Tag Archives: marketingworx

Jamie Killin

Steve LeVine Entertainment & Public Relations new hire

Steve LeVine Entertainment & Public Relations (SLE) has announced the addition of Jamie Killin to the public relations and marketing department.

With a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in mass communications, Killin graduated from Arizona State University in 2014 where she attended the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and was a member of Barrett, The Honors College. During college, Killin acted as a multimedia reporter for Cronkite News Service, maintained a position as an editorial intern with Phoenix Magazine and wrote for the Cronkite Journal.

Prior to joining Steve LeVine Entertainment & Public Relations, Killin worked for Marketingworx Public Relations and Marketing where she was an account coordinator and social media specialist.

Outside of work Killin enjoys hiking, traveling and attending live music shows. “I’ve always been a music lover so having the opportunity to work at SLE, where music is such a huge part of what we do, has been a fantastic experience,” says Killin of her new position.

Photo: Flickr, theimpulsivebuy

Developing A Marketing Message: A Case Study Of Dr Pepper TEN’s Target Market

Creating a company or product’s marketing message can be daunting, but if you think in terms of everyday conversations, it may be an easier task to tackle. When developing marketing message, whether it is for a brochure, an advertisement, a website or even a social media post, the first thing to think about is who you are trying to target. In other words, what you say is largely determined by whom you are trying to say it to in order to create a message that will inspire them to buy.

A case study: Dr Pepper TEN

Last year’s marketing campaign promoting Dr Pepper Snapple Group’s new low-calorie drink, Dr Pepper TEN, took a leap and specifically targeted men instead of women. While diet drink companies have attempted this before, research showed that women still outnumber men in diet-drink purchasing. Dr Pepper recognized that men are less likely to choose diet sodas because they aren’t perceived as manly. So why launch the macho campaign with the headline, “It’s Not for Women”?

The target market

Marketers will typically break target markets into groups like male/female, ages 25 – 55, income of $75,000 per year or more, with children or without. Honing in on statistical data and behaviors (or psychographics) helps determine who a potential customer is, what they like to do, and how they like to communicate.

In the case of Dr Pepper, going after the male market was an effort to expand its market share in a product segment that is shrinking. As U.S. consumers continue to cut their soda consumption by opting for healthier drink selections like flavored waters and juice, Dr Pepper cooked up a new low-calorie recipe offering 10 calories and two grams of sugar to keep it relatively healthy, while claiming to be more flavorful than other diet drinks. Making an appeal to men, they hoped to increase sales and gain new customers.

Speaking to multiple markets

In most cases, a company or product may be targeting multiple markets, and as a result, the message may center on one main target but offer an appeal to others. Think of the Bud Light or AXE ads. Like Dr Pepper TEN, they are targeting men; but the humor in the ads also appeals to women.

Focusing an entire marketing campaign with a message directed to one market can pose a real risk. The Dr Pepper TEN campaign, which showed men running through jungles, leaping boulders and watching football, aggressively conveyed that women were not welcome, despite the fact that women represent 50.8 percent of the purchasing public.

Dr Pepper TEN ads aired on all major networks that are heavily watched by males, including FX and ESPN during college football games. The company also created a Facebook page for the drink, which contained an application that allowed fans to exclude women from viewing content, as well as games and videos geared to men.

The decision to ignore women, especially when they make a large majority of purchasing decisions, initially proved to be a mistake.

Immediately following the launch of the campaign, there was a large backlash and a glut of publicity bashing the company for ostracizing women. An article published in Smart Money titled “Angry Women Is Not What Dr Pepper Ordered” said the “for men only campaign backfired with both sexes.” It went on to say that, “The campaign appears to have driven women’s perception of Dr Pepper down, which may have an adverse effect on the overall brand’s sales of a product like Diet Dr Pepper.”

If a marketing campaign is supposed to attract attention, experts can agree that Dr Pepper achieved that. In the days and weeks after the campaign aired, every major media outlet was writing and talking about it. Despite the barrage of negative media coverage or because of it, the product and its campaign proved to be successful. According to Dr Pepper Snapple Group’s annual report published in March 2012, “in the first three months of national distribution, trial rates for Dr Pepper TEN were nearly nine percent, significantly above other new innovation launches.” The report also went on to state, “the great taste of Dr Pepper TEN, which is targeted at men who don’t like the image of diet beverages, has resulted in consumers – male and female – asking for more TEN options.”

