Much to blog about.

Bohlsen Group Case Study

Case Study: University of Evansville

March 10, 2015 | by Emily Wilson

University of Evansville is a private, liberal arts-based university located in Evansville, Indiana. UE has a state-of-the-art Center for Career Development, but it noticed national media were featuring universities with less robust career programs. Bohlsen Group highlighted the University’s high graduate job rate as well as unique opportunities afforded to UE students to gain national exposure.

Client: The University of Evansville is a private, liberal arts-­‐based university in Evansville, Indiana, with a full-­‐time undergraduate enrollment of approximately 2,300. UE’s diverse student body represents 41 states and 54 countries. U.S. News & World Report recognizes UE as a top 10 master’s-­‐granting university in the Midwest, and third in the region for “Great Schools, Great Prices.”

Challenge: The University of Evansville has a state-­‐of-­‐the-­‐art Center for Career Development which provides one-­‐on-­‐one career advising starting in freshman year, non-­‐ remedial tutoring and placement services as well a robust student-­‐alumni mentoring program. Even prospective students who have not committed to the university are offered career-­‐planning advice based on their goals. Furthermore, 94 percent of 2013 UE graduates secured a job or graduate school placement within six months of graduation.

However, most regional and national coverage on career preparedness focused on other institutions and the University of Evansville wanted to raise awareness of their innovative services and become seen as leaders in the field of career prep for college students.

Solution: Bohlsen Group highlighted the high graduate job rate as well as unique opportunities afforded to University of Evansville students such as study abroad programs at Harlaxton College, a university-­‐owned castle in England. By identifying the strong results of the university’s career center and highlighting interesting elements, Bohlsen Group was able to secure interest with a variety of outlets.

Results: Bohlsen Group generated interest with top-­‐tier outlets such as Bloomberg Television and Yahoo and secured a series of radio interviews with the university president at several nationally syndicated stations from Alaska to Connecticut.

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About the Author: Account Executive Emily Wilson develops public relations and media relations campaigns for Bohlsen Group’s corporate clients. Find Emily on Twitter: @EmilyAnnyse

Bohlsen Group Case Study

Case Study: Benesch

March 3, 2015 | by Emily Wilson

Benesch is a thriving business law firm headquartered in Cleveland that wanted to raise the profile of its Indianapolis office, as a whole and for individual attorneys. By identifying key attorneys to comment on hot topics in the news based on their respective practice expertise, Bohlsen Group generated awareness for the firm on a local and national level.

Client: Benesch is a business law firm headquartered in Cleveland and with additional offices nationally in Indianapolis, Columbus, Philadelphia, White Plains and Wilmington as well as an international office in Shanghai. Benesch’s practice areas include real estate, intellectual property, Labor & employment and many more.

Challenge: Benesch is a respected, well-­‐established firm in Cleveland, but felt its Indianapolis office lacked visibility in a crowded market. Benesch wanted to raise awareness of the firm in the local community and establish its Indianapolis attorneys as thought leaders in their respective fields.

Solution: In order to establish the attorneys as experts in their field, Bohlsen Group researched trending topics in legal fields such as data security. Identifying the recent onslaught of data security breaches at Target and other nationwide corporations, we positioned a prominent Indianapolis partner as an expert in data security, information technology and e-­‐commerce issues and available to comment on the legal implications of these breaches for companies in the future. We were also able to generate additional interest on the topic when news broke of the Heartbleed Bug.

Results: Bohlsen Group secured coverage from local, national and global media outlets including Indiana Lawyer, Inside Counsel, Law360, Business News Daily, among others, and generated interest with top-­‐tier outlets such as Financial Times, New York Times and NPR’s Marketplace.

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About the Author: Account Executive Emily Wilson develops public relations and media relations campaigns for Bohlsen Group’s corporate clients. Find Emily on Twitter: @EmilyAnnyse

Vanity versus valid metrics

Marketing metrics that matter: Is it valid or vanity?

