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February Virtual Luncheon: Virtual Revolution – Maximize Your Impact

February Virtual Luncheon: Virtual Revolution – Maximize Your Impact

In 2020, marketers had to quickly adjust to virtual meetings – getting by with whatever workarounds they could manage. In 2021, marketers like you can take the lead and thrive by crafting highly memorable virtual experiences featuring high-impact speaker strategies, dynamic content, and interactivity techniques.

In this presentation, Luke Goetting provided practical, actionable insights to make your virtual conferences, all-hands meetings, and client consultations highly compelling experiences – all without the need to be a technical guru.

Current AMA Knoxville President Chris Hill introduced the event, highlighted the impact of the local chapter, thanked the board members and volunteers who help to make these virtual luncheons possible, and thanked our annual sponsors (Slamdot, Colby’s Photography, Humblepod, and Kroeger-Miller CPAs.)


About Our Presenter

Luke Goetting is an award-winning presentation specialist and director of Puffingston Presentations – a presentation agency based in Austin, Texas. Goetting specializes in crafting dynamic, interactive presentation experiences for tech companies and has developed keynotes for CES keynotes, SXSW Accelerator winners, TEDx speakers and executives at Dell, IBM, Siemens, Western Union and SAP Concur.

Prior to Puffingston Presentations, Goetting was Sales Manager at RSI Video Technologies where he developed real-world presentation techniques his team incorporates today with speakers and companies around the world. Goetting is a winner of the Best Business Prezi award and a certified Prezi Expert.


Maximizing Your Impact Virtually

Technology (and the way we use it in business) has advanced continually throughout the years. For example, 10-15 years ago we were taking all of our meetings in person. Today (even pre-COVID) many businesses take meetings exclusively online and in some cases never meet their clients in person. Now because of the pandemic we’ve shifted almost exclusively to virtual meetings.

Pandemic or not, virtual communication is inherently plagued with distraction whether that comes from devices, others in your office, or a chaotic home environment while quarantined. To combat this constant level of distraction it’s up to us to ensure we are earning and keeping our audience’s attention with thoughtfully planned, engaging presentations.


Increase Productive Exchange with Dynamic Content

Regardless of its format, the goal of every meeting is to convey information. This can be accomplished with a single presenter speaking to an audience (like a webinar or lecture) or in a setting like a panel or Q&A that provides more opportunities for audience participation and engagement.

Whenever possible, we want to find a common ground between these two formats to maximize productive exchange. Goetting offered a variety of tips for more productive, engaging presentations:

  • Establish context early. Provide any necessary history, trends, company positioning, etc…
  • Use the hero’s journey framework for storytelling to captivate your audience
  • Inspire with vision. Let your audience know where things are headed.
  • Consider a conversational format. Give your clients an opportunity to play a role in the presentation to ensure it meets their needs.
  • Address access to slides and presentation replays up from to take that concern off your participant’s mind.
  • Be prepared to give participants information on where they can learn more right now and follow up on commitments you make to them.

By implementing these tips into your presentations (whether it’s a sales meeting, training, or all-hands meeting) you’ll create a truly custom experience for your audience, increase each participant’s buy-in, and minimize risk. 



Enhance Your Presentations with Interactive Broadcasting

In the battle for attention it’s essential that you’re coming to the presentation with the best information but also the best tools for the job. And with the digital world at our fingertips, anything you can leverage on your computer can be integrated into your meetings.

Goetting shared some of his favorite tools and presentation integrations that can be used to enhance your presentations:

  • Consider creating an “intro commercial” to play prior to the start of the presentation. This acts a virtual lobby as participants get signed in to the meeting and gives you a platform to promote your company, product, or other relevant information.
  • Use a Logitech spotlight remote for added engagement and to direct your audience’s focus.
  • Explore the hundreds of design ideas and templates available from Powerpoint
  • Check out the templates and principles available from Puffingston Presentations
  • Invest in a second webcam (especially if you’re writing on a whiteboard or showing something with your hands) so you can switch views seamlessly.
  • Implement a virtual webcam software (examples include: mmhmm, Logitech, OBS, and ManyCam).
  • For advanced setups, consider investing in equipment to improve your video like professional lighting, a greenscreen, and a professional microphone.
  • Make use of audience participation tools where applicable (examples include: built-in tools on zoom, Slido, flexible slides, and navigation in your content).

