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Happy Halloween!

Jennifer Dunn Named 2015 Up & Comer!

Last Friday, Conversa’s own Director of Public Relations, Jennifer Dunn, was recognized by the Tampa Bay Business Journal as a 2015 Up & Comer! After receiving more than 200 nominees for this year’s award, the Tampa Bay Business Journal only selected 46 winners in the highly competitive process. The winners embody the best and brightest of the Tampa Bay area’s next generation of leaders and we couldn’t be more thrilled to have Jennifer listed among the recipients.

In addition to all of her great work with Conversa, Jennifer previously worked for Girl Scouts of West Central Florida executing high-level public relations and external communication efforts. She’s also the incoming Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Tampa Bay chapter president for 2016. She’s truly the personification of excellence and our entire team can’t wait to celebrate her on Oct. 29 at the awards ceremony!

Congratulations to Jennifer and all of the 2015 winners!

To learn more about the awards and other winners, visit http://bit.ly/1KK7f2R.

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We’re Growing! Meet our New Team Members!

This summer was exciting in many ways for Conversa – we celebrated our first year in business and Alex spent the summer away in Milan, Italy as an Ambassador to the US at the 2015 Milano Expo (more on that soon). But the most exciting development of them all? Conversa brought on two new, and exceptional, team members – Jennifer Dunn and Sarah Schwirian!

Dunn, Conversa’s director of public relations, boasts 10 years of experience in public relations. Her expertise in media relations, social media, crisis communications, event management, and community outreach enable her to fluidly work with the firm’s diverse range of clients to strategically and creatively exceed their goals.

Schwirian, Conversa’s senior account executive, offers more than five years of experience in the public relations, marketing, branding and public affairs spaces. She manages many client activities and implements a wide range of integrated communications activities, including content creation, public relations, public affairs, event organization, and social media engagement.

This growth will allow Conversa to continue providing high-quality service and counsel to our clients. These hires also allow us to apply additional areas of expertise, ensuring a full-service and seamless offering designed to move conversations toward common goals. Welcome to the team Jennifer and Sarah!

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Happy Women’s Equality Day!

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Where’s Your Perfect Audience Hiding?

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If you’re looking to reach everyone on the Internet by focusing your efforts on one particular social media platform – it might be time to re-think your approach. Social media activity on the Internet tends to mirror social activity in real life, meaning not everyone wants to hang out in the same places. If someone visits a site and doesn’t feel engaged or comfortable with the social groups represented there, they’ll likely go try out another site.

Taking a look at some of the more general demographic trends manifesting amongst popular social media sites can help us understand who’s visiting which sites and why. Odds are, you have a message that resonates better with one targeted group, rather than the public at large. Spreading your message across two or more platforms ensures you’re reaching a more diverse population. Some interesting points to consider:

 

  • Facebook remains the dominant social networking platform71% of adult Internet users and 58% of the entire adult population uses Facebook. However, according to the 2014 Facebook Demographic Report by iStrategyLabs, three million teens left the social network in three years, while in the same period, 12.4 million new users from the 55+ age range joined the platform. This 55+ age group has seen an 80.4 percent growth in the last few years, leading some to hint that Facebook is “getting older.”
  • More adults use LinkedIn than Twitter – In the key 30-49 age group, data from the Pew Research Center reveals that 28% of these individuals utilize LinkedIn, while only 23% use Twitter.
  • Pinterest skews heavily towards one gender42% of online women are Pinterest users, compared with just 13% of men (although men did see a significant increase in usership from 8% in 2013).
    Teens favor visual communications and brevity – A fall 2014 survey and infographic from Piper Jaffray revealed that Instagram (at 76 percent) is considered by teenagers to be the most important social media site for reaching their peers, surpassing Twitter (in second place at 59 percent) and Facebook (falling to third place at 45 percent).
  • Twitter and Instagram audiences are increasingly ethnically diverse – While the Pew Research Center discovered that Facebook usage ranged around 70 percent for most ethnicities, Twitter and Instagram display more variance in data. 38 percent of online African-Americans and 34 percent of Hispanics use Instagram, while only 21 percent of Caucasians use the platform. On Twitter, studies showed that 27 percent of online African Americans are using the site, more than Caucasians (21 percent) or Hispanic users (25 percent).

