In an era of continual accusations of “fake news,” facts can now be alternative, and with an erosion of trust in some media, it’s crucial for PR firms to know how help their clients communicate with apprehensive consumers. Though it may seem overwhelming to have to control a brand’s image in a time when content is so easily produced and spread, here are five simple things you can do to increase your clients’ credibility with their audiences:
1. Be honest. This may seem obvious, but a lot of companies post things online that are seemingly harmless that end up costing them customers. Visuals sell more than anything, so be very mindful when editing photography. Bad photoshop fails go viral all the time. It’s always disappointing to go somewhere that “looked completely different online.” When working with influencers, always have them disclose when they are being sponsored. And when you or your client do make a mistake, take responsibility and apologize quickly.
2. Show your humanity. Showing the more human side of a company is extremely effective when it comes to gaining the trust of the consumer. What is the real human impact your company has? Is your establishment engaging positively with the local community? Show it! Posting about your regular customers as well highlighting your staff will add faces to your brand rather than just products. Posting “get to know” and fun facts about the people in your company is a fun way to express your brand’s personality. People are more likely to trust other people than larger entities.
3. Go overboard with fact-checking. We don’t want any fact to be alternative. When publishing stories with statistics and numbers: Check, check, and check again. It only takes one person finding a different number on the internet to discredit an entire story. Content is quick to be created, but we should never get lazy with the journalistic aspect of publishing. Also, avoid publishing stories with big hyperboles – everywhere has the best burger in town, we’ve all heard it, focus on what really makes yours different.
4. Never engage with internet trolls. As long as there is online content, there are going to be trolls. Trolls escalate situations and can distort information, usually completely anonymously. As frustrating as this may get, never become a keyboard warrior and react to them. Reacting can appear to be giving their information credibility, much like the concept of only getting defensive when you’re guilty. If there are criticisms your client would like to reply to, it should be in a general statement and never in response to one specific comment or message. Leave the clap backs to Wendy’s Twitter account.
5. Monitor. It is our job to be aware of everything that is published about our clients. Though we always try our best, false information can be leaked through legitimate and illegitimate news sources. Putting out the fire once this occurs needs to be done quickly. Every firm should have a crisis communication plan in place. Know who to contact to get information pulled or corrected and have content ready that counteracts false claims.
- PR stunts in 2019 will involve GIVING BACK in big ways. Think a year ahead for next holiday season and partner with a local charity to have a mixer or event to raise funds (any reason is a good reason) or think of ways to donate your employees’ time to that charity – you’ll feel good about doing it, shed a positive light on your company and have feel-good content for your social media channels!
- Taking a stance. As politics see more partisanship than ever, personified brand identities will continue to face empowered consumers. Think gun control, LGBTQ rights, climate change. Often the stance of a company is reflected as the voice of the CEO, instead, take into account your entire workforce and craft a position that represents the brand as a whole.
Social Media Trends for 2019:
- The team at Neon PR all agree that focusing on bringing in influencers that match your business’ demographic to build more awareness via social media followers outside of your sphere of influence will continue to prevail in 2019. This is a trend that really amp’d up in 2018, and there is no end in sight with even more content creators working as demonstrative human advertisements with real peer to peer interaction via social platforms. These influencers often times engage a new or complimentary audience for your business AND give you content for existing followers on your platforms.
- AUTHENTICITY. People now know and understand that social media is 90% staged, and it’s the other 10% that will help define your brand and allow followers to feel “in” on brand jokes or get to know the people behind the posts!
- Brand engagement is going to play an even larger role in 2019. Now that you have consumers attention, you’ll need to interact with them. Customer service in the form of communication are key factors in maintaining brand loyalty. This includes not only sharing user generated content, but commenting on photos of fans, liking photos even messaging followers for being customers. It’s these tiny interactions that are going to convert your customer base into lifelong consumers.
‘Sunday Scaries’. We’ve all had them. That dread that sets in the day before the start of your work week… but the term doesn’t always mean that you don’t love what you do for a living. In fact, often times it’s the end of the relaxing weekend and the anxieties about the busy work week ahead for the work you love and want to stay on top of…a to-do list that unfurls at a faster and faster speed until it’s just a blur of “should” and “need to” and “don’t forget.”
