red lips

Want A Strong Reaction? Hungry Customers? Use RED In Your Logo and Marketing Materials!

What color is the logo of the organization you represent?  Do you share qualities with other brands of the same color?

This month’s color to explore is RED.  

The color dominating the logos of some of the most powerful corporations in the world.  So in this multi-part blog – let’s take a look at this color of love.  Over the next few months when a holiday or the season is tied to a color (think green for St. Paddy’s Day) … I’ll be posting information about other colors too.

logo colors 2015 REDAccording to Fast Company. “The implications of color’s effect on people’s emotions are far reaching, and understanding your customers’ connections to certain colors could increase the effectiveness of your company’s branding methods.

Research complied by web design and marketing company WebPageFX, people make a subconscious judgment about a product in less than 90 seconds of viewing, and a majority of these people base that assessment on color alone. In fact, almost 85% of consumers cite color as the primary reason they buy a particular product, and 80% of people believe color increases brand recognition.”

What can be learned here?  I’d love to hear what you think!

With thanks to Fast Company for this great article –infographic from WebPageFX, written by Rachel Gillett.

cell video

How To Produce Produce Powerful Videos – for a Low Cost

With thanks to BusinessWire for this ongoing, terrific advice.  

The videos you constantly see online, whether on a branded website, a social media platform, or a news73 percent of all adults outlet, can be replicated at low cost and by someone with no production experience.

This revelation is important because if you aren’t currently tapping into the trend of video marketing, you will be soon once you realize how easy it is, and how significant the potential results can be. 

How significant?  According to an Animoto Online and Mobile Video Study conducted using 1,000 U.S. consumers, “nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of respondents are more likely to purchase a product or service if they can watch a video explaining it beforehand.”


Option 1: Low cost:
Cell phones turned into computers overnight and the world has been watching them ever since. With the launch of the latest series of smartphones, camera technology has been exponentially improved giving everyone access to HD (1920 x 1080) quality recording devices.

What exactly is HD?
HD refers to the lines of resolution in an image. Video footage with a higher quantity of resolution lines is deemed high definition because of the greater appearance of detail in the image.

Take advantage of your access to HD recording devices and create beautiful videos – all with the device you have in your hand right now.

DSLR tripodTo maximize the effect of your smart phone camera stay zoomed out to the widest setting and capture your footage in a well-lit environment. Don’t be fooled, even Hollywood admits to the astounding quality of footage captured with  an iPhone.

What will make your footage stand out from other “smart phone” videos is the use of a tripod. Yes, they make tripods for cellphones, pointing to the quality footage that can be captured from the same device that you occasionally use to order dinner.

Option 2:  Medium budget:
Let’s say you plan on regularly producing video projects and you want some versatility in the tool used to create your visuals. A DSLR camera is an affordable way to create professional quality images with an easy to use technology while giving you more control over the depth of field of your images. And at a $400-$500 price point for an entry level camera, it is so affordable and easy to use that Hollywood often takes advantage.DSLR

What is depth of field?: The range of what is in focus in your image compared to what isn’t. When you see an object in the foreground in sharp focus, and everything else is blurry, you have a shallow depth of field. With a DSLR camera you have more options for how you want your image to look.

A DSLR camera will also give you much better color reproduction as a result of the larger sensors (what captures the image) so your images will be vibrant and pop.


Option 1:  Low cost:
Light bulbs make light. It’s what you choose to illuminate with that light that will make the difference clamp lightbetween clunky amateurish videos, and professional digital media. By utilizing higher wattage bulbs, such as 150w and 200w, andclamp lights that can be purchased at any local hardware store, you can create a studio right in your office.

How can these lights be used to create a professional image? The term to remember isthree-point lighting. This lighting scheme uses two lights to illuminate both sides of the subject. The third light is what really makes the image look professional. The third light, cast over the back of the subject illuminating highlights such as hair and shoulder, creates separation between the subject and the background. This allows the viewer to perceive depth on a two-dimensional medium.

Option 2: Medium budget:
Basic lighting kits are affordable and extremely easy to use, assemble, and store. A light kit is superior to using clamp lights because the light stands are easy to assemble and move around. With clamp lights, creativity is required in identifying objects to which they can be clamped. With a light kit all the tools are available. The height of a light stand can also easily be manipulated, offering many variations of lighting schemes that can be tried out without too much time or effort.



