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All Posts By

Meghan Matheny

BLASTmedia Company Spotlight: Why We Love It Here

By | Work at BLAST | No Comments

At BLASTmedia, we’re as passionate about our integrated social media and PR strategies as we are about our company. We took a moment to ask a few BLASTies to pinpoint their favorite things about working at BLAST, what makes the culture unique, and why they don’t cringe at the thought of coming into work every day.

Take a listen to what they said, from candy to creativity.

“I enjoy goofing around with people at work. This past Halloween, we dressed up in costumes for work. It’s a perfect example of our mentality: Work hard, play hard.” -Meghan Matheny, B2B PR account supervisor

group Halloween photo

“I like that my work challenges me creatively.” -Leslie Saxman, social media account executive

“The BLAST family is warm and inviting. They’re always ready to help you learn and advance in your career field. Plus, the company culture understands you have a life outside of work and designates once-monthly half-day Fridays.” -Megan Gish, social media account executive

“This industry is always changing, especially when it comes to how businesses are using social and digital media. I appreciate the fact my job encourages me to continue learning and provides me with the opportunity to try out new tools and techniques.” -Anna Julow, account supervisor

“We have bonding activities, like monthly lunch pitch-ins. We all get together, bring food, and hang out.” -Jeff Gaisor, paid media specialist

“I love working with such a diverse clientele base. Besides PR, social media, and digital content, I’ve learned about a variety of industries I wouldn’t otherwise have been exposed to.” -Molly Noonan, account executive

“Two words. Candy. Drawer.” -Blake Fife, senior digital content producer

BLASTmedia Candy Drawer

“I love our work environment. The walls are spray painted, we have medicine balls to sit on, and the music is always playing to remind us that work can be fun.” -Ryan Noel, YouTube ad specialist

“I love extra curricular activities with the BLAST family.” -Beth Ann McDonald, account executive

“Your employers care about your personal life and want you to enjoy it. Half-day Fridays during the summer reflect that!” -Paul Schreiber, digital content producer

“Thinking outside the box is a requirement for what we do at BLAST. Monotony is not a thing here. I appreciate that, and the natural light in the office doesn’t hurt, either!” -Heike Baird, social media account executive

So, what exactly is it that we do here, you might ask? BLASTmedia is a communications agency that focuses on converged media. Through a combination of paid, earned and owned media, our campaigns influence every touch point in the customer acquisition process. And we’re always looking for smart, fun, and talented people to join our B2B and B2C PR, and social media teams.

Sound good? A bit more about our company: BLASTmedia provides competitive wages, paid holidays, PTO, and benefits, including a 401(k) plan with discretionary employer match and bonus opportunities. As you’ve seen through these quotes from our team, we provide a challenging, fun, and highly energetic work environment inclusive of a stocked fridge with sodas and snacks, a breakfast bar, and half-day Fridays during the summer months.

If BLASTmedia sounds like your workplace cup of tea, feel free to send resumes and inquiries to info@BLASTmedia.com.

And if you’re a young grad or current student interested in BLAST, or you’d just like some helpful tips on interviewing for jobs and internships and preparing a resume, come visit us in person for our next Media Monday. Coming up on February 25, this casual discussion with our team will provide you with real-life advice on landing that dream internship (or future job). We’ll finish up the session with a practice speed-date-type interview and let you have plenty of time to chat up the BLASTmedia account executives. Sign up for BLASTmedia’s Media Monday for free.

‘Tis the Season to be Thankful for Client Coverage

By | Client Successes | No Comments

We’re thankful for our clients, and we know our clients are thankful for press coverage from our world-class PR team. This month has generated some excellent outreach that will steer brand awareness and sales into snowy December. But you won’t find us hiding from the frightful weather, because we think client coverage is delightful!

Client SG2 was quoted in The New York Times and The Chicago Tribune regarding healthcare and industry movement after the 2012 election.

The New York Times featured Etón Corporation in two articles in the Nov. 11 Sunday issue about disaster preparedness. First, they discussed Etón’s emergency radios as a popular product during the hurricane, and they also mentioned the Etón FRX3 as an ideal product for couples trying to ride out the storm.

A few other client highlights include:

  • USA Today featured Etón, displaying their portable battery packs as a weekend getaway essential, along with client Pelican’s headlamp in a round-up of outdoor products.
  • Following client Bluelock being named to analyst firm Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service for the second consecutive year, the company was featured on CRN.com and Network World.
  • Client BlueLock’s Pat O’Day and Jake Robinson, as well as Code 42 Software’s Scott Grenier, were featured in Computerworld’s piece “IT Jobs on the Other Side of the Cloud.” The story also ran on InfoWorld.
  • About.com featured SimpliciKey’s remote control deadbolt in the home renovations section. Simplicikey was also covered by Wired as a way to upgrade household security.
  • Amber Alert GPS was featured on Good Morning Texas as a good way to keep track of loved ones during an emergency.

