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.

4 Simple Social Media Techniques to Attract New Leads

Most people look to social media to keep in touch with friends, find photo inspiration, and to stay on top of current trends and events. As a business, consumer engagement (likes, comments, shares) is likely the metric you track the most. However, it doesn’t only matter how many likes and comments you are receiving on your Instagram and Facebook posts.

An important question to ask is:
Are you generating actual sales or leads? While social media is primarily a tool for building brand equity and deepening relationships with your customers, it can actually be a great way to drive new business as well. Listed below are four simple tips to optimize your social media pages for maximum impact on your brand’s bottom line:

Optimize Your Profile

Optimizing your social media profile should be one of the first things you do when creating a page – whether it is for Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, etc. Improving your social media profile will help build brand awareness and recognition, and it’s one of the easiest ways to make your business stand out. Below are a few tactics you can use to ensure your brand’s profile attracts potential customers.

Logo

Make sure the profile picture you use is your company’s logo or a branded image. This is the first visual customers will see on social media, so it is important they immediately recognize your account when searching for updates on your profile. 

Bio

Does your bio description accurately describe your company’s brand? Try to use as few words as possible, to keep it short, sweet, and relevant.

Link to Website & Other Pages

At Image Marketing, using a LinkTree in our Instagram profile is an effective way we’re able to include multiple pieces of content right in our bio.  This is especially important if you want to keep a link to your website in your bio at all times, while also directing social media users to additional information like blog articles, other social media websites, or product pages.

Use Hashtags

Just as you would hashtags in a social media post to be a part of trending conversations, you can also use hashtags in your profile. This is a great way to briefly describe your company’s page in just a few key hashtags. You can also add your company’s branded hashtag in your bio to share your community and encourage others to participate in it as well.

Use Paid Advertising

There are some initial strategies to think through before creating an Instagram or Facebook ad, or boosting a social media post:

  1. Know Your Audience

Make sure you have a specific and defined target audience. You should have a clear picture in mind of who the exact person is that you are targeting: what is their gender? Age? Hobbies? What other brands do they follow on social media? What is their profession, etc.?  Facebook and Instagram allow you to define these specific demographics and characteristics about your audience when creating any ad for smarter targeting.

  1. Look at Your Insights

Not sure where to start when it comes to defining a target audience? Facebook and Instagram make it easy with their business “Insights” page, where you’ll find analytics on the social media users visiting and interacting with your page. Staying up-to-date on your Insights page data can help give you a general idea of where most of your audience is located, their age, gender, when they’re likely to be online, and more. These key insights will not only help you come up with defined target audiences, but can also help develop your content calendar and posting schedule. 

  1. Set a Budget

Paid advertising on social media allows you to choose the budget you want to spend. With driving new business or lead generation as the goal, you’ll know your overall cost per lead (CPL), along with the bottom line revenue goal for your ad campaign. The question then becomes: “To generate $x in sales (or x new customers) this month, what budget do we need to spend on social media ads?” For example, if you spent $500 and acquired 25 new leads, your CPL is $20. Having a specific target audience will help keep your overall CPL low, and further maximize your overall campaign results.

Offer Incentives

Enter-to-win sweepstakes, product giveaways, and unique offer incentives are all great tactics for driving new leads to your social media pages, as it is standard practice to require someone to follow your page to be entered to win. At Image Marketing we typically recommend doing no more than one enter-to-win offer each month per platform, but it is a great way to incentivize potential new leads to follow your page and ultimately learn more about your business. 

Analyze Metrics

Analyzing your metrics is one of the most important steps to take when managing any brand’s social media pages. Knowing what posts received the most reach and engagement, as well as the types of profiles you are attracting to your page is valuable intel. Understanding what works and what doesn’t helps as you continue to build out engaging content.

Ask yourself some of these questions:


Is my social media page’s tone of voice and aesthetic conveying the brand image I want to promote?

Am I attracting the right target audience, or do I need to change the type of the content I am generating?

