Decus Strategic Marketing and Communications is now PitchNoise.
The days of the “publicist” have passed us by. Sure we can get you in front of people, in the media and develop the subject matter expertise you’ve been clamoring for – but it’s not as easy as it used to be. Your pursuit of visibility has to be a wholistic experience. You’re not a name, or a title or an athlete or an executive or a writer – you’re a BRAND.
So – Why PitchNoise?
The world is a noisy place. There are authors and “experts” on television, social media, radio, newspapers and blogs who probably don’t know as much as you do about your topic but get plenty of attention anyway. And it’s because they’ve got help. They’ve got a strategy. They’ve got an “in.” They have a message that resonates with the audience they are pursuing. It’s time YOU got noticed. We’re REALLY good at getting you noticed. We’re REALLY adept at carving out your message so it resonates. From putting you in the right room or in the right media to managing your social network so your brand shines. Resonates. Makes a difference. That’s what PitchNoise is all about.
by Mark Gilman
We have been asked to help companies with re-branding efforts for years and in many cases, they really don’t want our opinion – they just want something that looks pretty and conceptually represents a
company reputation and mission that doesn’t resonate with its customers and clients.
A brand is not just a graphic design, but a reflection of who you are – to your customers. This is a problem with many firms and companies who say they already know who they are because they asked each other in the boardroom. I remember doing a re-brand with a Detroit area law firm which believed the reason their clients love them, is because they’re so reasonably priced. Well, branding 101 (and Marketing 101 for that matter) tells us that you never want to identify or brand yourself based on price. So I called their bluff. I actually went out of the boardroom to ask the people who best understood the company (their clients) what they thought was the differentiation? To humor the firm, I actually asked about the price nonsense. The normal reaction generally hovered around “I don’t care if they charge $5 or $500 an hour. If they’re not doing their job, they’re gone.” As it turns out, the firm was popular with its clients because of their ability to anticipate issues instead of sitting around waiting to be told what to do. That message became the core of the re-brand.
So walking into a company which says – “We know who we are. We just don’t like our logo,” doesn’t work. Ever. Research, research, research. What does the company really stand for? What makes them different? I really don’t care what they want to be, their brand really has to resonate with who they are now and what they mean to their customers/clients. Once that’s determined – then we can build something pretty and talk about colors and fonts, etc.
So before you bring a graphic designer in the room – do your homework. Why are you different? What do you offer than no one else does? Why do your customers keep coming back?
Surveys, personal client audits, feedback, social media responses, etc. should determine who you are much more than what company leadership in the conference room think they are. And the responses from your clients/customers will be much more valid if you let someone else ask the questions. Like us. Then once you’ve determined what that is – reflect it in everything you do. Not just your logo and slogan. Your website, your social media descriptors, your brochures (Yes, some people still use them), your RFP responses and your marketing strategy. A brand is a strategy. A go-to-market proposition…. and a logo.
By Mark Gilman
“Sometimes I think the family I was brought up in was 100 years out of date.”
Have you ever wondered why start-ups, as well as second stage companies, always find the money to spend on marketing and public relations strategies and executions? Seriously. These companies barely have enough money to pay employees, and many of the founders would rather forego a paycheck than cut back on their marketing and public relations expenditures. Why? Because they know the best widget or service in the world is dead on arrival if people have never heard about it. Continue Reading
Anderson Economic Group in East Lansing decided to put numbers behind a belief that in spite of the negative publicity garnered by the city of Detroit over the past decade, the live and recorded music industry is still thriving in the “D” and brings with it some lucrative numbers and jobs – to the “tune” of $170m.
Decus’ PR team made sure the study resonated across the country with pickups by Billboard, Digital Music News and Our State Music, as well as locally with many targeted placements for the positive Detroit story, with radio and print interviews featuring AEG’s Alex Rosaen including this lengthy coverage in the Detroit News, this story written by MLive and in Crain’s Detroit Business.
As much as we love our work and helping businesses every day find their stride – there is more to life! As a former high school varsity hockey player in Vermont, Decus President Mark Gilman has not only watched three of his boys play at all levels of youth hockey, but has rolled up his sleeves to do more than be just a spectator. Mark is not only a Director for the Michigan Amateur Hockey Association, but in his spare time, writes and hosts a blog for hockey parents called MiHockeyKid.com. As proficient as Mark is in getting proactive attention for his clients, the call he got from USA Hockey Magazine was not only “re-active” but totally unexpected. Reaching a publication that goes out monthly to more than 580,000 USA Hockey members, Mark was thrilled to share his parent experience in the magazine’s “Back to Hockey, Back to School” article published in their September/October edition.
If you use the phrases “rush to judgment,” “jump on the bandwagon” and the always popular “dive in head first,” you certainly wouldn’t be discussing anything remotely related to professional services marketing or the practice of law and accounting in general. So why is it that you would expect everyone at the firm to launch into social networking without hesitation?
Needless to say, I’ve given my share of professional services marketing social media primers and helped some attorneys find their inner Tweet (or at least Link In) online. And usually all nod that they’d like to “try it.” But this whole “one size fits all” mentality is becoming – a colossal waste of time. Continue Reading
Decus client Bobby Smith, founder of En Garde, was honored March 26th when he attended an early morning reception (pictured with Decus President Mark Gilman) by Governor Snyder’s Fitness Campaign and then was tapped to give the keynote address at the evening event at Ford Field in Detroit. As well as running En Garde, an organization which brings fencing to Detroit area schools, Smith also oversees “Sword Dreams” which bring other non-traditional sports to the inner city such as baseball and hockey. Originally from Jamaica via New Jersey, Smith is one of the reasons we at Decus gets up every morning and feel confident about the future of Detroit. Smith tireless work at bringing bonding the link between fitness and education is being recognized on a national basis.