Tag Archives: marketing

What would… The Perfect Work Outfit Look Like?

What Would...

Thinking about what to wear to work five days a week can feel like a job itself. Here are my top 5 perfect looks and outfit ideas without all the fuss.

What Would Blog (2)

1) The CLASSIC – regardless of your job, the easiest outfit to pull off any day of the week is The Classic (trousers or a pencil skirt, a crisp button-up shirt and a pair of pointed toe stilettos). ONE TIP: accessorize, accessorize, accessorize! Of course – in moderation! But give your go-to classic outfit a break by opting for a statement necklace or a fun scarf.

2) The EDGY – this style is appropriate for those who work in the creative field whether you’re in Advertising or PR, among other industries. With a less strict office attire guideline, you can add your own flare and style into any of your outfits (red lips, leather skirt or trousers, boots). ONE TIP: remember you’re still going to work, so mix and match statement and simple.

3) The GLAMOUR – bring out your inner blogger or fashion editor by coming in to work with your sky-high heels, silky blouses, massive bags, pencil skirts, and rich fabrics. This style is a few notches up the fashion scale from the Classic – but comes down to the fabrics. This look will easily take you from 9 am to dinner cocktails with colleagues or clients any day of the week! ONE TIP: own this style and demand your presence.

4) The CASUAL – or in some cases, casual Fridays. Depending on your work environment, wearing jeans to work can be acceptable if done correctly and in a professional manner. ONE TIP: always wear polished heels or boots with your jeans, add a blazer on top of your blouse or structured top, and you’re ready to go.

5) The STREET STYLE – looking carelessly chic is an art form on its own. This style will give you an effortless look but shows that you’re up to date with trends. Mix feminine and masculine silhouettes and play with different shapes and patterns. ONE TIP: Wear heels with this look – as trendy as culottes or wide leg trousers are, you don’t want to walk in to work looking like you’re drowning in your own outfit.

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Getting Bums In Seats


By: Kelly Choi

Picture this scenario: you’ve been planning an event for months and have slaved away researching a venue, exploring catering options, perfecting the décor, and much more on a long list of arrangements. But on the day of the event, as you eagerly await for the arrival of your many guests, you realize you can barely fill the room. This is a nightmare for any event planner. It’s also a nightmare for guests who are expecting a chance to mingle with a group and presenters who are anticipating a good audience.

Well there are some surefire tactics we can suggest that promise to fill those seats:

Know your event, know your audience

Think of the top three goals you would like your event to achieve. What is the message that you want your attendees to bring home? Knowing what your event’s goals are will help narrow down your list of potential invites and sets your event apart from others.

Spend more time on promotion and start early

Too often people put all their time into detail decisions. Rather than focusing on whether to go with the swan-folded napkins or fan-folded napkins, don’t forget you need to get the word out! Promotion is so much more than just creating a Facebook event page. Thanks to e-mail marketing and social tools like Event Brite, creating a campaign is a cinch. Begin planning your outreach early on in order to give people lots of notice and more opportunities to consider attending.

Create an email and social media marketing timeline

E-mail marketing services such as MailChimp or Constant Contact are ideal for event invitations and notices. Keep your audience in the loop about your event by sending out consistent e-mailers with a variety of subject lines, starting first with the initial “save the date” notification, the actual invitation, and then one or two follow up emails leading up to the event, as well as a “thanks for attending” note following your event which is a great chance to get feedback.

For social media (SM) marketing, create a comprehensive schedule of tweets about your event and consider creating an event hashtag to start some buzz. For example, if it’s a golf fundraiser, you could use #pitchinandputt and synch them up with your other SM accounts for a wider reach. Find more great SM tips here: WiredImpact.

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Event Nightmares – Imagine if this happened to you…


By: Phoebe Yong

The best way to avoid an event disaster is to anticipate any or all disaster scenarios. Yet we can’t predict every possible thing that can go wrong.  What we can do is share our experiences so as to help one another avoid making the same mistake.  This is my event nightmare which I share in hopes that it may never happen to you. Just thinking about it brings back butterflies…

It was many years ago when CTIA Wireless decided to host their member meeting in Vancouver and all the major names in the wireless industry were expected to be there. I was working at Sierra Wireless, who was a member of the organization, and as the head of marketing communications, I had close ties with the CTIA’s planning committee. They asked me to help them with selecting the venue for the big reception so I chose the Art Gallery.