Here’s a shortlist of solutions our team came up with on how to deal:
- Write a Check List on Friday. Write down your mental checklist before kicking back for the weekend. While ‘to-do’ lists can oppress as much as assist us, it’s often helpful on Friday to jot down a brief list of tasks for Monday morning so that you commence your weekday experience feeling organized and purposeful. Sunday you will thank Friday you.
- Self-Care Sundays. Book a massage, un-wind with a Netflix series or meal prep! Meal-prepping is a great way to know what you’re eating for the week in the office and makes you feel accomplished on Sunday night.
- Schedule workweek fun. The solution could be scheduling some good old-fashioned self-care—on Sunday, sure, but also throughout your week. Peppering your weekdays wherever you can with more ease and enjoyment is a great antidote for dreading them. Schedule a yoga class on Monday evening so that you know in advance that you have a plan in place to unwind. Wednesday happy hour is a great outlet to blow off steam with some friends and break up the week.
If it feels like there’s an unofficial national, international, or world holiday almost every single day…that’s because there is. As nutty as some of them are, niche observations like Bathtub Party Day or National Pizza with the Works Except Anchovies Day can help break up the monotony of everyday social media posts and inspire us to celebrate the little things every day of the year!
In the PR realm, identifying key holidays for your clients and their consumers is an easy move that adds an advantage to your overall marketing strategy (hello press release for National Donut Day – free donuts!) and social media tactics. Curating content around a (relevant) national holiday is a great opportunity to highlight specific items or products that may need a little extra TLC. Holiday hashtags allow consumers to connect with a click, creating viral exposure to anyone who may be following the trend. Another great way to utilize these holidays is to suggest how your followers should celebrate, either through social stories or a permanent feed post! By encouraging your consumers to interact with hashtags, specials and your products, you’re facilitating a grander exposure, drawing their friends and followers into the trend.
Fun and quirky un-official celebrations are an easy way to engage fans of a variety of industries or products, and an even better way to call those fans to action! Restaurant specials or holiday shout-outs bring in foot traffic that might have otherwise not considered your brand that day. But who can resist participating in a holiday like National Donut Day?! Bars can utilize holidays to test out creative beverage ideas, in turn displaying their staff’s knowledge and mastery of mixology.
Already feel like a pro at National Hotdog Day posts? Accounts that really want to get creative with national holidays should embrace the outlandish and obscure days by using innovative captions, photo content or making an event out of it. For example, if your restaurant specializes in brunch, puns on National Soup Day can glorify your bottomless mimosas. FREEBIE: Figure out a way to incorporate National Unicorn Day in your business feed!
PR Experts should make an effort to check into websites such as nationaldaycalendar.com on a monthly basis. Other holiday accurate pages to utilize include:
So mark your calendars for upcoming days like National Small Business Saturday and National World Kindness Day– what is your staff doing to help? Should you make donating time to a local charity a new team building “thing”? …but don’t shy away from creative genius such as Tongue Twister Day ☺ And please, don’t forget to hashtag it.
Neon Public Relations is currently looking for Fall/Winter interns. We’re looking for team players and want to really contribute to this growing company! As an intern with Neon PR, you will report to and work directly under the CEO and Founder of Neon PR for a fully-immersive and hands-on experience with some of Las Vegas’ most exciting clients in the hospitality and adventure industry.
A PR intern at Neon Public Relations should have experience and be interested in learning more about the field of public relations. This role will include building and maintaining media lists, editorial calendar monitoring, chronicling client coverage, editing pitches and press releases, researching additional media and event opportunities, attending industry events, assisting in overall running of client accounts, and much more.
This is a 10-week, unpaid internship. Alternatively, Neon PR will also give college credit for this position. The hours of each internship are flexible and can vary depending upon school schedule.
