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A Message from AMAK President Erica Coffey

A Message from AMAK President Erica Coffey

For as long as I can remember, I have loved to read. Reading has educated me, broadened my horizons and exercised my imagination. Even now, with precious little time to indulge in my favorite activity, I rely on audiobooks to “get my fix” while commuting or shopping. Reading has impacted my life in many ways, from career aspirations to passionate causes.

What does reading have to do with marketing? Quite a lot, if you think about it. Both writers and marketers need you to be interested enough in their product to want to learn more. However, a clever book or blog title, or social media blurb, needs to have the substance behind it to keep you engaged. Publishing houses and marketing agencies must stay on top of trends and technologies in order to provide timely content in relevant mediums.

This year, AMA Knoxville is focusing on one of the most challenging trends in recent years – storytelling as a marketing tool. Storytelling takes the best parts of both worlds, literature and marketing, and combines them to excite, inspire and motivate people to act (or buy or sell). It’s no longer enough to say, “Here’s our product, isn’t it great? Go buy it!” Now, people want to know the story behind the product and how it will help them. All of our programming this year will be related to storytelling, whether it’s how to tell your brand’s story, how others have incorporated stories into their marketing campaigns or new technology that helps you do it better.

AMA Knoxville is adding another facet to our storytelling theme. We are partnering with Leaders for Readers, part of Great Schools Partnership. Leaders for Readers is a program that helps children in first, second and third grades learn to read and improve their skills by providing free books and matching volunteers with children for weekly lessons. AMA Knoxville will not only be donating books in honor of our speakers but will include the creation of a volunteer recruitment marketing plan at our conference this November. (The conference’s theme is “Wonder,” inspired by Alice in Wonderland!)

Reading is the first step to experiencing all the world offers. Without reading—or wonder—we marketers would not be in the careers we are. Without literacy, we wouldn’t have college students to award scholarships to each year. I am excited that AMA Knoxville is combining the worlds of reading and marketing into one amazing focus this year. I am confident that with our dedicated Board of Directors, volunteers and members, AMA Knoxville’s story will be one of success, community involvement, engagement and education.

June Luncheon: Push Play on Growth

June Luncheon: Push Play on Growth

BY: ANNA WILT, KNOXVILLE HABITAT FOR HUMANITY

With over one billion unique monthly users, YouTube presents a unique marketing opportunity for businesses, and it’s more important than ever to utilize digital ads as more advertising moves towards multimedia formats.

At the American Marketing Association Knoxville’s June luncheon, “Push Play on Growth,” Jonathan Halley and Lucas Cooper of Big Slate Media led the audience through an enthusiastic presentation covering all things YouTube.

Big Slate Media is a Knoxville-based content creation company. Since its creation three years ago, they have grown to advise their clients on a variety of topics, such as video marketing, content and strategy.

The digital age has given advertisers the unprecedented opportunity to “track exactly how far [their] dollar amount is going” using this video platform. More specifically, YouTube allows businesses to track the effectiveness of their ad and content campaigns through a variety of tools.

Halley and Cooper also pointed out the distinctions between YouTube and other social media platforms. Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat present a “finite” option for video content. With YouTube, marketers have “the opportunity for that content to live forever.”

Marketers can organically boost their SEO ranking simply by “having a video with the keywords you want to be found with and tagging them correctly.” YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world, which is owned by the largest search engine, Google. By uploading and tagging videos, Google AdWords is able to crawl and index your content. This, in turn, makes it easier for customers to learn more about your business.

Spending advertising dollars on YouTube can be a quick and easy way to see results. As a caveat, Cooper pointed out that non-skippable ads can be an annoying inconvenience to consumers. However, they can also be a “wonderful tool for advertisers if you need more time to tell your story.”

Skippable ads have proven to be the most popular form of YouTube ads. These ads are appealing to advertisers for several reasons. They are low-risk, versatile and visible to a wide audience. This method encompasses the entire Google search and YouTube search networks.

The top three data points to measure while analyzing your performance metrics are views, view rate and cost per view. View rate is the number of views and engagements on your ad, divided by the number of times your ad was shown.

