Introducing c21’s newest interns

Kelsey Lynn and Christy Bruce joined c21 as its newest interns in late December.

Kelsey Lynn is an alumna of Georgia Southern University, where she received her bachelor of science in Public Relations. After graduating in December 2013, she moved to New York City for an internship at a fashion public relations firm. She moved back to Atlanta in March to be closer to family and friends. Kelsey enjoys traveling, hiking and spending time with her pup, Bristol.

Christy Bruce is an alumna of Georgia State University, where she received her bachelor of arts in Journalism with a concentration in Public Relations. When Christy is not sharpening her PR skills at c21, she enjoys shopping, blogging about fashion and checking out new restaurants in Atlanta.

The authenticity of an internship

For those of you who have never completed an internship, the word intern might have a daunting connotation attached. Certain misconceptions about the job include tasks such as filing, copying papers, sprinting to the local coffee shop or smiling and dialing for hours upon end. While those internships may exist, that’s not the case at c21.

The value of an internship is a match to no other. The opportunity should allow you to gain valuable experience, while dually providing a smooth transition into the working world. Internships are ideal for students or recent graduates who want to explore their interest in a particular field or industry, create a network of contacts, or find permanent paid employment.

Today, competition is fierce when it comes to finding a job. Recent college graduates are struggling now more than ever with landing their first entry-level job. For the most part, this dilemma is due to lack of real-world experience. Employers don’t necessarily have the time or budget to train pursuant candidates. This is where the value of an internship comes into play.  Employers should ideally develop a specific training program for their interns and provide aid as needed. No, you aren’t full-time, but you are receiving beneficial hands-on experience that will help you in your next endeavor.

The last internship I complemented lacked a defined training program for their interns. Roles and responsibilities were indirect and were left up to the interns to stay occupied. There was no real direction from the intern managers, except when someone needed an errand to run. Unfortunately, I didn’t receive the real-world experience I was looking for, but I was able to use the internship as a way to build my network.

My time here at c21

I have been an intern at c21 for over a month and have been assigned to various roles and responsibilities on a number of accounts. The client list at c21 ranges in industries from real estate and nonprofits, to sports and entertainment.  Within the last month, I have had the opportunity to work a number of these clients. A few tasks I am responsible for include drafting social media posts, pulling reports on client analytics, compiling clip reports, assisting with events and communicating with various clients.

c21 has a great team of leaders who are more than willing to train and work with me in areas I may need assistance. These tasks not only provide tremendous exposure to the work that goes on in an agency, but demonstrate duties I may be responsible for in the future. This is valuable knowledge I did not obtain in the classroom.

If you’re contemplating pursuing an internship, I highly recommend that you at least complete one before embarking into the real-world. This is the time to get hands-on experience and perspective as to the work you might be doing in the future or want to do. Not only will you receive great experience, but also the value of networking will be irreplaceable. I encourage you to check out a few agencies online and take a look at if they have internship opportunities.

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Christy Bruce and Kelsey Lynn

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Introducing…c21’s first Vlog

A video blog or video log, sometimes shortened to vlog, uses video to convey a message or story. Vlog’s often combine embedded video with supporting text or images that are eventually posted to a personal blog, or YouTube channel, Vimeo, etc.

YouTube currently ranks among the top three most-visited sites on the web. With over 1 billion unique visits per month, it reaches more Americans ages 18-34 than any cable network. More than 100 hours of video are uploaded every 60 seconds, and over 6 billion hours of video are watched each month.
The inclusion of video to a marketing strategy could be the missing link to what connects a business or organization to its target audience.

With that in mind, c21 has launched an in-house video marketing suite featuring the latest technology including a high quality camera, lavaliere mic, state-of-the-art lights, software and more to accommodate our client’s latest video needs.

To see our capabilities, check out our first vlog where we examine, “What makes a video go viral?”

The SouthWiRED Experience – by Meigan Brennaman

*In our last installment of The SouthWiRED Experience, Meigan Brennaman shares her highlights from the conference.

Moving Pictures, Moving Minds: How Video Marketing Wins Fans – Presented by Jon Milavec, Mixed Bag Media

Since c21 has recently upgraded our video technology and in-house capabilities, this session was on the top of my list as a must-see. Why video marketing? Well, it can be challenging to describe a company, product or services clearly and succinctly in writing, and even more difficult to convey the larger message of why an organization matters to their customers.

video image

Video is a great tool to tell a compelling story. You’ve probably heard the old adage – a picture is worth 1,000 words. However, if a picture is worth 1,000 words then a video is worth 1,000,000.

This SouthWiRED session reviewed the key questions to ask yourself when considering creating a video: What do you get for your money? How do I tell a compelling story that can win new fans and customers?

One stat shared in the presentation has stayed with me since I attended SouthWiRED: “80% of people will watch a video, and 60% of those people will then share them.”

With that kind of response, you’d be crazy to not consider how video can become part of your marketing mix. We are definitely seeing more of our clients ask for and use video, and we’re excited to grow our in-house video production services!
And, of course, it’s fitting that the video expert would be the one to video his presentation – so you too can take advantage of Jon’s experience. Click here to watch his SouthWiRED session.

-Meigan Brennaman, c21
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Were you at SouthWiRED – what were your ‘lightbulb moments’?

