Posts Tagged 'New York Office'

SHIFT Brings Home TWO Bulldog Awards

Here at SHIFT, we pride ourselves on not only our creativity, but also our ability to bring extraordinary ideas to fruition. This is why we were all ecstatic when we recently received word that SHIFT had been awarded not one, but TWO Bulldog Awards. That’s right, on the heels of SHIFT’s recent honor of being named the 2012 Digital/Social Agency of the Year by the Holmes Group, the agency took home a Silver Bulldog Award for “Best Campaign under $10,000,” along with a Bronze Bulldog Award for “Best Technology Campaign – Business Category.” Check out details around both winning campaigns below.

Who says there is no such thing as a free lunch?

It’s no surprise that the war for talent in the Bay Area is heating up more and more by the second. SHIFT’s Appirio team saw a PR opportunity to bolster Appirio’s recruiting efforts at Dreamforce by capitalizing on the media presence at the event and latching onto a recent U.S. jobs report. Realizing that free food and an event filled with hungry software developers was a match made in heaven, the team coordinated for a taco truck filled with free food to be parked just outside  conference doors.

The campaign, which cost less than $2,000, resulted in 8.7 million impressions and coverage in Bloomberg Businessweek, San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury News, Palo Alto Daily News, CIO and broadcast coverage on KTVU and KGO. Major Kudos to SHIFT’s Appirio team for rocking it out on this campaign and claiming the Silver Bulldog Award for “Best Campaign under $10,000.”

Getting into the game

There is no denying that the gamification space is hot right now, but this was not always the case. In a budding industry, SHIFT was determined to make Bunchball the pioneer and market leader in online gamification solutions as well as the go-to resource around the industry and any/all related trends. How could the team accomplish such a task? By starting from the ground up. SHIFT worked to educate reporters about the ROI of gamification and to make sure that Bunchball and gamification were associated as closely together as Brad Pitt/Angelina Jolie, Jay-Z/Beyonce, John Mayer/Jessica Simpson/Jennifer Aniston/Taylor Swift – well, you get the idea.

In a nine-month period, the SHIFT team secured 170+ original media hits in top-tier tech and business outlets such as Forbes, Dow Jones, The New York Times, Forrester, AllThingsD, The Wall Street Journal, Mashable and USA Today. At the end of the day, the team helped to increase Bunchball’s competitive share of voice to more than 40 percent. Congratulations to SHIFT’s Bunchball team for bringing in a Bronze Bulldog Award for “Best Technology Campaign – Business Category.”

As the only awards judged by a panel of professional journalists and bloggers, SHIFT could not be more happy to add the Bulldog Awards to our list of achievements. It is further testimony to the agency’s commitment and dedication to providing our clients with stellar work on a daily basis.

By Annie Meenan (@anniemeenan)

SHIFT Communications Wins Digital/Social Agency of the Year

Yesterday was an exciting day at SHIFT Communications – the Holmes Group named SHIFT the 2012 Digital/Social Agency of the Year and it is such an honor! SHIFT was up against some stiff competition beating out the likes of Edelman, Ogilvy and Weber Shandwick for the prestigious award. We’ve worked hard to help pave the digital/social path for PR and it’s so great to see the hard work pay off. To demonstrate SHIFT’s appreciation and excitement, we’ve polled all three offices to find out how some SHIFTers reacted to the news:

“I literally shouted … okay, I almost freakin’ cried … when I first heard this news. I am so proud and happy for my hard-working, fun-lovin’ colleagues at SHIFT Communications!”

-Todd Defren, Principal

Boston:

“When you’re surrounded by so many smart people every day, you can sometimes take it for granted. But this is one of those moments that makes you say ‘wow, I work for a market leader – I’m a part of a game-changing company.’ Words can’t even describe the sense of pride I feel today in being a member of the SHIFT family. Congrats to the entire team!”

-Zach Servideo, Account Manager

“I was thrilled to hear we won this prestigious award! All PR people know social is growing in importance all the time, but SHIFT is at the forefront of integrating it into each and every program we run.”

