Five Favorite M/C/C Moments From 2015

As I look back on the year 2015, five favorite M/C/C moments come to mind. Here they are.

DFW AMA Marketer of the Year Award
We were awarded the 2015 DFW AMA Marketer of the Year honor in the “New Product/Service Launch” category. Our client, ReTrak by Emerge Technologies, created headphones for children branded Animalz. Designed for little ears, the headphones feature volume-limiting technology, fun animal designs and a retractable cord that makes clean up a breeze and tantrums about tangled wires nearly obsolete.

The pressure was on for a new product without brand recognition in a crowded marketplace at the busiest time of the year. Not only did Animalz have little brand recognition, neither did its parent company, so major retailers were concerned about selling the headphones to consumers. In the fall of 2014, the company approached M/C/C about launching its new lovable, retractable headphones. M/C/C’s public relations and creative teams developed a comprehensive integrated blogger outreach and media relations program that would best target the main buyer of the headphones—moms.

M/C/C garnered coverage for Animalz that reached more than 210 million readers/visitors. We secured 79 blog posts, which generated 600,000+ impressions and engaged consumers through almost 7,000 trackable social actions. Media outlets such as The Boston Globe, Newsday and its sister TV station, News 12 Long Island, picked up the Animalz story. M/C/C’s outreach even influenced CNET to include the headphones in a stocking stuffers video segment. Additionally, nearly 30 percent of the blogs and a variety of top tier media sites including CBS News, The Huffington Post and Yahoo featured the product video created by M/C/C.

Overall, Animalz sales increased 1,755 percent with more than half of the sales coming through the three-month blogger and media relations campaign period.

CyrusOne Chooses M/C/C
Also in 2015, CyrusOne selected M/C/C for planning and management of the global data center company’s integrated media strategies and implementation. Scott Brueggeman, CMO of CyrusOne, commented that M/C/C was an easy decision because of our track record as well as our experience. He went on to say that M/C/C’s focus on measurable and actionable results gives his organization complete confidence in our ability to help CyrusOne deliver the next successful chapter in the company’s marketing and advertising efforts.

FB - San Antonio I Data Center

The results have been strong and have continued to grow since our relationship began in July, indicating 2016 should truly be exciting.

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How to Catapult a Product Launch with Public Relations

The launch of a new product can have a dramatic impact on a company’s business success. Do it well and it can catapult the company’s revenue and market share. Flub it and the opposite is true. A critical component to a successful launch is the impact that a communications program makes in creating awareness of the new product. It’s the messaging that communicates the new product’s benefits and media visibility that builds credibility in the market.

While every launch has its own idiosyncrasies in the form of objectives and resource allocation, we’ve found over the years that they also have certain commonalities. One of those core common elements, particularly in business-to-business launches, is the importance of the credibility built thorough public and market analyst relations. These sources build trust with audiences and create a certain sense of security and safety – if one of these experts touts the virtues of a product, it brings a validation of it to customers and prospects.

When longtime client Harris CapRock Communications cued up its biggest product introduction in years, it turned to M/C/C to spread the word.

In the communications field, Harris CapRock has a reputation as an innovator and a Harris CapRock Oneleader. As the company launched its game-changing Harris CapRock One service, it needed marketing that was up to the task. As part of an integrated communications program, public relations was critical to building third-party credibility and generating customer interest.

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Three Strategies for Representing Your Brand to the Media

Your brand image matters, whether you’re a part of an established business or in the beginning phases of a start-up company. Your image is what attracts employees and can either make or break your future as a company.How to Talk to the Media

A key component to this is how your company is portrayed by the media. As a C-level
executive, it is your job to successfully communicate to your consumers what your company does, what you can offer them and why they should choose your services over your competition.

Interacting with the media without the right type of training, preferably from an agency, can be detrimental to your personal image as well as your brand.

To read more, click here.

Industry Awards Have a Huge Impact on Your Company Inside and Out

In the U.S., we love to compete and win. We take a great sense of pride in our Winners Trophyaccomplishments and love to be recognized for them. We love being on a winning team as well as being fans of sports teams or individuals that are winners. It feels good when you are winning, and you earn a new level of respect as well as credibility. An example of this is the most recent winner of the Masters Golf Tournament, Jordan Speith. He is now perceived as one of the top two professional golfers in the world and ranks No. 5 when it comes to endorsement value at the ripe old age of 21.

Awards in the corporate environment are just as important if not more so. They have a
huge impact on a company’s credibility and therefore the perception of its buyers and prospects. In addition, awards create a sense of pride among a company’s employees which has a direct effect on productivity and turnover. Finally, awards also influence the value of a company, its brand and its position in the marketplace.

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Working with the American News Media: A Coast-to-Coast Guide for PR Pros

Lately we’ve been talking a lot about targeting niche audiences through all marketing disciplines. Our Media Director Sherie has written about the effectiveness of targeting audiences within varying geographic niches while VP, Creative Todd drilled down even further to talk about targeting within a niche of people who ride around in a certain type of car. On the relationship marketing side of things, our President has even spoken out in the American Cities Business Journals about using bloggers to reach customers who have specific niche areas of interest. It wasn’t so long ago that marketing was tasked with reaching the most people at the same time through one medium. But the intricacies of the Internet and insights that come with running and measuring thoughtful digital advertising campaigns and social marketing programs have narrowed our focus towards speaking to a handful of the right people in an environment and at a time that is right for them.

