Posts Tagged ‘communication’


Transformation Influencers: Rust-Oleum’s 1,000 Projects Campaign

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

There are more than 100 million searches each month on “how to” do something. Rust-Oleum, a nearly 100 year-old company, came to the realization that people aren’t really passionate about products as much as they want to change and improve their living spaces, creating something beautiful that they can enjoy.

Photo: Pinterest Screenshot

Photo: Pinterest Screenshot

With the insight that people want to improve and/or change what they love, Rust-Oleum (along with its agencies) set out to create 1,000 compelling projects to serve as inspiration and demonstration to consumers. Leveraging paid media and using data driven marketing to share a transformation story through images and video, they empowered bloggers and every day influencers to share their own inspiration stories, in turn driving awareness and a new excitement—a re-introduction of sorts.

Lisa Bialecki, Senior Director, Integrated Communications at Rust-Oleum, shared their journey with attendees of PRSA St. Louis’ recent Digital Communications Summit.

They conducted fast data analysis to identify exactly what people are searching for and where they’re looking to find this information. Using this research data, they created a blueprint of projects that they needed to create and feature—for example, 14% of the project would be devoted to the garden tackling things like planters, fences and stones, while 5% would be devoted to garage revamping items such as cabinets, hardware, organizers and the garage floor.

Their strategy included media partners, consumers, professionals and brand projects. Rust-Oleum created “an army of project enthusiasts,” Bialecki said, leveraging volumes of content–using print, blogs, web, video, Facebook and Pinterest. They also hyper-targeted banner ads to their audiences and created a new website for project inspirations with a user forum section—creating a community.

But it wasn’t just all traditional print, social media and digital. Rust-Oleum hosted DIY conferences. They held multiple blogger innovation summits in an effort to generate excitement for these bloggers to write about new products. One such summit included 18 highly influential DIY bloggers (from 15 key blogs) over a three-day period. During the summit, they took them on a manufacturing plant tour, a corporate headquarters breakfast and tour which included a marketing studio “hands-on” session. Through these “in real life” events, they were able to build a stronger awareness of new products, strengthen existing and build new blogger relationships.

This integrated PR campaign not only supported Rust-Oleum’s retail marketing but has resulted in 250 million project impressions to date and 3 million project engagements. Pinterest has become their number two driver to the website. Most importantly, unit sales are up 40% year-over-year. This is a great example of PR, marketing, advertising, digital and social successfully working together!

The Marketing Words That Work With Each Generation

Monday, October 6th, 2014

Words That Work For Each Generation BurrellesLuce Media Monitoring Public Relations PR Software Marketing Millennials Generation X Demographics can be a slippery slope – combining 15 to 20 years’ worth of people into one neat category? Not so accurate. As a result marketers and public relations pros alike would be remiss to think that one style of language will resonate across the generations.

There’s a lot more that goes into messaging – like targeting and segmentation – but putting that aside for this post, let’s take a look at words and language styles that generally speak to each generation.

Generation Z

Born between 1995 and 2010, the earliest part of Gen Z is coming into its own purchasing power. These tech savvy multitaskers also respond to discussion about sustainability and green products. They’re also constantly adopting the latest technology and want to know what’s next. Gen Z also cares about privacy (hence their tendency toward ephemeral social media like SnapChat), having control over their own preference and security settings, and tend to prefer visuals over text and short, bite-sized content.

Generation Y/ Millennials

Ah, the elusive target market unicorn. It seems everyone wants to market to Millennials but no one can agree on how. Well, that might be because marketers tend to lean too heavily on stereotypes instead of reality. Some Millennials are go-getters with steady jobs who carefully cultivate their own brand, while others are trapped by economic circumstance: overeducated, underemployed, and not as financially independent as they’d like to be.

A lot of millennials respond to off-beat, sarcastic humor, social awareness, and freedom. Being aware of so many social and civil rights issues, using inclusive language and imagery is especially important for resonance, and Millennials like to hear words like “global citizen,” “diversity,” and “community.”

