Tuesday, August 11th 2015

How to Get your Client on a Reddit Ask Me Anything

As PR and marketing professionals, it’s our job to find creative ways to promote the work of our clients. For Manhattan Prep, a service that helps students achieve their test prep and career goals, we wanted to think beyond media relations to build brand awareness. Everyone on the Manhattan Prep team has a killer résumé, including Chris Ryan, VP of Academics, whom we selected as our spokesperson. With a bachelor’s degree from Harvard and an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, Chris was the perfect candidate for Ask Me Anything.

To leverage his strong academic background and years of experience in teaching and test prep, SA wanted a platform that would allow Chris to interact with students and test-takers, answering their questions in real-time. We thought about where Chris’ target audience congregates, and we honed in on Reddit.

Reddit is a site of user-generated news links and has a Unique Monthly Visitor (UMV) rate of 19.38 million. In Ask Me Anything sessions, also known as AMAs, celebrities, experts and everyday Internet users set up live chats about their areas of expertise, and open the floor for questions.

Here’s how we made this format work for Chris:

1. We reached out to Reddit to secure the AMA.
We learned about AMAs and their advantages for businesses during a webinar series. The Reddit team was very receptive and open to having Chris host a session.

2. We developed a title and introduction for Chris to narrow the focus of the AMA.
The title is a one-line description about Chris and his areas of expertise. It ends with AMA! (ask me anything). The introduction is a more detailed description of Chris, with his biography and a description of why he is qualified to talk about this subject.

Chris wanted his session to focus on questions surrounding the upcoming ACT, as well as around general test prep tips. Here’s a screenshot of his AMA title (purple) and introduction (which starts with “I’m Chris”):

AMA 1

3.  We set up a call with Reddit ahead of time to discuss logistics.
Of course we wanted to ensure Chris’s AMA was perfect. Once we confirmed the time for the AMA and Reddit approved the title and introduction, they set up a conference call with Chris and our team prior to going live with the AMA. That way, Reddit could help Chris get everything up and running and then leave him to answer user questions.

To participate, Reddit needs to be able to verify the AMA host’s identity as soon as their AMA starts. They want to make sure the approved expert is answering the questions.

AMA 2

We had Chris’ social media team send out a tweet with the Reddit AMA link as soon as the session began, and this link served as proof that Chris was an executive at Manhattan Prep.

4. We developed a briefing document with sample questions for Chris.
We wanted Chris to be ready for anything, so we developed a list of sample questions for his review prior to the session. Preparation is everything when you are doing a live event!

5. We sat in on the AMA conference call and offered support to Chris.
Reddit hosted a conference call as the AMA began. Chris, our team and Reddit dialed-in as Reddit made Chris’ AMA session live and active on the site.

After that, Chris stole the show and enlightened users with his test prep expertise.

Reddit allows brands to leave an instant yet lasting Internet legacy. Chris answered questions quickly but thoroughly so the information he provided could be used as a resource for years to come.

If you’re preparing for a big exam, Chris is still checking the page, so ask away!

Check out his AMA, here, and learn about our other education services.

CTillo headshot

Carolyn Tillo
Team Leader

 

Tuesday, June 23rd 2015

Schneider Associates Promotes Danielle Gerard to Senior Account Executive

DanielleGerard

Schneider Associates is excited to announce the promotion of Danielle Gerard to Senior Account Executive. In her new role, Gerard will continue developing media relations and social media strategies for clients. She will also assist senior management in identifying and implementing account strategy serving as the day-to-day contact for clients, as well as train and supervise employees within the agency. Gerard works on a range of clients including, the University of Pittsburgh’s Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business, Sunstar GUM and Dynatrap.

Prior to joining Schneider Associates as an Account Coordinator in 2013, Gerard, a Wilton, CT native, was a web and social media intern for AmeriCares. With her passion for travel she also took her work overseas with an internship in Ireland and spent a year abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark. Gerard holds a B.A. in communications, sociology and international studies from Boston College.

Learn more about careers with SA, here.

Monday, June 22nd 2015

From Intern to Account Coordinator: A College Grad’s Guide to Success

ThinkstockPhotos-477419728

Marble conference tables, sophisticated art, white desks and clear views of downtown Boston make up the environment where I now spend 40 hours of my week. With my diploma in hand, it’s time to arrange my desk and begin my public relations and marketing career. But first, I have one quick tip for those readers who may still be in college, wondering how I landed a full-time job right after graduation. I have one word – internships. As many students come to find out, an internship is essentially a test run to see if you are a potential candidate for the job. While this does not mean everyone in the program will be hired upon completion, I found that if the timing is right and you went above and beyond expectations, the chances are usually pretty good.