-Julie Staadecker, Account Manager

“At a time when every PR/marketing/communications agency is clamoring to devise the newest and best social media strategies for their clients, it is a HUGE honor to be dubbed THE agency for social and digital by the industry standard aka The Holmes Report.  Add to that the fact that SHIFT is a midsize agency that consistently competes with the Goliath PR firms of the world on digital account work, and you’ve got one happy, scrappy bunch of social media enthusiasts.  The coolest part to me about the award – and indicative of SHIFT culture – is that I know it only fuels all of us to continue to push the envelope on digital further. The best is yet to come…”

-Amanda Guisbond, Senior Account Executive

“When I joined SHIFT just over a year ago, I already had the impression that it was a social media heavyweight. Since then, I’ve learned so much about how companies should use social media to communicate with their key stakeholders.  Everybody at SHIFT is interested, engaged and, most importantly, curious about this issue.  We’re still dealing with a lot of unknowns and best practice is evolving.  When a SHIFTer isn’t certain about how a social media situation might play out, they’re honest enough to admit it and dedicated enough to make sure they find out!”

-Dominic Weeks, Account Manager

San Francisco:

“Hearing the news just made me realize once again that I am so lucky to work here. I am very fortunate to work with such incredible talent and proud of the work we’ve accomplished.”

-Matt Nagel, Senior Account Executive

“F#$% yeah!”

-Aaron Heinrich, Firm Director

“Ballah! Our clients have always seen us as one of the best digital/social agencies in this business — how fantastic to receive industry recognition from Holmes Group! And how else to spread the news? Across every social media platform linked to my name…of course. :)”

-Kristine Lee, Account Manager

New York City:

“We’re fortunate enough to have smart, forward-thinking clients who allow us to take chances with digital media. Our clients have come to rely on campaigns and programs that combine traditional and social PR activities, instead of acting as separate entities. This is where SHIFT has found its strength, and it’s fantastic to be recognized for it. “

-Danielle Mancano, Senior Account Manager

“In the last year or so, I’ve noticed such a shift in the type of counsel our clients value most, and that’s our advice on digital and social strategy. As an agency we’ve been working hard to give the best advice and ideas possible, and it’s cool to see that those efforts have had an impact.”

-Alexandra Brooks, Account Executive

“#Winning!”

-Justine Navaja, Account Director

“I’m so proud to be part of agency that continuously delivers fantastic client work and is recognized for our growth in digital/social. GO SHIFT!”

-Donna Ho, Account Coordinator

Facebook Timeline for Brand Pages: What’s the big fuss?

The social media world has been abuzz since last week’s official launch of Facebook Timeline for all brand pages. Timeline has been available for personal users for a few months, and while it’s been optional, it’ll ultimately be the only choice for people and brands alike. I’m now accustomed to seeing the new look on my friends’ pages: huge cover photos of sunsets, babies or pets (I’m guilty of at least two. See for yourself.), but how will Timeline actually transform a brand’s presence on Facebook? After speaking with reps from the site, taking an online webinar and reading up on all of the official Facebook documents, I’ve come to the conclusion that Timeline can enrich a consumer’s view of a brand. How can it do this? By creating a page where consumers might spend more time and by allowing brands to seem more human.

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Personal uses of Cover photos are often sunsets, babies or pets.

Here are some details about how Timeline works:

Cover Photo vs. Profile Picture

The new cover photo seems like a simple concept. It’s like a profile picture, but bigger. But Facebook claims that it’s more than that – and they may be right. The suggested use of this space is for an image that captures the essence of your brand. Not a logo, not a promotional photo, not just text. The cover photo is the soul of the brand page, and should convey the soul of the brand. On the other hand, the profile picture should convey the facts: the logo, the label, etc. Facebook chose a few brands as guinea pigs for Timeline. Among them were Coca-Cola and Manchester United and not surprisingly, their pages look great (I’m guessing their sizable Facebook advertising budgets didn’t hurt). The Manchester United page is the perfect example of the Cover Photo vs. Profile pic discrepancy. Their profile pic is just the Manchester United logo. And yet their cover photo is of an emotional, uplifting photo of the victorious team, evoking immediate emotion from any user. Even from me!

What it means for brands: Emotion sells.

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Manchester United gets it right with an emotion provoking cover photo

Pinning Your Posts

Another new feature for Timeline is the ability for brands to “pin” a post to the top of the page for up to 7 days. This is all about the first impression – any user landing on a brand page will see exactly what the brand wants them to see. The days are over when negative customer feedback live at the top of the Facebook Brand Page wall. This gives more power to the brand over all headlining content on their page. And while users are still encouraged to post on brand pages, Facebook has introduced a new option for consumers to privately message brands. This should cut down on some of the customer service type questions that are often prominently displayed on Facebook walls. Barack Obama’s profile is a great example of keeping the positive message up top, including user photos of reasons why they support Obama, positive videos and quotes from the President himself.

