Trending from G/L: How the #NeverAgain Movement is Working Like an Agency

The Blog

Meg Strange
Senior Account Executive

Trending from G/L: How the #NeverAgain Movement is Working Like an Agency

Over the past year and a half, buzz words in media and marketing have revolved around one thing: “social.” Social media, social commentary, social movements… we like to talk about things. And given the number of momentous events that have transpired over that period of time – the good, the bad, the beautiful and the ugly – we’ve had plenty to talk about.

Brands and media outlets can draw criticism when they get involved with the discussion surrounding some of these heavy, sensitive topics. Whether it’s being ill-informed, or being accused of exploiting controversial subjects for personal gain, we’ve all seen PR disasters happen on social media. But when brands and media outlets really listen to what’s going on in the world, they can provide a megaphone to individuals who, up until this point, may have felt voiceless – an incredible success not only for the brands and media outlets, but for our community as a whole. Often, this megaphone manifests itself as social media.

The tragedy that occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida stunned and saddened people all over the world. But somewhere in that tragedy, a group of teenagers found enough strength and determination to take charge of one of the most vexing and controversial debates in the United States. And they’re using social media to make it happen.

This movement, aptly titled #NeverAgain, has played an integral role in organizing possibly the largest single-day protest in the history of our nation’s capital, has core leadership that has amassed over 2 million followers on Twitter and has changed the gun conversation in America… and it’s made up of two dozen young adults ranging in age from 17 – 20 operating out of a Florida strip mall. Welcome to the 21st century.

According to an article by Vanity Fair, the atmosphere in the #NeverAgain headquarters is akin to the vibe of the Saturday Night Live writers’ room. It’s a social media think tank where a group of animated and highly driven high school (and some college) students gather to strategize the content, tone, messages and tactics that will continue the movement’s momentum that has amassed in the past few weeks.

The group is made up of individuals from a variety of backgrounds and talents, all collaborating to cultivate engaging and easily shareable social content that will continue to captivate and earn support from our country and, possibly, the world. They vet creative ideas, develop memes, write and shoot short-form video, draft event speeches and more. They constantly consider their key audiences and the best ways to attract and engage them. They brainstorm, concept, debate and create.

Wait a tick…that kind of sounds like…an agency. As I read this article, I was amazed at the knowledge, skills and level of thinking these kids seem to possess. The conversations they’re having, the questions they’re asking, the work they’re doing and the energy they’re creating is comparable to what professionals across our industry have spent years developing and perfecting. This group of adolescents is operating a content studio, PR firm, social media agency and non-profit organization all at once and all while still in school! As industry professionals, we are often quick to criticize the notion that anyone can become a designer, content creator, strategist—but these kids are challenging the status quo and proving that, with enough tenacity and grit, they can achieve anything.

So, is it just plain luck that they’ve formed the perfect team to carry this movement? Or, is their competence in capturing our attention just the reality of a generation who has been reared in the digital age? Or, is it simply a group of passionate young people who realize they have the power and the resources to create real change? Either way, whether or not you agree with their message or this movement, I believe we can all agree that what they are doing is equal parts impressive and inspirational.

Geile/Leon Marketing Communications Wins New Business and Awards

The Blog

Mary Sawyer
Vice President of Public Relations

Geile/Leon Marketing Communications Wins New Business and Awards

The year 2016 has been busy for Geile/Leon Marketing Communications so far as we proudly work with our great long-term clients and welcome a pair of terrific new clients – LCN, an industry leader in door control and Upper Iowa University, a private institution of higher education.

LCN Products, of Carmel, Ind., is an international brand of door closers and hardware that specializes in safety and security challenges. For LCN, G/L is providing strategic planning, marketing, branding and new product introduction services.

For Upper Iowa University, located in Fayette, Iowa, G/L is developing a strategic positioning and branding program that will be the basis for the institution’s future marketing and communications.

“We’ve thoroughly enjoyed working with our newest clients primarily because they’re great organizations to work with,” said Tim Leon, President and Lead Strategist at Geile/Leon Marketing Communications. “It’s our goal that every new client we bring on is the beginning of a long, productive partnership that will make both organizations stronger now and long into the future.”

And, while we don’t work for awards, it has been gratifying this year to be recognized for our efforts.

For instance, we are very pleased to have been named in the Small Business Monthly’s annual reader survey as one of the best businesses in the area. Readers named us as one of the Top 5 Marketing Firms in St. Louis.

The St. Louis Business Journal lists St. Louis advertising, marketing and public relations firms by number of employees. We’re in the Top 30 this year… not the biggest of the firms, but we’re proud of the capabilities we have to offer. Our clients know that we have most of the capabilities of much larger firms, but provide them unparalleled service, creativity and attention.

Have any questions about what we’re working on? Shoot us a note anytime:

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Find Your Why: No One Rallies Around Mission Statements, So Discover Your Purpose

The Blog

Randy Micheletti
VP, Director of Brand Strategy

Find Your Why: No One Rallies Around Mission Statements, So Discover Your Purpose

B2B

Think about your liquor cabinet. Now think about that tired, dusty bottle of “Old Crow” that’s sitting on the bottom shelf. Something you glance over every once in a while but never dream of opening it or bringing it out of the shadows and into the light of day.