For the month of December our blog has been dedicated to events and last week we featured our Ultimate Event Check List with some very useful tips. The one thing on the checklist that I didn’t put down, and neither did the Gallery that day, was a liquor license. Each of us had made the fatal assumption that it had been taken care of by the other. And so the nightmare began.

At 13:00, the day of the event, I went to see the banquet manager to finalize all arrangements (planning ahead!) and at the end of our cordial meeting, she then dropped it on me, “You have the license?”  I looked at her with bewilderment. A few moments of silence passed and then panic struck, for both me and her.  The banquet manager explained that the venue was not responsible for issuing this key government document to which I retorted that I hadn’t even considered that it was my responsibility. This was the Art Gallery, a venue that holds regular cocktail events, not a community centre! While the banter on who was at fault went on for several minutes, reality hit that we had less than five hours until some of the biggest names in the wireless data industry would be descending on the Gallery with only water, juice and soda to drink. This was not good!

The banquet manager pointed me to the police station, which she said could process a license the most efficiently with such short notice, and that’s where my nightmare progressed. I raced to the station and there I was told that the only person who could issue me the license within the same day had already clocked out. By this time it was 14:30, and apparently he had been issuing licenses since 3:00 and so rightfully his work day was done. The clerk saw the pure desperation and fear on my face – I guess it was pretty obvious! I was envisioning 300 frowning guests, sipping on diet coke. My job would surely be at stake. To my utter luck, she kindly offered to call the off duty officer and see if he might be nearby to sign the document. At this point, I was ready to try anything.

She did get through to him on the phone but unfortunately, I was then told, he was too far away to return to the station. I had no choice. I had to find him. I asked her to give me his location, paid for the license, got the paperwork completed and then I was off to find the only one who could put an end to my event nightmare.

With heart pounding, head spinning and palms sweating, I was on a “police chase”. Finally I spotted the officer near the intersection of a busy street. Upon seeing me he unassumingly came out of his vehicle and said, “You’re one lucky girl that you caught me.” I thought to myself, “You have no idea!”

I wanted to give him a huge hug, but instead gave him a big fat handshake. The night was saved!

The truth is I was very lucky. The event could have easily gone the other way, and it all hinged on one mistake. My biggest lesson from this miscue was to make sure that I always have a proper checklist! Nowadays, many indoor venues in our city have already instituted liquor licenses included with their banquet package, but one can never assume. Another take away is this: know which questions to ask and trust your intuition. There are no dumb questions! The question that you fail to ask could be your last hope of preventing a nightmare.

At the event, while the CTIA Wireless chairman thanked the Vancouver team for hosting the event, making special mention of my name, I was nowhere to be seen. Instead I was driving around the city like a mad woman on the hunt for the license. When the ordeal was over and I had arrived, I ordered a nice glass of scotch. I have no idea who made it but I can tell you distinctly from memory that it was the best tasting scotch I’ve ever had!


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The Ultimate Event Checklist

corporate event

By: Hanah Van Borek

Here come the holidays, a time for celebration and a busy season for events! That’s why this week we thought we’d offer some of our best event planning tips to readers.

Event coordination can be a whole lot of fun, making you appear like a superstar in the end, or a giant nightmare, leaving you hanging by a thread. Regardless of the process leading up, it all depends on how things turn out on the day.

Certainly events are always hard work. Countless hours must go in to planning. Booking and re-booking the catering, venue, entertainment.  Shuffling and re-shuffling dates, speaking schedules, seating arrangements. Tracking the fluctuating number of attendees: confirm, declined, maybe, probably. While it’s nearly impossible to guarantee every detail will go perfectly as prepared (there’s usually a sneaky surprise), as every savvy event planner knows, a thorough check list is your best friend.

Here’s a peek at our Ultimate Event Checklist, our must-do’s that may be your best bet at preventing a disaster this season. Feel free to borrow these for your own upcoming affair.

