PR Industry Trends

Early Holiday Season Campaign Predictions

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Pumpkin spice.

There, I said it… And the Buzz Bin did not burst into cinnamon-y flames.

In all seriousness, although terrifying, we have T-9 weeks and T-13 weeks until Thanksgiving and Christmas are at our doors (respectively).

What does that mean for a communicator like yourself? It means now is the time to solidify those holiday campaigns and ship them out the door for implementation.

However, in case you have a little wiggle room in those merry marketing plans for innovative thinking… I asked my esteemed colleagues to consider upcoming trends in the consumer products marketplace that we can expect this coming holiday season. 

Take a gander:

  • Stacy Moskowitz, Senior Director: Branded content that both encourages consumers to think and act in the spirit of the holidays, and relies on them to share and help drive awareness and sales.
  • Katie Myers, Senior Director: Products marketed in the context of a broader experience, such as beverage brands that focus less on gifting and more on incorporating them into shared holiday celebrations.
  • Brian Ellis, Executive Vice President: Campaigns that tell brand stories over multiple channels – each one with dynamic elements customized specifically to that

PR Industry Trends

The Internet vs. Your Doctor: Who to Trust

At a recent doctor’s appointment, my physician told me a story about a woman who needed treatment, but left in the middle of the appointment, proclaiming, “That’s not what the Internet said!”

Because we live in an age where consumers can find almost anything they’d like online, sometimes it’s hard to determine who to trust. I was recently reminded of this when the news came out that The American Academy of Pediatrics strengthened its warnings about prescribing codeine for children because of reports of deaths and risks for dangerous side effects including breathing problems. Even though the dangers have been presented, studies suggest it is still commonly prescribed by doctors and dentists despite the risks and lack of evidence that it works to relieve coughs.

Sgty_cough_syrup_mm_160112_12x5_1600o when a doctor prescribes your child a medication that you’ve read several warnings about, what do you do?

One colleague told me that she has no problem talking with her physician about issues like this. It helps build trust and makes her want to continue
going back to the same doctor. And in an instance like this, there are several alternatives for children.

Another colleague chooses to

PR Industry Trends

What You Should Be Drinking This Fall: Five Trend Predictions

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The very definition of the word trend means to veer in a general direction or to show a tendency. Below are five beverages on my radar for the coming months, rooted in hard data but sourced from what I’m seeing and hearing in the New York scene.

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Fresh cocktails

The surge of nutritionally-aware (if not nutritionally-balanced) cocktails is imminent. You read it here first. We’ve seen this theme gain momentum in the culinary community with fresh, season-driven menus. This philosophy is extending into beverage programs as well. Two examples:

-Mixologists are increasingly using natural natural sweeteners like maple syrup as a healthy and tasty alternatives to refined sugar in cocktails. Here are 27 examples, courtesy of Eater and bar programs around the country.

-Opening next week, Rouge Tomate Chelsea, with its avant-garde SPE-certified food and beverage program, is featuring cocktails (and mocktails) with fresh ingredients like carrot and cucumber juice and chia seeds.

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Big Bottles

Whether high-brow or low-brow, large format bottles are showing up on more home and restaurant tables. There are also restaurants who are…

PR Industry Trends

Apple Tweets and #Fails

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@JamesLiamCook

Apple announcement events are anticipated like Christmas morning for some. With rumors swirling around major changes for the iPhone 7, Apple did something it had never done before. It began a few days ahead when avatars and verification were seen on their five-year dormant Twitter account. They were going to join the excitement of the tech community online with live tweeting from the event. At least that is what everyone thought.

Instead, Apple’s account still shows no tweets after a few promoted tweets appeared prematurely, spoiling the announcement. They were subsequently deleted, but the damage had been done. Sending regrettable tweets is nothing new, but this was a major snafu for the world’s richest company that has notably steered clear of social media. They have relied on a universe of evangelists that stir a robust conversation about Apple and its products to much success. It made this decision even more head scratching. Why now?

Social media mockery is not new for Apple announcements. When the iPad was introduced, many questioned its potential success as much for the name as for the failure of past…

Digital Marketing

The Back-to-School Digital Business

Back-to-school means another year of fresh books, backpacks and binders. But in 2016, purchasing each of these items is far from basic. With the evolution of digital media casting a halo on our everyday lives, it’s no surprise that parents are spending more and more using their mobile devices when it comes to back-to-school shopping. Brands are very intuitively using those mobile screens as another money-making method to feed into consumers’ habits. So, just as seasons change, trends do too. There are brands that are evolving from typical marketing methods by tapping into digital apps or social media to target parents in an insightful way with back-to-school incentives and tips, which not only boosts sales but leaves parents, and of course their kids, satisfied.

Back-to-school preparation may be perceived as a monumental event. And with each year that passes, it just keeps getting bigger. According to AdWeek and eMarketer, back-to-school sales in the U.S. are expected to increase 2.6 percent this year, which means sales for the season may total around $828.8 billion. A separate study reported by Adweek and released by GfK and Facebook IQ, notes that more than 60 percent of adults in a recent survey

PR Industry Trends

PadillaCRT’s New Digs in New York City: The Goldilocks Syndrome

The Big Apple

Searching for a new home for PadillaCRT’s New York office sounds like a great project, right?  What could go wrong?  Come on… No one would have an opinion!  It’s just office space…  Then I woke up.

