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Communicating in a Smart and Connected City

Communicating in a Smart & Connected City – PRSA recap

Chris Hernandez, chief spokesperson for the City of Kansas City, Missouri and director of the City Communications Office, spoke at a recent PRSA luncheon. Chris’ office handles media relations, social media, the city’s website and community engagement. He shared with us some progress Kansas City has made with technology and why he sees it as a smart city. What is a Smart City? It is a city that uses creative engagement and technology to reach residents, improve sustainability and enhance the quality and performance of its services such as energy, utilities and transportation. Chris says, “It’s not about technology. It’s about delivering better services for our city.” Kansas City, Missouri is a leader when it comes to having services for our residents, compared to other cities in the metro.  Why is Kansas City considered a Smart City? Google Fiber Street car Smart street lights Bird electric scooters and bike sharing Use of social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube) For those who have been affected by recent flooding, they might be relieved to hear the city is currently in the process…

The Future of Typography - Dan Rhatigan - Adobe Type

The Future of Typography (KCDesignCore Recap)

In this blog post I won’t be sharing information on how to get customers to your store or how to increase your sales, but for those graphic designers out there, this may spark your interest. I occasionally visit the monthly Adobe users group meetup here in Kansas City, called KCDesignCore. This month Dan Rhatigan, manager of Adobe’s in-house type foundry, presented some new cool stuff Adobe has been working on in typography. Dan took us back in history to when type was set and printed on a page. Certain fonts were considered “good typography” and were more legible than others when printed. But we don’t engage in text the way we used to. We now read on digital screens. We have adapted to moving objects and 3 dimensions. Even in the early days of web design, there were limitations on fonts. When I first started designing websites, we had only 5 or 6 fonts available for use. Verdana was suggested to be most legible on computer screens so we were pretty much locked into using Verdana for everything. Well, at…

Generations - photo credit The Center for Generational Kinetics

Unlock the Power of Generations to Grow Your Business

It was 8am at AWG’s Innovation Showcase and some of us were still consuming our first cup of coffee for the day. If you’re a millennial…ok, maybe even if you’re not a millennial, it was pretty early in the morning to sit and listen to an hour-long presentation. But with Jason Dorsey as the speaker, we were sure to be both educated and entertained. Jason is the President of The Center for Generational Kinetics, whose mission is to separate generational myth from truth through data. In Jason’s talk, the generations he covers are Baby Boomers (born in 1946-1964), Generation X (1965-1976), Millennials (1977-1995) and Generation Z (1996-TBD). For the first time in history we have 4 generations working together. For those of us who work with people of many different ages, it can cause some challenges, especially when it comes to communicating with each other. Jason uses humor during the presentation to poke fun at each generation but makes some key points. He illustrates a scenario. “Who here has ever had a conversation with a young person and you just…

Master Goals Image

Mastering your goals using KPIs

“Never believe that one number by itself can be meaningful.” -Unknown I recently attended a seminar hosted by emfluence called What Gets Measured Gets Done: How to Set Goals and KPIs for Your Campaigns. The speaker for the presentation was emfluence’s Customer Success Director, Joe Ramsey. Though the presentation was geared towards a marketing-minded audience, the lesson of measuring your goals is relatable to all. What is a KPI? Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) act as a map and a compass to determine your overview performance of a campaign or event. The purpose of a KPI is to alert you to potential problems and allows you to make the best decisions with data. What are you measuring? There are several things to measure when looking into KPIs. You could reflect on your audience or the impressions you have gained. You can focus on subscribers or engagement growth. Whatever you are measuring needs a why. Your “why” explains what is your reasoning behind seeking the information. It can also be considered as your goal. For example, if you are seeking to understand…