  1. Leave breathing room in the budget: Extra expenses turn up where you least expect.
  2. Consider the weather: What happens if there’s a sudden downpour?
  3. Name your top 5 “show stoppers”: Think about potential disasters and how you will prevent them.
  4. Have a contact sheet handy: Ensure all available vendors have your direct number and you have theirs.
  5. Carry back-up copies: You’ll need both hard and soft copies of your presentation and extra printed materials.
  6. Bring an event kit: Create a box full of essentials like tape, scissors, markers, USB cords, stain remover, whatever you might need.
  7. Do a walk through: Go through the itinerary in real-time.
  8. Site inspection: See the space in person to make sure there are no issues.
  9. Draft more than one site plan: It’s best to have a few options for setup.
  10. Consider all necessary permits or licensing: Depending on the venue, you may need special permissions for example, with setting up tents or serving alcohol.
  11. Confirm power outlets for audio/visual equipment: This is especially tricky if your space is outdoors.
  12. Plan your follow up: After the event is over, reach out to guests to keep them engaged and get their valued feedback.
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Creating a Kick Ass Presentation – Get It Done Right

By Kristina Lee

In this post I’m going to skip the BS and go right to the heart of the matter.

There’s no reason for me to try and convince you why it’s important to have great presentation skills; you’re likely already well aware of why. But you’ll want to keep reading on because if you’ve ever been given the floor to tell your story or command a stage (and that’s any stage, whether it’s in front of a small circle of friends , or at the pulpit) you know that your good looks and your tone of voice alone aren’t always enough to carry you. Not in an age where the average attention span lasts 30 seconds if you’re lucky. Not when the stories people remember most are shared on social media, in Youtube videos or GIF compilations. People want to see and hear. That’s why a good presentation must be accompanied by thoughtful visuals.

After more than 8 years of presentation making, that started in my undergraduate career while doing case studies/projects and into my professional day-to-day routine where I develop all types of sales, investor relations and business decks, I’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. Even as we face countless new tools and technology that give you better alternatives than the traditional Microsoft Office PowerPoint, people often overlook the building blocks that can make or break a presentation.

These are the components that are key to creating that killer presentation:

  1. Have a vision of what you want your audience to take away. Before you put together your script, consider the intended outcome. Take some time at the start to think deeply about this. The fact that you need to fill a 60 minute time slot with your voice can urge you to start the creative process and script writing almost immediately, overshadowing this crucial step.
  2. Tell a story that has a beginning and an end. Heard of the road to nowhere? Without a clear direction in delivering your presentation, you can end up here.  As part of your script writing, make sure to start with a central idea and then don’t forget to actually end on a high (or low) note. Also key to remember: don’t let it drag on. A short, succinct script, interwoven with personal anecdotes will make your speech come alive.
  3. Run through your presentation to work out any kinks. Whether you’re using PowerPoint, Prezi or some other snazzy software, double and triple check that all design and technical elements are in place and completed professionally.  All the time you put into the script and visual development of your presentation will be ruined if you can’t even get them up on the screen. Take into account all the various file types and formatting that may or may not be supported. Test, test and then test again on various technologies – all before it’s show time.
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Top 5 2013 Marketing Events (some events you want to forget!)

– Brought to you by Magnolia’s News Junkies

#5.  The Rob Ford Scandal – this is one marketing / PR nightmare that gives new meaning to “there is no such thing as bad publicity”… REALLY?

#4.  Dove “Real Beauty Sketches” – gives new meaning of how we perceive our own beauty

#3.  Obamacare website – This is NOT how you want to launch a new website

#2.  The Evolution of Miley Cyrus from Disney burnout to frontrunner for Time Person of the Year.

#1.  New Pope Dazzles the Media  – Marketing of Pope Francis

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Get your MarCom in Sync


This 2011 Topshop campaign garnered an audience reach of more than 7.5 million

By: Kelly Choi

Integrated marketing and communications planning brings proven results. Take the successful example of Topshop’s ‘Wish You Were At Topshop’ campaign from 2011. Topshop integrated both online and in-store strategies which resulted in an audience reach of over 7.5 million and helped generate a year’s worth of social media activity.

However, you don’t need to be a large company like Topshop to make that big splash. A marcom strategy that is well in sync is the machine behind most successful campaigns, big or small. What does that entail?