It took 18 months – just to find the right space.  And I swear, if a commercial real estate broker could divorce us, we’d be served with papers.

We looked all over the city.  “It’s too big. It’s too small. There’s no natural light. What the hell is this neighborhood?  I’m feeling a negative aura.”  Yep… they heard it all.

But good things come to those who wait!  The 48th floor of 4 World Trade Center was just right.  From the expansive views of New York Harbor to the world-class services, Silverstein Properties did an amazing job with the building.

What came next required stamina of mind and body – design, approvals, redesign, and approvals.  Did I mention approvals?  Then, the build out and approvals.  Did I mention approvals yet?  Thank goodness we were graced with a wonderful group of talented, patient people that worked with us to design a space that was uniquely set to fit our agency’s needs and purpose –

Branding

How to Succeed in the (Competitive) Business of Smiling

They’re like the great “Oz” of the dental industry: the tireless dental laboratory, working behind the curtain, crafting the beautiful smiles of everyone from celebrities and pro athletes to (relatively) average Joes like you and me.  A good smile conveys good health, confidence, competence, and attractiveness. Who doesn’t want that? So you’d think there’d be more than enough work to keep dental labs in business. But check any issue of Dental Economics (a good read, by the way) it’s a very competitive and complex industry. Quality is what can set you apart, but quantity is what makes you money. Hand crafting each tooth is a differentiator, but you also need the latest technology for things like case planning, diagnostics, and milling. Dentists can be very loyal when they find a great lab, but then they won’t refer you because they don’t want their competitors in on their secret. Add this to a more discerning and cost-conscious customers (dentists and their patients) and the “business of smiling” is a “grit-your-teeth” kind of industry. That’s why Valley Dental Arts (VDA), one of the premier cosmetic and restorative dental laboratories in the country, decided it needed an agency partner to help identify and grow its competitive edge. In 2014, they selected PadillaCRT to help map their path

PR Industry Trends

Robochef

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When my colleague first shared this article about robots cooking in the kitchen, I thought it sounded ridiculous.  On second glance, you’ll see that this concept is already being tested and successfully carried out in Germany and here in the U.S.  That’s right – a robot that can baste, boil, blanch and blend and create your favorite meal. If this modern day Jetsons-inspired sous chef takes off, I predict it may become the ultimate kitchen appliance for restaurants.  Should the concept become more common, it would certainly raise a lot of questions about the pros and cons.

First, let’s look at some of the pros. For starters, there’s the consistency factor.  The use of this technology would allow restaurant operations to ensure a consistent looking and tasting product every single time.  While fast food operations can be counted on for consistency because their food tastes the same wherever you are, upscale restaurants could benefit from a technology that removes the possibility for human error.  Another upside is speed. Robots would be able to deliver a finished product at a fraction of the time it would take a human and faster output can lead to increased sales.  Lastly, there’s

PR Industry Trends

Asturias Sidra – It’s all in the pour!

I have long wanted to write about Asturias, the place of my birth and more specifically about our regional drink: Asturian Sidra (Cider). Photo #1

Asturias is a hidden gem of a region in Spain. It is absolutely stunning.  Snowcapped mountains tower over rolling green pastures dotted with stone houses and terra-cotta roofs. The rugged Cantabric coast line is breath taking. The lush country side edges right up to the sea and is lined with quiet, little fishing villages each with their own unique allure. The culture is warm, friendly and inviting.

Asturias is as authentic as Spain gets, in my unbiased opinion, and history backs me up on this. It’s the one area of Spain which the Moors were unable to conquer, and in fact, it is where they were turned around. As a result, Asturias was able to hold on to it strong Celtic roots: from folklore, mythology, Celtic symbolism, traditional kilts, boisterous bagpipes, thick bean stews (fabada), stinky cheeses that melt in your mouth and a love of camaraderie and meeting up to share sidra with friends at a local sidreria (cider bar).

Corporate Responsibility

Shared Value: A concept whose time has come.

timeFortune magazine’s 2016 Change the World list came out earlier this month. I’m proud to say that PadillaCRT counts two companies ranked in the top 10 among its clients. I’m proud as well of the magazine for stepping beyond customary metrics to spotlight businesses that are recognizing the need to do things differently.

Read the August 2016 issue, and you’ll note the phrase Shared Value. Simply put, Shared Value moves corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability out of discrete initiatives and departments and into the very core of business strategy. It’s the evolution of the “Triple Bottom Line” of the ’90s, in which an organization’s impact on society was considered alongside its financial statements. Back then, the economic payoff of social investment wasn’t evident to investors. So for many businesses, Triple Bottom Line morphed into CSR initiatives that often had little connection to how these companies competed in the marketplace.

globesFast forward to today. The world is smaller. Economic interdependencies are multiplying. NGOs have moved away from direct hits on businesses and toward shared missions. The public sector and private foundations are benefitting from…