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Wednesday, April 24, 2013
On April 15th, 2013, the eyes of the world turned to the Boston Marathon as tragedy engulfed a day of tradition and celebration. In the wake of the bombings, social media erupted as the nation turned to the Internet desperate to connect for more information, reassurance, and to check on friends and family. What to do during a tragedy such as the events that occurred at the Boston Marathon is always a delicate and difficult situation for the media.
While thoughts, prayers and condolences seemingly overtook social media sites, one of the most memorable and genuine responses came from an unlikely source- The Chicago Tribune. Plastered on the front page of the Sports section, The Tribune honored Boston by connecting both cities through their love and dedication of sports. In the world of sports, to cheer for the rival is unconventional and unheard of, but with over 11,000 likes, 12,000+ shares, and 700+ comments on Facebook alone, this ad seems to have struck a chord.
The effectiveness of this ad can be attributed to the fact that it was unique, simple, and genuine. This ad was authentic and heartfelt, connecting both cities in a way that has never been seen before. While inspiring displays of kindness and humanity continue to sprout up around social media and the nation, The Tribune’s ad proves how a simple, thoughtful message has the remarkable ability to bring people together.
Well done, Chicago!
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
What does Facebook’s revamped News Feed have to do with your brand? Everything.
Over the past decade, social media outlets have created a world where oversharing or “TMI” is widely accepted and encouraged. In an effort to educate consumers and differentiate themselves from competitors, many brands have forgotten about the art of simplicity when developing their content marketing strategies. Facebook’s redesigned News Feed is an attempt to simplify and reduce clutter, allowing the user to focus more on stories and people that are top-of-mind. According to Zuckerberg, Facebook’s mission for the News Feed is to be like a personalized newspaper with customized content (Newsroom.fb.com). With these changes slowly rolling out, how can companies take advantage of the new design for their own Page?
Here are some of Tell Your Story’s tips for creating valuable content your fans can identify with.
Less is more. Photos are the most commonly posted stories on Facebook, so Facebook wanted to make sure the redesign was visually striking. Instead of seeing a slew of posts and tiny graphics as you scroll down the News Feed, graphics will be richer and larger, surrounded by lots of white space which creates a clean and vibrant look. Media will appear brighter and bolder. Brands should focus on creating attention-grabbing headlines and hi-res photos that consumers will engage with instantaneously. Here’s an example from AllFacebook.com of how News Feed stories will become more visual:
Invest in content. With the News Feed enlarging photos and showcasing them front and center, brands must be able to provide consistent high-quality content. Similar to a reader flipping to the Business section in the Wall Street Journal (the analogy commonly used by Zuckerberg), the redesign is introducing several new feeds including a Following feed which houses all the latest news from the Pages a user likes. In order to stay current in the user’s Following, brands need to maintain high-quality posts.
Consider sponsored stories. In the new feed, ads such as sponsored stories can show up in any feed, even the “All Friends” feed which gives these statuses potential to reach more users than before. Not sure if spending $5 on a promoted status is worth it? Social Media Today tested the effectiveness of sponsored stories and found that for $5, they doubled their reach, increased engagement by 24 percent and received two additional page likes (AllFacebook.com). Depending on your brand’s budget, it could be something worth trying.
While Facebook is busy rolling out the revamped News Feed, brands can use this time to consider their content strategies.
Sign up here to get on the waiting list for the new feed: https://www.facebook.com/about/newsfeed.
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
We are excited to bring Nicole Benzer aboard as a PR and Social Media Specialist. In this newly created role, Nicole will assist our team with public relations and social media efforts on behalf of clients and Tell Your Story.
Prior to joining Tell Your Story, Nicole worked as a public relations account executive for Sanderson & Associates, an agency that specializes in B2B franchise development and lead generation. During her time at Sanderson, Nicole managed seven national accounts which included building strong relationships between her clients and the media, in addition to increasing brand awareness throughout their franchised markets, respectively.
Nicole brings her enthusiasm and fascination of the power of the written word to her position at Tell Your Story. A lover of reading and writing, she enjoys blending a brand’s unique message with a well-written story that engages readers, ultimately creating a tie between company and consumer.
A Michigan native, Nicole moved to Chicago to attend Columbia College Chicago where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Arts, Entertainment and Media Management. Her interest in public relations was sparked when she joined the PR committee in a special events class and was responsible for creating “buzz” surrounding a fundraising event the class was organizing for PAWS Chicago. Seeing the event publicized in local media outlets was enough to get her hooked and the art and science of public relations has been her focus ever since.
Nicole is looking forward to helping Tell Your Story and its clients continue to grow and evolve with the ever-changing landscape of public relations and marketing.
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Tell Your Story is thrilled to introduce you to its third full-time team member, Laura Cunningham. Serving as the Senior Account Manager, Laura will be responsible for handling the day-to-day account management of client business and work collaboratively with our full-time team and contractors to develop and execute compelling marketing communications that tell our clients’ stories.
Originally from a small town called Menominee in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Laura attended Michigan State University, where she received a Bachelor’s degree in Communications. Over the last three years, Laura has worked for herself, doing account management work for Abbvie, a pharmaceutical company formerly part of Abbot Labs, and various B2B agencies including, Kinetic Marketing, and Parlay Communications where she was able to implement her love of working in a collaborative team, building new strategies, and using analysis and insight to communicate a client’s message.
“What I like most about this industry and the role I have is the collaboration with people and their industries. When people are passionate about their work, it rubs off,” says Laura. “When you can break down the components of a business to understand the competitive landscape, its customers’ inherent needs and wants and uncover its true essence to move into the future, it’s very gratifying.”