February 27, 2015 | by Jordan Overton

We can’t deny it – we live in a digital world. Every day, marketers must manage social media channels, monitor website visits, analyze analytics and perform dozens of various tasks, all to make sure their brand is performing at peak capacity.

But is posting regularly and checking website analytics enough? How do you truly evaluate what you’re doing to separate the valid metrics from those that appeal to our vanity?

First, you have to set benchmarks before the beginning of any campaign. Comparing your results to your initial benchmarks will tell you why your campaign was successful, help guide upcoming marketing decisions, and reveal opportunities you can capitalize on during future campaigns. Without benchmarks, you’re blindly guessing and your data isn’t providing you with real answers.

Second, you have to know which benchmarks to monitor. In this post, I’ll explain two different vanity metrics – metrics that are thought to indicate success but are typically taken out of context and disconnected from reality - and I’ll provide two valid key performance indicators that are better to monitor for a truer measure of campaign success.

Vanity – Followers:

Picture this: you’ve launched your campaign. You login to your social media measurement tool to evaluate after the first month, and you have thousands of Facebook likes, Twitter followers and blog subscribers. The campaign has been a success, right? Maybe, but how can you be sure? What if, out of all your new fans, none of them have taken any kind of action? You have the numbers, but odds are you’ve attracted the wrong audience. Your audience is happy to click “Follow” or “Like” but is reluctant to do anything after that. How do you determine which members of your audience are valuable and which ones are simply a number? The answer is, you have to further analyze your audience to make sure your messaging has impact.

Vanity – Impressions:

Vanity metrics have the tendency to focus on quantity over quality. They value tons of views and visits over actions. On the surface, the bigger numbers look and sound better. But when you dive deeper, you’ll be able to see what your audience is doing once they’ve seen your posts. Impressions show how many people have the potential to see a tweet, post or blog. But they don’t break it down further, causing marketers to wonder if their messages are really hitting their mark.

Valid – Active users:

A user who subscribes to your blog or chooses to follow you on social media but fails to take further action offers very little value to your brand. Don’t focus so much on the numbers. Instead, focus on what your audience is doing once they see the call-to-action. After all, a growing amount of subscribers and followers can provide your brand with a false positive. Your numbers could be consistently on the rise, but it could be an instance of ‘one and done.’ Your audience sees your message, but then they leave, offering no value or return on your investment. You have to make sure to ask yourself: Is your audience responding? If they aren’t, you need to reevaluate your digital strategy and campaign messaging.

Valid – Engagement:

One of the great benefits of social media is that it supplies a two-way conversation between the brand and the consumer. By doing this, brands can establish a relationship with their customer base. Instead of monitoring impressions alone, marketers need to evaluate their engagement levels. Impressions show possible views. Engagements can take those impressions and show which of your consumers performed an action upon seeing your message. Marketing professionals should focus on actions rather than potential views.

On occasion, it’s okay to work vanity metrics into your evaluation. Just make sure you’re also using valid metrics – such as active users and engagement – to understand the true success of your campaign efforts.

Have you come across vanity versus valid metrics during your marketing efforts? Discuss with me or Bohlsen Group on Twitter.

About the Author: Media Specialist Jordan Overton manages the online presence of various local, regional and national nonprofits and corporate clients. He also contributes to Bohlsen Group’s digital strategy. Find Jordan on Twitter: @jordantoverton

Bohlsen Group Case Study

Case Study: Robert J. Matsunaga

February 24, 2015 | by Courtney Stiehl

Full-time writer and photographer Robert J. Matsunaga recently penned “A Journey of a Thousand Seasons,” a science fiction novel that explore issues of adversity relevant today. With no previous social media accounts, Bohlsen Group not only set up Matsunaga on social media but helped him establish a solid foundation within the science fiction online community.

