FIVE FUN WAYS TO ENGAGE YOUR AUDIENCE DURING A FESTIVAL

Festival season is in full swing here in New Orleans. With Mardi Gras wrapped up last month, and many festivals soon to come like the New Orleans Wine & Food Festival, Jazz Fest and plenty more in between, we’re getting ourselves ready for the month ahead. Putting on events is no easy task, from planning to executing and promoting, the process can be overwhelming. Throughout, you want to be able to pull in attendees, whether that be through social media or traditional advertising, and you want them to stay engaged during the entire event. We’ve come up with five fun ways to help keep your audience engaged during your event/festival:

Photo Scavenger Hunt

Increase engagement by setting up “selfie stations.” Have the guests visit each station, snap a selfie then post it on Instagram. Set some easy guidelines and rules, such as tagging your company and using featured hashtags for the event for a chance to be entered into a drawing to win some type of prize.

 Filters

Sharing experiences through stories on social media has become more popular than a post itself. Snapchat and Instagram filters are a great way to get your audience involved. Creating a filter with your company name, brand, festival or even themed to match your event is a way to allow attendees to share the time they spent at your event in a fun and exciting way.

 Spotify

Everyone loves a good playlist. Create a playlist to share with attendees before the festival/event. These playlists can range from music to informational podcasts, allowing guests to get a firsthand look at what to expect. Sharing a playlist will connect your audience as well, give them something to discuss during and after the event.

 Live Polls

If your event features seminars and/or lectures, or you simply want to get some reviews and stats, encourage guests to participate in polls. By doing this you can increase your following, get those at the event involved and get live feedback.

 Create an App

This may sound a little daunting but having an app specifically for your event can help smooth over the entire process for your attendees and yourself. An app can be the first resource to your attendee, holding ticket information, event programming, dates, locations and more. Have a comment section to get feedback, or make in-app purchases an option to allow for a more enjoyable experience for your attendees.

 

GET TO KNOW US: PAIGE MITCHELL, ACCOUNT COORDINATOR

The newest addition to DEVENEY-  Account Coordinator, Paige Mitchell talks her inspiration, outlook on life, and why she loves the Big Easy in today’s installment of “Get to Know Us”.

How did you get into this industry?

In college, I was the Marketing and Communications Intern for Charleston Wine and Food Festival. I worked with such an amazing team and had such a great time, I decided to continue working in the industry.

What did you study in College?

I studied International Business with a minor in French.

How long have you been working in the industry?

I’m a newbie! I’ve been in the industry for about a year and a half now.

What continues to motivate you in this industry?

I love telling a business’s story and then helping and watching that business grow.

What was your favorite project?

During my internship, one of my jobs was to get live content for our social media platforms. Being able to go out and enjoy the events, capturing some of the best moments made the rest worth it.

What is your key to success?

I try to always keep a positive outlook. I think staying positive throughout your busiest time helps keep you motivated and excited for the week ahead.

What’s your favorite thing about New Orleans?

The Architecture. That sounds nerdy but I love walking through the city and feeling like I’m in a different country. The food doesn’t hurt either.

Number one piece of advice you would give your younger self?

“What’s meant for you, will come to you.” I got this advice from my grandma by the end of my senior year and it made all the difference in how I looked at job rejections.

Why DEVENEY?

The DEVENEY team works hard to empower and support each other. They have a great sense of work/life balance and strive to be better every day.

What do you do in your free time?

I love to play volleyball or go to a yoga class but I’m also a bit of a bookworm and easily can spend the night on my couch reading. I also really love baking!

 

GET TO KNOW US: JOE SNOWDEN, CHIEF STRATEGY OFFICER

In this on-going series, we introduce you to some of the new folks at DEVENEY, their unique perspectives and ultimately, why they chose to work at our agency.  Today’s entry spotlights, Joe Snowden, our Chief Strategy Officer.

Joe Snowden DEVENEY Chief Strategy Officer

How did you get into this industry?

In college I started writing jingles for a few local brands, mostly banks. I wrote, produced and performed all of them by playing my guitar and singing. Jingles were my compromise between “real work” and creative work, where music and marketing merged.

What did you study in College?

I majored in advertising.

How long have you been working in the industry?

I’ve been in this industry for about 30 years now. I started out in the industry back in college. I was president of my fraternity at the time and was living this “double life” of putting on a suit and living in the real world then coming back to the fraternity house.

