Tag: Smackdown


Marketing God: Reaching the Faithful in a Digital Age

December 12th, 2012 — 3:32pm

Team Welt had the chance to sit down with a true marketing innovator, Rabbi Miriam Terlinchamp of Temple Sholom in Amberley Village. Now, typically when you think of “marketing innovators,” they are generally working with the cutting edge in commercial products and business to business products and processes, but you rarely think of faith or God as something that needs to be (or even should be?) “marketed.”

When Rabbi Miriam came to Sholom in the summer of 2010, she saw a congregation that seemed to be aging, and recognized immediately that it would be necessary to reach out to a younger community to revitalize the congregation. She convinced her board that social media (YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook) offered a way forward.

She had a new sound system, and video cameras installed in the Synagogue. She began streaming major events on the web, and offering services regularly on YouTube. She made Facebook and Twitter solid channels for offering the latest news about services, events and the human interest stories that bring congregations together.

Rabbi Miriam Terlinchamp

She and her team of staffers and volunteers use video to share ideas and issues, and they take full advantage of the interactive nature of social media to solicit feedback from her extended flock. Our two-hour conversation ranged across a wide variety of topics that included her background in design (she holds a B.A. in Studio Art, which helps her to understand how important the visual aspects of messaging is to the younger, web users), to her experience as a young, female Rabbi from the West Coast who happened to end up in Cincinnati. She shared stories of her vibrant and diverse family, who make their homes in far-flung places such as Brazil and London.

But even as this vibrant, thoroughly modern woman described her very contemporary life, she made it very clear that foremost in her heart and mind is faith and tradition. When you look at the themes and concepts she explores with her congregation, she may address them in the language of today, and relate them to modern touch-points and imagery, but she knows that it is the traditions that must endure.

And even though she has taken leaps forward with new media, the traditions and values that she brings out in her sermons, are the same beautiful, meaningful expressions of faith that they have been for thousands of years. She just shifts them on to new platforms, and uses new tools to make them real for a generation that still craves connection with community and spirituality that is Judaism.

Rabbi Miriam Terlinchamp with young members of congregation.

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Spotlight: 5 Cincinnati Blogs You Should be Following

October 3rd, 2012 — 8:25am

This week we give a preview of 5 Cincinnati blogs you might want to add to your RSS reader.

Digging Cincinnati History

If there’s anything that we Cincinnatians love, it’s having the inside scoop…Or, at least, thinking we’re onto something exclusive!

And, because as Brandlings we’re always up for learning more about our history, we can’t get enough of Digging Cincinnati History, which uncovers fascinating stories about the buildings and families that have played a part in Cincinnati’s narrative. The blog—which allows you to view the graphics in multiple ways (sidebar, snapshot, timeslide, flipcard, magazine style, etc.)—reveals charming photographs and artifacts from our city’s past. “I believe buildings have ancestors, just like people,” says blog author Ann Senefeld.

How did the blog start? “I turned my research into blogging at the suggestion of a friend…Blogging gave me a way to showcase the every day stories of Cincinnati history through buildings and to find clients who may be interested in researching their own properties.”

Epi-Ventures

One of the most underrated things about Cincinnati: our food! Fellow adwoman Courtney Tsitouris started the Epi-Ventures food blog in 2010. “I’m the kind of person who reads a cookbook in bed like a novel—and I think the really good ones are part biography, part textbook, part teacher, and part entertainer.”

We like her initiative and that entrepreneurial spirit that shows up throughout her posts. She seems to know exactly what makes her blog so popular when she describes what she aimed to do when she started the blog: “I wanted to tell a good story, share a good recipe, maybe share a technique, and call it a night. If I’ve done any of those things, I’m happy.”

Cincinnati Blog

Well, the name might say it all: The Cincinnati Blog covers all things Cincinnati—and its been around for quite some time. The blog almost acts as a watchdog—calling people, politicians, and even news outlets out and covering all things news, media, and Cincinnati-related. If you like great analysis and a strong opinion to go with, you’ll love to check in on this blog for the latest news you should know about.

Kate’s Random Musings

Katy Crossen, aka Kate the Great, has one of the most popular blogs in Cincinnati, Kate’s Random Musings. The title really does say it all: her posts have ranged from “Mother Nature Strikes Back,” to reflections on where she is in life, to opinions on the men of Downtown Cincinnati, to an amusing laundry list of what she’s fantasizing about, and even an Ode to George Bailey, among other things in its more than eight year run. “Sometimes I can be very silly, and sometimes I can be very serious, but it’s always personal and honest, and I think that’s why the blog resonates with people,” she tells Welt.

Perhaps adding some advice to both companies and individual bloggers alike, she adds, “I only write when I’m inspired by something, and I hope my readers find something they can appreciate in my posts, too.” One thing is for certain: no list would be complete with a mention of her blog, since after all, she’s been deemed by many as the leader of social media in Cincinnati.

Welt’s Smackdown

What do hipters, Peta, online dating, KFC and even Lady Gaga have in common? They’ve all been covered on our blog, the Smackdown. It’s one part pop culture, one part design, and of course, one part marketing strategy. And if I do say so myself, it doesn’t get any better than that…and in honor of our blog, here’s a look back at one of our earliest posts, with a line that still rings true today: “We are diverse in style and thought and yet we combine to be so LARGE for a small group.”

