Posts tagged with “Creativity”

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social media experts are storytellers
At JDPR, we are storytellers.

One of my favorite questions to ask a client is, “What sets you apart?”

It’s the basis of any good story. And especially if you’re targeting earned media (our forte here), you’re going to need a good – no, a great – answer to that question.

So it is with marketing agencies. In an era when everyone’s an “expert” on social media, how is a brand manager expected to know exactly who to turn to?

The truth is social media is nothing more than a new platform for us to tell and shape our stories. Facebook, being the social media powerhouse that it is, gives us little more than a shiny new interface with which to tell the narratives of our lives – often, these days, from inception to death. In fact, “92 percent of youngsters under age 2 already have a digital footprint, meaning identifiable photos and other personal information has been posted of them online,” according to Huffington Post.

Between photos of the college roommate’s newest dog and best friend’s first baby, how do brands cut through the clutter? Isn’t that what everyone is asking?

The answer is simple, and Facebook has upheld this rule time and time again, with each minute change or shift in its algorithm: Enhance the lives and the digital experiences of your target audience – with stories.

Instagram is a visual storytelling, and Twitter, while becoming increasingly visual, is a short-form storytelling. Facebook is a community storytelling, and Pinterest is a project-based storytelling. I could go on, but the point is, obviously, these sites are simply avenues for stories. Harness your brand’s stories and the stories of your consumers – and leverage social media’s tools to do it.

“I promise you, [the companies] who don’t learn how to tell these stories on today’s platforms are the ones who will go out of business,” said the king of social media, bestselling author Gary Vaynerchuk.

With more than 25 years of award-winning storytelling experience, the JDPR team is uniquely poised to take the social media world by storm on behalf of our clients. That’s our differentiating factor.

Want to learn more about our unique social media strategy? Contact us today.
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Harness Social Media to Brand Yourself for Job Hunt Success

By: Alex Buchart

It is projected that in 2015, 93% of job recruiters will screen potential candidates’ social media profiles. That’s right, 93% of job recruiters. This means that almost every job you will apply to, a potential employer will be Googling you to see how you present yourself to the world. Additionally, 69% of potential employers have rejected a potential candidate because of what they saw on a social networking site.

Here is some food for thought, why not use social media to brand yourself as the perfect candidate for the job rather than as a liability? In fact, 68% of potential employers have hired a candidate because of what they saw on a social networking site.

We hear about how businesses try to create their own unique brands all the time, but what about people branding themselves? Ever found an Instagram or Twitter user you love to follow because they have so many interesting things to say? Well, that is an excellent example of someone branding themself to be a social media success.

Let me give you two examples of successful “branders,” so to speak, that I have observed on Instagram.

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One of the users I follow, a woman named Kino MacGregor , posts detailed yoga poses for each day accompanied by an inspirational caption. Her captions typically involve a message about how much diligence and hard work it has taken her to reach her level of strength – at times even a decade! With 498,000 followers, I began to analyze her success. It’s not just her ability to put her feet behind her head that is fascinating, it is also her ability to bare her vulnerabilities to her followers that ultimately makes her such an inspirational person to follow. She manages to showcase her talents while reminding her followers that it is continuously striving for success after facing failure that makes you stronger.

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The other user I follow is named Courtney Kerr , who uses bright photos and clever captions to capture the interests of her followers. Courtney’s posts are a little more lighthearted, yet she is similar to Kino in that she showcases pieces of herself as well. Typically these pieces are brightly colored jackets and bedazzling jewels, but it is the way she pairs these together that gives her followers a taste for her personality, interests and fears without even truly knowing her. Courtney also uses quotes, moments of sadness as well as joy that give her followers the feeling that she is a real person who has important attributes to show the world.

A few of my takeaways from these Instagram personalities are that in order to brand yourself you must showcase what you love in a clever, tasteful, soul-baring way. These are not just photos of a woman doing yoga on the beach or another posing in a hounds-tooth coat; they are windows into the lives of other people.

I have used these women as inspiration to advertise what I love in a manner of self-expression. In fact, my Instagram is full of dishes I have tried, places I have been and hobbies I love. These past few months I have begun using my Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn as a complete reflection of my resume. Anything and everything I have put in my resume, I have attempted to showcase in some form on my social media. Not only does this prove to employers you are not lying, but it also serves as a portfolio to show my potential employers what I am capable of.

Social media is a wonderful way to brand yourself as a cooking connoisseur, a culture junkie or even a music enthusiast. Let your social media accounts be another voice that speaks truths about who you are as a person and what you can accomplish. Harness the things you care about and put them out there in a way that show your potential employers what you love too!

