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The Power of a Friendly Brand

The Power of a Friendly Brand

In the past an authoritative voice had the power to drive sales. Those of us above 35 all remember  “4 out of 5 dentists recommend Trident for patients that chew gum.” The advent and popularization of social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram have changed the way companies communicate their brand message. Now, the most successful brands are the ones who get “friendly” with their audience. Consumers want to see photos of the faces behind the brands, they want stories that inspire, and they want brands that give back. If you aren’t communicating in this way, you are probably losing out on a large part of your market share.  Here are 5 tips on how to get friendlier with your customers and future customers:

1.  Have a plan

You need to devise a comprehensive marketing and public relations strategy. Plan out your goals, how you want the company voice to feel and sound, and who are the faces of the brand.

2.  Use social media

There are so many social media avenues available to reach customers in a seemingly one-on-one manner. Decide on which ones best suit your company needs and then go for them full-force. Don’t spread yourself too thin and then not monitor or interact on those avenues or you will lose the value of your efforts.

3.  Encourage earned media

Studies show that people value “earned media” as much as paid media and see this as real. Have people like your message, share, post, rate, etc.

4.  Form mutually beneficial partnerships

Align yourself with strategic business alliances. These alliances can help you get your product in front of new audiences and will help you look like you are a community friendly company.

5.  Keep interacting

This is an on-going relationship with your audience. While you might revise the marketing plan to keep it fresh, consistency is the key. We suggest having an in-house staff member dedicated to interactions and public relations or hire it out (often the more cost-effective option). But make sure, you have eyes and ears out there daily.

Make your brand’s PR and marketing goal for the year very clear: Get real and get friendly. If you consciously make your company’s brand approachable, the viral impact will be well worth the effort it takes.

Let up create a Playbook for your Business!

Case Study-Ashley Halley-MOVE

Case Study #1 Ashley Halley-MOVE  Ashley-Halley-Logo-Web-300-wide

Part of the marketing professionals’ job is to help businesses organize themselves better. At Playbook Public Relations, we often see small business owners drowning as they try to juggle everything they “think” they should be doing. They may be blogging, handling social media, writing newsletters, developing ads, and graphic design without any clear vision supporting these marketing efforts.

We recently helped our client, Ashley Halley, develop her business strategy in an organized manner ensuring long term growth. Here is a look at how we improved this business:


Ashley Halley owns her own business as a freelance yoga instructor and personal trainer. She loves her job but was unsure and overwhelmed by how to grow the business. Her marketing efforts to date had been sporadic due to the labor intensiveness of her busy teaching schedule.

Business challenge

Our client was unsure of the direction her growth would take her. There were many thoughts in her mind for growing the business including having web-based yoga classes and opening a new studio. Although she had been teaching for a long time, she did not have high visibility in a very competitive marketplace. Her website was out of date, and no social media campaigns had been established.

Our Plan

We knew the first step was organizing and establishing business direction. We did a SWOT analysis to clearly map her strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats within Tampa Bay’s highly competitive yoga and fitness marketplace. This discovery process helped us to develop a customized “playbook” for Ashley Halley.

1.    Establish a Brand Identity

We used a two-pronged approach; Ashley Halley is an expert in her field, having trained with a large number of well known yogis and fitness experts over the past 10 years. We needed her target audience to see her in this light. So we embarked on a campaign to educate the community on Ashley Halley’s expertise.

We also encouraged Ashley to partner with a philanthropic cause. Playbook arranged the partnership between her and the non-profit organization, Feeding America Tampa Bay (a charity that is dear to her heart) and the ensuing fundraising events which gained coverage in both the Tampa Bay Times newspaper and Fox 13 TV news.

2.    Logo Creation

In order to effectively grow her business, Ashley needed to have an umbrella approach uniting her yoga and personal training to one strong brand identity. Playbook Public Relations worked with our client to develop this into the concept, “MOVE” based on her persona and beliefs. To support the MOVE business model and brand identity, we created a new logo and tag line. The new brand image helped Playbook develop additional marketing and promotional materials like location specific posters to help grow the MOVE brand.

3.    Develop a Social Media Strategy 

For any business, social media is an important tool in public relations strategy. Ashley was merging personal life and business life together by using her own personal blog page and personal Facebook page to reach potential clients. This strategy was confusing and ineffective.  So, Playbook established a MOVE business page on Facebook, a MOVE Twitter page, and a MOVE Pinterest page all with tabs accessible from the Facebook page. Daily posts on all mediums support a cohesive and organized social media strategy that supports her new brand image.

4.    Public Relations

Playbook wanted to reach local audiences and gain national exposure in the fitness/ yoga marketplace. Establishing Ashley as the expert meant an informative, yet personal newsletter and getting her articles on health and fitness published. We also created a media kit that showcased the new brand and Ashley’s expertise. The media kit helps Ashley reach out to other fitness and yoga spaces to offer her classes as traveling workshops.

Note: A media kit offers the end user a thorough and professional overview of your business’ brand and expertise.


