Strategic Marketing

Strategic Marketing for Educational Institutions

Recently, Playbook Public Relations, LLC’s (PBPR) client the Center for Neurosomatic Studies (CSN), an educational institute that provides an 18-month curriculum in Neurosomatic Therapy (NST) asked us to create a strategic marketing plan (aka a playbook) to ensure a successful launch of their inaugural class.

CNS needed a marketing and public relations (PR) strategy to attract qualified students for the fall semester 2012.  CNS has a unique value proposition.  While their patients testimonials are inspirational and newsworthy, unless you have gone to the St. John-Clark Pain Treatment Center for treatments then you have probably never heard of Neurosomatic Therapy.

Neurosomatic Therapy (NST) is no ordinary massage. Physicians, patients, and therapists agree that Neurosomatic Therapy (NST) succeeds where traditional forms of therapeutic pain management fail.  NST treats pain through manual therapy, not by prescribing pills. There has been an increasing demand for training in areas of manual therapy that require an advanced knowledge of human physiology and kinesiology in order to address specific imbalances often presenting as chronic pain. In response to this increasing demand and due to the lack of qualified therapists to treat patients, Randall Clark and Kevin Wade established the Center for Neurosomatic Studies (CNS).

Playbook Public Relations, LLC’s challenge:  To market an educational institution that that teaches a skill that the general population has no knowledge of.    Give our love of competition, we embraced the endeavor, rolled up our sleeves and got to work.  Task one, reinvent the marketing message, Randy and Kevin’s technical knowledge is mind blowing.  We had to chisel down their knowledge to four main bullets points.  We had to tailor the message to attract qualified students.  Task two; carry the message and the brand to the Tampa Bay community.  While CNS and Playbook Public Relations envision eventually attracting students from all over the country, there is tremendous talent in the Tampa Bay area and we want to capitalize on the local talent pool.  We arranged for Randy and Kevin to appear on CSB’s Studio 10 morning show.  Click here to watch the video: www.youtube.com/CNStudies.com.  This segment gave Randy and Kevin seven minutes to educate and brand CNS.  Task three; create a social media strategy for CNS.  Social media is a complete waste of time for businesses unless there is a strategy.  We revamped their Facebook page, created a Twitter account, a Pintrest account, a Google + and YouTube account.  Task four, grass root efforts.  Roxanne and I hit the pavement and targeted yoga studios throughout the bay area to attract potential students.   We held information sessions at the school and packed the classroom.  We called Rotary Clubs to schedule Randy and Kevin as guest speakers.  The result?  From zero applicants a month ago to an inaugural class for CNS will starting on Monday September 10th.

Good luck to all the students at CNS.  We admire the courage and dedication that change requires.  I know from first hand experience that Neurosomatic Therapists help patients live pain free lives.

At Playbook Public Relations, LLC we only win when our clients are successful.  We are here to serve our clients needs and provide solutions to their problems.  We are honored to earn the trust of our clients.  Call Playbook Public Relations, LLC and allow us to create a custom “Playbook” for your business.

Corporate Social Responsibility

Corporate Social Responsibility Means Good Business

alpnrock_logo_highres-e1367522531592[1]Playbook Public Relations client, Alp-n-Rock (ANR), a unique luxury clothing company, founded its business with a cornerstone of corporate social responsibility. Their idea was to give a percentage of the company’s profits to the non-profit organization Room to Read. ANR’s founder, Suzanne Reich, is passionate about educating girls on a global scale, as she understands educated women help break the poverty cycle in one generation, so she started the clothing line as a way to give back. What a powerful message this sends to the consumer!

“You can actually make a lot of money and do a lot of good in the world,” says Peter Henry, Dean of NYU’s Stern School of Business. According to Dr. Henry, students who are enrolling in the prestigious business school are not just looking to be financially successful; they also want to impact the world in a positive way. As our economies become more global and we seethe interconnectedness of our world, this line of thinking is moving to the forefront.

