Category Archives: Event Planning

The future’s so bright, shades will be required

IT’S been both a grand year and a not-so-perfect year. Regardless, 2010 is quickly slipping away.  It has been the Year of the Enlightened Client who recognizes and appreciates that tweeting, blogging and Facebook are incredibly powerful assets, when used effectively. They’ve also watched us take their marketing budgets and stretch them far beyond their expectations–and produce impressive results.  The new year looks bright because our clients stepped up to the plate, swung the bat, and scored several runs for their brands. 

This year, I’ve had the good fortune to meet many professionals in public relations, healthcare and marketing who have taught me so much, even those I met only for an hour.  Just so you know, your time and words were invaluable.

I have much to be thankful for and can’t wait to get behind the wheel of 2011 and take it for a drive. The future’s so bright, I’m going shopping for new shades.

Wishing you and yours all the best for 2011,

Stephanie Duncan

Fall 2009 Marketing Strategy Rollout

canoeWe’ll be off-site today implementing the start of our  fall 2009 marketing strategy for one of our favorite clients who hosts all kinds of special events at their private resort.

Hopefully, we’ll have a minute or two to canoe across one of their beautiful lakes!

Back to Basics

fork-knife-spoonOne of our favorite clients who operates a lovely lakeside catering facility is facing tough times, like everyone else. We agreed to proceed with a summer marketing campaign anyway.

Our strategy is to put away all the proverbial marketing and PR bells and whistles and celebrate the basics:

*A big, beautiful postcard that can serve multiple purposes

*Bi-monthly, very specifically targeted eblasts

*$0 profit margin ‘open’ marketing events designed to bring clients in to see the site

*Tweaking, tightening and tweaking the website some more

*Designing in-house marketing pieces that can be printed on a super-high quality printer and updated without the design and printing expenses.

*Sending out matte press releases which discuss the secrets of hosting successful events, and mentioning our client by name.

In these times, going back to the basics helps clients refine and update key messages. It also enables them to take out what isn’t working and replace it with something fresh and new.

There’s something very satisfying about clearing away all the peripheral stuff and letting core messages shine through.

2009 Resolutions

victory-better11. Give clients even more than they expect. Surpass expectations for new clients and continue to provide customers with a WOW factor in 2009.

2.  Deliver top quality work STAT. We vow to keep our client base small enough to deliver fast and furiously. We are there for clients 24/7, when everyone else has gone home for the night, the weekend, the holiday.

3.  Design and implement ingenious ways to do more with less–less time, less people, less money. Execute flawlessly.

4.  Nurture valuable contacts. Note we say ‘valuable’.  We will continue to surround ourselves with passionate, intelligent professionals who we can help and who can help us.

Recently, we were laughing about all the folks suddenly coming out of the woodwork who were always too busy with more important things to offer  insight/counsel/guidance/advise who are now ironically asking for our help.

On the brighter side, our colleague, Ann Higgins, owner of Utopia Communications, offered us her (very valuable) time, experience and expertise when we were getting our operation off the ground.  Ann, may we thank you publicly, and promise to pass it on?

5. Get smart. This year, we vow to expand our education in all things PR–media (yippee), press, writing, selling and reaching the elusive customer.

Call us PollyAnna, but after seven glasses of champagne on NYE, we all voted to ignore this year and forge ahead with good karma and a positive message. Because somebody has to do it.

MJ’s Jazz Lounge Rocks St. Petersburg!

We’re back from Tampa Bay after the great opening of our client’s new jazz and tapas club. You’ve got to love people who open a $$$ business in a wimpy economy. But their formula is recession-proof:  beautiful club with outdoor seating, fabulous location between millions of office parks and condo complexes. They have no interest in the tourist market–there are more than enough jazz-starved residents to keep the place going for decades.

Live jazz 6 nights a week, one huge bar, incredible light tapas (or really big appetizers) by a NYC-bred chef. Works for us.

We’re pleased (particularly because our client is pleased) that our frequent blog postings are also winning a loyal following. They are working off a basic GoDaddy website template. (Note to world:  We’d like to tell GoDaddy specifically where to go–this is a very not-user friendly CMS). 

Now that we’re back, we’ll be starting our media campaign to guarantee massive amounts of free editorial coverage for this new venue.  They have many intriguing stories to tell and we’ll make absolutely certain that everyone knows about MJ’s, far and wide.

MJ’s Jazz Lounge Picks Up Momentum

MJ’s, St. Pete’s new 5,000 sq. ft. venue, is quickly coming together and preparing to open this fall. We’ve been generating social medial buzz throughout Tampa Bay. Our initial target market is the region’s late 20’s to early 40’s professionals who can pay top dollar for high-end spirits and wines.

They have wisely stolen away a wonderfully talented New York chef who will create masterful American-style tapas dishes.

Our biggest challenge is to refine the brand logo for all our fast-approaching marketing needs. We’ve brought on DK Design to work with the extensive branding plan and so far everything looks fantastic.

Our outreach has extended to St. Pete’s pleasantly sophisticated Chamber of Commerce and other regional orgs who we will partner with to drum up the buzz. With the Clearwater Jazz Festival set for October and the SuperBowl in Tampa early next year, MJ’s should be optimally positioned to hit a home run.

Special Event Planning & Management

Seeking to build your business, generate buzz or cause a commotion?  Host an event sponsored by your business and serve food. We’ll work with you to design a truly creative theme, invite the right guests, find great caterers, creative food, appropriate entertainment and make you and your business shine.

Trust us, as event planners for nearly a dozen years, it’s harder than it looks. We really don’t want you to try this yourself. Because when something goes wrong during a marketing event, it’s a disaster. Every time.

Share your vision and we’ll make it happen. Big budget (we spent $55K on a residential community opening for a big developer) or small ($1,500 spent to host 100 guests; it was the most elegant event. No one would have believed what the company didn’t spend on their new product launch.)