Crisis Headlines Don’t Stop

We cannot escape the constant crisis hitting the headlines:

  • NBC Fires Matt Lauer Over Sexual Misconduct Allegation
  • United Airlines: Passenger Forcibly Removed From Flight
  • Netflix Email Scam Targets Millions Of Subscribers
  • Adidas Sent Congratulatory Email To People Who ‘Survived’ Boston Marathon

No one is immune from a crisis. That is why we believe in being prepared.  We have partnered with the University Of Miami School Of Business Administration and their Dean – The Charles Edward Wilson Professor of Business Administration Emeritus at Harvard Business School – Dr. John Quelch to create an MBA format course on crisis management with our own Burson crisis management leaders, Karen Doyne and Sarah Tyre.   Participants will hear from chief communications leaders at Chipotle and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines and learn from in depth case study discussions and engage in a crisis simulation using the latest virtual crisis software developed by Burson-Marsteller.  The registered participants come from diverse industries so they will learn from each other as well.

We still have a few seats left. If you are traveling into Miami, we have a special hotel rate at hotels near the UM Campus.

Register here: Burson-Marsteller and University of Miami Crisis Management Course

Jorge Ortega | Executive Vice-President

“30 Qs With…” Blog Series with Kelsey Flitter

This month we continue our “30 Qs with…” blog series by getting to know Kelsey Flitter, Client Staff Assistant in the Public Affairs Practice. Every month we invite you to get to know Burson-Marsteller Miami’s talent from a different perspective – these 1:1 interviews will reveal personal anecdotes from their lives in and out of the office.

Kelsey graduated from the University of Miami with a degree in Latin American Studies. In her free time in Miami she enjoys doing just about anything with her dog!

Get to know her better by checking out her interview here or watch it below! #30QsWith #BursonPersons

Technology Has Enhanced Our Lives. Can it Save Our Lives?

Technology companies traditionally develop their communication strategies around the benefits of their innovation for companies or end users. An ERP can develop business efficiencies for companies or an app increasing quality of life to all of its users. Overall, the common message we have been helping our clients communicate is how technology enhances all aspects of life. But if the technology we commonly use every day saves lives, is it worth communicating it?

As part of my regional role for Latin America, I continuously travel to our markets to meet with clients and colleagues. I was visiting our Mexico City office when, at 1:14pm on Tuesday, September 19, a 7.1 Richter earthquake struck the city and several neighboring states, instantly destroying more than 40 buildings with people trapped inside and changing the lives of millions of Mexicans forever. As a proud Mexican and survivor of previous earthquakes in this city, I certainly noted some differences between previous shocks – most importantly in how technology played a critical role in communication.

As phone lines died, the Internet surprisingly stood strong. While I was still shaking (literally), Twitter was my main source of information – to learn the quake’s magnitude, understand what buildings collapsed, and get official information from local authorities. Suddenly, Twitter became a critical tool to disseminate information related to the earthquake. Prior to the digital age, we had to wait until TV or radio provided some data on seismic activities and the aftermath, but Twitter allows us to have access to information in real time. Mobile providers did an outstanding job to keep its Internet network running. At the same time that phone lines were down, Whatsapp became the ultimate communication tool – either through written messages or through VOIP calls. Personally, in the midst of chaos and anxiety, I was only able to communicate with my family through Whatsapp and learn they were shocked but fine.

32 years ago, an 8.1 magnitude earthquake hit Mexico, killing up to 10,000 people with most of them trapped in the rubble. Today, although the magnitude was lower, most of the people trapped inside the collapsed buildings were holding mobile phones. Imagine this: The place where you work suddenly collapses. You are among rocks and rubble and the only reachable thing is your mobile phone. What do you do? Exactly. Many people used their activated GPS tool on their mobile phones, and by sending the precise location inside the building, rescuers and volunteers were able to reach them after titanic efforts of removing debris and heavy concrete rocks. Technology saved the day. A modern day miracle. How could technology have helped back in 1985, if only a few devices would have had GPS tools available? How many lives could have been saved?

