Tag Archives: c21

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
—-
Were you at SouthWiRED – what were your ‘lightbulb moments’?

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

Video

Celebs + Twitter = InstaPublicist

Anna-Chlumsky-On-Phone gif
Courtesy of PopSugar.com

The power of social media has increased steadily since 2007, and celebrities have definitely taken notice. It has almost become a requirement to use social media platforms to let the world peek into their personal lives. Celebrities share their most intimate moments and give us a glimpse of nearly every aspect of their lives; from behind-the-scenes snapshots on movie sets, to special moments with loved ones, to photos revealing salacious amounts of flesh that surge to the top of the trending list.

I began to wonder: perhaps celebrities use social media platforms to do more than just send out controversial selfies and tweets—they also use social media to carry out PR functions.

So I decided to examine how celebrities use social media (with an emphasis on Twitter) to fulfill some of the same functions that a publicist does. After all – who better to do the 24/7 job of a celebrity publicist than the celebrities themselves?

Two-way symmetric communication
The very definition of public relations is managing the flow of communication between an entity and the public, and tweeting is a great way to open the lines of communication between celebs and their followers. Gone are the days of traditional fan mail where people actually write letters to their favorite star. In this instant and digital age, celebs know exactly what their fans are saying about them—and if fans are lucky, celebrities may actually respond!

But careful – some celebs are notoriously known for snapping on fans who get on their bad side. So tread softly.

rihanna gifCourtesy of WeHeartIt.com

Releasing Statements
Although most celebrities still rely on a publicist to release official statements regarding both personal and professional matters, fans, journalists and entertainment reporters alike keep an eye on their Twitter feed to get news straight from the horse’s mouth. Celebrity posts can go viral in a matter of minutes, so sometimes a tweet circulates quicker than an official statement or press conference.

Damage Control
Luckily for us regular folk, if we make a mistake, we can handle it privately. But for celebrities, they’ve got to watch what they say and do before it blows up in their face—which can be difficult to minimize in the harsh Hollywood glare. Celebrities often issue public apologies via Twitter to express their remorse for whatever unfortunate incident may have occurred.

(For some, damage control equals deleting a tweet before anyone can see it. But these days, even deleting a tweet doesn’t do much. Check out this article on celebrities who have once tweeted and deleted.)

Promotion
If used efficiently, social media platforms can help celebrities push their own projects—retweets and posts favorited by fans can generate just as much buzz as a multi-million dollar advertising campaign. And I just can’t make this point without bringing up Beyoncé’s game-changing move, when she announced the release of her new album on Instagram with a 15-second teaser that she simply captioned: “Surprise!”

(Okay, I realize everyone can’t be Beyoncé, but this definitely made artists rethink how they promoted their projects.)  

Beyonce-Album mashable
Courtesy of Mashable.com 

Can you think of some other ways that celebrities use social media to carryout PR functions? Leave a comment and let us know what you think!

 

BK Headshot


Brittany Knox
 is the newest public relations intern here at c21. She is an alumna of Georgia State University, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Communications. When she’s not sharpening her skills as a future PR maven, Brittany enjoys traveling, dancing, and dining around Atlanta.

Image

The Value of an Internship

For some people, the word intern conjures up images of filing papers, standing idly at the copy machine, or making a mad dash down to Starbucks for 15 different orders with 15 different flavors at 15 different temperatures.

But that’s not the case.

Internships provide a smooth transition into the workforce, and equip candidates with the necessary skills they’ll need to succeed in their industry. I’ve learned this valuable lesson through past experience and my current internship with communications 21. From the first moment I walked through its doors, I knew this was an agency that meant business. c21 has launched award-winning campaigns and is the recipient of more than 70 industry awards; and during my first two months as an intern, I’ve definitely grown to understand why.

c21 awards Just a few of c21’s many AMY and IABC awards

c21 works with clients in a variety of industries: from The Avenue, the CIAA, and the Emory Point shopping center (I knew I was onto something when I’d spend my days shopping at Lizard Thicket), to Xytex, a tissue, cord blood and sperm bank. The leadership here are very dedicated and have helped me become an integral part of the team. I come into the office each day determined to complete client goals and meet deadlines, and I leave feeling fulfilled and confident that I’ve outperformed myself.

You may have heard people say, “I can’t get a job because I don’t have experience, but I don’t have experience because I can’t get a job.” It can be a sad cycle that seems never-ending—especially for college students and recent grads. 

But that’s the great thing about internships! They provide the training that candidates need to land that dream job.

job experience cycle know your meme Photo courtesy of knowyourmemes.com


I was one of those college students who would echo that mantra to anyone who would listen. However, I decided to get productive and made the decision to put myself on the path towards a brighter future. Although I started my intern journey later than some, I’ve gained corporate, international, non-profit and agency PR experience in a plethora of areas including travel and tourism, real estate, sports, retail and healthcare—in just one year.

Another concern that some students have is “working for free.” Paid internships do exist, but it’s important not to be picky. Monetary gain is an added bonus, but the hands-on experience is invaluable and can lead to greater things. Movie mogul Steven Spielberg got his start as an intern; so did Microsoft founder Bill Gates and fashion designer Betsey Johnson.

