Make Your Agency A Top Five Client

I am responsible for new business development here at Martino Flynn. Actually, we have a team of folks who support this activity but I’m kind of the head cheerleader. Over the years, I’ve compiled a list of The top 12 Martino Flynn Laws of New Business. We take a “Grow or Die” attitude when it comes to new business (Law #1). And, if we’re going after a prospect, we are “In It To Win It, Or We Get The Hell Out” (Law #7).

I’m amazed at how many agencies view new business as an afterthought, something they’ll get around to when there’s time. And I’m also surprised to find that many ad agency websites are simply out of date, unloved, and/or flat out ignored. This leads me to Law #12: “Make Your Agency a Top Five Client.” One hundred percent of agency prospects will visit your website! And your brand will undergo immediate judgment. So it just boggles my mind that many agencies treat their respective brands as an afterthought. But not so at Martino Flynn. While we’re always looking to get better, we think that we’re already doing a pretty darn good job. We “Bring Discipline and Consistency to the Process of New Business Activities” (Law #11).

Please visit martinoflynn.com and send me an email letting me know what you think. Or better yet, give me a call, and I’ll figure out a way to “Bring You Unexpected Insight About Your Customers, Competitors, Industry, etc.” (Law #4!)

Kevin Flynn

kflynn@martinoflynn.com

(585) 641-4559

Five Business New Year’s Resolutions That Are Worth The Effort

Charged with writing a blog post on New Year’s resolutions for business, I, of course, went straight to Google. Although I was prepared to spend some time on my search, plowing through 3,400,000 results seemed a bit daunting. So, as Google searches often go, I veered off onto another path: Do New Year’s resolutions work? That query turned up a mere 182,000,000 results.

After a day of eating Christmas goodies, my blood sugar dipped to a point where I needed to wrap this up, so here goes:

If you view business resolutions as goals, then, of course, you should make them. If you don’t want to grow your business, don’t bother. But if you do, try these:

  • Allocate more time and money to marketing. What did you expect me to say? It just makes sense. To reach new clients or customers, you need to spread the word. Growing your market share and the value of your brand doesn’t just happen.
  • Get smarter.  The world is changing faster than ever. Allocate more money to staff development. Training opportunities abound. Help your employees stay current and become more valuable.
  • Increase productivity. Increasing the top line is extremely important, but don’t waste the increase in revenue on inefficiencies. Tighten up your internal processes. Look into the latest project management software. Don’t include items in your budget that have outlived their usefulness.
  • Be happy. Company morale is extremely important to your success. Happy team members do better work, and more of it! Make sure that recognition is a regular practice for good work. Make collaboration a core value. And have fun!

Are you ready to take on 2016? Contact us to learn how Martino Flynn can help you achieve your marketing resolutions.

What’s Hot In Event Technology

With the constant influx of new technology and trends, it’s not easy to keep up with the latest and greatest advancements in gadgets and apps. From new social media platforms to big data and wearable technology, this statement holds true for the world of event marketing, too.

As quickly as a trend can emerge, we all know how quickly it can fade. This blog post will highlight some of the top technology trends that were adopted by event marketers in 2015 and will likely continue to be of significance during the upcoming year.

Social Media. The growth of new platforms, including Snapchat and Periscope, is changing how event attendees and social media audiences experience live events. Both Snapchat and Periscope bring another layer to social engagement during events. Both platforms allow users to view exclusive content, and offer immediate engagement and event participation.

For example, many brands are using Periscope during events to create exclusive content, including:

  • Live product demos and tutorials
  • Event Keynote presentations
  • Product launches
  • Press events
  • Behind-the-scenes material
  • Exclusive interviews

Looking for new ways to step up your social media game during live events and trade shows? Check out this post on how to create exclusive, real-time Periscope content.

SpredfastVisualizing Big Data. For years, the term “BIG DATA” was an intimidating concept. Today, many new tools and systems are in place to help streamline how we gather and analyze big data. These big data tools and systems also play a role in providing context and value to the information collected. When it comes to events, many brands are focused on the collection of real-time social media data. Brands can leverage social conversations during events by displaying visual representations of the social media data in a dynamic streaming format or as an infographic.