-Candidates should be able to commit to the time schedule determined for the duration of the program
-Must possess excellent communication and organizational skills with the ability to multi-task and prioritize
-Proficiency in Microsoft Office and Excel strongly desired
-Must have reliable transportation
Ideal Candidates Are:
-Passionate about their desire to work in the communication industry in their specified field of interest
-Creative thinkers – able to generate new and innovative ideas that are relevant to our clients
-Organized and able to prioritize tasks
-Prepared to be flexible and take on additional roles as situations arise
-Must currently be a college student or have some college education
Neon Public Relations is an open-office environment where all hands are on deck at all times! Gone are the days of being limited to a tiny cubicle or being sectioned off in the “intern” area or superiors being quarantined to a corner office with the door closed. We’re a tight-knit group of 4 hard-working PR superstars who regularly order lunch in the office and put on music videos on the office projector for lunch breaks. Since we’re located in the bustling downtown Vegas (#DTLV) area, we encourage 2-min coffee shop walks to Makers & Finders or Vesta down the street and encourage rental of our company camera for content creation!
If you thrive in a fast-paced environment and you are interested in gaining exciting and valuable work experience in Public Relations, submit your application and resume to firstname.lastname@example.org.
UNPAID INTERNSHIPS MUST EARN UNLV ACADEMIC CREDIT; CREDIT TO BE APPROVED BY ACADEMIC DEPARTMENT. PLEASE CONTACT CAREER SERVICES AT 702-895-3495 WITH QUESTIONS.
We asked some of our social media gurus how they perfect their Insta-Image.
On the surface, Instagram is a fairly simple media channel that allows businesses and individuals to connect with various demographics through enticing visuals. However, Instagram isn’t just another form of advertising for a business, it is a way to tell a story and develop a relationship. The difference between an account with a large, active following and a majorly unnoticed account can come down to very simple elements. We’ve honed in on a few key factors that can drastically impact your social media channels, as well as shared what we think has made the difference in our personal social media accounts!
- Photo Quality: Improvements in cell phone technology means that professional-looking photos are now in the palms of our hands, and more accessible than ever before. Taking the time to learn about different settings on your phone can unlock even more methods to get that perfect shot. Still looking to fix those minor details? We use the photo editing apps VSCO and Snapseed to give us an arsenal of advanced editing settings. Paying attention to image sharpness and light exposure can give pictures the added touch they may need. These apps also provide more options for filters to utilize. Focusing on color schemes or specific colors can add that story-telling feel that goes with the change in seasons.
Our Pick: #withGalaxy or #shotoniphone
We’re not going to get into the politics of Samsung vs Apple, especially with both companies constantly improving their photo shooting quality. However, if you’re looking for a little photography motivation, checking out these hashtags are sure to inspire you to embrace the device in your pockets.
- Image Diversity: As much as everyone enjoys a well-angled selfie, it’s important to include a variety of styles of picture. Whether they are pictures with friends, family, or even changing up your poses, the variety of images can make your profile appear more genuine and relatable. Businesses are able to showcase more of what they have to offer with a variance in imagery. Embrace more than just what’s on the surface and expand your arsenal of imagery to show the big picture!
Our Pick: @Teslamotors
Yes, the car company. While it would be easy for Tesla to succumb to images of just their cars (that is what they sell after all), their Instagram is extremely diverse. A quick glance at their grid and there are pictures of cars at different angles, videos of its performance, a variety of locations and scenery. There are focuses on specific details in the cars, as well as information on the company as a whole.
- Captivating Caption: An emoji filled caption may occasionally fit the bill, but “no caption needed” typically alludes to the necessity of a caption. We get it! Coming up with a caption can be the hardest part of creating a social media post! Captions are a great way to create a voice for your social media page. Whether your captions include sassy remarks, “punny” play on words, or genuine commentary, embrace the dialect that feels comfortable for you.
Our Pick: @Nike
The primary function of Nike is as a retail business selling footwear, apparel and equipment. Their social media page, however, focuses on connecting with athletes on a personal level rather than just marketing their clothing. Instead, Nike sells their support of professionals. As a business their captions are motivational and relatable, just as they intend their products to be.
