Tales from the flip side: What judging the ADDYs taught me

February 29, 2016

what judging the Addys taught me-2

Oscars weekend I had the pleasure (and honor) of serving as a judge for the Little Rock Advertising Federation’s American Advertising Awards (ADDYs) competition. As someone who has entered creative work into the ADDYs in multiple districts throughout the course of my career, including our first-ever entry here at Rep Ink, it was eye-opening to be on the other side of the table.

And since I can’t say anything specific about the work or the winners (who will be announced later in March), here are a few things I wanted to share about the experience:

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6 mistakes you're making trying to sell college sports sponsorships

May 26, 2015

College Sports Fans - Who are they- (1)

Last month, I was honored to be on a panel at the Football Bowl Association's annual convention about bowl sponsorships. As part of my research prior to the convention, I got in touch with over a dozen current and former bowl sponsors to ask them about their experiences, and I heard about the good, the bad and the downright ugly. 

These sponsors came from a range of industries and were involved with bowls scattered across the United States. But, they all had some common complaints about their sponsorship experiences. As it turns out, the folks I sat with on the panel identified many of the same issues.

Although the panel was specifically about bowl sponsorships, I'd be willing to bet these are common issues across the sports sponsorship landscape. The good news is that knowing the problem is the first step to solving it!

Here are the top six mistakes you're making when you attempt to retain or add a sponsor for your college sports property:

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Getting started with LinkedIn Sponsored Updates

February 2, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-02-02 at 1.26.33 PM

The numbers aren't out quite yet, but Super Bowl XLIX is estimated to have the highest overnight rating in Super Bowl history, with many of the millions tuning in just for the ads. It makes you wonder if that $4.5 million for 30 seconds is worth it. From a tearjerker about a lost puppy to a sobering ad about preventing child death, water coolers have surely been buzzing with Monday morning quarterbacks and ad critics alike.

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Want better marketing? Start by retaining your agency

December 4, 2014

teamwork, retaining an agency

Many companies struggle with determining whether it makes sense to secure a monthly retainer with an inbound agency or marketing firm, or employ these agencies on a project-only basis.


As someone who used to work for an agency on the project fee model, where assignments are scoped and an agreed-upon budget is determined before work begins, I can honestly say that the employees, the agency and the work suffer. Projects are underbid and overspent, leaving creatives frazzled and holes in agencies' pockets.

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Email marketing tips: 5 moves for improving effectiveness

August 28, 2014


open envelope with paper; improving email open rates and CTRsAnalytics make it simple to analyze your email marketing’s effectiveness, from hard and soft bounces to click-through rates and conversion. But what do you do with that information, and how to you improve if your campaigns are below the industry average?

Here are a few benchmarks broken down by industry, courtesy of MailChimp:

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That’s a Wrap! Google’s autocomplete headache, PR firms freeze out climate change skeptics, John Oliver skewers native advertising, Nine West steps in it, B&B’s bad bridal policy

August 8, 2014

As wild weather bombards parts of the nation, it’s time for Reputation Ink’s round-up of the week’s wildest stories in PR, marketing and social media. Which companies and tactics weathered the storm? You be the judge:

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Developing your marketing strategy: why an ‘all-of-the-above’ approach is more important than ever

July 15, 2014
Reputation Ink INKsights Developing your marketing strategy why an all-of-the-above strategy is more important than ever

Don't put all your marketing eggs in one basket

Remember when traditional marketing was dead?

It was only a couple of years ago that everyone from the Harvard Business Review to Forbes magazine was trumpeting the demise of traditional marketing and public relations strategies. In a world of social media and online marketing, they contended, old-school tactics for connecting with customers just wouldn’t cut it.

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Attract the right customers with well-written personas

May 29, 2014

Attracting target market with personasPersonas, or customer profiles based on real data, have been around for a while. Although they may seem daunting to compile at first, once you have the information, you have a roadmap to the hearts and minds of your most valuable prospects. Depending on whom you ask, creating customer personas can be a fun exercise or drag on for days, with every answer only leading to more questions. HubSpot recommends this worksheet for painting the perfect customer picture. If you feel overwhelmed by the list of questions you need to answer, try focusing on the essentials:

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What is native advertising anyway?

May 20, 2014

Native advertising is hot. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Tumblr are all monetizing their platforms with “in-feed ads,” and media stalwarts like Time, Forbes, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and USA Today are all offering native advertising solutions. According to eMarketer’s report, “Native Advertising: An Emerging Consensus for a New Kind of Ad,” marketers are projecting to triple their spend on native advertising over the next five years, from $1.6 billion in 2012 to $4.6 billion in 2017. 

But what exactly is native advertising? Despite its skyrocketing growth, Copyblogger’s 2014 State of Native Advertising Report recently found that about 50 percent of respondents were clueless about the term, and another 48 percent only had a shaky understanding of it.


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6 questions to ask to define your target audience

April 29, 2014

It’s one of the most talked about recent TV commercials. Old Spice’s “Smellcome to Manhood” commercial  features a series of mournful mothers spying on their teenaged sons and lamenting that “Old Spice sprayed a man on my son, now he’s kissing all the women and his chores aren’t done.”

Some found the spot hilarious; others found it creepy. The real question, however, is will it sell Old Spice?

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