Arlington, VA – 06/26/2019 – The Media Borough Monthly eNews has been named a Second Place Winner in the eNewsletter category in the National Association of Government Communicators Blue Pencil and Gold Screen Awards program which recognizes superior government communication products and those who produce them. NAGC named the 2019 award winners at the NAGC 2019 Communications School in Sterling, Virginia (https://nagc.com/2019-communications-school/), the only event of its kind that provides invaluable networking opportunities and practical educational sessions to help government agency communicators enhance engagement with citizens and stakeholders.

The Media Borough monthly eNews is a digital emailed newsletter with a reach of over 16,000 people per month. In 2018, Media Borough recognized a need to enhance communications with residents and visitors and to share information about borough improvements, news and events. For many years, the borough distributed a twice-yearly newsletter while maintaining a website, Facebook page, and Twitter feed. These tasks seem small but can sometimes be overwhelming for smaller government organizations. While local municipal information was shared in earnest, it was often difficult for residents to find and failed to reach much of its intended audience. With its current rate of growth, the Media Borough Council knew they needed to inform a growing population more effectively.

Recognizing this need, the council contacted Dandelions Digital to help them organize a communications plan, the keystone of which is the monthly Media Borough eNews. Since the implementation of Dandelions Digital’s upgrades, the borough has noticed an increase in user traffic to the website by 55%. The subscription rate to the digital borough newsletter has increased by over 500% percent and social media reach for the digital newsletter is 16,000 to 20,000 views per month.

In addition, with the advertisement of Borough events, participation in community events has increased. Most importantly the Media eNewsletter gets government news out in a timely manner so that residents can stay updated on the happenings in Media Borough. 

“This annual national awards program recognizes superior government communication products and those who produce them,” said NAGC President Chris O’Neil.  “The Blue Pencil & Gold Screen Awards honors the creative excellence of federal, state and local government communicators and demonstrates to those who use our services we produce high quality and effective products,” he added.

The Blue Pencil & Gold Screen awards competition opens at the end of November each year.  Professional communicators are judges from around the country who volunteer their time and talent to team up and judge the categories.  Award winners and Communications School participants are recognized during a special banquet at the annual school.

Photographs of the award winners can be found online at https://app.candidly.com/events/3873d8b4-1364-4c5a-8ed2-01aa45ff177f/photos

ABOUT NAGC 

The National Association of Government Communicators is dedicated to advocating, promoting and recognizing excellence in government communication. NAGC is dedicated to providing opportunities for individual professional development and career advancement, enhancing effective communication with constituents, and advancing the profession of government communication. The principal purpose of NAGC is to advance communication as an essential professional resource at every level of local, state, tribal and national government. The NAGC has members from coast to coast, Canada and Europe, at all levels of government. Moreover, the NAGC is vigorous and vital, and continues to grow, both in membership and prestige as well as in its ability to speak for and work for the interest of government communications and government communicators, supporting the interests which all constituents have in honest, open and effective government communications. Click here to visit their website and learn more: https://nagc.com/

ABOUT DANDELIONS DIGITAL

Dandelions Digital specializes in a different type of clientele in the belief that digital marketing can especially enhance communication and engagement for municipalities and nonprofits. Dandelions Digital provides very personal and comprehensive digital marketing services that center on the client’s branding and messaging; working closely with their clients to ensure content is timely, on point and relevant to their audience. Dandelions Digital’s goal is to reach and engage audiences through content creation, emailed newsletters and social media posts that spread the brand’s voice across all channels. Dandelions Digital informs the client’s already engaged audience, helps grow their audience and provides a full service experience with sound digital measurements of growth from website analytics, to social media likes, followers and comments. To learn more about Dandelions Digital visit: https://dandelionsdigital.com/.

Audible, Twitter, Etsy, Facebook, realclearpolitics, Moore Brothers Wine Company, SoulCycle, and Bed Bath and Beyond. What do all of these companies have in common? They are flooding my inbox with unread and most importantly unnecessary emails, 7,746 to be exact. But besides these 7,746 unnecessary emails, I have several important emails among them that are filled with information I could not do without. One of them being the Media, PA eNewsletter, my hometown newsletter.

How often do you view your inbox and see emailed newsletters that you immediately delete or unsubscribe to? It happens often. Some marketing experts have been signaling the end of the eNewsletter era and have been blogging about new and very creative ways to digitally market in today’s world using new social media platforms and digital tools like videos, gifs and creative photography. However, email marketing still has its place and purpose in conjunction with social media. In fact, according to The Wall Street Journal, in the #deletefacebook era, it’s become a way to fight back against the algorithms that try to dictate what people see. Unlike on Facebook, with emailed newsletters, readers receive everything they signed up to receive, in neat chronological order, alongside missives from friends, family and their various communities.

