Friday, January 23rd 2015
On January 13 in Boston, Mayor Marty Walsh delivered his State of the City address at Symphony Hall and three of our SA team members attended. The excitement in the room was palpable as people were eager to hear the plans to further position Boston as a thriving, healthy and innovative city. At SA, we’re all about innovation, and being surrounded by forward thinkers was energizing. After the address, we reflected on the innovative work that we’ve done in conjunction with our clients and as an agency.
- Northeastern University’s Whiteboard Innovation Challenge
To launch Northeastern University’s Master of Science in Innovation program, we knew we had to seamlessly integrate innovative thinking into recruiting for this fast-track enrollment campaign. The goal: to promote this new program–and the D’Amore McKim brand–and sign up over 20 students in just four months for a one year master’s degree. What better way to launch a new innovation program than to do something innovative? To spread the word, we launched the Whiteboard Innovation Challenge by wrapping a truck in whiteboard material with the contest and school branding, and took it to the streets of Boston. During the contest, we asked people to share their innovative ideas about how they would use technology to solve everyday problems. The outcome? Hundreds of innovative whiteboard drawings, publicity surrounding a brand new program and most importantly, enrollment leads.
When it comes to solving Boston’s parking problems, everyone is all ears to learn about a new solution. Haystack Technologies enlisted SA to create buzz surrounding its new, innovative answer to the parking predicament—a smartphone app allowing people to notify other parkers when they are leaving their parking spot. SA supported a high-end media event at the Liberty Hotel, and helped secure over 80 campaign media placements in print, online and broadcast outlets both locally and nationally. Most importantly, we spread the word about a unique and inventive idea to solve a major problem faced by the City of Boston.
- iGen Goes to School
At SA, we’re focused on helping higher education clients reach their enrollment and matriculation targets. Through our “iGen Goes to School” study consisting of a survey and four focus groups in Boston, NY and LA, we found that iGens, or those born between 1994 and 2004, do not prefer the traditional communiques often used by colleges and universities to recruit them. We’re using our data to help schools reimagine their enrollment marketing and communications efforts to drive applications and enrollment – and reach this new, digital generation of college students.
SA was enlisted to help the online ordering service, Phoodeez, make a name for itself as the go-to catering and delivery service with Boston office managers.SA spread the word about the new corporate catering concierge in local media outlets including the Boston Globe, BostInno, and the BBJ.
- #SAMoves to an Open Office
SA made moves this year – literally. Not only did we move offices, but we traded in our traditional offices and high cubes for an open, collaborative space. With walls covered in IdeaPaint, designated areas for brainstorming and vibrant colors, this year will not only bring more innovation to our agency but lots of collaboration (and beer Fridays).
Wednesday, January 21st 2015
Monday, January 12 marked the fifth anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti. The tragic event killed more than 300,000 people. On Sunday, January 11, Boston’s Haitian community came together at Haitian Resilience Day, organized by Youth & Family Enrichment Services and held at Hyde Park Educational Complex, to remember those they lost. They also celebrated Haiti’s ability to move forward, even in the wake of such a terrible tragedy.
I had the opportunity to attend the event with Gemima St. Louis, psychologist and faculty member at our client, the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology, which is becoming William James College on May 7. Schneider Associates coordinated opportunities for Gemima, a native of Haiti, to speak with The Boston Globe and Fox 25 about the importance of ending the stigmas that Haitians associate with mental healthcare. Since the earthquake, seeking help for mental health wounds has become more socially acceptable, because so many people were affected directly or indirectly by this disaster.
The focus of the event was life. Though the community will never forget their hardships or those they lost, they showed their ability to come together and help each other heal.
Senior Account Executive
Monday, January 12th 2015
Each December, we’re prompted by friends, family and the Internet to dream up a New Year’s resolution that we’re really going to follow. This year, my resolutions are to run (…or sign up) for a marathon and get involved in a volunteer organization that has meaning to me. Even if some New Year’s resolutions don’t last longer than January, reflecting on what you wish to do differently is a good opportunity for a fresh start. This doesn’t have to be confined to our personal lives, either; it’s a good time to think about what we’d like to improve at work.
In light of this, I thought I would elaborate on a few things my Schneider Associates colleagues and I would like to do differently in 2015 to become better PR professionals:
- Take 30 minutes or more each day to focus on reading or watching the news. We strive to accomplish this goal since breaking news affects our clients and where they can fit in to the bigger story. This year, we’ll set up more Google alerts and pay even closer attention to breaking news headlines on the television screens in our office.
