Bolchalk FReY's Blog


See What You Want to See
July 3, 2014, 12:07 pm
Filed under: Design | Tags: , , , , , , ,

As designers, we’re always looking for different ways to see things… we want to be the one that sees something differently and shows it to the world. In one of their recent ad campaigns for Jeep, Leo Burnett France did just that.

In this campaign, Leo Burnett France created 3 optical illusions that can be seen when you turn the advertisement over. Now, this wasn’t just a cool optical illusion to include in the advertisement… it actually supported their entire concept.

On their website, Leo Burnett France said, “When one is the happy owner of a Jeep, we know that at any time we can go where we want to, see what we want to see.” This idea is reinforced in the advertisements because the viewer is welcome to see whatever they want to see… a giraffe or a penguin; an elephant or a swan, etc.

What do you see?

Jeep05      Jeep06

Jeep03      Jeep04

Jeep01      Jeep02

Kristen Oaxaca, Graphic Designer



Hunger Games Entices Fans with Stunning Posters
June 26, 2014, 1:48 pm
Filed under: Design | Tags: , , , , , ,

I promise I won’t geek out on you (well, not completely anyway), but when I saw these posters for the upcoming Hunger Games movie, Mockingjay Part 1, I knew I had to share them!

If you follow the books and/or movies, you’ll know that at the end of Catching Fire, the Capitol is in a bit of trouble. With the people of the districts beginning to believe in Katniss and Peta, the Capitol must convince everyone that the way they run things is just fine… no need for change. As a lead-in to the next movie, a website and series of posters has been created to get the audince involved and help to hype up the movie.

Well, I can honestly say that I’m a sucker. It totally worked on me! I checked out the website for the Capitol and it is really well done. In addition to their modern design of it, I love that the creators made the website as if the audience is one of the people from the districts… you can see President Snow in all his glory as well as sign up to watch “Capitol TV”. CLICK HERE TO SEE WEBSITE.

More than the website, I was totally intrigued by the series of posters they released for the movie. Each one features a different district and an unsung “hero” from that district. For one, the photography is great–there is such detail, and each photo alone tells a story. The design of them is also something that I love. The series has a very simplistic design… featuring each district’s number, their symbol as well as a minimal amount of copy. If you look closely, the Capitol’s logo is also featured along with their motto, “Panem today. Panem tomorrow. Panem forever.” This touch makes the posters that much more real… drawing the viewer in as if they are living in this world with the Capitol and all of these districts.

Kristen Oaxaca, Graphic Designer

Panem07

Panem01 Panem02 Panem03 Panem04 Panem05 Panem06



PR 101 — What is Public Relations?
June 25, 2014, 3:55 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

The formal practice of what is now commonly referred to as “public relations” dates to the early 20th century. In the relatively brief period leading up to today, public relations has been defined in many different ways, the definition often evolving alongside public relations’ changing roles and technological advances. The earliest definitions emphasized press agentry and publicity, while more modern definitions incorporate the concepts of engagement, relationship building, communications and media relations.

The Public Relations Society of America (prsa.org) led an international effort in 2011/2012 to modernize the definition of public relations. The organization produced the following definition.

 “Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.”

Simple and straightforward, this definition focuses on the basic concept of public relations — as a communication process, one that is strategic in nature and emphasizing “mutually beneficial relationships.”

“Process” is preferable to “management function,” which can evoke ideas of control and top-down, one-way communications.

“Relationships” relates to public relations’ role in helping to bring together organizations and individuals with their key stakeholders.

“Publics” is preferable to “stakeholders,” as the former relates to the very “public” nature of public relations, whereas “stakeholders” has connotations of publicly-traded companies.

As a management function, public relations also encompasses the following:

  • Anticipating, analyzing and interpreting public opinion, attitudes and issues that might impact, for good or ill, the operations and plans of the organization.
  • Counseling management at all levels in the organization with regard to policy decisions, courses of action and communication, taking into account their public ramifications and the organization’s social or citizenship responsibilities.
  • Researching, conducting and evaluating, on a continuing basis, programs of action and communication to achieve the informed public understanding necessary to the success of an organization’s aims. These may include marketing; financial; fund raising; employee, community or government relations; and other programs.
  • Planning and implementing the organization’s efforts to influence or change public policy. Setting objectives, planning, budgeting, recruiting and training staff, developing facilities — in short, managing the resources needed to perform all of the aboveKatie Garber, Account Services and Public Relations
  • Next time, more about “media relations.”


Advertising vs. Public Relations
June 17, 2014, 3:24 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Do you know the basic difference between advertising and public relations? Both are functions of a creative marketing campaign, and when used together, can be a powerful communications tool.

 

Advertising lets you tell your specific message to the market you want to tell it to.  For example, the jewelry store you represent is having a 50% off sale, so you buy an ad to reach your targeted audience.

 

PR is less tangible and opens up more areas of potential press coverage. You cannot buy press coverage, but you can offer journalists story ideas that match their beats and topics.  Try crafting a news release, like “Just in Time for Holiday Gift Giving — 50% Off All Jewelry.”

 

A lifestyle journalist searching for content for an article about holiday gift giving savings just may include your news in their article. Be creative. Provide appropriate news and story ideas that journalists will find helpful and you may see more of your clients in the news.

Katie Garber, Accounts and PR Services



How to improve your company’s online presence
June 11, 2014, 11:36 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

I know you are super busy as a small business owner, but in today’s online world it is essential that you engage with your customers on a frequent basis to compete with your larger counterparts. 