We’ll continue to secure hot coverage regardless of the temperature outside. Are you interested in getting awesome coverage for your product or service in the pages of your most coveted publications? Contact BLASTmedia to see how we can help you get in front of your target audience.

'Tis the Season to be Thankful for Client Coverage

By | Client Successes | No Comments

We’re thankful for our clients, and we know our clients are thankful for press coverage from our world-class PR team. This month has generated some excellent outreach that will steer brand awareness and sales into snowy December. But you won’t find us hiding from the frightful weather, because we think client coverage is delightful!

Client SG2 was quoted in The New York Times and The Chicago Tribune regarding healthcare and industry movement after the 2012 election.

The New York Times featured Etón Corporation in two articles in the Nov. 11 Sunday issue about disaster preparedness. First, they discussed Etón’s emergency radios as a popular product during the hurricane, and they also mentioned the Etón FRX3 as an ideal product for couples trying to ride out the storm.

A few other client highlights include:

  • USA Today featured Etón, displaying their portable battery packs as a weekend getaway essential, along with client Pelican’s headlamp in a round-up of outdoor products.
  • Following client Bluelock being named to analyst firm Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service for the second consecutive year, the company was featured on CRN.com and Network World.
  • Client BlueLock’s Pat O’Day and Jake Robinson, as well as Code 42 Software’s Scott Grenier, were featured in Computerworld’s piece “IT Jobs on the Other Side of the Cloud.” The story also ran on InfoWorld.
  • About.com featured SimpliciKey’s remote control deadbolt in the home renovations section. Simplicikey was also covered by Wired as a way to upgrade household security.
  • Amber Alert GPS was featured on Good Morning Texas as a good way to keep track of loved ones during an emergency.

We’ll continue to secure hot coverage regardless of the temperature outside. Are you interested in getting awesome coverage for your product or service in the pages of your most coveted publications? Contact BLASTmedia to see how we can help you get in front of your target audience.

The Evolution of Public Relations

By | Industry Perspective | 2 Comments

Public relations may seem like a modern profession, but people having actually been strategically placing stories in the media for years. As far back as the late 1800s, famous historical figures and occurrences were promoted through smaller scale weekly newspapers.

The Early Years

One of the earliest cases of crisis management through PR was in the 1890s when 80 baseball players left the National League. As you can imagine, fans and owners were in an uproar. With the help of a little media outreach, the National League was able to help straighten out management-labor disputes and secure the relationships amongst the players, fans and owners.

Photo Credit: MLB.com

While this may not be the most modern form of PR (and was certainly not called “public relations” at the time), it’s important to be able to relate what happened here to the basics of our job: using interpersonal communication, literature, public events and art to persuade other individuals to believe in our client’s services and/or programs.

The First Publicist

Historical figures such as Henry Ford and Theodore Roosevelt have been attributed with being the first to utilize the basic PR concepts: “positioning” and “ready accessibility.” In other words, these men were able to position themselves as thought leaders who were easily accessible to the press. But it wasn’t until 1906 that a man came along and changed PR forever: enter Mr. Ivy Lee.

Ivy Lee was the first public relations counselor and was hired by famous industrialist John D. Rockefeller. Our friend Rockefeller was facing some serious issues in Colorado, known as the “Ludlow Massacre,” a strike against his fuel and iron plant. In the wake of his panic, Rockefeller turned to our good friend Lee to get the problem fixed, using some traditional media outreach.

So what did our old PR pro Lee do? He decided to change Rockefeller’s tycoon image into one of a man who was concerned for the livelihood of his workers. With this new image in hand, he was able to talk to the press, workers and stage events.

What is PR now?

Through the years, PR eventually evolved from newspaper boys yelling, “Extra! Extra! Read all about it!” to now, where PR specialists focus a large majority of their time on content creation. With the development of the Internet, PR changed drastically. According to Jack Leslie, Chairman at Weber Shandwick, PR has moved from a broadcast model to an engagement model, meaning PR professionals are in a constant two-way conversation with the media.

Now PR specialists are focusing less and less on traditional efforts and are trying to make outreach and engagement with the media more organic. By doing so, the messages that we are offering to editors seem more natural and specific to their interests, rather than a mass email that reads generic and regulated.

