RockOrange Clients In the News: Coverage Roundup

2017 is in full effect and boy, have things been busy! Check out this roundup of some great coverage our team has secured for our rockstar clients over the past few weeks:

Beerboard

Beerboard, an integrated beer management tool and guest display system, scored big on the front page of USA Today Sports the day after the second most watched Super Bowl in history with some impressive game day national beer consumption stats.

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Seasons 52

The popular Seasons 52 eatery in Coral Gables received a visit from Lisa Petrillo and CBS Miami for a feature on the popular TV segment, “Taste of The Town.” Additionally, lookout for an upcoming a segment with WTVJ/NBC 6 – 6 in the Mix.

 

Grand Hyatt Playa Del Carmen Resort

Grand Hyatt Playa Del Carmen Resort got lots of love on Valentine’s Day in Recommend Magazine, LatinFlyer.com, and Spa Travel Gal blog for their romantic vacation specials.

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Casa de Campo Resort and Villas

Casa de Campo Resort and Villas made the news as recording artist Jennifer Lopez prepares to do something she’s never done before, perform in the Dominican Republic. Casa de Campo will host JLo at the Altos de Chavón venue, a Grecian-style amphitheater originally built in the 1970’s. Check out the features in TravelPulse, Fox News Travel and EIN News.

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Planet Fitness

Planet Fitness made its way into the Miami Herald’s list of things to do for lovers and loners on Valentine’s Day. Check out the full list of Valentine’s Day suggestions here.

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Capillus

Capillus, a company that produces FDA-cleared laser caps for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia, was recently featured on a full-page spread in Women’s Health Magazine, an estimated ad value of $215,900.

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Looking to score some solid coverage for your brand? Drop us a line: info@rockorange.com or 305.731.2224.

 

 

Trends that Won Social Media During the Super Bowl

Like most of you, we were watching Super Bowl LI with our beer, wings, and dare we say, soul-crushing disappoint in tow (sorry Patriots fans, not sorry).

After the game, we all wanted to know what was going down off the field and on social media. Was the crying Jordan meme on Brady’s face going viral yet? Did Lady Gaga crush it with her half-time performance or was she getting slammed? Which brands’ commercials were scoring with fans and which were tanking?

So, we asked our social media team to take a dive into the conversation using our social listening platforms and analytics to let us know what was buzzing. Here are the top four trending topics throughout the night and into the post-Superbowl online frenzy:

1. Patriots Make an Epic Comeback

With over 11 million mentions across the country, the game itself was the star of the night. Garnering a whopping 36 percent of the mentions on Sunday, the Patriots comeback in the second half was the most talked about online. And honestly, who couldn’t talk about that unbelievable ending?

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2. Goo-goo for Gaga

But slow down, Pats… not too far behind, Lady Gaga came in hot with her incredible, acrobatic halftime show.

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Many were saying it was even better than the Queen B’s…

 

3. Tom Brady Makes NFL History

Along with the historic overtime win, Tom Brady also made history being the first quarterback to win five Super Bowls. Everyone was talking about it, some congratulating and some throwing shade.

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4. 84 Lumber’s Controversial Commercial

Finally, when everyone came down from the Super Bowl high (or got over the hangover), the ads became a contender. 84 Lumber caused the most buzz in the 24 hours following the big game with its controversial commercial (so controversial Fox actually denied airing the entire ad).

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You can watch the full ad here:

Shout out to Budweiser and T-Mobile for picking up big buzz for their commercials as well.

 

We enjoyed taking a short break from serious politics and cat videos to join in on the Super Bowl banter. Looking forward to seeing who makes the most talk next year… maybe a 6th win for Brady and the Patriots? (shudder)

Interested in our social media and online brand analytics services? Get at us: info@rockorange.com.

 

RockOrange Looks Back at the Highs and Highs of 2016

It’s finally here: 2017 has landed and those of us at RockOrange are filled with a renewed sense of hope, optimism and eager anticipation for what promises to be our biggest year yet!

But we aren’t exactly glad to see 2016 go—although a lot of people are. For us, it was a formative year. We capped off 2016 being named a Top Place to Work in PR by PRNews, which was a huge recognition (even though we’ve known it for years). We also won honors from Bulldog Reporter who awarded us Bronze in the category of ‘Best Use of Digital/Social for Cause/Advocacy/Corporate Social Responsibility’ for the digital work we executed on behalf of Miami’s Zoological Wildlife Foundation (ZWF) and from PR News, who awarded our campaign that launched the Thalia Sodi fashion line at Macy’s top spot in the ‘Facebook PR Campaign’ category in the publication’s annual Social Media Awards. We were also recognized as part of the team behind the award-winning McWhopper campaign at the 2016 Cannes Lions Festival.