Fast forward just one year after the “It’s Not for Women” campaign launched, an article appearing in October 2012 in the Wall Street Journal discusses disappointing overall sales for the company with a drop in five of the company’s six soda brands. The bright spot that showed growth ― Dr Pepper TEN.

For more information on marketingworx and its services visit marketingworxpr.com.


To Tweet Or Not To Tweet: The Benefits Of Twitter For Business

In February 2012, registered Twitter users officially hit 500 million. Despite the significantly growing population of tweeters ― approximately 11 new accounts are added every second ― there are many business people still asking, “Why should I be on Twitter?”

The social media platform that limits posts to 140 characters appears to non-users as a cryptic code that includes “@” signs and hashtags (#); this commonly prompts the response, “I don’t really understand how it works or why it matters.”

In simple terms, Twitter is one of the fastest and easiest ways to share information about your product, service, organization or platform. It allows you to communicate, connect and engage directly with your target market in real time. So it matters. If its capabilities combined with its growing number of users are not enough to make you consider jumping on the bandwagon, every small- to mid-size business owner or manager should consider the following reasons for adding Twitter to the company’s marketing and PR efforts:

Spread the word

Twitter gets the message out quickly and efficiently. By tweeting and sharing company announcements with potential and existing customers and referral sources, you can introduce new products, promote special deals, or post info about upcoming events.

Research market trends

Twitter can keep you updated on industry trends and/or activity in your market segment. Through Twitter Search, you can find out what people are saying about a particular topic, and you can keep tabs on comments about your company and your competition.

Leverage current PR and other marketing activity

Potential customers and referral sources may have missed a feature article showcasing your company in a trade publication, but by pushing the link out on Twitter, they can not only read it, but also now share it. If your budget won’t allow for a direct mail campaign, you can run an ad in the local paper about an upcoming sale or event and then expand your reach by posting the information on Twitter.

Secure additional publicity

The print and broadcast news media represents a large number of Twitter users, so it is no surprise to learn that they spot trends that inspire stories and find sources on the social media site. A finance expert’s frequent posts about business led to an invitation to write a feature article in a trade publication. A local radio host posted news about a story and was contacted by a CNN producer to appear as a guest on a connected topic. These are just two examples of how Twitter can help position industry experts and lead to more publicity.

Enhance customer service and build relationships

Twitter is about connecting and engaging. A pool service company uses Twitter Search to learn what others are saying about its pools. A question posted about a pool turning green provides a warm lead that turns into a new customer. Monitoring and responding to what others are saying on Twitter can improve customer service with existing customers and create new ones.

Network virtually

Establishing an active presence on Twitter gives you opportunities to meet and talk to people you may never get the chance to talk to otherwise. Think about making business contacts with referral sources, people you want to start projects with or even hire, without ever leaving your desk.

Drive traffic to your website and through your door

It’s not enough to just have a website anymore. Sharing your knowledge on Twitter with links back to your website and Facebook pages can help potential customers find you. It also allows you to consistently post new content that will enhance your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts and help increase your rankings in a Google search.

Adopting Twitter as a communication and marketing tool provides companies the ability to present and develop their image and define their brand.

The Illinois-based start-up, Foiled Cupcakes, is a great example of the power of Twitter. Introducing a Twitter campaign prior to the launch of its website, the owners began posting interesting and engaging conversational information and building followers that met the demographic of their target market. The build-up led to more than 2,000 followers before the business was off the ground. While it is often said that Twitter doesn’t lead to sales, owner Mari Luangrath has a different story:

“90 percent have come from social media. We also have a pretty intense follow-up system, so by the time a customer has gone through the process, we’ve had seven opportunities to figure out how they’ve heard about us.”

Targeted engagement works both ways, adds Luangrath. “Twitter makes it so easy to reach out directly to people.” In addition to attracting customers, Foiled Cupcakes’ social media campaign has also caught the attention of the press. “We’ve been approached by Investor’s Business Daily, American Express Open Forum, Entrepreneur Magazine, and appeared on NBC and The Food Channel,” as a result of Foiled Cupcakes’ transparency and accessibility on social media platforms like Twitter.

If that isn’t reason enough to tweet, then consider what you are gaining by holding out.

For more information on marketingworx, its services and/or how to begin your own Twitter account/campaign, visit marketingworxpr.com  or follow her @julietstraker.