Let’s take a look at Tom’s Shoes, another company benefiting from corporate social responsibility at its cornerstone. For every pair of shoes purchased, a pair is donated. The consumer naturally wants to support this mission. It feels good to them to be able to reach out and help in a way they may not be able to do on their own. And it also generates a lot of revenue for Tom’s. Would this company be as successful if they didn’t have such a strong corporate ethic to make a difference? Probably not.

The way consumers shop has evolved dramatically over the past decade. No longer do you have just one hardware store in town or only one strip of local shops to get goods from. Consumers have thousands of options. Adding corporate social responsibility to your business plan may be just what your business needs to get your employees and consumers excited about the products or services you offer.

For a growing number of consumers, big corporations are seen as villainous. Public and media awareness is laser focused on issues like:  corporate greed, off-shore out-sourcing, and golden parachutes for corporate executives. Now when a business violates safe environmental and work-site policies, it is front page news.

Recently, Walmart was in the news for leaving their mulch in the parking lot too long causing the possibility of pesticides moving into a local water source, the Catawba River in North Carolina. A lawyer for Walmart said, “Annually, our stores give back millions of dollars within their local communities specifically for environmental issues.” And is correct.

Walmart has been the target of bad press (well-deserved) for years, but now the company is taking a leadership role in sustainable initiatives corporate social responsibility. Walmart demands that all of their vendors comply to EPA regulations, regardless of locality. This means that the vendor who supplies red folder you buy for your children’s school supplies, has to ensure every piece of their supply chain is practicing sustainable business practices, i.e. no toxic red dye and human rights violations from off-shore suppliers. Walmart is also committed to reducing packaging and waste to landfills by over 5% by the year 2013. Walmart’s initiative to reduce waste associated with packaging is unprecedented. They also have led the way utilizing innovative energy saving initiatives such as using renewable resources and LED lighting. Walmart knows helping our planet also helps their bottom line. It also keeps the customers coming in.

If you had a choice, shop at Superman’s store or Lex Luther’s, what would it be? Take it even deeper: who would you rather have a conversation with? Because that’s what marketing essentially is – a conversation.

Business owners need to consider implementing a “corporate social responsibility” into their business models. Being authentic is essential, pick a cause that you and your employees feel strongly about. Small to medium sized companies like ANR to giant corporations like Target can rally behind the same cause.  Both companies feel strongly about supporting education. Let’s emphasize those key words, “FEEL STRONGLY.” Authenticity is imperative otherwise your consumers will feel, and the positive impact will be lost.

Social media sites, like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn provide an outlet for your business to engage in conversation with your customers in a way that was not possible before. It is a great and free venue for sharing your companies green initiatives and corporate social responsibility policies.  Start sharing all the ways your company positively contributes to your employees and the communities it serves. Start marketing that good feeling and inspire others to do the same. The days of a rather hip slogan are passé.

Content Marketing Firm

CONTENT Marketing – Content is King of the Cage

Friday, June 1st Fight Night Productions will put on a show at Tampa’s A La Carte Pavilion to showcase some of the Bay Area’s hottest prospects in boxing.  I grew up in the Tyson/Holyfield ear… I mean “era.”  And so I’ve always been into the sport.  But my love for boxing has been replaced by my fascination with the UFC.  And I’m not alone.  Though I wince just seeing someone get their finger pricked for a blood test and feel it in my own kidney watching a fighter get a heel kick to theirs (which, by the way, is now illegal under UFC rules), I find myself enthralled with this gut-wrenchingly violent sport and not enthralled in a watching a train-wreck sort of way.  My first (and only) live UFC event was in Vegas–Rashad Evans’ take down of Forrest Griffin in ‘08.  The pageantry and drama of the whole night is what wooed me.  But many fervent UFC fans have never even seen a live event.  When you think about that fact and you think about what the ultimate fighters have been up against―political opposition and state licensing issues―, it’s an amazing feat.  The main reason that mixed martial arts has become one of the fastest growing sports organizations on the planet has much to do with marketing, specifically content marketing.  For those who are less familiar with the term, content marketing involves the creation and distribution of relevant and valuable content to a specific target audience.