Are images or videos working better?

Am I gaining or losing followers every month?

Have I generated any leads by promoting my company on social media?

Having trouble accomplishing all of this on your own? Head to Image Marketing Consultants, and let the experts help generate leads for you on social media! The team at Image Marketing Consultants includes expert social media content creators, skilled at crafting engaging content for any business.

Join Our Team: Image Marketing is Looking for a Social Content Creator

Good news: the Image Marketing Consultants team continues to grow! We’re currently looking to hire a full-time social content creator. Interested applicants can apply by sending a resume and examples of previous work to info@imagemarketingconsultants.com.

About the Job

Image Marketing Consultants seeks a full-time social content manager to join our Southington-based agency team. The ideal candidate will be driven and looking to lead the creative process of original content creation for a variety of clients, primarily with a focus on the shopping center/retail industry. 

Strong visual and writing skills and a sharp editorial eye are required, as is a deep understanding and love for the evolving world of social and digital media. The ability to work creatively with both our internal team and external clients to lead the ideation process of content production is key for this role. This position will report to the Director of Client Services and will work closely with the Social Media Account management team. 

Who You Are

  • You have 2+ years experience creating digital content, ideally growing and managing multiple social channels either as an independent influencer or for a brand.
  • You are a content creator at heart with stellar copywriting skills, a knack for storytelling, and a talent for producing stunning visual content.
  • You know how to create high-quality content in a variety of formats from photo imagery to graphics, GIFs, video and more.
  • You have a passion for all things fashion and lifestyle, and preferably some experience working in the retail/shopping center space.
  • You live and breathe social media. You’re up to date the latest social trends and best practices, you’re the first to test out new platforms and features when they launch, and you follow best-in class brands to stay inspired.
  • You understand how to connect with an audience, using data to help shape strategy and deliver more of what your audience wants.
  • You’re a highly organized, self-starter who can manage projects independently from end to end.
  • You’re comfortable working at a very fast pace, have a collaborative attitude, and enjoy wearing many hats.
  • You’re an excellent written and verbal communicator who presents ideas clearly, concisely and with context.
  • You maintain high standards in every aspect of your work and continually raise the bar.
  • You are highly creative and full of ideas, with a good balance of strategic thinking.

What You’ll Do

  • Develop and execute our organic social content strategies for clients (primarily Instagram and Facebook accounts in the shopping center industry) to drive brand awareness, audience growth, traffic, and sales.
  • Partner with clients and our internal social team to develop overall content strategies and KPI’s, with a focus on driving brand awareness, audience growth and engagement
  • In partnership with clients and our internal social account managers, play an active role in the day-to-day social media planning and execution including copywriting, curating UGC, and creation of unique content
  • Create engaging, on-brand content with a consistent aesthetic that is tailored to each channel in a variety of formats from photo imagery to graphics, GIFs, video and more.
  • Analyze content performance and make adjustments and recommendations for improvement based on data.
  • Consistently find new ways to engage and delight our clients’ social audiences while sharing each brand’s core marketing messages in an organic way.

Think you’re the right fit? Please send your resume and examples of previous work to: info@imagemarketingconsultants.com 

Top Strategies to Include in Your Post Covid-19 Reopening Communication Plan

Top Strategies to Include in Your Post Covid-19 Reopening Communication Plan

As a phased approach to reopening businesses continues across the country, it’s undeniable that we are all adjusting to a new normal. Businesses are welcoming back customers as they reopen their doors to the public, and many of us are transitioning from sweatpants and Zoom calls at home, to business attire and real-life face time with our colleagues in the office. 

With social distancing, cleaning protocols, and overall safety messaging remaining top-of-mind for everyone, it is important to have a strategy in place for reopening safely post Covid-19. It is equally important to effectively communicate this plan to your employees, customers, and potential new clients. 

From one-million+ square-foot shopping centers to solo-preneur operations, Image Marketing has assisted our diverse roster of clients (each with their own unique needs and Covid-related obstacles!) in developing strong reopening communication strategies. Along the way, we’ve collected some key takeaways and learnings.

