Category Archives: Martino Flynn

Keeping the Momentum—Why Music in the Workplace is a Must

Your co-worker in the next cubicle is on a conference call. Another two are cursing the printer as they clear out a paper jam. A project briefing is happening in the area next to you. And you’re stressing trying to finish a project by noon. Time to unplug? Or better yet, plug in? Your headphones may present the escape you desperately need to either regain focus or drown out a too noisy or too quiet work environment.

A recent study conducted by Dr. Teresa Lesiuk, University of Miami, found that music can improve work performance by placing a person in a positive mood as melodious sounds encourage the release of dopamine. Other studies have found that listening to background music can help improve one’s efficiency of performing repetitive tasks.

Walk around Martino Flynn and you often will see employees with headphones in or hear music playing from offices. As a creative agency, I wanted to dive into the reasons behind music and tap into my fellow employees’ playlists.

Meet Martino Flynn’s Digital team.

Frank Piacitelli (Left), Lauren McIlveen  (Center), Matt D’Angelo (Right)

Why do you listen to music at work?

FP: Music helps me focus. Music can help drown out distractions when I need to stay on task. It can add some energy when I need to power through a volume of tasks. Music also helps elevate my mood if it’s raining outside or if it’s been a challenging day.

LM: I listen to music at work because it motivates me—especially fast, upbeat music—and keeps me focused. The office can be noisy and with so many distractions, music helps me “tune into” what I’m doing. On the other hand, sometimes the office is too quiet, so I use it as background noise.

MD: My main reason for listening to music at work is to fill the quiet. I get fixated when mouse clicks and keystrokes are the only aural stimulation. To me, designing without a buzzing work space or some type of soundtrack feels unnatural. I need an energy and rhythm to ‘lean against’. I find it productive to have creativity (music) feeding creativity (design).

What types of music inspire Ideas That Do More?

FP: I like high-energy rock. I also like funk, music with a good groove, and vocal rock with good hooks and harmonies—music influenced by the Beatles and the Beach Boys. I’m a guitar player, so I’m partial to guitar-oriented music.

LM: If I have to pick, I would say country, since that’s pretty much all I listen to!

MD: I use music as a tool. It’s a mood-based decision when selecting tunes that will engage or produce desired outcomes. Sometimes, as a drummer, I’m listening to certain music to be inspired by the mastery of the band. Other times, I choose songs for the storytelling or lyrical characteristics. Many times (more often than I want to admit), I select music for nostalgia, bringing me back to eras, styles, and memories of my past. Usually when designing at the office, my selections may be based on the desire to set a mood or just have a certain visceral feel that helps percolate creativity—that typically means tracks that are modern retro; synth pop that has a West Coast or floaty, lush vibe.

What’s on repeat with your work playlist?

FP:

LM:

MD:

 

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Facebook Eliminates Modified Link Previews: What Brands and Marketers Need to Know

On June 28, Facebook announced a major update to its Graph API version 2.9 – it was eliminating the ability to edit and modify previews for shared link posts. Eliminating link preview customization means that publishers will no longer be able to customize link metadata, specifically, the headline, description, and link image.

The changes to Facebook modified link preview went into effect on July 18. The original announcement eliminating modified link previews included a 90-day depreciation period, meaning that the functionality will be fully removed by September. In addition, it’s expected that link modification will be removed from the ads platform as early as July 26. Facebook has indicated that they are making this change in order to “stop the spread of misinformation and false news” on the platform, according to its business help center.

For certain publishers, such as verified news outlets, Facebook is allowing publishers to ‘claim ownership’ of owned URL and domains, and these pages will still have the ability to modify links. However, at this time, this capability is restricted to news, sports, and entertainment publishers. More information on link ownership on Facebook for publishers can be found here.

What does the elimination of modified link preview mean for brands and other Facebook page owners?

While this is a major change for page owners and publishers, there are two simple steps you can take to prepare your site content to best respond to this change, and help avoid bad link previews on Facebook.

