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Top Pinstripe Blog Posts of 2016

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We have enjoyed a tremendous year at Pinstripe! One thing we really enjoy is sharing information about creating great marketing and communications to grow your business. Throughout 2016, we have written hundreds of articles, and it’s always interesting to see what pieces you like most. Our most popular posts are always our client spotlights – you really like to learn about some of our favorite people! Features about Pinstripe projects and case studies also generate a lot of readership. But the ones that prove most valuable are the ‘how to’ articles – so in case you missed one, or just want a refresher, here are the top 15 articles of 2016!

 

15. Logo Design and Corporate Identity Manuals

The history of graphic design is extensive and can be traced back hundreds of years. For the sake of this article, we are going to focus on graphic design as it was forming during the industrial era, and how the appearance and growth of corporations affected one aspect of graphic design in particular – logos.

 

14. Do You Have Your Elevator Speech Ready?

You and a stranger are standing in a hotel lobby waiting for an elevator. He has the appearance of a fine, upstanding chap and you’re in an affable mood so you comment on what a nice day it is. He’s welcoming of conversation. Additional pleasantries ensue, followed by introductions and the customary handshake. The elevator finally arrives and just as you and your new friend step inside, he asks about your business.

It’s time for the ‘elevator speech.’

 

13. Trade Shows: To Participate or Not … That’s the Last Question

At some point, you may hear of a trade show for your industry and entertain the notion of attending. The immediate question is whether such an excursion would be a worthwhile investment of time, effort and money.  Reaching that determination will require carefully considered answers to several other questions, first.

 

12.The Physics of Marketing

People may tell you that marketing is “more art than science.” And at first blush, this assertion seems valid. Consider the stimulating imagery and compelling prose that accompanies a typical advertising campaign. However, when it comes to attracting and keeping customers, we should take instruction from Sir Isaac Newton’s Laws of Motion.

 

11. Proposals – Advice from the Selection Committee

Recently, Pinstripe Marketing attended a webinar hosted by the Society of Marketing Professionals (SMPS) Tampa Bay called “Secrets of the Selection Process,” by Gary Coover. The course was designed to enlighten us about creating a proposal as well as presenting the proposal to the selection committee, and we came away with a few great tips that we thought we would share.

 

10. How to Leave an Effective Voicemail Message

When trying to reach someone, having to leave a voicemail (VM) message can be very frustrating. The exercise is especially tiresome if you’re in sales—leaving message after message with little hope of a callback. Pessimistically you go through the motions; repeating words you’ve said countless times before.

 

9. Social Media Superhero: Tips for Curating Social Content

Social media accounts for businesses are now the norm rather than the exception, so keeping up-to-date with your posts is something that must be done on a regular basis. We understand that this is time-consuming and is yet another item to add to your to-do list, but below are some tips for streamlining the process and keeping your content interesting and fresh.

 

8. Online Marketing: 5 Things That Most Smart People Don’t Know

Online marketing is one of those things that’s easy to start, but difficult to do correctly. That’s because the internet makes it easy for people with little or no experience to present themselves as experts and give lots of bad advice. It’s bad enough when this bad advice doesn’t produce results, but in many cases, it can even harm your business for the long term. Just like with medical and legal decisions, it’s not what you know about marketing that gets you in trouble—it’s what you don’t know. These tips will help you avoid making some of the common marketing mistakes that a lot of smart people make simply because they followed bad advice from someone who presented themselves as an expert.

 

7. Copy vs. Graphics: Bickering Spouses of Advertising?

In this age of social media, viral videos and search engine optimization (SEO), the role of imagery and copy in marketing is like ever-present background noise. And yet from billboards to websites, the healthy marriage of copy and graphics is almost always a critical component in the successful execution of promotional efforts.

 

6. The Importance of a Trademark Search

A trademark is a name, word or logo used to indicate the source of a product or service. While a “trademark” technically refers to a brand used on goods and products (e.g., coffee, sneakers, jewelry), a “service mark” refers to a brand used in connection with services (e.g., restaurant services, insurance services, accounting services). Almost every company imaginable has a trademark or service mark – either the name of the company advertised to the public or the name of its product.

 

5. Writing a Compelling Biography

If it hasn’t already happened—don’t be surprised one day to have someone ask you for your bio (e.g. short biography). Employers often want them for the “About Us” or “Our Professionals” sections of their web sites. Bios may be needed for a press release announcing an important new hire. Meeting planners ask for bios of important guests or speakers at conventions and conferences. If you have your vital information on hand and ready to go at a moment’s notice, you’ll earn the sincere appreciation of a lot of people … and may save yourself some embarrassment.

 

4. Tips for Hiring a Professional Photographer

At some point in our lives, we all need a professional photographer. Whether you need a photo for your web site, LinkedIn profile, Facebook page, product shots for your business or photos for your wedding, there are some things that are best left to the pros. Here are some tips for hiring the right photographer for your business needs.

