When your plan hits a snag: Overcoming campaign challenges

Client News, Pivot Insights Apr 16, 2014 No Comments

Heads Up: Mind the CrosswalkWhile great work requires strategy, planning and execution, even the best plans can be derailed by unforeseen circumstances. We recently had a little “challenge” with a middle school assembly, part of our ongoing campaign work for the City of Boulder’s Heads Up: Mind the Crosswalk safety education program.

The Heads Up: Mind the Crosswalk campaign kicked off in 2012 with school outreach and activities for all ages. It included posters, parent education, media outreach, outdoor stencils, prizes and incentives with reminder messages and mascot appearances. During the first year and a half, Pivot coordinated a traveling crosswalk safety assembly designed for elementary kids. Roll ahead to the 2013 -14 school year and we turned our efforts to an older, tougher crowd – middle schoolers.

Designing a crosswalk safety assembly for middle schoolers was a little intimidating. These kids are entering the age of raging hormones and gargantuan peer pressure. Luckily, we live in a great place for talented partners.

We called on some creative minds and established a strong team to get the job done. Paige and Jeff of Rocky Mountain Music (long-time school educators who use performance and music to teach kids environmental education); Julie Ireland, local artist and BVSD school transportation coordinator; and input from several local thespians and theater types helped us to prepare an assembly that tells the true story of a young man who was hit in a Boulder crosswalk and lived to talk about it.

Told from the perspective of this 15-year-old Boulder High graduate, the story taught the kids how something so routine as getting to school can bring the unexpected – like getting hit in the crosswalk if you don’t pay attention – and it can happen to anyone. The assembly also presented the accident from the perspective of a witness to the hit and run and how devastating that experience can be. Bookended by silly stage antics with the 9’11″ blue mascot, CW, the story engaged the middle school audience.

The snag came the day before our first performance when our lead actor called in sick as a dog. Long story short, knowing the right people and having an acting troupe willing to do what it takes to keep the show alive helped us successfully overcome this challenge. We were able to get a stand-in who did a great job with the assistance of a few handheld cue cards. Our director, local starlet herself, Kitty Kaler, was the rock of confidence saying, “We’ll figure this out . . .  the show must go on.” And it did.

The greatest reward for me as project planner and coordinator came as the seventh and eighth grade kids walked into the auditorium for the show. Our giant mascot and fellow actor, Mr. Corny, was goofing off on stage as a warm up before the show. The kids pulled out their phones to capture and post it who knows where. That’s success in my book.

Understanding Facebook ads, Part II

How-To, Pivot Insights Apr 09, 2014 No Comments

Guest post by Chelsea Barrett, Social Media Assistant

It can be difficult to understand the complex factors that make up Facebook ads. In my last post, I went over the different kind of Facebook ads and how to choose the ad best suited to your goals. In this post, I’ll discuss tips for managing your Facebook budget and what it means to bid for likes, clicks or impressions.

Managing your Facebook ad budget

There are several factors within your control that influence how much you will spend on your ad placement.

Campaign and Budget

By setting a budget and schedule, you can limit the amount of money that Facebook can use for ad placement so that you do not exceed your budget.

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Understanding Facebook ads, Part I

How-To, Pivot Insights Apr 02, 2014 No Comments

Guest post by Chelsea Barrett, Social Media Assistant

Even when you understand the basics of setting up an ad for Facebook, it can still be difficult to fully grasp the complex combination of factors (bids, marketplace competition, target audience, performance history, etc.) that determine who sees your ad.

To help you better understand the process, I’ll walk you through the different kinds of Facebook ads and how to choose the ads best suited to your desired results and target audience.

What kind of ads best fit your business plan?

Page Post Engagement

These ads “boost” your posts so more people see them. By increasing your posts’ visibility, these ads should help increase its likes, comments, shares, video plays and photo views.

Who is it for?
“Page Post Engagement” ads work well for businesses that place a lot of emphasis on Facebook and engage with most consumers/audiences over social media.

If using this type of ad, it is important that you remain consistent and relevant with your posts so that your audience has content to engage with.

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Facebook throttles back organic reach for brand pages

Pivot Insights Mar 27, 2014 No Comments

Buzz surrounding Facebook’s organic reach peaked again this week as Valleywag writer Sam Biddle posted about Facebook’s plans to throttle back brand pages’ ability to reach people who have “liked” their pages.

What happened?

When Facebook first rolled out brand pages, companies and celebrities could post content to their pages that would be pushed out to the newsfeeds of all their followers. Organic reach – the measure of how many people see a page’s content via their own newsfeed or the actions of one of their friends – was free for the taking. If a company put up content, a significant percentage of their followers would see it.

As Facebook increasingly looked for ways to monetize their platform, selling ads to companies became the method of choice – monetizing brands’ access to the prime real estate of the newsfeed or the Facebook sidebar. The next method of choice is to take control of brands’ ability to reach their followers – in essence, selling fan impressions back to the brands.