 

Social media marketing, when done right, can lead to more customers, more traffic, more conversions, and a higher trust and credibility for your brand. If you’re interested in finding out where your key demographic group(s) can be found, let Conversa help with our expert analysis and content creation. Contact us today!

 

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Happy Fourth of July!

Women in Leadership Statistics

Although women still make up a small amount of leadership roles, there are studies that show that women are actually great leaders…
For more information on the Women’s Conference of Florida, please visit www.womensconferenceofflorida.com.

Women in Leadership Infographic

International Women’s Day

Women's Day

Happy Valentine’s Day

Valentine's Day

Why Storytelling Trumps “Just Telling”

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Everyone loves a good story. Good stories stay with us, and we remember how they made us feel when we first encountered them. Now there’s scientific evidence as to why we retain these tales.

Paul J. Zak, Ph.D., director of Claremont Graduate University’s Center for Neuroeconomics Studies, recently wrote an article for the Harvard Business Review breaking down the science behind why we’re captivated by a compelling story. It all boils down to two chemicals within our brains – oxytocin and cortisol.

At some time or another, we’ve all been engrossed by a great movie, perhaps to the point where we have physical reactions to what the protagonist onscreen is subjected to. We might feel apprehension about what’s behind the closed door, satisfaction that the villain has met a justified demise, or even feel tear-inducing sorrow at witnessing a fictional tragedy. These emotional reactions remain with us long after the story’s conclusion, and we typically can’t wait to tell others “You have to check this out!” But how does this correlate to generating interest in your organization?

Cortisol is a chemical released by the brain as a response to stress. Oxytocin is a chemical produced when we are shown compassion. Through the psychological process of transportation, our mind can become immersed within the imagery of a well-crafted story, resulting in our obtaining emotional resonance with the protagonist. Our brains respond in kind, producing cortisol (if we worry for the outcome of a story) or oxytocin (if we are moved by kindness or generosity demonstrated within a narrative).

Dr. Zak conducted an experiment in which subjects were shown one of two video clips about a father and son. In the first, a father narrated about how his two-year old son was dying of cancer. The father remarked about his struggles to be joyful around his son because his child would soon be gone. He stated to the viewers that he would resolve to find a way to be happy for his son’s sake.

In the second video, the same father and son were shown walking amidst a zoo, but no context was given for why they were doing so. While the son did not look like a typical healthy boy, the viewers did not know that he was facing a terminal illness, nor did they know the internal struggle within the father. This video, without a narrative framework or a story arc, began to lose the attention of viewers about midway through. There was no compelling hook to keep this video within the viewers’ present thoughts, let alone days later. Although our brains are often given some “food for thought”, they seem to have discerning appetites.

Research showed that viewers of the first video, subjected to the building tension that came from the father’s narration of his point-of-view, often experienced a rise in oxytocin and offered to donate money to the charity associated with the video they viewed. They reported being happier than those viewers who did not donate money. The higher the chemical response, the more likely the subject was to donate. Dr. Zak believes that “there is a virtuous cycle in which we first engage with others emotionally that leads to helping behaviors that make us happier.

So, a story-like construction, capable of sustaining attention with a specific point-of-view, creates tension…which can make us empathize…which makes us want to donate…which can make us happier! And while the implications of this might be obvious for a charitable organization looking to raise funds, these findings also point to a benefit in telling your organization’s stories rather than just reporting information. Stories are more viral. If you cause an emotional reaction in one person, he or she is more likely to recount that story to a second person to share the experience, and in the telling, further reinforces the information within the first person’s memory.

Relaying “your story” rather than merely transmitting data enables meaningful and memorable connections to be forged. Telling a story is not about making things up or spinning a tall tale for the public…rather, it’s about crafting and shaping information about your company, cause, or background for them in such a way as to make people better empathize and react to you. Pure data is often forgettable, but a story is memorable.