Increasing ROI by Keeping Target Audiences on Track Throughout the Decision Making Journey
Why the Gonzberg Agency?
The short answer: tons of experience, digital and legacy — from both boom and bust times.
Nothing willy-nilly. Just better results through proper planning, production, and execution by seasoned professionals who understand how to keep prospects engaged throughout the customer journey.
Professional research, academia, and the Gonzberg Agency experience all point in the same direction.
The Independent Numbers
According to Gartner research, integrated campaigns across 4+ channels outperform single or dual-channel campaigns by 300%, while Nielsen research shows that billboards and digital combined yield a 4x increase in online activation.
An IPA Databank study shows that legacy advertising can give a lift of 54% in search traffic, 38% in Facebook interaction, 25% in Instagram engagement, and 47% in sales activation.
In the complex environment of integrated marketing, it is useful to have a multifaceted background, and few have a more accomplished one than Maria.
As a UC Berkeley graduate in molecular and cell biology, with considerable experience from companies like Genentech and Chiron, Maria brings a truly unique perspective to the executive suite.
Maria's extensive and varied career in biotech, includes scientific research, manufacturing processes, seven years as an Institutional Review Board member, and the building of business infrastructure, which, in turn, led her to business development and marketing.
Besides an uncanny ability to think in the abstract, Maria also provides the solid understanding of analytics, and the attention to detail needed for success in an environment of exceedingly complex customer journeys.
At the Gonzberg Agency it is the management of online advertising and earned media programs that reap most of the benefits of Maria's atypical frame of reference and years of combined experience in science and business.
Evan Berglund brings award-winning experience in market communications and information technology to the table as senior partner at the Gonzberg Agency — having worked with local, national, and international clients both in Europe and the US.
In addition to his many years of experience in managing people and projects, it is Evan's ability to distill "informed simplicity" from complexity, and put it to work — regardless of subject matter, and wherever that complexity may exist — that makes Evan a unique and valuable asset in anything that has to do with mass communication.
A good example of this is Evan's definition of "best practices," which he coined after he realized that there was no succinct, and useful, definition for the content of an information management system he was working on when he was one of the principals at EduCel. Evan's definition is now taught at universities across the nation and used by mission critical operations around the world, including the FCC's Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, the U.S. Army, the CDC and UNESCO.
At the Gonzberg Agency, Evan serves as a strategist and team lead for local, regional, and national clients in the SMB space who appreciate the challenges of integrated marketing.
Research, Strategy & Creative Work by seasoned executives.
An example of a full suite of strategy development at the Gonzberg Agency:
Competition and Market
A 360° SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis on available market data as they relate to paid advertising, PR, and all web related properties and activities.
Situation analysis and findings regarding current direct response, and branding objectives, with recommendations for new, realistic and measurable goals, if needed.
Situation analysis and findings regarding demographics, psychographics, sociographics, and all phases of relevant specific customer journeys, with recommendations for how to hone in on the most profitable target(s).
Situation analysis and findings regarding the current positioning/branding strategy, with recommendations for how to strengthen your position and brand in specific customer journeys relevant to your target audience.
Situation analysis and findings regarding current creatives, with recommendations for improvements, including potential design concepts and mockups for cross-platform activities.
Situation analysis and findings regarding all relevant paid advertising, PR, and web related properties and activities — including, but not limited to, legacy media, POS (Point of Sale) systems, and CRM (Customer Relationship Management) efforts — with recommendations for integration improvements, and a new media plan.
This video for SCU ran both in movie theaters and online, as one element of many in a fully integrated direct marketing campaign promoting the graduate school's left brain, right brain approach to teaching engineering management.
Production and execution of broadcast, print, outdoor, direct mail, movie theater spots, display ads, PPC management, and more.
The Shoreline Lake website is a, custom made, full stack development, with booking and shopping features for a wide range of services.
Full stack, custom made, responsive websites, videos, omnichannel shopping support, point-of-sales augmentation, collateral, showroom enhancements, newsletter programs, social media programs, and more.
Gonzberg Agency also provides a full suite of branding services, including design and style guides to ensure a predetermined, indelible impression is left in the target's mind across all touchpoints.