- Hashtags: Use them! Not only are they a sly way to be comedic, they are also a great way to engage in related networks and encourage a bigger following. Businesses can create key hashtags for consumers to reuse, tying together business and product, while individuals can find other followers with shared interests based on those hashtags.
Our Pick: @airbnb
Air BnB utilizes the hashtage #AirbnbExperiences for a majority of their posts. While their account only has about 2,000 pictures posted, there are over 20k posts that share that hashtag! This creates a massive network of both people who have utilized the hashtag, but also places that Airbnb are mentioned as a business!
- Activity: Instagram was designed to be a social networking site, so be social! In truth, it is fun to look back and appreciate the memories that come paired up with each photo. However, it’s important to put effort in if you expect to get appreciation in return. Following other accounts with mutual followers or similar styled pictures are an easy way to get followers in response.
- Developing an Aesthetic: Social media is one of the primary methods consumers choose what businesses to purchase from. Because of this increase in activity, your Instagram profile is now as important as your website homepage. Take inspiration from some of your favorite accounts and focus on what aesthetic represents you and your brand. A great way to identify the vibe you’re trying to create is with a mood board. Pinterest is a great tool for expanding your mood board. Colors, textures, patterns, and even quotes can help you establish the aesthetic you want to create. We utilize apps like Planoly and UNUM to preplan how we want our Instagram grids to look, and then pre-schedule different posts with Hootsuite when we get our look JUST RIGHT!
Both of these accounts have created a profile page that is uniquely them. Their aesthetics are not only appealing to the eye, they are noteworthy and somewhat unforgettable. Not to mention how well planned out every post has to be in order to have such a cohesive appearance.
At NEON PR, we aren’t just visual artists for our clients, we are infinite re-creators of our own social media identities. Any artist would be hesitant to share all their tricks and talents, but just this once we are willing to share some of our secrets. In essence, we put our work into practice daily with our own accounts. We focus on the little details without overlooking the big picture. Whether it is with a client’s page or our own feed, we know that our social media appearance is just another way of presenting ourselves to the world, and we want to make sure we put our best posts forward.
- The Gift of Gab 🗣
- Snapchat and Score a Baseball game at the same time📲
- Running all Day in High Heels👠
- Amateur ballroom dancer that specialized in Latin Dance styles
- Train horses in my free time🦄
- Has a dog named Bruce Wayne Gretzky🐕
Downtown Las Vegas’ old school watering hole is home to the famous Corduroy light room. In just under a year, this gif friendly booth has seen over 10,000 photo ready guests, from provocative social media stars to engagement photos the resulting gram shots ooze an ‘in-the-know’ cool to your followers. Insta-tip: Get there before 8:00 pm when the line starts to form (yes it has it’s own line), then enjoy some of their famous Moscow Mules with home made ginger beer. Runner-up shots: The jukebox, the mushroom mural wall.
Where big kids go to play, Gold Spike’s jumbo sized games include chess, jenga, twister, corn hole, beer pong and four square act as the quintessential prop for a shot that says “I’m fun, carefree and in no way take myself too seriously!” Insta-tip: Every third Wednesday, the Backyard hosts down-n-derby roller skating perfect for the ultimate retro photo. Runner-up shots: Fiddlestix Rainbow Grilled Cheese, Life Is Beautiful sign.
Known for its elevated Mexican food flare and fresh hand-crafted margs, La Comida spread their modern authentic vibe into the small alleyway attached to their building. You’ll find wood fencing, colorful potted plants, string lights and a shrine to the Virgin Mary because, ya know, why not? Insta-tip: Go for dinner! Get a shot in both the daylight and at night for two totally different moods. Runner-up shots: The Margaritas, the bar swing.
Vesta Coffee roasters is a downtown favorite coffee brand you’ll find in almost any local favorite restaurant in town. Their white, wood, modern industrial aesthetic is the thing that hip coffee shop frequenters dream about. On the right side of the building, a cool colored floral mural takes up the entire wall, acting as a breath of fresh dewey air in the middle of the art district’s distinctively urban environment. Insta-tip: Try one of their specials, especially the rose iced tea. Runner-up shots: Avo toast, the window seating.
