Internship Opportunities at Image Marketing

Image Marketing Consultants is currently seeking ambitious, creative, and detail-oriented interns to assist our Social Media & Creative teams for the spring 2021 semester! We are looking to fill two internship roles: in Social Media Copywriting and Social Media Content Creation.

This is a great opportunity to gain experience working with a dynamic, growing marketing agency. Image Marketing Consultants is a full-service marketing and PR agency based in Plantsville, working primarily with clients throughout the U.S. in the retail and lifestyle industries. This intern will have the opportunity to learn the ropes of social media marketing by supporting one of our largest accounts for a client in the shopping center industry. You will work directly with both our Account Management and Creative teams, with a primary focus on either social media copywriting – creating compelling captions/written content for Instagram and Facebook; or social media content creation – creating engaging visual content for Instagram and Facebook, including photos, videos and graphics.

More details and qualifications about each role can be found below. 

Interested candidates should send their resume and a sample of their work to info@imagemarketingconsultants.com

SOCIAL MEDIA COPYWRITER INTERNSHIP:

We are looking for students who are studying marketing/communications, journalism, creative writing, or another related field and are eager to learn all about the world of social media marketing within an agency environment. You’ll work directly with our Account Management and Creative teams on the development of bi-weekly social media content calendars for our client, with a focus on copywriting.  You will draft the written copy for social media posts while learning about brand voice and overall social media strategy. Our ideal candidate is creative, self-motivated, and a skilled writer with the proven ability to draft compelling content!

This is a semester-long, unpaid internship. The expectation is approx.20 hours per week, with flexibility depending on the candidate’s availability.

What You’ll Do

  • Write compelling captions (and other content as assigned) for social media posts (under direction of the Account Manager/Creative Director)
  • Learn more about the strategy that goes into creating engaging social content, particularly crafting a brand’s tone of voice
  • Assist our Social Media Account Manager on additional duties as needed (may include research, sourcing visual content, reporting on data, posting content, engaging on social platforms, and administrative duties) 

Our Ideal Candidate:

  • Has a passion for the retail/shopping industry
  • Lives & breaths social media! Is up-to-date with the latest social trends and best practices; likes to be the first to test out new platforms and features when they launch; follows best-in-class brands to stay inspired and loves to work trending content seamlessly into various campaigns and strategies.
  • Is a story-teller at heart with a passion for writing and content creation
  • Is a highly-organized self-starter who can work independently
  • Also has a collaborative attitude and isn’t afraid to jump in to help 

Requirements:

  • Solid understanding of social media platforms (specifically Instagram and Facebook) and best practices
  • Some knowledge/experience writing for social media platforms
  • A writing portfolio/samples of content including social media copywriting is a plus

Interested candidates should send their resume and a sample of their work to info@imagemarketingconsultants.com

SOCIAL MEDIA CONTENT CREATOR INTERNSHIP:

We are looking for students who are studying marketing/communications, digital media/visual arts, or another related field and are eager to learn all about the world of social media marketing within an agency environment. You’ll work directly with our Account Management and Creative teams on the development of bi-weekly social media content calendars for our client, with a focus on the  visuals. You will be responsible for sourcing and creating high-quality visual content for social media, including photography, graphics, and video assets. You will also learn about brand color palettes/guidelines, visual standards, and social media strategy. Our ideal candidate is creative, self-motivated, thinks outside the box, and has a great eye for engaging visuals!

This is a semester-long, unpaid internship. The expectation is approx.20 hours per week, with flexibility depending on the candidate’s availability.

