The Wilbert Group Blog

March Digital Updates

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We’re all about keeping up with the digital world at The Wilbert Group and leveraging the newest technologies to help our clients tell their stories. Here’s the latest:

#1 Yet another Snapchat clone arrives via Facebook.

First came Snapchat. Then, Instagram Stories. Now, Facebook Stories is rolling out to users in Chile, Greece and Vietnam. The feature was first tested in Ireland, and its expansion shows that ephemeral photos and videos resonate with users across different platforms, even though other apps already possess this service. While some users grumbled about yet another Snapchat clone arriving (and they have a point – who has time to post short clips three separate times?), it makes sense for brands constantly battling Facebook’s ever-changing algorithm. Brands can’t post more than a few times on the day on the platform if they want to keep a high position in newsfeeds, but Stories would allow them to share content throughout the day and keep constantly atop their audiences feed. If this feature expands to the U.S., it could mean that Facebook will be able to bring back their share-happy younger audience (the average age of an American Facebook user is 40) and brands will be able to up their content game.

#2 Apple throws their hat in the video ring with Clips.

Apple has unveiled a new iOS app called Clips, a content creation platform reminiscent of Snapchat, Facebook Live and video editing software like iMovie. It allows users to stitch together videos and photos and add filters to create a “story” (are you sick of that term yet?). The app’s most unique feature is the ability to insert a soundtrack, making it easy to edit higher-quality video content from your smartphone. Clips will not launch alongside its own dedicated social network, but will allow users to post their creative content on Facebook or Instagram. This is great news for brands that don’t have many resources to dedicate to video editing but need to post that kind of content on social media. Video is here to stay, and brands need to get on board.

#3 Twitter prepares to launch live video.

On the heels of the popularity of Facebook and Instagram’s live video features, Twitter is preparing to launch a live video API with more powerful integrations than the platform’s existing Periscope tie-in. This move raises the question of whether Twitter will stay committed to keeping Periscope its live video app, or if it will roll more of the broadcasting and livestream browsing into its main app.

Twitter makes more sense as a home for live video than Facebook or Instagram, so it’s important they do this right and make it easier for users to share and interact with this type of content. Journalists love Twitter, and millennials and Gen Z use the platform to get their up-to-the-minute news and for coverage of major events rather than tuning into CNN or a traditional broadcast outlet. In fact, 59 percent of Twitter users rely on it for news, so this could make it easier for media outlets to get live video content to an audience of cord cutters and smartphone addicts.

Go Tell It on the Mountain

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Wilbert clients have great stories to tell, and the reason is they are doing exciting things.

Bayer Properties is opening new food halls this year in Birmingham, Alabama and Lexington, Kentucky, bringing exciting new dining and retail experiences to those cities. The Atlanta Braves will open the 2017 season in a month at their new stadium, SunTrust Park, and New South Construction is part of the joint venture behind construction and Pollack Shores figures prominently in the development of The Battery, the mixed-use component of that project. And, there are dozens of impressive things our clients are up to that there’s not time or space to list here, because today we’re talking about telling stories.

Brand storytelling master Robert McKee says businesses are learning to raise their profiles, enhance their reputations and market themselves by increasingly shifting from traditional tactics to communicating with audiences with compelling stories.

“In other words, what marketers have discovered is that the mind is a story-making and taking-in machine. The natural way in which people think is to storify their experiences,” McKee said in an interview with Skyword.

McKee says traditional advertising – particularly broadcast commercials – interrupts what people are doing, so that a company can brag at them and make them promises they don’t believe. Compelling stories that show how businesses deliver on their mission are far more effective.

At The Wilbert Group, we love to help clients deliver their stories to the people they want and need to reach. We do this through media relations, working to get their projects, products, expertise and success stories out to the audiences they need to reach from the media outlets they trust.

We also help clients by working with them to develop and then place thought leadership articles. They are experts and their thoughts and experiences are helpful to others who are in the same business, or need the guidance or help of someone with their expertise.

