5 Reasons Why You Should Be On Google Plus

 


Google-Plus

Google+ launched in 2011. Although its initial response was lukewarm, over the last year it has gained a lot of momentum.

It has several interesting features like video chatting also known as Hangouts, Circle Shares, Communities, to name a few. Here are the top five reasons why we believe your brand should be on Google+:

  1. Better SEOs: Google will weigh your content higher in its search engine if you connect it via Google+, a process known as Authorship. It’s relatively easy to setup and we highly recommend doing so. So, posting your blog content on the network will result in increased exposure.
  2. Video Conferencing & Live Streaming: Hangouts are a great way to get up to 10 people together virtually and free to discuss ideas and generally meet visually. This allows for a more personal experience. Also, the Hangouts On Air (HOA) feature allows for streaming video via Google+ and YouTube. HOAs have made it extremely easy for companies of all sizes to hold seminars, meetings and webinars and to broadcast podcasts with ease.
  3. No character limit: There are no character limits like 140 characters on twitter. This allows discussions to flourish and for stronger relationships to grow with your consumers/readers.
  4. Integrated Services: For example: Google Local is now integrated with Google+. Having a listing in Google search is no longer separate; instead it’s integrated into the Google+ business pages. Therefore setting up a business page can’t be ignored.
  5. Google Loves Google+: Google is completely dedicated to Google+. This means that it will continue to add features and place more emphasis on the network to influence the company’s other products.

If you are still not convinced, checkout Jeff Bulla’s reasons here!

 

Who Does What At An Advertising Agency

 


IMG_6207

Job Descriptions At Rudkin

CEO – He or she is the captain of the ship. Decides what projects the agency should or shouldn’t take on, when to change gears or pull the plug. They maintain client relationships and are often relied upon for crisis management.

Account Executive (AE) – This position is the liaison between the agency and the client. This is the person who brings in the business and is responsible for managing clients’ portfolios. They help turn clients’ vision into tangible ideas and products. They are also responsible for coordinating with the different departments within the agency to get the job done efficiently and punctually.

Creative Director – This person that can essentially be called the heart of any advertising campaign. In our agency, he is the manager of the graphic room and helps make all the magic happens. The clients shares their vision with the account executive (AE) and then the AE brainstorms with the creative director. He then either comes up with the concept for the project or assigns the perfect designer to work on the job.

Print Production Manager – Most of our AEs pull double duty as print production managers. This job includes day-to-day overseeing of all print jobs such as writing specs, picking and sometimes rounding up papers and envelopes, filling out paperwork, getting quotes and working with client for approval of quotes. Once the job goes to press, they follow through to be sure the job is moving along on schedule and being delivered on time. Much of their job is tracking when the print job will delivery.

Media Buyer/Planner – this is the person who identifies the best mix of media mediums to deliver an advertising message to a clients’ target audience. Using research data, they consider what is going to be most effective within the budget allocated and give the client’s product or service maximum exposure. Media buying can take place in radio, television, billboards, newspapers, magazines, on-line, signage and much more.

Graphic Designer – They can easily be called the backbone of any advertising agency. They are the artists who create and bring ideas to life. They add esthetics and style to a campaign and/or brand. Without their keen eye for details and art nothing would be possible. Each designer comes with his or her own unique style and skill set.

Social Media Coordinator – Once you have the campaign ready, you need it to reach its ‘right’ audience. That’s where social media comes in. This person plans and decides between the various social media platforms, which are appropriate for which campaign and help the brand reach its potential market. In our agency, this person maintains all the social accounts, comes up with creative campaigns and does regular posting and blogging.

Web Developer – this person job is to create a website from start to finish working with the client’s wish lists, needs and specifications. They then develop the backend coding languages and scripts to create the final product. In our agency, our web developer is a phenomenal designer thus not only does she code, but she designs as well using both left brain, right brain. However, in most agencies you will have a graphic designer design the layout of the website and the web developer code it.

Office Manager – This role binds the firm together. The responsibilities might vary from agency-to-agency but they can be responsible for one or more of the following jobs: bookkeeping, inventory, payroll, billing and more.  In office this is the go-to person to find everything missing.

Hope you enjoyed this insight into our work environment.

Until next time,

RP Team

Small Town Advertising – How do you do it?


