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For something that is discussed so frequently in marketing and public relations, it sure is […]
Chabad of Nashville had an exciting opportunity to bring Eva Schloss, Anne Frank’s childhood friend and […]
yogasoul is more than just a yoga studio. It takes what yogis love about the practice and elevates it so that proper form and optimal results are at the forefront. Located off of Wedgewood Avenue, yogasoul was founded and is led by Cindy Lunsford and her incredible “Soul Squad” of experienced and diverse yoga instructors.
Because yogasoul isn’t an average yoga studio, their marketing couldn’t be average either. RPR’s three-month-long campaign introducing yogasoul into the Nashville market culminated in one furry, fun event: Bunny Yoga benefitting the Nashville Bunny Rescue. Cue the collective “aww!!”
The concept for this event stemmed from yogasoul’s commitment to give back to the local community while celebrating Easter weekend in a unique way. Our team worked to secure media announcing the event, drive RSVPs, create promotional flyers and coordinate attendance from some of Nashville’s top digital influencers.
It was as adorable as it sounds and served as a great way for yogasoul to connect with local yogis and animal lovers alike.
In total, RPR secured more than 6.8 million media impressions for yogasoul to raise awareness for their opening. Be sure to pick up the May issue of Nashville Lifestyles to read more about their yogi-centric approach and see inside the studio.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but is it worth $1,000? That depends on who the post is coming from.
Influencer campaigns have proven to be extremely effective even when traditional media has struggled to gain its footing in the digital world. While working with influencers can produce similar results to that of traditional media coverage, especially for consumer-focused campaigns, the process of working with influencers can be quite different and the rules are often hazy.
Marketing and advertising pros have long since tapped influencers as spokespeople for brands dating back to the Queen and the Pope promoting the use of general medicine to common people. The concept of a digital influencer, however, has only become popular in recent years and it’s still developing. What qualifies someone as a digital influencer is up for interpretation – is it the number of followers? Anyone can buy those. Level of engagement? That’s all relative to their follower count. Is it quality of content shared? Yeah, that seems important.
It’s some combination of those things, but the truth is there is no industry standard so anyone can claim to be a digital influencer. There is no professional society of influencers, no set of ethical standards to abide by and, because there isn’t a ton of information out about influencers and their results, there’s no set pricing structure or market for advertising or working with them.
Recently, the FCC put regulations into place requiring influencers to post any endorsements with #ad, although, this is rarely regulated.
The cost of working with influencers can vary greatly from person to person. Some may only request a trade for product or services, while others always require payment. It’s important to remember that just like traditional media, influencers are dedicating their time and efforts to generate content and they expect to eventually monetize what they are doing.
Once we understand that influencers don’t have set standards for how they work with brands or even set pricing, how can you know what to expect from them and the best way to get results that help your bottom line? It all boils down to strategy and budget.
As with traditional media and public relations, always start with the story and the audience you are trying to reach. At RPR, we first dig deep into what we want to convey for a client and then match that goal with a relevant publication or target outlet. The process is similar for influencers because many influencers focus on very specific subjects so we are able to directly reach people interested in those topics through strategic targeting.
For example, in 2018 we worked with an environmentally-focused brand that sold toilet paper from recycled materials. Through a targeted campaign that utilized micro-influencers with followings who showed interest in sustainability and eco-friendly initiatives, we were able to track direct sales that resulted from partnership posts.
When it comes to budget, we have to be realistic. These days almost any influencer worth their salt is charging or expecting something in return for sharing content so a budget should always be set aside for influencer payments. Pricing can vary greatly and there is no set science to knowing if a specific partnership will work, but we advise clients to be flexible with budget and understand that part of influencer marketing is trial and error. With so many algorithms and other factors at play on social media, it can be difficult to pinpoint when is exactly the best time, message, etc. to post for an influencer.
The positive side to the chaos is everything is negotiable. In a good partnership, the influencer will want your team to see results so you want to work with them again and again. Select partners who will allow you to tweak messaging or change the timing of posts to improve results and get confirmation that they will do this in writing – but also give them the freedom to make creative decisions they know their audience will respond to best.
Although it may seem like the Wild Wild West when it comes to digital influencers right now, in some ways it’s not all that different from a traditional public relations and marketing approach. Starting with the end goal in mind and developing a strategy around that is the first step to establishing a mutually beneficial relationship that earns you results.
We’ve got a new gal on our team. Erin Horne is a foodie, a triathlete and she once took a “goldfish shot” – which is exactly what it sounds like and exactly what you don’t want it to be.
Here’s everything you need to know about the newest member of our crew.
Name: Erin Horne
Job Title: Account Manager
Enneagram Number: 3
Where is home for you?
This is a tough question for me now! My hometown is Chicago, but I have lived in five states (Illinois, Indiana for college, California for an internship with The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Georgia, and now Tennessee). I’ve found it takes about 3 months to start calling a new state my “home.”
What are you most looking forward to about living in Nashville?
I’ve become a huge food and drink enthusiast in the past couple of years. I have a list with more than 75 bars and restaurants to try. I’m looking forward to checking out each one!
I’m also a triathlete, so I can’t wait to explore Middle Tennessee through open water swimming, road biking and running.
If you could be a superhero, which one would you be?
