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Courtney Fleming

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posted by Courtney Fleming May 18,2017 @ 11:13AM

Down the Digital Highway

The minute you think yourself an expert, you're falling behind. There's always something more to learn or test. This is especially true for those who specialize in digital aspects of the business (thanks algorithms). Regardless, it’s essential to remain curious.

At Riggs Partners, we resist the myth of expertise and believe that the perennial beginner always has more to gain. Sometimes putting that into action means subscribing to an industry publication. Sometimes it’s watching a webinar. And sometimes it’s renting a minivan and going on a road trip.

Come Monday, myself and several coworkers will be caravanning to Digital Summit Atlanta. Here we will listen and learn from some of the brightest minds in marketing and communications. The sessions will cover all facets of the business today: content marketing, design, email marketing, emerging trends, analytics and data, UX, video, social media, mobile, search and strategy among many others.

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If you’d like to follow along, check out the conference Twitter page and its hashtags: @DigitalSummit_#DSATL, #DigitalSummit

We'll be reporting back with some of the things we learn in the next few weeks. Stay tuned!

posted by Courtney Fleming Sep 21,2016 @ 03:40PM

Counting Down to CreateAthon

It's hard to believe that our annual CreateAthon is only a month away. This will be Riggs Partners' 19th year of pro bono magic, and my personal third. It's interesting that even though you've done it before, you still get the night-before-the-first-day-of-school-jitters every year. You truly never know exactly what to expect. But every year, it's just as exciting, intense and rewarding as before.

The unfortunate reality is that most nonprofits can't afford professional marketing services, making it difficult for them to convey their purpose and move their mission forward.

That's where we come in.

For one day (24 hours of hands-on work, plus presentations afterwards), we work around the clock to produce a wide range of marketing materials that are as unique as each nonprofit we serve. And remarkably, CreateAthon as a national nonprofit organization has generated more than $24 million in pro bono marketing services for over 1,300 organizations.

CreateAthon plans to deliver $100 million in pro bono marketing services to the nonprofit marketplace by 2020. You can learn more about that here.

In the meantime, take a glimpse through last year's event in the SlideShare below and be on the lookout for more information about our upcoming event on Oct. 20-21.

 

posted by Courtney Fleming Apr 06,2016 @ 05:00PM

A meaningful engagement: teaching California retirees how to use Instagram

Last month I had the opportunity to visit Paradise Valley Estates (PVE), a continuing care retirement community and a Riggs Partners client in Fairfield, California. My assignment? Teach PVE residents how to use Instagram.

I’m confident as a digital marketer. I’m fluent in social media and the digital world–but this was a demographic I’d never taught before (70-90+ years old!)

I was an early adopter of Instagram in 2010. This platform changed the course of social media by providing an almost entirely image-based outlet to share our lives and connect with each other. Instagram’s myriad of filters and other photo-editing options can make anyone feel like a professional photographer. I’m not alone in this preference–Instagram continues to gain popularity with more than 44 million monthly users.

As I approached my classroom, I had no idea what to expect. What if they weren’t interested? What if no one showed up? What if what my presentation didn’t make sense? In addition to usual pre-presentation jitters, I worried that differences in age and experience would make my presentation seem scattered and confusing.

Fortunately, all my fears vanished as soon as my students walked in the door. The residents were eager to learn and participate. I was blown away by the level of excitement and energy in the room as they explored their newly created Instagram accounts, learned about hashtags, snapped and edited photos using filters, and tagged their friends and family members.

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Somewhere in between explaining the basics of Instagram’s interface and listening to residents shout out their favorite filters—I realized that I was learning just as much from my students as they were from me. Social media has the power to connect people of all ages and backgrounds and create unforgettable experiences—like mine at PVE.

During my stay, I gained more new friends than I can count, all with unique stories and adventures that they’re now ready to share on Instagram. Want to see for yourself? Follow @paradisevalleyestatesca on Instagram and check out their hashtag, #PVElife.

posted by Courtney Fleming Dec 02,2015 @ 02:20PM

If you wouldn't put it on a billboard, keep it out of your feeds

According to a recent Adweek article, “There is a glass door between social media and your company's culture. In this always-on, hyper-connected world, anyone can quickly see through a phony. But, by the same token, authentic actions are equally accessible. If it's real, people will feel it, and quickly.”

As digital marketers, it’s imperative that we truly understand a brand’s voice. Often times, businesses turn to social media to concoct a distinctive online personality—neglecting to realize that social media should amplify the brand they already have.

Your brand's voice isn’t something that can be forced or too carefully formulated to attract likes and shares—after all, human conversation isn't an exact science. Instead, your voice should reflect who you are, no matter the platform by which it's presented. Consumers want transparency. They want to feel like they know you, so let them.  

Brands and their employees should be telling the same story, living by the same motto. There’s nothing worse than seeing a brand grasping too hard to be relevant. Take one look at the Twitter account @brandssayingbae, and it's evident that trying too hard to be cool can backfire. I can assure you that millennials do not want your brand to use the current lingo. When an audience senses lack of authenticity, they take notice. And the last thing you want is for your brand to become a punchline.

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So how do you make sure your brand is being authentic and staying true to its core values? Go back to where your business started. Adweek says, “Getting back to the purity of that founding idea is where the magic lies; it should be what gives the business its purpose. Drag it out of history back into the present. Make it the focus of your culture. Share it and celebrate it with everyone.”

So, here’s a good rule of thumb: if you wouldn’t put your social media message on a billboard, then it’s probably the wrong message.

posted by Courtney Fleming Sep 25,2015 @ 02:47PM

Empathy and the Power of a “Dislike” Button

 

I had one of those moments last week when you stop and pause and really, really think. I saw multiple posts along the lines of, “Facebook’s Getting a Dislike Button!” Half curious and half-laughingly, I thought to myself, “All the selfie-posters are going to really hate this one.” But after watching the Q&A with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announcing that the tech giant is almost ready to begin testing a “Dislike” button, I couldn’t help but smile.

There are so many times we stumble across heartbreaking posts and tragedies and feel the need to display some indication of support. The “I’m here for you” or the “This was hard to read, but it was worth the read” and even the adorable shelter dogs that pop up on your newsfeed that you can’t help but “like.”

A “like” doesn’t always seem appropriate. We don’t “like” that there are some pretty terrible things happening in the world, or that Buster, the 4-year-old German Shepherd, doesn’t have a forever home.

This soon-to-come button isn’t about disliking selfies or politics, it’s about empathy.

Zuckerberg said it best, “People aren’t looking for an ability to down vote other people’s posts. What they really want is to be able to express empathy. Not every moment is a good moment, right? And if you are sharing something that is sad, whether it’s something in current events like the refugee crisis that touches you or if a family member passed away, then it might not feel comfortable to Like that post.”

An empathy button... I “like” that.

 

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