehabilitating an abused dog—something I had no prior knowledge about. It has required reading, networking, and creative problem solving over and over again. All skills that are directly transferable to my work environment. Whether your hobby is cooking, skiing, or building model ships, doing something that you enjoy and that requires time and effort is like exercise for your brain. If you only ever work it out in one way, it can grow sluggish. Stretch your thinking and your skills at home with a new endeavor.

Find Time

One of the biggest obstacles to personal growth, as echoed in the tips above, is finding time. However, there are likely pockets of your day that are going unused—and those minutes when added up at the end of the week can turn into hours of personal development. Commute via train in the morning? Grab yesterday’s paper (they’re free) from Starbucks and read an article or two on the way to work. Commute via car? Listen to NPR or a podcast instead of bad morning talk radio. Like to scroll through your phone before you get out of bed in the morning? Download an app like Duolingo and learn another language instead. Waiting for your Uber? Check the news. Waiting in line at Chipotle? Talk to one new person. These little changes can get you outside of your personal bubble, keeping your knowledge and social skills sharp.

Make Time

Besides working professional development around your normal schedule—sometimes it’s important to stop and work it into your normal schedule. Talk to your boss about what her expectations are in terms of your development, what your own goals are, and what you think is the most valuable use of your time in order to achieve those goals. If there is a webinar or meetup that happens during work hours that you find extremely beneficial, ask if you can take an hour or so to set aside work and focus exclusively on your skill development. Many companies offer compensation for continuing educational opportunities, or networking opportunities. It is an investment that will not only pay off in your career, but could immediately pay off if you meet a new client or are able to solve an existing client’s problems based on the connections and knowledge you gained.

With any of these habits, it’s important to connect them mentally to specific goals, personally and professionally. You can also choose to focus all these habits on one particular goal or area if you’re looking to see immediate progress. For instance, maybe your goal for the year is to learn Spanish, become a wake board instructor, sign one new client, or meet someone who can teach you Photoshop. If your goal is to learn Spanish, spend all the extra time you find on just that; listen to podcasts in Spanish; do your morning reading in Spanish. By setting goals, you’ll never feel guilty about giving time and effort to these things, because you know they are helping you get where you need to go.

Letter to Future Public Relations Practitioners

So you want to work in Public Relations? Great, but do you really know what that entails? As someone who has a few years under his belt, let me tell you.

Public Relations practitioners are tasked with much more than media relations or writing a speech for an executive. Clients hire PR practitioners not only to garner their company valuable media coverage but to also be a trusted advisor to their company.  That means at all days and hours you must be ready to help guide your client through any situation, good or bad.  All it takes is one bad news story, tweet, Instagram post, Facebook post, etc. to set off a chain of events that can ruin a company or person’s reputation.

A major key to success in the industry is that you have to know what your clients’ goals are. Without that, you cannot be successful.

Clients come from all over the world and that is one of the most exciting and challenging parts of the job. In this industry, I’ve interacted with people from every continent in the world (besides Antarctica), and each client has different goals for their company. For example, one client may be focused on broadcast coverage and featuring one company spokesperson whereas another may be a family run business that is more interested in being featured in business publications highlighting them as a family.

Knowing what media outlets can move the needle for your clients, what their sales goals are and what messaging they want conveyed to the public are all examples of goals that both the client and PR practitioner need to align on.

In today’s data driven age, having a free flowing information channel with your client can help to refine your PR program to yield better results. Sharing statistics and analytics with your client helps track sales and other trends. For example, I worked with a client that makes a fitness product. They found out from their sales and social media analytics that the majority of consumers purchasing the product were female. That information is crucial as a practitioner. You can use that to pivot your marketing strategy and target more of a female demographic.

Being a PR practitioner can be challenging and stressful because you have to expect the unexpected. If it was easy, wouldn’t everyone be doing it?

Now I hope I didn’t scare you away. Anything can happen at any time but that is also part of the fun! In first couple of years in the industry, I’ve been able to do some amazing things.

