Archive for October, 2013

The Importance of Being an Effective Communicator in Advertising

October 22, 2013

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Fast Company recently posted an article with great tips for having a productive conversation. As we become more attached to our smart phones and other electronics, we begin to lose grip on how to have an actual face to face conversation. Whether it is through a text message or an email, we have grown accustomed to the convenience of instant, non-personal conversation. While these tools do make our life easier, in an industry such as advertising or public relations it is important to remember the basics, such as answering a phone call, being able to hold a verbal conversation and even being a great listener.

This article sparked an interesting discussion here at Matlock about the importance of being an effective communicator in the Advertising and PR community. We wanted to share some of our day to day tasks and how our communication skills affect these tasks.

Written Communication: While shorthand such as LOL may be an acceptable form of written communication among your friends, it is important to remember proper grammar and sentence structure for work at an agency. We must carefully choose the appropriate words and their placement to deliver a clear and concise message to our recipients. Good written communication skills are most important in public relations. A PR professional is often responsible for media relations, press releases and brand messages, all of which involve written communication. With proper written communication there is less room for misinterpretation. A single press release or brand message written by a PR professional will be seen by company employees, the press and the general public. It is important that the message is consistent, clear and free of grammatical errors as it is a direct reflection of the PR professional and the brand they represent.

Presentations: During your time at an agency you will give numerous presentations. Presentations are important because they provide information that others will use to make important decisions. It is important that you speak clearly, refrain from fillers such as “um” and “like”, and make eye contact. It is also important to be a great listener during this time as your input could be needed.

Telephone Conversations: Even with all the technological advances we have made with email and text messages, knowing proper telephone etiquette is still an important tool. When you need immediate responses from a client or staff member you will need to utilize your telephone. Remember to answer all incoming calls with a friendly tone. Announce your name to the caller and also ask for their name. Listen to the caller’s needs and take notes if necessary. Remember to speak to the caller in the same manner in which you would like to be spoken to and always keep it professional.

Non-Verbal Communication: This type of communication is important in all of the above tasks. Your voice tone and volume, facial expressions, and body movements such as hand gestures broadcast what words alone may conceal. You could be delivering the wrong message with body movements such as crossed arms or eye rolls.

What other communication skills are important in your everyday life?

Read the Fast Company article mentioned in this post here: http://bit.ly/16ZgTg6

 

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What Every College Student Should Post on LinkedIn

October 16, 2013

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Mashable recently posted an article with great tips for what college students should post to their LinkedIn profile.  We think this list is great for not only college students, but anyone who would like to work in a professional realm.  You’ve probably seen lists like this before and assumed that this was just a way for LinkedIn to make money or gain more users, but you couldn’t be more wrong. We wanted to provide a few ways in which we use LinkedIn here at Matlock, so you can get an idea of how it’s being used by employers. Read our tips below and then view the list provided by Mashable here: http://on.mash.to/14ttYzn

  • Have a LinkedIn profile

Having a LinkedIn profile is essential in your professional career. A LinkedIn profile is just as important as having a resume. When we are reviewing a prospective employee, one of the very first things we do is search for their LinkedIn profile. Not having a profile can often be a red flag. Pamela Bishop our Brand VP & Group Director often says “if they don’t have a LinkedIn profile, they don’t exist.”  When you do create your profile, make sure that it is 100% complete. LinkedIn defines a complete profile as one that lists:

  • Your industry and location
  • An up-to-date current position (with a description)
  • Two past positions
  • Your education
  • Your skills (a minimum of 3)
  • A profile photo
  • At least 50 connections
  • Have a Professional Profile Photo

As the old saying goes “a picture is worth a thousand words”, and unfortunately, your “selfie” in the bathroom is saying all the wrong things. Be sure to have a profile picture that clearly shows your face and is free of distracting backgrounds (i.e. your shower curtains or even worse, your toilet). A full body image is not necessary, as most profile pictures are only shown from the shoulder up. Professional dress, is often suggested, but not required. Your image will often be the very first thing an employer notices, so make sure that your image makes a great first impression.

  • Investigate Your Interviewer

Learning more about your interviewer and the company shows that you are prepared and you do your homework. It also gives you more to discuss in an interview and sets you apart from other candidates. The best place to learn more about your interviewer is LinkedIn. LinkedIn has a feature called “Who’s Viewed Your Profile”; it discloses who has viewed your profile in the last 90 days. We use this feature at Matlock to see if a perspective employee is going the extra mile and doing their homework.