While we’re helping clients share their stories and expertise in traditional, print, broadcast and digital channels, we’re also helping them build effective social media communications. We’re also helping them bring high-quality video into their communication toolboxes.

It’s an exciting time to be a communicator, and we have some of the best client stories to tell. That means we get to come to work and have fun every day, while making our clients’ lives a little easier.

The Wilbert Group Hosts First Social Media Breakfast

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0N5A5301 copyThe Wilbert Group Hosts First Social Media Breakfast

The Wilbert Group this week hosted our clients and friends at our office for breakfast and a discussion about the benefits of paid social programs. The wide-ranging discussion was led by our firm’s president Caroline Wilbert and our digital strategist Sabrina Harvey. Below is a glance at some of the highlights from our discussion including why organic is no longer enough, what platforms make sense for which brands, examples of successful campaigns Wilbert has executed for clients, and best practices for creating compelling content.

So, why is organic no longer enough?

Organic reach on social platforms has continually decreased over the past several years. For example, Facebook organic posts only reach two to six percent of the audience that already likes your page. Companies need to leverage paid social options to heighten engagement with compelling content, which consumers still find valuable, and eventually “convert” by clicking links.

For a more detailed explanation, see the video below:

Which platform is right for my company?

This all depends on your audience. Consumer-facing brands should be focused on developing strong Facebook, Twitter, and potentially Instagram (for brands with strong visuals) audiences to engage with people who could potentially interact with your brand and purchase what you’re selling. For B2B companies, LinkedIn is the obvious platform to focus on. Users there are expecting to see business content, so they’re much more prone to be interested in news and data concerning your industry and company.

The good news here is that these platforms allow for highly targeted demographics and psychographics within advertisements, including differentiation within income, location, age, interest, behaviors and more. Facebook allows you to upload excel spreadsheets with “warm” contacts so advertisements will be sure to reach them.

BN7A3467 copyWhat kind of content will perform best?

The big picture here is your paid campaigns should revolve around your strategic business goals. Are you trying to get people to show up for an event? Or are you building your social audience and establishing your brand? This will also vary depending on industry and whether your business is B2B or B2C.

But in general, you want to find the value propositions that bring your audience something that makes them consider you. Instead of posting a 100-page white paper, it’s probably better to pull a graphic with some statistics for your audience to quickly digest and pique their interest. Visuals are also very important for social media; video drives 24 times more engagement than other content.

Ok, so where’s the proof this is worth it?

Wilbert ran a highly successful campaign to reach prospects of a high-end luxury residential brand in Buckhead. The team leveraged the company’s robust email database to reach over 330,000 qualified luxury buyers and encouraged them to contact the sales team. This resulted in about 13,000 conversions, all in eight weeks’ time with a small budget.

This goes to show that with a high level of detail and focused strategy, companies can reach a large number of people that have similar interests to your company with a relatively small amount of money. 

Any last thoughts? 

  • All boosted/paid content should be proprietary content
  • Range of social advertising spend from Wilbert clients is $500-$2,500 per month
  • Social media is a balance of art and science. In order to be successful, companies need to trust their social media team to run test ads and use the data to make informed decisions on what ads will be best to reach the right people in the right place at the right time.

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Making News: Our Clients in the Headlines 3/14/17

