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Pinstripe Bookshelf: Uncommon Service

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Some colleagues and I recently shared a lively discussion about business and management books we defined as professional game changers. Many titles sprang to mind, with one clearly standing out: Uncommon Service by Frances Frei and Anne Morriss (Harvard Business Review Press).

Each of us had devoured its simple brilliance and intriguing premise.

uncommon_serviceFrei and Morriss maintain that companies must “dare to be bad” in order to be great, choosing highly strategic ways to “underperform while fueling a winning service advantage.” But first, they say, you have to have the stomach for it…

The authors pose compelling arguments surrounding the art of making competitive trade-offs to build a sustainable business that’s profitable, scalable and able to deliver service excellence every day. They deliver practical insights into service innovation and actionable ways to win by putting customers at the core of your business.

Case studies across a variety of sectors showcase four dimensions — or “service truths” — to illustrate a powerful approach to uncommon service. Truth No. 1? You Can’t Be Good at Everything.

Explore this and the other dimensions in the book. It’s a must-read in our service economy.

Order Uncommon Service from Amazon

You Already Know Your Best Brand Ambassadors

ambassador_newsYou may know exactly what your brand stands for. But does your team? As the people who interact with your customers every day, your employees must be fully aware of your brand message and how to represent it.

This encompasses everything you do and everyone you touch: from the pitch, to customer service, to email communications, to the way we dress when meeting with customers and prospects.

Creating a culture of brand immersion may seem simple. But many companies — good companies with great products, services and people – often miss the mark. To help your team understand, embrace and convey your value:

  • Capture in writing what your brand equals and put it in the hands of everyone on your staff
  • Train them how to deliver your message
  • Give them cues to discover opportunities to inject your brand
  • Empower them to help each other monitor and manage their performance
  • Reward them for supporting and promoting it

There are a variety of ways to keep employees engaged and motivated to accomplish goals with your brand in mind, including communicating those goals clearly, continuing education, providing a comfortable and exciting workspace, and celebrating successes.

Take a pulse check now. Ask your team: What is our brand value and what do we stand for? When they answer correctly, treat them to lunch!

Here are some additional resources about creating strong brand ambassadors

Virgin: How to Create a Brand Ambassador 

Forbes: Three Steps for Transforming Employees into Brand Ambassadors

Forbes: Want to Find Brand Ambassadors? Start with your Employees

Entrepreneur: Treat Your Employees Well – They are your Best Brand Ambassadors

Tampa Bay public relations

Marketing Professionals Answer Your Questions in This Free Business Book

Tampa Bay public relations, PR firmThroughout my career I have been asked a variety of questions about marketing and public relations from start-up entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 executives. I’ve always said that marketing is more art than science, but with some experience, I’ve determined some commonalities and things we can all employ to grow our businesses.

I am honored to have been selected as a one of seven contributors to answer some of the most common questions in this new book, Professionals in Public Relations, Marketing and Media Answer Your Questionscompiled by Nancy Vaughn and Grigoria Kritsotelis.

The questions include:

  • How do I reach my target audience at the right time?
  • How do I ensure proper brand exposure for my business?
  • What are the most common marketing mistakes that businesses make and how do you fix them?
  • What are three cost effective ways to get my marketing strategy off the ground?
  • I’m ready for the press, why isn’t the media calling me?
  • When should you hire a PR firm?
  • Why is marketing/branding/PR, etc. so important to a small business?
  • What should I expect from my PR firm?
  • What do media producers/editors look for when considering a business for a possible story?
  • How do I determine possible key performance indicators and why does it matter?
  • When it comes to marketing, what are the things you should look out for?

 

Download a free copy of the book and let me know if you have other questions!

~Ginger

Tampa Bay public relations

Pinstripe Among Initial Founders of Gasparilla Interactive Festival

Tampa Bay advertising agency, Gasparilla Interactive FestivalThe first Gasparilla Interactive Festival will be held on March 6, 2015 at Port Tampa Bay, Cruise Terminal 3. The Gasparilla Interactive Festival (GIF) is Tampa Bay’s showcase for cutting-edge technologies, digital innovation and entrepreneurial inspiration.

The Festival features compelling presentations and forums from the brightest minds in emerging technology, interactive media, and disruptive entrepreneurialism and will include exciting networking events hosted by industry leaders. The event will have a series of speakers and an expo. Confirmed speakers include Faris Yakob, founder of Genius Steals LLC; Joanna Lord, VP of Marketing at Porch; Peter Shankman, founder at ShankMinds Business Masterminds; Savannah Peterson, Global Community Manager at Shapeways; Michael del Castillio of Upstart Business Journal; and Riva-Melissa Tez founder of Berlin Singularity.

The festival is a community event and is made possible through the collaboration of Tampa Bay’s public, private, non-profit, and academic institutions. Partners include AAF Tampa Bay, Ad 2 Tampa Bay, Hillsborough County, EDI2, University of Tampa, Port Tampa Bay, Visit Tampa Bay, Collaborative Technologies of Tampa Bay, Schifino Lee, The Publicity Agency and the Gasparilla International Film, Art and Music Festivals.

“We are proud to be one of the founders of Gasparilla Interactive Festival to ensure its future in Tampa Bay,” said Pinstripe president, Ginger Reichl. “We are fortunate to have a community that embraces technology and provides a forum to keep us on the leading edge. Advertising represents only one element of interactive and we’re excited to showcase many more.”

The festival is organized by the Gasparilla Interactive Festival Inc., a Florida non-profit organization that was founded by leadership members of the American Advertising Federation and Ad 2 Tampa Bay chapters.

Attendees may register for $150 or purchase a Founder’s Club membership for $1,000. Founders and sponsors will be invited to an Opening Reception the evening of Thursday, March 5. Visit www.gasparillainteractive.org to register and for more information.

Follow the Gasparilla Interactive Festival on Facebook and Twitter for updates.

EDIT: Here are a few of the stories about the Gasparilla Interactive Festival

Tampa Bay public relations

Breakthrough Cocktail Interview with Ginger Reichl

breakthrough_newsI had the pleasure of chatting with Gary Ware on his Breakthrough Cocktail podcast this week. This episode focused on creating the career of your dreams, so we talked about my career path, how I chose advertising, how to network, creating work/life ‘balance,’ what I look for when hiring new talent and more during our half hour together.

One of his questions was, “What did you want to be when you grew up?” I responded that I can only ever remember wanting to go into advertising. Maybe it was watching Darren create ads at McMann & Tate on Bewitched reruns, AdCouncil PSAs during Saturday morning cartoons, or the Superbowl, but I was hooked very early. By the time I was 12 years old, I was on a mission to have an ad agency. Such a nerdy child.

I am so fortunate and grateful that I get have the ‘career of my dreams’ and work with incredibly smart and inspiring clients. It was kind of Gary to ask me to join him on his podcast and hope that one person hears a nugget that helps them find their dream. Happy listening!

 

Gary helps young professionals reach their full potential with coaching and mentorship. You can subscribe to his podcast on iTunes to listen to all of his guests and get a little insight of your own.

Tampa Bay public relations