By Kathy Rudkin

shutterstock_132470147Many people wish they lived in the reclusive existence portrayed in a Norman Rockwell town. You know the type – the ones he usually depicted in his paintings showing the quaint historical town with people relaxing at the sidewalk cafes with their faithful dogs beside them. Or the scene of the beautiful serene river where the children are playing and families are having an afternoon picnic, free from the hustle and bustle of city living. Sound familiar? The Texas Hill Country… obviously a great place to live and the reason many of us chose to move here. However, this same small town quaintness can also poise a challenge when it comes to making a living and promoting your business.

Marketing in a small town can be similar to throwing Jell-O on a wall… how do you do it and make it stick? How do you grow your business with limited resources, limited mediums within a limited market?

As we all know, the Hill Country has a different way of life as well as conducting business; therefore, many “traditional” methods of advertising – just don’t work here. Getting to know your community and how the market works will give you an edge in knowing how to reach them.

Many years ago, I ran across an advertising poem that made a profound impact on me. It is as accurate today as it was the day I read it:

Why Is It?

A man wakes up after sleeping

under an advertised blanket,

on an advertised mattress,

pulls off advertised pajamas,

bathes in an advertised shower,

shaves with an advertised razor,

brushes his teeth with advertised toothpaste,

washes with advertised soap,

puts on advertised clothes,

drinks a cup of advertised coffee,

drives to work in an advertised car,

and then, refuses to advertise,

believing it doesn’t pay.

Later when business is poor,

he advertises it for sale.

Why is this?

(author unknown)

 Owning an advertising agency, I frequently see clients who are desperate and on their last effort to make their businesses work. I am often amazed at what they have – or more likely have not – done to insure the success of their businesses.

In the last 16 years, we have work many different types of clients and have been exposed to many industries. Not only do we handle national clients with large budgets, but also the “mom and pop” type businesses that comes in for help on a local flyer. Regardless of the size, the key marketing essentials that work for a million dollar account are the same basic essentials that work for the local company with limited funds. The key is to prioritize, stop wasting dollars, stay consistent and get a plan. Many times in our effort to save money, we actually spend more in the long run.

  1. Logo: In a small community, this is probably your best-spent advertising dollars. You want to appear “legitimate” and therefore creating a professional logo is crucial. Many times, I am astonished to see what people consider a “logo.” Refrain for having the 10th grader down the street, who can use a rudimental graphic program, build your most important aspect of your business – your branding. Really think about how your logo is going to be used, who you target market is, and what message you are trying to convey. This tells who you are and what you do. Don’t make people guess what you do. The logo should tell it.

Your result should be vibrant, vital and purpose-driven logo that reflects your company. Once determined – stick with it. This is your brand and a representation of your company. From this point forward, all your materials should be consistent in look, feel and color. When people see it, they immediately recognize it and know what you do. It becomes part of the community.

  1. Branding: Once your logo & color scheme is determined, your next step will be branding – letterhead, business cards, signs, specialty packaging such bags, tags & other in-store items. Again, consistency! Handing out business cards that you have printed off your home computer and crookedly cut – don’t portray an image of professionalism. Business cards are one of the least expensive items you can produce. For under a $100, you can have professional cards that represent and tell what your business does –many times it is your first and only impression to your customer.

In a small town, quality signage is critical as well as one of the most important aspects of bringing awareness to your business. How often have we driven by and noticed the hand painted sign by the business owners themselves and immediately base a poor opinion about their business, just by the sign. If you don’t have budget to hire a graphic artist or an advertising agency to help you with this project, most sign companies do have design departments that can walk you through this phase of marketing and get you positioned in the community right off the bat.