Beyond the hardware, we bolstered our business last year by working with some inspiring new client partners, including launching Bloomin’ Brands Dine Rewards and the new American Museum of the Cuban Diaspora. We creatively introduced multiple Kitchen Aid products to Latin America, and elevated brands such as Red Robin Gourmet Burgers & Brews, Millennium Hotels & Resorts, Casa de Campo, Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen, Planet Fitness, XtendBarre and Capillus.

We’ve also expanded our scope of work with our friends over at Driven Brands, Maaco, Meineke and Restaurant Services International, and have continued our longstanding relationship with Burger King. These client partners, new and old, have put their faith in us, and we’re excited to continue our great work together.

What else were we up to in 2016? Oh, not much… Only opening our own 17,000 square foot creative campus in the heart of Little Havana!

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With a buzzing mezzanine chock full of hardworking RockStars, to the authentic Cuban coffee/espresso machine in our new cafeteria, to the impromptu creative sessions being held throughout our open-concept flexible floor plan, we finally feel like we are “at home”. So if you’re ever nearby, don’t hesitate to drop in!

And finally, what would a killer creative campus be without creatives to fill it? This year, we added a slew of new RockStars to the team, headlined by creative director Sam Rodriguez, who has already made his mark on the agency’s aesthetic and attitude. We also brought on marketing ninja Louise Finlay, digital guru Rafael Aguirre, accounts superstar Frances Ramos and editorial specialist Jessica Pereda. We also proudly promoted two of our RockStars-in-Training, Elise Rodriguez and Carolina Vigoya, to account positions.

All told, it was a year of challenges met and conquered for our powerhouse agency that seems to get bigger and work bolder every year. Our goal in 2017 is to continue to empower and evolve. We know that when our history is written, 2016 will be an important chapter. This is the start of a new chapter, wherein we are emboldened to do really big things for our awesome clients, to help drive their brands with innovative, fresh thinking, and together, help achieve their dreams.

We can’t wait to get started.

Happy New Year!

—RockOrange

Question Time with “The Rock”

The “Rock” in RockOrange, agency principal Miguel Piedra sat down with Bulldog Reporter to answer questions about his life as a PR professional.

Click through to read Miguel’s PR PROfile and find out what got him interested in a career in PR, his favorite journalist to work with, what he thinks the most misunderstood thing is about PR and the best thing about working at RockOrange.

 

You Can’t Force Diversity. Instead, Look For Places Where It Grows Naturally.

By Miguel Piedra, Principal & Managing Partner, RockOrange

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Last month, Palo Alto-based computer hardware developer HP made news when its CMO issued an ultimatum to its PR and advertising partners, exhorting them to submit plans for those agencies to become more diverse in the next 30 days.

In the letter, Antonio Lucio put HP’s roster of agencies on notice. That includes some of the most prominent names in our industry: FleishmanHillard and Porter Novelli for PR; and BBDO, Fred & Farid, and Gyro for advertising.

Lucio’s goal is laudable. The communications and creative world is overwhelmingly white and male. Hispanics, African-Americans and women are chronically underrepresented—doubly so in leadership roles. This at least partly explains many of the embarrassingly tone deaf and cringe-worthy campaigns that have tried unsuccessfully to court these demographics. To understand a culture, one must have at least some mooring in that culture. To execute a successful campaign, you need at least one person in the room who understands the target demographic. Too often, there are none.

But for diversity to take hold and deliver real, positive outcomes, the organization must truly believe in it. Lucio’s heart is in the right place. But from an internal, agency perspective, I can see the natural progression of what will come from this strategy. Ultimatum delivered, the hiring partners will scramble to keep the business. No one is in business to lose money. So whether or not they believe in the core value of diversity becomes beside the point. They will have their talent acquisition and human resources teams do what is necessary to ensure the business is kept. But in the end, if someone is hired as a show pony, or as a token nod to diversity, that is how he or she will be treated. How does that achieve the desired end of viewing projects through different lenses?