Two of c21’s account managers started out as interns, and now they’re in charge of several client accounts!

To sum it all up, if there’s one piece of advice I could give about internships, it’s this: don’t limit yourself and make sure you’re doing everything you can to improve your chances of snagging that dream job – especially during these tough times. It’s harder to find something when your resume is blank or filled with irrelevant experience. Take the internship and get the experience!

If you know any superstar internship candidates with an interest in public relations, marketing, communications or journalism, click for more information about an opportunity with c21.

BK Headshot


Brittany Knox
 is the newest public relations intern here at c21. She is an alumna of Georgia State University, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Communications. When she’s not sharpening her skills as a future PR maven, Brittany enjoys traveling, dancing, and dining around Atlanta.

Image

The Super Bowl: PR, Marketing and Branding Blitz

Over the years, the Super Bowl has experienced an evolution—and it’s not just for hardcore football fans anymore.

It’s gone from simply being the most popular national sporting event, to becoming every advertiser’s dream time slot. Marketers, advertisers and public relations professionals have quickly caught onto the trend of capitalizing on television’s biggest event. Corporate sponsors, products, companies, musicians, teams and players alike all use the Big Game to get a step ahead. Some favorite commercials are ones that premiered during a Super Bowl.

NFL AND ITS TEAMS/PLAYERS
Obviously, the Super Bowl is a major opportunity for sports, team and player marketing. The NFL and its sponsors rely on loyal fans to wear those Seahawks and Broncos colors and jerseys to advertise for these teams during and after the big game.

And that goes for all teams. Football is football; whenever one team is being discussed, it’s an opportunity to discuss them all. 

It’s also an opportunity for those players who have product endorsement deals to capitalize, even if they’re not on either of the competing teams. Even though Clay Matthews didn’t play during this year’s matchup, his Gillette commercials still got buzz. Drew Brees still had Nyquil ads.

And who could forget Troy Polamalu’s ridiculously fun Head & Shoulders commercials?

troy polamalu head and shoulders
Photo Credit: luxist.com

 

PRODUCTS AND SPONSORS
There certainly wasn’t a shortage of Super Bowl ads this year, despite the $4 million price tag for a 30-second spot. There was an engineer quitting her job, a puppy and a Clydesdale, Tim Tebow without a contract, a Frito Chicken Enchilada melt…and a frisky bull.

More than 20 brands and products began unveiling their ads several weeks before the game, generating early buzz and anticipation. Viewers and critics already had a few favorites selected well before the kickoff.

(Are we the only ones who still have that Budweiser commercial pulling on our heartstrings?)

But it’s not just about getting a product’s name out there anymore: it’s also about how PR, marketing and digital professionals can push their products by seizing every opportunity to grow awareness and fan engagement.

Oreo-Dunk-in-the-Dark 
(Remember this brilliantly-placed ad following last year’s brief Super Bowl blackout?)
Photo Credit: wired.com

In my opinion, the blackout that happened at the Super Dome last year was the ultimate test of professionals thinking on their toes in an unforeseen situation.

Not just thinking in terms of, “Oh dear…how should we handle this crisis?”
But also, “How can we take advantage of this moment and be memorable?”

And the folks over at Oreo nailed it—it’s a marketing move that’s still talked about today.

PERFORMERS/ENTERTAINERS
And what’s just as big as the actual game? The halftime show! Bruno Mars took this sought-after musical spot during this year’s game and revived the crowd witnessing a virtual blowout into a frenzy of catchy tunes, bright lights, gold vests and dance move reminiscent of James Brown and Michael Jackson. The Red Hot Chili Peppers joined him in the middle of his set to rock the stadium and keep the crowd on their feet.

Half time performers are often announced several months in advance, so it’s a great opportunity to create added buzz around entertainers and boost record sales.

And it’s definitely a plan that works.

Billboard reported that following their highly anticipated reunion at the 2013 Super Bowl, Destiny’s Child album sales spiked 197%. The Who’s album sales jumped 102% after their performance in 2010. Justin Timberlake’s album sales for “Justified” increased 160%, despite the infamous wardrobe malfunction during 2004’s halftime show.

bruno-mars-and-the-red-hot-chili-peppers-take-over-super-bowl-halftime-show

(Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers brought the house down Sunday night)
Photo Credit: businessinsider.com

The bottom line is this: the Super Bowl is more than the final football game of the NFL season. It’s an event that’s hyped up for months preceding its commencement, and is talked about for months after the winning team has been crowned. It’s a great opportunity for products to push their companies that will be used all year round.

Make sure you keep that sports momentum going—the CIAA 2014 Basketball tournament is just a few weeks away! As the agency of record for the CIAA, c21 is busy putting the final touches on the event. Check it out!

BK Headshot

Brittany Knox is the newest public relations intern here at c21. She is an alumna of Georgia State University, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Communications. When she’s not sharpening her skills as a future PR maven, Brittany enjoys traveling, dancing, and dining around Atlanta.

