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PR Industry Trends

Helping the Hometown Brand Hit a Home Run during the Big Game

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Think about the 2016 Golf Ryder Cup, 2018 NFL Super Bowl and 2019 NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four. What do all of these premier sporting events have in common, besides Marlins Man being in attendance?

K1 K3 K2

All will take place in the Land of 10,000 Lakes: Minnesota.

The organization and hosting of these major sporting events was the topic of a recent Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal event.

Every member of the panel echoed a similar message: none of the events would be possible without the support of the local business community.

Large sporting events provide an opportunity for not only the host city to shine, but also the hometown companies.

So as a public relations or marketing professional, what can you do to assist your hometown client score when the big game comes to town? Follow some of these tips:

Use the pedestal of the event to tell your brand story. Each event brings with it thousands of credentialed media members, and each will want to tell a unique, locally-cultivated story. Create meaningful stories and

PR Industry Trends

The Scoop on National Ice Cream Month: Reagan, Beets and 2016 Trends

timeout July
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Ever curious about who named July “National Ice Cream Month” and why there are a slew of ice cream-related events and campaigns that are centered around it? Well, you can thank Congress and Ronald Reagan. In 1983, over eight hundred and eighty-seven million gallons of ice cream were consumed in the United States. In 1984, Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 298, designated July as “National Ice Cream Month,” with “National Ice Cream Day” falling on the 3rd Sunday of the month. President Ronald Reagan was then requested to issue a proclamation in observance of these events and called upon the people of the United States to observe these events with appropriate ceremonies and activities.

As, National Ice Cream Month goes on its 32nd year, Americans are entrenched in ice cream culture. We’ve become more innovative and more demanding. This year, the most popular campaigns appear to circle around discounted deals (or better yet, free ice cream), the newest (most daring) flavors, DIY, and healthier alternatives.

FREE Ice Cream!uber ice cream

  • Uber surged their popularity with #UberIceCream, which happened on Friday, July 15. People around the world had ice cream delivered via Uber, free

Healthcare

Building a Better Newsroom INSIDE Your Company

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When I was a reporter, I was skeptical of any “news” issued by businesses or other organizations. At the time (I’m dating myself here), that “news” was in the form of press releases and the occasional (rehearsed) media interview or press conference.  Even when we did report on company-generated news, we researched the heck out of it to make sure it was objective – and to make sure we identified bias and included other points of view.

Fast forward to today. As a PR professional, I’ve used my skepticism to help organizations develop and deliver newsworthy content.  But it wasn’t until recently that I gained a new found respect for how seriously a growing number of organizations are taking the responsibility of being a respected news source. It happened when a health care client of ours asked us to help them build a world-class news operation.

Courtesy: enterpriseflorida.com

Now this client already had a well-run media relations and consumer news operation, but realized that in today’s competitive and cluttered news environment, it needed to become even more proactive and efficient in leading the discussions around health topics of interest – not just those that involved their own achievements. The challenge was finding an efficient way to involve multiple internal…

PR Industry Trends

Wait…. how many calories are in this beer?

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When it comes to the calories in alcohol, I’m more of an “out of sight, out of mind” kind of person. I know they’re there, I know they factor into my daily caloric intake, but I continue imbibing while telling myself “this bottle has 100 calories in it, max.” Nothing can immediately tell me otherwise.

Beer Drinker

Don’t be like me. And, after a recent initiative by the largest members of brewing trade organization the Beer Institute, it will be easier to avoid being like me.

A historic move by some of the country’s biggest names in beer, brands like Anheuser-Busch, MillerCoors, and HeinekenUSA will voluntarily include “serving facts” (like food nutrition facts) on each can or bottle. Aside from listing calories, information about carbohydrate, protein, and fat content will be displayed. The move came after the Beer Institute announced a new initiative encouraging companies to display the information on their products. These new labels benefit consumers who have spent years unaware of the basic nutritional information of their favorite beers.

According to a recent survey conducted by the Harris Poll on behalf of Nielsen, 72 percent of beer drinkers think it’s important to read

PR Industry Trends

I’m Ready for My Close-Up, Mr. DeMille (and Pinterest)

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If you’re at all active on social media platforms, chances are you’ve seen the humorous posts revisiting the embarrassingly awful styles depicted in photos from 1970s-era mail order catalogs. There’s a world of velour leisurewear, inexplicably loud prints and wiiiiiide lapels that you can barely believe was the accepted fashion of the day. Yet when you pause to think that our grandchildren will definitely look back at images of 2016 and eye-roll about our current idea of trendy attire, you realize that each era has its own aesthetic that is very real and valid in the moment – and looks unbelievably passé in a decade or less.

Food fashion is no different.

Yes, food has a fashion. In one aspect, it’s the era-specific choice of ingredients and preparations. Increased global awareness and commerce have moved once-exotic produce such as kiwifruit and avocados to the front of our plates in a few short decades, for example. A few years ago, the average consumer had never heard of the sous vide water bath cooking technique; now after 13 seasons of “Top Chef” on TV, millions of us can name-drop it like we studied at Johnson & Wales culinary school.