Communication Channels Round Up
Suss out all of your available communication channels which could be online (eg., social media channels, website, email marketing, etc.) or offline (eg., print collateral, mass media advertising, in-store campaigns, etc.). Consider the market demographics for each and their level of activity to determine which would maximize audience reach and engagement the furthest. While it is important to integrate all channels, it is also important to allocate your time and resources wisely.

A Tactical Calendar
Create a daily, weekly, monthly, or annual communications plan that coordinates  each channel of communication with a specific timeframe and with a particular purpose in mind to achieve your desired outcome. This is a methodical way of sharing your message and also helps you avoid inconsistent messaging.

Consistent Messaging
This may be an obvious point but nevertheless an important one that needs to be emphasized. Your message should be consistent across all channels, be it, for example, the press release, flyer or tweet, so your audience gets the message loud and clear from all sides.

Consistent Design
This supports consistent messaging. Using the same design elements such as typography, format, colors, and graphics helps reinforce the strength of the message. For example, with a product campaign, consider incorporating your key design elements again and again for in-store posters and handouts as well as online banners and e-mailers. For company branding, we recommend using the same template for items such as letterheads, PowerPoint slides, and e-mail signatures.

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The Three Pillars of Integrated MarCom

Three pillars, like those of a triangle, work together to strengthen your strategy

Three pillars, like those of a triangle, work together to strengthen your strategy

By: Megan Battersby, Marketing and Communications Specialist

The triangle is the strongest shape, retaining its structural integrity even under stress. For this reason it is often used as a foundational building block – so it might not be a coincidence that integrated marketing communications can be broken into three foundational elements. Integrated marcom focuses on the holistic nature of the customer, product and service experience, with all aspects working together in symbiosis. These parts can be grouped into the following:

1)      Outbound Marketing
2)      Inbound Marketing
3)      Social and Relationship Management

Outbound Marketing
Outbound marketing, also known as interruptive marketing, is a more traditional approach and the one that typically comes to mind first when one considers marketing, (thanks in no small part to Mad Men). It consists of paid media advertising, including print, TV and online, as well as e-mail and telemarketing. Outbound marketing has been criticized for being expensive and difficult for measuring ROI – a “spraying and praying” tactic. But this doesn’t mean that there is no place for outbound marketing in a well-rounded marcom strategy, especially when a company is trying to raise their profile and reach a broad audience quickly.

Inbound Marketing
The opposite of outbound marketing then must be inbound marketing, a less disruptive form of the art. Inbound marketing, also called earned or permissions marketing, has become an industry mainstay, especially with the advent of the online world. As consumers have become more savvy with greater demands, they have gained control of the buying process. Marketers therefore need to create relevant, engaging, and even entertaining content to draw in new customers and nurture existing ones. Blogs, whitepapers, advice columns and newsletters are all examples of inbound marketing.  SEO also makes up a large portion of inbound marketing, and competition for premium key word ranking is high.

Social and Relationship Management
While one can argue that this category includes elements of both inbound and outbound marketing, I am giving it its own category because it is a unique beast, deserving special attention. This form of marketing actually has deep roots, going back to street peddlers and even clergymen – all of whom have historically maintained strong ties with their customers. What makes one brand sell over another? Why has Coke been more successful than Pepsi? The answer is brand loyalty and the connection people feel with a company’s brand image. This is why social and relationship management is not limited to public relations, earned and social media, but is also tightly connected to a brand’s culture.

While I’ve separated integrated marketing communications into three elements, it is essential to remember that they are most effective when they work together – only then can you begin to reap the rewards.

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Integrated Marketing — It’s about pulling all the pieces together


By: Phoebe Yong

I recently read a blog post that explained in what ways a business manager plays a similar role to an orchestra conductor. The style in which he or she chooses to work with a group of professionals can transform the complexity of what they do into harmony and organization. To achieve this, integration, which pieces together different strengths, is to me the best strategy.

As a big fan of the prestigious Boston Pop Orchestra, I cease to be amazed by the conductor’s skill in pulling each section together into a perfect collaboration of tones and melodies. In business communications and marketing, the same approach applies. It makes logical sense that a comprehensive marketing program maximizes ROI by positioning each part of a strategy to support and enhance one other.