Image

Lindsay Lohan: a PR Case Study

linsanity

(Photo courtesy of Cane and Todd Benson Art)

Another mug shot on the books for Lindsay Lohan.

The actress who was once praised for her talents by peers and fans has fallen from grace. Movie roles and projects for which she has been critically acclaimed have been eclipsed by her growing criminal record, which includes reckless driving, assault and theft charges.

And even during her court hearings, there’s always some sort of distracting factor that seems to impair the situation—what she’s wearing or not wearing; how gauche her makeup looks; or what profanity she has written on her fingernails.

It seemed as if Lindsay just couldn’t catch a break.

Her failed attempts at making a comeback on the big screen appeared to be more ammo for critics and celebrity columnists. And when the going really got tough, it seemed as though Lindsay’s press and legal team just…split.

In October 2012, Lindsay’s former PR representative, Steve Honig, relieved himself of his duties without publicly giving a reason. But even though he’s been tight-lipped about it, I think we can all read between the lines.

Lindsay’s longtime lawyer, Shawn Holley, stepped down from her role as Lindsay’s legal representative back in January of 2013, but ultimately returned to the troubled starlet’s side to help get her back on track.

LiLo’s troublemaking and insurmountable legal and press issues got me thinking about public relations.

I started wondering if situations like Lindsay’s were continuing to stigmatize the industry, labeling PR professionals as “fixers” who only spin stories and sweep the dirt under the rug. It always seems like they don’t get the proper credit for doing great work when there isn’t a problem.

Sometimes, I feel like this is an industry that’s terribly misunderstood; there’s so much more to PR than just image repair and crisis management.

The problem that entertainment publicists face, however, is that their clients have free will. They believe they can do or say whatever they want — and publicists can’t necessarily stop their behavior. It’s not like the communications department of a major corporation, where everything can be monitored, quantified and produced with a high level of control.

With lawyers and PR reps quitting left and right, I thought for sure that Lindsay had branded herself as the client that everyone would steer clear of.

But I was wrong.

Lindsay signed on with PR team Rogers & Cowan (the same PR team that helped restart the careers of Robert Downey, Jr. and Britney Spears), and Lindsay’s journey to restore her image has been somewhat of a smoother ride. R&C has helped secure interviews that allow her to set the record straight, including the highly-anticipated Oprah’s Next Chapter segment that aired in August 2013. A reality show, which will chronicle the young star’s road to recovery, is also in the works, and could give Lindsay a second chance with her fans and colleagues.

These days, it appears LiLo is keeping her nose clean and her court-ordered stint in rehab seems to be doing some good. She’s jumping into new projects and film endeavors. Let’s just hope she’ll make wiser movie choices to counter the string of bad ones, and garner more positivity around her likeness.

The macrocosm that is Hollywood is only magnifying Lindsay’s personal and legal woes. But if she harnesses her level of exposure appropriately, she can turn the negative light into a spotlight of triumph.

Now, let’s see what we can do about that Justin Bieber.

BK Headshot

Brittany Knox is the newest public relations intern here at c21. She is an alumna of Georgia State University, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Communications. When she’s not sharpening her skills as a future PR maven, Brittany enjoys traveling, dancing, and dining around Atlanta.

Image

Honoring a Leader: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.”

-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Each year in January, our nation commemorates Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, one of the nation’s most celebrated activists and leaders. It’s the day that his contributions to peace and human equality are most fully acknowledged.

Before writing this post, I did some research on Dr. King, his life and his work for the African American Civil Rights Movement. Most of what I read were just reinforcements—revisiting what I’d already learned and studied in school. But I also became interested in what other people said about him.

I noticed one word in particular that was in nearly every article I read about Dr. King: leader.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. continues to be the epitome of leadership, evoking words such as courageous, dedicated, persistent and influential. He was also effectively persuasive, proven by the impact of his legendary “I Have a Dream” speech, which still continues to resonate with individuals today.

There is something to be learned about leadership from Dr. King.

It’s not just one thing that makes a leader: it’s a combination of traits that all complement each other. It takes time to build these traits; they need to be developed and nourished. There are numerous local groups and organizations that recognize the importance in grooming individuals to be leaders, such as Leadership Buckhead; an organization dedicated to developing leaders from the inside out, and Leadership Atlanta.

Dr. King was one of the most influential leaders of all time, not just of the African-American Civil Rights Movement, but of this nation. To this day, his leadership qualities continue to inspire everyone from religious and political leaders, to young students who are just beginning to learn about his life and his life’s work.

Martin Luther King, Jr. was a visionary who worked tirelessly and nobly to ensure that his dream would one day be realized.

January 20 isn’t the only time to learn about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr; the King Center is right here in Atlanta, in c21’s backyard, in fact! It’s always a great time to learn more about one of history’s greatest leaders. Learn more about visiting this national park and center.

 

Brittany Knox is the newest public relations intern here at c21. She is an alumna of Georgia State University, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Communications. When she’s not sharpening her skills as a future PR maven, Brittany enjoys traveling, dancing, and dining around Atlanta.