At the end of last year, we were given the opportunity to give this philosophy a new and different application – by looking at the members of the media we build relationships with on behalf of our clients as niche audiences we were pursuing in different regions. It all began with a Brit.

It’s been a running joke in European PR circles for years: U.S. marketers think of ‘Europe’ as a single, homogenous entity. Of course, that’s nonsense. But, if you asked European marketers how PR practice – especially influencer relations – differs between U.S. regions, it would be a short conversation.”

~Richard Fogg, managing director, CCgroup

Screenshot of the CCgroup's website highlighting the transcreation between U.S. regions.

Screenshot of the CCgroup’s website highlighting the transcreation between U.S. regions.

What Richard’s talking about up there is a little bit of the pot meeting the kettle. Richard is the managing director at CCgroup, a London-based PR firm that decided to find friends across the pond and conduct research to build a resource that would help international marketers understand the idiosyncrasies of running PR campaigns across multiple U.S. regions. M/C/C was honored to represent the West South Central region, joining nine other agencies representing the state of media relations activities in their own respective regions. After collecting input and evaluating their survey results, the CCgroup put together a website that paints an interesting picture of the U.S. media landscape; and we think domestic marketers would benefit from checking out its findings, too. Three areas of interest stood out to the researchers and participants.

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Does Social Media Affect Search?

Google’s algorithm updates have informed the public that good search engine optimization (SEO) isn’t just about on-page optimization. Public relations now plays a big part in getting ranked higher in search engine results. Quality links from sites that have greater domain authority, such as top tier media outlets, produce higher rankings in search engine results.

Now that we know that PR can affect search, we want to define where and how social media comes into play. Google may place a high value on social media links, or they may not even matter. Can social media really affect search?

The answer is yes and no. I recently listened to a webinar hosted by Spin Sucks and presented by Andy Crestodina titled rather bluntly “How Does Social Media Affect SEO” that offered some insight.  Continue reading “Does Social Media Affect Search?” »

In or Out? Outside Marketing Communications Agencies vs. In-House Resources

Okay – I admit it. I may be a wee bit biased when writing on the subject of the relative advantages and disadvantages of using an in-house ad agency versus outsourcing to a marketing communications agency. You probably already suspected the bias because you’re reading this on a marketing communications’ agency blog. I do believe that outsourcing to an agency provides more advantages than disadvantages based on my own experiences and discussions with companies and clients over the last 20-plus years.

Despite that belief, there are always exceptions and hybrids between in-house and outsourced communications resources. What we’ve seen work best is when a company has strong marketing leadership within the organization combined with a marketing communications agency it trusts. The internal marketing leader should have a strong understanding of the company’s business and marketing objectives, serving as a driving force in developing marketing strategies that align with the company’s goals. This person should communicate these things to the agency frequently, especially as business goals or executive leadership within the organization shifts. The agency and internal marketing staff then work in tandem on the development and execution of programs to reach those goals.

An outside marketing communications agency provides advantages that just can’t be replicated in-house.

Marketing Agency Work EnvironmentAn outside perspective and objectivity. One of the most important, if not THE most important, advantages an outside agency has over in-house staff is objectivity. The agency’s view is not overly colored by internal discussions, politics, views, etc. Emotions and personalities play less of a role in agency recommendations. The most effective work comes not from a focus on how the company views its products and services but how the customer views them. A good outside agency should always be focused on the buyer and not be distracted by other motivations that are impossible to escape in an internal role. Because agencies are not employees, they’re not bound by the same limitations as employees. An outside agency helps you avoid getting tunnel vision from focusing only on your company or industry.

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Listen Up! M/C/C’s Moms Connection Leverages Influencers To Talk Headphones This Holiday

Animalz by Retrak Kids Headphones Monkey DesignOver the holidays, M/C/C and ReTrak brought the technology accessory manufacturer’s Animalz children’s headphones to the masses, just in time for the busiest shopping season of the year. Available in six loveable, soft fabric animal designs with a volume-limiter for lil’ techies, these headphones were ready to fly off the shelves. To help build awareness and interest to ignite sales with moms, the target audience, M/C/C recommended a comprehensive public relations campaign, including blogger and media relations.

Why target moms through blogger and media outreach to increase awareness and interest while driving sales? M/C/C understands their significant influence in decision-making. According to Technorati’s Media & Digital Influence report, blogs are the third most influential digital resource when making purchases, trailing behind only retail sites and brand sites. In fact, the report went on to say that consumers believe smaller communities have greater influence than larger ones. Therefore, M/C/C was sure to engage with moms on blogs of all sizes, since one in four moms reported purchasing kids’ products based on an online recommendation.

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How To Use Outreach and Content Marketing for Buzz-Worthy Campaigns

Content and Outreach MarketingWhen considering how to tell brand stories, there are many differences when it comes to marketing, public relations, advertising and branding.

But two more recent buzzphrases have been cropping up lately: outreach marketing and content marketing.

Similar to public relations, these communications methods create and maintain relationships with an organization’s key audience. Also, these two phrases can oftentimes be public-relations strategies. Here’s how to decode them:

Outreach marketing

This tactic focuses primarily on bloggers and key social media influencers who already advocate for your brand. Similar to what is used in media relations, a brand’s contact reaches out to these advocates and finds ways to incorporate the brand into the advocates’ everyday lives. These are not just people who can talk about the brand, they are extensions of the brand.

To read more, click here.