MEET THE INTERNS: SUMMER 2018

Can we get a Roll Tide?! Three talented, innovative and eager University of Alabama students joined the KC Projects team as interns in May. Help us welcome Victoria Morris, Elizabeth Summers, and Bethany Pappas. Keep reading to learn more about our KC Projects Summer Interns!

“A mind that is stretched by new experiences can never go back to its old dimensions.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

IMG_9913_preview.jpeg
 
IMG_9907_preview.jpeg
 
IMG_9911_preview-1.jpeg

Victoria Morris

Hometown: Spanish Fort, AL

What is your favorite social media channel? Pinterest; it’s a creative lifesaver with no drama

What are three things you can’t live without? Cell phone, chocolate, sports

Where do you see yourself in three years? Living in the South with a PR job

You may have to look twice if you see Victoria out and about. She’s been known to don a Princess Elsa costume for children’s birthday parties!

 

 

 

Elizabeth Summers

Hometown: Birmingham, AL

What is your favorite social media channel? Instagram; I love the Insta-story features

What are three things you can’t live without? Dogs, coffee, Eberjey pjs

Where do you see yourself in three years? Working in a PR firm

Elizabeth spends her free time walking dogs, being active with friends and going on coffee runs! This girl is always on the go!

 

 

 

Bethany Pappas

Hometown: Cullman, AL

What is your favorite social media channel? Twitter; it makes me laugh every day

What are three things you can’t live without? My sisters, candy, Netflix

Where do you see yourself in three years?Living in Birmingham or Nashville

When Bethany isn’t PRing at KC Projects, you may find her scrubbing floors — she’s a self-proclaimed clean freak!

 

THINK YOUR BUSINESS DOESN'T NEED SOCIAL MEDIA?

pexels-photo-327540.jpeg

By: Michael Tyner, Spring 2018 Intern

A good social media presence is not just helpful, it is essential for any business to find success when marketing themselves and their brand. If your business does not have a powerful social media presence it is not too late! You can build your brand by learning why using social media as a marketing tool is so important.  

1.    Social media isn’t going anywhere; showcase your brand

Social media platforms continue to expand and reposition themselves. If these platforms have proven anything over the years, it is that the internet is a place where evolving and changing with your audience is a necessity. This furthermore proves that the future impact of social media on your client base is only going to grow exponentially. The majority of individuals with active social media accounts get information concerning brands through said accounts. Many of those users are more likely to recommend an account to others if they experience good social media service. The time is now for you to take advantage of this growth and find your target audience using social media. Use this opportunity to showcase your brand, tell your story, and make yourself stand out from the rest of the world. 

2.    Creating engaging content expands your audience

Creating content that is engaging and interesting pertaining to your brand gives individuals a reason to build a connection with your business. This is the first major step to forming that key following that your brand has been missing. In order to find this audience, your content should focus on the user. Make an effort to find out what they find interesting and engaging. Social media gives you the opportunity to create content that is accurate and provoking while still being actionable. This also gives you the opportunity to network. This means that you have the ability to exchange ideas with like-minded individuals who can help improve the way that you do business. Always remember that your target is constantly changing, that is why it is so important to begin building content today.

3.    You can interact with your audience

It is always great to receive compliments from your customers and clients. Some would argue that is is even better to receive criticism from them. The most beneficial part of having a strong social media following is that you are able to listen to your audience. The ability to hear your audience’s opinion can be favorable, constructive, and agonizing. Whether the are good or bad, these opinions benefit you and your business by saving time. You now know what works, what doesn’t work, what your customer likes and dislikes. This is one of the many assets that your business gains by building a social media presence. 

4.    Social media generates and saves you money

The most obvious opportunity that comes with creating a social media presence is generating revenue. You now have the ability to market and advertise your services or products through your specific platforms. Larger businesses typically use a direct sales approach using social media. This means that they advertise a specific product or service to their audience and then direct them to where they can purchase it. Smaller businesses typical use indirect advertising and marketing promotions. This means that instead of advertising for a specific product to their customers, these smaller businesses give their audience another reason to look at the products and services that they provide. Almost as if you are pushing them towards your entire business rather than giving them one specific product or service. While there are many more approaches to advertising and marketing, these two are the most evident as it applies to social media. Both have the potential to raise sales and revenue exponentially without having to spend money purchasing social media ad space. 

