You put so much effort into planning your great event, now let’s get people there!
When marketing an event, the first thing to take into consideration is the audience(s) you’d like in attendance. Often times the focus of event marketing is on the potential customer or consumer of the product or service (the point of the event). For event marketing, it is important to engage a new audience AND re-engage an existing audience. Remember to market the event to your existing base. This will help spread the enthusiasm to those who have not already bought into your product or message.
How to reach your audiences and get them to the event:
Direct Mail – Target the zip codes surrounding the event location. If there is a specific audience that you’d like to reach, it may be in your best interest to purchase a list with certain demographic information, such as gender, race, age and income level. Really think about who you’d like at your event. Make sure the direct mail piece is eye catching in a stack of junk mail. Try a postcard with a catchy headline or highlight free giveaways.
Grassroots – Host events or set up a table at your audience’s “local watering hole.” Meet your potential attendees on their turf before you ask them to join you on yours. If they’ve already had personal contact with an event marketer, they will feel more connected to the event.
Community Calendars – Many people check online community calendars for upcoming events or weekend activities. Often times these calendars are free and only take a minute or two to post an event to.
Advertising Partner – Having a radio or television advertising partner that already has a relationship with your target audience is very beneficial. Offer your partner logo placement or a profit share for their assistance in getting your message out.
Take a look at the creative department, always under tight deadlines, small budgets, understaffed and they still manage to come up with well thought out creative that blows onlookers’ minds. When working on any project, there are many thoughts running through our minds but only a few to keep the stress at bay.
1. You Can’t Rush
Sure the concepts are due in less than a week, but rushing the creative process only means that some steps will be missed, such as quality. Pull together other creative members to determine the best strategy to meet the tight deadline. Work with the account team to see if the timeline can be adjusted.
2. Don’t Burn Out
Being under tight deadlines and always under pressure to come up with top of the line creative concepts can be overwhelming. You’ll need to learn when it’s time to walk away and get rest. You may have hit a wall, and want to keep pushing but reality is, you need rest.
3. Review & Adjust
You may have finished a project and be satisfied with your hard work but put it away. Then, hours later, take another look. You may have a better idea or have missed something. Regardless, there’s always time to review and adjust.
Before presenting the finished project, review with other creative members to get their perspective. They may have information about the piece that you may not know about, such as the client’s preference on a typeface or color scheme. Teamwork is another key to creative success.
5. Be Proud
You have worked endless hours on your creative piece so stand behind it, others will follow. Be confident about the decisions you have made, it will show in the final presentation.
The corporate history of MassMedia dates back to December 1997, when former newspaper reporter and public relations professional Paula Yakubik founded the company in Las Vegas, Nevada. The company fast became a leading agency, providing corporate communication strategies to clients including Colliers International, Silver State Bank and McDonald Carano Law Firm. MassMedia was built on a trusted set of principles, in particular that clients are delivered a superior product at a fair price minus the bureaucracy of a large agency.
In 2008, the national recession hit the Las Vegas market considerably hard and MassMedia’s real estate and corporate clients were devastated. MassMedia launched a health care division to diversify its interests. By 2012, the firm had acquired notable health care clients including HealthCare Partners, Humana, HealthSouth, Sunrise HCA and Desert Radiologists. 2012 also marked the firm’s entry into a more creative advertising space for consumer clients including Freed’s Bakery, Yes Air Conditioning & Plumbing, and the Henderson International School.
Today the award-winning agency is now firmly considered a full-service advertising and public relations firm, employing more than 25 people and handling a diversified client base that spans across the nation.
What is a social habit? A social habit is the tendency to use social media sites several times a day. According to Edison research, in 2011 approximately 46 million Americans developed a social habit, by mid-2012 that number increased to 58 million Americans. Compared over time since 2008, that number has increased by nearly five-fold. But can these social media browsers turn in to customers? The short answer is, they already are.
Our habit has created a new normal, dual-screen viewing. According to the latest Nielsen statistics, 41% of tablet owners and 38% of smart phone owners use their device while watching television. This has opened up a new realm of digital marketing, dual-screen marketing. Brands can now double their impact with an effective dual screen marketing strategy. Take Heineken’s Star Player app for example. They are able to reach their global market with an app that allows users to predict the next goal, game stats, and more for UEFA sanctioned matches and rewarding users with points (see video below).
You can no longer watch a television program without seeing a corresponding hashtag displayed on the screen for viewers to live chat via social networks. Additionally, of the 52 national ads displayed during the 2013 Super Bowl, 50% included hashtags. The hashtags used in those commercials were mentioned 300,000 times on Super Bowl Sunday alone, an increase of 273% from the previous year. The most popular hashtag was Budweiser’s #Clydesdales but who can forget Oreo’s “Dunk in the Dark” real-time social media ad. (Side note: If you have seen Oreo’s ad before, you were either dual-screening during the game or friends with a friend who was dual screening and saw the image through them, the power of social media.)
