East to West
Hello! My name is Madeline Smith, I go by “Maddie” and recently graduated from the University of Colorado in May of 2010 with a Communication degree. I grew up south of Boston right on the harbor or “hahbah” as Bostonians would call it…they tend to frown upon the pronunciation of R’s. I decided to leave Boston for college after witnessing my sister’s lifestyle throughout her four years at CU. Although, I miss the ocean, I love the never-ending sunny days, mild winters, compared to Bean Town, and of course the fresh powder out west.
During my senior year of college I worked with a natural consumer goods company, Justin’s Nut Butter based out of Boulder, Colorado. I loved working with a start-up company and was able to dive into many PR, Marketing, and Advertising aspects from a client perspective. I also loved working in an industry with two of my passions; food and health. This exposure made me want to get into the agency side of this line of work. After making the big move from Boulder to Denver I did some contract PR and Marketing work for Scream Agency. I realized I wanted to stay in the agency side loving the variety of clientele and day to day work.
I am thrilled to be apart of the Brand Iron team. I love the diversity of clients, the work we do, and of course the team here at Brand Iron, Patches included. I am looking forward to baseball season as well….but not The Rockies…Go Red Sox!
I’m sure you’ve already noticed that Brand Iron recently launched a new website. But why???
Actually, I was asked a great question yesterday: “How do you know when it’s time to redo your website.”
There are many reasons to update your site: refresh graphics, add functionality, restructure navigation, add a call-to-action – but the main reason we updated our site was because the message didn’t accurately reflect the high level of support we provide our clients.
Our previous website didn’t communicate the true value we were delivering to our clients. Yes, we still do websites, we still do PR, we still do corporate IDs – but we do those things as a part of an integrated plan to help your business succeed. We have also developed new programs for developing brand champions, helping companies get acquired or go public, raising capital, etc.
We help our clients determine the activities that will make the biggest impact to their bottom lines. We take a holistic look at their brand and company – and help them forge the plan that will make them competitive in their market. Brand Iron works with our clients to drive short- and long-term revenue while identifying the activities that will make the biggest impact.
If your message has changed and you need to reposition yourself in the market, contact Brand Iron today. We’ll help you develop an integrated plan to drive short- and long-term revenue to your business.
I woke up the other day and was watching the news and I heard the newscasters talking about something called H1N1 and how it is spreading across the United States. My first thought was, “there another pandemic like virus in our country?” This new term caught my attention and I started to listen to what they were speaking about more closely. I quickly put two and two together and realized they were talking about “Swine Flu”.
So, why the new name? Right…
It turns out pig farmers of America have some media pull. Because of the uneducated general public’s fear for “Swine Flu” and the misconception you can get it from eating a pork product, people all but stopped buying pork products. The Swine Flu has been re-branded by name only to H1N1. I did look it up and it is a medical term for subtype form of influenza A better known as the “flu”. I still think H1N1 sounds just as scary. Now I am not saying that H1N1 is something to not be worried about; it could still turn into a major pandemic. I wanted to bring up that pig farmers in this country are seeing the effects of a branded name for a virus, which ultimately had an effect on sales.
This reminds me of a dietary supplement that was wildly successful in the 1970’s to mid 1980’s. The product was called “Ayds”. It was a supplement that was supposed to reduce your sense of taste to curb poor eating habits. Ironically around the same timeframe, just around the mid 1980’s the HIV virus and AIDs was largely becoming a social issue. The avid AIDs awareness in the media and public was the start of the down fall of the “Ayds” supplement. The company did not re-brand itself by name and clearly stating that this product is in no way related to the life threatening disease. So the Ayds product quickly stopped selling and eventually the product stopped being produced.
Luckily the pig farmers in this case spoke up to have the media change the name of Swine Flu. Now they should actively campaign through commercials and other media outlets to educate the public that pork could in fact help prevent H1N1 by keeping you level of protein up in your body keeping you healthy which in turns helps your immune system. Just a thought.