Email marketing has its perks for sure. An email reader’s ready access to the “unsubscribe” button is largely a good thing for all involved, since it nudges email content creators to produce authentic, high-quality experiences rather than superficially engaging ones, and to connect in ways that are deeper than what advertising-first mediums like Facebook generally allow, says the Wall Street Journal. In addition, Email still has the highest return on investment per marketing dollar spent, according to the Data & Marketing Association. As digital marketers, we love learning about new and creative ways to market for our clients but in some industries, the monthly mailed newsletter is still the king of all digital marketing methods.

Consumer email services have been around for almost three decades, but to hear email’s most ardent fans talk about it now, it’s an undiscovered country too long neglected by those who could benefit from it the most. Municipalities, schools and non profits benefit greatly from emailed newsletters. Why you might ask? Because they all already have an engaged audience!  Residents and visitors to municipalities want to know what is going on. Schools can push information out to parents, alumni, and donors who will look forward to learning about what is going on at school.  Education World notes how Newsletters are an essential tool for schools as they can inform, educate and promote to your audience and can be a cornerstone strategy for your communication plan. Non-profit organizations, such as St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, already have a captive audience with donors. St Jude Children’s Hospital has a consistent newsletter that keeps different constituent groups updated and informed on all of their nonprofit organization’s endeavors, campaigns and volunteer opportunities so it promotes its brand, while supporters feel personally engaged. All of these types of organizations have audiences that are already engaged in one way or another.

Newsletters can ultimately be the most successful communication strategy for your targeted and already engaged audience. BtoB companies and some BtoC organizations might not see it as a crucial piece of their digital marketing in this day and age, but for non profits, schools and municipalities newsletters can be your bread and butter!

 

 

“You can buy attention (advertising). You can beg for attention from the media (PR). You can bug people one at a time to get attention (sales). Or you can earn attention by creating something interesting and valuable and then publishing it online for free.” –David Meerman Scott, Best-Selling Author & Speaker.

There are many avenues available with social media that individuals can earn attention with for free! Using Twitter, you can create something interesting and valuable with just 280 characters. With viral tweets popping up from Donald Trump to Harry Styles, these 280 characters can greatly advance your brand’s message if you follow a few guidelines including adding visual content i.e. photographs, keeping your brand consistent, and interacting with other Twitter users.

Tweets can link to any web content (blog post, website page, PDF, document, etc.) however, the most effective tool on Twitter is visual content. Photographs, GIFs or videos can have the most impact on your audience. If a picture is worth a thousand words, adding an image to a tweet greatly expands what you can share far beyond the 280-character limit for tweets. A 2017 marketing survey done by Vengage found that 36% of marketers predicted that they would spend over 31% of their marketing budgets just on visual content. If this doesn’t demonstrate the importance of visual content, according to Brain Rules, studies also show that when people hear information, they’re likely to remember only 10% of that information three days later. However, if a relevant image is paired with that same information, people retained 65% of the information three days later. When trying to get your brand’s message out through Twitter,  including a visual can increase the effectiveness and reach exponentially.

Brand consistency is key to your twitter account. It is important that your Twitter presence have the same look and feel as your other online tools. Choose an account name and images consistent with your other online presences and your brand. You can create consistent content by maintaining a consistent palette, by evoking a feeling with filters, or claim your business’s image with text layers. Business blogs suggest placing your business’s name or Twitter handle on your media to ensure that potential customers can always trace their steps back to you. This way your media is always consistent with your brand’s message.

The most important tip for twitter is to use it effectively! Hootesuite has several suggestions on how to start talking to impact your brand most. It is suggested that when first following other twitter users it is important to be selective because when you follow another Twitter user, you subscribe to read what they share. Follow other businesses in the industry, potential clients, and other businesses in the area. From here, Hootsuite suggests several tweets to be on the lookout for whether in hashtags or the tweets themselves. These include but are not limited to: your brand’s name, your brand’s products name, your competitors, industry buzzwords, brand slogans, your CEO or public representative’s name, and campaign names or keywords. By being on the lookout for these characters you can build a strong twitter presence with effective messaging.

Although 280 characters may not seem like a lot, think of the impact of viral tweets you have seen before. If Harry Styles can have an impact with 280 words, so can you!