Check out our top strategies to include in your post Covid-19 reopening communication plan below:

Be Proactive

Once you come up with a plan for re-opening, be open to communicating that plan with the public and your clients before you start to open up your doors. This can help ease tension as clients and customers may be questioning whether or not they are comfortable returning to your business, and want to know what that initial first visit back will entail. Make sure your communication is as detailed and specific as possible (Is there a new waiting room process? Are face masks required? Have business hours changed? How are you increasing your cleaning procedures?)  

When it comes to modes of communication, you likely know your customer best. If you have an active social media presence, sharing your communication plan on your social media accounts is an easy and effective way to proactively share your reopening plans, and respond back to any questions. For other businesses, a personalized email campaign or direct mail piece can go a long way in making everyone feel safe and welcomed back. 

For many of Image Marketing’s shopping center clients, it was important to gain greater exposure for their reopening plans, and so a full PR and media strategy was key. Our team proactively reached out and hosted preview events with local media in each market to discuss reopening plans and make the community feel safe and ready to return to the shopping center.

Stay Up To Date & Flexible

This might be a given, but it is incredibly important that you stay up-to-date with the guidance provided by the CDC and World Health Organization (WHO). You can follow each on social media for quick reads, or easy follow along videos. Additionally, tune into what policies your local government has issued for businesses to reopen. Remain flexible, as given the nature of the pandemic. It is entirely possible that as soon as your reopening strategy is in place, your plan (and any corresponding communication plans) may need to pivot. Staying up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news in your area will make it easier to shift your reopening strategy as needed.  

Reach Out Regularly

While we may all be a little tired of hearing phrases like “unprecedented times” and the “new normal,” there truly is no guidebook for navigating this time of uncertainty. Because we’re all experiencing this phased reopening process for the first time together, consistent communication is extremely important. Don’t just share your reopening plans and procedures once; continue providing updates and commit to open, transparent communication with your employees, clients, vendors, customers, etc. about your reopening plans. With so much uncertainty, everyone will appreciate upfront and honest communication. It often takes repetition for customers to remember – and believe in – your messaging. 

Digital marketing tools like social media and email newsletters are resourceful ways to communicate regularly with your audience. Along with utilizing these outlets to communicate pertinent information, you can also layer in your company’s unique tone of voice and branding. Regular communicating will showcase that your business is still operating, and it can also be done in a way that feels authentic to our brand.

Leave it to the Professionals

If your business is still struggling with finding the right words and the right ways to say them, feel free to get in touch with Image Marketing Consultants. Our PR and Crisis Management specialists are here to help navigate through your post Covid-19 reopening communication plans. It’s a challenging time, but with a little creativity your business can be well positioned to thrive!

What You Need to Know About Instagram’s New Algorithm In 2020

What You Need to Know About Instagram’s New Algorithm In 2020

~ And we’re sharing the new feature Instagram just came out with below! ~

You keep posting on your Instagram, in hopes of gaining more followers. 

It’s not working.

You continue to update your stories, change your aesthetic, and you are not getting the engagement you were in hopes of.

That is where Instagram’s algorithm comes in. There are many rumors about Instagram’s methods for determining what posts are shown at the top of the feed, but check the facts below for actionable tips to finally gain the followers you’ve been looking for.

#1 What You See, Is Based On You

Ever wonder why all of the Instagram posts in your feed seem kind of similar? Or why you tend to only see posts from the same small percentage of accounts you follow? This is because Instagram uses AI driven data to feed you what they think you want to see. The images and videos you see on your Instagram feed are based on similar posts that you have previously liked, engaged with, or have searched hashtags for. Instagram is providing each user with a personalized experience based upon these behaviors. This makes it all the more important to post consistent, high quality content your audience actually wants to see.