What continues to motivate you in this industry?

When I’m excited about the people I’m working with, I’m excited about helping them grow. I enjoy being able to look at a client and know that they succeeded personally and business wise from our work.

What was your favorite project?

Working with a regional retailer of billiards and home recreation products. The owner was one of my friends and I would write all of his radio spots. I was able to really have fun and write some ridiculous and funny things. The relationship with client was great!

What is your key to success?

You have to focus on the relationship with the client. Look for an alignment between the cultures, if yours and the clients match, they’re more likely to trust and enjoy the agency.

What’s your favorite thing about New Orleans?

The joie de vivre. New Orleans is full of friendly and happy people, plus the music culture just flows through the city.

Number one piece of advice you would give your younger self?

Relax and appreciate it more.

Why DEVENEY?

The DEVENEY team is very empowered to do things on their own volition. Everyone here knows how to stop and smell the roses. We work hard but know how to embrace and enjoy the day.

What do you do in your free time?

I still spend a lot of my time writing music and playing my guitar. I’m a big fan of Country, Americana and Bluegrass. If I’m not doing that then I’m usually running.

SUPER ADVERTISING, FOR A NOT SO SUPER 2019 BOWL

If those who live in New Orleans didn’t participate in the Super Bowl blackout, then they probably just watched for the advertisements and let’s be honest, who doesn’t love a good Super Bowl ad? Companies pull out their best and most outlandish ideas to curate hilarious, moving and down right entertaining advertisements. This year we asked the DEVENEY team for their take on which Super Bowl LIII ad was their favorite and why they loved it.

Jessica Civello:

I vote Budweiser. Because Dylan, dog, Clydesdales and wind power.

Samantha Krupicka:

I loved the Doritos spot with Chance the Rapper and the Backstreet Boys. Such an unexpected but fun celebrity combination that I think really plays to the brand’s target audience. It makes me want to get up and dance with a tagline that’s catchy and fresh.

Paige Mitchell:

I also loved the Doritos ad. Using the Backstreet Boys and Chance the Rapper to represent an old crowd favorite flavor turned into a new spicy flavor worked well. They use relevant artists and hit a large target audience.

Terri Kaupp:

I think the Stella ad was awesome – also found one for Expensify  with 2 Chains and Adam Scott from Parks and Rec that was cool. I think they both did a great job casting.

Brittany Cruickshank:

The Michelob Ultra ad was pure genius. Combining celebrity, trends (ASMR) and travel will hit their target audience of millennials right in the core.

Carrie DeVries Pavlick:

I like Pepsi’s “More than OK,” ad. It mixes pop culture with humor and features a “something for everyone” cast.

Anne Miller:

LEBOWSKI! – Based off this answer, we’d say Anne votes Stella for the win.

Denise Davila:

I also vote for the Stella Artois ad with Carrie Bradshaw and The Dude. The celebrity usage is brilliant because it brings back two beloved characters that appeal to the love of Sex and the City and Big Lebowski absurdity simultaneously. I guess they were successful in targeting MY demographic…

 

Some honorable mentions of the vote are Amazon’s spot, T-Mobile and Bubly. It’s easy to say this year we had some interesting advertisements come out of the works, (did anyone see the Skittles musical?) all of which used humor, pop culture or the right celebrities to stand out and be remembered as one of the top Super Bowl LIII commercials.

Amazon

T-Mobile

Bubly

 

HOW TO FIREPROOF YOUR BRAND

In today’s world every brand has a crisis plan in place. Before launching a new product, commercial, campaign (looking at Nike on this one) – it’s imperative to be prepared for the worst. With New Orleans Convention and Visitor’s Bureau we worked to develop a vulnerability audit associated with their New Orleans WILL campaign. Simply because it just makes sense.

So, you’ve done all of this, you taken in consideration every single thing that can go wrong, now what?

One key step in crisis planning is mitigation. Not only looking at what could go wrong, but how to prevent those things from going wrong. While we cannot control the crisis, through preparation, process and open communication, we can create the best opportunities to respond and manage challenging situations.

Recently, DEVENEY embarked on a crisis mitigation project with a brand who was releasing a new toy for children. To do this, we followed our four-step process to ensure the best results were delivered.

STEP 1: RESEARCH

The process began with a complete understanding of the launch and mission, in-depth, in-person discussions with the brand’s launch team, followed by the exploration of partnerships and research.

