A native of Falmouth, ME, Mucci graduated from Endicott College where she majored in Communication and concentrated in Media Studies. Prior to joining SA as an Account Coordinator in June 2014, Mucci completed a corporate PR internship at the agency.
Thursday, March 26th 2015
Monday, March 23rd 2015
Schneider Associates (SA) is excited to announce the promotion of Nicole LeLacheur to Account Executive, Integrated Media. In her new role, LeLacheur will be responsible for marketing strategy and execution for the agency, as well as new business development and content marketing campaign strategies for consumer, corporate and education clients.
Prior to joining SA as an Account Coordinator in June 2014, LeLacheur completed several internships at the agency, as well as a consumer PR internship with marlo marketing/communications and an editorial internship with her local newspaper, The Lowell Sun. With a background in digital journalism and integrated media, LeLacheur works with clients across the agency, including Sunstar GUM®, Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management, and Dynatrap®.
LeLacheur is a graduate of Endicott College with a major in Communications, a concentration in Digital Journalism and a minor in Psychology. LeLacheur served three years as the Editor-in-Chief of her College newspaper, The Endicott Observer.
Monday, March 16th 2015
Schneider Associates (SA) is pleased to announce the promotion of Josh Tammaro to Account Executive. In his new role, Tammaro will be responsible for day-to-day client management and community outreach, as well as social media strategy development and content creation. Tammaro will be a key player in supporting account strategy for a wide variety of the agency’s clients including MIT’s Sloan School of Management, New England College of Business, Northeastern University’s D’Amore-McKim School of Business and College of Engineering, and William James College.
Tammaro graduated from Boston University in May 2014 with a major in Communications. Prior to joining SA as an Account Coordinator in June 2014, Tammaro completed an internship at the agency and served as Public Relations Specialist for Boston University’s Center for Professional Education.
Friday, March 13th 2015
The SA team recently traveled to Columbia University for the annual BRITE ’15 Conference for leaders in business, technology, media and marketing. BRITE offers a unique blend of thinkers and doers, and challenges people to think differently about the changing landscape of media and technology.
CEO Joan Schneider (@JoanSchneider), four-time BRITE attendee, along with her colleagues Senior Account Executive Carolyn Tillo (@ctillo89) and Account Executive Nicole LeLacheur (@nicolelelacheur) joined a group of innovators, marketers, entrepreneurs and champions of social enterprise to learn about building and sustaining great brands. As PR/marketing experts, we’re always looking for new, fresh ways to reinvigorate our clients’ and agency’s branding. Here are five key themes the SA team took away from the conference:
Today’s consumers value experiences over things. When offering a product or service, brands must create an interesting, alluring experience to win over consumers. The idea of global and local brand messaging has now merged into the concept of “glocal” – creating a brand identity and message that resonates globally, but also works locally. When considering how this relates to your clients, understanding your target audiences is critical.
The last twenty years focused on digitization and migrating content to the Internet. The next twenty years will be about technological changes to the physical world. How will this revolution be different from others we’ve seen? The idea of the “Internet of Things” will come into play in years to come; physical things will connect to the Internet more and more, such as the Nest thermostat and even robotic integration into daily life. Connecting this back to client service, it’s important for PR counsellors and marketers to understand the various platforms, keep on top of tech trends and read tech blogs regularly.
Audiences are constantly changing. The way people consume media is far different from previous generations (learn more in our 2014 MMNPL eBook about media consumption patterns.) Consumers are over-stimulated and pay less attention to brand messaging. Marketers must keep in mind that not all clients want to be on social media – that’s where we can come into play to provide assistance. It’s also important to produce meaningful messages for clients, instead of producing content just for the sake of producing content.
One of the sessions at BRITE ’15 covered women in the workplace – being a female in an office is more than about just “leaning in,” it’s about having an entrepreneurial spirit and promoted success. How does this translate to a PR/marketing agency such as SA? Women need to help each other climb the ladder, whether it’s asking the opinions of others or lending a hand on teams you may not work with on a daily basis.