Understand, diversity is two-pronged: you must first hire a collection of individuals from different backgrounds, and then empower them to have an effect on your business. It is hard to imagine an agency compelled to hire or promote to meet a client ultimatum will deign to do the latter. The only thing that gets more diversity is the Meet the Team page on their website.

Instead, brands like HP would do well to hire agencies that already value diversity and show the veracity of that belief through their staffing.

There are many agencies around the country that look and act like ours. At RockOrange we are not only minority owned, but more than two thirds of our agency is comprised of women and at any given moment we are 75-80 percent black or Hispanic. Our RockStars range in age from 22 to 50s. We draw from a rich array of life experiences, employing talent from all walks of life and socioeconomic backgrounds.

It wasn’t difficult to do this, and it wasn’t an accident. Miami is an overwhelmingly diverse city, a tapestry of black, white, brown, and all shades between, serving as a model for the next American generation. If you’re a believer in demographic data and population trends, Miami—and by extension our agency—looks a lot like how the country will look in 2050.

But our adherence to diversity as a value is rooted in more than simple geography. Many of our team members have worked in homogenous environments where everyone is from the same place and brings similar experiences. The effect is a deafening echo chamber where disagreement is viewed as dissention. Lack of diversity fosters groupthink, narrowing the collective view. The narrower the view, the broader the blind spot. It’s a dangerous way to do business. It’s how a campaign winds up comparing Naomi Campbell to a chocolate bar. It’s how every Latino menu item at national chains ends up being “spicy” or “fiery”.

For executives like Lucio who understand the underlying business proposition behind diversity, there are alternatives to shoehorning it into the vast organizations they hire—admirable a goal though it may be. Our agency has diversity baked into its very DNA. And while we work with mostly national or international brands, everyone’s unique point of view is not just respected—it’s required. We make diversity work for us, and for our clients.

Instead, try working with agencies that are already built that way. As someone who has worked on both the client side as a chief communicator and the agency side as an owner, I can attest that the work product is guaranteed to be more authentic and appealing when it comes from a room of different people with diverging opinions.

An agency that needs to be told to make itself more diverse has a long hill to climb before it becomes truly diverse. For those who see the value, there’s no such thing as scrambling to keep the business with token hires.

Cast Your Vote for RockOrange’s SXSW 2017 PanelPicker Ideas

panel picker blog

Are you heading to SXSW in 2017? If so, have your say in the program line up by casting a vote for RockOrange’s PanelPicker sessions.

Drone. Your. Story.
It’s just a gimmick right? Actually, drone video production has taken off (sorry!) in the past five years as equipment has become better more affordable and videographers have pushed boundaries. Brands, agencies and outlets are regular practitioners, and you should be too. Don’t succumb to the fear that stems from thousands of dollars in equipment floating hundreds of feet in the air. In this practical workshop, we’ll produce an actual drone film and walk through some of the less-considered aspects of drone video production, from budgeting to location scouting to software management. When you’re done, you’ll be ready to go out there and drone the shit out of your story.
In this session you’ll learn:
• How much you should be budgeting for drone footage.
• What makes a great location for drone footage.
• If you should do-it-yourself or bring in an expert.

And in the meantime check out the video we produced for Miami’s Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science using drone footage.
VOTE HERE

Don’t Just Rely On The Media–Own Your Platform
Today, communicating is an egalitarian pursuit. While the media remains a crucial component, they are no longer the sole gatekeepers. So what if we can use our own platforms to get our story out? What if messages can be delivered directly and unfiltered to the masses? Owning your own communications platform today is a necessity—from hives of active social networks to relationships with influencer advocates, clever curation to advance/rapid response crisis teams, it has never been more important for brands to grab the narrative by the throat and own the story.
Learning from the award winning campaign we ran to launch the Thalia Sodi for Macy’s fashion line, we’ll discuss:
1. How you can decide which channels you should be (and shouldn’t be) using to tell your story.
2. What role the media should play in your communications strategy.
3. How Macy’s made internet history by owning its platform.
VOTE HERE

Live Obituary for the Press Release (& Buzz Words)
“Why won’t they pick up my story?” The answer: your pitch probably sucks. Did you use words like “innovative,” “game-changing,” or “disruptive” to describe your project? Do you work in a “space” or “vertical”? Are you building a “mission critical” “platform” for “enterprise” deployment? Does you business plan call to “monetize” its “value-added” “positioning” to reach an “inflection point?” And did you share all of this information via press release, that stale, antiquated last bastion of hackneyed public relations? If so, get ready to “pivot” to a new “paradigm” where we all agree to just say what things are and what they do. Can you “ideate” that?
Our managing principal, Miguel Piedra will run this session where you’ll learn:
1. How to cut the crap from your press releases.
2. How to craft pitches that journalists will actually pay attention to.
3. What the buzzwords are that journalists hate the most and what should you use instead.
VOTE HERE

Thank you for your support and we look forward to seeing you in Austin!