  1. Make sure your website metadata is up-to-date and accurate:

While shared link previews have always utilized a site’s metadata for headline, description, and image, publishers will no longer be able to modify this information. Check that your site’s metadata is accurate, SEO-optimized, and Facebook optimized, especially for pages you frequently share on social. Most frequently, Facebook pulls the link headline from your H1 tag, and the description from your site’s metadescription.

  1. Leverage Facebook’s Open Graph tagging to help control how your site content appears:

Facebook’s Graph API, which determines how link content is displayed on Facebook, works in conjunction with it’s Open Graph tags. Ensuring your website utilizes these tags is the best way to control how your site content appears on Facebook. But don’t worry – this doesn’t’ mean that you have to necessarily make major updates to your website code. The good news is that in addition to Open Graph tags, the Facebook API is also able to read most standard meta tag language. We recommend installing the Facebook Open Graph tags if you would like your shared site links and content on Facebook to display information that is different from your website’s metatags. In addition, the Open Graph tags give you the most control over what image appears with a shared link preview. To see how your site content appears as a shared link, as well as any Open Graph recommendations and error warnings, you can utilize Facebook’s Sharing Debugger.

If your site metadata is not optimized, it’s likely that any shared links to your site will give a poor preview and a bad user experience. Links with a poor preview almost always experience low engagement. Links which utilize a full-width image with appropriate headline and description gain the most exposure on the platform, and garner the most engagement.

Updating and optimizing your site’s metadata means that your links will work with the Facebook Graph API, giving you the most control of how your content appears on the platform. It’s the best way to fix bad link previews, and with the 90 day depreciation period, there is still time to make metadata updates before the changes are fully in effect.

If you have questions about the changes to Facebook’s Modify Link Preview feature or how to optimize and update your site’s metadata, contact Lead Planner Rose Cooper.

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15 Is The New 30: Making The Most Of Shorter Video

No matter what screen you’re looking at these days, chances are you’re seeing more 15-second commercials. So whether it’s for online pre-roll or social media placements, or increasingly for broadcast/cable buys, if you haven’t already had to create 15s, you will soon. “But,” you say, “I already had trouble fitting everything I wanted to say into a 30! A 15 is … (pauses to do the math) … half as long! Whatever will I do?” Fear not! We have some helpful tips for maximizing the effectiveness of your 15-second spots while also maintaining their creative integrity.

Actually, you may need to put that “fear not” thing on hold for a moment, because, first off, we have some bad news …

Half as long doesn’t necessarily mean half as much

Yes, 15 is 50% of 30. But unless your spot has no real concept or branding (not recommended), your opportunity for messaging is really going to be, at best, more like 40% of a 30. How so? In all likelihood, you have a tag where you tell people who you are, as well as some kind of set up where you mention the problem you can solve. Say those take a very optimistic five seconds total. In a 30-second spot, that would leave you with 25 seconds. In a 15 second spot, however, you’re only left with 10.

Yep, that’s a challenge. Here’s how to handle it.

Put down the ax, pick up your pen

This applies primarily to adapting 30-second creative to a 15. Obviously, you’ll need to do some serious editing to get a 30 down to a 15. But don’t just hack away until you have the right length. In fact, think of this as an opportunity to trim away the fat and focus on a single key message. Find the most succinct way of saying it, then jettison everything else. It means a new script and voiceover, but the results will be worth it. You’ll end up with a more focused, cohesive spot that works on its own, not just a muddled, mangled version of the original.

Fortunately, it’s not radio

With each second so precious in a 15, it’s even more important that your visuals and audio work together well to tell your whole story. “See and say” can be a good way to reinforce messaging, but in the case of 15s, your audio and video messages need to be more complementary, as opposed to just copying one another.

Should your 15 be running online, having visuals that communicate key information without audio is even more critical, as up to 70% of viewers using mobile devices will be watching with the sound off. For more best practices for creating Facebook videos, watch our recent MFTV episode. (link to MFTV video)

Write short, expand longer

If you know from the get-go that you’re going to need both 30- and 15-second lengths, it makes more sense to start by developing a 15, and then coming up with ways to expand it to make it a 30. As mentioned above, this will help you hone in on what you really need to say. In general, you’re going to have an easier time coming up with additional messages or more ways to expand your creative concept in a spot than going the other way and trying to remove content.