Brands and startups may be at different places in the market, but they shouldn’t act so differently. Brands are great at consistency, executing to the task and defining their story, but they can take a page from the startup playbook and work on agility. On the other hand, while startups are great at innovating, filling unmet market needs and adapting, it’s difficult for them to think about risk management like an established brand. Translating this to client services, it’s important to be in sync with the overall business strategy when working with both brands and startups. Define potential problems before they arise, prioritize goals and issues and then prototype a solution.
It’s important for PR/marketing professionals to manage by walking around! Get out of the office, attend a conference or seminar and think about the industry in a different light. It’s easy to get bogged down in the day-to-day, so it’s refreshing to hear from experts who are innovating so that you can bring back this wisdom to your work. Registering for events that boost professional development and provide new insights to take back to your clients and your colleagues is always smart – and makes you smarter! And don’t forget to teach others what you’ve learned. The above insights came from a presentation the team below shared at the SA staff meeting this week.
Joan Schneider, CEO
Carolyn Tillo, Senior Account Executive
Nicole LeLacheur, Account Executive
Thursday, March 12th 2015
As a young public relations and marketing professional, I’m always connecting the dots between brands and their audiences. I’m fascinated by the impulses triggered through modern marketing and the idea that messaging and visuals can make or break spending decisions. As a 22-year-old millennial, I’m even more intrigued by the innovative strategies companies are using to reach my digital demographic.
Golf is a true passion of mine. If I’m not playing, practicing or watching, I’m exploring the industry and how major golf-related associations and companies market to their consumers. The industry has taken a beating over the past few years when it comes to marketing and growing the game with younger populations. Major golf brands have failed to accurately target and reach millennials, a population with an estimated $2.45 trillion in annual spending power in 2015. In fact, 83% of Americans who played a complete, 18-hole round of golf last year were over the age of 40 – the golf market needs to reinvent how it reaches younger populations.
Below is the first of a multi-part series, based on personal opinions and industry observations, on how new methods of marketing are helping brands save the game of golf for millennials and younger generations, such as the iGen born after 1994.
Snapchat and the Waste Management Open
Events such as major sporting championships, fashion shows, concerts and even a hot air balloon festival in New Mexico are using the “Our Story” feature. Why? Brands that try this sponsored feature are seeing astronomical numbers of views. For example, snaps on the “Techies in Vegas” story during CES 2015 saw upwards of 27 million views.
The PGA Tour seemed hesitant over the past few years when it came to adopting modern marketing methods to reach a younger crowd. So, they decided to take a hard swing at Snapchat during this year’s Waste Management Phoenix Open, more specifically the 16th Hole (known by most fans and players to be the loudest and most social hole in golf – see the video below), and to me, it was as close to a hole-in-one as a brand can get.
So what’s the lesson here? Never be afraid to try new marketing tactics. Modern marketing, especially the methods that involve smart phones on the golf course, were the last thing people expected the PGA Tour to try – but they did, and it was huge hit with young generations of golfers and fans of the sport.
Tuesday, March 10th 2015
Schneider Associates is pleased to announce the agency recently received a Silver award in Bulldog Reporter’s 2014 Digital/Social PR Awards in the “Best Use of Digital/Social for Higher Education Marketing” category. According to Bulldog Reporter, the annual awards recognize digital public relations campaigns that achieve extraordinary visibility and influence opinion through online media. The award entries are judged based on the criteria of creativity and originality, strategic brilliance, fast thinking and quick turnaround, extraordinary execution, and results.
SA was recognized for our work creating and implementing a thought leadership blog for the Corporate and Executive Education (CEE) practice within the D’Amore-McKim School of Business at Northeastern University. The practice provides custom training and leadership development programs for executives at Fortune 500 companies in health care, life sciences, engineering and financial services. These programs focus on areas of expertise that include global management, sales enablement, leadership development, innovation, entrepreneurship and business acumen.
SA created a content-rich, responsive blog to host dynamic thought leadership content from professors, the brand and to inform key stakeholders about CEE practice offerings. The goal was to leverage content created on the blog across multiple channels, and to connect prospective clients to CEE using a variety of digital and social channels including Twitter in conjunction with the blog.