What You’ll Do

  • Create visual content for social media (under the direction of the Account Manager/Creative Director)
  • Learn more about the strategy that goes into creating engaging visual content (including photos, video, and graphics)
  • Assist our Social Media Account Manager on additional duties as needed (may include research, writing content, reporting on data, posting content, engaging on social platforms, and administrative duties) 

Our Ideal Candidate:

  • Has a passion for the retail/shopping industry
  • Lives & breaths social media! Is up-to-date with the latest social trends and best practices; likes to be the first to test out new platforms and features when they launch; follows best-in class brands to stay inspired.
  • Is creative with an appreciation for visual aesthetics
  • Is a highly-organized self-starter who can work independently
  • Also has a collaborative attitude and isn’t afraid to jump in to help 

Requirements:

  • Solid understanding of social media platforms (specifically Instagram and Facebook) and best practices
  • Some knowledge/experience using Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign and Canva.
  • Some experience creating a variety of visual content 
  • A portfolio of visual content including photography, videography, and/or graphic design is a plus

Interested candidates should send their resume and a sample of their work to info@imagemarketingconsultants.com.

Preparing for a Virtual TV Interview

Image Marketing’s Director of Client Services Katherine Bolas appeared in a recent virtual tv interview on Better Connecticut! ule Advanced settings.

Broadcast interviews are invaluable. They provide a direct platform to increase brand awareness and credibility, and allow consumers to see the ‘personal’ side of your business.

Though the benefits of TV interviews haven’t changed since the start of the pandemic, the interviews themselves look different. Social distancing regulations have prompted most news stations to conduct interviews via Skype or Zoom, instead of inviting guests to their studios. 

Virtual interviews expand coverage opportunities for businesses and media outlets, who can now host guests located anywhere, at any time. Given these benefits, virtual interviews are likely to outlive the pandemic. Knowing how to prepare for them will definitely give your business a competitive edge in our virtual world.

Having secured 20+ virtual tv interviews for our clients in just the past few weeks alone, the Image Marketing PR team is no stranger to the spotlight (even if we’ve traded in professional studio lights for our own at home “studio” set-up and ring light for the time being!) Read on for our team’s best tips and tricks to best prepare for your next virtual interview.

 

Here are the 3 key steps to preparing for your broadcast tv virtual interview: 

 

TIP #1: SET THE STAGE

Your “Zoom-Studio” should replicate the clarity and intimacy of an in-person interview. A clean backdrop, personable camera angle, and excellent lighting ensure that your viewers (and interviewer) engage with what matters most: you, your business, and your message. 

Backdrop

Keep your backdrop tidy and simple; avoid sitting in front of cluttered shelves, patterned walls, or posters. These items can distract your audience, or even steer conversation away from your business. 

Camera Angle 

Place your camera at eye-level, and sit about two feet away from your device. Keeping your face “center stage” will help you appear confident and professional.

Lighting

Be sure to avoid shadows or harsh lighting. Welcoming, natural light helps your audience form positive associations with your business. While natural light is preferable, it can be replicated with blue-tinted LED bulbs. 

Facing your light source eliminates shadows created by back and side-light; but, be sure to sit several feet away to avoid appearing “washed out.” 

Pro-tip: to take your lighting set-up to the next level, consider purchasing an inexpensive ring light.  They’re easy to use and will help eliminate any harsh shadows and make your set-up look professional and polished.

Tip #2: DRESS THE PART

Hoodies and sweats may be our “new normal,” but it’s important to dress your best!

Dangling headphones and multi-colored or patterned clothing can be distracting. Instead, opt for wireless headphones (or none at all), simple jewelry, amd a solid, long sleeve top. This will prevent you from getting “lost” in your backdrop, and keep your audience focused on your responses. When it comes to color, wear what you feel most confident in, but keep in mind that most tv studios will tell you to avoid wearing white or black, as they can appear unflattering in harsh lighting. 

 

TIP #3: PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT!

Practicing for your interview (independently or with colleagues!)  will help eliminate technical challenges, and help you feel more confident. 

Practicing also provides the opportunity to check that your headphones and microphone are working properly, and your lighting and backdrop are well suited for a television appearance. 

Zoom’s recording feature enables you to record and watch your practice interviews. Observing how you look, sound, and interact with the “interviewer” will help you perfect your body language, and eliminate any vague, awkward, or unnecessary elements in your responses or pitch.

