By: Audrey Garcia Posted: September 7, 2017
Your company has been hit by a disaster, either a natural or a man-made one -how you respond to it could make or break your business. According to the disaster recovery firm Agility Recovery a shocking 90% of businesses will fail within 1 year if they have not resumed operations within 5 days of a disaster! While the type of devastation recently seen in Texas is rare; man-made disasters are far more common.
The best-case scenario, would be that you planned for such an event. You and your company spent time to look at possible disasters, put a marketing plan in place and can quickly implement it. However, if this was always on your “To Do” list, but never really got it off the ground, now what?
Your first plan of attack should be to take a look at your near-term plans. Look at what you already have in the pipeline scheduled to be released in the next few days and few weeks. If you had a blog scheduled about the wonderful management of your CEO and it was just discovered that he was misappropriating company funds, you will need to cancel it. Elementary, right? However, with everything that is happening, sometimes it is easy to forget about items you scheduled months ago; as example Air BNB sent an email1 out just 2 days after the devastating floods in Texas promoting a Floating World vacation. Look at what advertising is already scheduled with national and local outlets and will you need to pull back an ad?
Make sure to stay flexible in your messaging. After making sure that there is nothing scheduled that may appear inappropriate, next look at your marketing plan as a whole. Will the messaging still be appropriate? How will the public perceive the message? If your warehouse was devastated by a fire, your marketing plan focusing on a product that was stored in the now burned out warehouse might need to be adjusted. Can your current marketing plan shift focus to a different product or service?
Communication is key. Your customers will want to know if their orders will be shipped, far more then they want to know about a success story your company had recently. Write a blog about the company recovery efforts, use social media to keep customers updated on current happenings – make sure to keep communicating. Let customers know how long full recovery may take and the efforts that are being made in returning to business as usual.
Communication internally is important as well. Your employees need to be kept in the loop on what is happening, so that rumor does not become (false) fact. Make sure that there is one central point of contact that messaging is coming from. You do not want employee speculation to become front-page news! Let employees know who to contact if the media calls, how long recovery may take, and how they can help. Depending on the scope of the disaster, employees will be concerned about their jobs and future of the company; keep communication as transparent as possible – let them know that there may be issues that cannot be discussed with them, especially if litigation is involved.
Take time to look at the full scope of the disaster. Is this a long term or short-term problem? If your company has been hacked -the hack maybe a short-term issue, but what about the long-term effects? What information might have been stolen and how will you be able to deal with it. Start by making a list of all the possible ramifications, then narrow it down to the most likely issues. Using this list prepare your messaging and keep updating the message as new information becomes available.
The keys to disaster recovery are flexibility and communication. Keep your current marketing plan in place if possible, but be flexible to add, delete or update your message as needed. Make sure that the message that was on target yesterday is still on track in light of this disaster, if not update or change it wherever possible. Make sure to keep your stakeholders – customers and employees updated on events. Keep your communications as transparent as possible, do not over or under promise. Trust can be a key to your recovery, pretending as if nothing has happened, will not instill trust in you or your company, make sure to keep communications lines open and let the storm pass.
For more information on recovering from a marketing disaster, check out these posts:
- Communicating in a Crisis: Creating a Disaster Response Marketing Plan (BizFilings.com)
- How to Create a Disaster Plan for Your Business (Entrepreneur)
- Disaster Recovery Plan vs. Business Continuity Plan (Cron.com)
- Email Marketing Daily, August 29, 2017. “Airbnb Sends ‘Floating World’ Email Amidst Harvey Destruction”.
By: Audrey Garcia Posted: July 19, 2017
Sometimes people are surprised to hear that JMS doesn’t put its name on client work. But once in awhile, JMS is brought to the spotlight due to great clients and campaigns that keep us always pushing to achieve more.
Our Very Own Woman of Distinction
Each year with support from Shaw Media, McHenry County Magazine, presents the Women of Distinction Awards to individuals in the County who are role models and leaders in their fields and communities. These women come from many different backgrounds and work in a variety of industries, but they all share a common goal of paving the way for young women and giving back to the communities in which they live.