What it means for brands: Choose your pins wisely. They’re the introduction line in your consumer conversation, and you now have the power to control it.

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Obama pins positive posts. And check out his great cover photo.

Views and Apps

Here’s a big change: Brands can no longer select a landing page for their users to view first. Everyone will land to the brand’s Timeline. The only way for users to go straight to an application is through a paid media buy. Facebook has also changed up the way applications are displayed – they’ve said goodbye to the text links on the left side of the page and opted for pretty thumbnails at the top of the page, right next to the Photo and Like images. Brands will be able to move the thumbnails around, displaying which applications get top priority, although the Photo and Like thumbnails are stationary. This results in a nicer presentation, but a more top-heavy page, where users will need to scroll down below the fold to get to the real meat of the page.

What it means for brands: Brands can no longer dictate for users to arrive on welcome pages, “like to enter” tabs or apps. So, create thumbnails to make your apps pop.

Milestones

On to the main course: And here’s where brands can really show their personalities. The milestone function allows brands to chronologically add in the opening day of their business, the day they made your first dollar, when they expanded globally, etc… The actual timeline on the Timeline allows brands to expose their history to their users. Do consumers care? Brands are tasked with injecting their milestones with fun, interesting facts – otherwise the Timeline will fall flat. Starbucks started their Timeline with opening their first store in 1971, and for a company that has grown so quickly – it’s a fun read. Obama also gets this right. His milestone posts bring us back to the 1970s with fun facts such as: “Obama gets his first job working the counter at Baskin-Robbins” or “Obama moves in with his grandparents in Hawaii”. But then there’s Coca-Cola. Their first milestone on their Timeline is the company’s start in 1886. A brand with such a long, rich history should be fascinating to read about. But do consumers have time to scroll though their entire history? I’m not so sure. Especially since the Timeline functionality is still very sluggish. Once we see improvements with the speed, it might become a more attractive read.

What it means for brands: Keep this section short and sweet, with punchy and interesting facts. Brands want users to find your brand charming and inspiring, not just read a history text book.

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Coke’s milestones take us back to pre-Facebook times in 1886.

There’s no question – Timeline is pretty. And it will allow brands to speak to users in a whole new way. I just hope that Facebook doesn’t lose sight of the importance of the consumer to brand and consumer/consumer conversations, both of which seem to take a back seat with this new look. If the goal is to make brands seem more human, then human consumer engagement should still be a top priority. But as we’ve seen with Facebook in the past, there’s certainly more change to come.

The Power of Pinterest: Why Everyone Should Join the Pin-sanity

By Donna Ho (@donnatho)

So what’s with all the hype around Pinterest? As cliché as it sounds, unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve most likely heard of the virtual pin board and social photo sharing website. Or you’ve been asked just a few too many times, “Are you on Pinterest?”

While it may have initially been an online spot for food lovers and wedding hopefuls, the site has become much more as a number of brands, businesses, and influencers have joined the Pin-sanity. The site was recently named one of the top 10 websites within the Hitwise Social Networks with nearly 11 million total visits in a week. And according to a study by Shareaholic, Pinterest drives more referral traffic than Google Plus, YouTube and LinkedIn combined.

Everyday People Pin

Just a few months ago, I was that person who didn’t get it. Why was this virtual pin board so cool? After taking another poke around the site, I quickly became a Pin-somniac. What’s not to love about bookmarking and organizing you favorite photos and feeling creative? Being able to click through images to other interesting links made the site even more addicting and exciting, which brings to me to why others are catching on to the social media network trend.

Brands Pin

As brands have become comfortable with Facebook and Twitter and are learning the ins and outs of Google+, they are now adding Pinterest to their social media repertoire. The ability to pin and share photos through links helps drive traffic and therefore, increase visibility and sales. A marketer’s dream, right? Chobani and Mashable are just a few examples of some who are successfully pinning their own product/content. Marketers are even thinking outside the box, using Pinterest for contests, adding a Pin-It buttons to their site and using hashtags.

Brands are not only using the site to promote their own product, but create a brand personality online that will engage users.

Take for example, InStyle Magazine created a board for a Valentine’s Day Gift Guide, in which its 4,000+ followers most likely re-pinned, liked and purchased these products.

Influencers Pin

Just like Twitter and Facebook, people follow personal brands and enjoy seeing what their favorite guru’s inspiration. Fashion Director for Marie Claire, Nina Garcia, an expert in the fashion trend, for example, is very active in the Pin world with more than 240,000 followers interested in the upcoming seasonal fashion.

