GOING VIRAL: MAKING IT IN THE MASSES

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By: Taylor Lewis, Public Relations Coordinator

The Dove’s Real Beauty Sketches campaign, the “Straight Outta” meme, and how could we forget the black and blue vs. gold and white dress debate of 2015. Each one of these viral sensations captivated the masses of the social media realm, but you have to wonder why and how they gained so much popularity? Was it the content, the visuals, a lot of luck, or a combination of everything?

Having a social media campaign go viral is dream come true for a social media content creator, but there are rarely any prior indications of what will go viral and when. So, one could argue that there is really no way to predict that something will reach such a level of popularity. However, there are several elements that are not mutually exclusive and proven to increase the chances of your content going viral when use in the right ways.

Audience over everything.

Have you ever heard the saying “quality over quantity”? Well, when it comes to going viral, those words have never been truer. Just because you put amazing content in front of tons of people, doesn’t mean they will care or engage with it. You can get to know what your audience likes through gathering insights on their demographics, what content they like the most, or just asking them questions through an Instagram story. However you gather this information, It is important to know your audience and develop content that they will be drawn to, thus increasing the likelihood that they will interact with it enough to go viral. 

Let others do the work for you.

Going viral is definitely a blessing and a curse. It increases engagement, followers, website views, but it is also a lot of work on the social media manager’s part. When developing something to go viral, you should aim for your audience to do some of the work for you. Encouraging people to “share” or create user-generated content is a great way to ensure that your reaching a larger audience and people are engaging with your content. Influencers can be extremely influential as well. So, find some key influencers among your audience and encourage them to engage as well.

Timeliness is the name of the game. 

Although there is no perfect time for something to go viral, it helps to follow a few simple tips. 

-      Stay up to date on the latest events and trending topics. 

-      Know when your audience engages the most.

-      Use trending hashtags when possible.

Timeliness is all about knowing the perfect time to interact with your audience. Finding the right time will make a huge difference on the amount of momentum the content will acquire and propel it to go viral. 

Keep up the momentum.

Your content goes viral, great! But now what? It is vital that the social media manager continues to engage with their audience through reposts, liking comments, replying to comments, etc. Keeping up this interaction will keep your content “alive” in the social media world, which will only serve to further benefit your social media pages. 

Utilizing these tips will be extremely beneficial in the quest to go viral, but a little luck won’t hurt either. So, good luck!

 

WE'RE HIRING: PUBLIC RELATIONS ASSISTANT

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The Public Relations Assistant will be an integral part of our established public relations firm and will work closely with the account executives and managers in servicing multiple clients across both the traditional PR and digital PR realms. 

We are looking for an individual who is looking for more than just a job. The right hire is someone who gets their hands dirty, wants to learn all facets of a growing PR firm and enjoys the idea of a close work family. 

The successful candidate must demonstrate strong communication and organizational skills while displaying a positive, outgoing attitude. This position will actively support an assigned team to fulfill clients PR needs while simultaneously overseeing the daily internal tasks for the firm.

The ideal candidate is required to have strong writing, research and organization skills; a fine eye for detail; be willing to go above and beyond the call of duty in order to complete a project accurately and on time; and have the ability to manage multiple projects in a fast-paced environment. 

Responsibilities:

  • Manage and execute projects as designated by firm president

  • Support account executives and management to integrate goal-oriented PR campaigns

  • Research client products, services, brand, competition

  • Maintenance and creation of selected media lists and editorial calendars

  • Management of Cision database management

  • Assist with press distribution

  • Oversee intern program companywide, ensuring interns are scheduled and on track, as well as adhering to guidelines, deadline and client protocols

  • Monitor, track and manage secured client coverage

  • Assist with social media scheduling and posting

  • Assist with monitoring of client social media accounts

  • Posting and monitoring (as needed) on the weekend is required

  • Coordinate interactive/social content with client promotional and marketing materials

  • Assist in measurement and tracking of social media platforms effectiveness

  • On site participation and engagement for client events and community outreach

  • Manage office maintenance and general office needs

  • Maintain office environment, including keeping entire office ‘meeting ready’, maintain neat and clean appearanace of restrooms, kitchen, lounges, meeting room (in coordination with housekeeping staff)

  • Ordering office supplies and tracking inventory

Qualifications / Skills:

  • Bachelor’s degree preferably in communications, public relations, journalism, business administration or related required field 

  • Experience in social media platforms for business (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter) 

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

  • Self-motivated go-getter with positive attitude 

  • Should exhibit creativity and resourcefulness 

  • Self-confident and outgoing personality 

  • Must have strong communications skills (verbal and written) 

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

  • Exhibits strong attention to detail and organization 

  • Entrepreneurial attitude and ability to think outside of the box 

  • 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 to Krista@KCProjects.net and include “Public Relations Assistant” in the subject line. 

