Wednesday, October 12, 2016

White Paper: Influencer Marketing 

Why Influencers are Important for your Business and Brand

The term “Influencer” has become so synonymous with successful marketing practices, the Cambridge Dictionary has actually added a new definition of the word. 


Noun. Marketing Term:
  •          “A person or group that has the ability to influence the behavior or opinions of others: The influencer is the individual or group whose effect on a purchase decision is in some way significant or authoritative.”
It is true. Much like in personal life, many in business are influenced, convinced or persuaded by others to change or alter their thinking, opinions, practices, or decisions.

Why not? After all, gleaning new insight and information from trusted contacts who have either experienced the products or services of a business - or who are familiar with but not part of the brand or source - is a means to a credible reference.

For years, many in marketing have heard the coined phase, “Word of Mouth.” An old adage, the concept has served its purpose for years in terms of generating interest in brands and their products or services. But, for those willing to stay tuned regarding this mindset’s more modernized trend shift, the positive impact of influencers on sales and marketing can be astounding.

So, then, exactly what is “Influencer Marketing”?

Start by setting aside the outdated approach to one-way marketing messages. You know it well- the timeworn method of static messages about a business and that which it sells, hoping the information resonates with sales leads, customers or clients.

Now, think about two-way and interactive marketing based upon the influence of others. Neither your marketing staff, nor your sales team have the power to influence your customers like others do. 
Who are these all-important influencers?

For one, they are not you. Influencers in marketing include those reputable contacts who are not part of your personnel and have earned the trust of people within your target audience sectors. They are reliable third-party influencers who have built a follower, fan or reader base that is often swayed by their recommendations, written content and expressed opinions.

The list of possible influencers is long, and good that it is. Influencers with whom you should be interfacing for the benefit of your brand are editors, journalists, columnists, bloggers, vloggers, industry experts, renowned analysts, social media gurus, and others who are authorities within your industry as well as the scope of how you conduct business.

Those who possess the platform to endorse your marketing messages, boost your acclaim, or drive others to purchase your products or services- they are the influencers you want and need to know. As you ramp up for 2017 marketing budget allocations, consider these stats:

  •  84% of marketers plan to implement Influencer Marketing programs within the next 12 months. ~ eMarketer study.
  • From 2014 to 2016, traditional paid advertising has dropped in favor, whereas Influencer Marketing has grown. ~ Nielson finding.
  •  Influencer Marketing now requires public relations managers to interact with an increasing number of external contacts who have the power and platforms to advocate for or endorse a business. ~ Eberly & Collard Public Relations focus group.
Four Strategies to Build Relationships with Influencers

Start with strategic content marketing:

In order to gain the endorsement of external influencers, your business should first define strategic and long-term marketing outreach and publicity goals. This includes uncovering how you brand is currently being perceived by your customers, clients and others, and how you would like to enhance those perceptions. Begin to develop brand-augmentation messaging points, sound bites and innovative forms of print and digital self-published content. The most effective content will be formulated and disseminated with a clear and creative approach.

Rather than “telling” or “informing” your targets how they should perceive your brand, offer them engaging and resourceful information that causes them to view your business as an industry helpmate or supportive analyst. Self-publish this written and video content via your owned media- i.e., your website, blog and social media channels, giving your customers and prospects a solid reason to keep your URLs in their feeds.

Find and engage trusted influencers:

Next, research a diverse group of external contacts, businesses, media outlets, industry associations, and a range of influential connections in, around and involved in your field. Determine good influencers for your brand by studying their potential applicability and viability for being ambassadors for your business. If they have a known and existing trust factor among your customer- or client-types, and they own a share of voice to effectively persuade your targets, initiating an authentic relationship with the influencer(s) is beneficial.

Look for influencers in relative places to your business, such as popular social media enthusiasts, qualified professional associations, well-attended conferences or tradeshows, B-to-B or B-to-C online forums and blogs, top 20 trade publications, top 100 (or more) business or mainstream media outlets, and anywhere communities have formed that could yield proactive, positive interactions. Engage and interface with these influencers as an ongoing matter of day-to-day activity for your business. Get involved, stay connected, be social, and actively participate.