The question for your company now becomes, “what can social media do for you?” According to a study done by NM Incite, 66% of social media users visit their social media outlets to learn more about products and services. These users are essentially sales leads that want to know more about your offerings. Social media outlets have turned into new channels to convert leads into customers. So give the people what they want, an informative social media outlet where they can learn more about your brand. Then, if you run your social media outlets properly, you can turn your new customers into brand advocates.
As marketing professionals, it’s MassMedia’s responsibility to improve our client’s exposure to the community but one of the most rewarding aspects of joining the MassMedia team is the ability to bring our resources together to improve our community as a whole. That’s where MassMedia’s Community Integration Committee comes into play.
Throughout the year, our Community Integration team plans fundraisers and events to give back to Southern Nevada. In 2012, MassMedia employees participated in a number of creative service events like collecting school supplies for Clark County students, launching an internal recycling program and the men of MassMedia even grew beards in September to raise money for prostate cancer research. Of all the projects our team takes on, no event raises more excitement and good will than MassMedia’s Annual Thanksgiving Food Drive Competition.
In just two short weeks, MassMedia raised 12,450 non-perishable food items to benefit Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada. According to the nonprofit organization, our company’s contribution was the largest received in 2012. To accomplish this impressive goal, MassMedia broke into four teams to determine which group could gather the most canned goods for local families in need.
Dozens of local businesses, organizations and community members contributed food items and funds to make the two-week competitive food drive a success. In a matter of 48 hours, the City of Henderson filled more than 100 boxes with goods which helped restock the shelves of the food pantry at Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada.
So far in 2013, MassMedia employees have made a splash in the community by participating in the Color Run Las Vegas to benefit Three Square Food Bank, sending Valentine’s Day treats to our troops overseas and collecting gently-used clothing to help people in need dress for success during job interviews.
Whether it’s through creative advertising and marketing campaigns or community involvement, MassMedia looks forward to serving Southern Nevada for many years to come. Keep an eye out for our team at events throughout the year!
Just as in life, a company’s “teens” and “20s” can be an awkward time. It’s the period in which your company’s workload requires a labor force of 10-29 employees to fulfill the tasks at hand, which tends to also create new strains on the business, such an increased need for attention to employee relations or branding. Often, these needs stretch beyond the scope of the business owner’s expertise and capabilities. As the company grows, the CEO’s primary responsibility tends to become two things: being the lead strategist of the company’s central expertise, and securing new business. Attempting to stretch oneself beyond that into areas like HR, public relations, crisis management and marketing, can often lead to disastrous results. Many times, the CEO of a growing business attempts to take on these tasks themselves and fail because they are already overloaded with the business’s top priority (sales) and often learn these other areas by trial and error. While they don’t always seems like the most important areas of your business, these often are the areas that can potentially lead to big trouble when mishandled.
When you are first starting out, it can be tempting to find ways to accommodate any client who wants to give you money; however, doing so can also be disastrous. As the old adage goes, “If you try to be everything to everyone, you’ll be nothing to no one.” One of the hardest things for a sales person to do is tell a potential client you are (respectfully) not interested in their money, but it’s one of the most essential skills for a businessperson. Often times a CEO that is an expert in a business niche, be it frozen foods or information technology, does not know how to discriminate and target a niche audience successfully. But with a clear vision, defined audience and concise message through all avenues—some more obvious than others—you can overcome the growing pains.
Reach out and touch your customer
In today’s marketplace, it is not enough just to have a good product. The advent of social media has made everything—from retail stores to celebrities—instantly and intimately accessible. Today’s consumer wants to know who is selling to them and wants to establish an emotional bond with brands. They want to know that they are heard and want a fast response to questions and concerns. Moreover, this wave of “instant access culture” also causes the customer to want to feel like they are a part of the brand and to know that they are being considered in the development of the product, as if it were being made just for them. That’s why global brands like M&M’s and Lay’s now use social media to hold contests engaging customers to choose their next product, like the latter’s currently-running “Do Us A Flavor Campaign” pitting customer-submitted potato chip flavors like Sriracha and Chicken & Waffles head-to-head in a public vote via Facebook.
Quality prevails over quantity when it comes to social media engagement. Customers tend to take interest in discounts, giveaways and contests over blatant advertising or employee posts. This is where smaller companies (and sometimes even large ones) often make mistakes by having younger, inexperienced staff in charge of their social media. Being “good on Facebook” isn’t the same thing as knowing how to present your brand to the masses. While the newest generation of college grads understand social media trends and can often be an asset in managing the tools, you will want an experienced brand marketer overseeing the messaging and strategy going out to your target audience. As many small and huge companies learned in recent years, one poorly planned post can quickly spread like wildfire.