 

3. How to Sell a White Elephant

From time to time, we’ll find it necessary to sell something that might lead one to question the sanity of anyone who buys it. This could be a product, a service, or even an investment opportunity that’s missing readily apparent value. While a challenge, successfully unloading (or rather, locating a buyer), is often just a matter of looking at the offering a bit differently ourselves, and then getting a prospective customer to see it the same way.

 

2. Utilizing Nostalgia and Vernacular in Graphic Design

Graphic design as a promotional tool dates back to the 19th century, when the earliest form of graphic design relied solely on typography to make a point. During these early days, text, font style, and font size were the main vehicles of emphasis; you can see how designers started playing with different typefaces and boldness to draw attention to certain information. Over the years, as graphic design became more prominent, methods and styles evolved. People in the advertising industry began to experiment with different techniques to attract attention to products, as well as instill confidence in them and the companies that sold them.

 

And the most popular article of 2016 is…

1. What Makes a Business Card “Cool”?

If you’re someone whose work puts in you in contact with new people on a regular basis, you probably have a substantial supply of business cards. Doubtlessly, you also have a nice collection of business cards from the professionals you meet. Perhaps you’ve encountered one or two that caused you to pause and examine it more closely, thinking “Wow, that’s a cool card!”

 

Based on this list, it appears you’re just as nerdy as we are. 🙂

 

If you’d like to receive our articles right to your inbox, you can sign up here AND receive a complimentary copy of our Guide to Public Relations.

 

THANK YOU for giving us the opportunity to be a small part of your marketing initiatives. We wish you the very best for a healthy and prosperous 2017!

Social Media Superhero: Tips for Curating Social Content

social media curating content marketing Social media accounts for businesses are now the norm rather than the exception, so keeping up-to-date with your posts is something that must be done on a regular basis. We understand that this is time-consuming and is yet another item to add to your to-do list, but below are some tips for streamlining the process and keeping your content interesting and fresh.

  • Choose your accounts wisely: You don’t have to have ALL the social media accounts for your business (although you should own your name to fend off squatters.) Pick the ones that make the most sense. Facebook, Twitter and Google+ are fairly standard (for different reasons) and should be on your list, but if your business is not image heavy, then Instagram and Pinterest may not be necessary. However, if you are a retailer, these may be your most important accounts. Consider what your business’ mission and goals are, then choose your social media accounts accordingly.
  • Know your audience: Who are they and what do they need? What do they like and how can you help them? These are questions you should ask yourself before you start posting on your social media accounts. Even after you’ve begun posting and feel like you have identified your target audience, use social media analytics to gain more insight into your audience’s habits and fine-tune what you are already doing to capture them.

Use time saving applications:

  • Create a keyword list (in much the same way you would for SEO), and use your chosen keywords in Google Alerts to capture content throughout the week so you don’t have to search every day for fresh articles to post.
  • Use HootsuiteSprout Social, Edgar or other handy tools – many of which have simplified free versions – to schedule posts so that you can get an entire week or two of social media finished in one sitting. Keep in mind that the style and format for each is different, so it’s best to use the tools to post to each platform individually.
  • Engage with your audience as often as possible: Respond to their comments and messages, like or retweet their news and photos, and let them know that you’re listening. This lets them know there is actually a person on the other end of the account, not just an automated robot.
  • Beware of politically charged or religious content: On a business social media account (and in some cases even your personal profile), starting politically charged conversations can frighten people away. Some people are eager to debate or give their opinion, but others just don’t want to be inundated with other people’s opinions. Stay neutral and keep the political material for personal encounters.

Social media doesn’t have to be difficult – in fact, it can be a fun way to get to know your customers better and improve your business. Many people hire marketing agencies to handle social media, if this is the route you choose, make sure the agency is willing to learn your business and tailor your posts to your personality – nothing is worse than a Facebook or Twitter that seems sterile and unrelated to the business. See more social media tips, check out some of our other articles about hashtags, Instagram posting, and writing client-centric blogs.

Maintaining Connections – Keep Up to Date with Your Network

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We were pretty wowed by a speaker at a recent Association of Legal Administrators Business Partner Showcase and felt compelled to share some of his insights. Not only was Ari Kaplan an engaging speaker, what he had to say was so valuable that we remained fairly riveted throughout his presentation. Whether or not it was the content of the presentation that made it riveting, his dynamic personality, or a combination of both, we left feeling as if we had just been given a gem of information.

The gem of information was simple, really – keep in touch, and keep it interesting. There are many ways of doing this. He reminded us that “half the battle is just showing up,” in fact, he practically screamed it. This woke up those in the audience who were dozing off, and the rest of us, well, we were nodding our heads, thinking, “it really is that simple.” After all, we had made that small effort to show up at this event, and already we were patting ourselves on the back for it.

