It's About the Work



Let’s Get Visual, Visual

Last Thursday I attended the Visual Content Marketing & Communications Summit hosted by the Business Development Institute and PRNewswire. A major takeaway – humans are visual beings and brands need to embrace appropriate and timely visual strategies to effectively reach consumers.

Thank you, Kristin Takahashi, for your last minute trip to D.C.!










For those who cannot read at the speed of Vine, here’s a recap ; )

  • Visual Moment of Truth = VMOT. The time between a consumers’ first exposure to branding for a product and the ultimate purchase decision
  • To execute VMOT, there are three components: Right Content. Right Time. Right Place.
  • Make sure you develop content that is digestible and consistent across multiple devices and platforms
  • Humans have really short attention spans – 8 seconds – so with content longer than 60-90 seconds, or TL; DR (too long; didn’t read), you may lose your audience. With social platform parameters, 140 characters, 6-15 second videos, it forces us to be more articulate and to the point.
  • Images are the new unit of social engagement
  • 1 billion daily images are shared
  • What do consumers want? They want snackable (nom nom) content!
  • Everything looks the same, so we have to differentiate and brand
  • Ownable does not mean your own, so brand it by delivering it in your own way
  • When the story comes first, the visuals have a greater impact
  • Make sure to always keep it real

Miami was buzzing last week as Hispanicize hosted its fifth annual mega conference, attracting more than 1,500 influential Latino trendsetters and newsmakers in music, film, technology, marketing, journalism, social media and content creation.

The four-day event was noted as a “Hispanicized” version of SXSW in an NBC Online interview with Hispanicize Founder Manny Ruiz, a former Miami Herald reporter and current Latino blogger for Best Western.

Hispanicize served as a launch pad to share creative endeavors, new products, technologies, marketing campaigns, and more, targeting U.S. Latinos. Top brands and conference sponsors, including Coca-Cola, Google, Toyota, Target, 3M and McDonalds, took center stage to discuss best practices in reaching the market.

In talking to NBC Online, Toyota’s Group Vice President Patricia Piñeda pointed out that the U.S. Hispanic market is larger than that of Canada’s total population and its buying power is projected to reach $1.5 trillion by 2015. And when it comes to car purchases, for example, Latinos return to the new-vehicle market sooner than others.

From a marketing perspective, three key takeaways from the conference stood out most.

1. Hispanic Millennials: Among the most compelling, dynamic, and often misunderstood, segments

Did you know 65 percent of U.S. Hispanics are Millennials? The Hispanic Millennial Project, a research initiative looking at Hispanic Millennials in comparison to non-Hispanic Millennials and their older Hispanic (35+) counterparts, found that as multigenerational households continue to grow, older family members tap Hispanic Millennials more often when it comes to using technology or making family decisions. Hispanic Millennials also make up the greatest share of bicultural Hispanics. They define themselves culturally as both Hispanic and American. The result is a new “parity” cultural identity, fueled by a combination of bilingualism, technology connections to Latin America, and continued retro-acculturation.

2. Latinas: A force to be reckoned with

Though still facing many hurdles, Latinas continue to make impressive strides with unprecedented empowerment in their careers, access to education, social media, journalism and marketing. New Nielsen research results reveal that 86 percent of U.S. Latinas are the primary shopper in the household, and are up 1 percent from non-Hispanic women in education enrollment. Latinas also outnumber their male counterparts in achievements and are no longer stereotyped as “stay-at-home” moms but rather emerging entrepreneurs—accounting for twice as much growth than non-Hispanics in the small business sector.

3. The evolving “Total Market” debate

Nearly three years after Walmart eliminated its multicultural marketing team and asked employees to embrace a new “Total Market” method as a companywide priority, debate on this approach continues. Research shows that more than 50 percent of advertisers, and counting, use some form of the Total Market strategy. Top brands explained the Total Market approach still calls for long-term, inclusive strategies. It’s not as simple as hiring ethnic actors to display in a campaign or commercial. The method requires thoughtfulness, carefulness and an understanding of the market in order to maintain relevancy without appearing to alienate anyone.

Hispanicize also showcased influential “Latinovators” throughout the conference, including award-winning journalist, anchor and NPR Latino USA executive producer Maria Hinojosa. Other notable “Latinovators” included Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez, Grammy award-winning Colombian singer Carlos Vives, and musician and actress Sheila E.

While Hispanicize focused on the three C’s (converging, collaborating and co-creating), it was perhaps the most digitally engaged conference I’ve experienced. The phenomenal number of social media posts using #Hispz14 only reiterates Latinos’ passion for sharing and connecting. And the optimistic conversations about opportunities for the future echo an interest to experience Hispanicize all over again!

Today I was a guest on CNBC’s Tech Yeah where Josh Lipton and I discussed the Heartbleed bug, the challenges facing consumers, and what can be done to protect your data.

Heartbleed is a bug that could impact nearly 66% of all websites and services on the internet. It can be particularly tricky because exploitation of it can leave virtually no trace. From it, hackers may be able to intercept communications with a website or service, decrypt sensitive information or gain access to your username and password. Because of its widespread scale, service operators are acting quickly to patch the issue. However, since this vulnerability has been open for more than two years, and access to it leaves no record, it may be impossible to determine the eventual toll this particular bug has had on the world.

Brands, websites, and other service operators should be putting a transparent and detailed communication strategy into place. While challenging to acknowledge any shortfalls in your security, it is far worse to ignore the expectation of your customers that their data is safe. Leveraging all your channels and making sure those that may have been impacted know what they can do to help protect themselves should be your number one priority. And if you need some help with that, feel free to give us a call.



6 Keys To The Schmoozerview

Passive candidates are all around us. Anytime, even when you’re out on the town, can be a good time to scope out talent. In fact, next time you are mixing and mingling, try a schmoozerview.

A schmoozerview is an informal, subtle way to discover if any of your peeps might make good hires for the agency…and likely done while imbibing craft cocktails or beers.

Here are my carefully crafted keys for conducting an effective schmoozerview:

  1. Schmoozerviews do NOT take place in the office but at media events, conferences, industry mixers, or those boozy after work drinks with former colleagues.
  2. Schmoozerviews need not be your primary objective for the engagement. I’m simply suggesting that keeping recruitment and talent assessment in mind during normal GT’s could unearth a cool candidate.
  3. The subject should not know you are interviewing them. Just keep it conversational while getting a sense if a person has relevant skills, would be a cultural fit, and might be looking for a new career opportunity.
  4. Definitely don’t creep out these folks with interview questions like “What kitchen utensil would you be?” but keep things open-ended and conversational. Questions like “How’s it going?”, “Are you doing anything cool at work?”, “What’s the deal with news bureaus?”, or “What’s next for you?” can all lead to potentially discovering the next new or boomerang hire.
  5. Weave in some reasons to believe in Allison+Partners. Mention some of our great work, how much you enjoy your colleagues, and the terrific benefits we offer.
  6. Finally, as with any interview, do more listening than talking during the schmoozerview.

Employee referrals are always encouraged so please keep talent search in mind. If not to selflessly endeavor to align talent with the strategic objectives of the firm, then for all of the bar tabs that can be paid for with a referral bonus. Go on out and schmoozerview tonight!

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