STEP 2: ANALYSIS

The vulnerability audit was conducted to inform our report with industry experience, crisis scenarios and case studies. These insights were then incorporated into the overall strategy and mitigation plan. DEVENEY leveraged primary and secondary research to analyze consumer goods released to children, associated crises and best practices as shared by industry experts.

STEP THREE: STRATEGIC PLANNING

Then came the fun part, diving into how to prevent the crisis from ever happening to begin with. This included proactive actions such as the development of a parent and corresponding child coloring instructional book, development of spokesperson council followed by media training, direct mail, landing pages, standby statements, legal counsel, talking points for employees, partners, etc. and much more.

Each scenario, and there were over 100, was discussed, explored for proactive action and then assessed for reactive action needs. The scenarios were also grouped into exposure areas, to help guide the brand’s internal communication team with knowing how to react when an incident falls within one of those areas of threat.

STEP 4: EXECUTION

The final result was a full-fledged crisis mitigation plan, rule book and guide for the brand to consider and execute well in advance of the product launch.

Want to learn more? Get in touch with us to discuss how DEVENEY’s crisis services can benefit your business.

TRAVEL INDUSTRY TRENDS & HOW WE GOT HERE

In recent years marketing professionals have been pounded with the idea that millennials are reshaping consumer trends. Apparently, the group has been responsible for seemingly everything. From changes in shopping behaviors (online, interactive, mobile!) to dining preference (fast casual, local food, avocado toast!) to creative executions and font preference (sustainable packaging, millennial pink! Futura, Avenir, Gotham!)

Wellness travel has been identified as the next frontier of travel preference. For those unfamiliar with wellness travel, these consumers are identified in two ways, either seeking out a destination that allows for a continued routine of fitness and health or those seeking a destination as a break for the betterment of their personal health.

The Evolution Will Be Televised…

Beyond creating a destination for health or to better one’s health, we are now seeing an underpinning of storytelling that must be woven throughout to truly make it a destination worth visiting. It’s not enough to offer a menu of organic food sandwiched between daily yoga salutations. The next generation of travelers doesn’t want to just “consume”, they want immersive experiences. But you’ve heard that, right? And, these new travel experiences can’t just be experiential, they need to be transformative. Leaving a destination and returning as someone with a new outlook on life.

So, how did we get to the point where the average consumer has an expectation of a destination that is in parallel with an individual who might be spending many thousands of dollars on their vacation?

One medium that has influenced the landscape of travel is clearly social media. There have been several recent studies that show that the biggest influence of millennials booking travel is “how Instagrammable” a destination might be. Increased visibility to an awesome experience has certainly raised the bar.

We can also thank those individuals who are actually ON Instagram for creating all those covetable moments. Influencers have moved the needle in the direction of unattainable realities, think gold pineapple cocktails served up in flamingo inflatables at roof deck pool parties. While it all seems far-fetched, hotels and destinations have responded accordingly.

One exemplary example of a local hotel offering the complete destination experience is The Drifter. Imagine taking a step back to 1957 and checking into the roadside Motel 6 minus the leaky faucet. Instead of your standard stay, you will lounge on Eames era inspired furniture while possibly engaging in poolside yoga or meditation. It isn’t just about throwing amenities at your guest, it’s enveloping them in all things authentically unique or at least seemingly authentic.

So, how can we as travel and tourism destination marketers adapt our messaging in a way that will resonate for these new storyline seekers? We need to dig deep. Who are the individuals that uniquely comprise the cultural fabric of our destination? Who are the creators, artists and change makers we can connect our guests to? How can we do this in a way that is authentic and meaningful? What are the unique to our destination experiences we can exclusively offer to our consumers? Or how we can devise messaging and a commercial approach that delivers on the above promises?

With such a visually inclined audience, a destination needs to SHOW how they might be different- this can be via social channels, their advertising campaign or via earned media placement. This concept sounds simple enough, but does the quality of your assets align with messaging of your destination?

Local experience packages or “tours” as we used to call them should be made readily available to this new destination traveler. The experiences need to be made richer- behind the scenes tours, exclusive tastings, meet the maker one on one’s or unique to the destination activities like cliff side yoga, immersive grape stomp wine making followed by terroir trivia. While some of these things might sound ridiculous, there is certainly no question that each would be memorable… sign me up!

 

 

 

THIS BOOT WAS MADE FOR…EXPLORING!