The MOVE model is going strong. Since working with Playbook, Ashley has been able to add in 6 additional classes allowing for more exposure and revenue. Her Facebook page has grown from 0 followers to over 600 fans in less than 6 months with triple the reach through interactive and informative posts. Her newsletter continues to link Ashley in a positive way to her clients and future clients. Ashley and her brand, MOVE, have gotten local and national exposure through Playbook Public Relations’ media contacts and press releases. She was published in the national yoga magazine, Origin, with a full page layout in the March 2014 issue. And for her charity efforts to bring yoga to underprivileged schools, Ashley was recognized by Fox13 news. Her articles on stress and eating right were published in online resources, exposing her brand to a completely new demographic. We feel the potential for growth will continue if the MOVE brand stays solid and focused.

Components of Great Website Design


Components of Great Website Design

Anyone over the age of 30 can remember picking up a big yellow telephone book and leafing through the pages to find a business. In fact, the Yellow Pages were the only way many businesses advertised at all. The phonebook had an amazing 100-year run, but now it’s over. The fact of the matter is that in 2014, we laugh at the prospect of picking up a phone book to find what we need. Today, the majority of people seek out new products and services through the Internet, and more than 65% do so on mobile devices. Every age demographic is online and using Bing, Yahoo or Google to find what they need. It’s important for a business’ website to be attention grabbing, easy to maneuver, and visually memorable. Website design is an art. Designers create the web art to attract people and ensure their brand is remembered. When it comes to website design, here are a few things to remember:

 Aesthetic Design

People look at the design first. Colors are important when it comes to the design. Specific colors give off different ‘vibes’ to consumers. For example, brighter colors tend to give potential consumers a feeling of excitement while darker colors have a relaxing effect. Designers chose color schemes depending on how they want their potential consumers to respond.

 Attention to Detail

High contrasts between the background and page color will draw the consumer and make the text more readable. The colors a consumer sees first affect the emotions they feel and where their attention should be. Paying attention to even the smallest details on your website could make or break your consumers’ online experience.

 Content is King

Content is obviously incredibly important when people dive beyond the visuals of the website. It needs to be tight and to the point. People have no patience for long-winded paragraphs. The website should highlight the most important messages to assist the needs of your consumer. Think, if you were them, what would you want to know? Also, using search engine optimization techniques (SEO) helps ensure your content is reaching the greatest number people that are interested in your product or service. Everybody is on the go so make sure your site is reaching these people in a beautiful and effective way.

Mobile Marketing to a Social World

Mobile Marketing to a Social World

[quote align=”center” color=”#999999″]“Social media sparks a revelation that we, the people, have a voice, and through the democratization of content and ideas we can once again unite around common passions, inspire movements, and ignite change.” -Brian Solis[/quote]

social media

Mobile Marketing & Social Media

2013 was a turning point for mobile marketing. Instead of setting up laptops and surfing the net at home or at their local coffee shops, people just took their phone out of their pocket. In fact, information is now literally at your fingertips. In 2013, mobile device searches and Internet usage surpassed traditional computer and laptop usage. And this trend shows no sign of stopping. Americans of all ages are on the go and love filling their lunch breaks, and other spare moments with access to information. In fact, my 84-year old mother ditched her laptop in 2013 for the convenient and easy to use iPad.

Successful marketing comes down to how quickly marketers can engage their target audience about their company’s brand, service or product. In our 24/7-connected world, it a safe bet that your target audience is on some sort of a mobile device (smartphone, iPad, etc.), so social media is both an effective and an essential way to grow your company’s brand.

A great example of perfectly timed, relevant marketing was Oreo’s marketing strategy during last year’s Super Bowl. During the 35 minute blackout, Oreo engaged the large number of people using Twitter and Facebook with thousands of retweets and likes pertaining to the game. They also posted a clever and timely photo captioned, “You can still dunk in the dark.” Short and sweet, the photo and caption created attention by going viral in a matter of minutes.

So how did the marketing team at Oreo do it? They were prepared for the big event with a social media team of 15 people that were ready to respond to whatever was happening during the Super Bowl in real time. This kind of foresight and planning is how you can use the social media platforms to make a lasting impact long after your campaign has ended.

The landscape of marketing has changed with:

1. The Growth of Twitter

Not only is it a helpful tool to promote a company’s brand, but Twitter also persuades consumers to interact, giving marketers an incredible word of mouth platform. With Twitter’s smaller character count, people on the go get their information quickly and straight to the point. Twitter is the champion of hashtags, which gets the internet talking about brands with people from all over the world.

2. Facebook Goes Visual

There are millions of Facebook users that don’t visit the social media site from a computer. Instead, people are accessing Facebook from their mobile device are. These people are not taking the time to read a lengthy post. They are on the go and are most reached through visuals. Also, Facebook mobile generates 30% of the total Facebook revenue from their ads.

Social media is not just for teenaged audiences anymore, it reaches all demographics. It’s continuing to grow, so businesses should put time and effort into their social media. It could be looked back upon as the greatest movement in the realm of business marketing.

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