Option 1:  Low cost:
For a production, sound is the most important aspect. If the audio is crisp and clear, clean of ambient noise and static, the audience will accept your media as professional grade regardless of what type of camera or camera phone you use. Eyes can fill in the blanks better than your ears, so it’s important for the audience to hear what they need to as if the speaker is in the room. This can be accomplished quite easily and with a low budget.

Wired lavalier microphone: A microphone that clips to the subject’s lapel can be purchased in the $50 dollar range. This microphone is great for capturing the speaker’s voice because it is located so close to the source. This particular microphone is designed to work with mobile devices, however, if you already have a microphone or are purchasing a microphone not designed to work with a mobile device there are solutions. With the addition of an adapter, in the $20 to $30 range, you can easily connect your microphone to a smartphone to use as an audio recording device (use the voice memo app if filming with an iPhone).

Remember that sound and video need to sync. For every time you roll your camera or recording device, film a piece of paper labeled with what take you are recording, then clap your hands together. That clap provides a distinct sound that you can use later to sync your audio and video during the editing process.

Option 2: Medium budget:
If you have any budget at all, it’s always recommended that sound be your first investment. If you can afford it, invest in a wireless lavMic microphone system. Why wireless over a wired microphone? A wireless mic system allows you to record your audio directly into the camera or recording device. There is no need to sync audio and picture when editing and you can immediately view back your footage to test quality of both image and sound. Of course, you should still mark each take with a verbal label (saying take one, take two) so you have an easy way to reference the footage during the editing phase.


Option 1: Low cost:
Editing video is not as hard as most people think. You choose the footage that you want and discard the rest. The digital revolution has ensured that everyone can be an editor and with great ease. Youtube offers editing capabilities, as well as other free online options. If your video and audio was recorded separately remember to locate the exact second the clap (previously discussed) occurred, as well as the sound of that clap; match the two and you have just synced sound and picture.

editingOption 2: Medium budget:
For basic digital media there is no need for excessive editing software. This is not because of the price but rather the learning curve required to maximize your purchased editing software. If you are willing to put in a little time to master such techniques as color correction and more intricate editing, look into tools like Sony Vegas Movie Studio, or the higher end Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere Pro. A list of other recommended software can be found here.

We know video is one of the fastest growing content tools, and consumption rates are at an all-time high. We also know that video builds relationships between organizations and their customers.

Now you know just how easy it is to make your own!


For more information about the role of video in the news process, take a look at the following articles from Business Wire

Chinese shopper for 2016 blog

2016 Is The Year Of The Chinese Buyer

chinese_visitors_us_chartThe fastest growing customer segment in the USA is Chinese tourists.  The average Chinese visitor stays in the US for extended periods of time and those who travel tend to be the wealthiest citizens.

So how do you capitalize on this expanding audience?

Things to know:

  1. China is the biggest economy in the world
  2. Chinese tourists spend more on international travel than any other culture, including the USA
  3. They often buy retail, look for second homes, visit college campuses and indulge in luxury experiences
  4. The number of Chinese visitors is growing at more than 20% annually
  5. The Chinese enjoy shopping and it is considered a status symbol to buy from the USA

Chinese shopper for 2016 blog What You Can Do To Attract Chinese Visitors:

a)  Consider having key information translated into Mandarin, on your website, on signage or other key communication vehicles

b)  Look into accepting Chinese credit cards like UnionPay, the Chinese version of Visa

c) Key times for Chinese to travel are during their key holidays like this month’s Chinese New Year, Spring Festival etc.

For more holiday information go here:


d) Contact local universities to see if you might hire a Chinese student to intern with you and help you learn more about reaching out to this customer.

We live in a global economy with opportunity for all.  Enjoy getting to know our Chinese visitor and their customs, we will all be the benefactor!


The Last Time This Happened It Was 1890

In 1890 the share of foreign-born residents of the USA was at an all-time high of 14.8% – and most of us have ancestors who were part of that iimmigrants start floral businessmportant influx into the United States.

In 2025, our nation is predicted to set a new record for our foreign-born population and it will continue until 2060 when it is projected that 78 million people who were born outside the USA will make up 18.8% of the US population, according to the US Census Bureau population projections.