Tales of a RockStar Intern

By Nicole Cil

We’ve all heard stories of those horrible internships where you:

A) Do absolutely nothing

B) Get coffee for your boss/clean the dirty bathrooms

C) Never actually learn the tips and tricks of your particular field

D)Being referred to as “the intern”

E) Or, quite possibly, all of the above

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I was finishing up my freshman year as a double major in public relations and modern languages at the University of Miami and started thinking about applying for internships. While I’ve heard these terrible, terrible tales about family and friends’ internships, I still decided to hand in my resume and hope for the best. Sure enough, shortly after sending over my resume, I got a call that I’d been accepted to join the RockStar internship program and that they would be expecting my arrival at the beginning of May.

My first day, I arrived at the agency promptly and was introduced to everyone. Right off the bat, I was included in a meeting and given a project to lead and complete within a week. Excited, I came home and told my family and friends all about my first day and how busy and interesting it was.

The next couple of days, weeks, and months were the same. My second week at RockOrange, they hosted a Team Building Event at one of our client’s super cool locations – Zoological Wildlife Foundation Miami – where we got to play with tiger cubs and find out about my teammates through some fun challenges. Tt was then that I thought this internship exceeded everything I had hoped to accomplish during my time here.

I got to really know everyone in the office and make friends. I wasn’t just “the intern,” I was Nicole and sometimes even “Coco.” RockOrange is a family, not just a company. I was included in meetings, e-mail threads, and important conversations. I was kept in the loop and always had something to do, which never happened to just be “clean the bathroom” or “go get me some coffee.” I learned more than I could imagine learning in just three-and-a-half short months. Though I had spent two semesters of studying public relations at the University of Miami, I learned the tricks of the trade very quickly here at RockOrange. Pitching, press releases, and media lists became daily tasks, not just a far away tale of something they taught us at school that we may or may not have to do when we actually enter the field of PR.

“Frances, people in PR actually use Gantt Charts?” I remember asking my immediate supervisor. “I had thought these were just things they have to teach us in school, I didn’t know they were actually useful.”

I felt so accomplished using my knowledge from my class and putting it to use here with an actual, real life client.

I’m very grateful to say that I had an excellent internship experience this summer. I’m sad to see my time come to an end at RockOrange, but I’ll always remember what I’ve learned here and the people I met here. I can’t wait to come visit again soon.

They say the view from the top is the best, but the view from the bottom can be pretty good too.

 

You, Too, Can Own Your Platform. (And You Should!)

By David Naranjo
Indulge me for a moment in some “back in my day” reminiscing.

When I was coming up in the world of media and communications, leading a team of PR pros at Sony Music and later the Estefan Enterprises, we worked hard to gin up positive coverage for our artists. More coverage equaled more units sold, so these earned opportunities were golden. Those media gatekeepers could make or break a new album, a career, or a label itself.

Needless to say, things are different today. For musicians and entertainers the revolution kicked into high gear back in the mid-00s with the rise of MySpace as a proto-platform to own the messaging and imagery associated with your brand. With a little bit of HTML and a lot of elbow grease, you could bring your art to millions, where you once needed a label, a marketing team, and an interested media. The MySpace page became the new street team (not coincidentally around this time Sony and other record companies decommissioned their own networks of real street teams).

And we know the story from there: MySpace begat Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram, and for artists more targeted apps like Soundcloud and Bandcamp integrated nicely. Cobbling together these pages with a centralized website and blog makes an effective, elegant platform for artists. Tend that social media garden well enough, and it becomes hard to remember why we ever needed media outlets so badly.

Of course, we love our friends in the press, and they always make our jobs easier. But the best brands today are leaving nothing to chance. Like those bands inhabiting the early MySpace, smart brands are creating their own platform for message management.