5.    Success is visible

Implementing social media to your business plan is not only easy, but it is necessary. The majority of businesses say that social media positively influences revenue, sales, and brand awareness. Users believe that seeing a business or organization through a social media platform builds a sense of trust and credibility which eventually leads to brand loyalty. A strong social media presence displays that your business or organization is strong, current, and active. This is necessary when attempting to build your brand and expand your business beyond your basic target audience. It is not an easy feat to achieve, but having a strong social media presence across numerous platforms makes it much more accessible to create and maintain a successful business and image. Whether you are attempting to increase revenue, locate your target audience or just expand your brand, having a social media account across numerous platforms is the first place to start. All social media accounts can be compared to a plant. When left unattended, it simply withers away and causes your business to slowly do the same. However; when it is constantly active and updated, you can watch your business grow and thrive before your own eyes. 

 

3 COMMON SOCIAL MEDIA MYTHS

pexels-photo-607812.jpeg

By: Kat Best, Spring 2018 Intern

Social media can be a powerful tool for reaching consumers; however, there are still a lot of misinformation about how businesses should use social media. There are 3 common misconceptions surrounding social media that you need to understand for a successful social media campaign:

Social media is strictly a one directional communication channel.

This couldn’t be farther from the truth. People tend to think of social media in a news conference sort of format, where you tell people about your company and that’s it. However, not only is social media a way for you to disseminate information to the public, but it’s also a way for them to talk back to you. Social media is about creating relationships with people and giving them a chance to connect with your brand. Good business social media pages keep their followers immersed and involved. It’s important that you understand who you’re trying to reach so that you can create content that would be engaging to your target audience. 

Social media will eliminate face-to-face networking.

Social media may be able to help you connect with people, however, face-to-face networking is still extremely valuable. People, whether they’re customers, vendors, etc., still need and want in-person interaction. Personability is key when forming business relationships. Social media is meant to complement your brand’s existing public relations and marketing strategies. 

Social media is only for young people.

People tend to underestimate the value and importance of social media for a brand and laugh it off as a something that only the younger generation does. While it is true that the younger generation tends to be more heavily involved with social media, you’d be surprised at the age range of social media users. It also pays off if you know where to look for your target demographic. For example, if you were trying to reach older clientele, you would have more success with Facebook than you would Instagram. The effectiveness of your digital campaigns will rely on you knowing who your target audience is and where to find them. 

WHY INTERN?

Music-Exec-Worst-Intern-Experience-Stock-Illo-2016-billboard-1548.jpg

By: Taylor Glow, Spring 2018 Intern

As a college student, I would often find myself wondering, “Does it really matter if I have an internship?” Not that I didn’t mind working or being a part of extracurricular activities, but the idea of finding an internship seemed like a daunting task. It’s kind of intimidating when you are surfing LinkedIn sifting through internships in your area, and you feel under-qualified for every single one of them. I had to make myself realize that the point of an internship is to help assist you to become qualified for the job you apply for after graduation and to gain experience in your field. Internships are an incredible tool for you to learn the ropes, make mistakes and be taught under qualified people who have been in your shoes.The foundation that has been set from my past couple of internships over the years has created a launching pad for my future careers. Here is some advice on how to get a great internship and be well prepared for your job after graduation.

Establish your name.

We are in PR for goodness sake! In a saturated market, we have to make ourselves stand out among the rest. You can start by making a cohesive brand for yourself by building a professional resume and portfolio. Be sure to become well versed in using LinkedIn and have a page that reflects what is said on your resume. On LinkedIn, you can start to network with locals in your area that can eventually help provide you with an internship or a job. Not only should you be active finding connections on LinkedIn, but also start meeting professionals in your area at local events or on your college campus. Get your name out there!

Sell yourself.

This can sometimes feel awkward. I get it… you don’t want to be “braggy”. Maybe don’t do this at a dinner party, because that’s when it becomes annoying, but in this scenario it is totally fine to sell yourself and showcase your skills and talents. Like I said before, the public relations world is a saturated market, so you have to be sure to stand out among the rest. When applying to an internship or a job, make sure to look over the job qualifications. If you are qualified for that position, then list specifically what you have been able to do that makes you a great candidate. What can YOU add specifically to that position and why does this company need YOU? Sell it. Own it.

Be open.