Client: Robert J. Matsunaga, an indie author through Bohlsen Group client Author Solutions, a Penguin Random House Company, was a former professional photographer before transitioning to a full-time writer. Matsunaga wrote science fiction novel “A Journey of a Thousand Seasons” to explore his own creativity and provide a good story. Through his new book he created a new civilization while exploring problems of adversity relevant today.

Challenge: Many of the elements in Matsunaga’s story are unique, but the challenge was to set him apart from other science fiction writers and novels on social media. He also didn’t have any social media accounts or social media experience going into the 12-week social media campaign, so he was unsure about his own ability.

Solution: We used Matsunaga’s background in fine arts to distinguish his work on social media. His eye for architecture and paintings lent itself to Pinterest, so we spent time building up his Pinterest profile and connecting with an arts-focused audience to introduce to his work. We also tapped into the robust science fiction community on Twitter.

Results: By the end of the 12 weeks, Matsunaga had a very active presence on his blog (25 posts), Twitter (200 tweets, 500 followers), Facebook page (1,200 likes) and Pinterest (8,500 pins, 450 followers). His numbers have increased greatly since then. More importantly, his social media presence has enhanced his work and become a significant part of his daily life. He continues to connect with like-minded people and promote his novel online, now without our help.

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About the Author: Media Specialist Courtney Stiehl supports corporate clients through public relations, social media management and helps develop brand identities and communications strategies. Find Courtney on Twitter: @CourtneyStiehl


Rebranding Part II: Revolution vs. Evolution

February 19, 2015 | by Mandy Bray

In Rebranding Part I, we talked about six signs that it’s time to rebrand. To recap: if your brand name is frequently flubbed, if you’ve undergone a major business change including a merger or international expansion, if your graphics are dated or reputation is suffering, then it might be time to rebrand.

There are so many elements that go into a brand: a logo, tagline, typography, color palette, voice, mission statement, and brand promise. As companies determine that a change is needed, the single question they must answer is, which elements do you change and which do you keep?

First, you must decide if a total or partial rebrand is appropriate. Bohlsen Group Art Director Terry Million calls this Revolution vs. Evolution.

A Revolution rebrand typically involves an entirely new name and logo, while an Evolution rebrand may include light updates to graphic elements and messaging. Some brands will cycle in a new slogan every few years, while others will make light graphic updates every decade or so—some not immediately apparent to the customer—to match industry trends. In other cases, it may be appropriate to simply update key company messages depending on changes in services lines or industry.

To decide what is best for you, you must make the following determinations:

Measure your current brand equity

Whether through market research or anecdotal evidence, determine what aspects of the current brand are most valuable to your clients. Is it name recognition that shows generations of longevity? Is it a logo, brand promise, or spokesperson that has become iconic for your company?

Know your target audience

Always keep your goals and audience in mind when considering a change to your brand. After all, they will be the first ones to let you know if they don’t like it. Just ask Gap, Tropicana, or Kraft.

Consider the cost

There is no magic formula to calculate how much a rebrand will cost. There will be an upfront cost in strategy and design, and then a secondary cost in implementation—a legal name change, photo shoot, signage, stationary, etc. On the other hand, consider the cost of not rebranding as your competition gains market share over you. If you plan on investing money in marketing and advertising this year, don’t put lipstick on a pig by putting your dollars behind a dated and derelict brand.

A new logo won’t fix everything

Your company goals and culture are at the heart of everything that radiates from your brand. If you know that you have a disconnect with your customers, a new name or logo isn’t a magic bullet to capture their hearts and sales. What will catch their loyalty is a willingness to listen, clear communication about branding changes, and values that match theirs.

Want to learn more? Click here to read a case study of how Bohlsen Group rebranded The Land Bank of Indianapolis to Renew Indianapolis when the nonprofit was threatened by a scandal involving another organization in its industry.

About the Author: Chief Copywriter/Publicist Mandy Bray‘s effective writing skills sharpen Bohlsen Group’s in-house copy—including web copy, white papers and press releases—and her content strategy skills add to the success of client projects. Find Mandy on Twitter: @MandyBray