The Mantis at Container Park, formally known as Queen Mantis, is a 44-foot tall, fire shooting art installation that welcomes visitors to the East Fremont corridor. The piece was originally built by Kirk Jellum for his wife and toured around Burning Man before moving to Las Vegas in 2014 where she now calls Container Park home. Insta-tip: Arrive at sunset any day of the week to join the drum circle that “wakes up” the Mantis. Runner-up shots: Cocktails from Oak & Ivy, the second floor orange container hallway.
Who doesn’t like to appear cultured and musically literate? Not grammers. 11th Street Records on 11th and Fremont has the record drenched walls and rugged appearance you’d expect from a legitimately stacked record store. It even houses a full-fledged recording studio in the back for all your musician aesthetic needs. Insta-tip: Don’t just come for the photo, take a look through hundreds of vinyls and find something you didn’t know you needed.
Park on Fremont has transformed their corner of East Fremont from urban sprawl to an eclectic and quirky tea garden oasis fit for the maddest of hatters. With tons of little nuances to discover both inside and out you’re bound to miss some things. To find our favorite insta-spot, head to the left of the fireplace in the courtyard and you’ll find a hidden alcove complete with extra seating, more garden and vintage iron see saw! Insta-tip: Bring a friend, it takes two to see saw. Runner-up shots: The ‘F*cking Beautiful’ sign, the horse painting.
Everybody wants to be a cat, or at least be photographed with one. One of the newest art pieces downtown via the Life Is Beautiful festival, this massive wildly colorful mural by artist Bicicleta Sem Frio embodies the fun, vibrant and funky vibe of the East Fremont corridor. Insta-tip: Work your angles, try a wide shot from street level, you’ll be able to catch the entire piece.Runner-ups: The Felipe Pantone, the D*Face on 7th.
To be completely honest, we aren’t sure who owns this millennial pink vintage vehicle or where it came from, but its location in an empty dirt lot with views of palm trees and blue skies is quintessential ‘desert vibes’ making this the most opportunistic photo spot on the list. Insta-tip: Go sooner rather than later, it could be gone tomorrow!
Impress your #FoodieFam with Donut Bar’s wide array of artistically crafted treats from the Crème Brûlée to the Homer Simpson every donut tastes as good as it looks. Insta-tip: On weekends special menu items include their grilled cheese donut, get there early before they sell out!
Welcome to Neon PR’s first ever Beauty Vault!
We consulted with the strong beauties that make up our office and asked each PR profesh to give their top 3 beauty products that they ‘literally can’t even’ live without. These potions, lotions and everything in between, help us thrive and reach our full potential every day as PR professionals.
- Bumble & Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Heat/UV Protective Primer – People compliment me on my hair often… but it’s no accident – it’s hard work! ☺ This bad boy keeps my bleached hair from breaking off by protecting it from heat tools (here’s a two-fer: use this wand for the best waves). The Vegas heat is already drying enough, and this spray hydrates and protects! I never use heat tools on my hair without it.
- La Mer The Cleansing Gel – this takes it ALL off and leaves your skin feeling super soft WITHOUT a toner. I get cranky if I have to use something else to wipe the day off my face at nighttime.
- MAC Lipstick in HoneyLove – The. Perfect. Nude. You’re welcome.
- Glossier Cloud Paint – Glossier is one of those brands you can’t help but be obsessed with. They’ve mastered the no makeup-makeup niche with a range of fun and neutral tones and an array of product options. Their cloud paints are IDEAL for dabbing and dusting onto your bare cheeks for a flush of fun color before you whisk out the door for work or play. Best use: Music Festivals – lookin at you, Life is Beautiful!
- Too Faced Bronzer in Chocolate Soleil – This bronzer is a gorgeous tone of dark warm brown ideal for that permanent Las Vegas tan. And it smells like chocolate, enough said. Best use: When you want that goodnight kiss on the cheek to leave an impact.
- Ole Henrickson Truth Serum – After deciding to re-evaluate my skincare routine, my friend recommended this daily serum to me. After about a month I’ve noticed a HUGE overhaul in the tone, elasticity and health of my skin. It’s light, fresh and again SMELLS DELICIOUS! This serum has been a true game changer in my beauty routine.