When performing brand research for Shoreline Lake, Gonzberg Agency found that most people did not know there was a lake in Silicon Valley. The new design, with a visual of the lake, is now an integral part of all market communications, both physical and ephemeral.
According to Nielsen consumers now crave "real content" when making purchase decisions — which Nielsen defines as "articles from credible journalists." On average, articles from credible journalists lift purchase intent 38% more than branded content, and 83% more than user reviews.
KTVU Fox 2 | Mornings On 2 (Weekend): Live interview with Dr. Yung Lie during Runyon Up Stair Climb for Cancer Research at Salesforce Tower
A sampling of media with client mentions — facilitated by the Gonzberg Agency.
Will it Fly?®
You have a great business, you have news, and you just hatched a great idea for how to generate some real press. But, considering that journalists must sift through hundreds of pitches a day, have you covered all the bases to make sure your idea gets the attention it deserves?
The following is a best practices checklist that will help you determine the chances of your news getting picked out of a journalist's daily pile.
(You should also develop a comprehensive plan, an online pressroom, a media list, a relevant editorial calendar, a press kit, and a press release.)
Section Objective: To ensure you determine the best methods for distributing a media pitch according to best practices.
Have you determined the methods by which each of your contacts prefers receiving pitches?
If you have not nailed down a contact preference for each of your journalists, have you made sure to focus on email as the primary means of contacting them?
Besides not pitching journalists by phone (unless urgency is required), to avoid coming across as a stalker, are you making sure that you only follow up by email once?
As your media list may contain an array of different types of contacts (journalists from established publishers and newer media outlets, freelancers, bloggers, etc.), be aware that each one will want to be pitched according to their preferred means of communication, based on each topic or area of interest he/she covers. If you don't do your homework here, no matter how relevant your pitch, chances are high it, and future pitches, will end up ignored.
Keep in mind, though, that for journalists — even those with a heavy social media presence — ninety percent would rather receive a story idea via email, as it allows for a single message containing the information they need to make a rapid judgment call, and which they can review on their own time schedule. In addition, regardless of how ubiquitous it may seem, journalists are less likely to trust what comes from social media. Plus, their social media activity could be specific to their own personal interests (and not the topics for which they get paid).
Also, most journalists do not want to get pitched by phone, given that newsroom resources, and the time they can spend on individual stories, keeps shrinking. Unless it is urgent breaking news (or a tip about a highly sensitive topic), many journalists perceive phone calls, especially follow up calls, as a nuisance and a sign that you do not respect their time. With regard to following up, do so by email, and only once, if you have not heard anything back after a few days.
Section Objective: To ensure you have configured a media pitch according to best practices.
Since reporters typically get 200+ pitches per day, have you made sure your media pitch is truly unique?
Is the pitch in plain text format only, with no attachments or graphics embedded?
Have you made sure the pitch is not more than two to three paragraphs long?
Have you designed it to pique the media contact/reporter's interest?
Does the pitch address the reporter as "Dear Mr./Ms. XX" or "Hi [First Name]" depending on the formality/informality of the context?
Did you provide your name at the end of the pitch and include your contact information (more than one method), or another's, particularly if traveling?
Aside from spell-checking, did you also carefully proof your pitch several times as well?
Have you made sure that someone else has proofed your pitch and checked for errors?
Developing a media pitch is a basic element of public relations, but there are right and wrong ways to go about it. Place yourself in a reporter's shoes when writing a pitch and understand that on an average day, reporters receive up to 200 pitches via email. As such, you will need to make sure that yours stands out.
In regard to an e-mailed pitch, do not include attachments or embed graphics or HTML in the pitch. A plain text format is best. It should be fairly short and to-the-point (2-3 paragraphs at most), and designed to pique the media contact/reporter's interest so that he or she will want to contact you for additional information.
You should have background information ready to send (when a reporter contacts you), but you do not need to include ALL the information on the product or announcement in the media pitch. Shorter is better.
Address a reporter with whom you do not have a relationship and when circumstances require more formality, by using a title, such as "Dear Mr./Ms. XX." For a less formal context, even if you have not had prior contact with the reporter, it is acceptable to address the reporter with "Hi [First Name]." Make sure to include your full name, as well as your contact information (best two methods) in the pitch.
