Stories by Dana Berchman and Jennifer Alvarez

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4 Pages From a Phoenix Suburb’s Crisis Plan

April 3rd, 2017 by

When a massive, five-alarm fire broke out on a Saturday evening in busy Gilbert, Arizona, a Phoenix suburb home to nearly 250,000 residents, the Gilbert Fire and Rescue Department partnered with Gilbert’s Digital Communications Department to take a teamwork and technology approach to communication and community outreach. Here’s how they did it.

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How Coca-Cola’s Quest to Measure Engagement Led to a New Metric

March 31st, 2017 by

Most of us are familiar with the core KPIs of Google Analytics such as users, sessions, page views, bounce rate, average time on page, search and CTR. These metrics are important to The Coca-Cola Company too. But do they provide the holistic view the company needs? The answer is, no, because they alone do not capture engagement. So, the company created its own KPI.

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How Southwest Airlines Preps Timely Content, Far in Advance

March 30th, 2017 by

Timely content is king. The good news in today’s digital world is that companies are now in the content driver’s seat. But with so many channels and platforms at their disposal, many brands struggle to be relevant on all of them, all the time. That is leading some to make poor decisions about content type, timing and topic. Here are two examples of how Southwest Airlines strikes while the iron is hot.

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How to Set Up a Personal Blog Network and Maximize Your SEO

March 24th, 2017 by

A Personal Blog Network (PBN) is a network of sites that you control which are designed to direct links to a site that you’re monetizing. If you have an existing PBN, or are building one up, you’re going to need to take steps to ensure your digital presence is effective, safe and secure. Here are five tips in setting up your PBN.

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5 Ways to Make Influencer Marketing Work on a Budget

March 23rd, 2017 by

Influencer marketing is undoubtably one of the hottest trends of 2017. But since this avenue is typically available only to brands with huge budgets to spend on big-name celebrities and well-connected media publishers, smaller firms often assume they can’t afford it. Not true: Here are five ways to make influencer marketing work for those with limited resources.

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Why iMessage Is Key for Dunkin’ Donuts in the Era of Ad Blocking

March 15th, 2017 by

How many times have you received a text message you didn’t look at? The answer is most likely “almost never.” In fact, text messages receive a 98% open rate and mobile messaging is the No. 1 most frequently used feature on our phones. This unlocks a world of creative opportunity for brands. In a time when ad blocking is the new normal, marketers must embrace choice-based ad offerings in the quest for true attention. Luckily, there’s a ripe opportunity to reach the nearly 1 billion iPhone users out there with something they’ll actually appreciate—in iMessage.

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Wolf Packs and Nudity: PR Trends at SXSW 2017

March 15th, 2017 by

If you’re a PR professional and you’ve never had the opportunity to work a SXSW show on behalf of a brand, you should definitely add it to your career bucket list. There’s the sheer geography of SXSW—every street is lined with branded facades as companies take over venues for experiential marketing stunts. Not to mention the volume of social media and social ads that pump through every channel.

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Rise of #SXSW Chatbots Is Real—and It’s Awesome

March 14th, 2017 by

Messaging apps like WhatsApp and Messenger (both part of the Facebook family) are powerful platforms that are now being used by more and more people. As mass adoption occurs, the tipping point makes it justifiable for brands and services to invest in the development of bots and AI. And judging by this week’s SXSW, that tipping point isn’t far away.

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7 Ways to Improve Your Content Marketing

March 13th, 2017 by

It’s not that your content sucks…in fact, it might even be pretty darn good. It’s just that every minute of every day, there are 1,300 more blog posts, 360,000 more tweets, 1.7 million more Facebook posts and 2 million more videos uploaded to YouTube. And that only accounts for a few channels. Which means your content is simply being drowned out in an ever-quickening deluge of words and images. So what’s a content marketer to do? We suggest the following seven ways to stand out from the crowd.

The Eyes Have It: A funny graphic used at Eyeful. Source: Abbott

I Can See Clearly Now: Abbott Uses Clarity, Levity to Make LASIK Appealing

March 13th, 2017 by

Content is one of the best tools in your toolkit to tell your brand story the way you’d want the press to write it, but the better you immerse yourself in the world and jargon of your or your client’s industry, the harder it is to draft content that is accessible and approachable for the general public. Abbott was facing just such a problem. It wanted to re-engage young adults with the prospect of getting LASIK surgery, a highly technical and FDA-regulated procedure. It turned to Weber Shandwick. Together, the companies navigated the challenges of un-complicating a nuanced and intimidating product and learned a lot along the way.