In another

PR Industry Trends

#PrayforPat – Social Good

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Let’s be honest… social media can be a hateful space. Studies have shown that 15 percent of high school students were electronically bullied in 2013.* During the past couple of months, the presidential election also has made for a particularly caustic social sphere. So, when #PrayforPat started trending on Twitter yesterday, it gave users a moment of pause to remember that social media can also be very, very good.

The hashtag refers to Pat Summitt, legendary coach of the University of Tennessee Lady Vols basketball team. She is the winningest coach in NCAA basketball history, beloved by former players and the community at large. In 2011, she was diagnosed with early onset dementia, Alzheimers type at 64 years old. Coach Pat then finished out the 2011-2012 season and formed a foundation for Alzheimer’s research before retiring.

When news broke that Pat was in critical condition, Twitter responded with love for the great coach and a trending hashtag #PrayforPat.

So many people and organizations are sharing their respect and appreciation for Coach Summitt. Those of us who have been lucky enough to have a special coach or mentor immediately feel a connection to Pat and her story. And that’s what social media helps

Manufacturing

Three Ways to Maximize your Trade Show Investment, Beyond the Booth

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Trade shows hold excellent marketing and sales opportunities for B2B companies. But with limited budgets, investment in show-floor real estate might be daunting. Here are three ways you can maximize your company’s trade show attendance and make the cost of a booth well worth it:

via GIPHY

Seek Out Speaking Opportunities

Pulling customers into your booth with engaging showmanship is hard work. Don’t forget that trade shows also present an opportunity to reach a captive audience off the show floor. These events are full of opportunities for conversation – from 1-1 meetings and small group presentations, to panel discussions and auditorium-filled keynote presentations – many of which are free.

Maintaining a presence in front of the crowd goes beyond giving your company good brand recognition. It positions your employees and company as thought leaders. Seek out topics that are relevant to customer issues and make sure not to use the opportunity as a sales pitch.

Capitalize on the Media

Editors of your key publications are already at the event to learn about what’s new and innovative for their readers. Articles published at-and post-event will help you reach key audiences beyond attendees. There are several ways to engage

PR Industry Trends

Marketing to the Modern Day Dad

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It seems like in this day and age, there is a holiday for everything. Literally, if you Google “today’s food holiday” you are bound to find a holiday to your liking. In fact, this will stay true for every day of our 365-day year.  Heck, this past Tuesday (June 21) was National Selfie Day! Yes, that’s officially a day. And, it’s not surprising that some of our favorite news sources have capitalized on this ridiculous “holiday.” Nonetheless, many holidays have been around since before I was in diapers and will live on long after I’m gone. And, those holidays will be targeted by brands through marketers, advertisers and news sources in what they hope is a new and compelling way every year. This past Sunday, many of us celebrated what in my opinion is deemed to be one of the more important holidays in our country, Father’s Day.happy father's dayLeading up to June 19 this year, marketers attempted to pinpoint how dad’s behavior has changed throughout the past year. While the typical dad gifts like cars, ties, grills, hardware tools and electronics will sell on-shelf, brands are noticing a change in the modern-day, 2016

Healthcare

It IS What You Say, AND How You Say It: Four Tips for Providers Communicating With Male Patients

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Men Facing Their Fears

It’s the gender twist to the old saying “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.”

When it comes to health, men* often are cast in the role of the horse, with “water” being played by any of the health care providers he needs to see when “dehydration” (illness or injury) sets in.

I recently had my own experience with this when my husband was diagnosed with ehrlichiosis and anaplasmosis. He spent three miserable days with a fever, chills and fatigue before he even considered calling the doctor. It was the classic and highly caricaturized “man-healthcare” scenario, with excuses including:

  • “I’m fine” (because real men don’t ask for help)
  • “I’m too busy” (Because men believe they don’t the time to take care of the problem)
  • “I’ve got too much on my plate” (Because men believe that ANYTHING outside the hospital or clinic is more important)

Once all of my husband’s “yeah, buts” were addressed, thankfully, he went to see the doctor. He received the treatment he needed and is on the road to recovery. But the difficulty in getting…

PR Industry Trends

BEER-CATION: 45 Must-Visit Breweries (INFOGRAPHIC)

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As a craft beer lover, one of my favorite things to do when traveling – or, heck, even hanging out in town – is visiting local breweries. So what makes a great brewery? Well, you need to ask the experts. And who are the experts exactly? In my book, it’s WE THE PEOPLE – the beer-lovers of the world. So in conducting my research of “must visit” craft breweries across the United States, I reached out to the coolest beer experts that I know – my friends – and asked them for their favorite brewery experiences. Whether it’s the location (at the beach, on a lake, in the heart of the city, on a mountain or in the country) or the atmosphere (funky, urban, hippy, industrial or vibrant) or the beers (innovative, flavorful, traditional or hoppy), the key thing that I learned is, visiting a brewery is really more than just popping in to get a brew. It’s a total interactive, sensory, learning experience. If you have a “successful” brewery visit, you actually gain an understanding of the culture, hospitality, flavors, people, scenery and even history of the area. That’s pretty cool.…