Of course, you want internships that have something to do with what you are interested in. It’s obvious that the point of an internship is to better prepare you for your future careers. However, I do think there is value in having well-rounded experiences. What I mean by this is that another important reason to have an internship is to gain experience. If you are able to have a couple of them throughout college, then make sure you aren’t doing the same thing every time. You are going to be much more marketable to an employer later down the road if you have been able to do several different types of jobs. Be open to new experiences because you never know what you could gain from them!

Hope that’s a little boost of encouragement. You might not enjoy every internship you end up having but that’s okay. That is why you do them, to figure out what you like and dislike. The experiences you can gain and the people you get to meet are all worth every second of your time. Okay, go apply now!

 

KC PROJECTS WELCOMES NEW TEAM MEMBER, LINDSEY MAYS

Screen Shot 2018-04-09 at 12.27.15 PM.png

LINDSEY MAYS, SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER

As Social Media Manager at KC Projects, Lindsey Mays expertly crafts unique content and social strategies to support client concepts, spark engagement and boost performance.  With over five years of experience, Lindsey is well-versed in the nuances of social media. She also has ample expertise in research, social engagement, social listening, contesting, campaign production, content creation and management optimizing the results and reach for clients. 

Lindsey is a Magic City native who graduated from The University of Alabama at Birmingham where she studied Communication Management. She received both her Bachelors of Arts in 2013 and Masters of Arts in 2017 from UAB. (Go Blazers!) Prior to joining the KC Projects team, Lindsey specialized in Social Media management at Southern Social.

In her ‘me time’, Lindsey enjoys spending time with her husband Jacob, watching the latest shows on Netflix and running. Described by some as a “crazy dog lady’ (and proud to wear that badge), Lindsey can often be found voluntering at the local humane society, updating her pup's Instagram page or just hanging out with her three fur babies, Sophie, Roc, and Boots!

KC PROJECTS WELCOMES NEW TEAM MEMBER, KASSIDY ABERNATHY

DSC01397.jpg

KASSIDY ABERNATHY, PR ASSISTANT

Kassidy Abernathy is the PR Assistant at KC Projects. Her duties include, but are certainly not limited to, strategically moving projects and campaigns from concept ideation to successful completion. In her role, she supports executives and managers across digital and traditional PR realms.

Kassidy’s knack for finding and sharing a great story stem from her background as a journalist. She has researched, written, and edited features and hard-hitting news stories for publications like Dateline Alabamaand The Tuscaloosa News.

Born and raised in a small town just outside of Birmingham, Kassidy earned her Bachelor of Science in Journalism from the University of Alabama. Prior to joining KC Projects, Kassidy worked in advertising. She mixes her knowledge of earned and paid media to create holistic plans to help clients reach their public relations, branding and overall strategic goals.

When she isn’t PRing, Kassidy loves to camp at the beach and dig into a good book. 

PERKS OF RELATIONSHIP BUILDING FOR YOUR BUSINESS

AC7A0875.jpg

BY: Liz Rodell, Public Relations / Communication Specialist

It feels like in today’s world, people are constantly bombarded with messages and advertisements throughout their day. According to research, the average person can see or hear up to 5,000 ads a day. Media outlets and advertisers continue to innovate and dive deeper in their tactics. For many businesses, it can seem daunting and overwhelming to get their message through as they build their brand.

When you build your strategic plan for your business, I encourage you to bring it back to basics and include relationship building. While there are many different approaches to do so, building a relationship with your target audience will benefit and further your business.

Word of mouth is your best advocate.

As we said previously, we are bombarded with messages constantly. Whether we are looking at a InstaStory or driving home from work, we see messages from brands but rarely absorb them. What do you remember? Your friend telling you about the moisturizer she recommends, or the laundry detergent your mom told you to use. The words that we hear from our trusted network of friends and family carry weight. Therefore, as you build relationships in your business and focus on connection, it will create a ripple effect through that individual’s community.

It builds a true connection, resulting in loyalty and a sense of enrollment.

When you build relationships with your target audience, it results in a true two-way connection. As these people learn about your brand, they feel like they are a part of it. They advocate for you amongst their friends, they show up to your events, and they feel like they are part of telling your story. If the day ever comes where your business makes a mistake, they are loyal to your brand and are able to see past an isolated incident.

It creates the space for communication.

Once the relationship is formed, it allows for valuable communication to take place. As you generate innovative ideas for your business, you now have a group of people to talk it through with. Some of the best results come from collaboration and listening to the customers’ needs. They also trust you and value your business enough to share their feedback with you. You will find them sharing ideas or opportunities that you may have otherwise never known about.

