Setting the Tone in Little Havana

RockOrange is at the forefront of a cultural and creative resurgence, and it’s all taking place within blocks of our new home in Miami’s Little Havana. Just months following our move to a 17,000-square-foot creative campus in the heart of the historic neighborhood, we unveiled a new street art mural by local artist Daniel Fila, better known as Krave, setting the visual tone for the new “LiHa.”

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Little Havana has seen a recent rise to prominence led by increased commercial and residential development, a thriving arts scene, cuisine and nightlife.

Our agency founders Miguel Piedra and David Naranjo, both Miami natives, had headquartered in the corporate suites of Blue Lagoon during the agency’s first three years (RockOrange was formed in 2013). The pair of Cuban-Americans, both raised in Miami, moved their headquarters to the area in 2016.

Last week, Krave, Miguel and David held a Facebook Live event showing everyone around the new jewel of LiHa. Check it out:

The mural, adorning the side of RockOrange’s headquarters, is a unique work of art reflecting the culture of a uniquely American area using familiar imagery: a Miami Metro Mover; a cigar-smoking gentleman wearing a panama hat; the renowned Cuban-America salsa performer, Celia Cruz; and Krave’s signature character, The Fresh Monkey. In a city where all neighborhoods come to be known by nicknames, six-foot-tall letters span the top of the mural spell out the word “LiHa,” cementing Little Havana’s new moniker.

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.

 

Top Blog Posts of 2016

The words TOP 10 printed on clothespin clipped cards in front of defocused glowing lights.

Another year has flown by here at RockOrange. And it’s been an exciting one! We moved offices into our new home in Little Havana, added 15 new clients to our roster including Red Robin, Planet Fitness, The American Museum of the Cuban Diaspora and Millennium Hotels, had eight new RockStars join the team and continued to be recognized for our work, winning four new industry awards.

Through it all, the RockOrange blog gave us a place to share all these exciting developments with you. That’s why, as we count down the final days of 2016, we wanted to look back and share our top 10 blog posts of the past 12 months in terms of views, likes and comments.

Did your favorite make the list?

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RockOrange Welcomes Its Newest Rockstar, Frances Ramos, to Its Award-Winning Agency

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A Wild Tale of Helping a Foundation Brand Find Its Voice

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RockOrange Wins PR News Social Media Award with History-Making Facebook Campaign

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Question Time With “The Rock”

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A Stark Contrast

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A Creative Force Joins the Fold

7. mb-clean

RockOrange Makes Trash Trend with Anti-Litter Campaign

8. intern

Tales of a Rockstar Intern

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

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The ABT’s (Always Be Thinking) of Great Agency Marketing

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.

 

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.

 

RockOrange welcomes its newest RockStar, Frances Ramos, to its award-winning agency

Frances is a seasoned publicist who specializes in media and influencer relationships that organically grow brand footprints in U.S. Hispanic and Latin America markets.

She comes to RO after five years of agency experience. She has worked with a slew of Fortune 500 clients, including McDonalds, Target and AT&T. While engaged with McDonalds, Frances helped create public relations and social media campaigns for the company’s education, food and music platforms.

Most recently, Frances helped MasterCard promote financial technology and electronic payments as a preferred method of payment in Latin America. Frances’ deep understanding of how to connect a brand’s values with Hispanic consumers makes her a valuable new member of the RO team.

A graduate of the University of Central Florida, Frances is an avid writer and part-time fashion blogger. Her blog, Mystylesnapshot.com, is a series of dispatches from Frances’ inner “fashionista,” where she details and documents trends in the fashion world.

“I want to bring some spunk to RO,” she said. “Everyone at RockOrange is really talented and motivated and I’m looking forward to growing with the team.”

Are Influencers Influencing?

Influencer marketing is one of the fastest growing marketing channels. In fact 84% of marketers surveyed by eMarketer said they were planning to launch an influencer campaign within 12 months. And, in general, that investment is paying off. Data from RhythmOne found that average earned media value from US influencer marketing programs was 1.4 times as high in H1 2015 as the average in all of 2014, at $9.60 for every $1 spent, vs. $6.85 the previous year.

 However, influencers with the most followers don’t necessarily get the most likes which is why identifying the right influencers is cited as the biggest challenge when rolling out an influencer engagement strategy.  

 So with that in mind we asked our RockStars – Are Influencers Influencing?

 

A Creative Force Joins The Fold

Sam Rodriguez Creative Director

Innovation drives Sam Rodriguez, RockOrange’s new head of creative. The latest RockStar, Sam is a visual artist who has crafted nationally recognized campaigns through design, still images and motion pictures. A Miami native and a graduate of Miami’s Institute of Art and Design, Sam’s mastery of visual storytelling will help expand RockOrange as a creative force in marketing and communication. He joins us after more than a decade as creative director at kabookaboo in Coral Gables.

A self-taught photographer, composer and animator, Sam works rigorously to refine his craft every day. His meticulous attention to detail and desire to grow helped him turn his love for photography into marketing campaigns for large firms in the wine and sprits industry.

As a nationally recognized designer, Sam’s work has been the cornerstone of iconic projects here in South Florida and around the world. Throughout his career, he says he’s found it essential to understand every aspect of a project’s lifecycle – from idea, to creation, to execution.

Sam’s hire was noted in several South Florida media outlets, including the Miami Herald, Sun-Sentinel, AgencySpy and South Florida City Biz List.

As the leader of RockOrange’s burgeoning creative team, Sam will guide a group of talented, promising young designers as they continue to deliver the kind of beautiful, game-changing work that our clients have come to expect.

Along with his talent, Sam also brings a deep understanding of the agency world from both the employee and leadership points of view. Early in his career, he ran a successful creative business before ultimately selling. Fresh out of high school, Sam considered becoming an architect until he realized he could turn his love of art into a business unto itself. He found his passion in creating marketing campaigns that, as he describes it, “affect people’s psyches.” He loves to call out the differences in the brands he represents from the countless other choices consumers have.

And most of all, he’s not afraid of adversity—an important trait for a creative director.

“Challenges help you get out of your comfort zone and think differently about a particular project,” he said. “It can bring out the best and the worst in people. I always strive to bring out the best.”

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?’

 

RockOrange Welcomes Rafael Aguirre

In communications, digital is the way of the future. Agencies that hope to remain viable in the future need team members who can tell an array of stories across all of those platforms.

So it is with this in mind that we proudly welcome our agency’s new digital strategist, Rafael Aguirre, into the fold. Our latest RockStar sports an expertise in digital marketing and an in-depth knowledge of the realm of social networking. Rafael has a proven track record of organically increasing brand awareness online while developing a lasting correlation with consumers—skills heavily sought after by our brand partners.

Recently, Rafael has crafted impactful campaigns for numerous large brands, including Volkswagen, Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, Royal Caribbean and Marriott.

Rafael says he approaches jobs by trying to understand a brand’s core needs, then by working to identify trends and opportunities that are authentic to the brand. He has extensive expertise in dealing with the U.S. Hispanic market, the largest growing demographic in the country.

A graduate of Full Sail University in Orlando, Rafael got his start in the industry as a digital product production coordinator for Sony Music. Most recently, Rafael was at Miami-based Nobox where he was a social media strategist.

“Social media is the untamed, wild west of the web,” he says. “It’s powerful because it’s instant. You reach millions of people directly.”

At RockOrange, Rafael will tailor client content to best reach end users using search engine optimization tools that help brands navigate the internet wilds. In short, he’ll help our clients brands shine online.

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