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May 2013 - Posts

  • Are we truly communicating?

    May 22 2013
    We're all in the communications business. But how do we know if we're really communicating with each other? One of the most fundamental ways is acknowledgment.
    The nature of their work necessitates that law enforcement and the military grasp this concept. In fact, military protocol says that for true communication to happen, there must be:
    1. communication sent
    2. communication received
    3. communication acknowledged
    This makes good sense in our daily lives, as well. When we receive a request from family, friend or business associate, best practice is an immediate response so that they know their communication has been received.
    Why is this important? Because until the sender hears from you, their natural tendency is to think: "I wonder if she got that? Did it go to ‘junk'? Does he know that I must tell my boss when we'll have an answer?"
    The recipient may think, "I'll get back to them when I get the answer." However, the longer the delay, the more anxious the sender becomes. And because trust is the cornerstone of all relationships, that unresponsiveness can damage it.
    At minimum, a response like "got it" is cardinal. Mentioning timing is even better: "Got it. Be back to you by Friday." When we get those acknowledgements, we know we've communicated.
  • Branding your online newsroom

    May 22 2013

     Smart brands are turning their online newsrooms into centralized news headquarters that include news stories, photos, videos, financial and organizational updates, social media feeds, blog content, reviews and media coverage. What was once a simple webpage with a chronological list of press releases is now a constantly evolving source of fresh, compelling content.
    TEKGROUP International, Inc.'s "2012 Online Newsroom Survey" results showed that 97 percent of journalists surveyed consider an online newsroom important. Journalists use online newsrooms as major sources of current and compelling information when researching for articles. Improving newsroom content can also improve your website's search ranking and, according to Google's Content Guidelines, "the best way to get other sites to create relevant links to yours is to create unique, relevant content."
    Brands that see the importance of expanding their newsrooms are becoming publishers, reporting on a variety of topics. One brand leading the charge in sharing diversified content is Verizon Wireless. Its News Center includes industry news and articles written by employee contributors. Users can filter news by region and topic and check out the live Facebook, Twitter and YouTube feeds. Coca-Cola's Press Center includes video and image libraries with promotional and corporate community content that can be easily distributed on social media. This makes it easy for consumers, bloggers, analysts, investors and journalists to access, use and share the information.
    Turning your online newsroom into a digital hub of your organization's content promotes your brand's cause and helps establish your industry expertise.

  • Selling it in - the Steve Jobs way

    May 22 2013
    Steve Jobs had it right so many times and in so many different ways. I recently stumbled on yet another way his brilliance transcends his untimely death. Here are my five favorite rules the Oracle of Palo Alto followed when selling his ideas:
    Write a single sentence description for every idea.
    Concise enough to fit in a 140-character Twitter post? Now that's strong.
    Create a villain — a problem in need of a solution — that allows the audience to rally around the hero. Let that hero be you and your product/service.
    Stick to the rule of three. Divide the presentation into three parts (four at most), as your audience is only capable of retaining that much in their short-term memory.
    Create visual slides. Steve Jobs didn't use bulleted lists. Instead, he relied on photographs and images. When he unveiled the Macbook Air, Apple's ultra-thin notebook computer, he showed a slide of the computer fitting inside a manila inter-office envelope. That said it all.
    Make numbers meaningful. If we forget to put large numbers into a context that is relevant, they'll be lost on the audience. The bigger the number, the more important it is to find analogies or comparisons that make the data relevant.
    It all really adds up to simplicity, which by now we know is the mantra behind almost every success we see in the world — from technology to clever advertising to making a real impact. Give it a whirl for your next big presentation.
  • Reaching a re-emerging target audience - Meet H.E.N.R.Y

    May 22 2013
    A consumer demographic has re-emerged since the recession and, while they are small in numbers, they are strong in spending. Prepare to get reacquainted with HENRY.
    HENRY stands for "High Earners Not Rich Yet." Currently defined as those making $100-$250K, they encompass about 21 million households and represent 90 percent of affluent consumers, which in total account for more than 40 percent of all U.S. consumer spending. They are the "heavy lifters" when it comes to economic spending.
    Unity Marketing's "Annual State of the Luxury Market Report" indicates that, while the ultra-affluent cut their spending nearly 30 percent, HENRYs have increased theirs by 11 percent. They are optimistic about the future, but more careful about purchasing behaviors. HENRYs have dual incomes and work hard to have it all — kids, a mortgage, vacations. Despite their high earnings, they are not wealthy and must make trade-offs to have the "accessible luxury" they desire. They appreciate quality and justify their purchases as rewards for their hard work.
    How can we best market to HENRYs? Understand that 81 percent are willing to pay more for quality and they prefer smart brands that offer status symbols. They mostly consume traditional media, including television, radio, magazines — and 98 percent of them are online. They are more likely than any other demographic to own a smartphone. HENRYs are not blind brand loyal and require a payoff in quality and value to stay with a brand. Continued commitment to your products and services, coupled with integrated audience engagement strategies, are the best ways to keep HENRY spending on your brand.
  • We got engaged! At Knowledge Tap, that is.

    May 02 2013

    Smart brands are grabbing consumers' attention in bold ways—from innovative 3D projection on landmark buildings and mannequins to rich, multi-screen experiences that enable viewers to dig deeper into the content they want, to apps that encourage users to explore and share music, ads and TV shows. Inspired brands have found a way to reach consumers using traditional media in non-traditional ways.

    This was the conversation held last Wednesday at our latest Knowledge Tap event – Let's Get Engaged. Industry experts Joshua Cohen, president & CEO of Pearl Media; Garrett Jamison, YuMe's director of southwest sales and Eric Zimostrad, senior manager of media partnerships at Shazam LA, joined our VP of digital production, Aaron Dubois, to illustrate how brands are using online, out-of-home and broadcast media in new ways to share their brand message and to excite and engage consumers. To get more details, be on the lookout for our panel video.

    The next Knowledge Tap event will be here before you know it. Please help us make it even better. We'd love to hear your feedback or ideas for potential topics. Send us a tweet @phelps_agency with the hashtag #KnowledgeTap.