Here are a few of the highlights for me:

  • CES 2016-This January, I worked at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas or as I’d prefer to call it, “The Super Bowl of Tech.” Spending a week out there with a variety of clients was an extremely beneficial experience. The show had almost 200,000 in attendance and was even more massive in person. I was able to learn a lot and have fun (it is Las Vegas after all!)
  • Media Training Athletes-During my time at Florida State University as an intern with a sports-focused agency, I had the privilege of helping media train NCAA athletes from multiple Division 1 schools. Like I said before in today’s digital and social age, this is HUGE for any university.
  • New York Media Tour-I’m getting ready to go to New York to do a media tour on behalf of multiple different clients of the agency. I’ll be meeting with influential journalists from publications including The Wall Street Journal, CNET, Sports Illustrated, SELF and Golf Digest and talking about their editorial calendars and how I can be of help.

Public Relations is an evolving landscape and an integral part of any successful business. To be a successful PR practitioner, it takes a good personality, motivation, passion, patience and skill. If this sounds like something you are up for, go for it with all you’ve got because anything’s possible!

Air-Popped Productivity

We’re potluck fanatics and go crazy over a good productivity tip, so these “5 Wacky Things You Can Eat to Boost Productivity” piece from Inc.com is right up our alley.

Article below and here. Credit: Inc.com

5 Wacky Things You Can Eat to Boost Productivity
Think yogurt, eggs, bananas, spinach, and walnuts are top notch? They sure are, but add these 5 ingredients to your daily menu and you might boost productivity even more!
BY JANINE POPICK
CMO, Dasheroo; founder, VerticalResponse

GreenRoom Agency Productivity
IMAGE: Getty Images

As an entrepreneur, you know that there’s no time for a break. It’s go-go-go all the time. Those who achieve the greatest success know what it takes to remain productive.

There are are a ton of ways to boost productivity, from a morning workout to a diet change. It’s hard for some to believe, but what you eat will have a positive or negative affect on your productivity.

With a direct impact on cognitive performance, the food choices you make at breakfast or lunch will either propel you to great heights or hold you back for the rest of the day.

You may be familiar with “common” foods that boost productivity, such as eggs, yogurt, bananas, spinach, and walnuts. But did you know there are some things you can eat you might not associate with being super productive? Here are some ideas:

1. Air-popped Popcorn
It may not be wacky in the sense that you have never heard of it, but most people don’t associate popcorn with productivity.

When compared to chips, popcorn is a better pick thanks to its energy boosting capabilities and health benefits (fewer calories). As long as you avoid loads of butter and salt, this makes for a great pick-me-up snack. Put some sriracha on it to spice it up. Added health benefit? Sriracha is made from chili peppers, they boost endorphins which helps make you happier. Bonus #2, chili peppers also spike serotonin, a mood and memory enhancer.

Plus it just makes your environment smell yummy!

2. Quinoa Salad
Quinoa is defined as “a species of the goosefoot genus, a grain crop grown primarily for its edible seeds.”

What the heck does that mean? If you don’t know anything about quinoa, here is your opportunity to learn more. With a solid eight grams of protein per cup, this is a top snack for those times when you need more energy. Here are some quinoa recipes to experiment with.

Grab a quinoa salad for lunch and see how the rest of the day works for you.

3. Sweet Potato Smoothie
Say what? Stick with me for a second.

Sweet potatoes are a great source of collagen which is essential to helping us cope with stress. They taste sweet but they have natural sugars that help give a balanced and regular source of energy.

And although it might not sound as appealing when compared to a sweet berry alternative, this type of smoothie could be just what you need.

Throw a medium baked sweet potato into a blender, along with banana and a teaspoon (or two) of cocoa powder. Add a few ice cubes to cool it down and start your blender. Within seconds, you will have a smoothie that keeps you running at max efficiency all day. Best yet, it tastes good too!

4. Dry-Roasted Edamame
A healthy snack considered wacky by many, dry-roasted edamame contains plenty of fiber, protein, and antioxidants.

The nice thing about this snack is that it can be popped into your mouth on the go. A piece of chocolate or chips may sound more appealing, but that’s only because you have yet to try a handful of dry-roasted edamame.

5. Pepitas
There is more to these green pumpkin seed kernels than a cool name.

Known as one of the world’s healthiest foods, pepitas are packed full of protein, iron, and magnesium. When you combine the health benefits with the delicious taste, you have a snack that will call your name all day long.

By adding these five wacky foods to your diet, you can boost productivity while lessening the likelihood ofmissing valuable time due to an illness, or snacking on unhealthy foods. A true win-win!

PUBLISHED ON: MAR 3, 2016