President and founder Jean Marie Saidler, was selected as one of this year’s winners; she joins an amazing group of other women who have made a clear impact on others. The JMS team joined Jean Marie at the awards luncheon on May 10, where she and the other winners had a chance to reflect on their journeys. Each recipient had wonderful advice to share. Jean Marie expressed her gratitude for being selected, recognized the staff and her family as her support system, and reminded the audience that young women should be assured that they really can do anything they set their minds to.
Designing for Quality and Precision
JMS often works with clients to develop new websites and to keep their websites updated as technology changes. For client K&L Anodizing, that time to update had come. K&L has been a leader in the highly technical metal finishing industry for more than 65 years. Their clients represent some of the largest industries in medical, aerospace, military and commercial manufacturing. JMS Senior Graphic Designer Brad Norlin took on the challenge, with the client’s goals and optimum functionality in mind. K&L wanted to refresh content, update pages and add new information in an industry where regulations change frequently but processes carry over through time.
Brad worked with JMS account managers and the client to develop a user-friendly design and layout that would present information quickly and succinctly. And this efficient design recently earned JMS an American Web Design Award from Graphic Design USA.
Take a peek at the updated website and let us know if you’re ready for a refresh.
Congratulations to Jean Marie and Brad on their recent achievements, showcasing how JMS goes beyond the expected for client success!
By: lstark Posted: March 10, 2017
JMS Marketing has always been client-focused, specializing in B2B strategic communications to help organizations grow their businesses. As we continue to market to and for a variety of audiences in many industries, we can now not only bring fresh perspectives to communications campaigns but also effectively meet 100 percent of our customer base’s diversity requirements.
JMS recently received word that the company had been certified as a Women’s Business Enterprise by the Chicago Certification Committee. This regional certifying group is a partner of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) and guides applicants through an extensive certification process and on-site visit to ensure all requirements are met and maintained. By including women-owned businesses among their suppliers, corporations and government agencies also demonstrate their commitment to fostering diversity and the continued development of their supplier diversity programs.
Jean Marie Saidler, JMS president and co-owner, was eager to share the news with the team and clients, as it reinforces the company’s goal of continuing to enhance the ways clients are supported beyond individual projects. This certification is yet another step in JMS’ evolution to help clients achieve long-term success.
By: lstark Posted: February 8, 2017
Good ‘ol PowerPoint. It can be your best friend, offering support and making your team look good when meeting with customers. But if it’s not living up to its potential, PowerPoint can also drag down any presentation.
JMS Marketing has worked with clients to develop many PowerPoint templates and presentations, and there are best practices we try to follow to make sure these presentations shine for—but not outshine—our clients. We’ve decided to gather internal strategies and take a peek at what others are doing to share some tips and tricks with you. Next time you’re developing a new presentation, keep these things in mind.
A template sets the tone
For any new presentation, we always recommend developing a template—or a few—that represents your brand. While built-in themes may work on some occasions, most viewers can easily spot it, and it most often says nothing about who you are, what you do or the value you can bring to the customer.
Instead, create a theme unique to your business to help customers identify with your brand from the start of the presentation and carry a seamless impression all the way through. By using the same template or a series of templates that all fit within your brand guidelines, customers will begin to identify with your team or company in a similar way no matter who prepares, delivers or follows up on the presentation itself.
Less is more when it comes to copy
Don’t get me wrong; at JMS, we love to write and the power of words! But when it comes to PowerPoint, copy can make or break a presentation. We’ve all sat in on a presentation where the entire slide—every slide—is full of long sentences all the way down the screen. And we all either enjoyed the midday nap or used a great deal of energy to stick it out and likely, not remember most of it anyway.
A good rule of thumb is to stick to only five or six lines of copy with minimal content on each. Phrases tend to work better than sentences, as the presenter can fill in the details. Keep in mind that a viewer is also a listener, so they are required to process both what you say and what you show. The key is to make sure that what you show complements, not takes away from, what you say.
