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Welcome to The Stream: Allison+Partners’ content hub that features the latest news and trends making the biggest waves in media and marketing.

JANUARY 16, 2018 //     

Want Your Own Super Bowl Ad? Tostitos Made a Platform for Personalized Spots

Photo Credit: Tostitos

If you’re hosting a Super Bowl party this year, Tostitos is giving you the opportunity to invite your guests using your own Super Bowl ad. Well, sort of.

The chip brand has created a platform where you can input information about your party—your name, address, time it starts—then, via a digital invite creator, filters through classic Super Bowl ad tropes—talking baby, puppies, sassy older women, a celebrity pitchman (Alfonso Ribero)—to create a unique ad just for you.

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AGENCY NEWS // JANUARY 15, 2018 //     

People on the Move

Allison+Partners has hired Ellen Schneidau and Rebecca Harbin as senior vice presidents in its corporate practice. Based in Atlanta, they will be responsible for building the agency’s B2B communications hub in the southeast. Before coming to Allison+Partners, Schneidau worked at MSL Atlanta, co-leading its corporate practice and establishing a B2B specialty area. She has worked with clients such as Samsung, VF Corporation, Kimberly-Clark Professional, Randstad, Novelis and the Georgia Department of Economic Development. Harbin was also a co-lead of the corporate practice at MSL Atlanta, and served as a senior vice president. She led the agency’s relationship with UPS, working with the company across six vertical industries. “Adding talent like Ellen and Rebecca, who have a wealth of knowledge and expertise in this space, will help Allison+Partners capitalize on this trend and drive continued growth and evolvement of our capabilities,” said Matthew Della Croce, president, Europe + Global Corporate. READ MORE
AGENCY NEWS // JANUARY 15, 2018 //     

Agency People News in Brief (January 15, 2018)

New people in new roles at Allison+Partners, DKC, Finsbury, Lippe Taylor, and Zeno, a new Method COO, and much more.

SAN FRANCISCO — Allison+Partners has added two new senior VPs to its corporate communications practice — Ellen Schneidau and Rebecca Harbin.  Schneidau and Harbin, who join from MSL Atlanta, will be responsibility for building out the agency’s B2B capabilities across the Southeast. They will be based in the Allison+Partners Atlanta office.
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JANUARY 14, 2018 //     

As Voice Continues Its Rise, Marketers Are Turning to Sonic Branding

Sound is a powerful tool that can trigger specific memories or emotions. It’s a staple for marketers who have used jingles (think, “I’m a Toys R Us Kid”) to connect emotionally with consumers, whether on TV or radio. But as technology like Amazon’s Echo or the Google Home Assistant become more embedded in our daily lives, it’s becoming increasingly important for brands to create those same emotional connections without visuals, just sound.

Cue sonic branding—the use of a sound, song or melody to help reinforce a brand’s identity.

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JANUARY 12, 2018 //     

Virality, connectivity, and a charismatic host: HQ Trivia's glitchy secret sauce

Image via HQ's Facebook page

HQ Trivia’s laughably low cash prizes, distracting glitches, and false starts aren’t harming the live quiz app’s retention rates. In fact, its user base has exploded since it launched last fall, with a record of more than 1.2 million people logging on to play a single game this week.

The app’s swift rise to fame has taken place with little to no promotion. However, one advantage the game does have is that it was created by two kings of virality, Vine cofounders Rus Yusupov and Colin Kroll.

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AGENCY NEWS // JANUARY 12, 2018 //     

This changes everything - or does it? How PR pros are planning for a new News Feed

The Social Network got everyone's attention late Thursday when it outlined plans to take News Feed back to its origins: more "meaningful" content from friends and family and less from brands and publishers. PRWeek reached out to a handful of top communicators about what they plan to do next.

Jeremy Rosenberg, MD, digital, Allison+Partners
As Facebook has said, this will certainly diminish the reach of brands and publishers. It will continue to be ever more important for brands to create content that is meaningful to people in order to gain engagement and extend reach. While this will likely limit the organic reach of brand materials, which has continued to slide to new lows every year, it may not hinder the ability for paid content to reach its audiences as much. This will also further emphasize the importance of a well-rounded social strategy that focuses on a range of channels and mix of organic and paid content.

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JANUARY 11, 2018 //     

How Many People Did That Story Reach? It Depends Who’s Counting.

Credit: Getty Images

As digital publishers bet big on video in search of advertising riches, many believe that a traditional method of media measurement isn’t keeping up.

Publishers have long used “unique visitors” as a benchmark to compare the size of their website audiences and lure advertisers. But some media companies say the metric has become somewhat outmoded in an era when content is being disseminated widely on social media and other platforms.

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JANUARY 9, 2018 //     

Ikea Wants You to Pee on This Ad. If You’re Pregnant, It Will Give You a Discount on a Crib

Swedish agency Åkestam Holst, Adweek’s International Agency of the Year for 2017, has been killing it with the Ikea work in recent years. And it starts out 2018 with a splash (sorry) by creating a magazine ad that women are encouraged to pee on.

