Posts tagged “media relations

MM2 to Build Visibility for Network Security Provider

Larry A. Meltzer, Agency Principal

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As technology has become more complex, the protection of a company’s data has become more complex, too. APCON, a global leader of network visibility and security solutions, has a full range of products to help companies across industries meet this challenge head-on, and we’re pleased that the company has retained MM2 Public Relations to help build awareness for the company, its capabilities and products. APCON, based outside of Portland, Ore., was an early entrant into the network monitoring and performance space, expanding the scope of its products and services along with changes in the market. APCON offers adaptable and scalable network and visibility solutions, providing the visibility needed to improve security in any network environment.

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A Tasty Addition to the Client Roster

Larry A. Meltzer, Agency Principal

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Most of us enjoy a delicious meal or flavorful beverage without thinking about what goes into creating it. But the team at MM2 is learning exactly what goes into creating taste experiences with our work for new client Synergy Flavors.

A global company with headquarters outside of Chicago, Synergy Flavors is a leading manufacturer and supplier of flavorings, extracts and essences, with a truly global footprint. Synergy has flavored the world’s finest foods, beverages and nutritional products for more than 130 years, with a multitude of market applications including bakery, confection, dairy and beverages. The company has a deep heritage of flavor development with proprietary extraction technology, investing continuously in R&D and technical capabilities.

It’s a tasty assignment, and our team is looking forward to telling the Synergy story!


Superstars in Search of Other Superstars!

Larry A. Meltzer, Agency Principal

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The superstars at MM2 who work with client Lennox Industries are looking for a different kind of superstar:  an Energy Savings Superstar!

2017 marks the fifth annual Energy Savings Superstar contest, a fun and engaging way for consumers to share a tip and photo to demonstrate how their family saves energy. The contest, sponsored by Lennox, the leading manufacturer of innovative home comfort products, awards a grand prize of up to $10,000 in energy-efficient Lennox heating and air conditioning products, along with other “cool” prizes including tickets to a water park and a year’s supply of ice cream. The popular program shines a light on Lennox’s technologically advanced products that enable consumers to control their indoor air quality, and brings consumers to the Lennox site to learn more about its products.

The Energy Savings Superstar contest kicks off every year with the announcement of the findings from the complementary Home Energy Report Card survey, which grades homeowners on their energy-efficient practices and asks them about how they save energy. One fun finding: 29% of homeowners would rather walk around in their underwear than spend money to cool down their home in the summer months!

If you think you’re an Energy Savings Superstar, head over to the contest website before August 31.


The World on Your Doorstep

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Larry A. Meltzer, Agency Principal

Recently I interviewed a new grad from one of the public universities in the Dallas area. Of particular interest, this individual told me that the first comm class of every morning started with a current events quiz. The purpose of this exercise is to prompt students to read a physical newspaper every morning, since that’s probably the best way to gain a broad overview of what’s happening in the world – and to score well on the morning quiz!

Some might say this exercise is a relic of times gone by, especially in light of research indicating that half of Americans get their news from Facebook and 10% of Americans think Facebook is actually a news outlet. Anything that gets students – and adults – reading and learning about issues in the world around them is a good thing, but I wonder what we’re losing in terms of knowledge with the decline of print media.

There are advantages to online news consumption, of course:

  • There’s the immediacy factor. When news happens, boom, it’s right there in multimedia, so we read, see and hear about it, not only from news sources, but from those in our social networks.
  • The presentation of news online also offers outlets the ability to incorporate interactive graphics to help explain the story in a way that amplifies – or even replaces – the narrative.
  • There’s the general notion of a news encounter. We’re online, scrolling through our Facebook feeds, and interspersed with a photo of a friend’s lunch are news items that we might not otherwise have scanned.
  • There’s the consumption of news itself. With so few Americans subscribing to news – either in print or online – the availability of information provides access to news that individuals otherwise might not seek out.
  • And of course there’s an environmental benefit, with less paper being used to produce a print product with an extremely short life span.

But what do we lose with the move away from print?

  • We lose the pass-by effect that comes with reading a physical newspaper. We may not read every article, but by flipping through the pages, we’re taking in all the headlines as we evaluate what we want to know more about. So even without reading a story, we’re gaining topline knowledge of key issues or items considered important or relevant enough to put in print.
  • We also lose a depth of information. With all the events occurring around the world, we shortchange ourselves by not delving deep enough into the facts, implications and analyses. The convenience of a snapshot in our Facebook feeds can never compensate for that level of detail.
  • Encountering news – a benefit of online news consumption – also is not the same as following news. Stories and events often play themselves over time, revealing new layers and nuances that help us form opinions.
  • And finally, as the success metrics for media have become more focused on eyeballs and click-throughs, media are presenting stories online with which consumers have the propensity to engage. Sometimes, what consumers want to read, and what they should read, are vastly different.

