Another Success Story

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The total is in. The Inaugural Drive Out ALS Charity Golf Tournament raised a total of $6,140 – all going to the East TN chapter of the ALS Association. This exceeded our first-year goal. The combination of hard work, partnerships, strategy, creativity and determination contributed to the success. Thank you, team!

We’re already planning next year’s event on behalf of Drive Out ALS. If you’re interested in participating in next year’s tournament or sponsorship opportunities, mark your calendar for May 10, 2014. Check for updates.

Collide PR Drive Out ALS Charity Golf Tournament Chattanooga TN


Building Your Brand Through Emerging Media

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Tonight I attended the OC Ad Federation, in association with AAF, event “Building Your Brand Through Emerging Media.” The final session in a four part series, the panelists’ one paragraph program bios were enough to make me realize I finally found my kind of panel – worldclass techie superheroes. Techie strategists who actually have the goods – driving social media campaigns for 20th Century Fox, American Express, HBO, Disney, Nokia, Hilton Hotels and many more. I knew the advice these panelists would give wouldn’t be from guessing nor from a blog entry they read once upon a time, it would be from personal experience, firsthand knowledge of success, best practices and the inevitable “maybe that wasn’t such a great idea” that comes with anything new.

Once introductions (the sharing of Twitter names and the night’s hashtag) were made, the panel kicked-off.

Research and interpretation for strategy
The first thing to do is research to make sure the new, hot 2.0 tool isn’t the driver. Analyze if this channel is really where you need to be. Is there a more appropriate channel for your audience? Or how can you make public relations and social media work together? Before diving in goals and objectives should be set.

For the entertainment industry, quite a few examples were discussed, but one that stuck with me was about the Pirates of the Caribbean. The studio thought the best trailer would showcase primarily the action and Johnny Depp. What they found through research was that women responded strongly to Keira Knightly. So what did the studio do? They went back and cut a trailer that focused on Knightly’s character and her storyline. Result? More success among that demographic.

Case study
A popular question was who’s doing social media right? Whole Foods is a good example that was discussed at length. For Twitter, the strategy of alternating between an “ad” (ex., Organic food 1/2 off this week -LINK-) and interaction (RT’s, @ replies, posing non-brand related questions) provide synergies and balance to YouTube and blogging initiatives.

Lead generation
When it comes to lead generation, larger companies must take regions into consideration and each region’s behavior. Consider your audience instead of taking a blanket approach.

It has to be said that you cannot approach social media without being strategic, but still open-minded and flexible. In that spirit, measuring social media has it’s own set of rules. You have transactions, but that’s where traditional measurement almost ends. Impressions are not enough. Driving metrics for business needs to focus on the cost per engagement, time spent and what I call word of Web (yes, I am fully aware there’s a reason why that term never caught on)… Monitor what’s being said, spread and know when to act and when to stay out.

Small business
During the event, the panelists took questions via Twitter. Mine was the first one picked up, which was about how small business can be successful in social media. Big budgets mean big campaigns and big results, but America thrives on small businesses that should be able to participate and still have success. Frankly, I think consumers almost expect everyone to participate these days – Mom & Pops included. Here are a few tips on the hot topic that also spilled into the Q&A session:
  1. Set goals. Define what success looks like.
  2. Nothing else matters if the content is not good. Nothing.
  3. Design the application for easy consumer interaction.
  4. Pay attention to what others are doing: share and “steal” when it makes sense!
  5. Unless speaking to the marketing and advertising industry, throw out marketing and advertising speak. Have an authentic voice. Consumers respond to things that are authentic, honest, interesting and show passion.

As a sidebar, I knew I was in for an experience when I realized the event was held Sutra. Yep, that Sutra. Apparently they host corporate events, and I have to say I loved it! The atmosphere was much more energetic, creative, interactive and refreshing. Maybe it was the disco ball, maybe it was the fireworks playing on the flatscreen, but I prefer to think it was a great group of people. Cheers!