While these benefits of relationship building all sound great – how does one go about implementing this with their business?

  • Conduct a SWOT Analysis – What are the strengths and weaknesses of your business? Are there any external opportunities or threats?

  • Brainstorm unique ways to build relationships – This may look like hosting events, creating an influencer program or even shifting how you interact with your target audience to allow for a relationship to form.

  • Don’t take on more than you can handle – the goal of relationship building to create intentional relationships. It does not have to be an elaborate plan. Create a vision that you know will work with the other facets of your business.

While they take time to grow and flourish, the relationships that you build for your business will reap beneficial results. Seek to build genuine connections and create a community the supports your organization’s growth through feedback and enrollment. 

PROPERLY RESPOND TO NEGATIVE SOCIAL MEDIA COMMENTS

shutterstock_Facebook+options.jpg

By: Brailyn Hardy, PR + Digital Brand Manager

The number one reason businesses steer clear of social media is due to the fear of having someone speak negatively towards their brand. Jumping in and joining the social conversations gives businesses the opportunity to promote the positive words and neutralize the negative by following these three easy steps.

Step 1: Thank the user for the feedback. 

This part may be difficult, especially when someone is talking bad about your brand. Just remember that the rest of your audience is watching to see how you handle hard situations. At the end of the day the customer cared enough to let you know about a poor experience so thank them for taking their time to provide you with honest feedback.

Example: “We sincerely appreciate you taking the time to let us know about your poor experience with our brand.”

Step 2: Tell them what you are going to do.

After thanking the user, it is important to also publicly include how you plan on making the situation right when you respond. Let them know how important a positive experience from your brand is and that what they encountered is out of the norm. Do your best to do something to make it up to the customer or prevent the situation from occurring again.

Example: “We take great pride in our product or service and we are so sorry to have fallen short of your expectations. We would like to more details about your poor experience.”

Step 3: Deflect the conversation to another channel. 

The last thing you want to do is continue the conversation on your page. At the end of your response to the negative comment include your direct contact information so that you discuss the matter further. Be ready to hear from the disgruntled customer and try to remain as calm and rational as possible. It also helps to have a preapproved protocol in place from your client / brand such as providing a full refund for product purchased.  

Keep in mind online audiences like to feel like they are communicating with humans. A copy and paste message is likely to cause more harm than help to the situation. Big brands like Delta and Chipotle even allow their social media support teams to tag their names in the comments to make their apologies sound more sincere.

Example: “We sincerely appreciate you taking the time to let us know about your poor experience with our brand. We take great pride in our product or service and we are so sorry to have fallen short of your expectations. We would like to hear more details about your poor experience. Please contact us directly at Brailyn@kcprojects.net so we can learn more.

- Brailyn, Brand Support Team" 

NEW CLIENT FEATURE: BHM26.2

DSC_8205.jpg
race-logo.jpg

About BHM26.2 Benefitting Magic Moments & Children’s of Alabama

BHM26.2 is Birmingham’s newest race series benefitting Magic Moments and the Alabama Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s of Alabama on Sunday, April 15. Comprised of a full marathon, half marathon, team relay and fun run, BHM26.2 brings a new course to Birmingham, including a marathon course that for the first time has no repeats or loops.

Our specialized full marathon course kicks off at Railroad Park and showcases Birmingham’s impressive growth and diverse cityscape taking runners on a tour through the traditions the Magic City is known for: Children’s of Alabama, Vulcan Park and Museum, Avondale, Sloss Furnace, Uptown, Legion Field, Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, Alabama Theatre and then winds back into Railroad Park!

The half marathon will take place entirely downtown where runners can see Birmingham’s history and growth first hand as they run by the Lyric Theater, The Pizitz Building and Rotary Trail. Relay teams can run the full course divided into 4, 3, 7, 4, and 8 mile legs. The fun run is a one-mile tour of downtown Birmingham and is welcome to anyone however children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Everyone will come together as they finish at Railroad Park for the after party, featuring Jim ‘N Nick’s Bar-B-Q, live music and a kids’ zone.

The best part? All proceeds benefit Magic Moments, the only wish-granting organization devoted exclusively to children in Alabama with chronic life-threatening illnesses, and the Alabama Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s of Alabama.