From award applications and speaking abstracts to analyst outreach and media relations, our focus is to shape a certain message for our clients based on underlying marketing goals. For example, if our client is looking to connect with potential investors or share their company image to acquire new talent, we might suggest a momentum press release sharing our clients product roadmap, recent awards and current successes. We’ll then pitch an over-arching story to select members of the media (think VentureBeat for investors and local newspapers for employee acquisition).

Below are examples of additional strategies and tactics we use that map back to marketing goals:

  • Analyst relations – so products and services can be recommended to companies who aren’t aware of options or who value analysts’ recommendations
  • Contributed content campaigns – to promote our client as an industry thought leader
  • Media relations gift guides – to allow media contacts to demo products and include them in upcoming gift guides or reviews
  • Award applications – to gain exposure about the company and its offerings

The above is just a small sample of tactics we deploy that lead back to a goal established by our client. Content marketing has taken the lead as one of the best strategies for any marketing goal identified.

Here’s a real life example:

Our client was interested in securing coverage and downloads for their annual report and to promote themselves as thought leaders in the marketing industry, while gaining exposure for its product that can help businesses increase conversions. With this goal, in mind we drafted a press release stating the relevant data from the report. We also shared a downloadable link to the report with the media and a PDF version for reference. About a week later, we supplemented the release of the report with bylines describing best practices to increase conversions along with images. And finally, we created an infographic that was then promoted. Our social media tactics complemented our PR efforts which assisted in our goal of securing downloads. Below are the results of our 60-day campaign.

  • The Form Conversion Report has been downloaded directly 1,859 times
  • The webinar to share key results from the Form Conversion Report attracted nearly 1,000 participants
  • Media relations efforts garnered 67 pieces of earned media coverage in publications, including Bulldog Reporter, MarketingProfs and Adweek
  • In total, the report received 167,663,871 total impressions

Want to implement modern marketing strategies for your company or brand? Contact Lindsey Groepper to find out how BLASTmedia can help!

PR, SEO and Your Business

By | Industry Perspective | 2 Comments

PR, SEO and Your Business
Does your company struggle to make conversions? Do users bounce from your website quickly? Are your customers loyal to you, or do they turn elsewhere for information? Do you have a PR strategy?

If you’re worried about the answer to any of these questions, consider this list of new strategies you can implement to help your business.

      1. Make a user-friendly website. One of the best ways to see conversions on your website is to ensure the user can easily navigate it. If a user lands on your website and can’t readily access what they’re looking for, it’s highly likely they will  leave and look elsewhere to find the information they seek. Make sure your website is aesthetically pleasing; has an evident call-to-action button (like “click here for a free demo”); has easily readable content that interlinks to the rest of the website; and has a blog.
      2. Use your blog to establish credibility as an industry leader. Another way to gain user trust is to create a blog that does not just promote your own product, but answers questions users are asking. For example, if your company specializes in HVAC units, consider a blog post about when a customer should call a technician versus when the problem can be handled without one. By giving your customers tips and tricks, you’re not only saving them money, but you could be providing them with information they can’t find elsewhere.  This increases trust, and eventually establishes loyalty.
      3. Use PR to marry SEO and Reputation Control. A solid PR team will discuss key terms that your company would like to target. Then your PR team will incorporate those key terms as they reactively pitch stories, trend pieces and press releases to the media. Incorporating a PR team into your marketing efforts can help your company maintain its reputation, publicize events and focus on SEO.
      4. Make your website compatible via mobile. The quickest way to increase the bounce rate on your website is to dismiss the importance of a mobile platform. Smartphones are convenient and fit today’s on-the-go lifestyles. Your customers are using their smartphone to access websites and information–so make sure your website is mobile-friendly. When you see the growth in conversions via mobile, you’ll be happy that you made it easier for users to access your company’s website.
      5. Incorporate social media into your overall strategy. This topic is so robust it could take up another blog–so try to focus on the basics. Choose which social media platform your company should use based on where your target audience resides. Does your company revolve around business ideas? Start with LinkedIN. Is your target audience primarily women? Well, Pinterest might be your best avenue. Looking for increased SEO opportunities? Try Google+.

 

There will always be ways to improve, from website architecture and content, to social media promotion, but the most important thing to remember is you are appealing to your customers. As long as you keep their needs in mind, you have won half the battle.

Do you need help incorporating these five tips into you daily business life? Contact Ryan Grieves to learn more about how BLASTmedia’s B2B PR team can help your business.