Written by Mike Slife
Protecting your company – or more specifically your “brand reputation” – is the ultimate goal during a time of crisis. The ability to withstand and endure a few “chinks in the armor” goes a long way to maintaining a strong, stable reputation.
Many companies, however, fail to develop a crisis communications plan thinking they can and will deal with it as necessary (in many cases they feel they are not susceptible to a business crisis). As a result, the typical reaction due to unpreparedness is to hide in the corner and hope the problem goes away.
But enter social media. With the explosion in recent years of YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, etc., information spreads more quickly than ever. Last month’s Dominoes crisis where two North Carolina employees posted aYouTube video doing disgusting things to food should be considered Exhibit A. Hiding in the corner won’t make it go away.
Here are some questions to ask to determine your preparedness in the event of a crisis:
- Do we have a protocol in place outlining how we will react during the first few hours of a crisis? Do we know where to funnel all information about the crisis? Do we know who will serve as our company spokesperson? How will we communicate the situation to our employees?
- Are we properly prepared to deal with media? Does our media spokesperson have a familiarity and comfort level in dealing with the press? Who is monitoring the general media as well as the social media outlets so we can respond accordingly?
- After gathering and reviewing the situation, how soon can we prepare ourselves with the facts to address our various publics (employees, customers, community, media, etc.)?
- What is the best and most efficient method to communicate our message? How do we respond to their questions and concerns?
- During the initial days following the crisis, how can we best maintain and protect our reputation? How can we show our willingness to be proactive in dealing with the situation?
Failing to address or “take control” of the situation can lead to more damage and deeper company wounds. Taking hold of the situation, on the other hand, will have positive effects on your overall brand.
Written by Jim Miller
This week the Brighton High School (Colorado) administration decided that students with the Grenade Gloves sticker on their automobiles will receive severe disciplinary action if they were not removed immediately. School Administrators called it “offensive” and a “symbol of terrorism”.
To begin, this is in direct conflict with our freedom of speech, not to mention that the owner of Grenade Gloves, Danny Kass, is a two-time Olympic silver medalist. Grenades slogan is actually “Make Gloves Not War”.
The school eventually reversed its decision and allowed the students to park their cars on school property with the Grenade stickers on the windows. This has resulted in a great opportunity for Grenade Gloves to get some free national media attention. The window is closing fast on this story and Grenade needs to proactively respond I a positive fashion. They have an opportunity to bring their company and products to the forefront of controversy and all national media sources.
Grenade Gloves was just served up a softball pitch right over the plate and did not seize the opportunity. This is any company’s dream: a story that you did not have to create by doing anything besides make the product that you sell.
Public relations is a very effective piece of every strategic marketing plan. We understand the important media impact of a story, good or bad. Please give us a call to talk about public relations and how it can play a strategic role in your company’s external image.
Written by Mike Slife.
Brighton High School colorado high school Danny Kass Grenade Gloves Make Gloves Not War Public Relations
Brand Iron’s holistic approach to strengthening brand value for clients often involves generating quality news media coverage. Recently, Academy Sports Turf and JE Dunn Construction, two long-time Brand Iron clients, were prominently featured in the regional trade and business media.
Academy Sports Turf was on the front page of the Daily Journal (a construction trade publication) detailing a project in which they installed synthetic turf along city streets in Aurora. Academy Sports Turf installed 45,000-square-foot of turf last fall in street medians for an experimental pilot project that the city believes can save water and maintenance costs.
JE Dunn was featured in a recent edition of the Denver Business Journal. Real Estate reporter Paula Moore wrote about trends in healthcare construction in a story entitled, “‘Green’ Hospitals Cheer Patients.” A photo of JE Dunn president Steve Hamline, and vice president of healthcare Bob Latas accompanied the story. JE Dunn recently completed construction on the Medical Center of the Rockies in Loveland and Memorial Hospital North in Colorado Springs.