#2 Engagement On Your Posts Matters

The amount of likes, comments, shares and views your posts are getting will impact your feed’s ranking, and a post ‘reshare’ can be considered as the gold star of all engagement metrics. A post reshare is when another user shares your post on their feed or Instagram story. This will not only increase your post’s overall views, but will also increase your post rankings, and continue to prioritize your posts more often on users’ feeds.

However, while engagement is essential, don’t get caught with Instagram bots, or fake interactions. Instagram’s data can pick up on accounts that do not show transparency, or buy fake followers – affecting your ranking accordingly.

Tip: Don’t forget to check your insights. Find out times when your audience is on Instagram to know when to post to get the most reach. This will put your content at the top of their screen.

#3 What Gets More Reach – Images or Videos?

Remember the times when Instagram posts were purely images? This was back before Instagram added video posts in the year 2013. Now as content creators, how do you decide if you should stick to images, or start getting more creative and post videos as well? While Instagram has commented that photos and videos are treated equally, the Instagram Explore page says differently. Videos get way more attraction on everyone’s Explore page. Part of this is just human nature; video is inherently more eye-catching than picture-based posts. This is incredibly important if you are looking to gain more followers. Since videos have more viewing time too, mix up your content with video-based posts and allow the Instagram AI formula to work its magic to start posting more of your content to other people’s Explore pages.

The Newest Instagram Feature

This is probably what you wanted to read about all along: the new feature that Instagram just came out with: Instagram Messenger Rooms are here! You can now video chat with up to 50 people through the Instagram Direct page in the app.

Photo from Techcrunch

With every like, comment, and interaction you have over Instagram, you are part of the population that determines how Instagram sets up its algorithm. This is to create the best personalized experience for each user.

With this in mind, now is the time for you to start creating the best personalized experience for your followers. Still feeling overwhelmed? Get in touch with us at info@imagemarketingconsultants.com. It’s time to put your Image at the top of the feed.

Source: Later

Celebrate Galentine’s Day!

So we all have heard the term – Gal Pal – but did you know there’s now a full-fledged holiday in honor of our besties? It might have started as TV fodder when Leslie Knopes of Parks and Rec proclaimed that the best day of the year was February 13th, but now, Galentine’s Day is a national movement, full of brunch and bubbly in honor of our girlfriends.

History of the “Holiday”

  • Galentine’s Day actually came to be from a 2010 episode of fan-favorite Parks and Rec. It was meant as a spoof but still lives on 10 years later. To quote the great Leslie Knope on the TV show “Parks and Recreation” from which the day gets its origins, “Oh, it’s only the best day of the year…Ladies celebrating ladies. It’s like Lilith Fair, minus the angst. Plus Frittatas”.

Why do we celebrate Galentine’s?

  • It’s just a great way to celebrate the ladies in your life – whether it’s your BFF, a co-worker, a teacher, or a childhood friend. Many people also consider it the “anti-Valentine’s Day” Day. 

So what are some great ways to celebrate?

  • A night in with your best gal pals – with wine and cheese of course. Put together an awesome tray featuring cottage cheese dips from Cortney’s Dips and Sauces – all craft made in New  Britain. https://cortneysdipsandsauces.com/. Pair it with some chocolate dipped strawberries and you’ll  be ready to entertain in no time!
  • Or how about for your bi-coastal babe? Send an eco-friendly, update to the traditional flower bouquet from Lucky You Flowers. For only $29.99, they ship anywhere in the country and you can personalize your message in a custom fortune cookie. www.luckyyouflowers.com
  • Spa Day with your whole Girl Gang – check out our favorite spa Viso Bello with two locations – one in Middlebury and one in Guilford. They can accommodate up to 10 guests at a time! www.visobello.com
  • Or brunch at home with some adorable party favors and paper goods from Target and Hallmark! 

Whatever your Galenetine’s celebration will entail, make it fun and fabulous, just like your gals. 