As I began setting up my desk, a few questions immediately came to mind: how does a recent millennial graduate survive in the real world? Will I succeed? If you’ve read articles about millennials, critics of my generation doubt our ability to live up to our baby-boomer parents and their work ethic. Now, a three-week veteran of the real world, I have a few tips to help guide fellow young professionals swiftly transition into the field of public relations, social media and integrated marketing.

1.) Prioritize your time, because a deadline means a deadline.

In college, it was easy to justify why you needed more time on a project. While you had to state your case, most professors allowed extra time to submit your best work. That won’t fly at work. In an agency, you’re working on the deadline that was promised to the client – and that rarely wavers. To meet the deadline, factor in the time it will take for writing, editing and proofing a document before it lands in the client’s inbox.

Note to self: this requires your work to be done expeditiously, as it always takes longer than expected to prepare documents to be client ready. A rule of thumb should be to mark the final client deadline on your calendar (and or on the agency’s work flow system — at SA, we use Basecamp), then count back one to three days for your team to make edits, then count back another one to three days for you to actually work on the project. And keep in mind, more pressing deadlines will pop up, so factor in those as well. The bottom line: Don’t procrastinate and learn to prioritize your projects.

2.) Dress for success.

Most offices have a fairly relaxed, casual dress code these days, but that’s no excuse for you to dress like you did while watching Netflix in your dorm room. A nicely ironed shirt tucked into a pair of slacks will go a long way. The old saying, “you should dress for the job you want” applies here. Take note as to what your managers are wearing and do some emulating. While it might take you a few weeks to become used to your blaring 6a.m. alarm, don’t just grab the first pair of jeans you see off the floor. Putting thought into your appearance will show you take pride in yourself and your career – remember, you’re a professional now, so dress the part.

3.) Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

When you start your first PR/marketing job, you may feel intimidated by the fast-paced atmosphere. Don’t. Everyone remembers their first job and what it was like to be the newbie in the office. During your first few weeks, ask a lot of questions. View your managers as your mentors – asking questions is vital to understanding your new job and it shows that you want to learn. Bring a notebook everywhere you go and jot down every comment, date and tip your mentor provides – even if it seems unimportant at the time.

By following these three simple tips, I guarantee you will survive (and enjoy) your first week at work. While it can be stressful to seemingly have to learn everything at once, just remember to prioritize, take your work seriously (including your professional appearance) and ask for help whenever you need it.

Best of luck,

HarrisonCalato

Harrison Calato
Account Coordinator

 

Are you interested in internships with SA? Learn more, here

Friday, June 19th 2015

Schneider Associates Promotes Carolyn Tillo to Account Leader

CarolynTillo
 

Schneider Associates (SA) is pleased to announce the promotion of Carolyn Tillo to Account Leader.

In her new role, Tillo is responsible for managing strategic priorities for existing client accounts while helping to drive new business opportunities. With her knowledge and experience in the media industry, she will oversee client account strategy and overall scope of work. Tillo will supervise the development of media relations, social media and marketing strategies for a wide range of clients across the agency, including Bay Path University, DTZ, MIT Sloan School of Business, William James College, and New England College of Business.

Tillo, a Jacksonville, FL native, joined the agency as an Account Coordinator in October 2012 and prior to that, completed public relations internships at agencies in London, Boston and Jacksonville. A graduate of the University of Florida with a B.S. in Journalism, Tillo also holds a master’s degree in public relations from Boston University.

Learn more about careers at SA, here.

Wednesday, June 17th 2015

Welcome, 2015 Summer Interns!

SummerInternsSA

The team at Schneider Associates would like to welcome our new crew of summer public relations, social media and marketing interns! They’ll get to experience everything from brainstorm sessions to media relations to their very own campaign planning project. Let’s get to know them a little better and see what they’re most excited for during their time at SA.

 

Tasha Gavilanez

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Where are you from?

North Attleboro, MA

Where do (or did) you attend undergrad? Grad school?

Western New England University

What is your major? Minor?

Communications major with a concentration in public relations and a minor in integrated marketing communications

What are your interests and hobbies?

Soccer, playing the piano, reality television, listening to music, walking my dog

What are you most looking forward to while interning at SA?

I am most looking forward to getting direct, hands-on experience in the PR and marketing fields. I am also looking forward to growing as a PR student and learning from the employees.

LinkedIn:

www.linkedin.com/in/natashagavilanez

 

Brittany Potter

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Where are you from?

Bedford, NH

Where do (or did) you attend undergrad? Grad school?

Endicott College

What is your major? Minor?

Communications

What are your interests and hobbies?