Generation X

GenXers tend to be skeptical, especially of the government (which is what growing up during Watergate and the Vietnam War will do to you), so they’re not into hype. They’re also protective of their personal time, so Anne Loehr recommends using phrases like “It’s your time … “, and “You will benefit by …”   Be real, refrain from being overly optimistic, and since Gen X likes data, emphasize results.

Boomers

Since Baby Boomers control 70 percent of disposable income in the U.S., it’s pretty important to get your messaging right. Like all generations, they like humor, but prefer it to be clever and not mean-spirited.

Boomers like positivity and are enjoying their economic freedom, so provide options and create positive messaging instead of using the word “don’t.” Try to include messages that explain why you understand Boomers, how you make their life easier, or how you make their life better. Boomers tend to be idealistic and ambitious, so using legacy-oriented language, a bit of sentimentality, and lots of information will most help your message resonate.

Traditionalists

Traditionalists, born 1925ish to 1945, grew up in the Great Depression and WWII, so they’re frugal, traditional, and loyal – once you’ve earned that loyalty. Emphasizing a company’s legacy, stability, reputation, and trustworthiness are all important.

Words like “earned,” “honor,” “respect,” “reliable,” “value,” and “responsibility” all resonate with Traditionalists.

So when you’re writing your blogs, releases, or messages, be sure to keep in mind who your audience is and what language they respond to. And also remember that demographics are very general, so further targeting and segmenting will help you hone your message further and more carefully curate your words.

 

Social Media Case Studies: The Candy and Jerky Stories

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013
by flickr user jessdamen

by flickr user jessdamen

The real value of content (the fuel of online media) is gaining the attention of the reader. This was one of the insights from David Witt, Mid-West leader at WCG, former Director of Global and Digital Marketing and Brand Public Relations at Hershey, and former Senior Manager of Consumer Engagement and Brand PR at General Mills. Witt spoke at the Minneapolis St. Paul Social Media Breakfast on November 15. Kathleen Petersen, media director at Space150, also spoke about her work on a campaign for Jack Link’s Beef Jerky jerky. The session focused on social media campaign case studies.

Promoting the Candy in Orange

When starting to work on the Reese’s brand for Hershey, Witt’s team began by looking at the analytics. He said he needed to understand where the conversation was happening on social media. They discovered 40 percent of the conversation was around recipes, so his team promoted user generated content (photos and recipes) on Facebook. One cake post generated 172,499 likes and over 5 million impressions.

The brand did not have a blog, but helped to promote Reese’s recipes and ideas on other blogs. They also started a Twitter account, which worked to extend the reach of the other posts.

Because people congregate around their passion, Reese’s partnered with the NCAA 2013 basketball championship for the #LetsGoReeces campaign. Their website traffic increase five times with the help of social media.

Summer is a slow time for candy, so the Hershey team created the “Summer of Love” campaign with lots of fun art around summer and the image of the peanut butter cup, and included a Facebook contest. The images were promoted via their social media properties with engagement increasing by 150 percent.

A Bigfoot Halloween

Jack Link’s Beef Jerky chose the Space150 team to lead their social media shortly before Halloween. Petersen says they were looking to increase fans, quickly.

The Space150 creative team was sent into the woods with 10 props, three creatives, one Sasquatch and one iPhone to shoot video and photos to be used in a Sasquatch Trick or Treat promotion.

The premise: fans sent a message via Twitter or Facebook to Jack Link’s letting them know if wanted to #tricksasquatch or #treatsasquatch. To extend their reach, Jack Link’s sent email messages to a fan list and a purchased email list.  The Space150 team created fun responses, including photos (utilizing the consumer’s avatar when possible) or video replies and posted them to the @me_sasquatch Twitter handle or the Facebook fan page.