Whether you’re using the social network to spark ideas for your clients or for your own personal enjoyment, Pinterest is a fun and easy-to-use social tool that I believe has the power to stick around for a while. Although the site’s user base is mostly female, I have a feeling the guys won’t be too far behind to catch onto the trend. Are you convinced of the pin-sation?

Social Media Week New York

Last week New York City’s streets were filled with social savvy SHIFTers jetting from one panel to another for New York’s Social Media Week.  Below SHIFT’s own Reshma Fernandes (@reshma) shares a few insights into one of the panels she attended:

Can We Tweet Yet? Social Media in Financial Services – hosted by Actiance on 12/15 (Joanna Belbey) @belbey

Key takeaways

  • Social media deployment is a lot more successful when all the internal stakeholders from HR to legal to security departments are at the table at the beginning of the decision making process
  • The Regulators treat social media the same way as any other client communication so record keeping is of paramount importance
  • Put together a social media policy – every employee that represents your brand should undergo training on social media do’s and don’ts since finance is heavily regulated

 

 

The Real Winner of Super Bowl 2012: Social Media

By Dave Finn (@DFinn0711)

We all know how quickly social media has changed the way information is shared and consumed. Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and all the rest transcend boundaries and are now used as key outlets for foreign governments, Major League Soccer teams, media publications, school districts and everything in between. Simply put, social media provides individuals and organizations a microphone that projects their voices across the globe.

The host committee of Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis is the latest example of an organization using social media to consolidate and project its voice and the information it has to share. Raidious, an Indy-based digital marketing firm, has put together a team to manage all Super Bowl-related social media activity. With at least 70,000 fans in town to watch Giants-Patriots at Lucas Oil Stadium yesterday and thousands more in the area to enjoy Super Bowl Week festivities, the team’s mission was simple: get the important event information out efficiently.

This was Indianapolis’ first crack at hosting a Super Bowl – and as far as I know, Indy isn’t a popular tourist attraction – so it’s likely that most visitors to the city knew absolutely nothing about it.

That’s where the social media team came in.

In addition to monitoring key words and trends contained in the countless number of Super Bowl game-related tweets, the team used social media platforms to share parking, ticket, event and facility information as well as directions to restaurants and bars, complete with drink deals.

Downtown Indianapolis’ layout is very condensed, so traffic was a nightmare all week. But the social media team didn’t let that fall through the cracks. On Friday, @SuperBowl2012, the team’s official Twitter handle, responded to an Indianapolite (Indianapolan? Indianapoler?) complaining about the gridlock:

Because of the social media team’s efforts, visitors to the capitol of Indiana experienced one-stop shopping for all relevant logistical information – and that’s the key. This brand new effort by the Indianapolis host committee demonstrates social media’s ability to unify a variety of different information in one place. The people running Super Bowl XLVI’s festivities certainly had a lot to say, but social media platforms afforded them one voice with which to say it.

With so much to do and see for fans during Super Bowl Week, this new age task force did its best to minimize aggravation and maximize the enjoyment of one of America’s biggest spectacles. They did it by using social media.

By many accounts, Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis was a huge success. And to think we’ve barely talked about the football game.

Why the Giants are going to win the Super Bowl

Giants Will Win Fourth Super Bowl in Franchise History

Eli Manning

After four straight convincing wins, the New York Giants are in the NFC Championship Game. And of the four teams still alive in the NFL playoffs, they have the best chance to win Super Bowl XLVI.

It’s easy to forget that on December 18, they were 7-7 and had just gotten embarrassed at home by the last place Washington Redskins. Statistically, the Giants were near the bottom of the league in total defense and were last in the NFL in rushing. With two games left on the schedule, their postseason hopes were on life support.

Yet in only a month’s time, the Giants have not only turned into the sport’s hottest team, but they have become the most balanced team in the league. Led by Pro Bowl quarterback Eli Manning and receivers Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks, the aerial attack is still as dangerous as it’s been all year, but the late-season emergence of a disciplined defense with the NFL’s best pass rush and an effective running game has been the difference between missing the playoffs and contending for a championship.

On offense, the Giants are simply difficult to defend. When they come out in three-receiver sets with Cruz, Nicks, and Mario Manningham, they can throw the ball down the field or keep it on the ground with Ahmad Bradshaw or Brandon Jacobs, which opens up play action. In theory, the Giants can execute a full gameplan using one formation, making it tough for defenders to know what’s coming.