Resolution vs Goal Setting: How to Set Yourself Up for Success in 2020

2020 Already? It feels like we were just trying to figure out what to call 2010. With the start of a new decade comes an extra emphasis on resolution-ing… right? We all start off the same, January 1, in the gym ready to lose 60lbs, pulling a muscle trying that pretzel-pose you saw that Instagram yogi doing, or learning Mandarin in an attempt to make yourself a little more *worldly*; but the motivation quickly fades and by week five the sight of your sneakers makes you sort of nauseous, your yoga mat is collecting dust behind your couch, and your hopes of conversing in a new language have dwindled to simply being happy with a hello and goodbye.
So what can you do to combat what feels like the inevitable drop off? We’re giving you some tips and tricks to stick with it (whatever it may be) all year long.

 

 

Goals and Resolutions: What the heck is the Difference?
Resolution: a firm decision to do or not to do something. Goal: the object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result. Goals involve intention setting, planning, preparing, and taking REALISTIC action giving them more structure and a better chance at success. Simply put, ditch the word resolution and let’s talk goal setting.

 

So what can you do to beat the February funk and stick to your goal? For Starters, break it down into smaller mini-goals. For example, let’s say one of your ‘resolutions’ was to get more organized. You buy a fancy new planner that rivals the width of a Harry Potter book, and commit to writing in it every day — but less than a month in it’s collecting dust under the passenger seat of your car. Instead, try committing to a full 10 days, then 20, then a month. Before you know it you’re 3 months in and don’t have to think twice about writing in next Wednesday’s lunchtime meeting.

Another way to ensure you stick with it is to be specific, like really really specific. When it comes to setting resolutions, it’s easy to set bad goals that could lead to poor follow-through. Fortunately, SMART goal setting framework can help you craft better goals.

SMART goals are:
Specific – Articulate the resolution as clearly as possible. For example, quitting smoking is better than being healthy. While “being healthy” is great, the wording can be interpreted in many ways.
Measurable – Quantify your resolution if possible, I will lose 10lbs by March 15.
Attainable – Choose a goal within the realm of possibility, but yet challenging. No electronics before bed this year would be amazing, but probably pretty hard to do. On the other hand, no phones in bed might be more realistic.
Relevant – Keep it relevant to your priorities and goals. See the motivation section above!
Time-sensitive – Give yourself a time-frame in which to achieve a goal. A deadline will instill some urgency and provide a time when you can celebrate your success.

Finally, Rome wasn’t built in a day, if you fall off track, just get back on! Building new habits take time and a lot of effort at first. If you hit a snag, do not beat yourself up. Instead, ask yourself why. If your mission is to go to the gym after work, and instead you sit down to play video games and never get back up, maybe you need to go right to the gym from the office. Recognizing what obstacles are standing in your way is key to setting yourself up for long term success. Now that you’re equipped to succeed in your 2020 goal-reaching spend some time reflecting and addressing what you really want to accomplish this year!

 2020 Marketing Resolutions

Our 2019 Holiday Gift Guide!

With such a short December, the mad dash to Christmas 2019 feels like more of a sprint than ever. But how are you supposed to find the perfect gift for all of the different people in your life? We’ve compiled a no-fail gift guide for every recipient– So close your laptop, grab a shopping buddy, and spend a day amongst the nostalgic hustle and bustle of the mall at Christmas time.

TECH

If you’re not up to date on “what’s new” in the tech world, it can be really hard to shop for a techy. Don’t drive yourself crazy trying to figure out which drone is the best on the market. Try one of our picks…

  1. Blue Light Glasses protect the eyes from the harmful blue light that’s emitted from screens. Whether your recipient works at a computer all day,  or they just like to watch TV in bed, these are a must-have for everyone. 
  2. Self Warming Mug a go-to for your coffee addict. These mugs charge the same way your phone does, so you never have to hear them complain about a lukewarm cup of joe ever again. 
  3. iPhone Flash Drive this iPhone to PC flash drive instantly transfers storage between devices and is compact enough to throw right in your pocket.
  4. Tile uses Bluetooth to connect to your phone to ‘ping’ when you’ve lost something. This of it as ‘find my iPhone’ for your keys, wallet, etc.
  5. Charging Phone Case these hold up to three full phone charges so you’re never without power on the go.
  6. Nest Wifi Router is the perfect solution if you have a ‘dead spot’ in your home. These cover up to 2200 square feet with fast, reliable wifi, and can be combined to cast a ‘net’ across larger spaces.