While you’re at it, don’t be afraid to include content sans (without) bullets. While bullets are often the standard and can help organize information, without them, copy can sometimes add an extra visual element. To help organize your content, think about leaving the audience with one idea per slide. Most groups would rather see 20 compelling slides they can remember rather than 10 slides too heavy with information.
Fonts DO matter
Presentations are meant to help make a visual statement, but there is a clear line when it comes to fonts. Choose a typeface that is legible, often sans sarif fonts (those without tails on the ends of letters; this font, for example is sans sarif), and make sure to choose a color that is easily viewed against your background (keep this in mind when developing your initial theme and avoid backgrounds with many varying colors!).
Size and weight are important too. Less copy will make it easier to ensure your content is large enough to read. Depending on your background, bolding your text may make all the difference. While copy does not need to completely fill the page, it should be just as easily read in the back of the room as the front.
Leave the rainbows outside
One creative way to draw attention to an important word or phrase is to use a contrasting color for that copy. Using a bright color in between white words will make the idea pop. But the trick is finding the balance. Stick to only two colors from your color scheme (three if really necessary) in your content and try to ensure the images or graphics in the rest of the slide also complement one another. Tones may vary, especially when using colorful images, but set a goal for only five obvious colors on each slide and be sure
Make an impact—one impact
Have you seen those PowerPoint slides that are jam-packed with not copy but photos? The intent may be good, varying copy with visuals, but visuals should make a statement and leave the viewer feeling the way you want them to feel. Consider selecting one image that has a larger impact on its own. Or use visuals to increase the emotional connection to a key statistic or piece of information rather than simply listing numbers.
These types of slides can also pair well with varying presentation styles. Any speaker can speak to an image or visual piece of information. But more importantly, a practiced speaker may consider altering the rate at which they speak, leave a pause or emphasize a certain piece of information for additional impact. Your customers didn’t sign up to experience the next new action flick, but since B2B decisions are much more emotional than B2C, it’s okay to go one step further to convey the important role your team can play for them.
Make the distractions purposeful
One PowerPoint feature that receives much debate is the use of transitions between slides. Our advice is to keep the transitions minimal or similar between slides to let your content shine. Content builds; where copy appears one line, word or section at a time after a click; on slides can even be valuable if you want to control when viewers received certain information. Other “distractions” can also be meaningful.
JMS routinely advocates for using supporting content such as videos, sound clips, creative imagery, graphics, short stories or other tools to enhance the visual appeal of your content. Choose a small number of key supporting pieces for optimal impact and make sure they tie clearly to the information you are presenting (extra tip: if you don’t have internet access, do a quick Google search for free websites that can pull videos from YouTube to embed in your presentations!).
No matter your business, presentations are likely a part of your sales cycle. Content is always important, but be sure to consider how all aspects of your presentation will affect your customers. Feel free to contact us to learn more about new features from PowerPoint and how a carefully developed presentation can support your business!
By: lstark Posted: October 28, 2016
Our very own Brandon Couture recently completed a unique project, adding the title of published illustrator to his resume. Brandon grew up in a tight-knit neighborhood, so when one neighbor decided to honor the upcoming arrival her granddaughter with her own story, it was a natural fit to have him develop illustrations.
Brandon spent time with the author, Chris Danzi, discussing how the family had long anticipated the baby’s arrival and how she imagined the story being depicted. Then he got to work bringing the story to life. Brandon spent countless hours developing illustrations that showcased the emotions of the characters, accurately represented the family it featured and had a consistent, playful feel that all readers would enjoy.
Brandon handed over the illustrations to the layout team and was finally able to see the finished product late this summer. Waiting for Emma tells the story of the author’s daughter and son-in-law on their long but rewarding journey to have their first child. And for those with a soft spot for the furry family members, the book also honors their beloved dog who is featured in nearly all illustrations.
Truly a labor of love, Danzi is grateful to have this special gift to share with her family and now has a second book idea in mind. Be on the lookout for Brandon’s next great set of illustrations and if you’re lucky, he may let you have his autograph before he’s really famous!