In addition to bringing the right tools to the meeting you’ll want to avoid common pitfalls by monitoring your pace and keeping your pauses brief when requesting audience input to ensure that you aren’t lagging and creating opportunities for participants to become disengaged. 

Whether we like it or not, virtual is the new normal. We have a challenge for attention and must maximize our impact during virtual meetings and bring a growth mentality with us to every presentation.


Key Takeaways

  • Be strategic about how your speakers appear on-camera! Break from the “hunched over laptop” norms and evaluate how standing, gesturing and eye-contact can help your speakers establish stronger connections with virtual attendees.
  • Maximize alignment between what your speakers have to say and what your audience wants to hear! Discover how a fine dining approach to presentations leverages a compelling message, modular content and slide navigation to craft a memorable, custom experience for virtual meeting attendees.
  • With the digital world at our fingertips, there are so many ways marketers can drive engagement in virtual events and meetings: live polls, virtual webcam software, democratized Q&A and more. Explore how simple applications of technology can fundamentally alter the attendee experience.
Crafting Campaigns: From Concept to Conversion AMAK Virtual Conference

Crafting Campaigns: From Concept to Conversion AMAK Virtual Conference

Lyndsey Wilson, VP of Signature Events, introduced the 2021 AMA Knoxville Virtual Conference – Crafting Campaigns: From Concept to Conversion. During this three-session, multi-day conference attendees gained valuable tools for optimizing the development and execution of marketing campaigns.

Next Chris Hill, owner of HumblePod and current AMAK Board President, spoke about the role of the local AMA chapter in bringing together Knoxville’s marketing community, providing education and networking opportunities, and supporting marketing students at the University of Tennessee through scholarships and endowments. To learn more about the impact of the local AMA chapter, please visit our website.


Jump to Session:


Data Ammunition: Start Analyzing the Data

The first session of AMA Knoxville’s 2021 Annual Conference began virtually with Courtney Jernigan, owner of Knoxville Graphic House, presenting tips to help business leaders sift through the mountains of available data to uncover information and use it to create successful campaigns.

As the owner and creative director of Knoxville Graphic House, Jernigan and her team help companies establish strong connections with their customers by creating brand awareness strategies. Jernigan earned a B.F.A. in Fashion and Apparel Design from Savannah College of Art and Design then went on to earn a Master of Fashion Design degree from Polimoda, one of the top ten fashion institutes in the world. In 2018 she was named as one of Graphic Design USA’s “People to Watch” alongside top talent from Adobe Stock, Etsy, and more.



Start By Analyzing the Data

Because of the sheer volume available it’s easy to drown in content and data. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and not be quite sure where to start, but as we embrace the digital era it’s important to harness the power of data and use it to make smart business decisions.

General Electric’s Chief Innovation Officer, Sue Siegel, was quoted saying, “The pace of change will never be as slow as it is today” and she’s absolutely right. The digital landscape is constantly changing and it’s not going back. It’s our responsibility as marketers to learn about the new landscape, learn to navigate it, and move forth.

Developing a marketing plan using the following process is the best place to start:

  • Set Goals 
  • Set Objectives
  • Develop Strategies 
  • Create an Action Plan  
  • Monitor


How to Determine Marketing Success

Success looks different in every marketing strategy. This is because the measure of success changes drastically depending on what goal you want to achieve. Measures of marketing success might include: sales revenue, customer retention rate, social media engagement, site traffic, ROAS, and more.

So where does the data fit in? The obvious answer is in the “monitoring” phase of your marketing plan. However, if this is the only point at which you analyze data you’ll fall into a continuous loop of discovering problems, setting new goals, and redoing the process above. Instead, data analysis should take place at every stage of your marketing plan to ensure you have a holistic view of trends, predictions, customer behavior, and how those impact your strategy.


Common Marketing Strategies

As we move further into the era of digital marketing, digital strategies including blogging, email marketing, pay-per-click advertisements are favorable choices for the abundance of data that can be collected from them. However, if traditional marketing strategies are more appropriate for your business there are ways to track data from those efforts (tracking phone numbers, tracking URLs, etc…) so there’s no excuse for not knowing the impact of your strategy.