HOMEBODY

Don’t give your homebody another nameless bottle of wine, get them something they’ll really use and LOVE. 

  1. Nespresso the gift that needs no introduction. If you’re looking to splurge this is a no brainer. 
  2. Decorative Candle is sure to wow. With so many options for scent and hardware combinations, these can be personal and beautiful all in one. 
  3. Electric Tea Kettle perfect for your college student, or tea lover. This heats water up in just 90 seconds and is silent.
  4. Fluffy Slipper are memory foam, and oh so cozy! They come in so many different colors for the perfect stocking stuffer or grab bag gift!
  5. Spotify Subscription gives the gift of music by treating someone to a year’s worth of Spotify commercial-free music.
  6. Sherpa Set is the hottest gift of the season! People cannot get enough of this fluffy fabric, and this look is best-served head to toe.

GRAB BAG

You know you’re bound to attend at least one dreaded grab bag/ Yankee swap/ white elephant. Nobody wants to be that person to show up to with a last-resort gift card and a stinky candle. Try one of these under $25 grab bag gifts that truly need no explanation.

  1. Mini Waffle Maker
  2. Beard Grooming Kit
  3. Multi-Device Charging Station
  4. Ice Cube Spheres and Mini Whiskey
  5. Hot Sauce Selection
  6. Light up Vanity Mirror

GO-TO’S

If you’re still stumped after all of these there’s always those go-to last-minute gifts that are always sure to spark joy…

  1. Yeti is the Rolls Royce of insulated travel mugs. Need I say more?
  2. Experience is always a good idea. Whether it be tickets to a game or concert, the memories you can make are the gift that keeps on giving.
  3. Diffusers and essential oils are such a good gift especially during the winter months when the heat really dries you out. This one even has a changing light feature for ultimate relaxation. 
  4. Sherpa is so nice we included it twice! 
  5. Uggs are the perfect addition to any New Englander’s winter wardrobe. Ultra-soft and snuggly and they come in so many cool and different colors now!
  6. Men’s Ugg Moccasins– see above!
  7. Sunglasses whether you splurge on Ray-Bans or get a couple of less expensive pairs, they are the perfect stocking stuffer.
  8. Silk Pillowcases are so good for hair and skin, every hairdresser recommends you ditch the cotton and switch over to these!
  9. Luggage is a longlasting and thoughtful gift for any frequent traveler. Plus everyone needs one even when they think they don’t. 
  10. Tiles – another repeat because we think it’s just that good!
  11. Filtering Water Bottle what’s people’s biggest opposition to going plastic-free? The lack of filtered water available. This is the perfect solution and oh so eco-friendly. 

How Retail is Getting Traffic to Shopping Malls

We all know e-commerce is taking over brick-and-mortar shops so it’s no surprise that more than half of shoppers do their shopping online. Many retail outlets have even closed up and are left vacant now because of store closures, even those big money builder businesses like Macy’s can’t keep up with the online world! 

In the past two years about 10,000 stores have closed leading an estimation of 20 to 25 percent of malls to close within the next five years. Retail outlets have needed to step up their game to get consumers back in their stores. But how exactly are they doing this? And is this possible as more and more consumers are getting sucked into the online markets?


The main way to bring traffic back into stores is to make it an experience. The upcoming generations (Millennials and Gen Z) aren’t going into retail shops because they have something in mind that they NEED to buy. They know better and are fluent in making quick online purchases. These newcomers want an experience, something to share with friends IRL (in real life) as well as on social media. Brick-and-mortar retail industries need to incorporate interactive experiences to drag consumers back into them, and to hopefully make a purchase.

