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To Get the Most Out of ICSC, You’ll Need PR

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Are you attending ICSC RECon this year? If you go without a PR strategy, you’re wasting an opportunity to make a name for yourself in retail real estate. The evidence?

  • ICSC social pages have a BIG audience. Are you a part of that conversation?
  • Media will be there, including National Real Estate Investor, Bisnow, Commercial Observer, Chain Sore Age and more. Do you have a plan to organize interviews and get news out to the right people?
  • And what about your local media? Chances are, they’ll be looking for experts to discuss the conference when you’re back home.

You can make your mark in an impactful way. Check out our SlideShare below to learn how The Wilbert Group can help.

Contact:

Caroline Wilbert

404-748-1250

404-405-6479 (cell)

cwilbert@thewilbertgroup.com

 

www.thewilbertgroup.com

April 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 Instagram takes on yet another rival network: Pinterest.

Instagram is already encroaching on Snapchat’s territory with its popular Stories feature – which succeeded in stealing Snapchat users – so it makes sense that the photo-sharing giant is now going after Pinterest with its latest update. To the joy of its users, Instagram introduced the ability to save posts earlier this year. Now, you can sort those posts into “collections” that are eerily reminiscent of Pinterest’s boards. This update makes it more important than ever for content creators to create truly valuable, save-worthy content to allow it to live a second life for a user, whether it’s a recipe, design inspiration or a secret menu dish at a restaurant. As Engadget sums up the opportunity for businesses: “If you can create your ideal outfit by saving posts into collections, you might be more likely to buy that outfit.”

#2 LinkedIn continues to undergo a complete makeover.

LinkedIn’s facelift is in full swing. While there isn’t one noteworthy update to include here on the blog, I wanted to touch on this because, as social media managers, we’re constantly learning and relearning how to keep our client’s content fresh as LinkedIn shifts seemingly every day. Important changes for content creators include: The ability to use video, new photo sizes and filters and a new algorithm for the feed. LinkedIn also plans to revisit its publishing tools, including the ability to save articles for later and improved tagging, ultimately making the blog posts look much cleaner and full of dynamic content like photos, block quotes and graphics.

#3 Snapchat is reaching an increasingly older demographic.

Snapchat isn’t just for millennials anymore. The app – which recently made its IPO – is experiencing increased usage in those ages 25 to 44, far from its typical younger audience. Forty-one percent of users ages 25 to 34 used the app more often today than during Jefferies’ first survey last June. Forty-four percent of the 34 to 44 demographic use Snapchat more now, the firm said.

It’s not atypical for older users to follow typically young early adopters to new platforms – just look at Facebook and Twitter. However, that migration sometimes drives the younger users away because the platform isn’t cool anymore, or because grandma and grandpa are now able to view their content. This shift may be a ways off for Snapchat, but something the app should consider moving forward. Hopefully, they can continue to provide content – from news stories to fun face-altering filters – to keep their original base happy while expanding to new audiences.

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 3/15/16

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  1. Using predictive analytics, businesses are able to approach opportunities, risks, business partners, and customers differently because they have foresight they lacked previously. However, there are still challenges. While companies want to increase revenue, customers are constantly demanding more value for their money. Jon Higbie, chief science officer at pricing and revenue management firm and Wilbert client Revenue Analytics says, “Customer response to price, merchandising, and promotions are levers you have to pull to make the right recommendation. You have a forecast, you apply a market response model to it, and you have a holistic price-sensitive demand forecast that includes competition.” Using predictive analytics, Revenue Analytics was able to help a global hospitality group increase top-line revenue by 2.7% over a 13-week period throughout the Americas. You can read the full article on Information Week.

 

  1. Got plans for St. Patrick’s Day this year? If not, come join us at Wilbert client Avalon’s second annual Luck of Avalon event happening this Thursday (March 17). Get in the spirit with Irish music, dancing and all things green, including beer and candy. Read all about the family friendly event in this Neighborhood Newspaper article, which will feature music from live bagpipers with North Atlanta Pipes & Drums, face painting for children, a photo booth and more. Festivities will take place at 2200 Avalon Blvd. in Alpharetta from 4 to 10 p.m. “It’s just a fun celebration for everyone to wear their green, bring their families and friends out and have a good time in the plaza,” said Carla Toro, director of marketing for developer North American Properties.

 

  1. Before you start or join an NCAA tournament bracket at work, you should consider the risks. Employers have to be careful, too, according to Atlanta attorney Corey Goerdt, an associate with Wilbert client Fisher & Phillips, a national labor and employment law firm. “Many employers either allow or encourage some type of office pools around big sporting events and have little or no trouble,” Goerdt told 11Alive’s Jennifer Leslie. “However, employers should be aware of the risks, even if they are not particularly likely to impact most workplaces. Gambling is illegal, and many employers have explicit policies banning gambling. However, Goerdt said there can be a big upside to office pools. “Pools can promote teamwork and interaction among employees who otherwise might not have that opportunity,” he said.