  1. Advertising: How do I get my message out? In small community, there are ways to reach your market.
    1. Websites: This immediately establishes creditability and can be its own marketing tool. In today’s market, we are Internet driven. For example… you make an appointment with a doctor, you go online… want to see a concert, you go on line…looking for tile, you go online. We are a generation driven by, as well legitimize businesses, based on the look and feel of their websites. Again, put some of your advertising dollars into this. The cheapest avenue is not necessarily the best avenue. They are many companies out there toting themselves as “web development companies.” Look at their website! If their website is poor, than it is a waste of money. Research who you use, get references, look at their portfolios, visit with customers who have used them and bid it out. Be sure to tell your web developer of future growth and your future wish list. This ensures that your design can grow with you. A good website should last your 2 to 3 years before needing a fresh look.
    1. Newspaper: There are many ways to reach out in small markets. Newspaper and direct mail being a large percent of your annual budgeting. We are surrounded by small communities in this area, which have loyal readers and reasonable rates for display ads. Local newspapers, typically have a loyal reader that takes the paper for several reasons; 1.) to see what going on in their local government, 2.) find local activities and local businesses to use, and 3.) to see who made the paper that they know. The goal in newspaper is to stand out. Don’t crowd your ad with everything in your store trying to get the most bang for your buck. This is a common mistake and will blend you right in with the rest of the paper, basically throwing away your advertising dollars.  Don’t be afraid of white space and clever headlines. Add spot color to pop off the page. Spend a little more to get a larger ad. Position it in the right area – request where you would like your ad to fall in the paper.  And last, but not least, don’t limit yourself.  Expand your advertising dollars to other regional areas – go into other town newspapers as well.
    1. Direct Mail: What better way to get your product out then to hand pick your user and tailor your message specifically to them – having plenty of real estate to do it. Did you know that you can produce a 6 x 11 postcard and inexpensively as you can a 4 x 5?

There are many secrets to direct mail that can make a significant difference in getting noticed. First, get an eye-catching message. Think it through. Don’t waste money, get a professional involved. If no one responds to your direct mail, then you didn’t save money.

You will only have a split second to catch someone’s attention and only the clever, colorful and best-designed pieces make the cut.  Go large – a 6 x 11 postcard towers over the standard #10 envelope and mails under 20¢ bulk rate. Print on a 100# cover instead of a coated card stock – you will save hundreds of dollars by simply choosing your paper correctly. And most of all, hire a mailing house for your list, labeling and your postage.

Your list is the most important part of your direct mail. You need to narrow down who your market really is and sharpen that down to a primary target market and a secondary market. You also do not have to do all the mailing in one mail out. For budget purposes, buy your entire list to save money on the minimal list cost, but mail in increments as your finances allow. This also allows you to tract what is working. If you own a business that you can give a discount or an incentive, this is always helpful in the tracking and future planning of campaigns. Be sure that you have realistic expectations. A successful direct mail piece should generate a response rate of 2-4%.

Many people try to save money by doing their own labels and mailing themselves. This could not be further for the truth. You are paying first-call postage as well as your valuable time spent doing it. A mailing house in the long run will save you money. Mailing houses are set up to mail in large quantities. They have systems that ink jet the address right on the card as well as the postal bar code. This will significantly drop your postage costs by simply adding the bar code. In fact, it drops is so much that it will typically pay for the cost of the mailing service. Also, most mail houses have established bulk rate permit numbers that they will let you use. This will also be a substantial savings going bulk. They do require you to pay the postage at the time of mailing to use their permit number. Keep in mind; if you are promoting an event, bulk rate mailing takes longer to be received so you will need to adequately back out the date you need them to arrive in homes.

Your business can grow substantially through consistent advertising, having a marketing plan as well as community involvement and word of mouth. Your goal is to prove that you are resource and not just someone providing another unnecessary service. Walt Disney said, “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” Advertising is doing.

In the next few months, we will be addressing many other avenues for marketing in a small community such as: PR, radio and TV, billboards, specialty items, events, other local resources as well as community involvement.

Those of us who enjoy the peace and serenity of living in a small town atmosphere still need to address and realize that our chosen lifestyle demands success and long-term growth in our business… our livelihood.

Rudkin Ritual


Picture 4Inc.com had recently published an article on ‘work place rituals’, which got me thinking about the rituals we have here at Rudkin. I started working here in March 2013 and have been part of three birthday celebrations and one goodbye party. That makes it total of four office parties in 5 months. And might I add the individual lunch orders are taken courtesy of Rudkin Productions. None of my previous work places had this ‘celebratory’ culture.

Before I attended the first Rudkin birthday party, which happened to be of my boss Kathy Rudkin‘s birthday, all my colleagues told me I should be excited, as this would be my first encounter of the ‘Rudkin Ritual’. I truly didn’t know what to expect.