If you will be traveling when you send the pitch, make sure to include a cell phone number, or some way that the reporter can get in touch with you. Nothing is more frustrating than to miss a story opportunity because the reporter was on deadline and you couldn't be reached because you were out of the office. It is perfectly OK for you to send the pitch, but do include both your and another contact's information so that the reporter can reach at least one of you if he/she is on deadline.
Spell-check and proof your pitch. It is best to draft the pitch, look it over, then walk away from it for a while. Come back to it later and proof it again before sending it out. Also, remember that a second pair of eyes is also useful in reviewing your media pitch.
Section Objective: To ensure you have developed the content according to best practices.
Does the pitch get to the point/purpose in the first sentence?
Is the subject line of your pitch intriguing enough to make the reporter want to open your message and read more?
Does your pitch have a "call to action" (such as meeting up at a trade show)?
To show that you have their interests in mind, does your pitch open with a line such as, "I thought your readers might be interested in...X"?
Does your pitch cover why this reporter should care about your company or product?
Have you read the publication, found out who covers similar topics, and generally done research, so you're not approaching the media blindly?
Does your pitch: have real news value, build a relationship and showcase your company as a resource?
Have you researched the reporter enough to personalize/customize your pitch to a particular reporter's interest?
In contacting reporters about previously published pieces on your competitors, have you mentioned (in the opening paragraph) using your company as a resource for future articles?
Get to the point early. Some reporters will not even open the message if the subject line doesn't intrigue them. Try to include why the reporter should care in the subject line and first sentence or two of the pitch. Otherwise, the reporter may not continue reading, and you will have lost your opportunity.
You can also include a "call to action" in the pitch, such as requesting a meeting at a trade show you will both be attending.
Reporters also like to know you have their interests and their readers' interests in mind, so you can open the pitch with a line such as, "I thought your readers might be interested in the following story idea...," or, "I'd like to query your interest in X topic..."
Be selective about pitching the media. In fact, before you pitch any media, study it. Check out the publication/show/outlet. Figure out the media that covers similar topics and the formats they prefer. Whether pitching to a conservative newspaper, a women's fashion magazine or a morning talk show, determine whether your pitch: has news value for the reporter; helps build a relationship by bringing this information to his/her attention; and allows your company to serve as a resource to the reporter, by sharing this information.
Try to customize/personalize the pitch to the specific reporter's interest or beat. For example, don't send a reporter who covers healthcare issues a story idea focused on the manufacturing industry. Try to research the reporter online at the publication's website, or invest in an online service which provides such information as a reporter's beat, the way he/she prefers to be contacted, etc.
If you've seen an article the reporter wrote on the industry, feel free to mention that in the opening paragraph. "I saw your article on XX and thought this might be of interest." Or "I saw an article you recently wrote which covered our competitor X, and thought you might like to know that our company also offers solutions in this industry. We hope the next time you are writing about this topic, you might think of us as a resource."
Section Objective: To ensure you have applied the right style in the pitch according to best practices.
Have you made sure your pitch sounds as professional as possible?
To avoid alienating the media due to exaggeration, are you being honest about the newsworthiness of your current idea?
Have you avoided over-explaining secondary advantages, so you don't take the impact away from highlighting the primary advantages?
Have you briefly recapped the major advantage(s) of your product or service without undue repetition?
Are you sure your media pitch is written or said in a tone that speaks up (rather than down) to the people you are pitching to?
To engage their interest, have you shown the media that you are different and capable of creating the unexpected?
Media contacts/journalists appreciate honesty in your pitch — understandable when you consider the number of pitches they receive every day. While you want to avoid the overuse of hyperbole, a certain amount of excitement in explaining your product or service is acceptable. However, keep your pitch within the constraints of professionalism.
Be honest about the newsworthiness of your article. Don't exaggerate or come across as melodramatic. Doing so will make your company look so desperate that you will stoop to anything to get publicity. You will also badly jeopardize your future relationship and PR possibilities with that media, since you may not be able to get publicity when you do actually have something substantial and interesting to report.
When you pitch, keep in mind that, the more and deeper you get involved in explaining secondary advantages, the more impact you take away from highlighting the primary advantages. Media contacts/journalists, like anyone else, have a limited memory and retention capacity. Therefore, you should pitch your primary advantages first. Be very succinct and to-the-point. Don't cloud their retention of these primary advantages with information that isn't that important. You can always refer them to supportive information sources (or links) for more details.
