What Does it Mean to be a Marketing and Communications Agency?

What Does it Mean to be a Marketing and Communications Agency?At Asterisk Creative, we pride ourselves on being an award-winning marketing and communications agency. But what exactly does that mean?

Bascially, a marketing and communications agency takes a full-service approach. We understand that no matter the set up, marketing must work with public relations which must work with digital and so on and so forth. It’s best for all involved when all of those entities can be under one roof.

At Asterisk Creative, we have teams that are segmented by specialty. However, we all work together to offer you a holistic approach. Whether you’re in need of branding, public relations, SEO, social media management, marketing materials, web design and development, or some combination thereof, our teams work together to make sure your messaging is cohesive and your overall goals are met. All of your campaigns are multi-faceted, and all facets are designed to work together. Your marketing communications are custom-designed to speak to your company and each of its target audiences. What you get in return is a higher lead generation count which ups your potential to increase sales. This is exactly what you should expect from a marketing and communications agency worth its salt.

If this sounds like the type of help you need – or that you’ll be looking for in the new year – give us a shout. We’d love to add you to our client roster and get your business going gangbusters!

Public Relations Trends for 2020

Public Relations Trends for 2020 | Public Relations Firm for the Southeast | Asterisk CreativeWe’re already almost a month into the third quarter of 2019, and we’re launching headlong toward 2020. It’s the time of year when budgets and goals for the next year are being set. A lot of business owners set budgets and goals based on what’s current, not what is projected for next year. We have our ears to the ground, though. Here’s what we’re hearing as public relations trends for 2020 and where your time and money should be spent.

Data will increasingly become an integral part of forming campaigns and strategies. In days gone by, public relations professionals could rely on hunches. As more and more marketing, advertising, and public relations efforts go digital, though, more and more data is available. We will be able to measure a campaign’s impact more accurately and more immediately. Thus we’ll be able to make better decisions faster, and we’ll be able to construct more selective, targeted campaigns to reach more specific audiences.

Similarly, public relations pros will be integrating their strategies more with those of a company’s marketing team. The full picture of a company’s social media efforts, influencer initiatives, and digital footprint, as well as what’s going on in other marketing outlets, will need to be considered when developing content and how it’s communicated and broadcast.

There will be an increase in the demand from consumers for accurate, transparent, and authentic content. When telling a brand’s story, a PR practitioner is going to have to craft it in a way that really connects with the audience, a way that’s honest and perhaps even a bit vulnerable, to gain traction.

Socially conscious branding will continue to grow, especially with it being an election year. The role of a public relations pro in 2020 will encompass telling the stories behind this branding. This will mean communicating the importance of the causes a company supports along with why these causes are authentically ingrained in the company’s culture.

Keeping current is crucial when it comes to winning in business. When you need a team that’s not only on top of public relations trends but can also offer you full-service PR, marketing, and advertising to keep you ahead of your competition, give Asterisk Creative a shout. Our award-winning methods can take your company to the next level!

Top Reasons You Need a PR Pro

Why You Need a PR Pro | Public Relations Agency | Asterisk CreativeA lot of business owners try to handle everything themselves, at least as much as is possible. Sure, that does keep costs down, but sometimes at the detriment of the business. One such case would be the business owner that tries to handle public relations on their own. Here are our top reasons you need a PR pro.

  1. We know what’s news.
    Part of a public relations professional’s job is to get their clients’ stories featured in news outlets. Some stories are meant to shine; some are better left on the back burner a bit. A good PR pro will know the difference, and therefore they’ll know what not to waste the time of a reporter with.
  2. We know how to manage appropriate outreach.
    On a related note, not every publication or tv station works for a particular client or a particular story. A good PR pro will also know – or be able to find out – if an outlet is appropriate and will have the right contacts to get their clients an “in” in the right places. Similarly, we’ll know how to get your name into the community surrounding the business in a positive way and how to get you in front of your potential customers.
  3. We have the contacts to make things happen.
    Contacts are the name of the game in the public relations world. Need a story published? A good public relations person knows someone. Throwing an event as part of a product launch or company celebration? Good PR pros already know the local media people and influencers you need to invite.

As a business owner, CEO, or member of the C-suite, you have a lot on your plate. Culling a media list, an influencer list, a publication list, maintaining these relationships, and putting together everything you need for an effective public relations strategy certainly shouldn’t be piled on top of everything else. Let us help. Because the public relations team at Asterisk Creative has the knowledge, experience, and contacts to take your business to the next level, you should contact us today!

PR Tip: Prepping for an Interview

Prepping for an Interview | Asterisk Creative | PR Pros for the Southeast

As public relations professionals, we work to get our clients coverage in a wide range of media outlets. As a result, our clients are often interviewed by reporters in order to get their stories told.