Execute press and media relations:

Edit the above-mentioned content in Associated Press style, and implement tactical public and media relations to produce earned media. Draft press releases, news briefs, product notices, completed project announcements, and other media outlet-focused narratives regarding your business, personnel, news, awards, and accomplishments. Submit these official content documents to a list of well-researched editors, reporters and media members, and follow-up with them by way of media relations best practices.

Take time to uncover where, when and how your customers, prospects and leads tend to read or view their news. It is these media outlets to which you should submit customized releases. In turn, as select media outlets publish or report your news, they will naturally act as influencers, which can lead your target audiences to your website or other forms of connecting with your company. Media-endorsed information about your business is one of the surest ways to increase branding and sales.

Cultivate and maintain your brand influencers:

In all of your Influencer Marketing efforts, remain true to the brand standards your business holds sacred. Adhere to a set of guidelines that makes it possible for everyone within your organization to create and grow relationships with influencers.

As you develop new informational content of interest to your audiences and invite the influencers to share it with the contacts who admire them, be sure to include key search words and URL links in subtle ways.
Though, do not oversaturate the content with promotional or sales information. Your influencer campaign content should be purposed to form both inbound and outbound leads activity through non-sales language. Yet, it should have an attention-grabbing and a value-added informational tone. 

As you proceed with cultivating relationships with the influencers, think of them as allies for your brand. Provide mutually beneficial support to those willing and able to persuade, refer or guide their followers toward you and your business.

By implementing Influencer Marketing rife with valuable content, your business will become known as offering value, data and insight to your customers, or those who could become customers. If well planned, your content will be shared and re-shared by others, going viral and building new forms of outreach and impressions. Finally, your business will breed new relationships with significant, persuasive contacts paramount to your sales and marketing success.

For a customized campaign to garner influencer relations for your business, brands, products, and / or services, contact us... 

Eberly Collard Public Relations develops and executes regional, national and international public relations programs for clients that help them join effective communities and conversations, which evoke new relationships for them with media members, customers or clients, and relevant influencers.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Architecture & Construction Strengthen Symbiotic Relationship with the Environment Through Sustainability

Construction / contracting companies and architecture firms were buoyant about the trends predicted to occur within the industry this year. Many cities throughout the United States are growing faster than ever, and with urban growth comes the new opportunities to re-construct parts of the cities that had been long forgotten. According to Dodge Data & Analytics' 2016 Construction Outlook report, there is a predicted 6% growth, with the value of construction starting to reach an estimated $712 billion. The opportunities to build innovative sustainable structures have surfaced as the demand in sustainability and walkable communities has increased. According to the American Institute of Architects third-quarter Home Design Trends Survey, “design elements such as access to public transportation, multi-generational housing, walkable neighborhoods and mixed-use facilities dominate homeowner preferences.” As the 2016 foreseen trends continue to take place, companies are adapting to the changes and progressively making improvements in sustainable approaches across several of the industries in which we specialize.

Credit: Jeffrey Betts

Changes in the industry stimulate the need for innovative approaches to old tasks. Eberly & Collard Public Relations’ experience developing relationships with the media in the building, construction, and architecture industries are highly valuable. We have worked with construction companies who implement a variety of building techniques across the realm. We also manage to keep up with the latest trends in our industries and are delighted to see the revolutionary advancements companies are developing towards sustainability.

Credit: Lando and Associates, Landscape Architecture
Our firm’s successful execution of media relations management and integrated marketing approach often results in the feature of client projects in trade publications and across several media channels within their industry. Our services create trade and consumer zeal for our clients' businesses. The ECPR team invites you to read and view our current online case-studies content. 

Along with the sustainability trend surging everywhere, the architecture, construction and commercial building industries represent a pristine area to apply the concept. “Green building currently accounts for 26-33% of the total residential market and has helped contribute to the industry's recovery after the recession, according to Dodge Data & Analytics.” But what exactly separates the industries from becoming more “green” and moving towards sustainability instead? Sustainability goes beyond being “green.” It prioritizes the symbiotic relationship between our species and the environment; it focuses on responsibly utilizing resources and re-thinking designs that do not have a detrimental impact. For instance, designing structures that maximize the use of natural daylight, use sustainable materials such as reclaimed wood, promote cycling culture in various ways, and integrate geothermal heating and cooling systems.