Passive Engagement. Technology often plays a role in fostering a trade show experience that promotes passive engagement. How many times have you had some interest in stopping by a booth at a trade show, but walked at a distance to avoid a sales rep? Tell the truth; I bet that you have used a variety of avoidance techniques on expo floors.

Many of today’s trade show attendees respond well to passive engagement. If they want interaction with a sales rep, they want it to be on their terms, not the sales rep’s. As marketers, we need to understand how our audience wants to engage with us. One way to support passive engagement is to provide alternative ways for attendees to engage with marketing materials via an interactive tool at the booth.

For example, provide a touch screen with interactive content for attendees to learn about your company, products, and services. Include an iPad or two in the front of the booth to allow attendees to scan through content and case studies. Also, offer a way for them to enter an email address to receive personalized content that they have identified an interest in.

Sensor Integration. Digital technology with sensor integration is changing many aspects of today’s event landscape. iBeacons use a form of Bluetooth technology to trigger a location-based action on an attendee’s device such as a push notification or social media prompt. Wearable technology has recently made its event scene debut with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) wristbands. These wristbands can replace paper tickets, allow attendees to make cashless payments, and connect to social media accounts.

Augmented Reality. Good trade show promotions create buzz for a booth, but great promotions create a captive audience. Augmented reality is a great fit for a brand looking to create a fresh experience that immerses attendees into a virtual environment to showcase a new product. Augmented reality can provide an alternative method for showcasing products that are difficult to demo in person, such as medical devices and products that are unsafe to use indoors around a high volume of trade show attendees.

At Martino Flynn, we’re always looking to provide our clients with ideas that do more. Are you ready to enhance your 2016 event strategy with the industry’s latest technology? Contact us to learn more about our trade show marketing capabilities.

 

 

 

The Worst Pitching Mistakes, As Told By A Former Reporter

As public relations professionals, we’re taught many tactics to create and communicate an effective pitch. Yet we often see our calls and emails to the media go unread or ignored.

Part of the reason is simply that reporters are extremely busy. They have long-term assignments and beats they have to keep up with, along with the added pressure of breaking news that could derail their day at any moment. The pitches and story ideas that flood a reporter’s inbox are often an afterthought to his or her typical workloads. Unfortunately, we can’t change reporters’ busy schedules, but we can change our pitching practices.

As a reporter, I used to get very frustrated with PR professionals who made these key mistakes when pitching for media coverage. Take my advice and avoid these five pitfalls of pitching.

  1. The story is not compelling.

Sometimes a story is simply not interesting no matter how it’s positioned. However, most of the time it’s the way it’s presented. As PR professionals, we may think that we’re simply given all the information there is on a topic, and that there’s no way to change the client’s story—but that’s rarely the case. We can often find ways to make almost any story more compelling and tailor it to an interested audience.

For example, I recall numerous occasions where I would be pitched a story about a new business opening or an existing business growing or changing locations. These types of stories aren’t always worth telling at face value, but if one happens to involve a number of jobs being created, a genuine need being met that wasn’t before, or a revival of a down-and-out neighborhood as part of this business opening or moving, then there may be a story there.

  1. You don’t know the story.

It seems obvious, but if you’re a spokesperson for an organization, you need to know the facts inside and out. When you pitch a story to a reporter, assume that he or she is going to be interested and is going to have follow-up questions—perhaps right away. Know the organization, product, or announcement as well as your client so you can answer the tough questions. Of course, if there’s anything that’s not appropriate for you to answer, put the reporter in touch with your client or research the information before answering with inaccurate information.

  1. You’re not familiar with the publication.

PR professionals must do their due diligence before pitching blindly. This means knowing a substantial amount about the publication you’re pitching, including its audience, location, coverage style, and reporters. When pitching, you should know what the reporter has been writing recently, what type of news is getting the most views on the publication’s website, and where your story might fit in with the publication’s news cadence.

  1. You’re not friendly or authentic.

Reporters are just like you. In other words: reporters are human. They don’t want to receive a lengthy, formal email with a news announcement or story idea from a stranger. In a few sentences, tell them why this information matters to their readers. Additionally, introduce yourself and let them know you’re familiar with their reporting. A simple “I read your recent article on XYZ …” could mean the difference between the trash can and a reply.