As marketers our job is to know our customers, and that means those in the next decade as well as the customers right in front of us today.

While Asian and Hispanic immigrants are projected to continue to be the main sources of U.S. immigrant population growth, the new projections show other groups are on the increase too.

Foreign-born shares among whites and blacks are expected to rise. Today, 8.9% of those who identify as black were born in another country, but that number is projected to almost double – to 16.5% – by 2060. Among whites, 4.1% are foreign-born today, but that share is projected to double to 8.1% in 2060.

The U.S. today has more immigrants than any other nation.

immigrants 1890As the nation’s immigrant population grows, so too will the number of children who have at least one immigrant parent. As of 2012, these second generation Americans made up 11.5% of the population, and that share is expected to rise to 18.4% by 2050, according to Pew Research Center projections.

This is the first time in 14 years the Census Bureau has made projections of the foreign-born population. Predicting future immigration and birth trends is a tricky process, and the bureau has substantially changed its projections from year to year in light of reduced immigration and birth rates.

Thank you to Pew Research and the US Census Bureau for providing one more way we can excel as marketers in the years, and decades, ahead.

cell phones in use

Digital marketing is now marketing in a digital world

If we live in a digital world, then our marketing must be digital … simple.

98 Percent of Marketers Say Online and Offline Marketing Are Merging, Gartner Study Finds

Digital marketing is now mainstream, and digital commerce is a top priority for marketers, according to a survey of marketing executives by IT research and advisory firm Gartner. The survey also found that marketing budgets increased 10 percent in 2015, with 61 percent of respondents saying they expect budgets to increase again in 2016. “Marketers no longer make a clear distinction between offline and online marketing disciplines,” said Yvonne Genovese, group vice president at Gartner. “As customers opt for digitally led experiences, digital marketing stops being a discrete discipline and instead becomes the context for all marketing.

“The rise in digital commerce is an opportunity for marketers,” said Jake Sorofman, research vice president at Gartner.

“There was a time when marketing and selling were two distinct disciplines. In many cases, digital merges these two into a single, continuous activity from initial awareness, through engagement, conversion, transaction and repeat purchase. Marketers can now tie spend to revenue. In fact, it’s becoming a mandate.”

Two main factors are driving marketers’ interest in digital commerce: the need to point to tangible results from marketing investments, and the recognition that companies need more than a commerce platform to sell. In the past, we’ve seen digital commerce operations wholly disconnected from the marketing engine. Today, we’re seeing integration between marketing and digital commerce as two parts of a single discipline, where marketers bring everything from content marketing and brand storytelling to advanced analytics and multichannel campaign management to optimize digital commerce across channels.

As CMOs face the digital transition, the survey showed that overall marketing budgets are on the rise. This year, 61 percent of respondents said that marketing spending will be, on average, 11 percent of company revenue, up from 10 percent of company revenue last year. That one percentage point change represents a sizable increase—10 percent, year over year—in marketing spend.

“Bigger budgets, however, come with sizable expectations,” said Sorofman. “Marketing is expected to drive profitable growth through the acquisition, retention and expansion of the most valuable customer relationships. As customer buying journeys and customer expectations expand, so, too, does marketing’s scope of responsibility.

As a result, the marketing remit now often includes driving broad-mandate customer experience, digital commerce and innovation initiatives.”

Thanks to Richard Carufel who edited this for Bulldog Reporter

gift boxes

‘Tis The Season of Luxury

With thanks to Bulldog Reporter’s Daily Dog and Deloitte, here is well written and researched report on the changing habits of luxury consumers.


Luxury PR: Brands Must Navigate a “Decade of Change” Driven by Technology and Consumer Forces to Remain Competitive


Deloitte Report Analyzes Factors Changing Habits of Luxury Consumers

Global luxury brands should take advantage of evolving technological and consumer demands to help boost profits and remain competitive, according to the second annual Global Powers of Luxury Goods report recently issued by Deloitte.

The report provides an outlook on the global economy, an analysis of merger and acquisition activity in the luxury sector; and a forward-looking perspective on the changing nature of the luxury consumer—notably through the impact of technology. The world’s 100 largest luxury goods companies generated sales of $214.2 billion through the end of the last fiscal year (fiscal years ended through June 2014) despite currency headwinds and intense technological disruption.