SA continues to find innovative ways to use the blog to engage new clients and prospects, as well as develop fresh ideas to create engaging thought leadership content with D’Amore-McKim’s enthusiastic team of professors, making the blog an essential and beneficial long-term asset in its marketing program.
To learn more about SA’s thought leadership campaign for Northeastern University D’Amore-McKim School of Business, click here.
To read the #LeadersAtWork Blog, click here.
Monday, March 9th 2015
New York Daily News highlighted the survey’s most striking result: On average, New York City parents dole out a whopping $13.25 per tooth. Gaining a shocking and amusing response among NYC-area readers, the story became a catalyst as publications throughout the region posted the news online.
The coverage spread across the country—and the globe. Yahoo Parenting posted the news including the infographic SA created. The Houston Mirror showcased the findings, as well as Colorado Newsday, Arizona Daily Star and Daily Mail in the U.K.
Perhaps more entertaining than the results were people’s reactions. One parent responded to an informal Facebook survey of Yahoo Parenting readers:
“$13!!?? Good Lord. I remember getting a quarter as a kid and I thought it was the best thing ever. LOL.”
How did this survey gain such widespread media attention? And why did outside markets, including Colorado, Arizona, and the U.K., find this information newsworthy? The emotions experienced by readers when hearing the Tooth Fairy Survey results created “viral” news.
An article highlighting the recent blue/black/gold/white (will we ever know?) dress debate cites a study from content discovery and measurement software company, BuzzSumo, which found the emotions that make a story go “viral” are not fear and anger, but laughter and amusement. Similarly, SA’s Most Memorable New Product Launch survey reveals a strong relationship between the emotional connections to a new product launch and market awareness.
The media relations lesson from the Sunstar GUM Tooth Fairy campaign we want to share is that when creating a product launch campaign, have some fun and consider creating program elements like a “Survey for Ink” that elicits emotional reactions in consumers and the media.
Wednesday, March 4th 2015
In a move to capitalize on America’s undying love of bacon, Little Caesars launched the first-ever bacon-wrapped pizza on Monday, February 23. The limited-time only deep-dish is wrapped with 3.5 feet of bacon around the crust and topped with pepperoni – and of course, even more bacon. At $12 per pie, Little Caesars’ bacon-wrapped pizza is the priciest menu item from the chain, whose legacy includes affordable deals such as the two-for-one Pizza!Pizza!® and the 5 dollar HOT-N-READY carry-out option.
In recent years, Little Caesars has fallen behind in the fast-food pizza chain competition, losing much of its consumer base to those who are opting for quality over quantity. Industry Rival Papa John’s has earned a top place in the market with their “better ingredients, better pizza” tagline, and Dominos over the past few years has made an effort to revamp its entire menu, promising to listen to consumer feedback and focus on making great-tasting food. Will this new, slightly expensive menu item catapult Little Caesars into the same category as chains like Dominos, or will it turn away customers who enjoy the restaurant’s affordability?
To launch the new pizza, Little Caesars relied heavily on media relations and a social media campaign to generate consumer buzz. A press release by the company described the product as an “example of how we’re continuing to innovate and offer variety on our menu while fully leveraging our core strengths built around value, convenience, and quality.” The new pizza was dubbed “America’s latest indulgence” by CNN and an “epic announcement” by Buzzfeed. Fox News aired a broadcast on their talk show, Red Eye w/Greg Gutfeld, which featured panelists discussing the launch and whether or not they would try a pizza wrapped in 42 inches of bacon. USA Today ran an article about the product, which featured an interview with Little Caesars’ CEO David Scrivano, who points out that “you can always get a plain, cheese pizza” anywhere. Integrating social media into the launch, Little Caesars tweeted a link to the USA Today article after it ran to announce the product on their handle. Even famous Hollywood gossip blogger Perez Hilton posted about the launch, calling it Little Caesars’ “plan for world domination with a deep-dish pizza.”