HOW TO GET MEDIA COVERAGE (WHEN YOU CANNOT HIRE A PR FIRM)

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By: Krista Conlin Robinson, President / Founder

Announcing a new business, sharing the news of a big idea and gaining exposure for a brand are all tasks public relations firms handle every day. As publicists, we know the importance of getting featured by the media. Shoot, highlighting clients is what we ‘sell’ every day. The benefits of media coverage in a high-profile news article or local outlets - print or online - can be a massive benefit for a brand. 

A few of the benefits in gaining media exposure include:

Brand visibility and reputation– Increasing range of visibility and positioning as a “thought leader” within one’s industry

Partner Interest– Attracting likeminded interested parties, vendors and investors for future collaboration potential

User Acquisition– Attracting more followers, customers and people to your services, website and social media accounts

Recruitment – Businesses depend on successful teams, and positive media exposure may help you attract talent to your business

If you don’t have the budget to hire a public relations firm, then use the following tactics to exposure for your business:

1.    Submit a press release. 

Press releases are still the fastest (and sometimes easiest) way to get the media’s attention. First, you must identify a newsworthy event or message pertaining to your brand. What makes what you are doing interesting? If you are a startup then talk about the launch; otherwise, address major milestones or a big event coming up for your company. In addition to gaining exposure, press releases can have a positive impact on your brand search results, thus helping with online reputation management.

2.    Reach out to specific journalists.

Target individual journalist that write on topics similar to your business. This relationship can be good for more in-depth pieces, features, and developing relationships for ongoing company announcements.

3.    Get involved locally.

Keep an eye out for local events that will attract the media and get your company involved. For example, volunteer in charity events, sponsor community events or sign up to speak at an industry event or convention. You could even host your own local events to generate even more focus for your brand.

4.    News-jack existing hot topics.

So what is “newsjacking”? This is when you take advantage of the popularity of a previously existing story for your own benefit. This type of move allows you to provide expert opinion pieces and to jump on the bandwagon of interesting and highly engaged topics.

5.    Stand out with a strong social media campaign

It is no surprise that many media publications and journalists look to social media as a source of inspiration, so if you can stand out online you’ll have a far higher likelihood of being featured in print. To make this happen, publish (strong and engaging) content regularly. Build a loyal following, position your brand as a leader and don’t ever forget the value of good images when posting. 

These five strategies are a good start to getting featured by the media. Remember to keep your brand visible and involved, and push interesting, engaging, newsworthy content. The time you put into building your exposure now is well worth the investment later. 

IHOP --> IHOB --> IHOP?

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Lessons communications professionals should take away from IHOP’s name change campaign.

By: Bethany Pappas, Summer 2018 Intern 

At the beginning of June, IHOP made a huge and surprising announcement: it was changing it’s name to ‘IHOb.’ The announcement resulted in an outpour of media attention and left thousands across social media and news outlets guessing what the “b” stood for. After nine long days of speculation, IHOb released a statement that the “b” stood for burgers, which are now part of the regular menu.

Opinions on a pancake house selling burgers aside, ‘IHOb’ certainly raised the awareness it needed to with this campaign. Let’s take a look at the important lessons all communications professionals should take away from the ‘IHOb’ campaign. 

1.     It’s import to promote your campaign across multiple media channels

IHOP first announced the name change campaign with some mysterious posts to it’s Facebook and Twitter profiles. In addition to the original announcements across it’s social media platforms, the company renamed it’s verified Twitter account @IHOb and purchased the domain name ihob.com. The company also released a commercial to encourage social media users to make their guesses before the new name was revealed.  Shortly after these media changes and announcements, multiple restaurant locations changed their signs from a “p” to a “b.” Although these were physical changes, customers were quick to snap photos and post them online which only fueled the social media uproar. 