 

Conclusion

A successful interview will help develop your brand and bridge the gap between you and your customers. Practicing, setting the stage, and dressing the part, will ensure you get the most out of your virtual TV interview.

Now that you know how to ace your interview, need some help getting your segment booked? Contact us for help developing media relationships, earning television exposure, and highlighting your business to the right audience!

 

Sources:

 

https://www.wardrobeoxygen.com/what-to-wear-zoom-meeting/

https://www.inc.com/jason-aten/5-ways-to-look-your-best-on-your-next-zoom-meeting.html

http://www.metiscomm.com/guide/broadcast-interview-guide

 

 

 

Top 10 Fall Styles You Can Expect to See in 2020

Top 10 Fall Styles You Can Expect to See in 2020

The crisp autumn air, pumpkin spice lattes, and apple cider donuts are starting to make their annual comeback. Summer may be coming to a close, but the good news is that with a new season comes new fashion trends to look forward to. 

As anyone who was asked, “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” back in 2015 can attest to, 2020 isn’t what anyone expected it to be!  While the coronavirus pandemic continues to play out, the uncertainty in what the fall will bring hasn’t stopped designers from putting a new spin on your favorite fall wardrobe essentials – and then some. Fashion designers put their best fall booties forward, and discussed upcoming fall fashion trends via Zoom.

The Image Marketing team works with copious amounts of shopping centers around the United States, so it’s safe to say we have a solid idea as to what trends you can expect to see popping up on store shelves (and also appearing in your Instagram feed!) Our team came up with the 10 most trending styles to shop for this fall. Whether you are heading into the office, or just dressing up for your weekly Zoom meetings, there’s no reason why you can’t stay up-to-date on the latest fall fashion trends.

Want a sneak peek at what styles will be taking over your Instagram feed in the coming months? Check out the top 10 fall fashion trends for 2020 below:

1. Sheer Fabrics

LULUS –

Queen of Drama Black Organza Puff Sleeve Bodysuit

REVOLVE – 

Safari Sheer Wrap Top

H&M –

Puff-sleeved Mesh Dress

Sheer, skin-fabrics have been huge this past spring and summer, and the trend isn’t going anywhere for fall. You’ll find lots of sheer blouses and dresses;  The key to making this trend work for the autumn is layering: use sheer as an overlay to add dimensional layers to your outfits.

2. Faux Fur

H&M –

Teddy Bear Coat

FREE PEOPLE –

Tessa Teddy Coat

Ditch your basic fall coat, because faux fur is in! The trick to making faux fur on-trend for 2020 is juxtaposing its luxuriousness with your casual basics. Thinking about just wearing jeans and a basic, solid-colored top? Throw on a funky coat to dress it up!

3. Cropped Blazers

ASOS –

Weekday Dominique cropped blazer in khaki

ZARA – 

Short-Sleeve Blazer

Step up your office (or Zoom) meeting apparel with cropped blazers! It is an easy way to look polished in an instant.

4. Metallic / Sequins

NORDSTROM –

 Ramy Brook Rumi Metallic Wrap Front Top

ALO YOGA-

High-Waisted Glitter Biker Short

Looking to stand out from the crowd? Metallic and sequins will have you shining. Instead of waiting for the holidays to bring out your shimmery clothes, find metallic as your everyday wear. Check out Alo Yoga’s shimmery biker shorts!

5. Animal Print

FREE PEOPLE –

Nala Jacquard Hoodie

FRANCESCA’S –

Qupid Animal Print Accent Bootie

Animal prints have been a top trend for a few seasons now, and they don’t seem to be going away anytime soon! Expect anything from cheetah to snake prints, and even crocodile print for this fall. Make a statement in cute and comfy fall sweaters with your favorite animal print.

6. Fringe

URBAN OUTFITTERS –

Schott Leather Fringe Moto Jacket

As seen on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar, Rihanna seems to be all on board with the fringe trend this season.  (Expect to see deep yellow fashions this fall too!)

