Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Social Media Marketing: You can do it, too!

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For small business owners and public relations firms, social media marketing can be an expansive and daunting, but worthy task. The phrase, “social medial marketing,” encompasses a vast variety of digital marketing options. With such a wide range of social media available, it is important to understand where to focus your company’s time and energy. The Eberly & Collard Public Relations team recently participated in a webinar, “Social Media Marketing Made Simple,” in which we revisited a number of tried and true methods for social media marketing and also learned a few new, creative tips. 

The webinar designed and led by Shane Lamotte, of Conscious Commerce, challenged social media marketers to drop unproductive marketing methodologies in exchange for what we will call, the “Three C’s” of social media engagement: establishing connections and kick starting your digital following (creativity), developing engaging content (clarity) as well as maintaining conversations and the practical monitoring of your marketing efforts (consciousness).

“Creativity” – Social media communications are about immediate engagement. No consumer will take the time to read a boring or cliché Facebook post. When a social media marketer seeks to engage customers digitally, it is important to provide the necessary and basic company information. However, “content is king” and the more original, engaging and understandable a post, the better. To develop a creative and inviting social media presence, keep things simple and attention-grabbing. Think outside the box. As Shane Lamotte stressed in his webinar, “the best content inspires sharing.”

“Clarity” – After customers are engaged with a company’s digital platform, it is of the utmost importance to communicate well, seeking clarity in all digital engagement. Social media posts, whether it be Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest or any other form of social media, should remain focused on the industry and expertise of your work. A social media marketer seeks to develop a streamlined conversation with fans and customers, so that a network is developed and the company establishes itself as an “expert” in a given field.

“Consciousness” – Finally, social media marketing should seek to be conscious of its consumers at all times. This means dealing with both positive and negative feedback, letting the customer know that the company is engaging with them and the media is not simply an advertisement. This can be as simple as responding immediately to Tweets or Facebook posts from fans. It can also mean graciously dealing with criticism in a public fashion. Your businesses’ followers want to see that you pay attention to their individual feedback and value their support. This is the best way to build a positive digital presence for your company.

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The webinar ended with a great deal of advice on balancing these three areas of social media management, while not becoming overwhelmed with this specific area of marketing. Social media marketing seems tricky, but it does not have to be; once a marketer has taken the time to understand the world of social media, this realm of marketing becomes an exciting new platform on which to engage customers and prospects.

One of our services is managing interactive social media channels for clients. If you’d like to consider our professional toolkit for launching your channels or have a need to change your social media into two-way dialog between you and your customers and other important groups, contact us for a free assessment. Learn more on our website here: http://www.eberlycollardpr.com/social-media.asp

Friday, August 23, 2013

2013 Landscape and Lawn Care Equipment Trends

When landscape contractors’ services are in demand, landscape equipment is not far behind in growth. In the current issue of Landscape and Irrigation magazine, the 2013 equipment trends were revealed from various marketers and product managers within the landscaping and construction industries. In this blog post, as we often do spanning all 11 of the our industry specializations, we have compiled an overview of the top five landscape and lawn equipment trends that we found most intriguing.

Fuel-efficiency

Daryn Walters, director of marketing for Exmark, explains that “doing more using fewer resources” is important these days. Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI) and battery-powered products are greatly decreasing fuel usage for contractors, which allow their dollars to stretch quite a bit further. Exmark has been selling as many EFI Lazer Z S-Series mowers as they can build because of its fuel-efficiency and performance that is indistinguishable from that of gasoline-powered mowers.

Ergonomics

Equipment designed for maximum productivity by reducing user fatigue and discomfort is being taken into greater consideration when being purchased. The General Equipment Company improved its one-man and two-man hand-held hole diggers by utilizing proper ergonomics in order to increase the capacity of workers as well as minimize worker compensation issues.

Productivity and Dependability

We realize that productivity and dependability are two traits, but both work best together. Companies are willing to spend more money, if the products are worth the investment. More recently, SnowEx and TurfEx have developed lines that increase the amount professionals save on materials, labor and maintenance expenses, at a slightly higher price. Productivity and dependability at a greater price actually create a favorable cost-to-benefit ratio for contractors.

Photo credit to Landscape and Irrigation magazine
(July / August 2013 issue)
Simplicity in maintenance and operation 

Mustang has improved the functionality of its products, which allows for easier operation by various workers. Kelly Moore, product and training specialist for Mustang skid-steer loaders explains, “Many companies have several different operators, and the machines need to be customizable to these different equipment users.” By simplifying the maintenance and operation processes, the company is saving time and money that may have been wasted by using more complicated or high-maintenance products.

Versatility

If a contractor can have one product that performs a multitude of tasks, that product is not only saving the contractor time on a project, but is also generating additional revenue. As a result, this saves on labor costs for customers. Andy Van Soelen, rental solutions specialist for Vermeer Corporation, notes that “compact size and variety of attachments to match” are desirable because Vermeer’s “mini skid-steer family offers more than 30 attachments,” which adds versatility and value to the collection.

Now that these top five landscape and lawn care trends have been revealed, it may be a good exercise to assess if your products meet these up-and-coming standards. Please post your comments and questions. We welcome your feedback and your own trends insights.