Credit: Asia Green Buildings
Publicizing that your business utilizes sustainable building practices and that it is reshaping construction or architectural designs to preserve our ecosystem can be significantly beneficial. Our mission is to promote your business in your marketplace and leverage publicity into results and revenue.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Using Instagram for Your Business

With more than 400 million active accounts, Instagram is an exceedingly engaged global community. The creative context and visual language of this photo-sharing app is a great way to inspire countless individuals and influence customers or clients in regard to your brand.

Businesses that use Instagram are able to showcase their products and services in a rich, visual and viral environment. There are seemingly endless opportunities for businesses to use the brand-building app effectively. Take our tips into consideration when looking to shape your company’s Instagram strategy and presence:

·         Establish What Your Company Wants to Achieve with Instagram:
o   Start off by researching and creating a well-formed strategy. You should create clear goals and concepts that mirror your company’s campaign goals.
o   Develop a schedule that suits the needs of your intended followers, industries and sectors.
o   Brainstorm lists of ideas, concepts and imagery to fulfill the schedule as well as engage and involve your B-to-C and / or B-to-B audience(s).

·         Cultivate a Following:
o   In order to gain followers, you have to follow other accounts and “like” their posts. Influencers in the same industry, clients, and engaging users are a few suggestions to increase your followings. Create two-way dialogs in this way, inviting and encouraging others to do the same with you and your business.
o   Follow and interact with others on Instagram specific to your marketing objectives; work across all of your sales and prospect segmentations to ensure you leave no important sector unattended.

·         Set a Tone:
o   It is important to choose a visual style for your account, such as certain filters to use, what content each image will focus on, and common language / hashtags to use for captions. For example, by sticking with the same filters, you establish a style that becomes recognizable to your followers.
o   Conversely, plan posts and content that is flexible, ultra-creative and interesting. This involves photos that showcase your business’ brand persona- meaning its would-be personality or interactive and lively role within your scope of work or areas of expertise.
o   Generate strategic messages and sound bites to be used in captions and a list of best practices and posting standards your entire team can practice and implement to create a cohesive brand-voice.

·         Captivate Your Audience:
o   Each post has a story to tell. Use a high-quality image and captivating caption. You can also cross-post with other social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, which becomes an easy source of visual content and connectivity throughout social media platforms.
o   Possibly like no other social media channel, Instagram is shaping up to be the customized or bespoke online networking tool. Proactive and tactical Instagram managers create posts that are completely tailored to their brands; unlike Facebook and twitter, these posts tend to feature a more personalized “day-in-the-life” view of a business’ inner-workings, news, happenings, and achievements.

·         Monitor Achievements:
o   Tracking the performance of your account will help you and your team stay in tune with what resonates with your followers. This allows room for improvement; a chance to evaluate ongoing content goals your company is achieving; and a hands-on look at that which needs to be achieved.
o   As you develop photo and caption content, experiment with applicable hashtags. Keep them on-topic and one to two key words most of the time. Don’t forget to check the general content to which hashtags lead. You may be surprised at which ones do and do not echo your brand’s messages.
o   Monitor captions with and without hashtags to see which prove successful in gleaning interaction, likes and online dialog. As you learn what makes your Instagram effective, repeat the pros and revise the cons.

Remember, with Instagram now considered the hub where people view the visual identities of businesses, products, services, and brands- it is a crucial consideration to effectively promote your business on Instagram.

Instagram has been a great way for the Eberly & Collard Public Relations social media team to successfully promote our services and news throughout the fields of architecture, construction, interior design, horticulture, and our other industries. We are helping many of our clients kick-off their own Instagram accounts and other social media accounts as well. Check back to our blog for updates and additional social media insights from our team, and follow our Instagram: @eberlycollardpr.

For even more Instagram tips, check out Instagram and Hootsuite.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Kick-it in the Kitchen & Bath Industry during 2016!

As the calendar year draws to a close, kitchen and bath industry professionals everywhere – from product manufacturers, distributors and suppliers to interior designers and showroom retailers – are taking stock of their sales and marketing efforts from 2015.

With this in mind, any review of a prior year’s marketing tactics should involve a strategic look ahead to seek innovative methods that can lead to business growth for the new year.