My interests include playing tennis, running, reading and baking any type of dessert.

What are you most looking forward to while interning at SA?

I am looking forward to contributing pitches and ideas to any of the accounts necessary. Also, I am looking forward to interacting with clients and to understand the role of an Account Executive. More importantly, I hope to leave Schneider Associates with complete confidence in public relations as well as confidence in a work environment that pushes me to take risks and to challenge myself.

LinkedIn:

https://www.linkedin.com/pub/brittany-potter/84/859/a3

 

Molly Astrove

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Where are you from?

Wellesley, MA

Where do (or did) you attend undergrad? Grad school?

I will be a junior at Ithaca College in Ithaca, NY.

What is your major? Minor?

I am majoring in integrated marketing communications and minoring in economics.

What are your interests and hobbies?

I love running, tap dancing, yoga, singing, small animals, and cooking and eating vegan baked goods!

What are you most looking forward to while interning at SA?

  • Learning all that I can from experienced mentors!
  • Participating in brainstorms
  • Working in a friendly and lively agency environment
  • Working with other interns on the intern project
  • Developing my PR writing skills

LinkedIn:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/mollyastrove

 

Alessandra Cerasuolo

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Where are you from?

East Longmeadow, Massachusetts

Where do (or did) you attend undergrad? Grad school?

I currently attend the University of Rhode Island and will be graduating in May of 2016.

What is your major? Minor?

I major in Textile Merchandising and Design with a minor in Public Relations.

What are your interests and hobbies?

My interests and hobbies include traveling, fashion, reading, and writing.

What are you most looking forward to while interning at SA?

While interning at SA I am looking forward to learning the proper way to use PR and social media to promote and enhance businesses/clients. During this learning process I hope to improve my writing skills and find my own creative voice. I also want to become familiar with what it’s like to work in the city and how it’s a different atmosphere than what I am used to.

LinkedIn:

https://www.linkedin.com/pub/alessandra-cerasuolo/86/7b0/19

 

Megan Krause

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Where are you from?

Phoenixville, Pennsylvania

Where do (or did) you attend undergrad? Grad school?

Currently attending Penn State

What is your major? Minor? 

Majoring in Public Relations, Information Sciences and Technology, and German

What are your interests and hobbies?

So many! I’m a particularly avid reader, everything from short stories to news stories, though I’ve recently been on a binge of high fantasy. I’ve also taken up swing dance (East Coast and Lindy Hop for anyone who’s looking for particulars) and still love classical ballet. I also knit as I watch new seasons of TV shows. (I just bought my first set of stitch markers as well, very exciting for someone like me!) But I also enjoy coding websites (using html, css, the such) as well as researching SEO and Google’s history of search, both of which are really quite fascinating.

What are you most looking forward to while interning at SA?

Truly just learning and understanding the nuts and bolts of Schneider. I find the industry rather fascinating and am excited to see how the theory I’ve been taught in school compares. Also learning from people in industry who are both a lot more knowledgeable and experienced than myself!

LinkedIn:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/megankrause1

 

Susanna Yudkin

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Where are you from?

The Berkshires, Massachusetts

Where do (or did) you attend undergrad? Grad school?

Boston University College of Communication

What is your major? Minor?

Major: Communication with a concentration in Public Relations

Minor: Sociology 

What are your interests and hobbies?

I am interested in design and aesthetics, which manifests itself in a passion for photography, fashion and interior design. I also enjoy hiking, writing and singing (exclusively when no one is listening!)

What are you most looking forward to while interning at SA?

I am looking forward to seeing Launch PR in action, to actively contributing to exciting and diverse PR campaigns, and to working alongside all the smart, creative and enthusiastic people at SA! 

LinkedIn URL:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/susannayudkin

 

Lauren Smyth

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Where are you from? 

Swampscott, MA

Where do (or did) you attend undergrad? Grad school? 

Undergrad – Keene State College

What is your major? Minor? 

Major- BFA Graphic Design

Minors- Art History and Art Studio

What are your interests and hobbies?

Volunteer work, traveling, drawing, design, anything that involves being active and watching sports (Especially the Bruins!)

What are you most looking forward to while interning at SA?

I am looking forward to gain more experience in a PR/Marketing agency while building my graphic design portfolio and to have the opportunity to do hands on projects for SA and their clients!

LinkedIn:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/lausmyth

 

Alexandra Powell

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Where are you from?

Ashland, MA

Where do (or did) you attend undergrad? Grad school?

I received my bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. I am currently enrolled in graduate school at Lasell College.

What is your major? Minor? 

Integrated Marketing Communication

 What are your interests and hobbies? 