Get your ads noticed

Get Your Ads Noticed, And Other PR Lessons

How to get your ads notice ― and other lessons in public relations

Advertising can be vital to attracting attention to your business, but it’s not all that gets customers through the door. For companies touting consumer-related products and services, the role of public relations is crucial to extend the impact and credibility of advertising and to enhance the overall marketing campaign.

The strategic purpose of PR is to create a sense of community, to make a brand or service more memorable, and to ultimately entice consumers to want to learn more and share the information with others.

Unlike advertising, PR is uniquely capable of building relationships with the public. It can effectively reach specific target markets through events, interactions on social media, in-kind support for a cause, sponsorships, presentations and, of course, traditional media interviews. This engagement through shared stories and interactions allows a brand to actually come to life. In other words, PR is used to deliver messages not normally conveyed in conventional advertising.

Positive news stories can be shared to create buzz about a company, including recent achievements, the addition of new products or services, the addition of someone to the team, or the involvement in a community event. Through increased visibility comes increased awareness, which attracts more attention and gets people to notice traditional ads.

In addition to getting your company seen and heard, PR can work with advertising to effectively help build momentum for the launch of a new ad campaign. Interviews, quotes or news segments provide a company with media exposure between ad placements and can actually increase the frequency of brand exposures during the time period ads are running. In an effort to build brand awareness and keep a company top-of-mind, there are few substitutes for pure frequency.

When looking at developing a PR campaign, begin by asking three major questions:

(1) What are you trying to achieve with PR?

(2) Who are you trying to reach?

(3) How will your PR campaign integrate with your marketing and communications plan?

Think of PR as a tool for reinforcing. When a company launches into a new market, acquires another company, establishes a new partnership, or introduces a new product, public relations is one of the most cost effective and credible tools for telling the story.

Unfortunately many companies fail to incorporate PR into their marketing mix after realizing the amount of money that they are spending in other areas, including advertising. When weighing the costs, it is one oversight that can be costly. After all, it makes sense to have the various mediums work hand in hand ― that is, if you want consumers to take notice.

For more information on how to get your ads noticed, marketingworx and/or its services, visit marketingworxpr.com.

Public Relations

Understanding The Why And How Of Public Relations

Marketing and promotions focuses on selling the products and services a company provides. In most cases, for marketing to succeed, companies need to find ways to stand out from the crowd — which may explain the $1 million-plus spent on 30- and 60-second Super Bowl commercials showcasing some of the most outrageous and creative work in advertising. The real value, though, comes from the after-buzz in the media and hits on YouTube. In other words, it comes from the publicity generated. While a majority of business owners cannot afford to run an ad during the Super Bowl, they can afford public relations to promote the company’s attributes.

Public relations can be utilized to strengthen a company’s image and develop public perception showing how the company is credible, active and innovative. It can help differentiate a company from its competitors and highlight its benefits. Public relations can also be an economical way to reach a target market to stimulate awareness of and demand for a company’s products or services.

But how does it work? Many start-ups and small businesses start with Facebook and Twitter, but this alone is not likely to do the trick. Building buzz, attracting followers on social media sites and new customers through your doors can be done with ongoing coverage in the media in the form of news articles and interviews. Then, when a company receives press coverage, they can utilize social media platforms they have in place to expand that coverage and to reach an even larger audience. Think of how many media outlets discussed Super Bowl ads in the following days and how many companies posted their Super Bowl ads or articles about their Super Bowl ads to their Facebook and Twitter pages. In addition to reaching a larger audience, social media can leverage publicity to help drive traffic to a company’s website by increasing its search engine visibility and organic results.

Securing media coverage starts with a well written press release or story pitch. Although simple in theory, getting the attention of the media can be challenging as they are inundated daily with emails and phone calls from many people pitching various story ideas. To help both the media and the public take notice of you and your business, consider the following:

  • Think about what your business has or does that may be newsworthy. Have you hit a new milestone? Are you introducing a new product or service? Are you hiring someone new to head up one of your departments, or are you doing something significant in the community? The media won’t publicize information if it is too promotional — that’s what ads are for.
  • Make yourself (or someone on your team) available to the media as an expert source. The media is always looking for business experts to comment on topics they are writing about. Letting writers and editors know who you are, what you do and how your knowledge and expertise may provide credibility to an article they are writing can be an effective tool for getting press.
  • If you haven’t done so already, consider adding a blog to your website and keeping it current by posting to it at least two to four times a month. A blog provides a platform for educating your target market about your industry, services, products and other related information that the public may want to know. Integrating your blog with social media can increase your exposure, support SEO and help expand your reach. It also helps establish your company as an expert in the industry and tell your company’s story.
  • Become a guest writer or radio guest. If your industry has a trade publication or radio show, find out if you can be a regular contributor.

