Tag Archives: Public Relations

Street Team/Promotions Marketing Tips: What I Learned from Lightning in a Bottle

13 May

ImageOver the past few months, I’ve had the privilege to be part of The Do Lab promotion team for Lightning in a Bottle festival. Basically, the promotions team takes to the streets to pass out flyers, hang up posters and chat it up with folks with the goal of increasing awareness with WOM (word-of-mouth marketing). Here are a few helpful tips I’ve pulled together from my experience:

  • Manage your time. You may have a certain amount of hours to clock before completion. So, make sure you divide the number of hours by your calendar. We all have lives and even other jobs – this will help ensure you aren’t stuck with a ton of hours and no time left. Also, make sure you are in constant contact with your street team leader – they can be very helpful! Shout out to my awesome lead, @snedmonster!!!
  • Know your audience. Look for events, concerts, shops and restaurants, that might draw people with similar interests. For example, if there’s a concert in town that is similar to the music at the festival, go chat it up with people waiting in line.
  • Always be on the look out for opportunity. Carry collateral with you at all times: in your purse, in your car, in your pocket, etc. You never know when you may find yourself in a store or restaurant that has a cork board. Heck, you might even find yourself at the grocery store randomly in a conversation about the festival (or whatever you are promoting). If you’ve got a few flyers in your purse to share, then you can turn it into credit towards your hours!
  • Collaborate with fellow teammates. I’ve met beautiful people during my days street teaming. If you can buddy up with someone at an event, you’ll get to more people, and give yourself a boost of confidence knowing you’re in it together. Once you’re done, go grab a bite or a drink – work hard, play hard!
  • Be creative! When you’re out in the field, you only have a few seconds to catch people’s interest or take a flyer. Rehearse an elevator pitch, but then think up a few message points that you can use for various types of people. Using Lightning in a Bottle for example: If you see a person walking down the street with a yoga mat, talk about the amazing yoga workshops and then lead into the music and speakers. If you’re at a concert, shout out a few similar artists from the lineup they may also be interested in.

Have you been on a street team or have done promotions? Share your tips in the comments below!

Listen Up! Lorde Can Teach a Thing or Two About Millennial Marketing…

28 Mar

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This week, I had the pleasure of speaking to author Marc Shapiro on examining the career of Lorde, the 17 year-old New Zealand musician who just won her first two Grammys for her hit song “Royals”.

Lorde: Your Heroine, How This Young Feminist Broke All the Rules and Succeeded, released by Riverdale Avenue Books, explores the many facets of Lorde including her feminist viewpoints, how intellectually inclined she is, and her talent of writing meaningful music. Shapiro shows over the course of a year how Lorde’s career went from complete obscurity to superstardom.

During my interview with Shapiro, I wanted to focus on how Lorde uniquely markets herself and her brand. I wondered, was she being strategic in the way she dresses, addresses questions and connects with the youth? According to Shapiro, it turns out she’s actually just being true to herself — simple as that. I asked him, “What makes her brand unique from a marketing perspective?” He explained, “During interviews, if she gets a question, she’s going to answer it. She speaks her mind.”

So, it’s her transparency and authenticity that makes her relatable. Even her tweets are written by her — it’s obvious by the scrappy pics she takes (see below)! Very similar characteristics to the core principles of marketing to this very age group, aka Millennials.

Shapiro goes on to say, “Lorde is a jumping off point for creativity, no matter the age.” “We have not had good pop music and I think there was a backlash.” Sounds like we need to recognize, Millennials are looking to cut the bullshit. They want the rawness of music and not the glitz and the glamour, the smoke and mirrors.

“The intriguing thing about writing about Lorde is that she is so damned contrary to everything that pop music has become,” said author Marc Shapiro. “She’s a true intellect whose songs have been guided by great authors and deep thinkers rather than the predictable template of current pop music. She’s smart, creative, a true individual and only 17. Stories that are too good to be true but that ultimately are just that makes a biography of Lorde truly something special.”

Buy the ebook for $9.99 at Amazon and BarnesandNoble.com or the print version for $16.99.

About Marc Shapiro
Marc Shapiro is the New York Times bestselling author of We Love Jenni – An Unauthorized Biography, The Secret Life of EL James, Who is Katie Holmes? – An Unauthorized Biography, Legally Bieber: Justin Bieber at 18, J.K. Rowling: The Wizard Behind Harry Potter, Justin Bieber: The Fever!, Game: The Resurrection of Tim Tebow and many other bestselling celebrity biographies. He is a freelance entertainment journalist covering film, television, and music for a number of national and international newspapers and magazines.