Sounds a bit gross, and maybe it is—but there’s a fun twist. If you’re pregnant, peeing on the ad reveals a special discounted price on cribs, thanks to technology similar to that in pregnancy-test kits.

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JANUARY 9, 2018 //     

Pizza Hut and Toyota reveal plans for a self-driving delivery vehicle

One of the more outlandish things unveiled at this year’s CES has been the “e-Palette,” a self-driving concept vehicle dreamed up by Toyota that Pizza Hut has big plans for.

The automaker and pizza chain have teamed up to collaborate on the autonomous vehicle, which could one day deliver pizzas straight to your doorstep sans driver. Pizza Hut said the e-Palette could even potentially serve as a “mobile kitchen” of sorts as well.

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JANUARY 9, 2018 //     

Four PR Resolutions to Stay Sharp in the New Year

By: Sarah Morgan


New Year’s Resolutions might seem cliché, but I do think a new year brings the perfect opportunity to decide what is important and what to focus on to better yourself - and not just by heading to the gym or drinking more water. I think we focus too often on personal goals, but as anyone in public relations knows, we spend a whole lot of time working. Why not give some TLC to professional goals as well?

The following will hopefully ease you into a 2018 full of learning and self-care in your professional life without the fear of the dreaded resolution fail.

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Take a class

In the constantly evolving communications landscape, where digital marketing has become more important, it’s critical to learn new skills outside of traditional media relations and publicity. Earned media is just one piece of a robust communications strategy -- and as agency PR professionals, understanding owned and paid strategies is essential to deliver well-rounded results.

Thanks to the Internet, there’s a class for just about everything to make sure you stay up-to-speed on the latest strategies and platforms in the marketing and communications world. One example is LinkedIn’s Learning channel, which has a great library of video courses covering everything from social media marketing to working with influencers.

Tweet more

If you don’t have a Twitter account, sign up for one now. Twitter is a great resource to connect with journalists, influencers, brands and fellow media mavens and marketing pros. It’s a fairly easy way to keep your finger on the pulse of the news and media, while offering new and old practitioners the chance to be a part of conversations happening outside of their bubbles. I’m connecting with more reporters who tell me they tweet about stories they’re writing as another means to find sources.

In a world where we’re constantly connected, joining another social media platform may sound like a chore. But if there’s one that’s most useful for your PR career, it’s Twitter. Just remember to pick an avatar -- no one trusts an egghead.

Build a career ladder

Having a mentor is one of the most valuable resources an entry or mid-level professional can count on in this hectic industry, and being a mentor can be an incredibly rewarding experience. According to a recent study on mentorship by Heidrick & Struggles, “more than three-fourths of respondents say their most impactful mentoring relationship was either ‘very important ‘or ‘extremely important’ to their career development.”

Check to see if your company offers a mentor program -- many companies do. If they don’t, work with your human resources department to get one started. You can find some tips and tricks here. If that sounds like too big an undertaking, then simply send a note to someone you admire professionally, or someone who is your #careergoals, to ask if they’d be willing to meet for coffee. It can seem intimidating, especially in the PR industry where people seem to be constantly going 100 MPH, but it’s worth the effort for the value you may find.

Get some R&R

Alongside firefighters and airline pilots, Forbes recently ranked public relations executives as one of the 10 most stressful jobs of 2017 -- and it’s not the first time PR has landed on one of these lists. My last professional resolution for PR practitioners is decidedly personal -- remember that working 24/7 isn’t always the ticket to a rewarding career; a well-balanced life can do wonders for your productivity and work quality.

Ellen Galinsky, co-founder of the Families and Work Institute, said in an article in The Cut:  “Everyone needs to have more than one thing in their life. We find people who are dual-centric to be most satisfied. If people put an equivalent stress on their life outside of their job they get further ahead and are more satisfied at their job.”

In 2018, make it a priority to pick a hobby -- any hobby -- outside of work you can focus on in the long term without the pressure of a deadline or fixed outcome. Pick up a crochet hook and some thread, dive into that epic fantasy trilogy you’ve been eyeing for a while or volunteer with an organization in your neighborhood. Whatever it is, just make sure it brings you joy and offers you some quality “me” time outside of your daily duties.

Sarah Morgan is a senior account executive in Allison+Partners' Washington, D.C. office.
JANUARY 9, 2018 //     

E-wallets, unmanned stores and more: How retailers are innovating in Asia

Retail has been falling in the U.S. But across the Pacific Ocean, there are many retail innovations in Asia, ranging from product display to payments to logistics. Here’s how the store of the future is being rethought in China, South Korea, Japan and India.

China’s unmanned stores: Staffless stores like EasyGo and BingoBox are an emerging phenomenon in China.
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