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Applying John Mayer’s wisdom to social media

mecookie via Compfight cc

By Tiffany Deluccia

John Mayer wrote a line in his song “Daughters” that sticks in my head.

“She’s just like a maze where all of the walls continually change,” he sings of a girl he just can’t figure out. That’s what social media can feel like: a maze where the walls continually change.

Just last week, Facebook tweaked its News Feed algorithm (again) to prioritize trending breaking news". A few weeks back we learned Facebook had made changes to favor links over images and videos. What? Weren’t we just doing the opposite of that?

At the same time, Twitter, which has always been about sharing links, has begun featuring images prominently in its used-to-be-simple stream.

Tumblr waxes and wanes in popularity. Then a study says" Tumblr users have the highest median household income, and brands rush towards the gold.

Pinterest and Instagram were ad-free. Until they weren’t".

Keeping up is brutal. As a businessperson, it can be easy to get stressed out by all of the changes. You can’t predict what change is coming next, and as these networks monetize, the supposed “control” we once had over our content reaching our audience is ever slipping away.

John Mayer’s song goes on to say, “Now I’m starting to see, maybe it’s got nothing to do with me.”

Take a deep breath.

This constant change is just one reason (not the most strategic reason, but certainly a relevant one) we tend to recommend clients don’t do all the social networks at once. It’s better to know the ones your customers like best inside and out, keep up with their ebb and flow, noting changes and evaluating everything. A one or two-level maze is challenging enough; there isn’t always a compelling reason to make it an eight-decker.

We can also be your ally. We’re here to help you navigate the changing walls and adjust your strategies, campaigns and budgets accordingly so you can continue to listen to the marketplace, engage with your customers and drive your business objectives.

Photo Credit: mecookie via Compfight cc

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Content Marketing Lessons from Weird Al Yankovic (Yes, Really)

By Megan Grubbs



It’s safe to say that everyone loves a good viral sensation… and that every social media marketer would love to have his or her content go viral, whether a video, an image, even a heart-warming story. The truth, however, is that very little content actually manages that great feat.

Creating viral content is an art form, an arduous, strategic process. So how can you accomplish it? Unfortunately, most content will fail, but take notes from Weird Al Yankovic and his recent viral videos, and you just might succeed:

1. Utilize the best medium for your content and audience. Weird Al’s been in the business for more than three decades, and during that time, has learned to design his music and videos to reach fans in the most effective way possible, whether via MTV in the 1980s or on YouTube and around the internet today. Know where your specific audience is and what they want, and you’re heading in the right direction. 


2. Humorous parodies are often the way to success, a fact Weird Al has acknowledged throughout his career, with hits like "Fat” and “Amish Paradise.” Recent YouTube sensations like “Do You Wanna Go to Starbucks?” and “I’m So Pregnant” have captured millions of views and shares because of their clever interpretations of already popular media. Capitalize on trending topics, and you’ll increase your shareability. 


3. Try and try and try again. Every marketer has experienced it at some point: a timely, clever piece of content you just know will go viral falls flat online. Gather insights as to why your content failed and move on. Fourteen albums and 35-years later, Weird Al has nabbed the No. 1 spot for the first time ever with his new album, “Mandatory Fun.” If that’s not a testament to perseverance, I don’t know what is.

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Lessons from a News Release…About an Ad Campaign…with a Social Media Call to Action (#Seriously?)

By Tiffany Deluccia

I recently saw a respected, up-and-coming technology company use a news release distributed via PRNewswire to announce its new TV ad campaign, which featured social media calls to action…

….

Seriously?

I laughed out loud as I read the self-promoting introductory paragraph riddled with the clichés the PR industry has made journalists loathe.

I would love to know the thought process behind this “strategy.”

The news release clearly wasn’t intended for pick up by the news media: If you have a TV ad, they’d generally prefer you pay them for airtime. Nor was it intended for the general consumer, who doesn’t subscribe to news wires. My only guess is that the goal was loosely based on SEO goals. The only trouble is, Google doesn’t index press releases in Google News, and even if it did, the release wasn’t written with any particularly strong keyword appeal.

Were they trying to drive people to watch the ads on YouTube? Seems like social sharing has more intrigue than four paragraphs telling me why I should watch this video about the company that makes this product.