Anxiety sparks fear and fear sparks uncertainty. Just as Twitter and social media helped to understand the tragedy in real time, it also fueled false news and collective psychosis related to the earthquake – information was heavily shared about how the UN predicted a terrible aftershock that would wipe out Mexico City, or how buildings were about to collapse when they only had windows broken. In the midst of the mayhem provoked by social media, several millennials – who were particularly active in rescue labors throughout the city – decided to use a hashtag, #Verified, that was included only in information double checked with official sources. Thus, this group of tech-savvy volunteers could quickly provide certainty of the current situation, allowing people to understand what was real news or fake news. This amazing effort allowed people to know what buildings were safe, what donations were urgently required and where authorities needed them, where emergency teams should go, and how to protect affected people living in the streets.

Perhaps the most outstanding thing that I learned by living through this experience alongside my fellow Mexicans, has been the solidarity and unwavering support given by all people through technology. Army and Navy soldiers holding complex heat scanners to identify bodies buried within collapsed buildings, companies like Uber, Cabify and Airbnb allowing a free usage of their services to support rides and accommodation to people who lost their homes, Google Maps’ platform developing ad-hoc maps to identify dangerous zones or available shelters for affected people, and most important of all, Mexico City has developed a seismic alarm system that is triggered when an earthquake is detected. When the alarm goes off on the city’s outdoor speakers platform, people have exactly 1 minute to evacuate their building and leave behind whatever they are doing – some sort of earthquake prediction that has certainly saved some lives so far.

Credit: David de La Paz | Xinhua News Agency

Still, Mexico City and the whole country is in a recovery stage. Hundreds of lives were lost, and there is still much to be done to help rebuild. This is just the beginning. Conan O’Brien recently hosted my fellow countryman Diego Luna who explained the dreadful experience of living the Mexico City big earthquake. All of it is true. I lived it. If you are interested in donating and helping Mexico, I will be forever thankful. The people of Mexico need us.

https://donate.omaze.com/mexico

Here’s to technology. It made our lives easier, made our world more pleasant, and now, it has actually saved our lives.

Cheers.

Rodrigo Castro | Practice Chair Director

The Evolution of Hispanic Experiential Marketing

In the beginning, it was about showing up and hanging banners. That was the extent of experiential marketing in the 80s. It was a community relations function of Corporate Affairs departments. No need to show ROI.  Take a few pictures, put them in a recap, send it to the client and get glowing reviews, piece of cake. We all knew that no client would ever show up to a Hispanic event, particularly when they were in Brooklyn (when Brooklyn was Brooklyn), Orchard Beach, East LA, and the Rio Grande Valley. Vexing choices they had to make, the Hamptons for the weekend or Orchard Beach for an event, go figure.

Then came Calle Ocho Open House which, as Chef Emeril says, kicked it up a notch. The success of the first Calle Ocho quickly led to the expansion of the event to a weeklong celebration aptly branded Carnaval Miami. Along came Univision and its then overlord Televisa (funny how things don’t change) and presto, we have Noche de Carnaval being broadcast across the country and to Latin America with world class talent commanding world class dollars. They did it right. Carnaval Miami was the hottest marketing platform for the Hispanic market, being leveraged across the country by CPG companies as a destination event for Hispanics everywhere. But to Carnaval Miami, the clients came. They were spending big money and it didn’t hurt that it was in the Miami of Miami Vice fame, in winter with a tremenda fiesta at the Vizcaya to boot.

But then everyone started to do it. Fiesta Broadway in Los Angeles, Carnaval de Elizabeth in New Jersey and other shorter-lived versions cropped up here and there. They tried to replicate the model and instead ended up fragmenting and competing for national Hispanic event marketing dollars, which were scarce to begin with. Dollars started to shift from nationally funded to regional budgets, and that is pretty much where these community events are today.

Fast forward from the 80s and 90s to today, and with the vertiginous growth of the Hispanic market and the serious money that it entails, there is real scrutiny on Hispanic contributions to brands’ growth and ROI from Hispanic experiential initiatives. No longer is Hispanic-focused event marketing a function of the Corporate Affairs departments; they are now rightfully being evaluated and measured according to their potential contribution to the brands’ overall health. Here’s the good news: the overall strength of Hispanic-focused experiential marketing is solid. As experiential marketing continues to grow as a component to the overall marketing mix–according to a recent EventTrack study, 51% of brands surveyed will increase their experiential content spend this year– Hispanic focused events and experiential marketing initiatives have all the underpinnings of being able to contribute rich rewards to brands who venture into the Hispanic experiential arena.