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Advertising on the web: don’t sell, engage

Pivot Insights Mar 19, 2014 No Comments

Engagement marketingLet’s face it—standing out on the web is a formidable task. Not only are you competing against countless other businesses for your audience’s attention, you have to rethink traditional advertising approaches to satisfy an ever-evolving medium. If you want to be at all effective, you have to adapt.

The thing is, the internet has rendered old advertising methods futile. A “hard sell” for your products or services will just annoy consumers and turn them off to your brand. And because the internet gives consumers significant control over what they see, it’s easier than ever for them to hide your ads and forget you even exist.

So what can you do to stand out from the competition and captivate your audience?

Engage them.

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Bright colors will make a splash in 2014

Pivot Insights Mar 10, 2014 No Comments

As a graphic designer, I think about colors quite a bit more than the average citizen. I could talk shop on the complexity of color theory for hours on end. Although you may not share my enthusiasm for hues, you likely know that color has a huge influence on how we perceive an object. For example, warm colors are energizing and passionate, while cool colors make you feel relaxed and refreshed. Colors mean different things in different cultures but they always evoke a mood or feeling, and that’s what makes choosing a palette for your design so important.

Designers all over the world recently celebrated one of the best days of the year: the release of PANTONE’s color of the year. PANTONE sets the standard of color trends for everyone in the creative industry, or as they state on the website, they are “the world-renowned authority on color and provider of color systems and leading technology for the selection and accurate communication of color across a variety of industries.”

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When to use a one-page website design

Pivot Insights Mar 05, 2014 No Comments

One-page websitesRecently, I wrote about the growing popularity of one-page website design, which condenses all the information a website needs to a single page. Rather than jumping from page to page to find what you’re looking for, you only need to scroll down. But just what are these designs well-suited for?

One-page website design shines in many settings. Here are just a few prime situations where one-page designs excel:

Small businesses

Often, new or small businesses have bold style but limited content. Breaking this content across many web pages can make it feel insignificant and incomplete. One-page design solves this problem.

My Pizza Oven

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Getting the most out of your relationship with the media

How-To, Pivot Insights Feb 26, 2014 No Comments

Improve your relationship with the mediaA good working relationship between a public relations rep and a news reporter is often the difference between worthwhile coverage for your company and none at all.

And while what’s important to cover isn’t always agreed upon, any savvy PR rep knows the value of a harmonious relationship with the news media—particularly when the pool of reporters covering each story is often the same.

As a former reporter, I’ve been a part of some great (and not-so-great) working relationships with many PR reps. I’d like to offer the following tips if you’re looking to maintain an affable relationship with your local news media.

1. Don’t assume the worst.

I can’t count the numbers of times I asked what I thought was an innocuous question about a company, only to be approached with suspicion. Ask yourself this: Is the company you represent currently embroiled in a scandal? No? Then don’t play defense. Approaching every media inquiry with suspicion looks, well, suspicious. Reporters aren’t always looking for the most salacious angle they can find—in fact, most of the time, they are just trying to do their job professionally and accurately.

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Why one-page website design is in vogue

Pivot Insights Feb 19, 2014 No Comments

It’s been a few years since I have seen a practice sweep the web in the contagious way one-page website design has. Also known as pageless design, it condenses all the information a website needs into a single page – so rather than bouncing from page to page to find what you’re looking for, you only need to scroll down.

In the last three months, approximately 50 percent of new WordPress themes have been developed in the one-page format. Even prestigious design review websites, such as thebestdesigns.com, are bestowing accolades upon pageless designs.

If you’re new to the one-page party or skeptical of its use, here are some of the best reasons to consider a pageless design for your next website project:

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Cheat sheet: Are your customers even using social media?

Pivot Insights Feb 12, 2014 No Comments

What are your audiences' social media preferences? In case you missed it, the Pew Research Center came out with a report in December that lays out the social media preferences for online adults. While some statistics confirmed what we all know—that Facebook dominates—others were quite revealing.

For instance, did you know that statistically, if someone uses Twitter, they’re almost certainly on Instagram? Given this revelation, it makes sense to pick the platform best suited for your content and assume you’re reaching the same folks.

Or how about the fact that LinkedIn is the most-used social media platform behind Facebook? If you want to network, are looking for referrals for your clients, or want to show off your industry expertise, then it’s time to get connected.

To find out how you should concentrate your social media efforts given the audience you would like to reach, follow the scenarios below.

Note: I excluded the results for Facebook, which is used by 71% of online adults, because it is the first choice across all demographics. Meaning—you should already have a Facebook page.

If you’re marketing to women…
Reach them on Pinterest (33%) and Instagram (20%).

If you’re trying to reach males…
Get connected on LinkedIn (24%) and start tweeting on Twitter (17%).

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