As all marketers know, determining your audience is the first step you should take when making an advertisement. This is especially true for YouTube and Google AdWords. According to Halley and Cooper, you should narrow down your audience by demographics, interests and video remarketing. Video remarketing includes people that are “already engaged in your brand,” whether that means they have already watched one of your videos or bought your product.

According to Big Slate Media, the secret to successful content marketing can be found by following these five easy steps:

  1. Practice filming yourself until you know what works for you and your audience.
  2. Research is an important aspect to developing meaningful content. Cooper suggests spending ten minutes a week analyzing competitor YouTube channels.
  3. Brainstorm with your team, and write down your ideas.
  4. Planning is essential to achieving a great YouTube campaign, even if it is just an hour a month.
  5. Lastly, and most importantly, just do it! Challenge yourself to make “consistent, relatable content” that will engage your audience.

Want to learn more? Check out this blog post from Big Slate Media.

AMA Knoxville Presents 30th Annual Honors Celebrating Alan Carmichael

AMA Knoxville Presents 30th Annual Honors Celebrating Alan Carmichael

The American Marketing Association Knoxville (AMA Knoxville) held its 30th Annual Honors Ceremony on Tuesday, May 15 from 6 – 8 p.m. at the Historic Southern Railway Station. Alan Carmichael, president and chief operating officer for Moxley Carmichael, was recognized as AMA Knoxville’s 2018 Outstanding Marketing Professional.

Alan Carmichael brings more than 30 years of real-world experience to help clients communicate effectively in his role as president of Moxley Carmichael. From a love of literature and writing, he crafted careers first in journalism and then public relations. The ability to create and execute up-to-date communications strategies is based on firsthand experience in advising clients on proactive public relations programs, as well as preparing for and managing crises.

The Outstanding Marketing Professional is a lifetime achievement award presented to an individual who has made meaningful and innovative contributions to the community and in the field of marketing. Past recipients include Jeff Lee, Jim Clayton, James A. Haslam, II, Townes Lavidge Osborn and Pat Summitt.

Attendees enjoyed dinner and drinks as AMA Knoxville celebrated Alan Carmichael, recognized this past year’s AMA marketing scholarship recipients and honored AMA Knoxville’s chapter leaders with the Locander Award, Volunteer of the Year Award and STAR Award. Board members recognized this year included:

In addition to honoring an outstanding professional and AMA Knoxville’s chapter leaders, the annual Honors event raises funds to provide scholarships for exceptional students majoring in marketing at the University of Tennessee. This program, the Eagle Endowment, has provided over $120,000 in scholarship money in an effort to preserve and grow the marketing industry.

“The AMA Knoxville board of directors is so happy to honor Alan Carmichael as this year’s Outstanding Marketing Professional,” said Carol Kelly, AMA Knoxville president. “His longstanding dedication to this community and his incredible work in the marketing and communications industry makes him so deserving of this prestigious honor.”

APRIL LUNCHEON: FROM FRIENDING TO FIRING – SOCIAL MEDIA’S IMPACT ON EMPLOYMENT

APRIL LUNCHEON: FROM FRIENDING TO FIRING – SOCIAL MEDIA’S IMPACT ON EMPLOYMENT

BY: JESSICA GUTMAN

As an employer, should you find job applicants on social media? Should you accept friend requests from current employees? How should you handle online and physical harassment claims from employees?

Chris McCarty, attorney at Lewis Thomason, covered these topics and more during a lively, open discussion at the American Marketing Association Knoxville’s April luncheon, titled: “From Friending to Firing: Social Media’s Impact on Employment.”

When searching for job applicants or current employees on social media, McCarty said there are pros, cons and legalities to consider.

“You can find out things you could never ask in an interview, including their age or family status,” he said. “You can also see their social life habits to determine how responsible they are. Anything that is publicly posted is fair game.”

However, searching for an applicant’s social media accounts may also cause negative bias against them. For example, if a job candidate is pregnant and posts that information on social media, an employer may be less likely to hire them given insurance costs and future time off.