Keep in Touch

We all lead busy lives for a multitude of reasons – work, family, hobbies, vacations, etc. Sometimes, in the midst of our busy lives, we forget to keep in touch with people. At the heart of this is friendship, but keeping in touch with business contacts can be equally as fulfilling, and often much more lucrative. Kaplan recommends making it a point to reach out to a business contact at least once a day in some form or another, and he gives some great advice on how to do so.

  • If you’re traveling to another city, contact a current business acquaintance, or even reach out to a complete stranger whose work you admire, alumni from your school, or a recommendation from a colleague. Introduce yourself. Ask them out to coffee. You won’t die if they say no, and if they say yes, you have just opened a new door for yourself. Even if they say no, you have put yourself on their radar. This is part of the “half the battle is just showing up.” By reaching out, you showed up.
  • Use Connections on LinkedIn – an integrated tool that alerts you to what is happening in the work and lives of your connections. Even better – it gives you a button to click on that will auto-populate a message to that person congratulating them on a promotion or saying Happy Birthday. Customize these messages, of course, but half the work has already been done for you! You may have also noticed updates in your feed about contacts being mentioned in the news. Use that as an opportunity to connect. Read the article for great insight into their accomplishments, knowledge, and news.
social media marketing connections

Keep in touch with LinkedIn Connections.

  • Send postcards – this also falls under “keep it interesting.” Kaplan suggests sending a cool or fun postcard from the place you are visiting. Send to someone with whom you haven’t communicated in a while, just to say hello. Send to a current prospect to let them know you’re thinking of them. People like to receive postcards, and your gesture brings you back to the forefront of their mind.

Keep it Interesting

Kaplan asked us, “what makes you interesting?” We turned to our neighbors and told them what makes us interesting. For some it was hobbies and interests, for others it was an ability or talent. Whatever it was, Kaplan asked us to use it to our advantage. To be interesting is to be remembered. This goes for what makes you as a person interesting as well as interesting actions you take to get noticed. Sending a postcard is one of those things, but can you think of others? What about sending out cool marketing materials that really highlight your business – an auto-playing video card or a deck of cards with your images? Think about what you would like to receive – something useful and interesting – and use that to get attention and be remembered.

Since the event, we have been busy setting lunch dates and coming up with cool ideas for our clients. We reach out to new acquaintances more often and we attend events more often. If nothing more, we are making some great new friends, but we already know that friends make the best clients.

Ari Kaplan is a leading legal industry analyst, writer and speaker. To learn more about Ari, visit his website at www.arikaplanadvisors.com.

Pinstripe completes another successful East-West Shrine Game

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Tampa Bay hosted the 91st East-West Shrine Game on January 23rd and welcomed more than 100 of college football’s best players on their first stop on the Path to the Draft. A week-long job interview, the players showcase their talents before scouts from every NFL team and national sports media. The Pinstripe Marketing team supports the game with public relations, credentialing media, advertising and media buying, social media management, sideline photography, and in-game communications.

The fifth year in Tampa Bay was another great success. A record 23,106 fans in attendance, NFL Network rankings up 67% over 2015, and tremendous support from the media. We especially appreciate our partners at the local television, radio and newspapers who have embraced the game and the important cause it supports. While the West won the game, it is always the children of Shriners Hospitals for Children who win.

Here are just a few of the stories from game week:

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Instagram Multiple Accounts – App Feature to Change Your Social Life

Tampa Bay social media management agencyFor years, it has been common for people to have multiple social media accounts that they interact with on a regular basis, from Facebook to Twitter to Snap Chat to Instagram. More and more frequently, people also have multiple accounts within a single social media app. For example, I have multiple Twitter accounts that I manage, four or more Instagram accounts, and several pages on Facebook for which I am an administrator. Hootsuite has made it simple to schedule and manage posts for Twitter and Facebook from one place, but Instagram has been the problem child for some time. Each time I wanted to post to a different Instagram account, I had to log out and log back in with the new account, which became frustrating and time consuming. I searched for apps that could alleviate this bump in my social media flow, but nothing stood out as especially helpful, and most didn’t solve my main issue; logging in and out of Instagram on my mobile device.

 

Instagram must have felt the pressure coming from users like us who are tired of logging in and out on mobile in order to manage multiple accounts. The new multiple account feature does just that – it allows you to stay logged in to several accounts with a simple drop down menu that gives you the freedom to switch between them. This simple, elegant solution makes perfect sense and is a game changer. Below is a step-by-step tutorial on how to use the new multiple account feature.

Start by logging into your account on your mobile

To add an account, tap the settings gear next to your account name

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Scroll down to the bottom of the settings page to Add Account. (If you do not see this option, you may need to update the app.)

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Type in your username and password and your account will be added.

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Once you have a second account, go to your profile page and tap your username at the top which will show a drop down menu to switch quickly between accounts and the option to add additional accounts.

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Simple as that. Thanks, Instagram!

 

 

 

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