Besides seeing more targeted and sophisticated activations across the Hispanic market, my optimism is anchored on two key factors. The first is that Hispanics are under exposed to experiential marketing initiatives as a community. While experiential marketing ranks #1 by Hispanics for driving purchase, generating word of mouth, personal engagement and learning about new products. Hispanics are underexposed to event marketing initiatives as a whole as brands leverage their limited (but growing) experiential dollars to the consumer segment they feel most comfortable with. Secondly, our propensity to over share everything on social media is fertile ground for consumer led event-related content development and ultimately, brand advocacy. Our challenge in the Experiential Marketing Industry is to keep the engagement compelling. I firmly believe we have all the tools to do so. If we build it they will come, share the experience, and reward the brands who reach out.

Pedro de Cordoba | Senior Director, Burson Latino

“30 Qs with…” Blog Series with Sofia Candelario

This month we continue our “30 Qs with…” blog series by getting to know Sofia Candelario, a Client Staff Assistant in our Innovation & Technology practice. Every month we invite you to get to know Burson-Marsteller Miami’s talent from a different perspective – these 1:1 interviews will reveal personal anecdotes from their lives in and out of the office.

Sofia, who is originally from Puerto Rico, got her Master’s degree from Syracuse University in upstate New York. She just celebrated her one-year anniversary of working at Burson-Marsteller Miami!

Get to know her better by checking out her interview here or watch it below! #30QsWith #BursonPersons

The Burson Difference: Know-how and Know-who

Integration is often defined as the inverse of differentiation, but in the case of Burson-Marsteller, it actually sets us apart. As a global strategic communications firm, our main asset is our seamless worldwide network of 77 offices and 85 affiliates, operating in 110 countries across six continents. This breadth grants us access to the top communications experts around the world – not only within our own firm, but across Young & Rubicam and all WPP companies – to ensure we deliver the best results for our clients with the best team suited to do the job. We have both the know-how and know-who in terms of matching talent and respective skill-sets with clients’ needs.

We recently put this to the test when helping a global company address sensitive regulatory and legislative issues on health and wellness. We coordinated a team of public affairs and crisis management experts in multiple countries with the experience to make a difference. By coordinating issues and events around the world, we developed a strategic communications plan to satisfy the client.

In another case, when one of our clients realized how much we can do to help it leverage social media to reach key stakeholders, they asked our StudioB team, led by Ivan Ruiz, to develop a comprehensive strategy that is generating new levels of engagement for the brand through one of its key executives in the Latin American market.

Uniquely positioned in a market considered the Bridge to the Americas, Burson-Marsteller Miami not only serves clients across the Southeast U.S. and Latin America, it is also the headquarters for Burson Latino, our U.S. Hispanic specialty team. We offer a team of multicultural, multilingual professionals who are on in tune with what is happening not only in our own backyard, but across the U.S. and Latin American regions, thanks to close collaboration with our colleagues who provide us with the local intelligence and depth we need to make client campaigns targeted, relevant and effective. This “always-connected” model contributes to what I call the Burson Difference.

Aside from our established presence and long-term commitment to the markets in which we operate, we also rely on a varied talent mix of senior, experienced leadership and young and eager professionals who bring a fresh perspective on how to apply our results-driven business process to achieve client goals.

These are just some of the characteristics that set Burson-Marsteller apart. I am proud of the work we are doing for our local, regional and global clients, knowing that connectivity and reach allow us to assemble the right team at any given time, keeping this business, and my role here, very exciting.  It is a wonderful time to be leading our business from the Miami vantage point and to be the bridge for our clients to the Burson know-who and know-how.

If you would like to learn more, please feel free to contact me via e-mail or LinkedIn. I look forward to sharing how our employees, not only in Miami, but around the world are truly living the Burson Difference.

Jorge Ortega, Executive Vice-President

“30 Qs with…” Blog Series with Jennefer Melendez

This month we continue our “30 Qs with…” blog series by getting to know Jennefer Melendez, a Senior Associate working with Burson Latino. Every month we invite you to get to know Burson-Marsteller Miami’s talent from a different perspective – these 1:1 interviews will reveal personal anecdotes from their lives in and out of the office.

Jennefer, who started with Burson-Marsteller Miami recently, opens up about her love for public relations and what she enjoys most about honing her craft every day. 