2.     Engage your audience—give them a powerful voice

As part of it’s campaign strategy, IHOP’s social media team immediately started interacting with the thousands of confused individuals online. The team actually turned the campaign into a guessing game by posting multiple prompts asking social media users what they thought the “b” stood for. By letting it’s audience do most of the talking, IHOP transformed an announcement into a space of user creativity and therefore active engagement. With at least 30,000 replies in the first 24 hours of the announcement, you could say the interactive campaign strategy was a success. 

3.     Always have a backup plan

 Unknown to the average social media user, the name change is only temporary. The heading of IHOP’s initial press release reads, “IHOP® CHANGES NAME TO IHOb℠.” As you can see, the company uses “SM,” which is a service mark. The use of a service mark instead of a brand name itself ensures the change is not permanent. In addition, although the company did purchase the domain name ihob.com, IHOP.com remains the companies official website. These relatively unknown aspects of the campaign are incredibly smart on the company’s part because they ensure an escape route. 

Big risks can equal big rewards.

To celebrate the brand’s 60thbirthday, IHOP officially confirmed the name change is not permanent after all. In another genius marketing technique, IHOP uncoincidentally dropped this admission while simultaneously promoting it’s 60 cent short stack birthday promotion. In the tweet confirming the name change as a marketing stunt, the brand actually said “That’s right, IHOP! We’d never turn our back on pancakes (except for that time we faked it to promote our new burgers),” meaning all the fuss was over a marketing stunt, and a powerful one at that.

In addition to IHOP’s admission across twitter and other social media channels, Darren Rebelez, president of IHOP, confirmed the change was only temporary. The point of the campaign was to get people talking and draw attention to the company, and IHOP knew exactly how to do that. Rebelez also added, “But we want to convey that we are taking our burgers as seriously as our pancakes” and with a campaign as shocking as this one, I think we can all agree there is no doubt about that. 

 

 

 

NEW CLIENT FEATURE: BHM26.2

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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.

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NEW CLIENT FEATURE: NEQUETTE ARCHITECTURE & DESIGN

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ABOUT NEQUETTE ARCHITECTURE & DESIGN

Nequette Architecture & Design is authentic placemaking. The Birmingham-based team of award-winning architects and designers creates solutions that last from materials that endure.

By integrating planners and clients at every stage of a process that falls in line with the disciplines of Traditional Neighborhood Development and New Urbanism, Nequette’s work inspires others to live great lives, builds essential relationships, and exposes people to beauty.

Nequette’s company culture is rooted in a passion for design excellence, the pursuit of smart business practices, the process of giving each project a distinct identity and the desire to serve clients beyond their expectations.

“We are placemakers—creating environments where people can be wholly present and completely themselves” – Nequette Architecture & Design.

For more information on Nequette Architecture & Design, please visit Nequette.com

ABOUT LOUIS NEQUETTE

Louis Nequette leads the firm at Nequette Architecture & Design with over 20 years of experience. Nequette has a strong passion for community and designs to inspire others to live great lives. 

As president, he encourages a culture of collaborative attitudes with his team and the nourishment of all relationships from clients, coworkers, family and partners.

A graduate of Auburn University with a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture with a minor in Business, Louis has always had a strong interest in the mechanical and technical fields blended with artistic details.

Nequette has been honored with numerous national awards including but not limited to the AIA Awards, the Misner Design Awards and the Palladio Awards. 

Louis is a proud supporter of many local and industry organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, Magic City Harvest, New Urban Guild and Vistage.

NEW CLIENT FEATURE: FRANCIS BRYANT CONSTRUCTION

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About Francis Bryant Construction

Francis Bryant Construction crafts stunning custom designs by some of the most well-respected architects and interior designers in the world. The purpose-driven company has a meticulous eye for detail that continues to set standards and define excellence in the building and construction industry.

What began as a one-man operation in 1960 with a carpenter from Birmingham, Alabama framing houses with diligent detail has grown into a premium custom construction company with nearly 600 builds to its credit. Today, Francis Bryant Construction prides itself on timeless craftsmanship skills, the ability to recruit top artisans, and a passion for serving others.

Francis Bryant Construction dedicates itself to bringing its clients’ dream projects to life. No matter the location – from the heart of the city, to the suburbs, next to a lake, or on picturesque hunting preserves and farms – Francis Bryant can build the home you have always imagined.

For more information on Francis Bryant Construction, and to gain a full experience of our scope of work, please visit FrancisBryant.com