As I racked my brain to figure out why some Marketing or PR leader approved this release, I jotted down these three takeaways:

1. If your TV ad campaign isn’t compelling enough to get people buzzing, perhaps you have the wrong campaign idea.

2. If social buzz is your goal, invest your energy in social strategies rather than trying to add social on to your traditional methods.

3. Limit your use of news releases to when you have actual news.

Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Antífama via Compfight cc | (Note: Hashtag added)

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TEDxGreenville 2014: Unzipped

By Tiffany Deluccia

A couple of us from JDPR attended the fourth annual TEDxGreenville conference a few weeks ago at the Kroc Center downtown. As per usual, it was a stimulating event. A few presentations got my mind working in ways that stood out above the rest. Here are my key takeaways from the Unzipped experience.

1) People respond in delight when you interrupt their everyday with something that reminds them to dream.

Jody Servon’s “art” is called Dreams for Free. For this project, Appalachian State art professor Jody offered passers-by on streets across the U.S. lottery tickets in exchange for their taking a moment to write down what they’d do if the ticket turned out to be a jackpot winner. The answers range from heartfelt to hilarious. (My personal favorite: “Make my brother (Stewart) my personal servant with a descent [sic] salary.”)Screen Shot 2014-04-28 at 2.44.57 PM

The most inspiring thing? Jody’s conviction as she talked about the light she saw fill strangers’ eyes when they realized she simply wanted to ask them about their dreams. In everything we do, from business to play, we can cause people to dream simply by interrupting our routines enough to ask the questions no one else is asking.

2) There’s a journalistic sense of civic responsibility missing from the Web.

Eli Pariser’s TED talk “Beware Online Filter Bubbles” will really get you thinking. I encourage you to watch it, but it basically boils down to this:

We all thought the Internet age was tearing down the walls and freeing us from the gatekeepers who told us what to think about, but the truth is, search engine algorithms have become the new gatekeepers by showing us only the news it thinks we want to consume. For news junkies like us, this trend is a big one to watch.


3) Conflict leads to thinking. Most organizations don’t think because the people that comprise them are afraid of conflict.

Margaret Heffernan’s Dare to Disagree talk is one of my all-time favorites for professional communicators and idea people. Margaret preaches that openness alone does not drive change or good ideas of any kind. We must have constructive conflict and seek out people who are different from ourselves. Only through constructive conflict do we think well together and create ideas that advance our purposes.

Those were my big three from TEDxGreenville 2014, the ones that will stick with me and impact how I approach work and life. The brilliant thing about TED is its ability to keep your mind moving while giving you time to process what you’re hearing. (Many of the more poignant talks are followed by musical acts or breaks.) If you haven’t been, I recommend checking out next year’s event!

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How To Get the Most Out of Your PR Agency

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By Tiffany Deluccia

We want to exceed your expectations. We really do. It’s why we come to work. It’s why we ask so many questions. It’s why we continually harp on seeming buzzwords like “strategic” and “measurable results.” We value you as a client, and we want you to know your investment in us is an investment in your own success.

We promise to do our part, but what can you do to ensure you’re getting the most out of the relationship? Here are a few ideas:

1) Treat us like an extension of your staff.

Our skills are in finding the story, formulating ideas with an outside perspective and coming up with creative ways to engage your stakeholders. We’re not a press release factory. Get the most for your money by involving us in senior level business discussions.

PR shouldn’t be a vertical function within a company; it should be a horizontal function because there are stories all throughout your company that can be leveraged to accomplish your goals. Introduce us to the marketing team, the HR team, the business analysts, the sales reps, the customer service folks…The better we can understand your environment and how it all ticks and ties, the better we can help you craft your message.

2) Work with us up front to identify your measurable goals.

We geek out a bit around here when we get started talking about how communications methods can influence the business bottom line. However, we recognize the complexity of showing how public relations connects to corporate goals. It helps to clearly hone what we’re trying to measure at the beginning of our relationship and again each year – or even each quarter – as it makes sense. We want you to see how your communications programs are making a difference in your business, and to do that, we need to know how exactly you want to move the needle.

3) Trust our expertise – but don’t be afraid to challenge us.

If we tell you something isn’t pitchable, it’s not a cop out. Remember: We want to exceed your expectations. We talk with the media, pitch ideas and analyze what’s working every single day for clients across a broad spectrum of categories. We have a knack for knowing what will and won’t appeal to the media and your stakeholders.

That being said, we don’t mind a challenge! Here’s a case study to prove it. We love to tackle complex problems with creativity.

Clients who collaborate with an agency in these ways tend to see the best results. And results, are what we want to provide!