Guest Post: What The 90’s Taught Us about Public Relations: Branding, Transparency, Digital Capabilities, and Public Opinion Can Bring Your Client Success

26 Mar

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By Kate Connors, Senior Account Manager & Social Media Strategist at Media & Communications Strategies

Although I was born in the 80s, I consider myself to be a full-blown 90s child. The TV show Wishbone™ was where I first developed a love of history. If someone uses the word “bop,” my mind immediately goes to my first Bop It™ game and I want to yell back “Twist it – Pull it – Flick it!” When parents complain about their kids having too many stuffed animals, I cringe and think about the multiple boxes of Beanie Babies™ living in my attic that I continue to hope will be worth something one day. But the 90’s weren’t just about all the must have tows and wonderful TV shows; They were also a time when future PR professionals like myself had the opportunity to learn a thing or two about how to bring clients success. Below are a few examples of PR tips we learned from 90s culture and icons.

1) Giving a Face to Your Brand is Crucial – We fell in love with the Olsen twins on Full House, but in reality that was only the beginning of their success. They truly owned their brand and developed movies and products that fit their target audience. In today’s world, where most interactions take place online and not in-person, personalizing and humanizing your brand is crucial to success.

2) If you are Facing a Communications Crisis, Be Transparent: I can’t even begin to list all the wonderful children’s TV shows that aired in the 90s, but there is one show we will never forget for the delightful scandal it brought with it. On July 26, 1991, Pee-wee’s Playhouse host Paul Reubens was arrested for indecent exposure. What did Paul Reuben do to rebuild his reputation? Almost absolutely nothing for the next decade. Reuben’s situation was a no-brainer for the courts. He did what he did and paid a fine. What can we learn from this? If you want to save your career or company and not sit on your butt for ten years, apologize, be transparent and regain the trust in your consumers/fans. Hiding is usually never the answer.

3) Never Discredit Public Opinion – For us 90’s babies, we hear the word “OJ” and our mind does not immediately go to the juice. Instead we think about the OJ Simpson’s trial, which gave rise to the idea that Hollywood can get away with anything. But the takeaway here for PR professionals it that your client’s public image is a huge priority, which is why getting them media coverage before a crisis occurs is important. The more friends you build in the media world, (usually) the less likely it is that they will tear you to shreds a later date. That being said, another lesson here is that no matter what you do, have done or who you know, a great story trumps everything.

4) Digital is the Future – I’m sure many parents cringed when their children suddenly began sporting numerous Tamagotchis and appearing late to dinner because they had to check in on their hand-held pet. But the creators of these little creatures, Akihiro Yokoi of WiZ and Aki Maita of Bandai, were on to something when they made these highly addictive toys. According to survey data released by Forbes.com, “Studies show that Gen Y and Millennial generation– which will comprise more than 50% of the workforce by 2020 – would prefer to use instant messaging or other social media than stop by an office and talk with someone.” So for those of you who talked lovingly to your virtual pet, you weren’t crazy – just ahead of the curve.

So next time you are reminiscing about which Power Rangers™ character was your favorite, think about it in a public relations context. Who doesn’t remember all the diversity conflicts around these action fighting heroes?

About Media & Communications Strategies, Inc:
Media & Communications Strategies, Inc. handles all kinds of critical public relations for US and international clients out of our Washington, D.C. office. We are a founding member of the Public Relations Boutiques International network for constant, far-reaching support. High profile crisis communications is one niche talent, reputation management in all kinds of media is our core expertise and client satisfaction is our specialty.

My San Francisco Treat

11 Feb

 

Photo: view from my apartment window!

As you know, it’s been several weeks without posting to my blog. In the past few weeks, I’ve been a busy bee: making a move to San Francisco and starting a new job at SHIFT Communications. I’m so glad to finally settled in, especially before NYFW explodes into the blogosphere!

Currently working on the consumer team, I am gaining a lot of experience right off the bat and learning all there is to know about SHIFT. Already, I’ve had the pleasure to meet Principal Todd Defren and jump right into working on social media and traditional PR projects.

I’ll be buzzing around the city a lot, so catch me on Twitter @ConsumingPR when you want a dose of Consuming PR! Any fun SF hot spots to recommend?