Say yes and then learn later - Dani Abram

Be Inspired – Creative Mornings

More inspirational quotes brought to you by Creative Mornings events “It’s important to respect tradition and to challenge it as well.” — Jim Gray “It is selfish not to be honest.” — Meriah Garrett “Bravery: it means accepting responsibility for the impact of our actions and the weight of our words.” — Eleanor Perry-Smith “Our actions tend to have a ripple effect. Even a small act of kindness might mean more to someone than you can possibly even imagine.” — Stephanie Glaros “Jobs are critical, but the relationships that we gain in the jobs that we have are huge.” — Rob Perez “When I restarted my thinking and stopped being afraid of making mistakes, discomfort or the unknown, I was able to pursue my creative passions and experiences without limitations.” — Michelle Bazis “Being a survivor is not just limited to living through a tragedy. Being a survivor is taking that tragedy and making it purposeful.” — Leon Ford “Be grateful for all the obstacles in your life. They have strengthened you as you continue with your journey.” — Hassan…

KCDMA Symposium 2019 Recap

In January, KCDMA held their annual symposium. It was was a day packed with presenters from disparate industries, but with similar messages. Connecting with your audience through storytelling was a common thread through all the presentations. “People are too smart for ads,” Dennis Yu, from Blitz Metrics, said, “so it is time for marketers to try something else.” Yu also showed examples how things that stand out have a higher authority. AWG members should think about topics which they have authority. Is there an in-house butcher? Some stores specialize in flowers or catering. Focus marketing on the things that sets a store apart from competitors. Maybe a store is involved in the community –- highlight that. Building on this idea, Yu suggests targeting other authorities instead of fans. Yu described a tech client who targeted Facebook ads to employees of tech publications instead of their customers. Doing so caused the ad to be shared much more widely. This means if the floral department is the main attraction, try and interact with big name florists. Customers will take seriously recommendations of…

GKC-PRSA SEO word cloud

GKC-PRSA Recap: Content Marketing & SEO

Do you go online to research a product and compare prices before going to a store to make a purchase? A great deal of buyers do. If you own a business, this stresses the importance for customers to be able to find you online. However, without great content marketing and SEO, that is very difficult to do. Jessica Crozier and Matt Kortum from Inquest Marketing presented at the latest Greater KC chapter of Public Relations Society of America (GKC- PRSA). Their focus was on content marketing and SEO. When people think of content marketing, these things come to mind: Blogging Social Media Videos Email Marketing Podcasts Editorial Content Newsletters The truth is content marketing encompasses all of these. If you are using only 1 thing on this list, you really are not using marketing to its full capacity. Jessica defines content marketing as “a style of marketing that presents your brand as an expert in a particular field or product in order to accomplish organizational goals.” When building your content marketing strategy, first find your niche in the market. What can…

Life doesn't get easier. You get better - Cocktail Bandits

Be Inspired – Creative Mornings

I would like to share more quotes from Creative Mornings events. Take a minute to be inspired by these words. “You can be committed to something, but you still have to love what you do.” — AJ Brockman “The base of every good story is ‘what if?’” — Crystal Wilkinson “Intention is to say, ‘I have a dream, and now I’m going to do something about it.’” — Jeremie Kubicek “Designing for seniors, in a way, is designing for you. Because here’s a dirty little secret: you are all getting old.” — Busy Burr “Life is funny. It throws things at us and we have to adjust.” — Christine Kelly “Is there a market for this? Or even better, can we create one?” — Cocktail Bandits “There are no rules as you move forward into the unknown. Don’t go out there unprepared, don’t charge ahead without looking forward, don’t think about what it’s going to feel like when you trip and fall.” — Sam Cruz “We often confuse urgent with what’s important. We think they’re the same…Quite frankly, urgent only…

Augmented Reality - photo by mankind2018

Create an Immersive Experience

The Adobe MAX 2018 conference drew a lot of attention to Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR). Virual reality is a form of immersive computingthat can take you anyWHERE. You can tour the Eiffel Tower or ride a raft through the Grand Canyon, all from your own living room. View some VR videos at youtube.com/vr. Augmented reality is a form of immersive computing that can bring you anyTHING. You have the opportunity to see objects in front of you that actually are not there. Imagine walking up to a real live dinosaur…or what appears to be a live dinosaur! We as designers and artists are no longer limited to the screen. The world around us becomes our canvas. With over a billion AR-enabled devices in the hands of users today and even more wearable and headset devices being used, immersive media is something that is no longer seen in science fiction. It is right here in front of us.  We have the creativity, but augmented reality requires different skills, different programming languages and a knowledge of different tools. That was…