Consumer Marketing

Sponsored Content: The way to a Consumer’s Eyeballs

Sponsored-Content-297x300It’s no secret that social media and websites like BuzzFeed, The Huffington Post and Mashable have changed the way we consume news. Sites like these initially honed in on millennials and the way we consume content to provide concise, digestible digital content catered to our short attention spans. (Of course, now everyone else has jumped on the bandwagon, considering Boomers spend at least 20 hours more per week consuming online content than Millennials and Gen-Xers, but I digress…)

This week, NBC News decided to throw its hat into the ring with the launch of Better, a wellness vertical devoted to helping readers improve their lives. The outlet hopes to stand out from other wellness publications by focusing not only on health and wellness, but taking a holistic approach on how to better oneself.

While NBC News is known for its hard news content, this is actually the outlet’s second unveiling of a completely revamped strategy highlighting a specific, topic-based approach – hoping to land itself somewhere in between Mashable and Vox. Its science and tech site, Mach, launched in November, and NBC plans to launch Think, a vertical…

Crisis Management

Three Important Crisis Management Trends for Executive Teams & Companies in 2017

MZtBtdjYHcqWr4RZpU9USmThe new year brings with it the potential for new issues to arise for companies and organizations of all sizes. Crisis and critical issues can come very quickly, and it is imperative CEOs and leadership teams understand the evolving issues and vulnerabilities of their organizations.

It is important that communicators be prepared. We think there are three points to be made about crisis management trends that are worth discussing and incorporating into a crisis preparedness program this year.

1.  Social Media Trends and Live Streaming Capabilities: What you thought was a private, internal critical issue can become public and distributed to thousands of people in only minutes on social media. CEOs and leadership teams need to understand the power of social media, and develop a strategy to quickly and effectively handle a negative situation. Social media remains a central hub of breaking news and can develop into a crisis scenario quickly. Live streaming on Facebook and other social media platforms will continue in 2017, and organizations should be prepared with messaging and response tools in case a crisis hits. With social media, time matters… smart and fast wins the day.

2. Cybersecurity and

PR Industry Trends

Free Music for All


Well not exactly. The Grammy Awards offered a night of incredible entertainment and Spotify will deliver plenty of gratis tunes, but the days of Napster and Limewire filling up our growing iPod space are long gone. As the music industry has navigated the digital age, copyright infringement continues to be a top target for artist protection.

Remember when MySpace was the social network for independent and emerging bands? Now Facebook is making a push for a global music license. They want to dominate video content, which can often come with copyright pitfalls. Constant policing and battling users can be mitigated to a large extent by coming to an agreement with the music industry as Apple and Spotify have. The negotiations are complicated, but what I would love to see is a streamlined process for music licensing in user generated video. It would be a smart move by Facebook to offer new opportunities for users and secure relevancy with the rise of social video. As a marketer, it would be great to have a simple way to license rather than dealing with multiple copyright holders.

This year,…


Four Strategies to Help You Break Into A Crowded National Business Landscape

Photo for Shaner BuzzBin Post (2)

From the latest device upgrades from Apple to the daily back-and-forth of the convergence of politics and economics, securing placement in a national business publication can seem daunting, if not impossible. The challenge for business-to-business companies is even harder due to the increased focus on consumer-oriented trends and products.

While this challenge is not new to public relations and marketing professionals, revisiting a few strategies can help you and your client rise above the waves of noise and product-focused coverage. Even in situations where you have to invent your own “news,” here are a few strategies from our B2B technology sector team to consider when pitching your next business story:

  • Surveys

Using surveys to build data on a particular topic of interest might be the answer. Armed with (reliable) data, inserting your company or message into a larger trend not only adds vital context, it has the numbers to back it up, increasing odds of interest from media due to a compelling news hook tied directly to your company messaging strategies.

  • Speaking Events

Trade shows/events provide another opportunity to connect…

Employee Engagement

Engaging Employees to Benefit K-12 Public Education: Q&A with the Virginia Lottery

jill vaughanWith the brand “We’re Game,” it’s no secret the Virginia Lottery is all about having fun. However, games alone are not enough to engage employees. To create a truly engaged workforce where employees go the extra mile for players, K-12 public education and each other, the Virginia Lottery has made employee engagement a key part of its business plan.

To understand the role employee engagement plays at the Virginia Lottery, a PadillaCRT client since 2014, I sat down with Jill Vaughan, director of communications, to learn more about how engaged employees have helped the organization contribute nearly $8 billion to K-12 public education in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Why is it important to the Virginia Lottery to have employees who are engaged with the organization?

A part of Virginia’s government, the Virginia Lottery is celebrating its 29th year in 2017. We launched our new brand “We’re Game” in 2012. We were very conscious that a key audience for the rollout was our statewide workforce. We felt if our employees learn to live our brand internally and are “game” to serve each other, our 5,400 retailers, vendor partners and stakeholders, that directly translates…


The Winners & Losers of Ad Bowl LI

A big thank you to my co-author, PadillaCRT Chief Creative Officer Heath Rudduck (@HeathRudduck)!