  1. You give up easily.

Reporters certainly don’t want to be pestered incessantly, but they also don’t want to miss out on a good story. If a competing publication picks up a hot story before they do, they’re going to be in some hot water. If you know that your story is newsworthy and will be a good fit with their readers, call again and offer new information or a fresh spin that may pique their interest.

If your efforts to reach a reporter aren’t successful, consider reaching out to the editor. As you know, reporters are busy covering breaking news and keeping up with their respective beats. An editor is often more accessible, so don’t hesitate to let him or her know why this story can’t be missed. Reporters are hard-pressed to say no when an assignment comes down from the top ranks.

As PR professionals, we’re all guilty of some or all of these taboos—otherwise our choice publications would pick up every story we pitched. Next time you’re trying to gain media coverage, consider what may deter reporters from picking up your story. Remember to know your story, make it compelling, know the publication, and be personable in your communication. Most importantly, don’t give up on getting your story out there.

The “Emojification” of Brands

If Hamlet had been written today, one of its famous lines may well have been “emojis, emojis, emojis” or “crying face, pizza, broken heart” instead of “words, words, words.” According to eMarketer, half of Instagram comments and captions now contain emojis. And it’s not just on Instagram. Swyft Media reports that there are 2 billion smartphone users worldwide, and on those devices, 6 billion emoticons or stickers are sent every day.

Emojis allow people to communicate clearly in a fast, easy (and sometimes humorous) way. This popular system of tiny graphics is often regarded as a universal language, as everyone understands the sentiment behind a “thumbs-up” or “clapping hands.” There seems to be an emoji for every conversation, with a wide range of symbols for people, nature, food and drink, activities, travel and places, and nearly anything else you could imagine. Oxford Dictionaries recently illustrated the ubiquity of emojis with the announcement that the 2015 Word of the Year is not a word at all, but the “Face With Tears of Joy Emoji,” also known as “LOL Emoji.”

Brands, eager to resonate with consumers and communicate quickly, are taking note of the exploding popularity of emojis. Companies are not only using emojis in daily communication with fans via social media, but several are also creating custom emojis specific to their brands.

ShareACokeTwitter and Coca-Cola recently teamed up as a part of an ad deal to create the first branded emoji. Ross Hoffman, Senior Director of Global Brand Strategy at Twitter said of the partnership, “We know that people love using emojis and usage has been significantly increasing over time on our platform. This was a perfect opportunity to work with a nimble and smart marketer to make this happen.” The pictogram of Coke bottles clinking was added to tweets in Coke’s #ShareaCoke campaign. According to Adweek, Twitter recorded 170,500 mentions of #ShareaCoke in one day and Coca-Cola is planning to use the graphic in other campaigns through the end of the year.

Dove1Dove2Unilever-owned Dove is also leveraging the emoji craze with the creation of an app and Twitter graphic to support its #LoveYourCurls campaign. Rob Candelino, Vice President of Haircare at Unilever, made this statement, “In today’s increasingly social and digital world, we’re proud to finally offer curly girls emojis to express themselves and help them see accurate reflections of their hair.” Whenever someone tweets #LoveYourCurls, an image of a woman with curly hair and a heart appears. Dove even created a #LoveYourCurls emoji keyboard with 27 different designs that represent many skin tones and hair colors. These options allow every curly haired woman to identify with the campaign and the brand in a unique, playful way.

DominoDomino’s Pizza may not have a custom emoji, but the brand is certainly taking advantage of the convenience and cool factors of the emoji language. Domino’s Pizza has made it easier than ever to order pies, with its latest option to text or tweet the pizza emoji to place an order. Its website states clearly, “While the Emoji is most commonly known for its bizarrely wide range of facial expressions, there is one in particular we love most, the pizza slice. And if you have an Easy Order™, now you can order Domino’s by simply texting with it.”

If you’re feeling lost in a sea of dancing senoritas and hot dogs, check out emojipedia.org, which lists all the trending and most popular emojis. And if you’re ready to leverage this expressive and visually driven language of symbols and objects for your brand, email me at sjameson@martinoflynn.com and let Martino Flynn make you o-CLASSIC-SMILEY-FACE-570.

The Official Blog of Martino Flynn