Some of the most common marketing strategies are:

  • Reputation management – Potential customers trust peer reviews more than they’ll trust your ads or web copy, so show that you’re personable by responding to reviews and providing excellent customer service.
  • Blogging – Hosting a blog on your website builds trust and credibility, increases SEO value, drives traffic, and offers valuable content to your web users. Be sure to include a call to action in each post!
  • White papers – Reach your most engaged audience and share your expertise. Build your email list by requiring web users to exchange their email address for your white paper download.
  • Email Marketing – Many think that email marketing is irrelevant, but email should always be a part of your marketing mix. Once you’ve built an email list you can keep in regular communication with your customers and segment your list by interest to provide the most relevant content to your subscribers.
  • Social Media Marketing – Show off your personality, tell your story,  and drive traffic back to your site. Do your research and find out which platform your target customers are using. Don’t waste time on irrelevant platforms.
  • Facebook Ads – Allow you to interact with the customers where they’re spending the most of their time. To measure success, keep an eye on ROAS (return on ad spend).
  • Referral – Turn your customers into your evangelists. Create a referral program with incentives and analyze sales with referral ads vs. how much that incentive cost you to determine the success of this strategy. 
  • Search Engine Optimization – Approximately 5.6 billion searches are performed on Google each day. 53% of all website traffic comes from organic searches. The goal of SEO is to show up in search results for the words and phrases your customers are searching for.
  • Google My Business – Local searches help you gain the trust of both your customers and Google. Businesses who claim their GMB profile earn higher rankings, better placement in Google Maps, and better placement in local search results.
  • Pay-Per-Click Ads – These highly targeted ads allow you to get in front of your ideal customers when they’re searching for what you offer. To effectively manage your budget you can cap your spending and only pay when someone clicks on your ad 


From Content to Customer

In the second session of AMA Knoxville’s 2021 Annual Conference, president-elect of the local board Holly Yalove shared her expertise on content and its role in generating leads, converting customers, and winning brand ambassadors.

Holly Yalove is the CEO & Founder of HY5 Consulting, an independent consultancy specializing in HubSpot training, HubSpot strategy, digital marketing, and talent optimization. She holds a B.A. in Psychology from Roanoke College and is a proud wife and mom of two girls. Before founding HY5 in 2020, Holly spent over a decade as the owner and chief strategist for VIEO Design, an award-winning inbound marketing agency, and HubSpot Gold Solutions Partner. In 2019, she was awarded “Best Digital Strategist” in AAF Knoxville’s Big Wig Awards. 


What is Content?

In the world of marketing, content is the information and experiences delivered to your target audience through a variety of mediums such as web pages, blog posts, emails, social media, printed materials, and more.

Content is a key tool used in inbound marketing to attract customers, form connections, and solve problems. This strategic approach allows companies to tailor content to the individual customer and ultimately lead them to a buying decision. 

Research from Content Marketing Institute shows that 61% of online purchases are the direct result of a customer reading a blog on your site. Content plays a vital role in:

  • Attracting visitors – An estimated 3.5+ billion searches are conducted on Google every. Valuable, keyword-rich SEO content helps to ensure you are found in relevant searches. This content comes in many forms including website pages, blog posts, knowledge base articles, podcast episodes, and more.
  • Converting leads – Once visitors reach your site, the goal is to turn those visitors into leads. Having valuable content available to your potential customers is key to making this happen. Offering newsletter subscriptions, downloadable content, freemium subscriptions, contact forms, and more allows customers to trade their contact information for free information and solutions.
  • Nurturing customers – At this stage of the process you’ve learned more about your customer, their needs, and their buying journey. With the information in mind, content that’s highly segmented and relevant to your customer’s needs can be delivered in a variety of methods (email marketing, digital ads, social media, etc…)
  • Winning brand ambassadors – Nurturing doesn’t stop with a customer conversion. Providing valuable content beyond the purchase helps to build stronger relationships with your customers and endear them to your brand leading to improved retention rates and word-of-mouth referrals.