How to Make it An Experience

Create In-Store Events

In-store sales can be boosted by promoting in-store events. Retail stores should be creative with this and even create an event that may not even be interrelated with what they sell, but just drives traffic into their stores. Shopping malls and outlets have started to hold events with bands playing on certain days of the week, or yoga sessions as entertainment. This gets traffic to the whole outlet instead of specific stores, leading consumers to end up wandering around to shop the various stores that they do have. 

Here’s some events we were able to promote our clients retail shopping outlets here at Image Marketing Consultants:

  • Our “Vino and Vinyasa” event at Plaza at Harmon Meadows. Those who purchased tickets were able to participate in a yoga event sponsored on the green lawn and enjoy a free glass of wine afterwards. People who signed up were able to come and relax and unwind before taking a peek around the retail stores they offer.

How to use PR in Connecticut to Drive More Traffic to Your Site

Picking the right public relations agency in Connecticut can improve your website rankings just as much as using SEO. Public Relations is a powerful resource that more marketers and top companies are starting to take advantage of. They aim to inform the public about your business by providing free media coverage instead of paid ads and build consumers trust within your company. This brings more consumers to your website while building your brand image.

What a CT Public Relations Specialists can do for you:

Create a positive brand image

Agencies in Connecticut that specialize in public relations will help your business keep a clean status. If something were to go wrong, a public relations agency can help rebuild your company’s trust. In example, a company may experience negative online reviews. This degrades your company and will have customers rethinking if they actually want to go to you for your services, or your competitors. Public relations specialists will rebuild your company in various ways with media coverage for you to rebuild trust in customers.

You’ve probably seen many marketing campaigns from huge corporations, like Nike, fail miserably with the negative message consumers can take from it. This is where public relations comes in, to create a strategic plan to fix this blunder.

Image Marketing Consultants, located in Plantsville, CT, is able to get various clients on news channel segments. This way, we highlight the strengths of our clients and get consumers talking about them in a positive light.

Assist in Event Promotion

Is your company planning an event, or store opening that needs to get the public’s attention? Public relations agencies will come up with various ways to promote this event whether it is through social media, press releases, news segments and more.

Image Marketing Consultants has planned multiple events for companies in Connecticut to gain a wide range of attention and assist in the detailed plannings. Image has helped openings for companies like Vesta and Planet Fitness. Image Marketing incorporates unique details like food trucks and giveaways that are attractive for consumers to show up and support recognition for a new store opening.

Craft press releases

Press releases can be distributed through various websites and social media pages. This gains exposure to your company and more consumers will click on the link for this page, leading them to your main site. Press releases give you free media coverage for a big store event about to take place, or any changes happening within your company, and pitch a news story that will be widely distributed. These can be used on top of Facebook ads or any other social media advertisements to gain a wider range of publicity.

Blog Creation

Blogs are an added bonus to your website to significantly improve your website rankings. Public relations specialists can write and create blogs for your site through internal or external sites. While this seems like it wouldn’t have a direct impact to promote your company, the keywords used in the blog can can have a direct link to your rankings, which is similar to the use of SEO.

How you can use PR in CT to achieve your goals:

Search for a public relations or marketing agency in Connecticut that can help achieve the goals you have in mind. There are many small agencies around. It is beneficial to find one that can specialize in your niche. Image Marketing Consultants can cater towards multiple types of companies, but specializes in large and small retail outlets.

You know what your business does, but ask yourself these questions to find the perfect agency for you:

  • Can the agency cater towards my company’s needs?
  • Do they specialize in my company’s market?
  • If so, can they understand and grasp my company’s tone to build a CT public relations strategy specialized to my brand?

Stick to more than one strategy to build brand awareness and attract more consumers to your website. If you’re looking for a public relations agency in Connecticut, contact us today to see our approach to build brand awareness for your company with our unique and creative services.