My journeys as part of the Louisiana Travel Association’s Louisiana Tourism Leadership Academy

 

Dear Carrie, Happy New Year! We are excited to have you as a student for our fourth year.

I returned to work after holiday break to this greeting in my inbox. It was a New Year, 2018, and I was beyond excited to learn that I’d be embarking on a year-long professional development journey exploring our great state of Louisiana (the boot), as part of the Louisiana Travel Association’s (LTA) 2018 Louisiana Tourism Leadership Academy (LTLA).

We’d represent a group of 28 strangers, picked to live in a house, work together and have their lives taped, to find out what happens when people stop being polite… and start getting real. Oops, sorry, flashback to my days binge watching MTV’s The Real World.

In reality, we were a group of 28 lucky tourism professionals from across the state, selected among a slew of applicants, to explore some of Louisiana’s best tourism assets in cities including New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Lake Charles, along with those lesser known, but just as enjoyable areas, like Natchitoches, Monroe-West Monroe and Avoyelles Parish.

The program’s mission is to build future tourism leaders, develop their leadership skills and strengthen their networks. And that it did!

Over the course of the year, I logged approximately 1,981 miles of travel, and committed 120 hours to the program. I learned about the importance of advocacy at the State’s Capital; I discovered the charm of Natchitoches (and learned how to pronounce it correctly!) and toured the church where Julia Robert’s character (Shelby) gets married in the movie Steel Magnolias; I shook the hand of the Mayor of Mansura, La., Kenneth Pickett, and tasted some of the best cracklins I’ve ever had at Durand Food Store – I would later place a special order to feature them at the rehearsal dinner of my wedding; I toured (tasted and enjoyed) Landry Vineyards – one of Louisiana’s few wineries; and I discovered a new found love for craft beer at Crying Eagle brewery in Lake Charles.

But more importantly, I made lasting connections with peers that I know I can call on at anytime for feedback, guidance or a favor. I went beyond my comfort zone of Baton Rouge and New Orleans, and visited areas that I’ll travel back to one day, and will encourage others to explore as well. And I saw firsthand the hard work of our tourism leaders to promote Louisiana, not just for their wellbeing, but for all residents and visitors.

I’m happy to extend my involvement in LTLA as a proud alumnus and as part of the LTLA Auction & Scholarship Committee. The two-year commitment is made up of six individuals representing each former LTLA class. As part of my involvement, I’ll be meeting with future LTLA classes. And so, these boots will keep walking…

 

Do you represent a destination you would like to promote? Our professionals are passionate about travel and tourism and DEVENEY would love to help, tweet us @DEVENEYMKTG to get the conversation started.

 

Allegiant Airlines Names DEVENEY as New Agency Partner

DEVENEY, an award-winning engagement agency with offices in New Orleans and West Palm Beach, Florida, is thrilled to take flight on a new partnership with Allegiant, the ninth-largest commercial airline in the U.S.

Serving as an extension of their team, DEVENEY will provide ongoing support for daily social media management, as well as develop, manage and execute social media campaigns on behalf of the major air carrier. In addition, DEVENEY will work to further elevate the brand though community engagements and activations in key markets.

“We’re excited to work with DEVENEY, as we continue to grow our social media presence and develop stronger ties to the communities we serve,” said Kim Schaefer, Allegiant director of public relations. “Having creative, responsive, supportive partners is invaluable to us in both our social media and public relations efforts.”

Founded in 1997 with its headquarters in Las Vegas, Allegiant flies from America’s favorite small cities to world-class destinations, offering low fares without the hassle.

“We are honored to represent Allegiant,” said DEVENEY President John Deveney. “It’s an exciting time for the airline as it expands and grows into new and existing markets, and we are honored to be on the ride with them, delivering our expertise in both digital and community relations along the way.”

For more information about Allegiant, visit allegiant.com or follow the journey on Instagram.

SOCIAL ACTIVISM & WHEN BRANDS TAKE A STANCE

The digital age has ushered in a new era of social activism and political involvement, which has greatly affected the way consumers interact with brands. When taking a stance, brands can easily become subjects in the court of public opinion. Will their stance result in crisis or will they be applauded for their good intentions?

After Colin Kaepernick first took a knee during the National Anthem on August 26th, in protest of minority treatment in the United States, there was a media frenzy and the public took to social platforms to express their dissatisfaction and support of Kaepernick’s actions.  Fast forward two years and Kaepernick is still in the spotlight.