Planning Your Content Strategy: 10 Steps to Success

  1. Establish high-level marketing goals – What broader marketing goals or brand priorities should your content strategy support?
  2. Create SMART goals – Consider your high-level goals, document current performance, review historical trends, and set goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.
  3. Create / review your buyer persona(s) – Semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on research and data that help you understand their challenges and how your product/service can help them overcome these.
  4. Create / review your buyer’s journey – Be sure you understand the path a buyer goes through from awareness of a problem to consideration of a solution to buying decision.
  5. Perform a content audit – Evaluate your existing content and ensure you are offering resources to help customers at each point in the marketing funnel 
  6. Create a buyer’s journey map – Map existing content to the relevant stage of the buyer’s journey and consider how current and future content will help move the buyer along their journey.
  7. Prioritize content creation needs – Evaluate your content in relation to your SMART goals and consider short term wins and longer term needs. 
  8. Select your content channels – Determine where your customers spend their time online and plan those channels will help you reach your goals.
  9. Create and distribute your content – Use a content calendar for planning and scheduling purposes. To ensure you get the most out of each post, consider repurposing and reusing content where possible.
  10. Analyze and optimize results – Continually review the data, monitor progress toward your SMART goals, celebrate successes, and learn from unexpected outcomes.


Thinking Bigger: How the “Everywhere You Look, UT” Campaign is Evolving and Harnessing the Power of Community Partnerships to Grow Brand Awareness

In the final session of the 2021 AMA Knoxville Annual Conference, representatives from the University of Tennessee system join us to share the new approaches they’re taking to keep the “Everywhere You Look, UT” marketing campaign alive and growing amid the pandemic.

Tiffany Carpenter (VP of Communications and Marketing), Ellie Amador (Director of Marketing), and Sam Thomas (Digital Content Strategist) have more than 40 years of combined experience working in the marketing industry.


Campaign Background

Prior to launching this campaign, focus groups were conducted across the state of Tennessee to determine what the public perception of the University of Tennessee was. The overwhelming responses were “orange,” “football,” and the like. This was a great start, but there is so much more that the university supports (from research to healthcare to agriculture and more) that they wanted the public to be aware of.

So they began to ask themselves, “Where in Tennessee can you go to find the presence or impact of UT?” The answer is practically everywhere. And thus, the tagline “Everywhere Your Look, UT” was born.



Everywhere You Look, UT

The campaign began with a goal of reaching three primary audiences: state legislators who make budgetary decisions and need to understand why funding is crucial for the university to serve not only its students but the entire state, corporate partners who are hiring UT grades and need to understand the value of a degree from the university, and the general public who need to understand the overall mission of the university and its impact on the state they call home.

Beginning in spring of 2018, the team began formulating a strategy that involved a variety of channels from social media ads to radio spots on NPR, from online advertising to billboard graphics, to tell the university’s story in a number of ways and always pointing to the same message – Everywhere You Look, UT.

As the campaign evolved, the team moved away from traditional, high-cost strategies and gravitated instead toward an unusual channel: public art. Starting with a water tower in downtown Knoxville, murals have been painted on 20+ additional sites and can be seen in a variety of areas across the state. It’s only fitting to tell such a big story in such a big way!

The murals have allowed this campaign to tell the university’s story in a bigger way and involve its loyal fans and ambassadors who love the opportunity to pose for selfies with the murals. 



Marketing in a Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed the way companies market their products/services, and UT is no exception. Although budgets were limited and large group gatherings for mural unveilings weren’t possible, the team still found ways to continue their work.

To continue telling stories and fostering connections, the team began creating long-form video stories and testimonials that could be promoted on social media.They even managed to make a splash by unveiling a new mural in a small, socially-ceremony that was streamed for viewers everywhere to take part in.


AMA Knoxville is incredibly appreciative of all our presenters, board members, and volunteers who made this virtual conference possible. If you enjoyed the conference and are not already a member, we encourage you to consider joining. Please visit our website to learn more about membership opportunities and benefits.

Written by Jessica Sarten. Jessica is a an e-commerce marketing specialist and marketing blogger. She’s passionate about helping small business owners navigate the digital world and create game-changing growth for their companies. When she’s not working you can find her with a vanilla latte in hand, enjoying a podcast, crocheting, or spending time with her husband, Jairus. To learn more or connect with Jessica, please visit her website.