 

The UFC masters content marketing with a holistic attack.  “The Ultimate Fighter” reality show on Spike TV does wonders for the sport, allowing fans a transparent view of what it takes to make it as a fighter, and the show endears fans to up-and-comers.  Charismatic UFC President Dana White’s video blogs on the UFC’s web channel, which has over 370,000 subscribers, serve to fuel fans’ interest for upcoming events.  The UFC uses long-form content for the pre-fight programming―documentaries about the fighters that delve into their family backgrounds and what drives them to seek fighting championships.  And as far as social media content goes… Well, while most sports leagues are telling their athletes when not to Tweet, White gives his fighters incentives to use Twitter and labels Twitter as “the greatest marketing tool in the history of the world.”  What do we tell our clients about posting and tweeting?  Be inimitable.  Be provocative.  Be unforgettable.  Be authentic.  Yes, White is all of the above.  In fact, he’s authentically authentic.

 

As a business owner, you may say, “I don’t have the budget to create a reality television show.”  Maybe not, but believe it or not, many of the marketing content strategies used by the UFC can be employed without a TKO to your marketing budget.

Playbook’s Top 5 Social Media Tips

Playbook’s Top 5 Social Media Tips

social media

We are Social Media Experts

If you are a business owner, you probably struggle with the same dilemma as every other business owner: the amount of hours in the day. We certainly cannot manufacture a few extra hours into the day to accomplish more tasks, and we cannot ask our staff to work round the clock. So, the best business owners figure out how to be most efficient with their time.

Have you ever sat down to check your Facebook and then found yourself still scrolling the newsfeed an hour later? Social media can be a huge time waster, but social media is PR. It is a relatively cheap vehicle to relay and your company’s image and brand message to your target audience. There is no guarantee on this translates into immediate sales, but it effects how people feel about you and your brand. For this reason, many companies have opted for services that automate the social media portion of their marketing plan.

While the automated approach seems great and frees up manpower, it may not be wise. NPR recently tested the effectiveness of having a live person working their social media in real time versus their automated approach. They were shocked by the results. During the five days of manual updating, traffic to the NPR website increased by 45%. Twitter links tweeted by @nprnews were clicked on nearly 100,000 more times than links shared automatically in the previous week. Sounds like a compelling reason to lose the robot.

Here are Playbook’s “Top 5 Social Media Tips.” We hope they help bring NPR type results to your social media engagement.

1. Outsource

The #1 reason for outsourcing to a call center is that businesses do not have time to devote to the task of making and fielding calls. This approach makes sense in social media too. Marketing companies have account managers that are dedicated to servicing their client’s social media needs. They typically use a combination of a live person during office hours and then some degree of automation.

2. Give your posts a personal voice.

Your brand has a voice. Speak in that voice and make sure that your social media sounds like there is a real person that cares about them and the world posting.

3. Separate business and personal pages/ posts.

While people want corporate posts to be quirky and fun, they shouldn’t know everything about you. The smaller the business is; the easier this line is blurred. If you like to “party like a rockstar,” only a handful of potential clients will relate. The rest will be turned off and not want to do business with “Mr. Party Animal.” You also don’t want controversial posts on your company’s social media sites. It is usually better to save the controversial topics for your personal outlets.

4. Respond to all posts.

Social Media can cause PR nightmares, so it is important to respond to your audience’s posts and comments quickly. In order to so this, your business needs a point person who can respond in a pleasant and appealing manner. Put a crisis management protocol in place, so all “hot” topics are sent off to management or customer service department for further action.

5. Automate some of the social media experience.

While there is value to having a dedicated social media team, it may not be realistic. So, you will need to figure out how to automate a portion of the social media time while still allowing for personal connection. Hootsuite is a wonderful tool to help with automation.

What is the bottom line? You need to get personal and friendly when it comes to social media without stepping into the twilight zone of losing time. If you plan out your approach, get some help from marketing experts, you should be poised to navigate social media with maximum effectiveness.