I love coffee, Netflix, watching stand-up comedy, and playing with puppies.

What are you most looking forward to while interning at SA?

I am excited to be back at Schneider Associates where I have the opportunity to gain hands-on agency experience to further develop my marketing skills. I continue to learn something new every day from my mentors at SA!

LinkedIn:

https://www.linkedin.com/pub/alexandra-powell/60/200/588

 

Tori Dumstorf

SA headshot

Where are you from?

Arlington Heights, Illinois (about 45 minutes outside of Chicago)

Where do (or did) you attend undergrad? Grad school?

Currently attending Boston University, class of 2016.

What is your major? Minor?

Majoring in Public Relations, minoring in Business Administration & Management. 

What are your interests and hobbies?

Watching movies (I’m a huge film nerd); writing (both stories and screenplays); EDM/Electronic Dance Music (I would live at a music festival if I could); binge-watching Netflix on my couch (House of Cards and The Office are two major favorites); traveling

What are you most looking forward to while interning at SA?

Getting to know the SA team. Also gaining some really valuable insight on social media tools that I can use going forward in my career.

LinkedIn:

https://www.linkedin.com/pub/victoria-dumstorf/6b/b6/b38

 

Are you interested in the internship program at SA? Learn more, here.

 

Tuesday, June 16th 2015

SlideShare: 10 Social Media Launch Tactics

Launching a new product can be both exciting and stressful. You’ve spent all this time, money and R&D creating a great product, but how are you going to get people to buy it? With nearly two billion Internet users worldwide, more and more brands are activating social media to launch their products. In fact, according to Schneider Associates’ 2014 Most Memorable New Product Launch survey, Facebook is now the second-most popular source for new product launch information behind television commercials.

Using a social media strategy allows all types of brands—whether large or small—to reach their target audiences. Brands that are not integrating social media into their launch plans are missing out on a major channel for accessing consumers.

Here’s a SlideShare detailing ten social media launch tactics brands can leverage when launching a new product, as seen in CEO Joan Schneider’s Harvard Business Review blog.

Learn more about launching new products and services, here.

Wednesday, June 10th 2015

Schneider Associates Hires Harrison Calato as Account Coordinator

HarrisonCalato

Schneider Associates is pleased to announce the hiring of Harrison Calato as Account Coordinator.

In this role, Calato will be responsible for daily account administration, media relations and social media content creation. Prior to joining Schneider Associates in his current role, Calato completed an internship at the agency in the spring of 2015, as well as a public and media relations internship with Co-Communications in Mount Kisco. With a background in social media and media relations, Calato works with clients across the agency, including Sunstar GUM, DTZ, University of Pittsburgh’s Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business and the MSCPA.

Calato graduated from Sacred Heart University in May 2015 with a major in Marketing and a minor in Sociology.

Interested in a career or internship at Schneider Associates? Learn more, here.

Tuesday, June 9th 2015

A PR Pro’s Guide to Preparing Clients for Online Video Interviews

As a young PR professional, it’s exciting to witness the communication shift toward digital and social media. I experienced this firsthand after we secured an unexpected interview for our client, test-prep service Manhattan Prep, to take place through the live-stream video service Google Hangouts On Air. Chris Ryan, VP of Academics, sat down in front of a webcam and was interviewed through video chat by a reporter from The Durham Skywriter, educating viewers on the test-prep program. The interview aired live on the outlet’s Google Plus page and was later posted to the outlet’s YouTube channel.

hangouts-on-air

So, what do you do when a live video opportunity suddenly arises and your client may not be fully prepared? (Chris knocked his interview out of the park.) Not every client is as confident on camera – which is okay – but how do you prepare a spokesperson for a live, online video on such short notice? They may be nervous the video will live online forever, or apprehensive about being interviewed over a webcam. We conduct in-person media training for many of our clients, but when opportunities turn up suddenly for a breaking story, even the most comfortable on camera need some media preparation.

Here’s a quick guide to help PR pros prepare their clients for an online video interview with the media.

  1. Appearance counts. It may seem trivial, but your client’s appearance for a video interview is important. What should they wear? How can they use body language to their advantage to tell their story? Be sure your client knows to dress professionally and to avoid bright, distracting colors or patterns. Clients should maintain eye contact with the reporter, even via webcam, and can convey enthusiasm by “leaning into” the interview – even from the comfort of their office, living room or wherever the online video is taking place. Most importantly, tell clients to relax and smile – their tone will improve significantly.
  2. Message points. Clients should practice key messaging in advance of the interview; with your counsel, of course. While clients can’t control the questions asked, they can control the information they share with the public. They should keep answers concise and to-the-point, and take a moment to think before responding to questions.
  3. Speech: No matter how important or thoughtful a client’s response, if the audience can’t understand what he or she is saying, the message can be lost in translation. Interviewees should avoid speaking too quickly or too much; over-explaining can confuse an audience and cause them to lose interest. My best advice for clients is to channel their passion for their job during the interview and think of the “big picture.”
  4. Feedback: When the camera stops, your work isn’t over! A post-interview recap can help your client improve for next time. Let your client know what they did well, and what they could work on for their next video appearance.