Most recently, he became the face of the newest installation of Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign, “Dream Crazy.” In response, many customers burned merchandise in outrage and cries of boycott rang out across social media. Mayor Ben Zahn of Kenner, LA responded to the advert by imposing a ban on Nike apparel for the parks and recreation department, which was leaked on social media September 5th. Crisis ensued almost immediately, and the Mayor was blasted in a media maelstrom of national proportions.

The digital era has given everyone a platform and a voice. The omnipresence of social media creates an environment in which brands are highly visible. Mayor Zahn’s Nike ban received widespread attention which was greatly increased by social media. Every action he took following the announcement of the ban was followed closely and widely critiqued. For public figures and companies, it is important to consider the following when making divisive statements that make a significant impression on your audience/the public. Your crisis response should always prioritize:

  • Audience
  • Timing
  • Messaging

Gauge your audience. Kenner is home to a diverse population. Many citizens were very outspoken about the memorandum and organized a protest within days. Community members and notable figures such as team members of the New Orleans Saints attended in solidarity. City council members and other local politicians also spoke out against the memorandum, sighting an infringement of basic rights. You must be cognizant of public sentiment when addressing a crisis because you want to ensure that your audience is receptive to your message.

Be aware of your timing. The backlash against Mayor Zahn’s order was immediate. The memorandum was issued on September 5 and he rescinded the order on September 12th. After the original leak, the Mayor refused to comment any further when questioned by media. The response rate to public outcry was prompt but his original messaging did not steer the conversation in a positive direction.

Formulate an appropriate response. It’s important to formulate a response that will resonate with your audience and change the conversation. Mayor Zahn initially responded by saying, “The memo speaks for itself.” This was followed by a public statement in which he defended the ban saying that taxpayer dollars would not be used to support a company that is “using their powerful voice as a political tool.” The public was not very receptive to this response. Mayor Zahn would have fared better if he had initially taken an apologetic tone as opposed to a defensive one.

Nike, on the other hand, received a significant increase in sales, 31% as of September 7th, despite this apparent backlash. Featuring Kaepernick, a controversial figure, in their most recent ad was a bold move but Nike indubitably considered their timing, messaging and brand position before making this decision, allowing them to come out ahead.

Ultimately Mayor Zahn rescinded his order on Nike apparel and products, stating “Acting upon advice of the city attorney, I have rescinded my memorandum of Sept. 5. That memorandum divided the city and placed Kenner in a false and unflattering light on the national stage.” While many are against the use of Kaepernick in the Nike ad it has yet to impact their sales/revenue negatively. This demonstrates how quickly the public is ready to react when public figures and companies take a stance on social issues. Taking a stance does pose some risk but with the right preparation, counsel and proper understanding of your target audience you can positively impact your brand.

Want to learn more about crisis communication? Join our conversation by tweeting us @DEVENEYMKTG.

 

 

WE CONTINUE TO MAKE IT HAPPEN

In our latest one-minute and nine-second video, DEVENEY showcases some of our latest and greatest work.

Whether it is for the travel and tourism, hospitality, or food and beverage industries, we strive to make our clients top-of-mind across the nation.

DEVENEY has continued to shine as an industry leader – targeting highly sought-after millennials by incorporating social media influencers, Snapchat filters and strategic digital ads while continuing to foster traditional media connections along the way.

In the world of over-influence, we have been charged with standing out without losing the authenticity of our clients. For example, Windsor Court,  a New Orleans luxury hotel, offered a Royal Wedding Weekend Getaway for those who couldn’t make it across the pond to Windsor Castle for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s nuptials.

Another interesting tactic we implemented for the hotel just one year prior focused on a vastly different topic. Since Windsor Court is pet friendly, we coordinated and hosted a local New Orleans mini pig influencer, (that’s right – I said pig) My Best Friend Hank, to enjoy the hotel’s amenities. You can even see the cute Snapchat filter we designed and implemented for a meet and greet with the pig around the :55 mark in the video.

We’ve talked about this until we’re blue in the face – this is the age of experiences. We are constantly searching for the best photo-op to post on Insta-stories or feeds. We’re asking how our trip to Iceland be better than that of our millennial friend or blogger/influencer. DEVENEY strives to answer those questions by curating top-notch creative content that tells stories in New Orleans and beyond. And we want to do it for you.

Like what you see and want to learn more? Ask us anything on Twitter using #DEVchat or @DEVENEYMKTG.