At the end of your pitch, whether written or verbal, briefly recap the major advantages of your product or service. However, be careful — don't repeat yourself too much to the point where it can get condescending.
Keep in mind that the "tone" of your pitch, whether written or verbal, will also influence the media. Select words that speak up to the people you are pitching to: i.e., "Speak to them, not at them." If you have a difficult product to understand, don't come off as a schoolteacher giving instruction — inform them in a way that acknowledges their qualifications and level of comprehension.
Strive to be different and create the unexpected. If you can capture the imagination and interest of your media contact/journalist, he/she will realize that your news will elicit the same reaction from his/her media target market.
Section Objective: To ensure you relay your pitch's message effectively when in verbal contact with journalists according to best practices.
Do you have a condensed version of the pitch (20-30 seconds or less) that is suitable to give over the phone, or in person?
Do you have spokespeople who are prepared to give the pitch over the phone when necessary?
Have those spokespeople practiced the pitch using a Q&A document, in order to keep their answers simple and to the point?
Have you and your spokespeople practiced fielding questions, so that you know your story well enough to revise the pitch if objections are raised?
To show that you are considerate, do you always ask if a reporter is on deadline?
To reporters you do not know, are you up front and say "We haven't spoken before," instead of pretending to be a reporter's best friend?
For reporters that you've gotten to know, have you tried to be a little more relaxed in the tone of your voice, so he/she feels more relaxed in dealing with you?
Even though email will likely be the usual means of communication between you and the media contact/journalist, you should have a condensed version of the pitch that is ready to give over the phone in approximately 20-30 seconds. This concise pitch can also come in handy if you should be face-to-face with your contact.
Also, make sure you have spokespeople (two or three is probably a safe number, in case of travel, etc.) who are prepared to give this pitch over the phone, have practiced it, and are ready to answer questions that the pitch may raise.
Preparing an internal Q&A document can help guide your spokespeople, and make them feel more comfortable in fielding questions. Basically, no matter what you or they have to say, make sure that it's said simply, and to-the-point: Beating around the bush, or overusing cliches and hyperbole, effectively tell the reporter that you have nothing pertinent to say.
Know your story well. You'll need to know how to revise your pitch when objections come up: And they will come up. You don't want to be in the position where you don't have an answer. Have practice sessions, where you and the spokespeople (and other members of your staff) pelt each other with questions so you can get used to providing off-the-cuff answers.
Journalists/media contacts, like anyone else, have personal preferences about how to contact them. While researching online, obtaining contact info through a specialized service, or via a variety of other techniques are solid practices, if you do get them one-on-one, don't forget to ask about their preference. Not only will this verify the information you have, but also help you avoid looking pushy.
If your verbal pitch develops into a request for additional info, always remember to ask if a reporter is on deadline. In most cases, they will appreciate your being considerate. Your aim is to get a relationship going with them that will benefit your company. Since they regularly confront people that get on their nerves, your being considerate could end up being valuable.
When pitching to reporters that you do not know, be up front: Say "We haven't spoken before," instead of pretending to know the reporter. If you do otherwise, the journalist will miss the first valuable minutes of your pitch in trying to figure out who you are, and will be irritated. However, if you've gotten to know them, be a little more relaxed, particularly with your tone of voice. In turn the journalist will end up being more relaxed with you, which could improve your chances of getting published.
Outfits We Have Helped
Not for Profit: Adoption Connection, Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation, Independent Adoption Center, The First Tee. Education: Fountainhead Montessori School, Fountainhead Montessori Adult Education, Santa Clara University, School for Independent Learners. Business to Business: Environmental Remedies, Inc., Global Personnel Solutions, Pacific Office-Scape, Silicon Shores Corp. Consumer Products & Services: Acting Lessons Inc., Capelo's Barbecue, Jessie et Laurent, Martin Screen Shop, MPH Asset Management Co., Pancho Villa Restaurants, Pet's Rest, Shoreline Lake, Tradewinds Sailing. Retail: Cal-Mart, Christensen Heller Gallery, City Paints, DJ Bath II Plus, FLAX art & design, Hockey-X Superstore, The Bath + Beyond.
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