After all, as the favored end-of-year song “Auld Lang Syne” reminds us, “…times gone by are important to remember.” Recalling the past in business also guides the process of improving and enhancing our best practices- including how we market our businesses, services or products.

Relative to your kitchen and bath business success, the victories and even potential failures from the last 12 months can help generate new ideas and create promotional and publicity opportunities for the future.

Point blank: Customers and clients have many choices when it comes to residential and commercial Kitchen and Bath construction, remodeling and installation projects- making it challenging for businesses in the field to stay ahead of the competition.

Watch our newest video below and get inspired about a whole new type of integrated marketing from our team at Eberly & Collard Public Relations. We conceptualize and implement creative marketing programs to introduce interior designers, architects, builders, contractors, as well as consumers to our clients’ Kitchen and Bath businesses, brands, and product lines. For designers and architects, we publicize their kitchen and bath design projects through articles, press coverage, advertising, videos, and all forms of digital and print media.  

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Smart Design Improves Efficiency and Lands Cover Story

As many public relations practitioners know, our work in regard to media campaigns can often be misconstrued with its relation to advertising. Advertising is a viable means to promote a business. However, securing publicity based editorial and media coverage about the business and its products or services can yield a near-limitless strategy for publicizing the company and its key marketing messages.

In the November issue of Civil + Structural Engineer, our ECPR team secured the following cover and feature story for one of our clients, the talented Stevens & Wilkinson. 

The photos of the Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina have enough appeal to speak for themselves, and Stevens & Wilkinson’s engineering design work has become a thrilling project featured by this and many other magazines, a project that is now on the path to becoming the largest net-zero energy building the southeast. – Click to enlarge the images. 

The new Darla Moore School of Business was designed with the goal of furthering the school’s mission of providing students with top-tier education, and is slated to achieve LEED Platinum designation from the U.S. Green Building Council.

We would like to give a huge thank you to the editors at Civil + Structural Engineering for working with us on this cover story, and congratulations to Stevens & Wilkinson for an impressive architecture and engineering project.

View the entire November digital issue:

Learn more about Stevens & Wilkinson:  

Uncover the ways in which we can assist your design, construction, urban planning, commercial real estate development, engineering, and / or architecture business with strategic, dynamic public / media relations and integrated marketing:


Thursday, November 19, 2015

Designing Spaces with a Sense of Place

Our blog followers often ask us about media coverage our team secures with or for our clients. Editorial placements for us are an everyday practice, a part of our integrated marketing services our team enjoys and embraces. Campaign results run the gamut from trade publications, journals and industry newsletters to consumer magazines, newspapers and blogs. Then, too, there are on-air segments via radio and television when applicable for many of our clients.

Today’s blog post gives you a glimpse at our talented client Ami Austin, President of Ami Austin Interior Design, who was recently featured in two regional living / lifestyle magazines. Thanks to all of our editor friends at Memphis Magazine and At Home Memphis & Mid South for working with us and Ami for these great stories.

At Home Memphis & Mid South 

We secured this article and interview with our client for inclusion to At Home Memphis & Mid South magazine regarding design ideas and advice for dining rooms. Be sure to take a look at the November issue to see the full feature story and learn more about Ami Austin Interior Design by clicking the link below.
To view the full article and magazine issue, please visit: (See pages 40-45 and 97).

Memphis Magazine

Being a renowned designer in Memphis and the entire region, our client initially secured this article, while our team helped facilitate aspects of the interview and planning process. The November issue features an article about one of Ami’s client’s, Dr. Jonathan McCullers, who sought Ami’s interior design services to update his three-bedroom townhouse to better reflect his tastes and lifestyle. Click the link below to see the full feature story and learn more about the McCullers’ home design story.
To view the full article and magazine issue, visit: (See pages 65-69 and 99).

Learn more about Ami Austin Interior Design:

For designers, architects and builders, take a moment to read about our specialization in publicity and branding.

·         Designers:

·         Architects:

·         Builders:

Editors and Journalists, contact us anytime you seek interior / exterior design-build content or experts in the design, architecture, construction, furniture, kitchen and bath, and similar industries as quotable sources.


Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Public Relations for Construction Companies

Getting more construction jobs in 2016…

While new construction project starts continue to grow across most sectors, the advancement of sales and marketing goals are still top of mind for construction owners and managers, general contractors, and engineers. The need for more efficient and results-producing marketing also keeps many building envelope product manufactures and commercial real estate developers up at night. Undoubtedly, in a new and evolving era of building and construction, those working in the industry are up against tough competition to win new jobs. The promotion of a construction or development company’s marketing messages is equally as important as timely project delivery, standards compliance and every other aspect of successful business management.

For the industry’s businesses and professionals setting their sights on unprecedented sales growth for 2016, there are many innovative, available opportunities to boost brand visibility, generate press campaigns, and develop integrated marketing.

At Eberly & Collard Public Relations, our team has specialized in generating brand exposure for construction companies and developers for more than a decade. Give us a minute and a half to watch the following video, and gain ideas and inspiration to kick-off a robust marketing plan that achieves the type of results you have been seeking for years. 

Learn more about our construction industry marketing and public relations programs, and contact us for a free assessment at

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Stevens & Wilkinson Completes Architecture and Engineering Design for New College of Law Building at Georgia State University

One of our esteemed clients, Stevens & Wilkinson, an architecture, engineering and interior design firm, provided architecture and engineering design services for the new Georgia State University College of Law building, which opened its doors this summer.

Stevens & Wilkinson’s project team conceptualized and executed the design development for the exterior skin, and implemented the architecture and engineering for the building. The completed building features a three-story public gathering space in the lobby; a two-story active learning space; and reading and study rooms adjacent to an outdoor garden terrace on the sixth floor.
Recently, three members of our Eberly & Collard Public Relations team, Don Eberly, Jeff Collard and Kristen Pappaterra, had the privilege of joining our client as well as state government and judicial leaders, alumni, and others for the building’s ribbon-cutting ceremony. The event and tour yielded us an in-person vantage point to learn about the design solutions provided by Stevens & Wilkinson and other members of the project team, information we will be using to develop and execute an architecture and construction public relations campaign for our client.

Take a look at the following photos from our tour. Watch for updates on our blog and Facebook page about the progress of the public relations campaign.
The College of Law Building was designed for collaboration, content sharing and group learning. It quickly has become the heart of Georgia State University and a gathering place for both internal and external communities. 

The lower level consists of a 230-seat moot courtroom and auditorium, which was designed for diverse uses, including practice jury or appellate court, learning, breakout, and legal proceeding areas. 

Audio / visual equipment and devices, including screens that can be lowered from the ceiling, were specified and installed for students to watch their moot court performances following learning and exercise sessions. 

A world-class conference center with movable walls and breakout rooms is used for catering and events, which is available for table seating or lecture format for up to 300 people.

Access control, turnstile systems, close circuit TV, and fire-rated glass were engineered by Stevens & Wilkinson to provide security and safety for the building at large.

Hallways, classrooms and offices were designed to take advantage of natural daylighting, shedding light upon the next generation of lawyers, judges and others who will study, develop and apply law in the future. 

The academic floors consist of large classrooms and seminar rooms with flexible learning settings and meeting rooms, commons, and support spaces for faculty. The design setup is intended for content sharing, with advanced audio / visual equipment for learning and technological conveniences.

The law building’s library is the largest part of the overall concept. The library is made available only for Georgia State University law students, and is designed with a variety of environments, such as study rooms, cafĂ©’s, classrooms, and an alumni reading room. 

The law library includes a high-density, compact storage system for accessibility and preservation as well as conference and library workrooms. Its glass box design style acts as an exterior expression for the entire building.

The top level includes an exterior garden terrace with native plantings and an interior reading room with a view overlooking the adjacent Woodruff Park. 

Along with Stevens & Wilkinson’s project partners, SmithGroupJJR and Harris+Smith, and builder McCarthy Building Companies, the project team collaborated to design and deliver a leading-edge building of individual and joint learning that also offers students, faculty and staff all the customary amenities necessary for institutional excellence.

Our congratulations to the entire project team for a job well done. 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Top Building Products Chosen by Readers

Throughout the year, our editor contacts with Professional Builder magazine provide news of the latest and best home building products. In the August 2015 issue, Professional Builder featured the “Top 100 Products” selected by the publication’s readers from the past year. The editors of the magazine, as always, did a top-notch job of covering the many products of interest.

