Special Events – Make Yours Interactive

Special Events – Make Yours Interactive

Thanks to social media, be it Facebook or Google+, people around the world are used to being interactive.  Therefore, when they come to your special event, it’s not wise to have them just sitting there.  Instead, provide opportunities to involve them in ways that communicate the messages embedded in this special event.

Logistics firm William B. Meyer needed to develop its value statement with employees so it requested Image Marketing Consultants set up a special event for brainstorming and sharing ideas.  Image Marketing Consultants had those attending on their feet, as SPECIAL MEETINGS reports, preparing desserts which symbolized values like creativity or integrity.  That experience, especially the team work, made concrete the messages William B. Meyer needed employees to embody.

Another example of an interactive special event took place at the New Haven Zen Center on March 16th in its “Introduction to Zen” all-day retreat.  The afternoon schedule had those attending divided into work crews.  One team polished the wood in that Victorian building.  Another cleaned the windows.  One did yard work.  And another cleaned up after the shared meal, served monastic-style.  The objective was reinforcing the zen principle of seamless living, not separating oneself from the direct experience of being in the now.

People learn by doing and they bond, both with each other and the organization, in the process.

Kate Sirignano, founder of Image Marketing Consultants, invites you to a complimentary consultation about your special events, partnerships, marketing mix, public relations, and social media kate@imagemarketingconsultants.com, 203-404-4868.

Social Media – Call To Action a Must-Do, Hammers Image Marketing Consultants

Social media is a powerful commercial tool for marketing, advocacy, fundraising, sponsoring special events,  and selling.  However, too often it doesn’t generate the expected outcomes.

One major reason is that the content, be it the landing page on the website or the text on a video for YouTube, has no call to action. You present your message but you do not follow that with what the audience should do next.  That’s why even the most well-done content in social media isn’t converting to results.

That call of action could be to click or pick up the phone for a complimentary consultation.  It could be to place an order for gold-plated earrings for which there is free shipping.  It could be to scroll through the contact information to find your government representatives and then create your own email to tell them how you feel about a certain piece of legislation.  It could be to donate $10 to the victims of a natural disaster.

When you don’t have a clear call to action, you leave your target markets hanging.  They have no direction as to what to do next.  And you have wasted this opportunity.

Kate Sirignano, founder of Image Marketing Consultants, invites you to a complimentary consultation for your marketing, public relations, partnership, special events, and social media needs kate@imagemarketingconsultants.com, 203-404-4868.

“Passion” – Image Marketing Consultants Urges Caution about Using Term

“Passion.”  That’s exactly what a growing number of young women and men have for animals.

Therefore, as THE NEW YORK TIMES reports, they work very hard to prepare for veterinary school, which is difficult to get into.  Those who are admitted take on six-figure student loan debt.  At the end of three years not many are the lucky ones to be hired for the few jobs out there.  And, most of those few jobs hardly pay enough to justify the loan debt.

Professional tragedies like that one as well as those happening among the passionate in journalism and law schools have more and more people considering what “passion” means.  Could it simply denote love of something and that’s about all?  Passion doesn’t necessarily translate into professional career success.

More importantly, what does “passion” indicate about the professional?  Would you dare have your wedding dress produced by someone who ad reads “Passionate About Your Special Day” or the one whose ad reads “Produced 200 wedding dresses for Brides Whose Testimonials Are Framed In Our Shop?”

In short, what message are you sending when you use the term “passion?”  Not a clear one. Therefore, businesses and nonprofits might rethink leveraging “passion” in marketing communications and public relations.  In addition to not really meaning much as a message about your product or service, it is overused.

Kate Sirignano, founder of Image Marketing Consultants, invites you for a complimentary consultation on your marketing, public relations, partnership, special events, and social media needs kate@imagemarketingconsultants.com, 203-404-4868.

The Sharing Economy – It’s a Mindset, Explains Image Marketing Consultants

Technology has made The Sharing Economy Possible.  For example, smartphones facilitate finding out about a room to rent for two nights in an apartment in Stamford, Connecticut.  However, at its core and where businesses can profit and nonprofits can enhance their brandnames and fundraising, The Sharing Economy is a mindset.

In its cover story on The Sharing Economy, THE ECONOMIST  (subscription required) hammers that this way of conducting transactions gives access to just about everything to just about everyone.  On a commercial level, Zipcar brought that maintream in college towns.  Students had access to cars to run errands or take day trips without the resources or responsibility of owning a car.  More recently Airbnb gives tourists access to great lodging at a much cheaper rate than traditional hotels do.

How can you leverage the sharing mindset to generate better outcomes for your enterprise or nonprofit? Here are three tips:

Collaborate. You have down cold how students get admitted to elite educational institutions.  The neighbor’s public relations firm has the resources to prepare the application materials and coach the interview process.  Put that together and you both can be more successful, without having to “own” any additional lines of business.  The additional payoff is the partnership can expand the brand identities of both.

Be more opportunistic than strategic.  You might not have planned to lease the back of your hair salon to the psychic whose space flooded.  But you do.  Soon enough you’re passing on customers to each other.  The local paper covers this match.  Eventually, you both need more square footage.

Parachute in and help.  Networks often are built on the pooling of different assets.  At the top of the list are information, skills, and contacts.  The new solo lawyer can’t attract clients.  You tutor her on how to market, re-do her website for organic search (SEO), and bring in your friend who was busted for a DUI as her first case.  As her practice flourishes, she refers business to you and others on your network.

How much you can gain and give through The Sharing Economy depends on how much of a shift you can make from the status quo to out of the box ways of approaching individual and organizational success.

Kate Sirignano invites you to a complimentary consultation for your “Sharing Economy” inititiaves, partnerships, marketing, public relations, special events, and social media.  Please contact kate@imagemarkingconsultants.com, 203-404-4868.

Businesses Have to Place Smaller Bets, Hammers Image Marketing Consultants

 “How could we have ‘bet the ranch’ on a marketing campaign we didn’t test enough?”

That kind of regret is typical of businesspeople who find that they have made a major mistake.  They are shocked that it happened.  Their confidence has taken a hit.  And they want some bulletproof guidance on how they can avoid such errors in the future.

The reality is that businesses always made mistakes, sometimes big ones like when Coca-Cola introduced “New Coke” and Ford manufacturerd the Edsel.  What is different now is that businesses have less of a margin for error so the resources that mistake consumed are highly visible on the balance sheet.  Also, competition is more fierce, eager to take advantage of a stumble.  In addition, there is the fear of not being able to bounce back.

Because of the severe consequences of mistakes for businesses, hands-on managment experts such as Reid Hoffman, cofounder of social network for professionals LinkedIn, recommend placing small bets, not investing too much in any one initiative.  In his new book “The Start-up of You,” Hoffman confirms the uncertainty of the marketplace of the 21st century.  There are more unknowns than knowns out there. Businesses, at best, are handed lots of pieces of the puzzle.  It will take time, a lot of false starts, and a lot of course correction to put the pieces together.  Therefore, it is downright reckless to assume that any one venture will pan out.

Smart businesspeople, shows Hoffman, currently test out their hunches in launching a new company, determining pricing, configuring marketing approaches, and training the sales force in relatively small steps.  Frequently, they simultaneously have several of those small initiatives, for example in marketing, going at once.  They will select the ones which work and toss the rest.  The expense can be peanuts.

Kate Sirignano, founder of Image Marketing Consultants, invites you to a complimentary consultation for your marketing, public relations, partnerships, special events, and social media needs kate@imagemarketingconsultants.com 203-404-4868.