7. Prep

URBAN OUTFITTERS –

Cooperative Side-Pocket Mini Skirt

URBAN OUTFITTERS –

Daisy Street Plaid Pleated Mini Skirt

Channel your inner Blair Waldorf and embrace all-things preppy this fall season! Look for lots of plaid skirts and polished outfits.

8. Neutral Tones

MADEWELL –

Polo Sweater

TOPSHOP –

Ecru PU Shirt Dress

Expect to see fifty shades of neutral colors coming your way. Tans, beiges, browns – all of the basic autumn colors to accompany any skin tone.

9. Chunky Headbands

LULUS –

Crazy for You Pink and Pearl Braided Headband

J.CREW – 

Turban knot headband in plaid wool

Chunky and padded headbands have seen a +14,100% increase in 2020 alone! Watch for unique headbands with sequins, patterns, braids and especially pearls. Wear your favorite bold headband this fall to accessorize any outfit with ease!

10. Patterned Face Masks

AMERICAN EAGLE –

 AEO Bandana Mask + Scrunchie

NATALIE MILLS –

Destiny Crystal Face Mask

Let’s ‘face’ it, there’s still a pandemic circling in the air. However, this doesn’t mean we can’t turn health and safety standards into a fashion statement! Shop American Eagle Outfitters matching face mask and scrunchie set, or Natalie Mill’s crystal mask collection. 

Interested in Becoming a Graphic Designer? Here’s What It Takes:

Interested in Becoming a Graphic Designer? Here’s What It Takes:

Ever think about the creativity behind all of the billboards, signs in shopping malls, or even the copious amounts of digital advertisements you see daily? Next time you’re out, take a look around. While you may think about how simple they can seem from the outside, there’s a lot of in-depth creativity and development behind-the-scenes. Take our two amazing graphic designers for instance: Ross Culliton and Loring Casarotto. Both of them started loving creativity and art at a young age and have a HUGE passion for coffee. However, our graphic designers understand the importance of strategy, and switching up a design when creating it to make sure all of the pieces fit together.. as well as having an ecstatic and thrilled client!

Keep reading to find out what it takes to be a graphic designer, and the best Spotify playlists to listen to to get in your creative zone!

A simple, yet effective graphic design that Ross created for our client Centennial, a retail development and management company. Image Marketing builds the social media presence for ten shopping centers, and creates fun and vivid designs for them!

A Day in the Life of Our Graphic Designers:

How do you start your mornings?

Ross:

COFFEE, COFFEE, COFFEE. An iced almond milk latte to be specific and for those wondering what to bring to our next meeting or to win my heart 🙂 

Loring:
This will come as a total shock to most,  I’m sure, but I can’t start the day without a giant iced coffee.

Why did you choose graphic design as your career? Did something or someone inspire you?

Ross:

Ever since I was little I was always curious about what it was like to create all the ads we would see on TV, in magazines, and around town. Being part of that strategy and creative development is what drives my passion to create unique and inspiring projects.

Loring:
I’ve always been a creative person who liked to draw, and when I was growing up I wanted to be an artist. When I was in highschool, a family member suggested I take his Intro to  Adobe Illustrator class, which exposed me to the world of digital design.

What’s your go-to song selection to listen to while you’re creating designs?

Ross: 

This is ever evolving for me. I usually have an ongoing playlist that evolves and grows as the weeks pass.. Usually at the beginning of a new season I start fresh and discover new music that will inspire my work. Currently I am between two playlists that I have made. Each have an eclectic mix of songs from all different genres. 