Have another blog that we should feature next? Hit us back at @weltbrand or @kimbrandling

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The True Value of the Holidays

December 2nd, 2011 — 12:45pm

As I head into my 20th year in the world of work, I begin to understand the true value of the holidays. I see how important families can be. I notice the preparations and pains that my co-workers take to make these few moments that they will have with the people they love as special and memorable as they can.  Yet as marketers we do not, and in many cases cannot, linger in these very human and rich experiences.  We are forced to push the pace, answering and creating needs for consumers, and providing context for them to spend money that they would gladly give away, if in the end, they could spend a few more happy hours with their children, their parents, their brothers and sisters.

As marketers, we hold our breaths as the Black Friday numbers roll in. And as quickly as they do, we strip the mall of the red, white and green colored ornaments and dress it again, this time for Valentines day.  But everyday, in every conversation I hear, someone inevitably says “I can’t believe that it is already (month goes here)”.

I suspect, as I dash through my middle years, that one day I will regret not taking the time to wrap my arms around the “small hours” that make up the best parts of our lives. Maybe I will wise up, and enjoy every chance I get to spend some time with my incredible niece, my very strange, but very warm sister, my remarkably fun in-laws, and the few friends I have managed to stay in contact with.

Nordstrom is a retailer that may be getting it right.  They are asking us to give each holiday enough space to become meaningful, to be a full memory. They are making the request that we see the holidays as more than something we all “get through”. Instead, maybe we can embrace them as something we “get to do”. Something we get to do with the best people we know, if only for a few small hours.

From our family @Weltbrand to yours, a happy and safe holiday season!

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Social TV Adds Fuel to the Social Media Engine

October 21st, 2011 — 4:12pm

Social TV is the latest in social media trends.

Social TV allows audiences to engage in social interaction with their TV shows — enabling people to chat with characters, post comments, and even create trending topics for popular opinion, during and after airing. Rick Lieblind, director of digital strategy at Coyne PR defines the interaction between an audience and their entertainment as intermedia, adding that “as social TV gains momentum, savvy networks like [AMC, USA], Bravo, MTV and The CW are poised to take advantage by engaging their audiences in new and compelling ways.”

One of the hottest social media games: Psych's Hashtag Killer game, which releases a new part to the game every Wednesday. Participants earn points as they progress and share.

The whole point of social platforms is to engage an audience – social TV doesn’t just fuse audience and brand, but, rather, goes one step further and engages the audience with the components that make the brand what it is! After all, what would Jersey Shore be with out Snooki or The Situation? These characters are what audiences actually care about, and leveraging their popularity through social networks can increase engagement and ultimately, ratings.

AMC’s Mad Men was one of the first adopters as early as 2009, but recently reality shows on Bravo and MTV live tweet, post status updates, and even SMS text during airtimes, which allows viewers to better interact with the reality stars. A blog written by Anne Sherber on Digiday explains it best, citing how Lisa Hsia, EVP of Bravo Digital says how “convincing viewers to tune in to both channels of programming may have an effect on program ratings: engaging users with second screen experiences increases viewership during a program’s first airing.” In the article, Hsia is quoted as saying, “People want to meet in real time and talk about it as it is happening.”

So how do you convince audiences to participate? And what is better than being able to #fistpump along with Jersey Shore’s MVP?

Well, it seems that the more creative you are, the better the chance viewers will check-in. For example, USA Network’s show Psych embraced social TV by creating a social game called the #Hashtag Killer that evolves past the show’s airtime. What it is: a game that allows viewers to help main characters, Shawn and Gus, solve their next case. The game is progressive, meaning that you watch weekly episodes that build on previous episode experiences. There are a total of seven weeks and the game encourages you to check in every day as it progresses in real-time.
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Social Media: The More the Merrier?

October 14th, 2011 — 2:30pm

If you’re not trying to build better relationships, open two-way channels, and deepen the engagement between your brand and your consumer, than why are you using social media?

As “civilians,” social media makes it easy for us to share our feelings, ideas, viewpoints and ourselves. We touch a lot of people in one post. But when you’re a business, or more importantly a brand, the implications and interpretations of this information are also limitless. There are many ways to abuse and over-use social media. More importantly, social media isn’t (necessarily) meant to take the place of other media, it’s a tool to improve our ability to connect, and in most cases should be used in conjunction with a solid mixed media approach. Social media requires support and a lot of hard work, right?

Well, considering we use social media to better connect with our consumers, it might be worth taking a look at how the platforms affect them. A research study at Edinburgh Napier University suggests that Facebook usage creates stressors that impact users anxiety levels. Psychotherapist Stacey Nunez agrees that Facebook can cause severe angst and even depression. She explains that cyber-stalking and romanticizing about photos makes it difficult for a person to connect via face-to-face interaction, it creates false expectations, and that it lowers self-esteem. In short, she asserts Facebook enhances stressors and makes it difficult for managing adversity.

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