Especially when budgets are tight, resources stretched, it just makes good business sense to ensure all cylinders are loaded and shooting the same direction.

Many companies hesitate to employ this strategy for a few reasons, first of all because they believe they have no time to do it right, and secondly, because they fail to see the potential. Integration involves strategic planning that may at first seem complicated. Take for example, a company that wants to announce their recent award for best product. Shouting it to the world is the general idea, but what’s the actual plan that utilizes the best of all tools available? At a minimum, most companies write a press release, send it out on the wire, put that on their website, and there it sits. Meanwhile they’re overlooking the chance to magnify their announcement through complimentary marketing tactics.


It might seem like you’re too busy to do things right, but if your communications initiative is done to only a minimum, the person that loses out is you. What a missed opportunity!

Referring back to the award announcement example, consider the company that fails to utilize other methods for delivering their news. They’re not getting the word out to those that matter, their key stakeholders that participate in other communities, for example, online (youtube, podcasts, social media), through e-mail, or through traditional media, and may not proactively look for a press release or check out the company’s website on a regular basis.

When you have a fully loaded and integrated program, your marketing return is far more substantial. Messaging becomes aligned on all fronts and works in concert.

Then the stage is set. Envision yourself as the masterful conductor. Raise that baton! With all pieces well-coordinated and in play, it sounds like music to your ears, no?!

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E-mail Marketing: Improve that Click-Through Rate


By: Kelly  Choi

This month all boils down to this: e-mail marketing works – when done effectively

An important measure of email marketing success is the click-through rate, the number or percentage of users that click on the specific links within an e-mailer. The higher the click-through rate, the more engagement from recipients. Of course an e-mailer that earns a lot of clicks doesn’t do so by chance. There are certain ways to ensure a better click-through rate, and here are a few:

Segment Your Mailing List

  • Segmenting your subscribers by factors such as buying behavior, demographic, response history, etc., ensures that you are targeting the right people at the right time, preventing you from sending out irrelevant offers and decreasing the likelihood of unsubscribes.
  • According to MailChimp, segmenting your mailing list results in a 14.4% better than average open rate and a nearly 15% better than average click-through rate

Increase your Open Rates

Click-through rates correspond directly with open rates according to Statwing, so the higher the open rate…well, you do the math.


To increase your open rate:

  • Keep your subject line short. Data from MailerMailer’s Email Marketing Metrics Report found that the fewer number of characters in the subject line of an e-mail, the higher the open rate. A shorter subject line also allows mobile users to view the content more easily.
  • Try to avoid sounding like a salesperson. Phrases like “Once In A Lifetime Opportunity!!!!” or “SALE – BUY NOW!”, will more than likely pick up as spam and end up in junk mail folders. Effective subject lines often contain the company’s name and should be straight-forward while personalized.

Create a Compelling and Mobile-Friendly Design

Once the subscriber opens the email, what happens next?  Make sure that subscribers are taking the next step by clicking on the available links.

  • Include one or two “Calls to Action”. Any more than that and they become too overwhelming. Your “Calls to Action” should be simple and straightforward. For example, “Click Here to Subscribe to our Newsletter”, or “Visit our Website”.
  • Keep links and “Calls to Action” more text-based rather than image-based. Not all images will load properly and most people are expecting to see links as text so following this rule will help your recipients find your links much more easily.
  • Incorporate social media sharing buttons. Emails that include social sharing buttons are proven to result in an average click-through rate 158% higher than emails without.
  • With the increasingly high volume of mobile users, creating an e-mailer that is mobile-optimized is a sure way to increase your clicks. Incorporating simple details such as, once again, a short and sweet subject line as well as a nice variety of both font sizes and styles are a few ways to make your e-mail mobile-friendly.

Don’t Forget: Monitor Your Results

Regularly monitoring and analyzing your reporting data for each e-mailer will not only keep you on top of your open rates and click rates but also shed light on more specific and valuable information such as which features provided the best results, which types of audiences are most responsive, and also when those audiences are most responsive. All of this data is meant to help you strategize more effectively and improve your click-through rate with every campaign.

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