 

  1. The American food hall boom is showing no signs of slowing anytime soon. Well-established in trend-setting cities like New York and LA, these multifaceted culinary marketplaces are spreading like wildfire to major metropolitan areas across the country. Wilbert client Bayer Properties plans on opening the Pizitz Food Hall this fall and was featured in Eater’s nine new food halls to get excited about in 2016. Plans are for two full-service restaurants, an outdoor seating and entertainment area, and an interior bar, along with several food stalls. Confirmed tenants so far include local roaster Domestique Coffee; paleta and ice cream vendor Lichita’s; an Asian dumpling concept; an independent cheese shop that will also serve sandwiches; a Korean restaurant specializing in bibimbap; and a traditional Ethiopian restaurant with communal dining. Yum!

 

  1. Curious about those giant, colorful “MIDTOWN” letters in the heart of, well, Midtown? Here’s your answer. According to the re-imaginers/developers of Colony Square, Wilbert Client North American Properties, the 8-foot-tall, 40-foot-wide word on the corner of Peachtree and 15th streets “anchors” the mixed-use development and alerts visitors to exactly where they are. “The vibrant, interactive MIDTOWN installment creates an iconic anchor for our city within a city for the local community and visitors to enjoy,” North American Properties Vice President of Marketing Liz Gillespie said in a release. “These letters establish a sense of place and further enhance the Midtown brand as the cultural, connected, innovative core of Atlanta.” North American Properties – the developer behind Atlantic Station’s turnaround and Alpharetta’s Avalon – announced plans last year to revolutionize Midtown’s iconic but tired Colony Square, the first large-scale mixed-use development in the Southeast. Most notably, plans call for taking the roof off the retail core of Colony Square to better connect it with the street and lend the sense of a walkable, open-air urban experience.

Making News: Our Clients in the Headlines, 1/4/2016

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  1. Aaron's Turkey Donation with Action Ministries

    Aaron’s Turkey Donation with Action Ministries

    During the holidays, most families are concerned about the latest and greatest gadgets on everyone’s wish list. The last thing they worry about is if they’ll be eating a meal on Christmas day. But for hundreds of families in Georgia, not eating on Christmas was a very real possibility. That’s why Wilbert client Aaron’s teamed up with Action Ministries to donate over 200 turkeys to local Atlanta families this holiday season. Fox 5 Atlanta has a gallery of the giveaway, with photos of families, volunteers, and smiling faces. Additionally, Wilbert client Skanska donated hats, scarves and gloves to over 500 students at Mary McLeod Bethune Elementary School last month.

 

  1. On Dec. 11’s All About Real Estate edition of the Atlanta Real Estate Forum Radio show, hosts Todd Schnick and Bryan Nonni were joined by CEO and Managing Broker of Wilbert client Terrace 24 Realty, Mike Minihan. In this episode, the trio discussed the concept of Terrace 24, the company process, its value to consumers and industry professionals, trends in real estate and much more. You can listen to the full show here.

 

  1. President of Pinnacle Search Partners, William Creekmuir

    President of Pinnacle Search Partners, William Creekmuir

    Furniture Today profiled Wilbert client William Creekmuir, a former senior executive with Simmons and LADD Furniture, who is now the new owner of executive search firm Pinnacle Search Partners. Creekmuir has served in a leadership role with Pinnacle since January and will serve as its president. He served as executive vice president and chief financial officer of publicly traded LADD, and over a 15-year period worked in the United States and Ireland for the international public accounting firm KPMG, where he was responsible for college recruiting in the Carolinas and was a partner.

 

  1. Although the holidays are over, there’s still plenty of time for ice-skating. The Atlanta Journal Constitution rounded up the top places to go skating in Atlanta, including Atlantic Station, where you can lace up at Skate Atlantic Station, home to a 10,000-square-foot, open-air ice skating rink through Feb. 14. Additionally, through Jan. 24, skaters can enjoy the Rockefeller-inspired rink at Avalon, a mixed-use development in Alpharetta. Special events will be held Jan. 7, Jan. 14, and Jan. 21.

 

  1. Although you (hopefully) already had your holiday office party, this 11 Alive article on employer liability at such events is still a good read. Michelli Rivera, associate at Wilbert client Fisher & Phillips, details what kinds of legal risks employers can face if they provide alcohol at a company holiday party, and beyond. Rivera said, “Liability is a real concern for employers who know that company holiday parties can be the precipice of harassment and discrimination claims.” So whether it’s next year’s holiday party, or a Mardi Gras celebration, be sure to keep your company protected against any potential lawsuits.