Flip to the other side of the ball, and the Giants can do what most teams in the NFL can’t – they get to the quarterback with only a four-man rush. At times, they can get pressure with Jason Pierre-Paul, Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora and Mathias Kiwanuka and don’t have to send linebackers and defensive backs on blitzes. That means opposing quarterbacks have only a few seconds to throw the ball – into full coverage – before the pass rush gets there. Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers, the probable MVP, can tell you that’s hard to do.

The Giants have peaked at the right time, are versatile enough to win any type of football game, and have an elite quarterback in Manning, who set an NFL record this season with 15 fourth-quarter touchdown passes. Sorry San Francisco and Boston (and SHIFT-less Baltimore), but it’s the Giants’ Super Bowl title to lose. 

Super Bowl 46

Inside the SHIFT Studio: Nicole Kruse

Nicole in Hunter, New York

 

1. Name: Nicole Kruse

2. Hometown: Whittier, CA

3. Where did you go to college: Chapman University

4. How long have you worked at SHIFT: A little over one year, started May 2010

5. Use four words to describe yourself: Loyal, thoughtful, adventurous, and a neat-freak

6.  What made you enter the PR industry: I was a communications major and PR minor in college, but still wasn’t totally sure what career path I wanted to take. I got a summer internship at small PR company in Newport Beach, CA and the owner became a mentor. She helped me to fall in love with the industry.

7. When you Google yourself, what’s the first thing that pops up: Oddly enough, my outdated bio from the previous place I worked.

8. What blogs or Web sites do you read every day: Cupcakes and Cashmere, Outblush, The Local East Village blog on NYTimes.com, Daily Intel on NYMag.com and OCRegister.com.

9.  If there was a cocktail created just for you, what would you name it: It wouldn’t be a cocktail; it would be a nice refreshing icy cold beer colored pink with a ruffle-y pink bottle.

10. Tell us something unexpected/surprising about you: I’ve always wanted to be a contestant on a game show. My family and I tried out for Family Feud when I was in high school, but didn’t make the cut. My dream game show to be a contestant on is Wheel of Fortune.

11. What do you feel is your greatest personal success in PR thus far? Adjusting to and surviving crazy agency life.

What Are YOU Doing to Give Back?

By Katie McGraw (@katiemcgraw24)

As a business, it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day.  The bills that need to be paid, the headaches that need addressing, the latest win, or the latest loss.  Still, companies like SHIFT Communications, are finding ways to devote time and resources despite the fact that many businesses have been asked to do more with less.

President Obama once said, “Make no mistake: Our destiny as Americans is tied up with one another.”  With this in mind and with the national push to take part in spurring positive change, more companies are looking at corporate social responsibility as a necessity rather than a choice.

In late 2010, SHIFT engaged in their very own commitment to change by making a concerted effort to devote more time and resources to our Social Good Taskforce.  The SG Taskforce did some thorough research to determine how the company’s time and resources could be leveraged to give back.  In line with this effort, we kicked off the holiday season with a clothing and supply drive to benefit Cradles for Crayons.

Cradles for Crayons (C2C) is a Brighton, MA-based nonprofit organization that provides in-need children with the essentials to feel safe, warm, ready to learn and valued.   According to the National Center for Children in Poverty, there are more than 305,000 Massachusetts children ages 0-12 living in low-income and homeless situations.  To help curb this staggering statistic, Cradles to Crayons partners with social-service organizations in the Boston-area to connect communities in need with resources — new or gently used items in good condition.  While our first effort consisted in the gathering of supplies, we are also working to more actively engage with C2C during an onsite visit this Spring!

There are many benefits to volunteering from a business perspective.  It can provide increased community visibility to improving an organization’s overall brand, but there’s also something to be said for the value as it relates to the people within the company.

SHIFT’s Social Good Taskforce is led by Jen Burns, account manager with the company.  When asked what she believed was the greatest benefit of community engagement from an employee perspective, Jen offered the following:

“We work hard and play hard at SHIFT, so it made sense to tap into this energy to benefit our local community.  As a mother, I realize how fortunate I am to have a safe home for my child, clothes to keep him warm, and food to keep his belly full.  It’s truly heartbreaking to know there are children in our own community who are not as lucky.  SHIFT’s volunteer efforts ensure we are all taking an active role in helping to bring about change and instill hope.  Cradles to Crayons is a great organization, and we look forward to partnering with them in the future to help those kids in our community that need it most.”

Recently, SHIFT employees across all three offices jointly raised funds to support the American Red Cross’ efforts to aid Japan.  The company matched all employee donations and SHIFT raised a total of $2,400.



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