Happy employees are your greatest sales tool
Not every business has to be “cool,” have a ping pong table or allow employees to wear jeans to work. But, to be successful, you do need to staff your company with like-minded individuals who embrace the culture you do set. Finding an employee with the right skills and experience is only half the battle. Having high turnover or bad employee morale can be costly to the bottom line and stunts productivity. It is always easiest to avoid habits that create bad morale before it happens, as it will take 10 times the effort and resources to reverse it, than it does to avoid it. Once you’ve brought an employee onboard, their knowledge of your business, and the sharing of their experience with your business, are unavoidable.
Do your best to keep it a positive one by being forth coming and honest, starting in the interview process, about the expectations and environment of the office. Remember the saying, “under promise and over deliver”? This mantra is just as important to apply to your staff as it is your clients. A disgruntled employee that is directly communicating with your clients, not to mention within their own social circle in your market, can affect a small business quickly. Happy employees are productive employees and happy employees will become positive ambassadors for your brand everywhere they go.
Innovate or fade away
Rapidly changing technologies affect every industry, and those who refuse to acknowledge that, tend to lose their lead over time. As trends move faster and faster, even iconic American brands are fighting for their life. Remember Kodak, Western Electric and these five other companies that twenty years ago were named to Fortune’s Most Admired list? What’s hot today won’t necessary last tomorrow. Being on top of the technology curve and letting go of any fear of change are essential to long-term success.
A business’ founders will always get emotionally attached to the company’s history. In 2009, as the print world was changing, I sat on the management team of a regional lifestyle magazine as we evaluated how to hold on to market share. In light of the turn of the industry’s new business format, which now required an online flipbook, and would later require a full online version of every edition in order to survive, we were presented with a scary proposal: change the logo to correspond with the launch of our new format.
Much of the management team had been part of the group that had developed the existing logo and we were deeply emotionally attached to it. Suffice it to say, in the beginning, we were immensely opposed. But the exercise became a lesson in another vital rule in business: stick to your own expertise and trust the people you hire for theirs (more on that later). The creative team leaders were adamant that it was time to innovate the brand or we would seal our fate to be written off as “dinosaurs” who refused to change with the times. A fate so many brands have faced in the past decade. We were 20-somethings, but we were set in our ways. It took the unrelenting persuasion of accomplished branding experts we had contracted, professionals that had contributed to the success of major publications such as Harper’s Bazaar and others, to convince us to put our emotional attachment aside for the good of the brand we loved so much. “Look at other major brands that have been in existence for decades,” they told us. “PepsiCo., Vogue, etc. You’ll be hard-pressed to find one that has never changed their logo.”
The decision to rebrand our company with the help of industry experts who had successfully re-launched comparable brands before and launch new product to keep our offerings fresh, quickly proved to be a resounding success. That year we were recognized by publications including Inc. and Forbes as an innovator in the industry and one of the fastest-growing companies in the country. Soon after, that organic advertising caught on with clients, resulting in new and larger investments from advertisers.
Recognize your own strengths, hire experts to handle the rest
Understanding the ins and outs of everything that can get you in hot water requires a lot of extensive training and time. (For example, did you know that it is illegal to refer to a certain football game that occurs every February by name in any public forum or advertisement without direct permission from the NFL; and that doing so can result in hefty fines that can be paralyzing to a small business?) Agencies—such as a Human Resources PEO or Marketing/PR agency—safeguard your business by running your marketing or HR needs through a trail of checks and balances within their own expert staff.
When your company is making the transition from small to medium, hiring full-time employees to handle these areas can be hard to justify. Agencies provide companies a team of experts in their field at a fraction of the cost of hiring a full team in-house, especially once you consider “hidden” costs beyond employee salary such as health benefits and payroll taxes. Employing these types of agencies can be a highly-efficient way to utilize seasoned expertise in business, and allow the most important person in your organization (you) to focus on your specialty and expertise.
In the world of social media, images reign supreme. The growing popularity of image-dominated sites and updates by social networks signal the increasing importance of visuals in today’s internet landscape.
Two of the fastest growing and most popular social networks today are Pinterest and Instagram. The two platforms, which launched in 2009 and 2010 respectively, have enjoyed exponential growth. The latest study released by the PEW Research Center shows that people are using Pinterest just as much as Twitter. 15% of internet users are pinning and 16% are tweeting, with a close 13% taking and sharing photos on Instagram.