Making News: Our Clients in the Headlines

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Santa at Avalon

1. 11 Alive recently reported on new technology that makes visits with Santa more personal than ever at Avalon in Alpharetta. Santa’s cottage is equipped with radio-frequency identification (RFID) that lets parents convey personal information about their children without whispering in Santa’s ear. Parents fill out a questionnaire about their children when they register online or in person at the concierge desk. “Special requests from Santa are also encouraged, such as clean your room, stop fighting with your sister or do your homework,” said Carla Toro, director of marketing at Avalon. Avalon created a video to explain the process for parents. Check it out here.

2. This year, Cyber Monday, the biggest online shopping day of the year, was expected to pull in a record $3 billion in sales, experts said. Traffic was expected to be up about 14 percent Monday over last year. The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Leon Stafford interviewed local Atlanta businesses about what successes and shortcomings they saw this year, with Wilbert client Revenue Analytics’ Dax Cross providing insight into the continuing evolution of online shopping. Cross said, “Big box retailers are generally seeing 10-15 percent annual growth in online sales over last year. This growth represents a greater and greater proportion of their total growth… but their growth rates still trail Amazon’s.”

3. Our client Aaron’s remodeled the Boys & Girls Keystone teen center last month in Jacksonville, FL, its ninth Boys & Girls Club remodel this year. The club’s makeover was covered by Florida-Times Union reporter Amanda Williamson, who interviewed Deborah Green-Ward, unit director for the Beaches Clubhouse. Green-Ward said, “Here, [the teens] have a voice. We provide them with a space — and more importantly, a vehicle to express. … We know the teens will use this renovated space to invite other teens in the area to join our club so they can in turn learn and develop their leadership skills.”

4. This week, Howard Mavity, partner at leading labor and employment law firm Fisher & Phillips, penned an op-ed in the Atlanta Journal Constitution in response to the recent mass shooting in San Bernardino. Mavity has some advice for employers in Atlanta on the best ways to increase their preparedness for such an unfortunate and increasingly common scenario. His tips include maintaining an Emergency Action Plan as required under OSHA regulations and ensuring all entrances and exits are professionally assessed.

5. According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s J. Scott Trubey, “Midtown Atlanta’s Colony Square was decades ahead of its time. Now, the venerable mix of office towers and shopping mall is about to play catch-up with the modern era.” Developer and Wilbert client North American Properties and equity partner Lionstone Investments closed on their purchase of the towers at 14th and Peachtree streets last week. Unlike much of Atlanta’s recent development history, instead of tearing down the towers and starting over, the developers plan to spruce up and reinvent this pioneer of mixed-use urbanism. You can read more about the purchase in Trubey’s article, along with several quotes from Mark Toro.

Introducing a New Way To Show How You Feel on Twitter

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Twitter revealed today that it’s changing the star icon (favorites) to hearts and it’s now calling them likes, similar to Facebook and Instagram.

Twitter announced the change—on Twitter of course—with a fun .gif and a link to their blog with more details.

“We are changing our star icon for favorites to a heart and we’ll be calling them likes. We want to make Twitter easier and more rewarding to use, and we know that at times the star could be confusing, especially to newcomers. You might like a lot of things, but not everything can be your favorite,” said Twitter Product Manager, Akarshan Kumar.

Twitter users will start seeing the change today on mobile, desktop and scheduling apps such as TweetDeck, as well as on its looping video app, Vine.

RELATED POST: Twitter’s New Moments Page Represents a Bigger Change in News-gathering Habits

Making News: Our Clients in the Headlines

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Skyline View of Atlantic Station

Skyline View of Atlantic Station

1. As you have probably heard by now, Atlantic Station was sold this month to real estate and investor services firm Hines Interests. Previous owner North American Properties, who bought the property in 2010, sold the retail town center. Atlantic Station is a mix of retail, residential and high-rise office buildings just west of the Downtown Connector. It also has a hotel and an IKEA store and hosts events such as an annual pro tennis tournament and Cirque du Soleil shows. The property sold does not include buildings occupied by Publix, Dillard’s, Target and IKEA, nor the office towers or hotel on site.

 

2. Earlier this month, Aaron’s launched an initiative to hire 700 new associates at its stores through the United States and Canada. Dubbed “National Hiring Day” the company invited people to register for the event and come to learn more about the company and apply for a job. Aaron’s was looking to hire delivery drivers, customer service representatives, manager trainees, information technology specialists and call center representatives.

 

3. WSB Atlanta recently interviewed principal architect of Cooper Carry Bob Neal on recent development at Avalon in Alpharetta. They are building a full convention center and hotel at the luxury community, which will expand upon the already existing walkable community of shopping, dining, living & working. Neal says that sustaining growth in the area requires more hotel space, which is the “only thing that is lacking the area right now.”