Get to know her better by checking out her interview here or watch it below! #30QsWith #BursonPersons

The Inevitability of Multiculturalism

It’s happening and there is no turning back.

Face it folks, short of a massive and prolonged vow of chastity by millions of hyphenated Americans, the move to a majority multicultural society will happen in 2042, if not sooner. No walls, extreme vetting or English-only requirements can slow down the inevitability of this fact, and it is indeed an empirical fact. The good news is, that it is all good news.

Companies in search of growth -which means every company- should be midwifing this process and weaving themselves into relevancy as the fabric of society changes. All companies should take a more assertive stance and cast their lot with the future as opposed to being held hostage to the past. Lots of them are doing it already, being consistent in their approach to better align with these demographic realities, others not so much. There will be winner and losers.

Our American society is well on its way to becoming a much more colorful and interesting place. It is sure to become more tolerant and inclusive, a reflection of the values already seen with Millennials and Gen Z’ers that will rule in our not so distant future. American kitchens will be teeming with scents of sriracha, chile ancho, curry and turmeric, accented by dashes of salsa – the condiment and the music – and everyone will be humming a future version of la Macarena or Despacito. We’ll hear a potpourri of different languages mixed with English como Spanglish, our very own American patois. While this linguistic convergence might not work for purists, it will surely be understood in our city streets, and that’s a good thing. This multilingualism will help nurture our ability to communicate with peoples all over the globe, and that can’t hurt either.

Everybody has a story

Except for Native Americans, everyone else with immigrant roots has a story to tell about how and why they or their people came to America in search of… (“insert reason here”). I seriously doubt anyone would put a government handout as the driver that made them brave the perils they faced as a reason to land on these shores.

America has been rightfully sold to the world as the land of opportunity. An opportunity is not much to bank on, it’s just a chance. To leave it all behind to risk life and limb for a mere chance took guts in the 1800’s and 1900’s and it sure takes guts today. The reason that America is a magnet for people willing to assume crazy risks is precisely because there is proof that you indeed get an opportunity. It might be uneven, it’s certainly not fair, but it’s a chance. In many places around the world an opportunity is way too much to ask for, not here.

Our multiculturalism should be a proof point

Today the multicultural nature of our society has become a proof point rather than a talking point. It has in fact reached critical mass with no way back. There are numbers (lots of them as a matter of fact), metrics that one can chart, track, analyze and project accurately into the future. In a nutshell, 37% of people in America today are non-white with a hockey-stick-like slope for accelerated growth. And guess what? Arguably in the larger scheme of things, we all kind of get along. There is a fragility in this balancing act; one that seems to improve with the passing of generations. But many are still standing idle on the sidelines. Many more brands should play a role if they want to be relevant to the new American mainstream and for the life of me, I don’t see it happening to the level it should despite the inevitability of it all.

What a difference a few years make 

I recall the days when no auto manufacturer or dealer would bother to advertise new vehicles to Hispanics. We would inevitably be sent to the used car lot, and then treated with a healthy dose of suspicion. Today, they are tripping all over themselves trying to reach our market. In 2015, the biggest sales year the auto industry has ever seen, Hispanics alone accounted for 35 percent of new vehicle sales growth, per CDK Global.

When will the fear of white backlash end?

Still, entire industries lag in their outreach efforts-some driven by sheer inertia but others driven by what we in the Hispanic and multicultural marketing spheres call the “white backlash”. Unfortunately, many companies are paralyzed by the fear of this backlash. Lots of them are laying low, hoping the unseemly atmospherics of bigotry and nativism unleashed since the 2016 election will quiet down. But this aggrieved segment of society will not go gentle into that good night. They’re disoriented and mad. What will marketers do? Will they continue to sit on the sidelines and kowtow to a dwindling and aging segment of society that temporarily feels empowered, as they are collectively preparing to kick the proverbial bucket? Or embrace a forward-looking optimistic populace who saw the opportunity of America, and took it?

Pedro de Cordoba, Senior Director | Burson Latino

Engagement Pursuit

As time goes by and technology advances at the speed of light, brands face bigger challenges around not only how to communicate with their audiences, but most importantly, how to keep them engaged with what they do. Marketers and communication experts only have a few seconds to capture their target’s attention so they can communicate the right message, to the right people, at the right time.

So how can brands capture their audience within the social media frenzy?