Although these numbers don’t come close to Facebook’s (67% of internet users are on Facebook), recent updates and actions undertaken by the social media giant show its recognition of the web’s ever growing desire for images. These actions include Facebook’s acquisition of Instagam for one billion dollars and the launch of the Timeline, its most image-heavy format to date.
The cover photo that dominates each Facebook profile is prime real estate; it’s the first thing that consumers see. It gives companies an opportunity to make a powerful first impression and provides a large canvas where they can display their identity.
Here at MassMedia we have taken advantage of these new updates with new innovative designs that reflect the essence and culture of our company. Aside from listing the services that MassMedia provides, the Pacman-inspired theme shows the creative capabilities of our dynamic group of designers and the confidence of our leadership to step out of the box.
Whoever says negative advertising can’t be effective advertising really doesn’t know what they’re talking about. The Go Daddy Super Bowl ad “Perfect Match” proves that point.
As 108.7 million people collectively cringed at the sight of an overweight geek kissing a supermodel while the Senior VP and CMO Barb Rechterman were smiling. That’s right, I said it, this disturbing commercial was lead by a woman.
Rechterman is quoted saying, “Whether you loved it or hated it, it’s a memorable spot, and that spot, by the way, helped us achieve our best sales day ever, the Monday after the Super Bowl”.
According to Bluefin Labs, a social TV analytics company, the Go Daddy ad generated the most negative social media mentions of any ad, with 34% of the 207,000 mentions on social media in the first 45 minutes after the ad aired being negative. This finding fits with the USA Today Ad Meter indicating that it was the least popular of all ads, edging out the lackluster Black Crown commercials from Anheuser-Busch.
Given the amount of conversation — even if it was often negative — generated by Go Daddy, the domain name registrar’s ads fared better in their own way than more benign flops, like the Black Crown commercials. When it comes to Super Bowl ads, it may be better to offend than to merely flop.
In an age where smart phones, tablets and WiFi rule the world, people want their news and they want it now. The trick is figuring out how to place your client in the center of all of the excitement.
To help navigate the reactive pitching process, MassMedia went straight to the source, the newsroom assignment desk. As assignment manager at NBC Austin, Texas, John Bumgardner is responsible for screening emails, answering phone calls and sending reporters out the door. He offers advice for getting your message out to the media and in to your audience’s hands.
Monitor the news daily
This first step to reactive pitching is to know the news. Reading the paper, watching the news and scanning the Internet in the morning are great ways to determine which stories will be the big attention generators of the day. You can even set up Google alerts for certain topics that suit your client so you’ll know when there’s an opportunity to create a media pitch.
If you’re looking for quick coverage, social media is your secret weapon. Many media outlets and reporters will post their daily assignments and requests for sources on their Facebook and Twitter pages.
Creating a press release is favored whenever time allows but once you send the release out, be strategic with your follow up. “Constant calling is something that drives newsrooms crazy,” says Bumgardner. “Making sure you got the release through is necessary because of the volume of email received daily and some things do fall through the cracks, just don’t go overboard. The ability to copy text from a release saves time for us having to retype the information into our newsroom system software.”
Establish your client as an expert in their field
Why is your client the go-to source for this reporter’s particular story? It’s your job to establish your client’s credibility. Start by referencing the hot topic at hand and offer up an interview. You should provide some background information on your client’s experience and services in the media pitch. If your client has been featured as a source in similar stories, feel free to include a link; this will give the reporter an idea of the types of questions your client is able to answer.
To make your pitch successful, Bumgardner encourages the use of three key points:
1)A visual element
2)Clear news value
3) Ease of access to events and interviews
Get ready to race against the clock
When it comes to the reactive pitching, there’s one very important mantra to keep in mind: Yesterday’s news is today’s history. The news never sleeps and most stories only have a shelf life of 24 hours or less. “Being accessible to a newsroom is key,” says Bumgardner. “Availability when we call or a quick response via email or text message are very valuable tools.”
In many cases, your client will not have the opportunity to schedule interviews more than a few hours in advance. Make sure your client is available to speak to the media at any time or they may risk losing an opportunity for free PR.
Bumgardner also suggests taking photos or video of your client and offering it to the media in case they can’t send a reporter or photographer out to the shoot. This increases your chance of securing coverage at a later date.
Increase your exposure
Now that you have an action plan for securing coverage for your client, make sure your audience knows about it. Take photos while your client is chatting with the reporter, post them to social media and invite people to tune in or pick up the article once it runs. Tagging themedia outlet and reporter in your post can also increase the number of people who will be notified of your client’s involvement in the story. Finally, don’t forget to monitor the finished product and share all of your hard work once it runs!
Follow Amanda on Twitter @AmandaKate27 or email her at email@example.com.