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  1. 17021416_1767730463252565_373011565381298796_nSt. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner and Colony Square had reports that a leprechaun known as “Colin” was on the loose! It had been spotted at different areas around the Square leading up to last Saturday’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade. To learn more, head over to CBS46, which featured an interview with Colony Square’s marketing director Carla Toro about all of Colony Square’s shamrock festivities.
  1. Hip-hop icon Common helped teens and Chicago police build better relationships earlier this month at the Boys & Girls Club of America’s annual Keystone Conference presented by Aaron’s, Inc. This CBS Chicago clip details Common’s speech to about 2,500 teens from all over the world. These teens came together with Common to discuss bridging relationships between teens and police, building trust, and not relying on stereotypes. Also standing on stage was Chicago Police Deputy Chief of Community Policing Eric Washington.
  1. Screen Shot 2017-03-14 at 10.34.26 AMAccording to a recent Eater Atlanta article, Alpharetta’s Avalon development will unveil a slew of new restaurants next month. North American Properties announced that seven new projects will come online April 13 as the development officially unveils its Boulevard East expansion. The openings include Barleygarden Kitchen & Craft Bar, Brine Seafood Shack, MF Bar and much more.
  1. There’s lots of talk about what the United States can expect from President Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch. But how will this justice, if confirmed, affect employers across the country? Albert Brannen, managing partner of the Atlanta office of Fisher Phillips, penned a recent op-ed in the Atlanta Journal Constitution describing how Gorsuch would treat workplace law cases.
  1. Are you thinking about freshening up your home this Spring? Whether you’re preparing to sell your home or just want an overhaul, a recent Atlanta Journal Constitution article has three ways to upgrade your home’s walls, featuring advice from Megan Harris, director of design at Edward Andrews Homes. Harris recommends using wallpaper with bold prints in areas like the foyer, a guest bathroom, a media room, or even as a focal point behind the bed.

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Media Moves: Let’s Tech About It

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We love getting – and sharing —  the latest newsroom scoop. In Media Moves, we highlight changes in journalism and the media both locally and nationally.

With virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and the Amazon Echo, technology is advancing so rapidly these days it seems like flying time-traveling DeLorean’s soon might be a real possibility. 2016 was the first billion-dollar year for VR and it makes us wonder, how will the media use these new advances in technology to their benefit?

Virtual reality is expected to have more of an impact than TV and 3D ever did. It can be incorporated with your smartphone and has the power to transport you to another place.  It’s more natural because you’re literally in the middle of the experience.media-virtual-reality

Sanjay Macwan, chief technology officer of the NBCUniversal media labs, believes VR offers an “I felt like I was there” experience, and media will be able to use that to their advantage.

“At the basic level, virtual reality is a new thing and you always want to give something new to your consumers,” Macwan said. “This will provide a more intimate experience for the consumer in relation to the media’s content.”

Media companies believe in creating a media ecosystem – a community that exists across multiple channels from websites to social media and beyond. By including VR in their platforms, media outlets can tell stories like never before by literally inserting the consumer into the story.

When a new form of technology can revolutionize the way we communicate with the media, we should explore it. For centuries, the media has been technology-driven, moving from handwritten to hot and cold type printed media to digital and now virtual. VR is the next step in media storytelling. With it, the media will be able to guide readers through the story with interactive imagery aligned with the written word.

We look forward to embracing this new way of storytelling, do you?

Atlanta – A city on the upswing of innovative architectural design

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Over the next 10 years, the population of Atlanta is projected to grow by 2.5 million. The influx of people and companies relocating to the city continues to bring more opportunity for commercial real estate development. And with the rise in commercial development follows the rise in storytelling from The Wilbert Group.

Many of the clients we work with are in the commercial real estate industry and part of the development boom that we are currently experiencing in the Atlanta market. From multifamily housing  to mixed-use destinations to stadiums, developers are becoming more innovative with every lift of the crane. Surely people across the country are puzzled by the same question: what makes Atlanta so attractive?

To start, our job market is extremely diverse. Let’s look at the film industry. Atlanta has become a highly sought-after location for shooting motion pictures and television shows which boosted its ranking to third in the nation at the end of the 2016 fiscal year.

Our city is also home to four prominent medical institutions, Atlanta Medical Center, Piedmont Healthcare, Grady Memorial Hospital and Emory Healthcare, just inside of the perimeter with several more expanding across metro Atlanta. We also boast two of the best global educational institutions – Georgia Tech and Emory University. According to a recent ranking by Times Higher Education, Atlanta is tied globally for fourth place on the list of best university cities where the top 100 colleges are located around the world.