Lace up your shoes and join us April 15 as we run for the children who are chasing a cure. To sign-up and view the course map, visit bhm262.com. #DoItForYourself #RunForTheKids

ABOUT MAGIC MOMENTS

Magic Moments is the only wish-granting organization dedicated exclusively to children in Alabama suffering with chronic life threatening diseases. Founded in 1984, Magic Moments has granted over 4,600 magic moments to children in all 67 counties of Alabama. Magic Moments establishes lasting relationships with the families they serve that don’t end once the magic moment has been fulfilled. Magic Moments goes Beyond the Moment with programs such as their annual Family Camp and regional programs for their children and families throughout the year. Magic Moments works to create a caring support network for its families by not only connecting them to the organization, but to each other. For more information, visitwww.magicmoments.org.

ABOUT CHILDREN’S OF ALABAMA

Since 1911, Children’s of Alabama has provided specialized medical care for ill and injured children, offering inpatient and outpatient services throughout central Alabama. Ranked among the best pediatric medical centers in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, Children’s provided care for youngsters from every county in Alabama, 46 other states and seven foreign countries last year, representing more than 676,000 outpatient visits and more than 15,000 inpatient admissions. With more than 2 million square feet, Children’s is the third largest pediatric medical facility in the U.S. More information is available at childrensal.org.

FullMarathon.png

WE'RE HIRING: SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER & GRAPHIC DESIGNER

Now Hiring-7.png

KC Projects PR is looking for a Social Media Manager & Graphic Designer to join its established public relations team and effectively manage social strategy across all key platforms for multiple clients. The successful candidate must be a dynamic, technically savvy, creative and analytical team player who truly loves social media and demonstrates strong foundational design skills with the ability to emulate brand and design standards. 

This position will be responsible for managing and driving engagement with all post content and social video views for maximum reach, relevance and effectiveness. This encompasses utilizing both live (Instagram stories, Facebook Live, Snapchat) and edited/pre-scheduled content (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, emailing marketing). 

In addition to defining best practices and maintaining weekly content calendars, this individual should also be looking at client-specific activations, partnerships, and content plans to drive buzz and viewership for content and posting priorities. 

 Responsibilities:

  • Plan and maintain social publishing calendars for multiple clients across all platforms 

  • Build and present strategic social media plans to account executives, management and clients 

  • Develop creative solutions and implementations that are on target with client objectives 

  • Design for a broad range of media including digital, social, and visual signage 

  • Collaborate with team to meet goals and adhere to timelines 

  • Communicate effectively, clearly presenting ideas and creative solutions to gain understanding and support 

  • Increase growth against monthly and quarterly targets to keep building client audience 

  • Develop content plans and original campaigns to increase growth for clients 

  • Develop story ideas for Facebook Live, Instagram Stories, email outreach 

  • Analyze and report monthly on performance for digital content 

  • Monitor and engage with social media audiences for clients brands 

  • Design visuals and graphics for post content and email marketing campaigns 

  • Seek out and embrace opportunities to contribute to concept projects and campaign development 

  • Demonstrate an eagerness to learn and share information   

Qualifications / Skills:

  • Must be fluent in all social media platforms, including but not limited to formats, post optimizations, specs, paid promotion opportunities, scheduling and best practices 

  • Strong copy skills and understand the importance of telling a brand’s story – sometimes in 140 characters or less 

  • Minimum 2 years of experience managing and strategizing social accounts for company/brand/business 

  • Strong graphic design experience 

  • Experience working with public relations 

  • Efficient in Adobe Creative Cloud (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign) 

  • Have experience with Constant Contact / Mailchimp 

  • Strong written skills; specifically client communication and strategic planning 

  • Comfortable working independently or in a collaborative, team environment 

  • Highly organized, detailed-oriented and communicative 

  • Ability to manage multiple projects in fast-paced, deadline-driven environment 

  • Self-motiviated go-getter with positive attitude 

  • Enjoys working with people 

  • Highly creative and resourceful 

  • Active team player with commitment to excellence and ensuring client satisfaction 

  • Exhibits strong attention to detail and organization 

  • Passion for knowledge of all things PR and understanding of social media execution 

  • Must be able to take personal accountability and perform well under pressure 

  • Eager to grow and succeed in public relations 

Think this is you? Send your resume along with a link to your portfolio which should include print, digital and social design examples to Krista@KCProjects.net and include “SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER” in the subject line.