- Be more efficient. In PR, that’s the name of the game. In 2015, we’ll reflect on what works best for our own personal working style – whether it’s a written list of tasks for the day ranked by priority, or shutting ourselves in an office for a few hours of uninterrupted work time. We won’t be afraid to vocalize what works best for us, especially in our new open office!
- Proofread. Every. Document. Twice. Even the most diligent writer makes mistakes, so we’ll take even more time to read each document aloud, print it out and rely on our colleagues to review our work. The more eyes that see a project before it’s finalized, the better it will be – and the greater chance it will hit the mark.
- Make an extra effort with the media. We can find more time for coffee or lunch, and if reporters are unavailable – a nice email unrelated to a pitch, or even a personally delivered coffee can go a long way in showing that you’re a real person like them, not just a name on an email.
- Say yes! If we’re given the opportunity to attend a seminar, go to a networking event, or be the team ambassador at a meeting, we’re saying yes and going all in. The people we meet and the things we learn help us grow as professionals and keep our perspectives changing – not to mention, one never knows what opportunities can arise from talking to new people.
What’s the best thing about these PR New Year’s resolutions? They’re totally attainable. If we can keep these in mind for the year to come, 2015 will be a great year.
Senior Account Executive
Friday, January 9th 2015
Last month, Schneider Associates’ Senior Account Executive, Carolyn Tillo, took a brief break from media pitches and press releases to write a poem for a contest presented by New York Times human rights columnist, Nicholas Kristof.
Carolyn and the SA team were excited to see her poem, which according to Kristof was poignantly written, featured in a New York Times article over the holidays. Following the recent Ferguson protests, the theme of the poetry contest surrounded racism and equality.
Below is her poem about her high school in Jacksonville, Fla., and the roots of racial division:
I learned about race in my high school cafeteria.
Whites sat on one side,
Blacks on the other.
It was a house
We were smart kids enrolled in advanced courses,
But we didn’t know how to eat together.
Of course there were exceptions,
And we had friends of different races.
At the end of the day,
I wish I could say
This was in 1950.
But it was in 2005.
Can we talk of progress when we still sit at separate tables?
I wish I could go back in time,
And push all the cafeteria tables into
One table united.
Until the day comes when we can all sit down together,
We must stand up
And refuse to say,
“Everything is OK.”
“I wrote this poem in response to all the news coverage about race relations in the U.S. Although we often talk about the progress our country has made on the road to equality, I think there’s still much more work to be done,” said Carolyn.
Read her poem and the rest of the column on NYTimes.com.
Monday, January 5th 2015
As we begin 2015, we wanted to take a moment to thank our interns from the fall 2014 semester for their hard work and contributions. We were extremely impressed by their work ethic and thoroughly enjoyed watching them apply what they learned to our semester intern project. Each of the three teams’ proposed launch campaigns demonstrated a breadth of knowledge in preparing for the launch of a new product or service, and we were impressed by the creative lens through which our interns developed their PR/marketing plans, from event logistics to social media to media relations.
A big thank you from the entire SA team!
Fall 2014 Interns
Caroline Kirkwood, Boston College ’15
Taylor Weissbratten, Boston University ‘16
Victoria Morris, Suffolk University ‘15
Sophia Han, Boston University ‘16
Grant Bachhuber, Boston University ‘15
Public Affairs Team:
Nicola Gallagher, Boston College ‘15
Emily Morrissey, Boston College ‘15
Nicole Vee, Boston University ‘16
Mariela McAuley, Boston University ‘15
Allison Penn, Boston University ‘16
To learn more about internships at SA, visit our website. To apply for an internship, email your resume and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wednesday, December 17th 2014
Schneider Associates is please to announce the hiring of Victoria Morris as Account Coordinator.
As Account Coordinator, Morris is responsible for daily account administration and outreach to media. Prior to joining Schneider Associates in her current role, Morris completed an internship at the agency in the summer and fall of 2014, as well as a year-long mental health internship with the Boston Medical Center. With a strong background in media relations and social media, Morris works with clients across the agency.
Morris received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Journalism from Ohio Wesleyan University in May 2012, where she acted as a reporter for her school newspaper, The Transcript. Morris will receive her Master’s Degree in Public Administration and Mental Health Counseling from Suffolk University in May 2015.
Tuesday, December 16th 2014
Schneider Associates is pleased to announce the promotion of Danielle Gerard to Account Executive.