Back to the developments. Intown Atlanta has seen drastic changes over the past few years thanks to the rise of the urban lifestyle. At the end of 2016, Midtown earned the title of “development capital of Atlanta” with a total of 22 cranes spotted in the small one-mile radius. Make no mistake though; Buckhead is in hot pursuit to take that title with a total of 33 projects currently underway or recently proposed, one of those being Wilbert client Emerson Buckhead.

Inspired by our clients, we have been experiencing a season of growth ourselves with the hiring of five new employees since the beginning of the year. This growth has allowed us to extend our reach and continue sharing the passion behind each of our client’s projects.

Last week, Wilbert client Randolph Williamson sat down with Craig Lucie of WSB-TV to discuss the shortage in the workforce as a direct result of the major development rise. Another Wilbert client, Cooper Carry, was also recently recognized in the Atlanta Business Chronicle for the design of one the many company relocations that incorporates a connection to MARTA.

Colony Square in Midtown is planning to celebrate its groundbreaking redevelopment project later this year and The Wilbert Group has been helping to reimagine the property. Keeping on the topic of innovation, Wilbert client Pollack Shores is developing three luxury apartment communities adjacent to the new Braves stadium and recently discussed the strong leasing momentum for Home at The Battery Atlanta with 11Alive.

One last Wilbert client shoutout goes to Franklin Street who not only revitalized a previously troubled asset, but also sold it for $5.65 million, setting the new record for highest sale price of a 1960s multifamily complex.

We could brag about our clients all day – but we won’t. Instead, continue watching them make history.

Making News: Our Clients in the Headlines 2/28/17

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1. At Birmingham’s new Pizitz Food Hall, operated by Bayer Properties, you only have to walk a few steps to travel the world. Guests will find food stalls and restaurants offering cuisine from Vietnpizitzoutsidesignjpg-bb9e36a85b444416am to Ethiopia, Mexico to Nepal, as well as all-American favorites such at burgers, biscuits and waffles. And this mixed-use foodie’s paradise is getting some much-deserved media attention. AL.com and Thrillist have both profiled the Pizitz, which opens in a 94-year-old former department store, housing three restaurants, a bar and 14 food stalls.

2. According to ExpandLab’s Juliana Martins, now is the time for retailers to invest in mobile e-commerce systems. During the 2016 holiday season, mobile commerce (m-commerce) exceeded $24 billion, with 68 percent of those sales coming from smartphones. Other research predicts that by the year 2020, mobile will account for 45 percent of the $632 billion in total e-commerce sales. Martins’ article in Total Retail further details the mobile phenomenon and how retailers can ultimately ride the m-commerce wave to big profits.

3. Pollack Shores, the real estate group behind The Battery Atlanta, released details last week about its three planned apartment complexes, some of which will overlook SunTrust Park – the new Braves stadium and your backyard if you lived there. The Battery is the the pizitzmixed-use haven where folks can do everything from catch a show at The Coca-Cola Roxy Theatre, grab a slice at Antico Pizza or head to work in some of the 700,000 square feet of retail and office space. Pollack Shores explained in this Atlanta Journal Constitution article that the three pet-friendly apartment communities named Residences, Parkside and Flats together will be called “Home at The Battery Atlanta.”

4. Senior executives at consumer products companies are caught in a tight bind these days. Wall Street still has high expectations for growth, but many of the companies’ growth strategies – such as expanding into China and emerging markets to balance slower growth in developed markets – have not panned out. Obviously, these problems aren’t easy to solve. But Revenue Analytics’ Jared Wiesel and Jim Armstrong recently penned an article in Consumer Goods Technology detailing how top CPG companies can identify and capture areas of growth at a granular level by leveraging advanced analytics.