 

In the digital age of Alexa, it seems like our technologies know just about everything about us from our most recent purchases on Amazon to the latest Pinterest fail that we created for dinner last night. With information constantly being collected, businesses can learn more about your every wants, needs and interests. One vital tool that businesses can use to collect this information is Google Analytics. Here we discuss the many benefits of using google analytics for your business.

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Discussing the major benefits of google analytics, Digital Vidya describes Analytics as the collection processing, analysis and reporting of Internet data for the purpose of understanding and optimizing web usage i.e. basically observing and analyzing a visitor’s behavior to a website.  Google Analytics specifically is a tool that provides valuable data about your website and easily integrates with Shopify and WordPress! Without data analytics, extending Geoffrey Moore’s famous quote, the businesses are deaf and blind, working in silos and without any real feedback; wandering on the web like a deer on the highway – waiting to die any moment. Google Analytics can point your business in the right direction and provides many benefits, however three stand out to us specifically.

The first (what we think is the most important benefit) is that Google Analytics is completely FREE! Yes Free, I said it. Google Analytics is free to both learn and free to use. There are of-course online Google Academy courses where you can learn Google Analytics for free in addition to multiple other sources/ channels which help you learn Google Analytics. Also, you can check out some good digital analytics training institutes, who provide personalized training and mentoring to help your grasp various concepts of Google Analytics and teach you how to use it effectively for real businesses.

The second benefit to Google Analytics is that it can analyze your sources of traffic. Diffusion Digital shows how knowing what the main sources of traffic are can give you insight to the strength of your SEO, your ad campaigns and other incoming links.  You can see whether your traffic is coming from your website directly, a newsletter, Facebook, Twitter etc. This information is extremely valuable in figuring out how to direct more traffic to your website.

The third benefit to Google Analytics is the information on visitors to your website. With Google Analytics you can find out what geographic location your visitors are coming from in addition to other factors such as age, and gender. In addition you are able to track their behaviors such as what devices they are using (desktop, mobile, tablet etc.) and whether they are a new or returning visitor. You can also see your bounce rate which is how fast your visitors leave the sight to give you insight on what pages are and are not effective.

There are many more benefits to using Google Analytics but using the information that you get from it is truly priceless. Knowing who is looking at the information you are putting out and how they are digesting it can help you better target your audience and make impactful website changes that in the end will help you build your brand! Pretty soon you will be on your way to having more knowledge than Alexa….someday. 

 

When you log in to your social media, what do you see? It often seems as if most of the content on your news feed includes pictures of food, political opinions, and your Great Nonna’s latest birthday congratulatory posts! Besides these most informative personal updates, social media can be a key tool in your business’s marketing strategy.

6a00d8341c59be53ef017c31f698a2970b-500wiSocial Media Platforms have become the norm for marketers nowadays, but what exactly are the most popular Social Media Platforms? In the 2018 Social Media Marketing Industry Report Stelzner explains how Facebook, Instagram and Twitter were the top three platforms used by marketers with Facebook leading the pack by a long shot. More than two-thirds of marketers (67%) chose Facebook as their most important platform, followed by LinkedIn (12%), Instagram (10%) and then Twitter (5%). Using the many available social media platforms can benefit your business in more than one way as Seltzer explains.

It may be hard to determine whether your Social Media Posts are really making a direct difference on your business, but the results have been proven on a larger scale. Stelzner reports that Marketers using social media for more than 1 year have reported: improved sales, increased exposure, growing business partnerships, generating leads, increased traffic, providing marketplace insights, developing loyal fans and increased thought leadership. Of these benefits a significant 87% of all marketers indicated that their social media efforts have generated more exposure for their business with increased traffic being the second major benefit. With all of these benefits clearly shown in the grand scale and Social Media being a free platform why not use it to its fullest advantage?

It is important to note that social media is more beneficial for B2B businesses in particular. In terms of growing business partnerships and marketplace insight B2B businesses can gain information that is extremely valuable.  B2B marketers are much more likely to use blogging (67%) when compared to B2C marketers (56%) as well. The difference is that these businesses can look at what is trending on social media platforms and learn from these trends and apply them to their business. Social media can also inform businesses on how to approach other businesses by getting a look at their branding.

With all of these benefits, how do you know what content will benefit you the most? In this case it is best to go with the trends. Seltzer claims that a large percentage (80%) of businesses use visual assets in their social media marketing and in second place was video (63%). Live video is also gaining wider adoption at 35%. Visual assets provide an easy way for other businesses to recognize your brand and provide an easy insight into their business.

With all of these benefits you have to think to yourself, when did you last post?