Knowledge is cumulative. It builds over time through repeated exposure to facts and opinions, and we build our understanding through context and various points of view. A well-written article – whether in print or online – teaches you something. It might present something familiar from an unfamiliar angle.

At the end of the day, I’m not giving up my newspapers, although after the morning read, I’m constantly online, consuming news from these same outlets in their digital counterparts. News outlets deliver the world on your doorstep, so open the door and start reading!


All Agencies, Big and Small

Larry A. Meltzer, Agency Principal

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It’s the time of year when the agency holding companies officially put the previous financial year to bed, and the industry media compile their annual agency rankings. As a long-time veteran of the agency business, what strikes me every year is the way the descriptions of agencies have changed over the years – and this is true for both large and small agencies.

A scroll through the rankings – or indeed, an agency’s website – reveals prominent mentions of size (in terms of billings) and awards, as if size and awards are the best indicator of quality or fit for a client. What happened to pride of work? I suspect much of this is driven by the holding company model – holding companies, after all, are about maximizing the value of their portfolio of companies.

My own career has taken me through the doorways and hallways of agencies of all sizes, from largest-in-the-world and on down to the boutique agency that I now lead. If I had to distill down what I’ve learned about the pros and cons of big and small, I’d point to these five truths:

  • There’s a place for big, and there’s a sweet spot for small.  Big agencies do a great job with big clients. They’re structured to serve the broad needs of the multinationals that aren’t particularly price sensitive. But as the big agencies have grown bigger, and their cost structures size them out of certain assignments, there has been a clearer bifurcation of the market, delineating a real sweet spot for small agencies – not just in terms of company size or budget, but in terms of the type of senior-level talent and attention that really lives the client’s business in a way that a big agency can’t match.
  • To get to the soul of an agency, ask them to describe it.  Big agencies are proud of their size, and that tends to be the fallback description, along with awards. But most clients with whom I’ve worked over the years are more interested in what we’ve done for them, rather than the accolades we’ve received or the billings we’ve racked up. Small agencies, however, because they can’t fall back on size, tend to describe the work they do, and the results they’ve delivered for clients.
  • Big agencies are like accounting firms; small agencies are like investment firms. Every business need to generate a certain return to exist, but the big agencies for which I’ve worked have been like accounting firms, driven by the numbers rather than by delivering good work. Small agencies, on the other hand, are like investment firms, with the investment in this case being the clients and the people. Since there’s more at stake in a client relationship for a small agency, they tend to over-index on client service and the focus on results.
  • Big agencies give you access to talent; small agencies give you a talented team. True, big agencies have a deeper bench of talent across the network, which, of course, comes with a cost. Clients can tap into and out of this talent based on need. Small agencies, on the other hand, provide access to a talented team on a full-time basis. There can be a greater personal and professional integration between agency and client teams, with both focused on delivering great results.
  • Big agencies will sell you what they have; small agencies will sell you what you need. It stands to reason: If you have a lemonade stand, you’ll sell lemonade. In the same way, big agency employees are trained to sell what the agency offers, sometimes trying to fit the proverbial square peg in the round hole. They want to keep the revenue within their four walls. Small agencies, however, typically take a best-of-breed approach, and assemble the resources appropriate to the client need, agnostic of the source.

It’s a big world filled with big and small agencies and big and small clients. At the end of the day, an agency is best judged not by its size, but by the size of its ideas and the size of the results it can deliver for clients.


The Long and Short of It

Rob Martin, Agency Principal and Managing Director of MM2 Public Relations

I recently overheard one of our account teams planning outreach to “long lead” media.  It got me thinking:  In a world with Twitter, Google News and a 24-hour news cycle, where the story of U.S. Airways flight 1549 in the Hudson can go from iPhone to CNN in a matter of minutes, where lead times seem to be getting shorter and shorter, is the concept of “long lead” media still relevant?  And is anyone paying attention?

I think the answer to both questions is “yes.”

The term “long leads” typically refers to magazines, and while there have been some tough times in that industry, I think there’s still a place for those that offer quality and appeal to consumer interests.  I subscribe to several magazines at home.  And the point is, in addition to the magazines’ long lead times in the production cycle, I have a personal long lead time when I’m reading and enjoying them.

It’s a different type of experience.  In contrast to rushing through various news sources in the office to get a sense of the day’s news, magazines are meant to be enjoyed in the comfort of home, when you have more time and the right mindset to think, react, re-read and reference other related and relevant stories elsewhere.  It’s sometimes a leisure-time activity that can be enjoyed on the weekend, on an airplane, or on a beach.  And the best magazines give you the in-depth content you may not have time to absorb at any other time or in any other place.

For marketers and others with a particular story to tell – or something to sell – they know that consumers may be in a more receptive mood when perusing their favorite magazines.  They have more time to think, understand and evaluate.  And they may be in the mood to compare and plan purchases.  I would say there’s definitely a need for this type of media outlet.

In a short-lead world, it’s comforting to know that long leads are still there for us.