In order to successfully launch a public relations campaign of any magnitude, it requires dedication from the company and expertise from someone within the organization or an outside consultant to lead and facilitate. In essence, a business owner or company leader needs should expect to be involved in the public relations process, but much of the writing and legwork can be done by a public relations specialist. Although a business owner can take on these responsibilities, it is usually more effective to hire a professional to advise and execute.

Juliet Straker is president of marketingworx, a Phoenix-based public relations and marketing communications firm founded in 2002. For more information on marketingworx and its services, visit www.marketingworxpr.com.


Mobile Technology

Maximize Marketing Coverage With Mobile Technology

Marketing with Mobile Technology: Maximize Coverage Using New Tools

We all move quickly through our days, jumping from our computers to our phones to communicate information and share. While the changes in communication are moving at warp speed, companies can utilize the opportunity to expand its public relations campaigns and educate the public well beyond the day a story airs or an article runs.

The growth of mobile technology means information is literally now available at the consumer’s fingertips. In other words, with just a few clicks of a screen, buying decisions are now being made. Information sources like Google, Twitter, Facebook, Yelp and YouTube can influence where a person chooses to shop, dine, or go.

According to research recently conducted by Hubspot, mobile Internet users will reach 113.9 million in 2012, up 17.1 percent from 97.3 million in 2011. The data takes things further; looking at the growth in popularity of the iPad, tablet users will reach 54.8 million in 2012, up 62.8 percent from 33.7 million in 2011.

On a recent visit to Flagstaff, we were looking for a place to eat. Having nowhere special in mind, we turned to our iPhones to research the area. A click on Google Places immediately brought up a list of restaurants in the area showing four- and five-star ratings from reviewers. Quickly reading the descriptions, we found out about a breakfast spot that was featured on “Drive-ins, Diners and Dives” and received rave reviews from the host, Guy Fieri and a number of patrons. The restaurant was only a few miles away, but a bit off the beaten path, outside of downtown. Fortunately the mobile phone also provides directions with a direct route from your location.

It turned out that Brandy’s Restaurant and Bakery (which I highly recommend) was featured on the program in 2008. But this small business understood the value of leveraging that publicity. They made sure the message in their online description continued to publicize the national TV coverage. The segment still plays on a TV screen in the diner, and news clippings from the local newspaper can be found adorning the walls, but more importantly the information and the many other accolades the restaurant has received appear prominently on the home page of its website.

You can bet this small business owner does not have a large marketing budget, but by utilizing the technology that’s now available, they are maximizing the press they received almost four years ago to continue to bring in new customers.

Part of implementing a successful public relations and marketing campaign is to find ways to successfully weed through all of the clutter and information in order for your target audience to know more about your business and all it has to offer. However you choose to allocate your budget and to tell your story, there is no denying that the growth of mobile technology will now allow you to spread the word faster and stretch your dollars further.

For more information on marketing with mobile technology from marketingworx, visit marketingworxpr.com.

Giant Lego Man, Ego Leonard, Florida

Giant Lego Man: Marketing Scheme?

Here’s something you don’t hear all that often: a giant Lego man washed up on a Florida beach a couple weeks ago. That in itself is pretty odd, but this is actually the third such sculpture to be discovered since 2007.

The first giant Lego man found in 2007 washed up around Zandvoort, in the Netherlands. This mysterious giant figure had the equally mysterious phrase “No Real Than You Are” printed across its chest, leaving people baffled as to what it could mean, as well as the name “Ego Leonard” written on its back. The next year, in 2008, a second figure, sporting the same cryptic logo and name, was found in Brighton, United Kingdom.

The discoveries stopped for a few years following the events, but just two weeks ago, a third giant Lego man was found on Siesta Beach in Florida, with, once again, the bizarre statement of “No Real Than You Are” and the same name, “Ego Leonard” printed on its body.

People were once again mystified, but a few made a connection about this one: Lego’s amusement park, Legoland, had just opened a branch in Florida not long before this third wash-up. Not only that, 2008 just happened to Giant Lego Manbe the 30th anniversary of the Lego man figure.