Our client Zappos recently engaged us for a back-to-school campaign. The deals were great, as was the apparel. And the brand is noteworthy in its own right—definitely not an unknown, frequently covered by mainstream press and trades. But this was a back-to-school campaign, straining its neck to be noticed in a sea of other back-to-school campaigns. Earned media coverage was incredibly unlikely without some kind of elevation.

We used the brand’s social media platforms to link out to guest bloggers whose influence made the campaign into actual coverage-worthy news. Now, it wasn’t just half off your second pair of sneakers. It was mommy bloggers bragging about the pairs of shoes they had gotten for their kids. Engaging with the influencers, we were able to rise above the commercial noise.

Sometimes the need to control the message speaks to the brand’s very existence. Consider a quick service restaurant client of ours who was facing a very difficult investigation in Europe into their locations. The sensational story gave short shrift to the facts and was bombastic in all the ways you hope to avoid for your clients.

So, rather than engage with the journalists in their forum, we marshaled the strength of the brand’s social media to publish facts about the situation, taking a crisis and turning it into a teaching moment. This kind of education would have been impossible on any platform other than the client’s own. The strategy was effective: the news magazine shelved a planned sequel to their report after our own messaging essentially defanged their reporting.

Here is a healthy exercise for anyone leading a brand’s communication efforts: imagine you have something incredibly important to say, something everyone needs to hear, and you have to do it right this moment. How would you do it? Would you be reliant on someone else to do it for you? Is your social media presence primed and active? Have you tended that garden? What shape are your lists in? When’s the last time someone organically signed up for your newsletter? Do you have a newsletter, if only to collect email addresses?

Media companies spend millions to refine their platforms. So should you. No one can tell your story better than you.

RockOrange Part of Team Recognized for Helping Broker Peace Between World’s Biggest Burger Chains

rock-orange-mcwhopper-cannes-lion

Last Tuesday, the prestigious Cannes Lion Awards, considered by many the gold standard for industry recognition in advertising, twice recognized the McWhopper campaign, ideated by Young & Rubicam New Zealand.

As part of RockOrange’s ongoing relationship with Burger King, our team was recognized for its work to deliver a robust issue management process just in case the call for peace didn’t go according to plan. RockOrange also worked closely with Burger King’s other agencies on marketing ideation and materials review.

The Grand Prix awards, won in the media and print & publishing categories, went for the revolutionary campaign that saw Burger King bring competitors to the table to put aside their petty differences and raise money for the cause of peace.

“I think our Grand Prix reflects so much of what it good about the industry,” said jury president Nick Waters, CEO of Dentsu Aegis Network Asia Pacific, in an interview with AdWeek. “This is a case of a big brand. And big brands sometimes find it difficult to move quickly. This is a case of a big brand taking on an even bigger competitor, moving quickly, being bold, acting within the brand, acting cheekily, reacting to events, bringing consumers in.”

The campaign began with an open letter to McDonalds CEO Steve Easterbrook, offering an olive branch in the form of a shared burger in honor of Peace Day. The burger would use ingredients from both McDonalds Quarter Pounder sandwich and Burger King’s Whopper sandwich. The chains would meet in Atlanta—a midway point between the brands’ respective headquarters in Illinois and Miami—and open a McWhopper pop-up, with proceeds going to Peace One Day, a non-profit organization dedicating to spreading peace.

And while archrival McDonalds refused Burger King’s overtures, other fast casual and quick service restaurant brands like Denny’s, Wayback Burger, Krystal and Giraffas all opted into the campaign, successfully creating the Peace Whopper.

This is far from the first recognition for RockOrange, which earned a nod for PR News’ ‘Facebook PR Campaign of the Year’ in April, and was named ‘New Agency of the Year’ by the Bulldog Reporter and The Holmes Report in 2014.

The Cannes Lion Grand Prix awards were accepted by Young & Rubicam New Zealand, who conceived the campaign. Agency partners Code & Theory, Alison Brod Public Relations and The David Agency were recognized as well.

Smart PR or Dumb Celeb? #conspiracytheory

Celebrity influencer posts are going viral for all the wrong reasons. Celebs including Scott Disick and Naomi Campbell appear to have “accidentally” copy and pasted a little more than they should when promoting branded goods – namely the notes on ‘how-to-post’ as provided by the brand PR.

However, those “mistakes” are making the posts go viral and amplifying brand recognition even further which makes us wonder (#conspiracytheory) if this trend is ‘Smart PR or Dumb Celeb?’

 

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