First and foremost, they should know WHO they are talking to and WHAT are they interested in – from hobbies and music, to social media preferences and lifestyle. Once this is identified prepare for some creative thinking, brainstorming, and remember there are no bad ideas – everything could potentially lead to an AHA moment!

Now that you have your idea clear, what’s the story? How can you tell it in one simple piece of content? Identify five elements in your story and write them down. Select the platform and format that better converges the audience’s preferences, the brand, and the untold story. Maybe this piece should be a video or a cinemagraph to increase reach, and since the content is highly relevant, pay-to-play! Investment in social media advertising will directly reflect in your results, and therefore your KPIs. This means you’ll have more eyes seeing your content and engaging with it.

Lastly, and definitely one of the most important parts: measure and optimize. You’ve already invested all this time and effort in creating a masterpiece, so now it is time to measure the results, analyze what went well, and decide if there is room for improvement or even replicating the concept and story in other platforms or formats.

The engagement pursuit is a never-ending marathon for digital marketers. What engages your audience today, might not work tomorrow. Stay connected. Stay digital!

Lucia Zazueta, Digital Strategist | Senior Associate 

Thinking Globally, Acting Locally: Earth Week 2017

Earth Week, April 16-22, was started in the 1970s by grassroots organizers who wanted to encourage learning of environmental issues. Every year, during this time, school children learn about the diversity of ecosystems found around the world, while being taught how their actions can have a lasting impact on Mother Earth.

But after we enter the “real world”, Earth Week tends to go unnoticed and uncelebrated as people get caught up in their client work and fast approaching deadlines. However, as a self-proclaimed environmentalist, I wondered, “Can we make Earth Week relevant again by bringing issues affecting our local South Florida environment to the office’s day-to-day activities?”

That thought inspired me to consider a new approach for this year’s Earth Week and invite Burson-Marsteller Miami to get in touch with their inner school-child by taking an interest in relevant issues found south of Lake Okeechobee. As one of the organizers of the Earth Week activities, my goal was to get people out of the office and outside to interact with our main attraction: the ocean.

The Green Team, as I dubbed the Burson Miami Earth Week organizers, planned an ocean clean-up at a local Miami beach where instead of our normal Friday happy hour we went to Hobie Island Beach Park, located on Virginia Key. With the sun in our faces and sand between our toes, we set out to collect foreign items such as plastic bottles, cigarette butts, bottle caps, and other waste. About 14 people (and two four-legged assistants!) participated in the clean-up, removing close to 15lbs of trash off the beach.

On Monday April 24th, following the beach clean-up, my fellow Green Team member, Nicholas Komisarjevsky, and I prepared a presentation to inform our colleagues about the ever imminent threat of Sea Level Rise in South Florida through a Lunch and Learn. We concluded our presentation by providing each team member with a reusable plastic bottle, acrylic paints, and inspiration to decorate their bottles as they see fit, in an effort to cut down on the office’s plastic water bottle waste.

The key message that I tried to impart to my peers through our Earth Week initiative was the importance of thinking globally, while acting locally. As a global Public Relations and Communications agency, Burson-Marsteller always looks to provide our clients with culturally relevant and locally focused support. We utilize our global network to share ideas, talent, and perspectives while giving our clients a boutique agency feel. We think globally, but act locally.

I think that provides a great parallel to the importance of Earth Week because it reminds us to focus on the small details in order to spur greater change. Deciding to tackle climate change alone can be a daunting task. However, choosing to use ceramic mug for your morning coffee instead of a disposable paper cup is manageable. Perhaps getting the office to stop printing documents is unrealistic, but instead of simply throwing the pages away after their singular use, considering upcycling them into a notebook is doable. Thus encouraging the office to consider how their daily actions have a larger environmental impact.

As the world continues to get smaller through enhanced communication abilities, we must think globally, but we cannot forget to act locally. Together, making more conscious efforts to do our part in lessening our carbon footprint can act as the catalyst to larger changes.

As April comes to an end, I challenge everyone to not forget about the meaning of Earth Week. The realities of global warming, sea level rise, and other environmental issues are pertinent every day, especially in South Florida. While Earth Week encourages us to focus on the importance of the environment, it is critical that we adopt sustainable habits like reducing, reusing, and recycling to lessen our carbon footprint globally. Individual contributions do make an impact. Share below with your commitment to Earth and the environment for the coming year.