Learn about all 11 of the industries in which we specialize here: http://www.eberlycollardpr.com/our-industries.asp

~ Jasmine

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Kitchen Reigns as King in Home Hierarchy

If you take a look back in time, whether it’s a year or ten, you’ll uncover what our team sees on a near-daily basis; trends are constantly evolving. A significant role of ECPR is monitoring, uncovering and reporting on improved or up-and-coming products and techniques that influence the 11 industries in which we specialize. A major development that has surfaced in the building and home-design industries over the past couple of years is the growing importance of a home’s kitchen. Today, families are spending less time in living rooms or family rooms, and increasing the time they spend hanging out or entertaining in kitchens. As a result, homeowners are looking to industry professionals to go beyond what is otherwise known as a traditional, utilitarian space and incorporate comfort and innovative design aesthetics into kitchen spaces.

Architects, builders, interior designers, and other industry professionals are most certainly aware of the kitchen’s promotion in the “home hierarchy” due to increased demands by homeowners. With that in mind, our team wanted to share a video produced by Builder and Custom Home magazines about design-build trends that are arising because of the kitchen’s growing significance.

Builder TV’s latest production checks-in with leading industry professionals to uncover why homeowners are embracing kitchens as the “heart” of the home, what design trends and building practices are changing because of it and how it impacts or relates to the future of kitchen design. Watch the video below for today’s scoop on kitchen design trends.



Fans and friends, do you agree with Builder TV’s findings? Please feel free to also share other design-build trends you have recently uncovered.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Generating Buzz Where it Counts

After years of working with clients in the interior design industry, we understand and recognize the steep competition that designers face in landing new projects as well as having completed projects published. Our team’s experience has shown time and time again that securing new interior design projects is almost always foundational upon having a vast portfolio of relatable design work and a trusted reputation that stems from publicity. 

This year, Eberly & Collard Public Relations has had the immense pleasure of working with the talented and much sought-after interior designer Kimberly Grigg, CEO and principal designer with Knotting Hill Interiors. A combination of our services and media connections, along with Kimberly’s unique and admired design style, has led to regional and national media placements in both print and online formats.

Kimberly Grigg, CEO and principal designer with
Knotting Hill Interiors
By capitalizing on Kimberly’s experience and expertise in almost all facets of interior design, we were able to secure a monthly “how-to” design column in Myrtle Beach, S.C.’s, The Sun News. Once a month, Kimberly offers design enthusiasts tips and tricks for designing their homes. Her published columns include tips about mixing and matching fabrics, designing bathroom spaces as well as designing for families. To read Kimberly’s latest column on designing family-friendly spaces, click here.

The Sun News, Myrtle Beach, SC
In addition to introducing Kimberly to homeowners as a well-versed, design expert, the column positions her to attract qualified leads and attain speaking and show house opportunities. As PR practitioners, we know every medium in which a designer lands media coverage holds its own set of rewards. In Kimberly’s case, a regular “how-to” column enables us to promote her as an industry expert and increase her and Knotting Hill Interiors' exposure. Plus, since she is one of the most talented designers we know, readers of the column love her…as do we!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Rising Up To New Design Standards

Image by 360 Architecture
Rise up Falcons fans, it is time to get on board with the construction of the “Pantheon,” the new football stadium for the Atlanta Falcons.

While we are a national public relations firm that, in part, specializes in publicizing building and architecture firms throughout North America, we are located in Atlanta. So, our team is looking forward to seeing the progressive journey of the stadium’s construction.

Image by 360 Architecture
Concepted by 360 Architecture, a Kansas City, MO-based firm, the new stadium will feature a state-of-the-art operable roof that will enable games to be played rain or shine. 360 Architecture specializes in a wide range of commercial and residential design services. This includes recreation centers, municipal facilities, sports arenas and ballparks, single- and multi-family residences, mixed-use entertainment districts, and corporate and commercial office buildings. Some of the firm’s most well-known projects are MetLife Stadium, home of the NY Jets and NY Giants, as well as Legoland Discovery Center in Kansas City, MO, and the Kansas City Downtown Airport renovation.

According to the editors of ENR Southeast, Falcons owner, Arthur Blank, retained the services of 360 Architecture based on the firm’s creativity and extensive background in designing high-level sports complexes. Three Atlanta-based architectural firms will be assisting 360 Architecture with its “Pantheon” concept, including Goode Van Slyke Architecture, Stanley Beaman & Sears and tvsdesign. Each firm brings its own unique skill set to the collaborative project, and as a result, the stadium’s blueprint will feature a 360 degree scoreboard, incorporate sustainable building practices and materials and will soon be a city landmark.

Image by 360 Architecture
With the design plans likely to be firmed-up in April 2014, construction will begin late-spring to early-summer. Atlanta-based Holder Construction has been hired as the managing partner, and Hunt Construction Group, located in Phoenix, AZ, will build the downtown stadium. According to the Falcons, local Atlanta firms H.J. Russell & Co. and C.D. Moody Construction Co. are also aligned with the joint-venture team. The new stadium is set to open in time for the 2017 season.

Falcons, NFL fans, and our blog readers in the fields of building and architecture, tell us what you think of the new “Pantheon” design.