Pretty similar to your company’s mission statement? You felt like you had to put one together but haven’t looked at it for years. You probably can’t even quote the first sentence of it.

Well, you’re not alone. Many companies feel the need to deliver a mission statement and most do. The problem is they lose focus, make the statement way too long for any of their employees to remember, and once it’s done, house it on their web site or in a company document without ever referring to it.

If it’s not part of your daily routine and clear to your employees, then what good is it? That’s why we believe in Simon Sinek’s model – we believe that people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. Your why should be concise, simple and straight to the point. It has to answer several questions, most importantly, why do you get out of bed every morning and do what you do and why does your company exist? With all the competition in many categories you have to make your brand stand out. Your why can help do just that.

So, find your why, communicate it both internally and externally and see how your culture and your business changes.

I know our why – “We believe every company has a deeper purpose, and it’s our job to find out what that is.” If you’d like us to help you figure out your why, just reach out. It’s what we do – and we’re good at it.

WIN A FREE WHY BOOK

Plus, if you fill out the form below, you’ll be entered to win a copy of Simon Sinek’s book Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action.

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Find Your Why: How company culture goes beyond the workplace

The Blog

Geile/Leon Marketing Communications

Find Your Why: How company culture goes beyond the workplace

When we think about work culture and environment, we allude to a spectrum of physical spaces ranging from fluorescent-lit cubicle containers to spacey, renovated warehouses with concrete floors and ill-placed lamps. But office aesthetics are but a crumb of the entire company culture cake.

Most of us spend the majority of our lives at the office. Sometimes we seem to forget that. There, we succeed gloriously and fail miserably—bask in contentment and writhe in resentment. Whether we love or loathe our jobs, workplace culture plays a major role.

In fact, the best employers in the U.S. say their greatest tool is culture. The attached article from Fortune notes three major trends.

First, because the “best employer” surveyors have used the same methodology and judging criteria for twenty some odd years, they determined that the best workplaces are getting even better—which sounds super arbitrary, but bear with me. The average amount of training for managers and professionals has increased 80% from 1998. Additionally, data from the surveyors’ Trust Index (which is exactly what it sounds like) indicates that the “happiest employees” are happier and more loyal than ever.

Second, business leaders use culture as a competitive tool in order to mutually benefit the company and its employees. So happier employees make a company more lucrative? Who woulda thunk it? It certainly makes sense. If an employee feels that he or she is under appreciated, merely spinning wheels, or worse, both—he or she may produce work of lower quality.

Third, the best workplaces have leaders who listen to their employees and implement distinctive programs that are relevant to the modern business world. Certain programs alone can instill a sense of culture. Whether it’s an intricate workshop or a simple office ritual like, oh, I don’t know, having a beer or two together at the end of each week. That’s what we do here at G/L, and let me tell you, I’m feeling the culture.

Sometimes it’s as simple as sharing an understanding of the basis of work done in the office. Why do you do what you do? What’s the purpose of your work? These questions are often overlooked in the corporate world. Routine slays passion, and without passion, brands become stale.

We’ve quoted Simon Sinek countless times: “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” Want to hear more about how we maintain our workplace culture? Give us a call—or better yet, stop by Friday around 4pm. We’ll tell you all about it.

WIN A FREE WHY BOOK

Regardless, if you fill out the form below, you’ll be entered to win a copy of Simon Sinek’s book Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action.

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Trending from G/L: Hiring an Advertising Agency the Right Way

The Blog

Geile/Leon Marketing Communications

Trending from G/L: Hiring an Advertising Agency the Right Way

The processes that companies use to find an advertising agency have evolved dramatically over the past few decades. The standard requests for proposals (RFP) are sill around, but with some brands working with multiple agencies, as well as freelancers and internal marketers, the landscape has become infinitely more complicated. Agencies of record still matter, but project work is everywhere.

Despite all of this, a strong agency partnership fosters trust and paves a path for high-quality strategic, creative work to emerge. That path can start with the agency selection process. While that process can be arduous, making it as streamlined and conducive to finding the right fit is worth it.

Argentum Strategy Group recently published a case study for choosing the right creative agency and we were fortunate enough to be indirectly mentioned.

In the case study, a business-to-business technology brand was searching for an agency to help differentiate their message and grow their local awareness. They took a number of critical steps to determine a budget, vet selected agencies based on selected criteria, and rate each agency in an unbiased manner. In this case, the client XIOLINK chose Geile/Leon as their agency.

Working with Susan Silver and the team at Argentum gave us the opportunity to meet with, and eventually, work with the client on an ongoing basis. They do a fantastic job of bringing together the right clients and the right agencies to find a strategic fit. And from an agency perspective, we found the search process valuable and inclusive.