On daily basis our office interaction is purely dependent on the project we are working on. Sometimes it involves hours of teamwork while other times in means a lonely date with your computer and keyboard for days in a stretch. Hence the ‘Rudkin Ritual’ is a good change from the everyday monotony of the work place. It gives all of us (employees of Rudkin Productions) a chance to interact and talk about something other than work without worrying about the ‘billable hours’. And what’s even more exciting is that there are stories from each party that do the rounds for months to come. Becca, our Office Manager remembers her first Rudkin Party by the following story:

I knew I was in a great working environment when I witnessed Josh’s birthday bash!  
Sarah printed out pictures of boy band members and handed them out to everyone 
to put in front of their faces when we sang HAPPY BIRTHDAY.  
We did not sing it the traditional way … We barked it!

In his article on Inc.com Lee Cohan states, “Effective rituals connect team members to each other, to their leaders…. “ and I think Rudkin Productions has successfully accomplished that goal. As Alan, our Creative Director puts it expressively:

Our birthday and holiday celebrations are really fun. We have food brought in and 
everyone crowds into the conference room and we eat, share stories and laugh a lot. 
It’s a great time to let our hair down and just enjoy being with each other without 
the demands of “I need this now!” I don’t think any of us wants the 
“company meeting” to end.

Take a moment to think about creating something fun, easy and meaningful.  Keep it simple.  Start with just one ritual, stick to it, and don’t compromise it.” says Lee Cohan and we are doing exactly that here at Rudkin. Whoever said, ‘all work and no play makes jack a dull boy’ knew what they were talking about!

Until next time,

Tanvi via RP Team

How to Make The Most of Your Time?


Make More Of Your Time

Time Management is something most of us learn as we go along. Often, many of us fail at it too. Challenge of being able to effectively manage time is that it needs to be constantly adapted to the changing needs and requirements. And since everyone is different with different needs you would have to find your own work-life balance to zero in on a plan which works specifically for you.

Here are a few tips to help you form a plan:

  1. Make Lists: This is a basic fundamental tool to get organized. Make lists according to the priority (from most important to least important) and tick off tasks as you complete them.
  2. Focus On One Thing At A Time: While people believe that multi-tasking is a great asset for a work environment but studies have shown that being focused on the task at hand can increase productivity. Do one thing at a time and do it right.
  3. Set Long-Term Plans: Having a rough idea about what you want to achieve in the next 3 – 6 – 9 – 12 month increment is a good way to set a goal to strive for. It is what would help you get through the tough days. Revise is regularly to stay on top of it.
  4. Reward Yourself: When you reach your goal, meet your objective/deadline take a moment and celebrate. How you decide to do that is completely up to you. It could be as simple as taking a power nap to treating yourself to a hearty meal. Keep is simple but make sure you do it.
  5. Use Your Downtime: Or ‘idol’ time such as driving, traveling, walking, etc. Not to be confused with your ‘break time’. This is the time in between your tasks that you can use to plan ahead and re-analyze your to-do-list.
  6. Delegate: Do not take up more than you can handle. Sure, no one can do it better than you, but this is where prioritizing comes in. Do what is important yourself and delegate the other tasks. Taking on too much is poor use of time and increases stress.
  7. Set Personal Deadline: Ideally set the deadline for a few days before it actually needs to be completed. Give yourself some buffer time. This helps reduce stress and manage your priorities more wisely.
  8. Disconnect From Technology: While technology is supposed to help us get more productive and efficient, unfortunately it is doing just the opposite. The number of hours we spend on Internet cannot be justified. Plan your day with slots which require you to use technology and others where you completely disconnect from it. For example, set block of hours in the day to catch up on your virtual life and emails and then other blocks where you do not need technology at all (while cooking, family meals, exercising etc.).
  9. Get Enough Sleep: That is the most important step in the time management. Even when you feel you can go on for 24 hours – Don’t. To avoid burnout make sure you at least catch up on 7-8 hours of shuteye.

I hope you would find this post helpful. If you have your hands full and would like to out source your blog or other social media accounts, do not hesitate to contact us. Also, you can click here to check out the other services we offer.

Until next time,

The RP Crew

Image: All the art work is produced in-house.