20141118_PadillaCRT_Richmond_Parrotte_0010Nikki: Each year, we marketers anxiously await the Ad Bowl (and the chance to write about it: 2016, 2015). It’s an invaluable opportunity to callously throw around judgment be entertained and educated. The ads that score excite and inspire us, while the ads that flop… well, same. And these days there’s so much more to witness than the good, bad and ugly commercials on TV thanks to brands’ bold adoption of the second screen. Like the good marketer I am, I was extending my ad-viewing experience not on my smartphone, but my laptop, frantically taking notes with one hand, clasping a glass of wine in the other. My colleague Heath was tuning in, too:

20141112_PadillaCRT_MNPLS_Rudduck_0040Heath: What a game. Despite the fact I was hoping for a different result, I couldn’t in any way discount the incredible effort a comeback of that magnitude took. What a brilliant game. Strangely enough, the advertising left me feeling a little the same way. I had high hopes for the showing of some brands. Was I going to be entertained or enticed? Who will grab my

Consumer Marketing

Here’s What Really Happens When a City Hosts the Super Bowl

Party planning is fun, right? Making appetizers, decorating, sending out invites. Well, multiply that by about a million and you’ve got this weekend’s Super Bowl LI in Houston, Texas.

Space City is about to host the world’s biggest annual sporting event for the third time. The last time Houston hosted, the Patriots defeated the Panthers 32-29. Twelve years later, Bill Belichick and crew have yet another shot at the title, this time facing the Falcons. Of the one million anticipated attendees to the 10-day Super Bowl experience, Houston is expecting nearly 140,000 out of town visitors.

To give us a sense of the amount of preparation – and the anticipated payoff – I had a chat with A.J. Mistretta, Director of Public Relations for Visit Houston, *a PadillaCRT client*, and author of 100 Things to Do in Houston Before You Die. Here’s what A.J. had to say:


Q: First of all, what makes Houston such a great city to host Super Bowl LI?

A: Houston really is Sports City, USA. We’re home to five major league sports teams, and host major events from big UFC fights to Olympic qualifying trials…

PR Industry Trends

Mind-blowing Gastronomy at Madrid Fusion

Dabiz MuñozLast week I attended Madrid Fusion 2017, one of the leading gastronomy shows in the world, where internationally acclaimed chefs make presentations and discuss the future of food. The event featured gourmet foods and beverage products, ingredients, technologies, creative tableware and food service solutions.

Each year Madrid Fusion grows in relevance and attendance, and this year’s fifteenth edition was the largest with over 117 national and international speakers, 630 accredited national and international journalists, 167 exhibitors and over 12,000 accredited attendees. Chefs, influencers and journalists touched on different trends affecting and influencing today’s top gastronomy within this year’s theme: The Shared World of Haute Cuisine. Future Paths.

Like other events of this stature, the amount of information shared is overwhelming. The following list of people and products most impressed me.

Dabiz Muñoz Chef Dabiz Muñoz  is one of the most polarizing chefs in the world. He has a legion of fans that adore him, and then there are those that are still trying to figure him out. In a recent interview, the chef with his mohawk and wooden spike earrings, described his food as “brutal,” a “gunshot to your…

Digital Marketing

3 Tips for Working With Small Businesses

Authentic Transport

Authentic Transport Fine Art Services may be making big waves in the NYC art handling scene, but that doesn’t mean they don’t feel the same strains as other small businesses. CMO and Executive Client Manager, Robert Lopez, reminds us that all small businesses have to make the most of their investments – both monetary and manpower. To show real value, marketing partners have to be ready to get scrappy.

I caught up with him (full disclosure: he’s my brother-in-law) to talk about how marketers can best show progress and ROI to small business owners. 

What are the core hurdles for a small business to engage with a marketing agency? Why do small businesses outsource their content marketing?

Running a marketing strategy from scratch can be a really hard task that involves time, money, marketing tools, and of course the know-how. Most small businesses don’t have these things in spades. They know they need help, but are likely to have a limited budget, which means they can only afford limited help.

When a company hires a marketing agency to work on its content, the expectation is simple: help drive sales conversion. According to Neil Patel, “brands need to make sure that they’re…

PR Industry Trends

How Amazon May Revolutionize the Foodservice Industry


Next time you’re shopping, just walk out. No, we’re not talking about shoplifting. We’re talking about Amazon’s new robotized grocery store called Amazon Go. The new shopping experience promises its customers “no lines, no checkout – just grab and go.”

This past December, the first Amazon Go store opened its doors to employees near its headquarters in Seattle. While the Seattle location has plans to open to the public early 2017, the e-commerce giant has confirmed that the rest of the pilot program will hit major cities, including Las Vegas, New York, Miami, and San Francisco by 2018.

The new grocery concept lets customers walk in, grab food and walk out, without ever having to stand in a checkout line. Easy peasy. This revolutionary technology uses machine learning, sensors and artificial intelligence for a seamless shopping experience. Zoolander & Hansel were right all along – it is in the computer.

As customers walk into their store, they simply tap their cellphones on a turnstile logging them into the store’s network and connecting them to their Amazon account through an app. The technology tracks what items customers pick up and then adds them to the app’s virtual cart. When