Know your audience.
Being interviewed for an industry publication is much different than being interviewed by a mass-market publication. Keep this in mind when using jargon and terms that may not be known outside of your industry.

Understand the outlet.
Talking to a reporter for a print publication allows you time to “chat.” Your words will be edited and culled as the reporter writes the article. (That’s not to say you should disrespect the reporter’s time and ramble on, though.) If you’re being interviewed on a podcast, you’ll want to be a little more succinct. There’s usually a general time limit, and as a result, you’ll want to try and help keep the editing needed to a minimum. When you’re doing a TV interview, each segment has a hard and fast time limit. Have your talking points ready and all the fat trimmed to get your story told in the bare minimum of time.

Grasp the topic of the interview.
Will you be talking about a new product? Explaining something you’re an expert in? Giving a demonstration? Once you have that information, it will be easier to cull your talking points into bits that must be said and have a little “extra” information in your pocket to add if there’s time.

Don’t get overwhelmed by the prospect of promoting your business in an interview! If you need help prepping for an interview – or help with public relations to get the interviews – give Asterisk Creative a call. Our expert public relations team can help you tell your story in an appropriate manner to the right audience!

Top 2019 Public Relations Trends to Watch

Top 2019 Public Relations Trends to Watch | Asterisk CreativeIn every industry, as things change, a few hot trends emerge. Public relations is no different. Here are a few of the 2019 public relations trends you should keep an eye on.

  1. Storytelling is still the heart of public relations.
    We’ve long maintained we’re more than public relations practitioners or social media managers or website designers. We’re storytellers. As an article in Public Relations Today said, “No matter the platform being used, a story with a soul is important.” Our job, and the job of all PR practitioners, is to get those stories seen.
  2. The line between public relations, marketing and advertising is becoming more and more blurred.
    As companies review budgets for PR, marketing and advertising, we’ll see these three areas of business promotion become even more firmly intertwined. Public relations professionals today have been forced to become social media experts, content marketers, trend spotters, and brand ambassadors. We expect to see more of this as 2019 moves along. We’ll see more PR firms offering broader services, doing more than just traditional PR.
  3. Influencer marketing will continue to grow, and PR professionals will help that.
    We’ll see this more in certain industries – like mommy blogs, restaurants, and the beauty industry. But this one can be a game changer. Influencers can help a business reach an entirely new market or niche. A PR pro well-versed in how influencer marketing works knows just what to pitch and just what to offer to get their clients in front of these new audiences by connecting with the right influencers.
  4. Consumer trust in the media will continue to wane, but public relations practitioners will help fight it.
    It’s no secret that overall consumer trust in the media has diminished in the last few years. But PR pros have the opportunity to fight that with their pitches. When bringing a story to the media, it is a PR pro’s growing responsibility to bring their media partners meaningful stories backed up by reputable stats, expert input, and solid facts to ensure the information published is accurate and reliable.

If you need help staying on top of the latest public relations trends and keeping your business’ story seen, contact Asterisk Creative. Our team offers public relations, web design, social media marketing, and more, so we can be your one-stop storytelling shop!

What Every Business Owner Should Know About Public Relations

What All Business Owners Should Know About Public Relations | Asterisk CreativeA lot of people out there tend to confuse marketing and public relations. While they are similar and work hand-in-hand, at the end of the day, they are different. Here are a few things all business owners should know about public relations.

  • Public relations is based on earned media, mentions that cannot be bought and paid for. Instead, they are garnered by your business’ reputation and the connections your public relations person or staff can make work for you.
  • Public relations is not just for crisis management. Yes, having a great public relations team can help mitigate the damage should a crisis arise. But without them out there telling your story when your company is not in crisis mode, their efforts may be futile if you, your company, or any of its employees find yourself in trouble.
  • Similarly, your public relations practitioner cannot force a reporter or publication to produce a story about you. We can submit press releases telling your story or news, and we can pitch your story/news to reporters and editors with whom we have a relationship. The acceptance of the story by the media, though, is not up to us.
  • Public relations professionals should be able to help you find interesting angles that make your story newsworthy. Do you own a restaurant that’s helping to feed the homeless in an area where homelessness is abundant? If that homelessness situation is in the news, you have an angle. Do you own a construction company that’s sending a team to help rebuild after a natural disaster? Again, if that disaster is in the news, you have an angle. It’s noteworthy that even the quiet elements of your business can help your story be told.

Put the southeast’s premier public relations team to work for you. We love being storytellers. And above all we pride ourselves on our ability to work with our clients’ budgets to create results through a variety of public relations efforts. Contact Asterisk Creative today.

What Is Your USP?