Knoxville January Virtual Luncheon: Breaching the Generational Gap

Knoxville January Virtual Luncheon: Breaching the Generational Gap

Modern day workplaces face unique challenges every day, including the need to unify multigenerational teams in order to achieve shared organizational goals. At January’s virtual luncheon, best-selling author Jeff Butler presented guidance, support, and advice for organizations on creating unity in spite of the differing viewpoints, culture, experiences, and backgrounds that characterize a multigenerational workforce.

Jeff Butler has authored two provocative books – The Authentic Workplace and The Key To The New You and over 100 articles on workplaces dynamics that have been featured in Forbes and HR News. In addition, he has appeared on TEDx in both 2016 and 2017 with both talks focusing on psychology. Today, he is the CEO of JButler International, a consulting company that helps organizations optimize their multigenerational workforce.


Debunking the Stereotypes

Butler began by addressing the commonly held generational stereotypes and the accuracy (or inaccuracy) of each.

Every generation has its own stereotype – Baby Boomers are expected to be out of touch, Gen Xers are expected to be loners and pessimists, and Millennials are expected to be entitled and lazy.

While these stereotypes are heavily tied to each generation they’re not necessarily accurate, and these inaccurate generalizations largely influence the way we see other generations in the workplace. Butler has taken every opportunity to ask individuals in each group if they feel these stereotypes are applicable and the answer is nearly always, “No.”

By making these generations and attempting to use just a few words to describe a group composed of 15 years worth of people we create expectations that are unlikely to be met.


Culture Clashes in the Workplace

Next, Butler discussed ways in which differences in generational culture can create friction and conflict in the workplace. 

Expectation can be defined as “an agreement between two parties.”

Every individual walks into a workplace with different expectations. A Baby Boomer might be concerned about the base salary, a Gen Xer might be interested in available leadership opportunities, and a Millennial might be looking for the freedom to work from home. These different expectations can lead to friction points and generational conflict.

One of the most common areas of generational conflict in the workplace is technology. Because technology is constantly changing from generation to generation as it improves, each generation has a very different relationship with technology. These differing expectations can cause friction. Additionally, the ability to curate an impact on social media creates a distorted reality and filtered content creates isolation that can hinder our ability to deal with conflicting opinions or views.


Breaching the Generational Gap

Finally, Butler presented three steps for effectively breaching generational gaps in the workplace: align, build, and communicate.

Step 1: Align

Seasoned individuals in the workplace are there because they’ve been successful in what they’ve done in the past. Less experienced individuals come in with big, new ideas and want to revolutionize the way the workplace is run.

The key? Both of these groups must change their behavior. The more seasoned individuals must recognize the benefits to be gained by adapting to newer practices where they make sense. Individuals who are newer to the workforce must realize that there is likely a reason the company is run the way it is, even if it’s not readily apparent to them. 

A few of the hot spots that can cause disruption and friction in the workplace include work/life balance, work ethic, culture, and communication protocol. To create alignment in each of these areas, be sure to clarify your expectations as a leader and manage the expectations of your employees.

Step 2: Build

The main difference between generations (and people in general) are their values and beliefs. So if you can get people working together who hold different values and beliefs, you’ve solved that problem.

Before this can happen though, you need to define and understand your core ideology as a team, company, or group. This is the framework that holds the team together. To effectively bring together generations with differing values and beliefs, everyone must buy into this core ideology as they work cooperatively toward a common goal. 

Step 3: Communicate

Communication is the pipeline for innovation. If you present a diverse group of individuals with a problem, their diverse experiences and backgrounds will allow them to solve that problem more efficiently and effectively. To make this possible, there must be clear and open channels of communication within the organization and typically leaders within an organization set the communication tone.

Different generations look for feedback differently within the workplace. Baby Boomers are used to receiving annual performance reviews, Gen Xers have become accustomed to monthly feedback, and Millennials tend to look for up-to-the-minute feedback on their performance. So what kind of feedback is best? Researchers have found that providing feedback consistently and in a one-on-one setting between manager and direct report are most effective and foster engagement in employees.

In closing, AMA Knoxville Board President extended an invitation to the chapter’s upcoming annual conference – Crafting Campaigns: From Concept to Conversion beginning Tuesday, January 19, 2021.

For more information on Jeff Butler or his consulting company, JButler International, please visit jeffjbutler.com.