When accepting friend requests from employees, McCarty said employers should consider their industry and office culture, and that there are always risks involved. He also informed attendees that as an employer it is illegal in the state of Tennessee to force employees to be friends with you on Facebook.

In regard to employment and social media endorsements, McCarty explained the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) endorsement guidelines.

“You can’t have a material connection to what you’re endorsing without disclosing the connection in a clear and conspicuous way,” he said. “Material connections include employment.”

This means employees endorsing their company’s products or services on social media must also disclose that they are employed there. This includes a public employment listing on Facebook or mentioning it in a Twitter or Instagram bio.

He cited an incident in 2017 in which the FTC sent out more than 90 letters to celebrities, athletes and other influencers reminding them to clearly and conspicuously disclose relationships to brands when promoting or endorsing products through social media.

“It’s the same if you work for a hotel and post on Facebook, ‘this the best hotel ever, you should stay here,’” McCarty said. “You must disclose that you work for the hotel because you have a material connection. It’s the law.”

He also said employers must be cognizant of employees’ rights to express themselves online, especially about working conditions.

“Employees are not forbidden from talking publicly about working conditions on social media,” McCarty explained. “This includes pay, benefits, break times and OSHA concerns.”

This protection falls under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which states, “Employees have the right to unionize, to join together to advance their interests as employees, and to refrain from such activity. It is unlawful for an employer to interfere with, restrain, or coerce employees in the exercise of their rights.”

Lastly, McCarty covered a popular topic in today’s society: harassment in the workplace. He said to be aware that proper workplace boundaries apply offline and online.

He said, “If someone is uncomfortable in a workplace setting because of something happening online, it cannot be ignored by the company.”

To learn more about these topics, visit FTC.gov or EEOC.gov.

AMA Knoxville Member Spotlight: Annie LaLonde

AMA Knoxville Member Spotlight: Annie LaLonde

NAME: Annie LaLonde

COMPANY: Shoney’s of Knoxville, Inc.

TITLE: Marketing & Advertising Director

WEBSITE & SOCIAL MEDIA: www.shoneysknox.com, Facebook, Twitter

WHY DID YOU JOIN/RENEW AT AMA? 

AMA provides a forum for learning and meeting other marketing professionals in the community. We get so caught up in our everyday tasks that we often forget the world is changing around us, and we need to keep learning!

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A MEMBER OF AMA?

20+ years

WHAT ARE YOU HOPING TO GET OUT OF IT?

Sharing ideas with other marketing professionals is so valuable to me. During networking events we have helped each other brainstorm ideas to solve issues in our organizations. I also have taken several AMA webinars that have been very helpful to me and Shoney’s.

WHAT DOES YOUR COMPANY DO BEST?

Serve guests great food in a comfortable setting with friendly service. Shoney’s is known for the best Fresh Food Bar, Breakfast Bar and for our signature desserts, Strawberry Pie and Hot Fudge Cake!

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE TYPE OF CLIENT?

All of our guests are valuable to Shoney’s, however, we love introducing our Fresh Food Bar to new generations of guests.

WHY DO YOU LIKE WORKING THERE?

Shoney’s has a stellar reputation for providing good food at a great value, that’s vitally important. However, I’m very proud of the ongoing community support that Shoney’s has provided to countless organizations over the past 55 years. While Shoney’s works rather quietly on many community events, we were truly honored to receive the 2017 Knoxville Chamber of Commerce’s Pinnacle Impact Award, recognizing our long-term community impact over the years.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN IN THAT JOB?

11 years

WHAT DO YOU FIND BEST ABOUT DOING BUSINESS IN KNOXVILLE? 

I describe Knoxville as a big “small-town”. It’s big enough to have lots of opportunity, but small enough that one can get to know people in business and marketing. It’s a friendly place to work and live.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PAST TIME? 

Depends on the season – waterskiing/boating and snow skiing! I’m a passionate Green Bay Packers fan!

DO YOU READ, WATCH MOVIES OR TV, AND IF SO WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITES?

I love to read, mostly fiction. I am a die-hard “Survivor” fan!


Next time you’re at an AMA Knoxville event, be sure to chat with Annie about what she’s reading!

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