PR & SEO – A Happy Marriage

PR & SEO – A Happy Marriage

clip art

PR & SEO – A Happy Marriage

First and foremost, PR has changed. Many business owners have a misconception that Public Relations (PR) is only a strategy for large companies, who can afford to spend big money to manage their brand. However, in reality, almost every kind of business needs a PR strategy. Today most of us do online research before we make a purchase. Search engines have leveled the playing field for small and medium size businesses to compete with large companies on a local level. Suddenly small businesses are visible on search engines and engaging with large audiences via their social media sites. The way your brand is represented on-line is modern day PR.

Effective PR strategies have these three components:

1) Brand Alliance – Your online presence represents your business in a way that matches your company’s mission and values.

2) Happy Customer Social Engagement: People are satisfied with their experience with your company and are sharing that message. Are you actively monitoring your social media sites to see how your customers really feel about your brand? This is called Online Reputation Management (ORM).

3) And perhaps most importantly, a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy. Can consumers find you when they search online? If they can’t find you, they WILL find your competition! According to a poll by MarketShareHitsLink.com, over 61% of people use the Internet to research products before their purchase, and 75% of them won’t scroll past the first page of search results.1

So how does a PR campaign help your SEO efforts? Here are 4 reasons PR & SEO have a happy marriage:

1) Press Releases – Share your press release with a wire service and on your social media sites. This kind of sharing will increase traffic to your website and boost your site’s search engine ranking.

2) Blogging and Guest Blogging – Blogs are important because they allow you to share your expertise and become a trusted source of information and because they will help your SEO efforts. It is important to write a keyword-targeted blog on a frequent basis. If you are not a good writer, hire a company like Playbook who can take your ideas and formulate them in a meaningful way. We will also help you develop relationships with other bloggers and key social influencers, which give you the ability to share and expand voice.

3) Social Media Content – An effective social media strategy that produces quality content will help your SEO efforts.

4) Add a Press Section to Your Website – Keep a section on your site that you keep updating with all your press links, and everywhere you have been featured. These links will increase your SEO efforts. Google alert will help you keep track of all your press.

With over 131 billion searches per month on the web2, it is vital you get your company seen on-line. PR & SEO are cost-effective, long-term strategy to increase your visibility online and in the marketplace.

1 Interconnected World: Shopping and Personal Finance, 2012
2 Comscore, January 2010

Clients in the News

Clients in the News

WFLA News Channel 8

daytime rasa-lila-fest When Rasa-Lila Fest needed help marketing their event, we knew a comprehensive PR strategy would be vital to getting this local yoga and wellness festival noticed. By reaching out to our extensive list of media outlets, we were able to get festival founder, Nathan Bangs, featured in print, radio and TV. We combined this media coverage with a targeted email campaign, and our in-house graphic designer created a map and schedule of events for the festival attendees. nathan bangs

 

 

THE RESULT: The Rasa-Lila Fest  has already outsold last year’s ticket numbers, so now Nathan can focus on making the festival a great experience for attendees.

Find out more about Rasa-Lila Fest!

WFLA News Channel 8

Digital Marketing Firm

Playbook Public Relations, LLC – The Premier Digital Marketing Firm

It’s been a wild ride this week for Facebook (FB).   The company’s IPO had Wall Street and investors buzzing.  On May 15th (two days before the before IPO) General Motors (GM) the largest auto manufacturer in the world, announced that it would no longer spend advertising dollars on Facebook’s paid advertising.  The reason?  GM’s marketing department believes that Facebook advertising does not work.   Last year GM’s marketing team spent $10 million dollars on Facebook’s paid advertising.  Was this an ominous foreboding for Facebook?  Since the initial IPO on May 18th FB shares have plummeted by 19%.

However, it should be noted that marketing industry insiders question the timing of GM’s announcement.  Apparently, a few months ago Facebook representatives criticized GM’s marketing department for allowing multiple marketing firms to manage their Facebook advertising.   This suggests that GM’s marketing department intentionally withheld its decision to announce its departure from Facebook’s paid advertising.