Written by Jessica Sarten. Jessica is a an e-commerce marketing specialist and marketing blogger. She’s passionate about helping small business owners navigate the digital world and create game-changing growth for their companies. When she’s not working you can find her with a vanilla latte in hand, enjoying a podcast, crocheting, or spending time with her husband, Jairus. To learn more or connect with Jessica, please visit her website.

Knoxville October Luncheon: Becoming the Modern United Way

Knoxville October Luncheon: Becoming the Modern United Way

Change can be hard, but it doesn’t have to be. Brewton Brownlow Couch, VP of Branding and Messaging at United Way of Greater Knoxville, led the audience through how they have maintained their long-standing reputation while telling the new story of what it means to be a Modern United Way.

Over the past 100 years, United Way of Greater Knoxville has “worked to understand local needs, mobilize volunteers, to raise awareness and money to meet community needs by granting money to programs that align with predetermined goals.”


A Shift in Focus

Couch first addressed why United Way of Greater Knoxville decided to join the network initiative to become the “Modern United Way.”

A concerning trend has emerged over the past ten years. The lifetime value of a workplace donor is declining. When payroll software companies take over workplace giving, instead of a United Way campaign, there is an 80% decline in payroll deductions.

While this downward trend is not unique to United Way, they knew that something needed to be done. Considering workplace giving is a valuable piece of United Way fundraising, they decided that there was a need to rebrand and change the way that they were getting donations. According to Couch, young professions “care as much, if not more, than older generations” when it comes to social responsibility and charitable giving. But nonprofits have not been talking in a way that resonates with them. The goal of United Way’s rebrand was to address this problem.

Next, Couch approached how United Way of Greater Knoxville tackled the task of transforming a 100-year-old organization.

Instead of asking the community to get involved because it is simply the right thing to do, they have started to approach it as a “strategic partner[ship] for corporate social responsibility.” They are accomplishing the same work as always but recognizing the benefits to their corporate partners.

By focusing on Corporate Social Responsibility, or the idea of integrating social and environmental concerns into business operations, companies can help the community while also improving company culture, employee engagement and retention. Turnover reduced by 57% in companies that find space for “Social Purpose as a core business strategy.”

As part of a more modern approach, United Way has adopted some new technology and software to help them reach their goals.  Shared Purpose serves as an umbrella of products and resources for corporate partners. Sales Force Philanthropy Cloud is an exciting resource for corporate partners as well. This collaboration with Sales Force allows employees to set up a profile where they can donate directly to nonprofits, log their volunteer hours and so much more. Information from this software helps employers make decisions based of their employee’s civic interests.

In closing, Couch announces some collaborative opportunities that United Way of Greater Knoxville is assisting with for the community.

Giving Back

Couch and Amelia Everett, Program Manager at Volunteer East Tennessee and board member for American Marketing Association Knoxville, announced several upcoming service events with the audience. KnoxGives on November 8 will be a community day of service in Knox County. Big Give Knox will be on December 3. This 24-hour online giving campaign is designed to raise money and awareness the local-nonprofit community.

Knoxville September Luncheon: Marketing from the Mountaintops

Knoxville September Luncheon: Marketing from the Mountaintops

September’s luncheon featured Erica Moore, the Marketing and Public Relations Manager for Anakeesta. As a leader in her organization with experience in media relations, social media marketing and brand management, Erica led attendees through her time ‘Marketing from the Mountaintops.”

Erica was hired into her position at Anakeesta only one month before the Grand Opening. For her interview, she remembers walking through a construction site, wondering how this would ever be ready in time. Despite her short timeline, Erica knew that it is important to make an impact when launching a new attraction. She dove in feet first to make sure Anakeesta made a splash when they opened.

Marketing Tools

When discussing the tools that she uses to be successful, Erica stresses importance of industry leaders. As an attraction in Gatlinburg, Erica has a lot of big names to look up to, including Dollywood and Ripley’s. She doesn’t see these other attractions as competition, as some would. She looks at it as they are “in it with us instead of being in it against us.” She can attribute much of Anakeesta’s growth to listening to local industry leaders.

Anakeesta’s marketing team also relies heavily on digital outlets. These include Google, Facebook, Website Grader, Yext and Hubspot. The analytics features on each of these sites can provide valuable insights into the effectiveness of digital marketing techniques. It is also a way to keep in touch with customer satisfaction through reviews.