Nobody is exactly sure who Ego Leonard really is, but with the timing of these wash-ups, could there be a connection to Lego itself? It’s possible, and if they are, then this is a kind of marketing strategy very rarely seen.

Juliet Straker, public relations and marketing for marketingworx, says she agrees that this is probably a marketing strategy and publicity stunt by Lego.

Lego is denying any involvement in any of these giant Lego man appearances, but Straker isn’t quite believing them.

“I would say that Lego is working with the artists on this, but their strong denial leads me to believe that the clever artist behind Ego Leonard, who is believed to be a Dutch artist by the name of Leon Keer, has elevated his own name and works on to the international stage.”

If Lego is behind these incidents, are they helping sales at all? Straker thinks so, but she thinks the frequency of these wash-ups is lessening their impact on sales. She says that “sales for Lego are up by about 10 percent in 2011, but the stunts are not that frequent, so I would attribute the increase in sales more to the new products the company has introduced and the fact that, as toys go, they provide big appeal to both children and parents. They are affordable, entertain for hours and get children thinking creatively.”

So what kind of marketing strategy is this? According to Straker, Lego may — or may not — be using one.

“I’m not sure that you can call it a strategy, as Lego is not really carrying it through in their marketing in any way,” she says. “It is just good old-fashioned publicity that is getting news outlets from Los Angeles to London covering the story.”

Her thoughts on “No Real Than You Are”?

“The phrase makes you stop and think,” Straker says. “Think of the absurdity of a giant Lego man showing up on beaches around the world. The idea of it alone is humorous and surreal. The phrase appears to almost pose the question, ‘what is real?’ ”

[stextbox id=”grey”]While we don’t know for a fact who Ego Leonard is or if Lego really has anything to do with the trio of events, this campaign, publicity stunt, or whatever you want to call it is original and memorable. Do you agree? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box.[/stextbox]


What do you think: Is the giant Lego man a marketing tool or not? Let us know in the comments section.

Maximizing Public Relations Efforts

Lessons From Apple: Maximizing Public Relations Efforts

When you are investing in real estate the mantra is, “location, location, location.” When it comes to an investment in marketing―and marketing is an investment―timing can make all the difference. Whether you are introducing a new product, opening the doors to a new business or simply wanting to promote existing products and services, a successful public relations and marketing campaign requires planning and coordination.

What many don’t realize is, to secure publicity for a company event or promotion it must first be considered newsworthy (and while it may seem newsworthy to a business owner, the media may not see it that way). Secondly, you must allow enough lead time to alert the media prior to their deadlines. Even daily and weekly publications and news shows plan stories and news segments weeks in advance; and editors of monthly publications are working on issues as much as three to six months before going to print. Allowing enough time in advance helps increase the possibility of traditional press coverage.

Landing press can provide a great boost to your business; and at the very least a boost to your credibility (and SEO). But to maximize public relations efforts, the additional benefits come in the follow-up with the marketing effort. If you are promoting an expansion of services, make sure your website is updated with the new information, have an email ready to send off to your database of customers and posts on your Facebook and Twitter pages.

You need to develop an integrated marketing campaign where public relations works hand-in-hand with advertising and promotional activities to convey the message of your company and/or product. Public relations can bring your story to life, build credibility and help increase visibility; while advertising helps build brand awareness and sells specifics, promotional efforts grab attention and generate buzz.

Under the direction and inspiration of Steve Jobs, Apple demonstrated some of the best practices in brand marketing and public relations. Jobs understood the art of a coordinated campaign and the results it could achieve.

A new product introduction from Apple is often unveiled on-stage in a theater of sorts packed with journalists, industry bloggers and technology insiders. The company typically avoids industry trade shows, opting to create their own events in the weeks prior.

 A product launch and publicity campaign is accompanied by traditional print, broadcast and outdoor ads, along with in-store displays and signage.

Apple’s website is poised for announcements with supportive pages and videos providing a firsthand look at their latest and greatest. Of course, emails are sent to a finely-tuned database prior to launch day, encouraging customers to get online to buy. 

An outreach of direct and indirect advertising orchestrated with public relations not only creates awareness and buzz, it creates demand. Apple’s seamless multi-channel, multi-touch approach demonstrates one of the best and most integrated examples for a successful marketing formula.

While most marketing budgets are significantly more limited than Apple’s, advance planning and coordination on any budget can still make or break the impact.

For more information about maximizing your public relations efforts, visit www.marketingworxpr.com.