Two spots are often better than one

If you have a 30-second spot that makes so many fantastic points that forcing you to get rid of any of them is like asking you to choose among your children, think about splitting up your key info over two 15-second spots. Yes, there are budget considerations such as an additional voiceover and some extra editing, but the incremental costs shouldn’t be enormous if you’ve already created the base content. Plus, while broadcast and cable networks have become more accommodating to 15s, if you’re planning on running your spot on those outlets, having two 15s may give you additional flexibility and potentially better placements.

Whether it’s 15 seconds or 15 minutes, Martino Flynn can help you make the most of your video content. To learn more, contact Executive Producer John Marianetti.

Martino Flynn Receives Top Honor For Public Relations Excellence At 2017 PRism Awards

June always marks an exciting time of the year for PR professionals in Rochester. It’s award season for us and the annual PRism Awards, presented by the Rochester chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), is the event that brings us all together. The night truly celebrates and places a spotlight on the range of award-winning work that is produced by both young and seasoned professionals from a variety of industries within the Rochester community.

Rochester’s PRism Awards, an Anvil Awards Program, recognize complete public relations programs as well as tactical elements that incorporate research, planning, execution, and evaluation. To be considered for a PRism Award, the work must meet the highest standards of performance in public relations, as judged by other PRSA chapters from across the country.

 

The 2017 PRism Awards ceremony was another record night for Martino Flynn as the agency’s results-generating work was recognized with 10 PRisms, three Awards of Excellence, and the most coveted honor of the evening—corporate Best in Show for its work with longtime client The Mentholatum Company. Martino Flynn launched Mentholatum’s new No Mess Vaporizing Rub with Roll-On Applicator for the 2016-2017 cough and cold season. Using research-based insights, the team executed an integrated marketing campaign that included digital components, PR, social media, and blogger/influencer relations that resulted in millions of impressions.

Martino Flynn was also honored in several categories for client, not-for-profit, and internal work, including:

  • Program: Community Relations

Cub Scout Recruitment: Something Fun for Everyone

  • Program: Crisis and Issues Management

Olympus America Introduces Innovation Amidst a National   Controversy

  • Program: Marketing

The Mentholatum Company: Giving Moms a Hand This Cough and Cold Season

  • Element: Blogs/Blogger Campaign

The Mentholatum Company: Giving Mommy Bloggers a Hand During Cough and Cold Season

  • Element: Brochures

The Welch Allyn Home Hypertension Program PCP Brochure

  • Element: Brochures

W. F. Young: 2017 Absorbine Trade and Consumer Product Catalog

  • Element: Creative Tactics

Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester: ARTrageous Affair Event Materials

  • Element: Direct Mail/Direct Response

Infinite Group Inc.: Nodeware Direct Email Campaign

  • Element: Research and Evaluation

Rich Products Brand Research

  • Element: Research and Evaluation

National Council on Aging Home Equity Research

  • Element: Social Media

The Mentholatum Company Captures Viral Social Activity with No Mess Roll On Launch

  • Element: Podcasts/Vodcasts/Webcasts

MFTV Video Series Drives Awareness of Agency Capabilities

  • Element: Website

W. F. Young: Absorbine Website

Thank you to our clients and team members who worked on each program and tactical element.

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Medicare Advantage Marketing: Guidelines For Reaching Senior Women Aged 65-74

Seniors, ages 65 years and older, account for the fastest-growing age group in America—with a population expected to rise to 58.3 million individuals by 2021. Of the entire senior population, the largest demographic group is young, senior women, ages 65-74. Their numbers, as well as their influence on others’ important healthcare decisions, should not go unnoticed by today’s healthcare marketer. However, Medicare Advantage marketers may need to adjust their strategies in order to appeal to this particular group if they want to reap the benefits of expected senior population growth.

A recent Mintel report provides data from a survey of senior Americans regarding their thoughts and behaviors in relation to healthcare. From this data, Martino Flynn has gathered insights on the specific healthcare desires of young, senior women that will give Medicare Advantage marketers a competitive edge.