Does Buffy the Vampire Slayer count? I’m a bit of a television nerd (one of my majors was Film Studies), so I love a powerful female lead. Buffy did a lot for “women’s films” and females on television—not to mention she had the best friend crew. She was ahead of her time!
What is a crazy story you love to tell at cocktail parties?
I once took a “goldfish shot.” I had to fish for a live goldfish out of a pond, put it in a vodka shot, and then swallow it whole! People love that story at parties, hah.
Here’s another one—while I was working at Ellen, I got to stand in as a band member during Shawn Mendes’ sound check. I was about 10 inches away while he serenaded an empty room and me! This is definitely one of my favorite Ellen memories.
What do you do for fun?
I love to read, especially magazines. I have a huge stack of Entertainment Weekly, Southern Living, Food & Wine, Bon Appetit and more waiting for me to dig in at home. I also love competitive sports. You can usually find me training for some sort of race or playing on a sand volleyball team.
What’s your spirit animal and why?
I’ll go with a dolphin— I love water, I’m social by nature, and I’m always on the move.
If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
As much as I love a good chocolate chip cookie, I have to go with pretzels. They’ve been my favorite snack for as long as I can remember.
My current favorite is this lyric from Lucius’s song Dusty Trails:
‘If we skip to our pre-fulfilled dreams, we’d be lost without our own advice.’
From the moment I decided to move to Nashville, Reed Public Relations was on the top of my list of places to work! I’m thrilled to be here.
The words “thought leadership” get tossed around a lot in our industry, but few people actually understand what it means or how to achieve thought leadership status.
Here’s a secret: it’s really not that complicated. A thought leader is just that—someone who is a leader of thought in their industry or field. You must have expertise that people want to hear or read about. Those “thoughts” are usually pretty niche, and you should have the skillset, degree or personal experience to back them up.
Become an expert.
To become a thought leader, start with your expertise. Did you invent the internet? Engineer the first self-driving car? Create microwavable popcorn? It’s OK if you didn’t.
You don’t have to be the first to do something in your field to be considered an expert, but you do have to have the technical skills and knowledge to back up the advice you’re dishing out. Our expertise lies in crafting the message and getting it noticed, but good thought leaders are able to bring real value and authenticity to their audiences.
Be willing to advise.
Being a thought leader takes courage. I have had a number of clients ask to be positioned as thought leaders, but when the time came for those articles or content to publish, they were hesitant because of others who might have differing opinions.
I totally get it. Putting your expertise out into the world is a scary thing. I say this as I’m actually doing it. But have some confidence in yourself. You can’t be a thought leader without voicing an opinion.
Lay a foundation.
Once you’re a subject matter expert and feel you have something valuable to contribute, that’s when the magic can happen. Although, it’s not actually magic; there’s a strategy behind it.
A PR team or in-house PR manager should first work in your local market and with industry publications to establish credibility. In most cases, before landing the The New York Times, you have to start with the local daily or business publication. Any national reporter will immediately Google you if they receive a pitch and don’t recognize your name. When they do, you want them to find positive articles and clips of you sharing your expertise on a local or regional level. A baseline of relevant, local coverage paired with a skilled pitch and a timely angle can be just enough to pique a national outlet’s interest.
Be patient. Keep trying.
The final piece of the equation is one of the toughest: patience. Once you have a solid hold on your local media market, a PR team should continue to develop fresh angles and ideas to have your expertise included in bigger and bigger outlets. This might include tying your expertise into a current national trend or developing a column with a unique perspective.
Securing coverage can happen quickly if the timing is right, but it typically takes weeks or even months for print publications that have long lead times. The key is patience and continual outreach to boost your chances of a national feature.
If you are truly an expert, have quality content and establish a solid baseline of local coverage, you could be a thought leader! It won’t happen overnight, but when it does, establishing yourself as a thought leader in your industry can separate you from the competition and help build trust with your audiences.
Don’t forget that thought leadership is just one component of an overarching communications campaign. Whether establishing your expertise locally or working toward your next national feature, always be sure your thought leadership plan is strategic, measurable and aligns with the overall goals of your organization. With a little patience and a lot of perseverance, you’ll soon be fielding calls from reporters reaching out to you for insights and comments!
After the news broke that 50 high-profile individuals allegedly took part in a long-running scheme of bribery and cheating to get their children into prestigious universities, those ensnarled in the legal scandal also face an uphill PR battle. Our President and Founder Lauren Reed sat down with Liza Graves, CEO and writer for StyleBlueprint, to talk about what is likely going on behind the scenes for those involved, including television stars Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, and how they can begin to repair their public image.
What’s the lesson learned for all of us here (beyond the obvious of not lying and being truthful!)?
Lauren Reed: You should never do anything that you would regret seeing in the headlines! Deeds done in the dark will almost always become illuminated at some point. Truth has a way of prevailing, and everything is so much more intense when you are in the public eye. This whole situation also has me really thinking about personal core values. What is the legacy we want to leave? Do our actions reflect this?
What are they likely being advised to do?
LR: Because it is an ongoing matter, legal is likely insisting they remain silent. If and when they release something, it will be a brief and strategic statement. For now, though, they are staying off social media and not speaking with media even if they truly desire to respond to their fans. In my experience, that is always the most difficult PR aspect of a crisis situation. Even if they want to be transparent and show remorse publicly, they simply can’t say much yet.