Here are links to the playlists: 

Social Iso Party: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/0s9uo15LCJGlgbQmqgn1oj?si=ePsi227ISV62GW0Jb9gi_A

Summer 2020

https://open.spotify.com/playlist/1EtPbS51XV56OtGZdw9Kk4?si=WV06qdu7QF2kgPjArrn6Fg

Loring:
This is a tough one. Thanks to COVID my music streaming habits have increased about 10 fold and my favorites span almost every genre; but if I was to make a top 5 “on repeat” list, it’d probably look like this (in no particular order):
1) Icarus (Automatic Mix) by Nigel Stanford
2) Twilight of the Thunder God by Amon Amarth
3) Go Your Own Way by Fleetwood Mac
4) Robot Stop by King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard
5) Serenity (Andrew Rayel Aether Remix) by Armin Van Buuren
(I couldn’t stop at 5)
6) Lost in the Dream by The War on Drugs
7) The Ageless Whisper by Soilwork

How do you get through challenging times at work?

Ross:

The toughest times for me are when the creativity is not flowing as strongly as usual. To get back into that flow I keep myself extra observant of the things around me to create new inspirations. Whether that is watching creative films, discovering new trends in design or just absorbing everything that is around me, I can be sure to find myself with new sparks of creativity. 

However, sometimes all it takes is taking a step back and watching something that will make me laugh like Schitt’s Creek. Guaranteed LOLs everytime. 

Loring:
Throw on some headphones, grab my coffee, focus up and hunker down. 

Is there a specific ‘aesthetic’ you lean towards?

Ross:

My overall mantra in my work is discovering how to share as much information as possible in the most simplistic way. Lately I have been keeping my designs bold, colorful and minimal. 

Loring:
Recently I’ve been using a lot of  color in my designs, and pushing towards a cleaner overall look with more white space. 

A billboard graphic created for our client, Connecticut Credit Union League, for Financial First Responders Day.

What advice would you give to those pursuing a career in graphic design?

Ross:

Train yourself to be able to look at things at multiple angles/perspectives. Don’t allow yourself to get into a wormhole of just one idea. There are many directions to take for just one project but you won’t know which is the best until you try them all out. Be patient and allow yourself to discover that creative perfection. It is truly one of the best feelings in this line of work when your work  just clicked into place and all the pieces of the puzzle fit.

Loring:
Always be experimenting, especially when you’re in school. Challenge yourself to do different things on every project and don’t use the same things that worked previously. Play with texture, shapes, color, fonts, etc. Whenever you see cool designs out “in the wild” like magazines and websites, try to figure out how it was done, or pick something about it you really like and use it in a project of your own.

Share one of your favorite designs:

Ross:

The favorite question for me on any topic is never an easy question for me to answer. It is forever changing depending on my mood, especially when it comes to food. Current projects I am working on often are my favorite since they are in the forefront of my mind and where I am channeling my creativity.  However I do have a type of work that is my favorite. 

Large format print projects have always been a favorite of mine. From the larger than life  murals I have done at Wells Fargo across the country (Example) or the recent installation of  the CT Post Thank You to the Superheros banners (video: https://vimeo.com/441077378) is just a range of examples. Thinking  of how it will interact in the environment the work will be displayed in and the impact it will have on people viewing it creates an extra level of inspiration for me in my work that translates into the final product.

Ross’s graphic design mural for Wells Fargo.

Loring:
I don’t have a specific design by someone else, but I wanted to mention the branding stuff that we’ve done for ASG Information Technologies. We did a complete branding overhaul for them and I’m very proud of how all of that came out. 

A preview of the website design created by Loring and Ross. Check the full view out at ASG Information Technologies.

Our graphic design team at Image Marketing Consultants are always fun to work with! They assist other team members, like our social media and public relations team, with any creative graphic design needs for clients.

Want to learn more about our graphic designers? Visit us at ImageMarketingConsultants.com, and follow us on Instagram and Facebook!

Now Is the Time to Start Focusing On Your Public Relations

Most businesses in 2020 understand the power of social media in building a relationship with customers, but have you ever considered how public relations can impact your marketing results? While social media marketing helps to build brand awareness, a public relations strategy will complement your social media efforts to further build trust between you and your customers.