The SouthWiRED Experience – by Telleen Gegner

SWLogo

I spoke at this conference a few years ago (back when it was called Digital Atlanta), so I knew there would be a great variety of sessions that would be interesting to attend. The key takeaway for me and one of the common messages I heard throughout the entire week was…analytics.

data analysisWith all the technology out there, tracking everything we do online, everywhere we go, our preferences/dislikes, our behavior and more, it’s no surprise that figuring out what to do with this data is extremely important, especially to marketers. Here’s the short version of what was discussed:

  • Step 1: Determine your goals. Do you want to increase visitor time spent on your website? Do you want to increase sales? Do you want more Facebook engagement? Knowing what you (or your boss) will consider a success is key.
  • Step 2: Determine what to track. Once you’ve set your goals, review what data you can track. From email open rates, items left in shopping carts, top pages viewed on your website to demographics of your Facebook fans, pick a few and pay close attention.
  • Step 3: Review the data. Determine how often you should be reviewing your analytics data. Is it weekly, daily, monthly? Figure out which format is best to visually assess your data. As Lauren mentioned in last week’s blog, is a huge monthly report needed or would an infographic be more beneficial?
  • Step 4: Adjust your goals and/or strategy. Once you’ve reviewed the data, now is when the important stuff happens. What worked? What didn’t? Make changes, set new goals and try something new.
  • Step 5: Test, test and test. Keep reviewing the data and testing new tactics. If you find something that works, you can always find new ways to tweak it and improve or target another audience you hadn’t before.

Analyzing data can be overwhelming, so start small, develop a plan and work your way up.

I also have to give a shout out to SouthWiRED for their design work. If you didn’t notice it the first time, take a second look at the logo. Hint: The light bulb is very cleverly designed. Spot it?

-Telleen Gegner, c21

The SouthWiRED Experience – by Lauren Vocelle

SouthWiRED logoGaining expert insights and ideas on creating visual social media and the power of analytics made my first SouthWiRED experience a great one. At c21 we strive to provide our clients with innovative marketing and communications ideas and trends. We also enjoy the opportunity to listen to others in our industry during events like SouthWiRED.

Here is a collection of the ‘lightbulb moments’ I took away from the SouthWiRED sessions I attended:

The Rise of the Beautiful Web: How to Build Your Brand with Visual Social Media – Presented by Lauren Thompson, Moxie

Think back to what social media was 10 years ago – or just five years ago. The rise of social media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest have established visual marketing as a key trend for 2014 and beyond. This presentation provided great tools and tips for improving visual content, including:

  • Determining the voice and visuals of your brand/client
  • Sound – the tone and personality; developing key messages and phrases
  • Style – logos and a consistent brand image
  • Content Creation – Create, curate, collaborate

Try these mobile apps to jazz up your visuals:

How to Harness Superhero Powers from Analytics – Presented by Jason Prance, Swarm Agency

Our motto at c21 is “Remarkable Service. Real Results.” Analytics are an important tactic in marketing and also a huge part of what we provide to clients. Being able to measure your marketing efforts is key to developing long term goals and success for a company, brand or client. Clients may change, industries may change and trends may change, but you will ALWAYS have analytics.

Here are a few insights I found helpful and interesting:
– Create and provide your client with a heat map – an innovative twist on displaying data. Clicktale is a great tool to use.
– Instead of a lengthy quarterly report, develop an infographic. Genius! This is a refreshing option for your clients. Try tools such as Canva or Visual.ly.
– Take advantage of the demographic and interest target section of Google Analytics.

Next week, Telleen will share what she gained from attending the sessions.

– Lauren Vocelle, c21

c21 Heads to SouthWiRED

SouthWiRED view

A room with a view from the SouthWiRED conference.

Last week, three c21er’s (Telleen, Lauren and Meigan) attended SouthWiRED at Atlantic Station. Formally known as Digital Atlanta and now in its fifth year, SouthWiRED is described as “one of the Southeast’s largest and longest-running digital conferences starring the country’s top innovators and fueled by a killer agenda of top-notch content, unparalleled networking and cross collaboration.”

SouthWiRED signFor five days, more than 200 conference participants attended sessions taught by industry leaders from entertainment to finance on topics including social media content, social media advertising, analytics, user experience, video marketing and more!

Meigan said, “To me, their tagline was the best description – Five Days. Lightbulb Moments. Sometimes we left sessions with a confirmation that c21 provides cutting-edge concepts to our clients, and other times we had fantastic ‘lightbulb moments’ on how we can enhance the services we already provide.”

Next week, the team will share some of their favorite takeaways from the conference.

INTEGRATE 2014 Recap

INTEGRATE 2014

Each year West Virginia University hosts the INTEGRATE conference for Communications professionals. Next year’s conference will be May 29-30, 2015.

One of the ways the c21 team keeps up with the latest strategies in communications is by sharing best practices with one another. At least once a quarter, the team hosts internal Lunch and Learn’s where we share ideas and concepts gained from conferences, seminars and webinars we’ve attended.

I attended the INTEGRATE 2014 conference hosted by West Virginia University in Morgantown, West Virginia. I’m currently pursing my master’s degree in integrated marketing communications (IMC) from the university and each year the WVU Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) graduate program hosts the INTEGRATE conference, where more than 200 communications professionals attend innovative workshops and breakout sessions, and participate in thought provoking discussions about IMC trends in our industry.

The IMC graduate program is offered exclusively online and allows communications professionals to re-align their marketing activities to ensure a constant flow of information to consumers from a variety of media. Most IMC students, like myself, are able to continue to work full-time while earning their degree.

The students earn a practical, customizable graduate education that is designed to equip them with the skills to emerge as leaders in the field and immediately apply what they’ve learned to their professional lives. The program is taught by a diverse faculty – from marketing directors to academics to entrepreneurs – who are recognized leaders in their fields.

During the c21 Lunch and Learn, I shared a few of the best practices and most creative IMC campaigns with the team. Even though I’ll obtain my degree this December, I’m definitely looking forward to attending the conference again next year. CLICK HERE to check out some of the thoughts I shared with the team.