 Here are some easy ways you can get started:  

 Own Your Website:  Sounds easy enough, but so many small business owners launch their website then forget about – don’t!  Keep your website fresh by making a point to update it on at least a bi-weekly basis. Try assigning someone on your staff to manage your website and make it part of their regular duties.  Remember to keep your target audience in mind – determine what problems they have that you can help solve with your web content?  Consider using a content calendar to keep you track with updates.

Mobile Friendly: If you haven’t already done so, please optimize your site for mobile. Research shows most customers are accessing content through their mobile device. Make sure you have clearly defined your desired result from a mobile visitor before your optimization efforts ~ is it a click-to-call, a coupon download or some other action that you need to build to your result.

Reward Loyalty:  In order for you to drive repeat business and reward your most loyal customers, you will need to incorporate a rewards program.  Having a loyalty program will help you “compete in the big leagues”.

Get Yourself an App: An app can really help drive your business, but less than 20 percent of small businesses have a mobile app, and that is really a missed opportunity.  There are several new tools that provide out-of-the-box solutions that can help you get started.  Having an app will help you more easily let your customers know about discounts, deals and exclusive offers. In addition, you can use it to track and send invoices as well as do business on the go.

Get Social:  Make sure you establish and maintain your key social network platforms including Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.  Customers want to engage with brands beyond where they are being sold to, so using social media is a great way to stay engaged and show your store’s personality. Remember to keep them current and updated on a regular basis, otherwise you risk losing momentum you have when you set them up.

Katrina Noble

Media Director



Bad Day, Be Gone!
May 15, 2014, 9:15 am
Filed under: Fun Office Tips | Tags: , , , , ,

Stress

We live in a fast paced world full of deadlines, appointments and too much stuff for one person to ever realistically get done in a single day. It’s no wonder everyone’s stressed out and crabby! That stress only builds if you’re having a bad day at work, so how do you fix it? Here are a few tips to get rid of that bad mood and bad day… give them a try before you take out your next crummy mood on your co-worker in the next office over.

1. GET UP!
Staying at your desk or even in your office is not going to put you in a better mood. Remove yourself from the situation… take a short walk outside, focus on something other than what has put you in a bad mood.

2. INDULGE!
Yes, we eat and drink every day but it’s usually so quick because we’re on a tight schedule that we don’t really enjoy it. So take a second to enjoy a piece of chocolate or a cup of tea… focus on that for a few minutes rather than what’s bothering you.

3. BE NICE!
It may be the last thing you want to do when you’re in a crummy mood, but doing something nice for someone else can actually help brighten you mood. Even if it’s soemthing as simple as thanking a co-worker for helping you with something, it may just do the trick.

4. GET IT OUT!
If you’ve tried everything else and you’re still having a bad day, try writing down what’s stressing you out. Use this as a way to get all the stressful thoughts out of your head, make a plan for attacking each one when the time is right, and then make the conscious choice to set those things aside and focus on the project at hand.

If all else fails… woosah.

Kristen Oaxaca, Graphic Designer



Alternatives to Google Analytics
May 14, 2014, 9:02 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Sure Google Analytics is the most popular website analytics tool ~ it’s easy to navigate and is free. However, it lacks the flexibility and advanced reporting many businesses need for their specific goals. If you are looking at an alternative to Google Analytics, here are three options for you:

Clicky — Real-time, on-site analytics

Clicky provides up-to-the-minute analytics using any browser or mobile device, or right on your website itself. This app-based and on-site analytics platform puts you in complete control, allowing you to view, analyze and react to visitor events as they happen.

Clicky lets you view detailed information on each individual user, such as IP addresses, Internet service provider (ISP), location, operating system, Web browser, referrer, visit length, sessions and actions during a specific visit, and more.

Clicky is free to use for one website, but is limited to basic features and 3,000 total daily page views. A Pro Plus account, starting at $9.99 a month, is required to track additional websites and access on-site analytics, heat maps and other premium features.

KISSMetrics — E-commerce analytics

KISSMetrics focuses on monitoring each visitor as a customer, to show how a “real person” views and uses your website. It looks at things like which features are being used the most, how they are being used and more. By tracking how visitors become customers, KISSMetrics lets small businesses make better decisions and increase their sales as online retailers.

If you have an e-commerce website, KISSMetrics will give you everything you need to figure out what works and what doesn’t. KISSMetrics lets you go back in time and track customers from their first visit to your website and all the actions they take thereafter.

KISSMetrics costs $150 a month for up to 500,000 events per month (roughly 50,000 visitors). Note that each plan requires an annual commitment. A free 14-day trial is also available.

Chartbeat — Content engagement analytics

Chartbeat can help bloggers, content marketers and other editorial website owners make sense of how readers are engaging with content. It tracks real-time Web traffic and combines it with audience-behavior data to deliver a comprehensive view of which content sparks engagement and how viewers react to them. Chartbeat lets you discover which types of content gets the most hits, so you can publish more of the right stories to better grow and develop your audience.

Chartbeat offers a multitude of metrics to track audience activity before, during and after visits to your site, including:

  • Recirculation: Percentage of visitors who read more than one article in a single visit.
  • Engaged time: How long visitors are reading, commenting on and idly watching an article.
  • Visitor frequency: Gauges new, returning and loyal customers.

Content metrics include acquisition (content drawing in large numbers of new visitors), retention (content drawing highly engaged visitors), top pages, high-converting referrers and more.

Chartbeat costs $9.95 a month for up to five domains or subdomains. A free 30-day trial is available (credit card required).

Katrina Noble

Media Director




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