#EarthWeek2017

Kelsey Flitter, Public Affairs Practice

“30 Qs with…” Blog Series with Bruno Giordano

This month we continue our “30 Qs with…” blog series by getting to know Bruno Giordano, a Client Executive working in the Public Affairs Department. Every month we invite you to get to know Burson-Marsteller Miami’s talent from a different perspective – these 1:1 interviews will reveal personal anecdotes from their lives in and out of the office.

Bruno, who enjoys going to the beach in Miami, is mainly based in Honduras where he enjoys the beautiful nature.

Get to know him better by checking out his interview here or watch it below! #30QsWith #BursonPersons

Burson-Marsteller Hires Tom Eslinger as New Global Chief Creative Officer (CCO)


Dear friends and colleagues:

I am proud to let you know that Burson-Marsteller has hired world-renowned and internationally awarded executive creative director Tom Eslinger as Global Chief Creative Officer (CCO).

Before joining Burson-Marsteller, Tom was consulting Executive Creative Director for visual effects and virtual reality firm Framestore’s integrated advertising efforts. Before that, he spent 13 years in the Saatchi & Saatchi network, eight of which as Worldwide Digital Creative Director. In that role, he led digital creative direction and strategy on global new business and client initiatives, identified creative production partnerships and talent recruitment and led cross-network partnerships via the Publicis Groupe, serving on its Worldwide Creative Board of Directors for 10 years.

A firm like Burson-Marsteller is no longer to be thought of as just doing PR – the lines between advertising, branding, media and public relations have blurred in recent years, and while we are always looking to move the needle when it comes to creative ideas and innovative communications solutions that will drive business results. We are excited to have Tom bring a new level of creativity to our team and our clients.

Here in Miami, we are very proud of the innovative work being done to continue fostering that creative integration. This month, we partnered with Juan Valdez, the Colombian coffee grower’s brand dedicated to offering an authentic Colombian Premium coffee experience, to launch the #InspiredbyJuanValdez campaign, ahead of its sponsorship of the Miami Open. Our team was up to the challenge of generating awareness and enthusiasm around a brand, primarily known to Hispanic audiences, among the general market in South Florida. As a renowned international art hub, Miami provided the perfect backdrop for our team to find inspiration for this creative campaign, linking coffee, art and tennis lovers to the brand experience. Our team kicked it off with a media blitz across local newsrooms with Juan Valdez himself, to share news on a series of immersive activations at Juan Valdez cafés, where fans painted three panels that eventually came together as a mural unveiled during the tennis tournament. From in-store player appearances, on-site giveaways, and a VIP art gallery style reception, to an on-court activation featuring a trip to Colombia’s Ruta del Café, this integrated experiential campaign before, during, and after the Miami Open, helped build momentum for future Juan Valdez store openings across South Florida later this year.

Also, Ivan Ruiz continues to lead our StudioB data analytics and content distribution team, comprised of analysts, strategists, creatives, and social media experts who produce data driven creative content for distribution across all traditional and digital platforms. Our rigorous commitment to highly creative, integrated communications is setting Burson-Marsteller Miami apart in the market.

We are excited to collaborate with Tom and look forward to the new ideas he will bring to our work. Please join me in welcoming Tom to the Burson-Marsteller family.

Let us know if you would like to learn more about how we are working with Tom and Ivan to bring the best thinking and ideas to our clients.

Best,

Jorge Ortega

Burson-Marsteller Miami Welcomes Back Alumni

Burson-Marsteller has always valued the people who work, and have worked, at the firm. To show our appreciation, we hosted the first ever Burson-Marsteller Miami Alumni Reunion that brought together former employees from the past 20 years on Thursday, March 30, 2017. Alumni from all over the state of Florida made their way to our outdoor courtyard overlooking the Miami skyline, for a night filled with music, hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, and fun.

Ramiro Prudencio, President and CEO of Burson-Marsteller Latin America as well as Jorge Ortega, Executive Vice President, made welcome remarks, thanking guests for their contributions to our organization and being part of our story, and reminding them that at the core, we are all #BursonPersons united by a common bond shared at different moments in time: excellence. We pride ourselves in delivering outstanding client service when it comes to developing and executing creative and strategic communications campaigns, and this event provided a platform to connect with our alumni, who are either former clients, current clients, or clients we’d love to partner with and deliver this message.