Outlined below are four marketing guidelines for advertising Medicare Advantage (MA) plans to young, senior women in America:

Develop straightforward marketing communications

According to Mintel’s research, young, senior women are almost as likely to pay attention to straight-to-the-point advertisements (35% of female respondents aged 65-74) as they are to pay attention to healthcare information from a friend or family member (43% of female respondents aged 65-74). This desire for “straight talk” is likely borne out of the complicated nature of the government’s Medicare program, which can often be difficult to understand.

When it comes to selecting an MA healthcare plan, young, senior women want to be guided through their options—laying out covered products and services, listing in-network healthcare systems, and citing associated costs up front. To meet this desire for transparency and clear communications, MA plan marketers should carefully consider copy—running it through testing whenever possible to ensure clarity. Leveraging visual representations of information can allow for ease of understanding. Videos, graphs, bulleted lists, maps, infographics, and tables are all proven tools for helping to convey complicated information in a way that’s “digestible” for young, senior women.

Position your company as an educational resource

Related to young, senior women’s desire for clear communications is their desire for information to help them make informed decisions about their healthcare.

Rising healthcare costs, including increased prices for prescription drugs, have young, senior women doing more information gathering than ever, before selecting a healthcare plan. Since most seniors live on a fixed income, affordability of an MA plan is of paramount importance. Also of increased importance to young, senior women is having a care plan for themselves. Developing a care plan includes making decisions about types of specialists they should be seeing, how often they should exercise, and their prescription drug regimen. With a decreasing number of doctors specializing in care for seniors, more young, senior women are seeking educational advice from other trusted sources on these important healthcare topics.

MA plans marketers have an opportunity to position themselves as thought leaders when it comes to senior care through the development of original content and/or dissemination of valuable third-party information on the topics that matter most to young, senior women. Both printed and online resources can be developed for those individuals seeking education. Medicare 101 booklets, blogs covering senior healthcare issues, and curated articles on social media are just a few examples of the ways healthcare marketers can position healthcare companies as subject-matter experts, and, therefore, capture the attention of young, senior women.

Provide a customized approach to wellness

More than half of the young, senior women surveyed showed a keen interest in exercise programs that were tailored to their needs. Specifically, young, senior women were looking for exercise classes that were only for seniors; programs designed for their age; and exercise regimens that were designed to help promote heart health, improve balance, and maintain a healthy weight.

Beyond offering financial assistance or credits for beneficiaries engaging in exercise activities, marketers for MA plans can address this desire for a customized approach to wellness by identifying local exercise programs designed for seniors. Maps, lists, and searchable databases of customized senior exercise programs may all prove as useful tools for this demographic. Compiling this information in one place for young, senior women can save them the time and effort of conducting their own research, and, therefore, continue to advance the company’s position as a trusted source of information.

Offer options that preserve autonomy

Around 69% of young, senior women are planning to age in place, either at their own homes or within their current communities. This response from young, senior women indicates a desire for independence, as well as the ability to control their own healthcare needs, rather than relying on others for assistance. In fact, when asked if they would be interested in particular healthcare services that would make living at home easier, many responded negatively. Less than half of young, senior women surveyed expressed interest in services that organized weekly medications, offered rides to medical appointments, or delivered medications directly to their home.

While the above may appeal to other groups aged 65 years and older, marketers should be wary about front-loading marketing communications with these types of services if they hope to pique the interest of young, senior women. Instead, marketers should focus on copy and imagery that promote their MA plans as ones that can help beneficiaries preserve autonomy and maintain their current lifestyles.

Developing effective marketing communications that appeal to senior women ages 65-74 can seem like a daunting challenge for MA plan marketers. However, insights into the thoughts and behaviors of this group have shed light on the topics and tactics that will drive higher response rates. MA plan marketers that develop straightforward advertising, educational resources, tools for identifying customized wellness programs, and marketing that embraces independent living will have the upper hand when it comes to capturing the attention of young, senior women, and reaping the benefits of increased enrollment.

Source: Mintel, Seniors and Health—US—September 2016