“Several key aspects of the luxury sector will be unrecognizable in the next few years,” said Patrizia Arienti, Deloitte fashion and luxury leader, in a news release. “The traveling luxury consumer will change the concept of national boundaries; Millennial consumers will represent a significant percentage of sales volume in luxury; and the competitive forces driven by technology will continue to disrupt at a faster pace. As such, global luxury brands must overcome significant challenges in order to maximize engagement with their digitally-savvy, time-sensitive and socially-aware consumers or risk being left behind.”

Key findings from the report include:

  • Adoption of technology as a competitive advantage: Luxury brands must keep up with evolving technology and refine their products, but without detracting from their unique core product offering and expertise. Industry executives identified reputational risk from social media as one of the highest risks in online marketing and distribution, according to Deloitte’s 2014 Swiss Watch report. “The luxury sector needs to continue to forge a strong relationship with an ever-increasing array of technologies, as it continues to influence the value chain. The legitimate concern about diluting a brand’s exclusivity in the broadly accessible online world requires brands to move carefully to ensure sustainable, long-term value creation,” said Arienti.
  • Engaging the millennial shopper: Fifty-eight percent of millennials currently go online to search for information  on luxury items and 31 percent use social media for gathering information around discounts and promotions, compared with 10 percent for older luxury consumers. In order to effectively target millennials, (who are already emerging as leaders in technology and other industries and are expected to comprise 75 percent of the global workforce by 2025) luxury brands can benefit by fully understanding their buying habits and influencers.
  • The global make up of luxury demand is changing: “The channels on which luxury consumers shop is constantly evolving, making it critical for companies to understand the changing desires, buying behaviors and channels of luxury consumers,” said Arienti. Results from Deloitte’s Luxury Consumption among European High Earners 2014 survey of over 1,000 high-income earners across Europe illustrate that while traditional marketing channels such as magazines and store browsing continue to be relevant for consumers gathering information on new luxury brands, 45 percent of participants indicated that they search online for information.

“The global economy in 2015 has provided ups and downs for luxury purveyors,” said Ira Kalish, Deloitte’s chief global economist, in the release. “On the positive, some key markets are continuing to show signs of greater strength. The U.S. economy has accelerated and will likely grow faster in 2015 than at any time since 2005.  In Europe and Japan, more aggressive monetary policies are boosting growth as well as asset prices. Comparatively, China’s economy continues to decelerate, even as the government takes steps to boost credit activity.  Looking ahead to the second half of 2015, we expect to see increased growth in India, slow growth in China, and recession in Russiaand Brazil which may have an impact on the luxury sector more broadly.”

Source: PR Newswire; edited by Richard Carufel

Originally published June 2015 on Bulldog Reporter

PR quote from Bill Gates

What Happens When Your News Lands On A Newspaper’s Front Page? Great Things!

PR leading the band Nov 2015Usually we think of bad news landing on the front pages of our daily newspapers – and usually you are right.  However every once in a while a story makes its way to right editor on the perfect news day and even though it is good news – lands on the front page.

If your news is in the upper right hand location of a print page, you are in the best possible place for readership.

Anywhere on the front page, above the fold is your second best location.  Why?  Most of us are right handed and we tend to look at that location at least once when we scan the page for articles of interest, and then once more as we move to turn the page – it’s all about placement and getting noticed.

Very often, when your news lands on the front page, it is sent out on the newspaper.s syndicate wire so other newspapers in their system can pull stories of interest.  A front page article absolutely puts your news in other markets and at the top of search engines for a long time to come.

Naples Bay Resort Announces Agreement With Chef Art Smith F Oct 30 2015PR quote from Bill Gates

Case study – today I was happy to see one of my news announcements for a client made the upper right hand corner of the FRONT PAGE of the daily newspaper.  Wow that made my day because I knew what it meant going forward …. but I needed to explain to my client why a positive piece on the front page of his local paper should matter to him too.

Not only is the front page, and the upper right of the front page a big deal, but the fact that you can’t buy an ad on most front pages gives it even more value – more readers will read your story.

Did you know?  Editorial material gets 500% more readership than material that is obviously advertising?

Public relations is one of the most valuable tools any organization can have – it’s all about communication and the more people you reach the better your communication.PR is money

It is a great day here for my agency and my client, thank you for letting me share the reason for my “PR Joy!”.