The team discovered the videos took longer to create and approve, so Petersen recommends if you have a limited budget to stick with images only. She also advised working out the approval process with your client ahead of time in order to speed up the turn-around time.

The campaign also targeted a few celebrities who talk about Bigfoot or beef jerky on social media, like pro wrestler James Storm, who replied with a video.

The campaign resulted in 250 personal responses, an 87 percent increase in Facebook comments, 7,500 YouTube views and over 1 million incremental impressions.

What’s one of your most successful social media campaigns?

Debbie Friez BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas Blog Debbie Friez serves as tech editor for the Capitol Communicator and is also a consultant. Previously, she worked as Vice President, Major Accounts for BurrellesLuce. She originally joined BurrellesLuce at their Minnesota Clipping Service affiliate.

Friez was a senior account director for West Glen Communications, a broadcast PR services company. While at West Glen Communications, she was a frequent contributor to the DC Communicator newsletter.

She has a broad understanding of the technologies that are transforming the marketing and communications profession. She serves on the advisory board for the Capitol Communicator, the membership committee for the Minnesota chapter of the Public Relations Society of America, the national marketing committee for the Association of Women in Communications, and is a member and past president of Washington Women in Public Relations (WWPR).

Friez is a graduate of the University of North Dakota. She lives in Minneapolis, MN with her husband Paul Croteau, their two cats, Smokey and the Bandit, and Gus, the dog.

LinkedIn: dfriez Twitter: @dfriez

How Technology is Changing the Way We Connect

Monday, November 25th, 2013

by flickr user Eric Fischer

by flickr user Eric Fischer

by Bill Werner*

On November 21, I attended the IABC Phoenix luncheon, where Cisco’s Senior Communication and Marketing Manager Brad Whitworth gave a talk on how technology is changing communication in the world.

Whitworth noted that these days technology is so relevant in our daily communication world that we now notice where we cannot communicate instead of where we can. With widespread wifi hotspots and vast cell phone service coverage, we know where we can’t use our devices, whereas not so long ago, it was the opposite.  Now, we expect service wherever we go. We expect to be connected at coffee shops, bars, restaurants, hotels, and airports. What used to a bonus offering is now a must, and if one of these spots is lacking connectivity, we’re not very happy.

Wifi is also becoming part of activities that usually seem mundane, and becoming a way to control and monitor entire cities and organizations. For example, some cities are implementing systems that notify you of available parking spots. With the ready availability of wifi towers, GPS systems, and apps, one can find a parking spot on a mobile phone. With these same resources, cities are revamping plans for trash pickup, with sensors that indicate how full cans are and routing trucks only to areas with full cans.

The changing roles of technology are also changing the way we network and create our network. Whitworth advised that effective communication is all about building your network and using modern technology to your benefit. To do so, he explained that we must live outside our comfort zone, and not be afraid to use all types of groups and applications, including but not limited to LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

A handy rule he recommended is to “build your network before you need your network.” It’s a lot more beneficial to have a network when you can offer people something instead of asking for something. Finally, Whitworth believes that face-to-face networking is still relevant, and that we should always take advantage of it whenever possible, as, he explained, it’s the best way for people to really know you.

This was my first IABC meeting, and I look forward to putting Whitworth’s insights and suggestions into practice. I plan to integrate plenty of face-to-face events into my networking strategy while also building my networking groups digitally. Do you know of or are you part of useful networking events in the Phoenix area? What sorts of networking events have you found to be the most valuable?

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Bill Werner is an Arizona native and Business Development Director at BurrellesLuce, where his focus is developing client relations and providing clients with a comprehensive solution to their needs. His background is in the construction industry, where he learned that developing relationships and communicating are the keys to success. Bill’s family of three includes Katie and their newborn son, Gavin, as well as two cats and two dogs.