What is Your USP | Unique Selling Point | Asterisk Creative | Public Relations AgencyAs we’ve mentioned before, at Asterisk Creative, we’re storytellers. Our public relations team works not just to tell your history. We also work to tell the story of what you’re doing now and where your company is going. A huge part of that is your USP, or unique selling point.

When we sit down with our public relations clients for the first time, part of the conversation centers around why customers should choose them over their competitors. Many business owners haven’t had to have this conversation before. We get a lot of sales-y talk – free consultations, the best service in the industry, this or that guarantee. But at the end of the day, those are offered by a lot of companies in their particular industry. They aren’t really things that set the client apart from their competition.

Every company has a USP, something that is completely unique to them and that no other company in their industry can say or offer. That USP is central and vital to your story. Maybe it’s that your company has been owned by the same family for 50 years. Perhaps it’s that your company has been in the same location since 1923, even with modernization going on all around you. Maybe it’s a very niche market that you serve.

When you work with Asterisk Creative’s public relations team, we help you find your unique selling point if it’s not immediately known. We know the questions to ask. Then we know how to take that information and make it into something great. Something that stands out. Something that makes your target audience want to work with you. We also know how and where to pitch your story and your USP to get you coverage and seen by that target audience.

So what is your USP? Contact Asterisk Creative today to get your USP and your story told.

Why Do You Need Public Relations?

Why Do You Need Public Relations? | Asterisk Creative | Public Relations AgencyThere are many business owners that prefer advertising over public relations. Advertising provides a business ultimate control over the message put out to the public, the outlets where the message appears, and more. But there are reasons you also need public relations.

Most customers know that a company pays for advertising and controls most everything about it. However, they’re not always aware of how publications and news shows get their story ideas. They don’t know that a public relations professional may have presented the story to the outlet. Therefore, customers see that the outlet saw the story as newsworthy or one that should be presented to the public. There’s an element of trust that follows the subject of the story.

Additionally, public relations is built on relationships. A PR pro leverages the network they’ve built, typically over years in the news or public relations industry, to make sure your story gets told in the best manner possible. They’ll know where your audience spends their time with different media – online, in front of the TV, while listening to the radio, and/ or when reading magazines or newspapers. As such, they’ll know where their pitches will stick. Your public relations company will also be able to pick up on elements of your business that you may not see as “newsworthy”. PR professionals spin these in ways that create extra coverage for you, sometimes in outlets that might not otherwise be a good fit. This means you’ll be exposed to a whole other audience.

When you’re ready to get your PR game ramped up and taken to the next level, contact Asterisk Creative. Our public relations team is ready to help!

Let Us Be Your Storytellers

Let Us Be Your Storytellers | Southeast Marketing and Branding Agency | Asterisk CreativeAt Asterisk Creative, we talk a lot about being storytellers. But what do we mean by that?

Effective advertising and marketing campaigns don’t just market a product or a service. They convey your brand message to your target audience. They authentically communicate the values of your company. In short, they tell your story.

As one of the southeast’s premier advertising, marketing and branding agencies, Asterisk Creative has made storytelling an award-winning business. We understand that in order to grow a brand you must find the genuine values that speak to your target audience. We know that you must then leverage those in a way that creates new business. Our team focuses on your marketing and branding goals and how they pertain to your overall business objectives.  We take a big-picture look at what is meaningful branding-wise, and we set a clear definition of what success will look like. Our team then gets to work on creating a branding and marketing strategy that is the right mixture of design, advertising, & public relations. All to get your story told effectively.

We have a team of storytellers, creative minds with the capability to create content, design, and experiences that will speak to your audience in a way nothing else can. Contact Asterisk Creative and have your story told.

What Does Public Relations Entail?

Public relations focuses on “earned media”, but exactly what does public relations entail? “Earned” media are items like stories appearing on websites and TV programs or in newspapers and magazines. It’s all about increasing a company’s visibility through as many respected editorial outlets as possible.

Some public relations tactics include:

  • Writing and distributing press releases
  • Writing pitches about a company and sending them to journalists, bloggers, or influencers
  • Creating and executing special events
  • Conducting market research on the client’s messaging and/or competitors, then composing and implementing strategies accordingly
  • Copy writing for websites and/or traditional media
  • Employing social media promotions
  • Responding to negative opinions of the company online

We say these are some of the public relations tactics available because there are a ton of methods out there. No one public relations plan or strategy will work for everyone. And a good public relations practitioner will get to know your company, your branding and your messaging to craft the perfect custom public relations strategy for you.

Good public relations involves good storytelling, and we love a good story, especially from our clients. The PR arm of Asterisk Creative is agile enough to handle when a client’s strategy needs a change but large enough to have the connections and insight to get the job done correctly. When it comes to public relations, Asterisk Creative has you covered. Get your message out the right way. Contact Asterisk Creative today.