As a public relations agency in Connecticut, we help build, maintain and manage the reputation of our clients. Recently, with COVID-19 saturating the news, it seems many businesses need to plan their marketing strategies day-by-day, rather than building out long-term campaigns. With so much uncertainty, it can be difficult to find an angle when it comes to pitching a newsworthy story to the media. This leads to the question: Why is NOW the time to start focusing on public relations in Connecticut?

Fact: Public Relations is 30% to 50% more cost effective than advertising. (Source: Strategic Vision PR Group)

Paid Media Versus Earned Media

First, let’s cover the basics. You’ve probably heard that Public Relations is all about “earned” media, but what does that really mean? It’s easiest to understand when you compare paid media versus earned media. Paid media efforts can be an important component of a well-rounded marketing campaign. Simply put, paid media refers to all the promotional opportunities your brand needs to pay for, from traditional print advertising and event sponsorship, to digital ad buys and social media targeting. On the other hand, earned media includes results from unpaid coverage received from outside media outlets, influencers, and even customers themselves. Earned media Public Relations efforts provide valuable visibility for your company – when a third-party shares content on your company’s behalf, it adds a level of trust and credibility that paid media simply can’t provide.

Incorporate Positive News

With the coronavirus still top-of-mind, more and more people are consuming news media on a more frequent basis, looking to stay informed on the current status of the pandemic. Because the news is so saturated with all things COVID-19, now is the time to be strategic with the lens through which your company shares its content. For example, think of all the ways your business has changed in response to COVID-19. From new business procedures to new product lines, consumers are interested in hearing from Connecticut businesses that are leading the way in finding news ways to adapt and thrive in our changing world. Furthermore, the media is also seeking out positive, human-interest stories to help balance out the daily “bad news” reporting surrounding the pandemic. Now is the time to pitch those uplifting, human interest stories about your business that can provide the public with some much needed positive news coverage to digest.

Have a Crisis Communications Plan

While the news media is seeking softer, positive news stories to counterbalance the hard news reporting on the pandemic, it is also important to consider the importance of having a crisis communications plan in place. A crisis can be defined as any threat to your business’ operations, finances or reputation that has the potential for negative consequences if not managed properly. Creating a crisis communications plan helps minimize any negative impacts, so that your company can regain control of the conversation and ultimately protect your business and stakeholders from further backlash. A strong crisis communications plan that incorporates proactive PR responses will help your business confidently navigate through the coronavirus.

Flashback: In the days prior to COVID-19 and social distancing, we managed the event coordination & publicity for an event with Mark Wahlberg (and 2,000+ happy fans!) for our client @westfieldtru – We had a blast welcoming Mark and his crew to Connecticut’s first Wahlburgers!

Art of the Pitch

Considering the state of the world, it is critical to think through your news pitch. What is the angle or viewpoint you are bringing to the table? Focus on how your business can be of benefit to both the media outlet, and to their viewers/readers. 

Don’t forget to think outside the box when it comes to drafting your media pitch list, too. Beyond traditional broadcast and print outlets, there’s digital magazines, blogs, influencers and community groups to consider. Get creative with how you share your message!

Long Term Benefits

Pitching your business’ stories in the Connecticut media market has many long term benefits. You start to build relationships with the local reporters and journalists that cover your industry and local community. Your brand can authentically build a strong rapport with the public. Ultimately, this increases your overall brand awareness and engagement – potentially transforming into additional sales, leads, clients, etc. – positively impacting your bottom line. (Because isn’t that what we all want?)

Why You Should Contact Image Marketing Consultants

President Kate Terricciano is an expert when it comes to securing valuable PR coverage for her clients in Connecticut. If you’re seeing insufficient results from your marketing efforts, consider the value a strategic PR plan can bring to your company. Word-of-mouth and earned media coverage are great ways to generate brand awareness, and there’s no better time than the present to tell your company’s story. Contact us to see how public relations can benefit your CT company right now.