- Glam Glow super mud charcoal treatment– Not only is this an aesthetically pleasing brand, BUT their ish is fantastic. My skin always feels loved and fresh after a long night of glam glow maskin’. For those with sensitive skin, once a week is probably best – I use this when I may have not been the most *cough cough, coherent* to take my makeup off the night before. This mask helps my skin forget about forgetting about it. ☺ (It just can’t help clarify any previous decisions!)
- Watermelon sleeping hydration mask– So moisturizing and smells *insert Fran Drescher’s voice here* DA-LISH! It’s literally my go-to when I have a night that I should have ended 2 hours earlier. The best part of this mask – besides being a lazy bum and just leaving it on, is the way your skin GLOWS when you wake up. It’s like you just had an intense 3-hour facial with Bertha and she gave you all the good stuff. With this product, you can say bye to Bertha the facial-ist and hydrate your skin yo’self.
- Dry Bar detox dry shampoo– AH-MAZ-ING. Not only does this dry shampoo soak up all the icky oil between hair wash cycles, but it smells wonderful. Sometimes I use it just for the smell…. Is that weird?
- It’s A 10 Hair Mask– Well folks, it’s a literal 20 in my book because without “It’s a 10” my hair would be dried, dyed and fried. This miracle leave-in solution really does change your hair. The main thing that I notice is how soft it makes my hair without making it greasy. As a tried and true reviewer (trying hundreds of products makes me an expert, right?) it’s the only product I need after a shower and the smell is heavenly.
- ELF eyebrow gel– I’m currently growing my brows out and it’s pretty hard to not look like a literal wildebeest, so to tame these babies I have to use brow gel and I always brush them up to give them a different kind of look (($2 at any convenient store so THAT’s always a plus).
- Olaplex 3– This is a leave-in conditioner and it can only be found at select places like Sephora and online – it is a miracle worker, especially for blondes. Bless you, Olaplex. MAJOR KEY: Kim Kardashian’s trick on her damaged hair is to sleep in this little potion! Of course, I trust what the internet tells me…gulp. Sorry not sorry.
In a world where content is king, using every feature social media outlets offer and having a defining feature of your brand is more important than ever. There are now geotags and filters, location tags and reposts (Oh My!)! For some companies, defining elements include things like unique wall paintings or special areas within restaurants with designs produced specifically for Instagram or Snapchat (Come on, how many times have you seen The “F***ing Beautiful” neon sign at Park in Las Vegas?). One noteworthy example we love here at Neon PR is Smooth Eats, a tiny downtown eatery focused on fast but nutritious menu items that has recently caught the eye (and camera lenses) of local Instagram users with its brightly colored toasts, creatively built bowls and cheesy gooey-sandwiches that taste as good as they look! What’s NOT to ‘like’?
So what’s all the hype about? Well for starters, there’s menu items like the ‘mermaid toast’ – a play on the millennial toast trend with deep blue colored cream-cheese on a thick piece of bread, topped off with sparkling gold flakes! (But also let’s not forget their gorgeous acai bowls, earth-green smoothies and ginger health shots!) These kinds of health-food grabs are very popular right now, but separating themselves and standing out is key for success. Putting in a little extra thought into the aesthetics does make a difference. No customer really tastes those gold flakes on the toast, but the visual impact of the toast keeps customers’ cameras snapping.
Other insta-worthy examples include Downtown Las Vegas’s Corduroy, an artsy-retro like bar with a photobooth that literally has customers waiting in line for hours for the perfect shot. Another downtown spot is Sake Rok, a modernized Americanized sushi restaurant that has insta-story worthy nightly performances. While word of mouth and print are still valuable resources in the marketing mix, social media marketing and establishing a unified brand identity is a necessity.
As Instagram becomes the new homepage, “do it for the gram” has taken on new meaning. With carefully planned strategy and an engaging, evolving creative process, businesses can use these essential and FREE marketing tools to their benefit. And hey, if you didn’t gram’ it, were you really there?