Lastly, Erica covered Anakeesta’s collateral. These are the guides, brochures, vouchers, banners and more that Anakeesta uses to drive sales. Standing out in such a saturated market can prove to be tough. Erica’s strategy in this situation is simply, less is more. Anakeesta’s collateral tends to stay more simplistic. When looking at a board of flashy brochures, oftentimes, the classic, simple brochure can be attention grabbing.


Erica left the audience with several impactful and helpful takeaways.

  • Change is not bad. It is necessary to stay relevant.
  • Feedback is crucial. Use your data.
  • Look at industry leaders. What can you learn from those doing really well in your business?

In closing, Jessica Gutman, AMA Knoxville Board President, invited everyone to attend the October Luncheon next month, Becoming the Modern United Way to discuss rebranding a well-established organization.

August Luncheon: Boosting Your Communications Strategy with Video

August Luncheon: Boosting Your Communications Strategy with Video

The August Luncheon at Rothchild Catering and Conference Center served as the first meeting of the 2019-2020 board term. Jessica Gutman, the new board president, welcomed everyone to the luncheon and introduced Jenny Woodbery, Digital Media Specialist – Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Woodbery graduated from the University of Tennessee in 2009 with a double major in journalism and political science. She worked as an intern at Knox News Sentinel during college before eventually being hired on to the editorial staff. It was here that she began working on her knowledge of video. She had to learn how to make a video that was unique from the article accompanying it, a skill that is now an integral part of her career.

After working at the Knox News Sentinel, Woodbery went on to manage communications at both the Min H. Koa Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science – UTK, as well as the Knoxville Chamber. She eventually began working at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in 2015.

Musts of Short Videos

During her presentation, Woodbery touches on the musts of using short videos to complement existing communications strategies. A few easy ways that she does this in her every day work is by creating short videos that will typically accompany press

releases and featured stories. With such a technical subject matter and a science-based audience, these videos are an excellent way for the public to engage with ORNL’s stories. She also incorporates these videos on the website and social media channels. These have been picked up by national and even global news outlets in the past.

After covering how to integrate videos with current communications plan, Woodbery begins discussing what types of videos have worked for her. She most often uses videos of “talking heads” in the ORNL community. These often consist of an interview and b-roll (or supplemental footage) cut together into a short, informative video. She suggests not scripting these interviews, but let the interviewee speak naturally.

The second type of video that Woodbery covers is the text-heavy explainer video. It should typically stay under a minute and third seconds long, and display text over a mixture of photos and videos. These videos are great for social sharing, since the text captions mean that the video can be watched and understood without sound.

Lastly, Woodbery covers the videos that she calls “just for fun.” With these, she takes inspiration from what she consumes on social. While these videos can be “just for fun,” it is important for them to have a meaningful impact and tie back to the overall mission. She started a #SoothingScience series on ORNL’s social channels, which have been wildly successful.

Shooting and Posting Video

When beginning to shoot and create videos, Woodbery has a few suggestions. The first of which is – make sure the story merits a video. Are there good visuals?  When it comes to shooting the video, she suggests experimenting with angles, get plenty of b-roll shots, and never be afraid to ask someone to do that again. She even suggests that “people get better the more takes they do.” For posting videos, Woodbery’s first rule is to always post natively from your own social media account to reap all of the benefits. For social media and websites, skip the video introductions. This is a great way to lose viewer retention. Lastly, be mindful of the length of your video. Each social media platform has a preferred length for videos, anywhere between 1 to 3 minutes.

Before wrapping up her presentation, Woodbery quickly covers the tools that she uses to master her video communications. She stresses that these items do not have to be expensive. Editing software is obviously an important video tool and she uses Final Cut Pro for all of her own videos, but Adobe Premier is another option. Woodbery suggests investing in equipment, such as tripods and microphones, to help get better quality video. Lastly, she suggests utilizing exiting footage. She often reuses b-roll video, photos and stock music.

Upcoming Luncheon

The American Marketing Association Knoxville will be back next month for the September Luncheon: Marketing from the Mountaintops, featuring Erica Moore. As the Marketing and Public Relations Manager for Anakeesta, she will cover how to stay relevant in a competitive environment while planning for future growth.

Photos courtesy of Colby’s Photography

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