PR Case Study: Saurette Makes In-Store Debut After Receiving Star Attention

12 Mar

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I’m proud to announce Saurette, New York based children’s clothing company, is now available for purchase in stores across the U.S. and available online at www.mysaurette.net! It was only last January I covered the star attention Saurette received during the Golden Globes. Now, the coverage and attention has paid off with Saurette launching a full fledged in-store debut.

This is a prime example of earned media coverage resulting in a return on investment. Creating a buzz with media coverage such as events, social media and print will enable a brand to leverage itself while breaking into their target markets. Recognition is everything when it comes to selling a product because it gives customers the promise of quality.

As far as ROI goes, it can be difficult to measure public relations activities for every dollar. A PR campaign needs time to develop and become established before you can truly measure the investment and distance of dollar. Research is one way to measure success, aside from ad equivalency, because it shows the change upon impact of public relations activities. Take a snapshot of the company before you embark on a campaign and compare your results. This method will provide necessary tools to communicate ROI.

As a public relations professional, it is important to show your results at all times. Companies will put more trust in your services and in turn build your reputation and clientele.

Find Saurette in a store near you! Also, Saurette is offering free shipping from www.mysaurette.net just  in time to order those Easter dresses for your little girls! Usethe following code at check-out: SAFRSHP

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Twitter Increases Speed of Fashion Trends

9 Feb

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Twitter is the fastest and most concise way to exchange information. Bloggers use it to promote themselves, track up-to-date trends and immerse themselves in their industry. Twitter can also be used to promote companies, labels, celebrities and those who want to be connected and consume information at light speed.

Fashion bloggers, designers and apparel companies utilize twitter in a way that may change the face of fashion. Nordstrom (@Nordstrom), Saurette (@Saurette), Solessence (@Solessence), and Hayden-Harnett (@hayden_harnett) are all companies tweeting frequently about trends and their own products. With the exception of WWD, fashion trends are mostly reported by print magazine on a monthly basis. Now, with the use of Twitter, fashionistas everywhere can consume fashion 24/7. This enables consumers to become inspired by trends, designers and celebrities at any moment.

Twitter paves the way for fashion trends to come and go in a matter of seconds. The astronomical number of exchanges between people on twitter ignites this type of behavior.

As fashionistas exchange trends on twitter, consumers will be overloaded with trends and fashion news. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy that there is an overload of fashion news accessible at my fingertips, but this might mean that trends will have shorter life spans.

Consumer brands and fashion labels thrive on trends. Department stores pick up on these trends in order to drive business. With the use of buyers, department stores seek out labels that are consistent with current trends. As trends start to have shorter life spans department stores may not have the capacity to keep up. Boutiques, on the other hand, have the capacity to thrive with the changing trends because they have a smaller inventory.

Can businesses keep afloat if trends have shorter life spans? And will boutiques thrive while department stores go by the wayside?

Photo: Jack & Bill PR post on twitter during Fashion Week

Public Relations Saves The Day!

5 Dec

dollardress1The economy is in a bad place right now…yada yada yada. Don’t freak out and the market will bounce back…yada yada yada.

True, public relations practitioners need to be aware of these trying times but might we find diamonds in the rough? Brand perception means everything to companies right now because consumers are reluctant to buy. People are purchasing trustworthy brands and seeking out product information to make the best economic decisions. Public relations is the key to garnering this consumer trust.

Brand perception is the most important element to a company’s success rather than slashing prices. “I see a lot of people in my industry who are over-reacting. Stores that are over-discounting, designers who are creating collections for the price and what sells rather than to reflect who they are,” says Anna Wintour in New York Magazine’s The Cut.

Along with Abercrombie & Fitch, as mentioned in my previous post, Neiman Marcus is hanging on to their luxury-brand image and perceived value.

The Fashion Rag reports that luxury department store, Neiman Marcus, plans to open a new store in Bellevue, Washington, at The Bravern in March 2009 and a three-story store in the Macerich-owned Broadway Plaze in Walnut Creek, California.

I recently had a discussion on Twitter about Neiman Marcus’ behavior. Jordana Bruner, fashion blogger for Clutch22, explained that “their primary customers still spend $$ in spite of the recession. It’s similar with some other luxury brands.” Pierce Mattie Public Relations replied with, “It’s just interesting that when other brands are being cautious, they are going full throttle. Do they know something we don’t?” This is an interesting question to ask and I hope it will be answered in the near future.

I urge companies to keep pushing forward because their business is what drives our economy. Also, know that investing in public relations will build trust in a company’s brand perception to drive business.  Stay strong and remember that public relations will save the day!!!

How do you think brand perception affects business in a recession?