Laura grew up sailing in Michigan and enjoys partaking in competitive sailing around Lake Michigan in her free time. She also enjoys traveling when time is available, but currently all her spare time is being taken up with housebreaking her 13-week old shelter puppy, Yodel, a Swiss Mountain Dog mix.
Laura learned about Tell Your Story through Founder, George Rafeedie. After meeting George as a client at a former agency, Laura and George kept in touch, working together in various capacities and on many different projects over the last 10 years.
"I've worked with Laura on and off now for more than 10 years and we finally made it a full time commitment,” George said. “She has been critical in a lot of projects and initiatives for my team and I at Baxter Healthcare, then as we grew the Chicago office of HSR, now gyro, and then as I launched Tell Your Story. Couldn't be happier to have Laura as a full time colleague and team member of Tell Your Story."
Thursday, February 21, 2013
Social media has grown to play a major part in our lives; whether in the personal or business world, social media has made its mark and has proven its importance when it comes to communicating and promoting a message.
On February 8th, we attended the 2013 ChicagoAuto Show for the Social Media Preview Day. While decked out cars and the latest in automotive technology were prominently showcased, the power of social media was the focus and spotlight of the day.
In attempt to reach a bigger audience and promote the exciting schedule of events that cater to the media savvy, the Chicago AutoShow rebranded this day to a more Twitter-friendly, #SMP13 and #CAS13. As we walked around to each exhibit, it was hard to ignore the theme of new and innovative thinking, as each exhibit prided itself on being a “game changer” in the automotive industry.
Although there were many vehicles that were without a doubt “game changers,” the overwhelming message that we were left with was the strong presence, importance, and vitality of social media when it comes to marketing and automotive purchasing.
Listening in on the panel moderated by David Thomas, managing editor at Cars.com, panelists discussed the necessity of social media when it comes to customers and their purchasing choices and habits. Michael Sprague from Kia, agreed, “When people are purchasing a car, they go to experts first, but trust their friends more.” This is where Social media is able to show its true value by providing this interaction between not only friends, but other consumers as well.
As social media continues to grow and become the mode of communication in the business world, it is vital for companies to create a strong visual message with rich, shareable content. As we learned from observing each exhibit and listening to many informative panels, it is clear that content is king when it comes to effectively sending and promoting a brand’s message through social media.
Here are some of our Tweet-worthy moments from #SMP13
Posted by Emily Higgins at 1:17 PM
Monday, February 18, 2013
I am happy announce that Tell Your Story has added to our full-time team and now have THREE full time team members. As you may know, we are lean, nimble and flexible. But growing. We still want to stay lean and mean, and that means using a combination of full-time and dedicated contractor resources to help tell the great stories of the clients we serve.
|Laura's welcome committee - |
Max & Alex.
Joining us today is Laura Cunningham, who has worked with Tell Your Story almost since our inception and worked with me back to my days at Baxter Healthcare and HSR Business to Business (now gyro). More on Laura later, but we welcome her to the full-time team. She joins us as a Senior Account Manager.
I am also very proud to announce the promotion of Amanda Pollard to Senior Public Relations & Social Media Manager. Amanda has been with Tell Your Story since June 2011 and has rocked it! She has helped us and our clients take the integration of traditional PR and social media to the next level.
|Amanda: Have computer; will tweet.|
Watch out for more news of a possible other new hire soon. We are grateful to be growing and humbled by the confidence companies big and small and have shown in us.
Monday, February 4, 2013
Let’s face it. Trade shows are expensive. Between renting the booth space, paying for your team’s travel expenses, creating an attractive booth, printing literature, and purchasing giveaway items, trade shows can be a major investment and eat up a large portion of your overall marketing budget.
So why not maximize your spend by using public relations and social media at the show?
Here are 5 of the ways that we support our clients at tradeshows— before, during and after—with “SocialPR.”
|Amanda facilitating media interview at|
Great American Truck Show for client
OnRamp Transportation Services.
1) Meet the press. Journalists in your industry are attending your trade shows and looking for new content to write about. Ask the show organizers for an attending press list and reach out to those journalists to set up appointments in your booth. Designate a subject matter expert to tell journalists about everything new happening with your company and find out what type of content they are looking for. Tradeshows are also a fantastic relationship-building tool for the media. Getting face time with them will help your cause when pitching news and positioning your company as the go-to expert in your industry.
2) Develop a press kit. Be sure to develop press releases around any and all new things your company has going on. Give the press kit to the journalists coming to the booth, leave them in the trade show’s pressroom and send to any journalists you were unable to meet with at the show. It can be printed, electronic or both, but many journalists don’t even want paper anymore.
|Video we captured/shared of|
USG at the INTEX Show
4) Get social. Start building excitement for the event about a month ahead of time on your social media channels. Then keep a steady stream of updates live from the event, making sure to use event hashtags (e.g. #RoofingShow) and engage with others using social media at the show. Finally, provide re-caps and photo albums once the show has wrapped up like this one from a show we attended last week.
|Client Daymarck giving a survey at the National|
Association of Home Care.
5) Hold an in-booth survey. Arm your team with iPads and have them ask customers stopping by your booth questions about their business or an industry issue. You will get the most participation by entering participants in a raffle. After the show, analyze the results and release them on your social media channels as well as share the results with your industry’s journalists.
Don’t forget to measure your results and prove the value of your hard work. We look at things like circulation and ad equivalency of resulting articles, blog and website visits, and engagement on social media channels (e.g. likes, re-tweets, comments).
How do you maximize your presence at trade shows with PR and social media?
Posted by Amanda Stewart at 12:50 PM
Monday, January 21, 2013
Another great video from Hubspot promoting the power of consistent and valuable content and how it can help grow your business.
Posted by George Rafeedie at 10:11 AM