 

Revenue Analytics’ Managing Partner and Chief Scientist, Jon Higbie

Revenue Analytics’ Managing Partner and Chief Scientist, Jon Higbie

4. Revenue Analytics’ Managing Partner and Chief Scientist, Jon Higbie, was recently published on HotelExecutive.com with an article about the future of hotel revenue management. The article focused on why hotels need to adapt an analytical mindset to drive transactional profit. Concluding the article, Higbie said, “The hotels that can conquer the next frontier of Revenue Management, and change their business mindset to think like a merchant, can develop both organic revenue growth and a strong, loyal customer base.”

 

5. A recent U.S. News & World Report article titled “How to Sell An Ugly House” details, well… just that. Mike Minihan, managing broker of Terrace 24 Realty in Atlanta, says, “Dumpy houses are usually filled with dumpy furniture and decorations, so it’s best to move everything out. This runs counter to advice an agent would give to most sellers, because a staged house usually shows much better than an empty house.” Minihan says staged homes usually work better because buyers don’t have much imagination, and an empty room forces buyers to work hard to imagine their furniture and belongings in the room.” But with the dumpy house, you are in search of a buyer with imagination, and that couch from 1981 with cigarette burns all over it is probably going impede this visionary buyer’s creative process more than it will help it,” he says.

Wilbert Heads to CRE/Tech Intersect

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Tomorrow, The Wilbert Group is headed to New York City for CRE / Tech Intersect, the largest gathering of the CRE/tech industry. The bi-annual, bi-coastal symposium brings industry leaders together to discuss and learn about innovative technologies. The Wilbert Group, a public relations firm known for its real estate expertise, and Trevelino/Keller, a public relations and branding firm known for its tech expertise, recently created a partnership, TechRise, to capitalize on the continued growth of the CRE/tech industry.

 


 

TechRise recently released a new SlideShare about how to use social media to build relationships with CRE decision makers. LinkedIn is the most relevant social media platform for the commercial real estate (CRE) industry, with an estimated 90 percent of professionals on the platform. Twitter is the No. 2 platform for reaching CRE decision-makers. Check out the SlideShare below:

 


Twitter’s New Moments Page Represents a Bigger Change in Newsgathering Habits

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If you graduated with a mass communications degree, you probably remember a class in theories. One theory that sticks out is the gatekeeping theory – the idea that journalists are gatekeepers of the news. They decide what is newsworthy and what is not. Journalists make these decisions carefully and with journalistic integrity. They have a responsibility to uphold to keep the public’s trust and deliver the news accurately, fairly and without bias. It’s a job the media takes very seriously.

 

These media decisions impact public knowledge – we the people don’t decide what’s front page, what’s on the 6 p.m. news, etc. But, with the explosive growth of social media, that model is changing. More and more are getting the news from social media where there are options to customize news interests and define the types of stories we want to read about. And with Twitter’s new Moments page, that paradigm shift is clearer than ever.

Twitter Moments

Twitter Moments

Let’s start with what the new Twitter Moments page is.

 

Twitter Moments are meant to represent the latest conversations happening around an issue regardless of who you follow. The new Moments page resembles a mobile news site with a selection of stories and topics. Slate gives a good example of how it works:

 

“For instance, if you follow a story about the South Carolina floods, Twitter will automatically drop new tweets from that story into your timeline as it develops. Once the story is over, you won’t have to unfollow it—you’ll just stop seeing those tweets.”

 

The main difference between your regular Twitter feed and Twitter Moments is the Moments are editorially driven. You can read more about Moments from Twitter here.

 

Who creates these Moments?

 

As of now, only identified Moment creators can add to the feed. Launch partners include the New York Times, Buzzfeed, Entertainment Weekly, Fox News, NASA, The Washington Post and Vogue. Twitter says it wants to work with a wide variety of publishers to contribute to the Moments page. Yes, these creators are the new digital gatekeepers and they are accountable to the same journalistic standards as traditional media.

 

The cool thing is the end-user (you, me, etc.) has control over what is newsworthy on an individual level. Do you want to read about world news? U.S. news? Politics? Sports? Entertainment? Or perhaps all of the above. We can follow a variety of stories from different beats without having to flip TV channels or thumb through newspapers.

 

What does this mean for traditional media?

 

Social media is taking the news seriously. Twitter has invested big-time in an editorially driven section. And they aren’t the first. Think about SnapChat and its Discover feature. Our newsgathering habits are changing to be more interactive and personalized, and the news will continue to be shared across a multitude of both traditional and untraditional platforms.

 

What does this mean for our clients?

 

Social media is a serious communication tool that will continue to build its presence in the market. As part of your organization’s communication strategy, it’s important to consider a multifaceted approach that includes social media.

 

To see Twitter Moments live, visit https://twitter.com/i/moments.