GM still believes in digital advertising, and it will remain a part of GM’s overall marketing strategy.  In fact, GM’s marketing department spent $300 million on digital advertising in 2011.  GM will continue to promote its brands on the company’s various Facebook Fan pages.  The $10 million spent on Facebook paid ads is a drop in the bucket for GM but a blow to the effectiveness of Facebook’s paid advertising reputation.

Facebook’s paid ads appear on the right side of the page.  Every time a user navigates to a new page different two things can happen:  one, different ads appear or two, the same ads follows the end user.  Facebook ads are targeted based on the demographic information provided by user’s profile.

Team Playbook combines decades of advertising experience  with the latest trends in new media marketing and digital solutions. See why our people make the difference.

We look forward to creating a Playbook for your business!

 



Tampa Bay Based DDA Development Closes on Land in Downtown St. Petersburg

Fashionable, Urban Luxury Lifestyle Becomes a Reality at The Salvador

St. Petersburg, FL, January 20, 2015DDA Development closed on an acre of land in the heart of Downtown St. Petersburg today. The closing is the next step in the development of The Salvador, a Green-Certified 13-story luxury building located within the City’s Arts and Innovation District. Mesh Architecture, a local architectural firm and a St. Petersburg Pier design finalist, is collaborating with DDA Development on this project. The Salvador will complement the development activity already taking place within the Arts and Innovation District, near USF St Pete, the Mahaffey and the Dali, and will transform the block into a gorgeous, convenient, hip and energy efficient place to live.

“We were attracted to the neighborhood feel of this location. Residents are within walking distance to Publix, the hospitals, USFSP, the Dalí and Mahaffey Theater, and are just a few blocks from great restaurants like Z-Grille and Red Mesa Cantina. We are excited about everything happening in downtown St. Pete and are happy to be a part of making it a better place to live,” says Bowen Arnold, of DDA Development.

North Exterior Rendering with Home Views of Downtown St. Petersburg’s Skyline & The Pier

North Exterior Rendering with Home Views of Downtown St. Petersburg’s Skyline & The Pier

Downtown St. Petersburg continues to gain national media attention for its urban renaissance, spurred by its vibrant cultural center, culinary hotspots, and urban growth. Recently, The Huffington Post named St. Petersburg in their Top 5 Up-and-Coming U.S. Tourism Cities, saying, With a celebrated museum devoted to Salvador Dalí and a revamped downtown that’s home to multiple craft breweries, the former retiree community of St Petersburg is boasting a younger energy that’s giving the Florida city a totally new vibe.”

Floor Plan B with Exterior Views on the North, East & West Sides & an Expansive Great Room

Floor Plan B with Exterior Views on the North, East & West Sides & an Expansive Great Room

About The Salvador

The Salvador provides a fashionable, urban luxury lifestyle with prices starting as low as $335,000 and ranging up to $1,400,000. One and two-bedroom condos range from 964 square feet to 1,810 square feet, and the pair of three-bedroom penthouses with approximately 2,500 square feet. All homes will come with Bosch stainless steel appliances; wine coolers, gas cooktops, European-style cabinets and wide plank engineered wood flooring. Luxury features of the building include an 11,000-square-foot amenity deck on the third floor, with a spa, heated saltwater pool, and a fire pit, along with a fitness center/yoga room. A two-story lobby offers a full-time concierge with a large seating and greeting area.

Smith & Associates Real Estate, the exclusive listing agency for The Salvador, with over 30% of homes sold to date. Site preparation and demolition will take place in the upcoming weeks followed by a groundbreaking ceremony scheduled for March.

About DDA Development:

DDA Development is a full-service development company with capabilities in investment, finance, asset management and construction. Based in Tampa, the firm focuses its efforts on developing residential buildings, primarily within the metropolitan Tampa Bay region.

For More Information:

The Salvador

http://www.thesalvador.com/

DDA Development

http://ddadevelopment.com/contact/

Smith & Associates

http://www.smithandassociates.com/about/

Mesh Architecture

http://www.mesh.ws/

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:

Overview

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.

Outcome

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.

Contact Us Today & Start Your Campaign