Archive for July, 2013

Incentive Based Social Media Followings: Fair or Foul ?

July 30, 2013

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Many companies are turning to incentives such as discounts and product giveaways with the hopes of increasing their social media presence, via a new Facebook like or Twitter follow. Pepsi recently debuted a Pepsi Like Machine in Antwerp, Belgium at a Beyoncé concert. The machine dispenses a can of Pepsi or Pepsi product of the user’s choice after he or she likes Pepsi’s Facebook page. Users were given the option to like the page using a touch screen on the machine or by liking the page on their mobile devices.

See the machine in action here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=O4YrQpupEO8

We are now living in a time in which we value a company based on the number of followers or likes it has. Is a business that has 1 million Facebook likes better than a business that has only 100 Facebook likes? Not necessarily, but when a company’s social media following is being used as leverage in business meetings it’s not hard to see why they are clamoring to get their next social media follower no matter how disingenuous it may be.

This was Pepsi’s first test with such a machine, and according to the company it was a success. While a novel idea, the Pepsi Like Machine and other incentives poses a few questions regarding the way businesses use social media. Is the incentive-based like, follow, or retweet an effective entry point to engagement with consumers? How many of the users who liked the Pepsi Facebook page will remain actively engaged after receiving their free can of soda? This type of incentive-based following also poses a question about measurement. Do we count this effort a success because the company gained new Facebook likes, or do we measure on the number of users who remain active on the Pepsi Facebook page after there is no longer an incentive to do so?

For various reasons, many users will not return – no matter how great your content is. To combat fleeting, incentive based users, businesses must understand that a new Facebook like or Twitter follower is only the beginning of the conversation. Your coupon or giveaway got the consumer in the door, now it’s your job to make them life-long visitors. An incentive based Facebook like with no follow-up is no different than a perceived great first date that never leads to a second. Be just as engaging to keep the consumer around.

 How do you feel about incentive based social media followings?

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Thoughts from a Young Public Relations Professional

July 8, 2013

Are you interested in a career in public relations? Would you like to know what agency life is like? Here is a blog post written by Matlocker Erika Ludwig, Account Coordinator – Reputation, with a few tips for young professionals entering the PR workforce.

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A Photo of Erika at her college graduation.

Completing your first year at an agency is no small feat. Public Relations is more than just writing press releases and earning media coverage. Like many industries today, Public Relations is evolving into a career that involves one having many “tools” in their toolbox.

Here is some advice I hope those considering a career in Public Relations, or current young professionals, will find useful.

Join a professional organization
Being a member of a professional organization not only looks good on your resume, but through professional organizations you can network, grow professionally and learn about trends. Additionally, join a SIG. Special Interest Groups are great resources for niche topics, in addition to being a great resource for networking.

Own an AP Stylebook
Your AP Stylebook is your best friend when writing press releases. Use it! It is also a great means for proofreading.

Be flexible and learn how to multi-task
Working at an agency requires you to work on different projects at the same time. Learn how to be flexible and balance your workload. By planning ahead, a new task with a quick deadline should be no problem!  

Embrace social media
Social media is a necessary tool for young public relations professionals today.  Some companies will hire young PR professionals to write social media calendars in addition to completing  PR responsibilities. Make yourself familiar with various social media platforms, and always be on the lookout for  new platforms and trends.

Take initiative
Just because you are a young professional and most likely at the “bottom of the totem pole” doesn’t mean you are not allowed to take initiative. If a problem occurs, approach your superior with solutions, in addition to informing them about the situation at hand. Act instead of reacting.

Embrace opportunity
If you have an opportunity to travel, do it. If you have an opportunity to take on a new responsibility in addition to your current roles, do it. By taking advantage of presented opportunities you are making yourself more valuable to your current agency – and to future employers.

Strive for work/life balance
Working at an agency is a great experience, but it can be stressful at times.  Make sure to have a reasonable work/life balance. Expect to stay late at the office some days (especially when projects are due), but remember it’s important to go home and relax.

Learn from your mistakes
You will make mistakes. Accept them, learn from them and keep going. Apply what you have learned from your “blunder” to your future tasks. Making mistakes is a part of your growth as a professional.

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A picture of Erika and an Atlanta Journal-Constitution employee at a networking event.

I hope that you find these tips useful. Each agency is different, and requires various roles and responsibilities. Be open to learning and be flexible. You never know where your road may lead, but make use of what is put in front of you to build the bridge to your future. 

Advertising Industry Insight

July 3, 2013

Today we would like to share some insight on the dynamics of the advertising industry.  Written by our very own VP & Group Director of Brand, Ms. Pamela Bishop, this blog post delves into the “new era” of advertising. 

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Is this the end of the advertising age as we know it? Well maybe that statement is a bit strong.  At a minimum, I think we can all agree that the dynamics of our industry are changing rapidly.  With the advancement of technology, consumer content as king and the need for lightning speed to market, our industry is experiencing a revolution, not an evolution.  Recently, there have been several articles published that directly speak to this phenomenon. Two well respected, thought-leading organizations have approached this shift from different angles.  Harvard Business Review from the creative resource perspective and Digiday from a technological and strategic perspective.  

 

Nonetheless, gone are the days of “Mad Men,” where the agency had all the “big ideas.”  What are agencies to do with this shifting of power?  Who will be the agencies that survive?  I’m glad you asked…

In my opinion, small agencies are in the best position to retool themselves for this “new era” for three basic reasons we learned from our childhood:

 

  1. We have learned to “play nice with others.”  Whether we are collaborating with larger agencies or working with freelancers, media agencies, or 3rd party tracking services; small agencies have learned to respect the diversity of ideas and the notion that a good idea can come from anywhere.  Therefore concepts like crowdsourcing are not really new to us.  By embracing technology, crowdsourcing allows us to further expand our network of creative ideas more efficiently.
  2. We have learned the concept of “others first.”  Smaller agencies are heavily reliant on good relationships, not only with clients, but with suppliers as well.  Sometimes we all must be willing to sacrifice our bottom line for the good of the overall project and ultimate client satisfaction.
  3. We have learned to “roll with the punches.”  Small agencies must learn to be quick and nimble in order to remain competitive in this industry.  While many times we don’t have the expanded resources of some of our larger counterparts, we are still expected to deliver work that is on par with them.   In order to do this, we must constantly challenge ourselves to adapt and persevere, despite the “David and Goliath” scenario we often face.

 

Whether large or small, all agencies must realize that we will never go back to the “good ol’ days.” Therefore it is incumbent upon us to learn the new rules of the game, so that our best days are yet to come.

Matlock Welcome’s Camil!

July 2, 2013

Matlock Welcome's Camil!

Matlock would like to introduce our newest addition, Camil Williams. We are excited to have someone with such an eclectic background join our team. Camil hails from Chicago and has now made Atlanta her home. As our new Accounts Payable/ Accounts Receivable Coordinator, she brings her own style and knowledge to Matlock’s Finance & Administration team. We asked Camil a few questions about herself and here’s what she had to say:

1) What is your favorite color? Grey, oh wait is that a color or a hue…let’s stick with grey lol.
2) If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live? I love South America and would especially like to visit Brazil.
3) Who are your heroes? My parents are my heroes and best friends.
4) Do you have any prominent hobbies? I’m not sure if these are considered hobbies but I compose music on occasion and have just published my 3rd book of poetry Cold Sweat.