5. One of North America’s oldest rooms is making a big comeback: the keeping room. The what room? In short, it’s a space adjacent to a home’s kitchen where people can kick back and keep thecook ckeeping-room-628x354ompany. Megan Harris, part of the design team at Atlanta-based builder Edward Andrews Homes, weighed in on the benefits of a keeping room, saying “this cozy area could serve a multitude of activities, including cooking prep, sewing, and other small household tasks.” Read more about keeping rooms and Harris’ comments in this Realtor article.

Digital Updates | February

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We’re all about keeping up with the digital world at The Wilbert Group and leveraging the newest technologies to help our clients tell their stories. Here’s the latest:

#1 Super Bowl posts on social media are up from last year, but didn’t top 2015’s record numbers.

Super Bowl LI may have made history as the first NFL championship to go into overtime (which in turn made for a somber morning here at The Wilbert Group), but it wasn’t the most socially engaged Big Game. 2015 still holds that title, though numbers are up from last year. Twitter reported over 27.6 million Tweets using #SB51, and 64 million people posted on Facebook. What is notable about this year is the role mobile and video played. Over 90 percent of Facebook’s interactions took place on mobile, and Super Bowl-related videos were viewed over 262 million times. This was bolstered by big players like NFL and major sponsors using Facebook Live and video content to bring viewers closer to the action and give users a chance to replay their favorite ads. Also interesting were three surges in Tweet counts during the game: One during the Patriot’s game-winning touchdown, one at the end of Lady Gaga’s spectacular halftime performance, and one when Danny Amendola tied the game. I was too busy pouring another glass of wine to tweet during that milestone. #RiseUp?

#2 The New York Times has eight people working on its Snapchat channel.

When fun, filter-heavy Snapchat first hit smartphones everywhere, who would have guessed it would become a popular platform for news media? It turns out the app’s millennial base loves the visually-pleasing, easily digestible news stories from outlets like CNN, Vice, Cosmopolitan, ESPN and Food Network. The New York Times recently announced the launch of their own Snapchat Discover channel based on the newspaper’s Morning Briefing. They currently have about eight people working on the channel, which will provide visuals from the newsroom along with animation and a distinctive design framework in the hope of reaching a younger audience and experimenting with digital storytelling.

#3 Brands should be using emojis on Instagram.

To emoji or not to emoji? For social media managers, the decision to introduce emojis into business Instagram strategy – especially if there is B2B aspect of the brand’s PR strategy – has been a tough call. There hasn’t been much research on the subject, and emojis tend to have a bad reputation with those unfamiliar with them as they can appear childish or unprofessional. However, according to a recently-released report from Quintly, over half of all Instagram posts use emojis, and use of the quirky miniature graphics can lead to better post engagement. Posts without emojis had an interaction rate of 1.77 percent, and posts with them had 2.07 percent. Luckily for us, the emoji library is rapidly expanding, allowing for brands to find and use the emojis that align with their key messages, whether its Domino’s taking full advantage of the pizza emoji or Starbucks using different colored hearts to launch a new product line.

Media Moves: Trump vs. the Media

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We love getting – and sharing —  the latest newsroom scoop. In Media Moves, we highlight changes in journalism and the media both locally and nationally.

President Donald Trump’s battle with the media is unprecedented. News junkies wonder how this tension will change the media landscape, a landscape that already has been fundamentally altered in recent years due to technological and cultural shifts.

Here’s what some journalists have to say on the topic:

 

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Steve Adler, Editor-in-Chief at Reuters:

“It’s hardly surprising that the air is thick with questions and theories about how to cover the new Administration…So what is the Reuters answer?…We already know what to do because we do it every day, and we do it all over the world…I am perpetually proud of our work in places such as Turkey, the Philippines, Egypt, Iraq, Yemen, Thailand, China, Zimbabwe, and Russia, nations in which we sometimes encounter some combinat

ion of censorship, legal prosecution, visa denials, and even physical threats to our journalists. We respond to all of these by doing our best to protect our journalists, by recommitting ourselves to reporting fairly and honestly, by doggedly gathering hard-to-get information – and by remaining impartial. We write very rarely about ourselves and our troubles and very often about the issues that will make a difference in the businesses and lives of our readers and viewers.”