Our approach to new business in general has evolved for the better over the course of more than 25 years in business. But our commitment to helping brands grow is still at the heart of everything we do. If you have a marketing challenge, let us help you solve it. We’re up for it.

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What if Tinder could be used for business?

The Blog

Geile/Leon Marketing Communications

What if Tinder could be used for business?

B2B

G/L is always looking for new ideas, trends and technologies.

The other day Tinder got brought up in the office, after a few jokes and explanations about this widely popular app, something interesting came to mind. We live in a world where Tinder is a very successful mobile app for dating and meeting new people…but what if we lived in a world where Tinder had a larger purpose? What if we lived in a world where Tinder (well, something like Tinder) connected businesses to each other with the swipe of a finger?

Background

  • Tinder is an app for matchmaking, it launched in 2012.
  • The app uses Facebook profiles to gather basic information for compatibility and then matches a user with other users in his/her geographical radius.
  • Tinder shows the user other people in the area who match his/her compatibility, and the users can swipe with one finger to the left or to the right if they are interested in (or not interested in) each other.
  • If both users swipe each other with interest, then they get an “It’s a Match” notification and can begin messaging.

So, it would be online dating for business? Not exactly, but close.

The thought behind connecting through mutual compatibility within a geographical proximity is interesting – it can be applied to almost anything, even a communications agency. It would work like this:

Agencies create profiles. Tinder connects with Facebook for a bit of safety, reliability and compatibility. The B2B app could connect with LinkedIn for that purpose and still have the geolocation technology to search within a specific geographical radius. An agency profile in the app would show a summary of the business, the clients it works with and what it specializes in/has to offer a client.

Businesses (prospective clients) create profiles. Businesses would submit who they are, what they do and why they need an agency. Using the same connection with LinkedIn and geolocation technology, the app could show which agencies are within a reasonable location and whose services are compatible with their business needs.

Then they swipe.

The app would show the agencies and clients who are interested in each other and now they are making business connections and turning a swipe of a finger into a business lead in a matter of seconds on a mobile device or tablet.

Unfortunately, we don’t live in a world where Tinder is for businesses – but maybe someday. Until then, I guess we’ll leave the swiping to the lovebirds.

Mobile Social Marketing: The Perfect Trend for Bargain Hunters

The Blog

Geile/Leon Marketing Communications

Mobile Social Marketing: The Perfect Trend for Bargain Hunters

Let me begin by introducing myself, seeing as I am the newest addition to St. Louis marketing and advertising agency, Geile/Leon. My name is Lindsey, and just a week ago I started my journey as a G/Ler. Immediately thrown into the hustle and bustle of agency life, one of my first tasks was to write a post for the agency blog. Well, one thing you should know about me is that I love a good deal. I am a coupon redeeming, discount-shopping queen. So naturally my favorite marketing movement right now is mobile social marketing. This rapidly spreading movement is the perfect trend for someone constantly connected and addicted to a good bargain. It is with no hesitation when I say I have been a victim of this explosive trend lately.

I recently took a trip to Plato’s Closet to rid my wardrobe of some unnecessary clothing. Of course, only to replenish what I managed to get rid of while waiting for them to rummage through my bags of clothes. But really, how could I turn down a $12.00 pair of designer jeans? My impulse-purchase behavior isn’t exactly the point of the story, but more so is the conversation that took place upon checkout. It went something like this:

“Do you have the Facebook app on your phone?”

“Well of course I do.”

“Would you like to save 20 percent on your purchase?”

“Obviously.”

“All you need to do is “like” this location on your mobile phone.”

Done. And just 30 seconds later those jeans cost me $10.00.

Next stop on my impromptu shopping trip was the mall, wallet heavy with my $40 profit from Plato’s. And what do you know, yet another promotion similar to that of PC. $10 off jean shorts for “checking-in” at American Eagle using Facebook Places. So was it a coincidence that I came across two places using these types of mobile promotions? I don’t think so. A social networking – mobile marketing phenomenon? I would bet on it.

Location-based check-in services like Facebook Places, Foursquare, and Yelp are popping up everywhere, offering incentives for consumers to interact with a brand and share valuable data. These services use your geographical location to determine public locations and venues that are close to your proximity. Ann Taylor, Best Buy and Starbucks are a few of the companies jumping on the LBS bandwagon, offering immediate “check-in” rewards.

In addition to the location-based apps, there are coupon sites, like mobiQpons, offering on-demand special promotions from local restaurants, stores and services near you. All it takes to redeem your deal is showing the offers to the cashier directly from your cell phone – simplicity at its finest. On top of the LBS apps are the increasingly popular, QR codes showing up on ads, posters, and restaurant menus everywhere (learn more by checking out a great blog post from fellow G/Ler, Miranda). And, we can’t forget about the SMS offers. I still love getting my monthly Redbox free rental code!

Gone are the days of scissors and coupon cutting. Bargain shopping and coupon redemption has never been simpler. Now the real challenge lies in trying to sort through the hundreds of apps being offered, and I for one, graciously welcome the challenge.

 

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