The products chosen were grouped in eight categories: Windows & Doors, Exterior Products, Interior Products, Kitchen & Bath, Outdoor Living, Structural / Insulation / Housewrap, Mechanical / Electrical / Home Tech, and Lines & Collections- all the best from the Building and Construction industry.

Since all of the editorially featured products were based upon building professionals’ favorites, and the 100-featured products are indeed numerous, we decided to choose our own top product pick from each category to share with our blog readers in summary. 

Windows & Doors – Bi-Parting Patio Door | Ply Gem

Photo credit: Ply Gem
This patio door is unlike any other. It is available up to 12-feet wide and in 46 exterior colors. The Ply Gem Windows Mira Premium Impact series is also available in a variety of sizes, which can become a perfect way to customize both interiors and backyards. Whether you are an Interior Designer, Builder, Remodeler, or Developer, use this door to open up your clients’ walls and wallets. 

Exterior Products – Glass Mosaics | Marazzi USA

Photo credit: Marazzi USA
The glistening colors of Caicos glass mosaics from Marazzi USA have six mottled seascape colorways from which to choose. We love the modern touch on this art glass, and it looks great outdoors with its ever-changing light present within a space. Builders and Landscape Architects can upsell jobs with this truly impressive glass.  

Interior Products – Direct-Vent Gas Fireplace | Innovative Hearth Products

Photo credit: Innovative Hearth Products
Our most favored choice! The Astria Montebello DLXCD Direct-Vent Gas Fireplace is from one of our own PR clients, Innovative Hearth Products. This fireplace is available in an array of options, available glass media colors, and an adjustable flame height to modify the perfect look for any home or applicable commercial space. For Contractors, Builders and Architects, find information about this fireplace online here

Kitchen & Bath – Ensemble Shower with Freestanding Seat | Sterling

Photo credit: Sterling

Who wouldn’t enjoy the ability to sit while you relax in the shower? The Ensemble includes built-in shelves and is available in a neutral color to match any bathroom. The shower, with its convenience, was designed for the increasing number of buyers concerned about aging in place. Builders and General Contractors can specify this product as an upgrade for residential projects as well as medical facilities. Ensemble is worth a second look for Kitchen and Bath Remodelers and Interior Designers seeking innovative solutions for projects. 

Outdoor Living – Hardwood Deck Tiles | Advantage Lumber

Photo credit: Advantage Lumber
We are inspired by this unique deck because it gives the illusion of both a tile and hardwood foundation. Advantage Lumber offers four types of smooth-surface hardwood tile and has amazing durability. Landscape Architects and Lawn and Garden design specialists, take note of the eye-catching coloration of the tile, giving rise to new options for outdoor room design / build jobs. 

Structural / Insulation / Housewrap – Self-Adhering Underlayment | Tarco

Photo credit: Tarco
Tarco’s LeakBarrier EasyLay UDL SA has an impressive amount of uses as a roofing underlayment. It can be used in shingle, shake, slate, tile, and metal roofing applications in steep-slope roofing. It is also made from many hardy and robust components for long-term, weather-barrier performance that anyone from builder to construction owner can appreciate.

Mechanical / Electrical / Home Tech – Wireless Charging Surface | DuPont

Photo credit: DuPont
The Corian Charging Surface will make you want to get rid of those phone or tablet chargers forever. Nearly all smart devices can be charged with a charging ring from Duracell Powermat or a charging case. Just connect the ring or case to the mobile device, and voilĂ ! If this isn’t a Kitchen and Bath designers dream, we aren’t sure what is. 

Lines & Collections – Keystone Hardscapes

Photo credit: Keystone Hardscapes
Keystone is a leading provider of hardscape products for landscaping and retaining walls as well as erosion control and surface stabilization solutions. The company’s portfolio consists of beautiful stones and borders for a stunning landscape design for any yard and to suit any Landscape Contractors’ outdoor room and patio project portfolio.

To see the rest of Professional Builder’s “Top 100 Products” and read the digital version of the issue, visit:

To learn how to develop media coverage and publicity for your own building products, take a look at our website’s What We Do and Our Industries pages.