Read the full article.

Michael Wolff, columnist at USA Today:

“At the Wall Street Journal, there has been a debate about how to characterize, what many regard as, Trump’s disregard for the truth. Should his misstatements be labeled as outright lies? The Journal’s editor, Gerry Baker, argued, no, the facts should be clear, but a motive, to purposefully mislead, should not be assumed…The issue may not be Trump at all, but, the startling socio-political divide he’s revealed. It’s two nations opposed to each other, with the media almost entirely on one side of the divide. It’s not so much Trump that the media doesn’t know how to cover, but a social movement that sees the media as one of its significant enemies. In this, Trump’s behavior, his constant tweets, his tit for tats, his free associations, his high baloney quotient are all designed to disrupt the media foe, and, among other things, give it a nervous breakdown. In other words, the media is taking the Trump bait.”

Read the full article.

 Margaret Sullivan, media columnist at The Washington Post:

“One thing is certain in the presumptive era of President Trump. Journalists are going to have to be better — stronger, more courageous, stiffer-spined — than they’ve ever been…What we can’t do is buckle. What we can’t do is slink off and hope someone else will take

care of it. We have to keep doing our jobs of truth-telling, challenging power and holding those in power accountable — as the best journalists did during the campaign itself. We have to be willing to fight back.”

Read the full article.

Matthew Ingram, senior writer at Fortune:

“A weakened and increasingly marginalized traditional media, fighting with the tools of a previous era, surrounded by more nimble adversaries who know how to use social platforms for their own ends, and a president who is actively hostile to the traditional press. Not that long ago, it probably felt like things couldn’t get any worse for the media—but they just did.”

Read the full article.

Rise Up for Smart PR

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The first thing I do in the morning after pouring myself a cup of hot coffee is turn on the news. I watch the news every morning because being in PR means it is crucial to know what’s happening in the world, the country and locally.

And just in case you were sleeping under a rock, what’s happening in Atlanta is that the Falcons are playing in the Super Bowl. Smart PR professionals identify ways to take advantage of a trending news topic to generate excitement for clients. We are supporting

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Natalie Fultz with Fox 5 interviews Mike Gomes, senior vice president of the Atlanta Falcons, at Atlantic Station’s  Rise Up Rally.

our clients as they “rise up” with Falcons-themed social media campaigns, events and PR programs.

 

  • Our client Atlantic Station is this year’s host of the Official Atlanta Falcons Rise Up Rally. The first event, before the NFC Championship game against the Green Bay Packers, was a huge success between media turnout and the incredible number of dirty bird fans who attended. With the Super Bowl nearly upon us, Atlantic Station is hosting another Rise Up Rally on Jan. 29 and we can’t wait to help host journalists and fans on the big day.

 

  • We also launched a successful social media campaign for client Peachtree Center, Rise Up Fridays, where fans can either post a selfie in their game attire on Instagram or go to Guest Services at Peachtree Center and be entered to win a Matt Ryan Jersey. So go show your Falcons pride!

 

  • Fisher Phillips partner Terri Stewart appeared on 11Alive this morning to discuss some of the workplace do’s and don’ts for employers and Atlanta Falcons fans leading up to Super Bowl LI. Watch her discuss calling in sick, office gambling and dress code policy for fans wearing Falcons apparel.

 

Of course, we have some of our own Dirty Birds right here in the office! The Wilbert Group is hosting Falcons Spirit Day next Friday; we’ll be decked out in black and red and may even have some hot wings. Follow us on our Instagram to see our pics.

Go Falcons!