In her new role, Gerard will be responsible for day-to-day client management and community outreach, as well as social media content creation. Gerard will be a key player in supporting account strategy for a wide variety of the agency’s clients including the Katz Graduate School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh, Phoodeez, Specialty Insurance Advisors, Sunstar GUM and Bay Path University.
A native of Wilton, CT, Gerard graduated from Boston College where she majored in both Communication and Sociology with a minor in International Studies. Prior to joining SA as an Account Coordinator in 2013, Gerard gained experience as a web and social media marketing intern at AmeriCares and as a marketing and PR intern at the National Museum of Ireland.
Monday, December 15th 2014
The 2014 results of Schneider Associates (SA) annual Most Memorable Product Launch survey were recently featured on Adweek.com, rounding up the top 10 product launches consumers could recall most over the course of the past year. The article also shares the media consumption patterns used by consumers to learn about – and potentially buy – new products.
The article, “The 10 Most Memorable New Products of 2014,” explains how Facebook now ranks just behind television commercials as the most popular way to discover new products. According to the survey conducted by SA and Sentient Decision Science, just 10 percent of consumers learned about a new product through Facebook in 2009 – five years later, that number has risen to 29 percent as television commercials have seen a slow decline.
“Since our survey began in 2002, we’ve been fascinated with the types of sources consumers use when learning about new products,” said Joan Schneider, CEO of Schneider Associates. “We’ve seen traditional media decline and social media become more mainstream…To be successful in reaching emerging, younger generations, integrated marketing campaigns with both social and digital media are required to fully engage and motivate the target audience.”
To see which products made the top 10, read the full article on Adweek.com. To receive more information about the 2014 MMNPL results, pre-register for our 2014 MMNPL eBook.
Friday, December 12th 2014
Boston artist Amanda Palmer, perhaps best known for her record-breaking Kickstarter campaign, had the honor of sending the first tweet featuring Twitter’s new “Buy” button.
The tweet included a special offer to incentivize purchases, and sold out the available stock of 100 books in just 20 minutes.
Palmer has a long history with Twitter and uses the medium regularly to communicate with fans and just about everyone else. She’s visited the social network’s headquarters before, and it’s no surprise they worked closely with her to debut this new marketing tool and help her sell copies of her new book. Palmer’s book, “The Art of Asking,” expands on her TED talk of the same name where she details her experiences with crowdfunding and seeking support, services and more from her network of fans and friends.
It’s a little ironic that the newest way to make a digital purchase was first used to sell a physical book, but the technology of the button couldn’t be better. Twitter users in the U.S. were able to click the “Buy” button in the tweet. Once clicked, a new window popped up with a blue “Buy Now” button to confirm the action. The pop-up window then had a simple and clean-looking credit card and shipping information form. The windows were easy to use and looked great on mobile devices. Those with Apple devices can take advantage of the “auto-fill” feature, and once you fill in your information, it’s securely stored for future use.
I’m excited to see this new functionality finally available, and hope to use it for clients in the future. See Twitter’s demo video here: http://bit.ly/1usA9iM
Content Marketing Supervisor
Thursday, December 11th 2014
For more than half of survey respondents, the new products they try are usually extensions of brands they have already come to know and trust. According to our 2013 MMNPL Survey (you can download the ebook with full data here
), 55 percent of consumers stayed true to brands they regularly buy even during the economic downturn, reinforcing the importance of building an emotional connection with consumers. However, brands should allocate a sense of trust in what they can deliver. Just like a human relationship, trust is a key component of positive brand regard.
Brands need to deliver a new, quality product with features that will lure consumers, while still remaining loyal to their roots. Nintendo exhibited this idea with the launch of its Nintendo 2DS. With gamers constantly looking for the next big thing in gaming, Nintendo had to find a way to be innovative while also adhering to the game functions that consumers have grown accustomed. With a new dual screen and durable casing, the Nintendo 2DS received an increase in sales near the end of 2013.
The lesson here is that product line extensions must offer something new and exciting, while at the same time, they should not stray from the original features and values consumers have already made a positive connection with.
The Most Memorable New Product Launch survey identifies strategies and tactics that brands use to motivate consumers to try and buy new products. Conducted by Schneider Associates and Sentient Decision Science, the Most Memorable New Product Launch survey identifies trends, tracks national product launches and reveals how consumers respond to traditional and new media.
This year we developed an e-book about the 2013 Most Memorable New Product Launch survey. Be sure to keep an eye out for our 2014 MMNPL survey to see which trends were most influential among consumers.