Online video interviews can help clients raise awareness of their product or service in ways that print cannot. For example, Chris was able to hold up his newly launched 5 lb. “Book of ACT Practice Problems” during his video interview with The Durham Skywriter. Being in front on camera takes getting used to, so remind your client the nerves will pass the more they practice.

Learn about launching new products or services using integrated media, here.

Tori Morris
@vkmorris1234
Account Coordinator

Monday, June 8th 2015

Schneider Associates Hires Mariela McAuley as Account Coordinator

MarielaMcAuley

Schneider Associates is excited to announce the hiring of Mariela McAuley as Account Coordinator. In this role, McAuley will be responsible for daily account administration and media relations in addition to social media content creation and agency marketing. Prior to joining Schneider Associates, she completed an internship at the agency in Fall 2014, as well as internships at Toth + Co., Allstate Insurance and Marketing Network in Dublin, Ireland.

With a strong background in social media and integrated marketing, McAuley will be working with clients across the agency including Davis Companies, Dynatrap, MIT Sloan School of Management, Northeastern University College of Engineering and Collection Auto.

McAuley graduated from Boston University’s Questrom School of Business in May 2015 with a major in Business Administration concentrating in marketing and organizational behavior with a minor in International Relations.

Interested in a career or internship at Schneider Associates? Learn more, here.

Thursday, June 4th 2015

Like it, Pin it, Buy it: Instagram and Pinterest Launch Buy Buttons

For those of you who, like myself, can lose track of time scrolling, “liking” and “pinning” anything from furniture to sneakers, things just got dangerous for your wallet. Instagram and Pinterest, two of the most visual social media apps out there, have incorporated Buy buttons into their platforms.

A smart, and even deeper plunge into the world of advertising for two brand-centric social channels.

We’ve seen brands take full advantage of Instagram ads when they launched in October 2013 (huge fan of this Ben & Jerry’s Ron Burgundy-inspired sponsored post.) Now IG is taking another step toward keeping users on the app through its new “action-oriented” format – simply put, buttons will appear below brand content so you can easily buy a product, install an app or register for a service. The photo and video app also plans to improve feedback mechanisms so users can have more control over the relevancy of the ads they see (which means my feed will consist of 95% Chipotle posts.) There’s still no sign of in-app e-commerce payments similar to the ones Facebook is testing, but that could soon follow.

Take a look at what some of these Instagram Buy buttons will look like.

For the fitness fan: 

install_now._class_pass_example
 

For the fashionista:

shop_now._kendra_scott_example

For the foodie:

sign_up._eat_evolve_example

In a similar fashion, Pinterest has announced it will introduce “buyable pins” so users can purchase products directly from the app. My future wedding and dream home have been waiting for these buttons for years, and Pinterest says this is something users have been begging for (we have). According to a survey conducted by BI Intelligence, 32% of active Pinterest users have bought something in a store after seeing it on Pinterest, and three-fourths said they’ve browsed a brand’s website after using Pinterest.

Here’s what consumers will see – blue buttons mean the product is buyable, and users can swipe to see more specs including price and color:

business-site-comm-2_1_1

Imagine how much the correlation between Pinterest and sales would increase without the hassle and disconnect between a pin and the final purchase? In the next few weeks, we should expect to see brands like Macy’s, Kate Spade, Cole Haan, Nordstrom and Ethan Allen roll out buyable pins. For our digital and social media clients at SA, we’re excited to see how we can incorporate these new buttons into existing campaigns.

How will the payments work? According to Pinterest engineer, Wendy Lu, Pinterest is working with partners Stripe and Braintree so the platform won’t handle users’ credit card data directly – and consumers will have the option to choose between the two for payments. Pinterest also won’t charge any fees when consumers purchase via buyable pins – the app plans to make money through charging companies for promoted pins and advertisements.

So what does this all mean, aside from the fact that my impulsive shopping habits are continuing to spill over into digital? Business Insider says Pinterest couldpotentially become one of the largest e-commerce platforms – and direct marketing through both apps will only get more direct.

Follow Schneider Associates on Instagram!

Nicole LeLacheur
@nicolelelacheur
Account Executive, Integrated Media