 

Every agency is different in the ways in which they use LinkedIn, but we hope you find these tips and the tips from the Mashable article helpful in creating a great LinkedIn profile.

 

Do you have any tips you would like to share?

 

If you are interested in a career in Public Relations and would like to know more about what agency life is like read our blog post here: http://bit.ly/1dgilN2 

How Samsung harnessed their fans to launch the Galaxy S4

October 11, 2013

While finding relevant and innovative ways to launch a new product can be exciting, it can also be daunting for advertisers at times.  In a time when fans are willing to camp in front of stores for shoes, video games, and phones, the ability to alert fans is key; but what does a company do for those individuals who want to be “first” to receive a new product but do not have the time to dedicate towards battling the elements for days to get it? 

 Social media is one of the best ways to reach those within the millennial generation due to its “instant gratification” format, but can app updates be harnessed to not just inform potential customers about a launch but rather be the launch itself?  How would an advertiser change their use of social media from giving knowledge to an active part of the launch process? 

 Samsung’s recent campaigns for its iPhone rival, the Galaxy S4, have been making fun of the infamous apple store line as an archaic way to launch a product to your consumer.   Until recently, the ads have not shown how their launching of the Galaxy S4 has truly been better – enter the “smart phone line.” 

 Colenso BBDO introduced a new way to have the consumer launch the Galaxy S4 by having a digital line directly connected to users’ Facebook and Twitter accounts that moved their unique avatars closer to the front of the line every time they tweeted, retweeted, or posted about the Galaxy S4.  A digital waiting line may have seemed a little too abstract, so BBDO decided to create a physical place for the digital line to be observed.  

 Here are a few statistics from the BBDO’s case study about the launch: 12,000 people queued for two weeks, where they shared 85,000 stories to over 3 million people. This created an organic reach of over 15 million people. After the launch, the market share for the Galaxy S4 grew 12%.

 Adweek featured BBDO’s case study which they posted on YouTube.  You may watch it here: http://www.adweek.com/adfreak/fans-waiting-digital-line-samsung-galaxy-s4-move-tweeting-152640

 

Understanding why it’s Important to Target Hispanic Women and Why You May be Missing the Mark

October 9, 2013

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The Hispanic population of the United States as of July 2011 totaled over 52 million people. According to the U.S. Census, Hispanics will constitute 30% of the nation’s population by the year 2050. So what does all this mean for advertisers? With Hispanic American’s purchasing power now weighing in at over $1.2 trillion, it means that advertisers have to do more than release a “Spanish language version” of content. To effectively connect with Hispanic consumers, agencies have to keep content and all brand-consumer interactions culturally relevant. When it comes to buying power, Hispanic women, also called Latinas, are in the driver’s seat.

According to a report published by Nielsen, 86% of Latina women make purchasing decisions in the household. Food, beverages, clothes, and home electronics are the top four purchases made by Latinas. Latinas are also outpacing their Latino counterparts, and even general market consumers, in education. Seventy percent of Latina high school graduates are enrolling in college, which for the first time, exceeds non-Hispanic females in college and is 11% ahead of Hispanic males.

Latinas also have their own definition of “having it all.” In a study conducted by Alma, a Hispanic advertising agency, strategic insights revealed that Hispanic women identify peace of mind, an education and a home where they can enjoy their rich family lives as the “things” to which they aspire. To connect with Hispanic audiences more deeply, agencies must look beyond general market reference points of what it means to be successful. The concept of having it all in terms of having the corner office, the biggest house on the block, or the most expensive car in the driveway was not their idea of having it all. They reported that the idea of having it all was not an idea that resonated with them, because it was not an idea that was actively discussed. Having a family and retaining Hispanic culture and values already means that they have it all. It is not something that one has to pursue. Even more telling, the women reported that they could not see themselves in magazines, even when targeted toward specific groups such as those for moms, because “while everyone loves their family, Hispanic women put family at the center of their lives.” It’s time to start creating content specifically for Hispanic women as a one size fits all approach, even when segmented, simply won’t work.

We challenge you to use this blog as a starting point to learn more about the cultural characteristics of Hispanic women as a means to gain their brand loyalty to your business.