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Do You Have Your ‘Elevator Speech’ Ready?

Tampa Bay marketing firmYou 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.’

Of course, this is a very literal exposition on phrase; it can take place practically anywhere. The elevator speech is brief (the time it takes to take a typical elevator ride), to the point, and delivered in a casual, conversational way. It’s the friendly alternative to a dull recitation of your organization’s vital statistics or suggesting someone visit your company’s website.

An elevator speech shouldn’t be confused with company ‘boilerplate’ that commonly appears as a paragraph at the end of a press release. The purpose of PR boilerplate is to identify your business—where it’s located, when was it founded, what it sells—and to let people know where to get more information. An elevator speech, on the other hand, informs the audience why an organization is worth getting to know in the first place.

Elevator Speeches Can Pave the Way for Future Sales

We’ve all seen the stereotypical sales rep in movies and TV shows—annoying people who never miss an opportunity to launch their pitch. Doubtlessly such behavior in real life would be a colossal turn-off. As annoying as such salespeople would be, however, they are correct in realizing chance encounters might possibly bear fruit as a sale.  A nicely crafted elevator speech gently plants the seed.

You simply never know what doors new acquaintances might open—either as a buyer or as a potential referral. And when people ask you about your business, they’ve given you permission to ‘promote,’ so take advantage.

But what if you’re a dentist, a CPA or some other professional or highly skilled service provider operating a small business? People are already familiar with those occupations, so how much of an elevator speech could these professionals need? The answer is “just as much as any other company.” There may be a lot of other folks in your line of work, but there’s only one business that depends on your skills and unique expertise. Here’s your chance to differentiate your operation from your competition.

Tell Your Company’s Story in 30 Seconds or Less

It’s time now to sit down at your computer (or pen and paper if you’re decidedly old school). The goal will be to tell a story, and do so in about 75 words or less. As with most stories, there are three essential parts:

  • Introduction – Identify your business and its general purpose.
  • Body –  Describe your typical customers’ needs or challenges
  • Conclusion –  Close with how your business benefits your customers.

Example: I own Big Mike’s Express IT. We set up computer networks, provide disaster backup systems, monitor hardware and software for problems as well as other related services. Our clients are mostly local small-to-midsize businesses. They need fairly robust information technology but lack the in-house resources to manage their own systems. Basically, we solve our clients’ IT problems so they can concentrate on what they do best.

Your value proposition should play prominently in your elevator speech—so your audience understands how your business benefits your customers. Be aware, however, that honesty is THE fundamental element in a good elevator story. If you believe what you are saying, your listener will be more likely to believe it as well. Sincerity comes through.

Finally, let’s say you’ve carefully distilled, refined, crafted and edited your words to deliver maximum impact in the least possible amount of time. You don’t want it to sound rehearsed. Read through your elevator speech a couple of times, then set it aside and try to repeat it aloud. The idea isn’t to recite it word-for-word; in fact, that’s exactly what you don’t want to do. Your delivery should sound natural. As long as you hit your main points and deliver them in the right order, you’re prepared to help your business make a good (and memorable) first impression.

For some additional takes on elevator speeches, you may want to check out the following articles:

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Is It Newsworthy?

Tampa Bay PR firmEvery day, in every city of the world, babies are being born. It’s truly a monumental event in lives of the parents and grandparents, relatives, and close friends of the family. Yet, unless it’s the offspring of a major celebrity, we don’t see a lot of news media coverage when a child enters the world. The press simply doesn’t consider run-of-the-mill birth announcements to be newsworthy.

It’s a similar situation for business owners who have a major development or special event at their companies. Perhaps it’s the opening of a new branch, maybe the company has its 25th anniversary coming up, or maybe an “exciting” new product offering or service is about to be made available.  Bursting with excitement, the business owner contacts the local daily paper with the news, only to receive stark disinterest and maybe a consolation-prize suggestion that the item be submitted to the local “business happenings” page.

The problem is that journalists and editors make decisions based on the interest of their entire audience. Time, space, or journalistic resources are limited. Any report on one topic means that something else won’t be covered. Sadly, what may be of great importance to a specific business may not matter much to the public at large. Take heart; it’s not that your “baby” isn’t special. It’s just that so many folks already have their own equally marvelous “babies”.

