In the Office

The Week In Marketing: Retweeting Value, Facebook Updates, Effective Press Releases, Snapchat

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1. Cornell creates ‘Retweet’ tool

Researchers at Cornell University, supported by the National Science Foundation and Google, generated an algorithm that determines what makes a specific tweet more popular than others. It uses word construction, keywords and other elements to predict how popular or ‘retweeted’ a tweet will likely be. The tool gives users the ability to create multiple versions of a tweet to then select the one that will be the most popular. One defect of the tool is that the algorithm equates the length of a tweet with how informative it is.

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Master Public Speaking in 3 Easy Steps

public speakingAccording to a number of surveys, most people’s number one fear is public speaking. For context, #2 is death. Whether giving a Ted Talk or presenting to a small room of executives, standing in front of a crowd with all eyes on you can be terrifying. Here are three ways to get comfortable with public speaking:

1.) Come Prepared

First: Keep it simple. If your speech has more than three to five main points, you have too many. Scale-back the amount of information you’re covering to keep your audience interested.

Second: Preview your points, state your points, and summarize your points. It may sound like overkill, but remember that your audience likely doesn’t know nearly as much about the topic at hand as you do. So, let them know what your going to talk about, talk about it, and then summarize what you talked about.

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The Week In Marketing: Social Media Channels, Super Bowl Ads and More

1. Brian Williams Apologizes for Inaccurate Statement

NBC Nightly News anchor, Brian Williams apologized Wednesday night to Stars and Stripes for an inaccurate statement made on- air last Friday. Williams said he was a passenger in a helicopter that was brought down by enemy fire while covering the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Truthfully, Williams was in a helicopter following the one that was shot down. Was Williams’ apology effective? Watch the video here and decide for yourself.

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Weekly Wrap-Up #156

#Facebook, #SuperBowlCommercials, #DeflateGate, #SOTU, and #PR — All in this week’s #WeeklyWrapUp.

1. PR Professor Says PR Students No Longer Need Advanced Writing Classes

Last week, Shannon Bowen, a professor at the University of South Carolina, stirred up some controversy by saying that current PR majors no longer need to worry about taking advanced writing courses to prepare for the professional world. Bowen argues that the PR field has shifted its focus more on the management side, and that time could be spent taking classes related to this instead. Despite Bowen’s suggestion, several PR sites including PRNewser have argued that writing is now more important than ever in the field due to the varied types of content now having to be drafted by professionals.

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Happy Anniversary to Stephanie!

Congratulations to Stephanie Styons on her 10th anniversary with the agency.

Stephanie started the PR and Social Media offering at Howard/Merrell. From helping companies discover their potential, to crafting and implementing engaging marketing programs, she channels her creativity and experience to ensure clients receive quality service and effective results.

During her time at the agency, Styons has developed strategic marketing campaigns that integrate social media and public relations efforts to drive business objectives in a unique way. Stephanie has worked with many clients such as Georgia-Pacific, BASF, Southwest Windpower, Invista, Safe Quality Food Institute, Butterball and Kioti Tractors. Her ability to analyze the needs of clients in relation to the services of the agency, allows the entire team to function smoothly and provide clients with exceptional services.

Happy Anniversary to Stephanie! Here’s to another 10 years!

Weekly Wrap-Up #151

Airport and presidential news, the latest with femvertising, and more – all in this week’s wrap-up.

1. London Airport Makes “Across the Miles” Campaign Personal

Holidays can be hard for those who are not able to be with their loved ones. With that in mind, Docklands Airport developed the “Across the Miles” campaign that allows people to send personalized video messages from the London airport to their friends and family. The airport set up a log cabin in the departure lounge complete with elf helpers encouraging passengers to record their messages in front of a festive backdrop. The campaign is being shared across social channels through a promotional video.

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Weekly Wrap-Up #149

The evolution of storytelling, popular geotags and finding the most engaged users – all in this week’s wrap-up.

1. Pinterest – the new leader in social media?
New York magazine recently said that Facebook should be very intimidated by the rate at which Pinterest is growing. With their continual growth and improvements of the site, Pinterest is a hot spot for marketing. While the majority of users are female, the loyalty of users is unsurpassed by any other social media platform. Currently, the site is averaging about 53 million active users per month. Pinterest also has a 50 percent higher conversion rate than any other social media platform, making it ideal for brands looking to drive traffic to their sites.

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Andria Rosell Joins the Agency

Andria Headshot

A warm welcome to Andria Rosell, our newest member of the Howard/Merrell family. With her strong background in social media, public relations and integrated marketing, Andria joins us as a Senior Account Supervisor who will develop and execute strategic, innovative digital, social and PR programs for clients.

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Our Restaurants of Choice


We’re excited to be named agency of record for Eschelon Experiences, a premier North Carolina restaurant group.

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Julie Orsini, Intern to AC

Starting with us as an intern while in college at Elon University, Julie has always been a hard worker who demands positive results. That’s why there was no question that after Julie’s graduation, we wanted her to be a part of the Howard/Merrell team.

Julie has joined us as an Account Coordinator.

She is smart, resourceful and has a solid education in strategic communications. As an AC, Julie is helping develop and execute campaigns and build brand awareness for companies large and small. She crafts client social media editorial calendars, social outreach recommendations and strategic blog content. Working with our team of strategic branding experts, Julie supports a number of clients including: Safe Quality Food Institute, AjiPure, and iTech.

We are thrilled to have her on board. Welcome Julie!