Life Lessons From a Day in the Mud

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

Life and work lessons from the Tough Mudder challengeby Denise Mazzella*

Last weekend I participated in a Tough Mudder with my amazing team, the Tripping Billies. The Tough Mudder is a 10- to 12-mile obstacle course known for challenging participants mentally and physically. I had no idea what to expect aside from what I’d seen in photos from past events. I knew I was going to be covered in mud from head to toe, but I had no clue how much of an impact this experience would have on me.

Of all the obstacles I went through that day – Electroshock Therapy, Arctic Enema and  Everest to name a few – what has stuck in my mind is the teamwork aspect of the event. You need a helping hand, a boost, or a shout of encouragement to get through the day. Teammates and complete strangers pull you over mud hills, help you up if you slip, and watch to make sure your head pops out of the muddy water after a 15-foot jump (hello Walk the Plank).

The brains behind Tough Mudder emphasize this is not a race, but I didn’t believe that until I witnessed it for myself. I thought I would be overrun by cocky twenty-somethings who would rather leave you in the dust than lend a hand. I was wrong. I felt a strong sense of camaraderie and that everyone wanted you to succeed. In turn, I wanted to help people because if I was going to cross the finish line, I wanted them to be there too. I wanted everyone to get the coveted bright orange Tough Mudder headband placed on their head that day.

Now that I’m back to work and wearing my bruises with honor, I can’t stop thinking about all I learned and wishing I could incorporate a bit of that Tough Mudder magic into my workday. With all the marketing Tough Mudder does to make the event look cool, challenging, and fun (which it is), I think there are other takeaways from the event.

First is  teamwork. I’m not just talking about lending a hand on a project every now and then. I’m talking about legitimately caring about your coworkers and wanting to see them succeed. Make time for people you rely on and for those who rely on you. Approach their concerns with the same level of detail you would your own. If a team member is struggling, help out. This may consist of coming up with a plan to tackle a problem or figuring out a new way to explain something. Putting more effort into teamwork will help you in the long run because eventually we will all need a helping hand.

Second, be an encouraging force in the office. Stay clear of negative conversations whenever possible. Instead of dwelling on a problem, brainstorm ways to fix or get around the issue. By being approachable and positive you will establish stronger bonds with your coworkers. When times get rough it’s important to have a strong, trusting team on your side.

Finally, practice the Tough Mudder way with effective communication. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Re-read emails before sending them. Watch out for condescending tones or messages that can be misconstrued. Communication is an important tool that can make all the difference.

During the Tough Mudder one of my teammates talked me through an obstacle called the Cage Crawl. I am claustrophobic and this obstacle consists of a chain-link fence over the top of a pool of muddy water. There is six inches of space between the water and the fence so you have to float on your back as you crawl across the pool.

My teammate knew I was afraid and he kept me calm by talking to me and communicating how far I was from the end of the pool. His words kept me from freaking out, which would have caused me to pull down on the fence and ultimately end up with my head under water. Using effective communication in the work environment will promote meaningful conversations with coworkers and ultimately lead to better end results.

I intend to apply the concepts from my Tough Mudder experience to my workday because these principles make me feel good! The preparation paid off and by working together my team was able to enjoy the accomplishment. Our orange headbands are the reward for not giving up.

In a work environment the reward can be acquiring a new client, pulling off a successful PR campaign, or receiving a thank you note from a customer. There are numerous ways to approach your workday the Tough Mudder way. What’s your company’s “orange headband”?

***

*Bio: Prior to joining the BurrellesLuce Client Service team in 2008, Denise worked in the marketing industry for three years. She holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Connecticut, where she gained experience interning in PR and working for student organizations. By engaging readers on the Fresh Ideas blog Denise hopes to further her understanding of client services. In her spare time, she is passionate kickboxing, traveling with her husband, charity work, and curling up with a good book. Her claim to fame: being adventurous has always paid off. LinkedIn: dmazzella Twitter: @denise10283 Facebook: BurrellesLuce