We invite you to check out this highlight reel, produced by our digital content, creative, and video production team – Studio B, recapping the night’s festivities, which also included a raffle, featuring  Miami Marlins bobble heads, ESPN gift bags, and Pitbull/Enrique Iglesias concert tickets among the nearly dozen prizes handed out.

Alumni hit the dance floor and enjoyed reminiscing and catching up with former leaders, colleagues, and friends, while greeting some of our current talent.   We would like to give a special shout out to our sponsors and event partners – BusinessWire, Gilbert’s Bakery, Bacardi, and the Miami Marlins – for helping this event be a success. Through a combination of food, drinks, beautiful weather, and great gifts you all helped make this evening a memorable one. Many thanks!

To all of our alumni who were able to attend, thank you. Hope to see you again next year!

Relive the event with this video here:

 

Should Your Brand be Using Influencers?

In the age of the internet, today’s celebrities go beyond just Hollywood films and TV shows. In the new era of social media, the market has created their own version of famed celebrities and named influencers. Stars like Gabby Hanna from The Gaby Shows, or  Jenna Mourey aka Jenna Marbles are what we call influencers, people who have a substantial following and can command an audience[1], but are still relatable on a human-to-human level. They inhabit the gray area somewhere between a celebrity and a “common” person. Influencers usually start their careers on Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, or other social media channels, sharing their area of expertise with the world, whether it be comedy, fashion, fitness, or cooking, and then successfully build their own brand around that.

So why would a brand hire an influencer to promote itself instead of a regular celebrity? Influencer’s have earned their celebrity-like reputations by capitalizing on the day-to-day actions of people. They have capitalized on the mundane tasks of life and made them easily digestible for people. Take Jessica Shyba, aka Momma’s Gone City, for example. She is a mom of 4 kids (with a fifth one on the way!) and one adopted dog. She became a social media celebrity by sharing the everyday life of a mom and her kids.

Jessica and her family are not only adorable, but easily relatable, making her an ideal brand ambassador. Viewers, likers, and sharers can see how easily –insert product here- can fit into their lifestyles, by relating with Jessica’s hectic life. By partnering with Jessica, brands actually show Jessica’s audience not only how their products are used, but the benefits of using them.

When influencers are added to the equation, the brand is not seen as promoting itself, rather, a third party who is trusted by its audience is. If the influencer did not believe in the brand or its products, she/he wouldn’t be posting about them since it could damage their personal brand. The influencer’s audience knows this and in fact, 92% of consumers trust an influencer more than an advertisement or traditional celebrity endorsement[2].

Take this sponsored post as an example:

In this case, Jessica partnered with a frozen blueberry company to show her audience how to easily and quickly make delicious, yet healthy, blueberry pancakes.

Along with being an active advertisement, influencers are also a source of inspiration. Often, influencers share their personal experience losing weight, eating vegetarian, or applying liquid eyeliner, providing their followers with guidance, support, and step-by-step instructions to reach their goals. Influencers like Alyse from Raw Alignment, give great advice not only with recipes but by highlighting the products that they actually use. They partner with different brands to inspire people and help them throughout their transition to a healthier and organic lifestyle:

So, what are the benefits for brands hiring influencers?

  • Influencers provide an authentic and organic way to deliver a brand message.
  • Influencers expose your brand to new audiences while providing a higher ROI.
  • Influencers connect with their audiences at a more personal level.
  • Influencers can grant brands access to unique, hard-to-reach niche audiences for niche products.

Influencers are becoming one of the best ways to advertise brands. Has your brand considered using an influencer before? Do you have any tips? Leave a comment below!

Posted by Maria Fornari, Client Executive at Burson-Marsteller Miami/StudioB 

Sources:

“30 Qs with…” Blog Series with Lucia Zazueta

This month we continue our “30 Qs with…” blog series by getting to know Lucia Zazueta, a Senior Associate Digital Strategist working in StudioB. Every month we invite you to get to know Burson-Marsteller Miami’s talent from a different perspective – these 1:1 interviews will reveal personal anecdotes from their lives in and out of the office.

Lucia works to develop digital strategies using different mediums such as social media. As somebody who loves the outdoors, Lucia enjoys cycling, the beach, and yoga in her time off.

Get to know her better by checking out her interview here or watch below! #30QsWith #BursonPersons