This isn’t to say that businesses can’t make news—and in a good way, rather than the 60 Minutes investigative-report kind of way. If the story meets certain criteria, media outlets are likely (though not guaranteed) to be interested. If you think you have a story that deserves press coverage, try evaluating it against the following considerations:

  • Timeliness – News is something that just happened—or is expected to happen in the near future. There’s simply too much going on in the world every day to reach back for a story. The facts of an old story may come up again as background for another article, but a news item’s “sell-by date” is a brief window of time.
  • Impact – To state the obvious, an occurrence or development that affects a lot of people is more newsworthy than one that affects just a few. It’s psychological: the larger the number, the more likely the audience is to imagine themselves being affected (e.g. “There, but by the grace of God, go I.”). Impact on a smaller number of people may still make the story worthwhile, however, if the effect is particularly significant or unusual (e.g. things that make you go, “Hmmm.”).
  • Proximity – The local angle is big, especially if it’s a source of community pride or concern. However, the connection may not always be to the immediate area but could be cultural, emotional, religious, financial … etc. For instance, the press in a small town might pay more attention to a professional sports team on the other side of the country if one of the star athletes hails from a nearby high school. Or a community largely comprised of Cuban-Americans might be keen to keep up with news about Havana.
  • Notoriety – Some people are only famous for being famous—with publicity feeding ever more publicity. This kind of news sells papers and magazines, attracts Web page hits, and gets ratings. There’s no real logic to the phenomenon, that’s just the way it is. Unless you’re Elon Musk or a Kardashian is one of your customers, however, notoriety isn’t likely to come into play for your business stories.
  • Human Interest – These stories often defy the conditions required for regular news articles because we can personally identify with the subjects. Human interest stories usually elicit an emotional response—making us feel happy, sad or inspired.

Frankly, there is no constant, objective standard for any of these considerations. What one reporter or media outlet will find newsworthy, another may scoff at. Whether a story gets picked up is also a matter of what else is happening at any given time. Relevance to the audience will be the key consideration. But if you can clearly explain what makes your story newsworthy when presenting it to a news outlet, you may actually have some news coverage coming in your company’s future.

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The Power of Color

Tampa Bay advertising agency, graphic design, web design, brochure design, newsletter design, logo designDid you know that color can evoke emotion and affect your decision-making? Did you realize that it is a powerful non-verbal communication tool?


Color is so prolific, it even affects the way you spend your money. Nearly every color used in the logos and campaigns of the well-known brands you see every day was painstakingly chosen using data from research teams, theorists, and focus group testing. Color is not an afterthought in advertising. It is one of the most important considerations for a brand, as it can evoke so many subtleties in perception that it may end up being the determining factor of success for a company. Even the seemingly dismissible variation in a dusty blue versus a navy blue may steer perception in the wrong direction and sever communication. Color is everything. It is everywhere.


Even the absence of color is a profound statement; the minimalist’s white canvas with black text speaks volumes with seemingly so little. Over the years, trends have come and gone, but the grace and elegance of black and white has remained steady. Other elemental colors have taken a firm position in the psyche as well – red is associated with stopping and may trigger alarm, blue is soothing and evokes trustworthiness and dependability, yellow is energetic and cheerful, and green can signify freshness or eco-friendly principles.


While these colors have deep roots in our media-saturated world, new shades and variations of our primary colors are created every day. Artists mix colors and experiment with complimentary hues, designers create logos with variations on the foundational red, yellow and blue. Beautiful shades of color line the walls of every paint store, and artists’ palettes are virtually unlimited. Pantone has even started a Color of the Year campaign, in which a color is chosen based on the perceived cultural essence for a particular year. The colors of the year for 2016 are Rose Quartz and Serenity. The choice is based on cultural and economic cues that consumers are seeking respite from the stresses of daily life, and softness of the two colors – even the names Rose Quartz and Serenity – indicate a meditative, calming effect that seems to be exactly what people are craving. Read more about Pantone’s Color(s) of the Year.

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People love color, people communicate with color. It is a driving force in design of all kinds, from home décor to advertising, and one of the few crucial threads that runs through every aspect of our lives, connecting everything around us. Can you remember a time when color affected you, your decisions, or your mood?


Check out this fun color palette creator that lets you experiment with different color combinations and share your creations with the community.


Another great site for Pantone color connoisseurs.

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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!




Marketing as a New Year’s Resolution

marketing new year's resolutions tampa bay marketing florida advertising agency

Is one of your New Year’s resolutions to grow your business? To do more marketing? To be more strategic? To work smarter, not harder? You’re not alone! Each year, our phones start ringing on January 2nd with clients ready to start off strong.

If you need support to refresh your brand, launch that new web site, generate new content, shoot new videos, design new marketing collateral, build relationships with the media, or just to keep you on track – we’re here for you. Let’s set up a meeting and discuss your resolutions!

Be More Awesome in 2016!

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