While most fast-food chains have begun launching healthier menu items in response to the rise of healthier chains like Chipotle and Panera, the bacon-wrapped pizza is quite the opposite, with about 450 calories and 23 grams of fat per slice. In the face of criticism, Little Caesars pointed out that a slice actually has fewer calories than many other beloved fast-food items, including the Whopper from Burger King or a McDonald’s Big Mac.
Of course, it shouldn’t be considered a healthy option. Scrivano acknowledges it is “a more indulgent offering for a demographic that craves premium quality.” At Schneider Associates, we learned from our 2014 Most Memorable New Product Launch survey that younger consumer demographics including millennials (21-30 year olds) and Gen Xers (31-47 year olds) are more health conscious than other generations, and prefer products that contain whole grains, have no high fructose corn syrup and no trans-fat. Do you think consumers will pig out on Little Caesars’ new pizza, or avoid it altogether? And does the product have what takes to bring home the bacon?
Tuesday, March 3rd 2015
Facebook’s News Feed algorithm changes almost as often as it snows in Boston. For marketers who thought photos were worth a thousand words when it comes to improving reach and engagement, now it’s video that is moving the dial. About a year ago, photos made up about 54 percent of Facebook page posts with video at a mere three percent, according to a Social Bakers study – and by the end of 2014, while photos were still the most common type of promoted post, they weren’t the most effective among users. The study found that video now has the highest average organic reach at 8.7 percent, and photos are the least likely to reach your audiences at 3.7 percent.
Avid Facebook users, think about your recent Facebook and Instagram activity. With refined auto play functions allowing video to play almost instantaneously while you scroll through your News Feed, you may have started watching more video content lately. A brand’s photo is now just another in the masses.
This doesn’t mean brands should stop creating high-quality image content to accompany social media posts. It does mean that spending a little extra time to create a well-executed piece of video content could do wonders for reach and engagement. (At Schneider Associates, we’re working on some cool client video content captured with a GoPro – details coming soon!)
What will happen when videos become just as common as photos? Another type of content will most likely change the algorithm – but as marketers, now we have two ways to engage consumers. Plus, isn’t that what makes our jobs interesting?
Friday, February 27th 2015
On February 21, Joan Schneider, CEO and founder of Schneider Associates, participated in a panel at the PR Advanced event held by the PRSSA Boston University Chapter. PR Advanced is an annual PR event featuring
a keynote speech, breakout speaking sessions, panel discussions, student competitions and a career fair – all focusing on the field of communications. This year’s theme was Breaking Barriers and addressing the changing landscape of communication, aimed at preparing young students and aspiring communication professionals for the shift toward integrated marketing communications (IMC).
The panel included professionals who were all engaged in IMC — disciplines discussed included public relations, digital media, advertising and marketing. As the PR representative on the IMC panel, Joan shared
her insights on the future of IMC and provided valuable guidance to young professionals who are pursuing a career in the industry. The other two speakers on the panel included Jaclyn Ruelle, VP Account Director at Mullen, and Tom Kiley, VP of Weber Shandwick.
Here are some highlights from Joan’s panel discussion:
The Future of IMC:
• From the printing press to broadcast media to today’s social media platforms, the industry is always
changing and evolving.
• As we move towards an IMC approach, the industry will need both generalists who can think cross
discipline and specialists who know more than just the talking points about a client’s business.
• At the core of IMC are writing, communication, technology and creativity.
• As integrated media professionals, our role is to bring measurable results to business problems.
Our role is cross discipline and reaches every aspect of business, from front line customer service
to C-suite challenges.
Advice for Young Professionals:
• Take off your ear buds and hear what’s going on around you. The world is bigger than your phone.
It’s important to engage with others.
• Talk to people you would not normally consider chatting up – get out of your comfort zone.
• Be a good writer, a good researcher, and know what’s going on in the world. Watch, listen to
or read the news every day.
• Get inspiration from culture, art, traveling, food, or anything that can expand your mind.
Joan’s discussion generated a buzz on Twitter. Check out Joan’s inspiring and witty quotes
captured by the audience: