I was born and raised in the small city of Brea, California. I am part of a large, loud, and loving Italian family, and I’m the youngest child (and only girl), with seven brothers. My whole life I wanted to experience the east coast and get as far away as possible from my home and older brothers. I have played softball since I was six years old, and I was recruited to be the catcher on a Division 1 team at Villanova University. I have had a crazy roller coaster ride in my three years at the university, from being awarded Big East Freshman of the Year to suffering from two broken bones and two torn labrums.
With my softball career coming to an end, I’m really focusing on what I want to do with my life after college. I am an organizational communication major, which specializes in leadership training and how to manage people within a company. I feel that this is one of the most applicable specializations in my field and will be able to help me in whatever career I end up in.
Do you have any hobbies?
I am a big fan of SoCal sports (Angels, Kings, Lakers, and Chargers) and will be keeping up with the summertime teams. I love to travel and see new places, but on a college budget I will be limited for a while. While I’m spending my summer at school, I am looking forward to visiting the surrounding states that I haven’t spent a lot of time exploring yet.
What are your plans for the summer?
This summer (alongside working at GMP), I will be volunteering at Main Line Animal Rescue, and I am super excited about it. I have always loved animals and this will be my first time volunteering at a shelter. I’ll be in charge of playing with and walking the dogs so they can get their exercise in and socializing with the cats and bunnies!
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I really enjoy the work that I do at GMP, and I would love to start my career in the field of marketing. It has always been a dream of mine to open my own No-Kill Animal Shelter, and I hope that within ten years I will be able to finance the start-up and make my childhood dream a reality.
What is a quote or phrase you live by?
“A day without laughter is a day wasted” – Charlie Chaplin
I was born in Manhattan but was raised on Long Island in Huntington, NY. I just returned from a semester abroad in Rome, Italy where I worked for the Vatican’s Secretariat for Communications. In my family, I am the second of four, with one older sister and two younger brothers (as well as two dogs). I have two loving parents, a huge Irish extended family, and an extreme appreciation for humor.
I have never really known what I wanted to do professionally with my life, but I knew that to be happy I needed to have creative liberty. I am studying communications with a psychology minor to better understand human nature and how best to reach various audiences. To me, human understanding is the basis behind all marketing, advertising, and public relations strategies – that is how I ended up in the field that I am now.
Do you have any hobbies?
I watch more television shows that any one person probably should. I also love to read (usually when traveling), write, and am a huge foodie.
What are your plans for the summer?
This summer I have traveled away from Long Island and will be living in Ardmore! I will be splitting my time between interning at Graham Media Partners, serving up smoothies at Playa Bowls, and hanging out with my friends who are in the area. Hopefully I will be able to find free time to head down to the beach and visit home to see my dogs.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I am not exactly sure what specific field I want to go in, but I am extremely interested in the marketing/advertising world. I always have ideas bouncing around my head, so maybe I will pursue a new business venture of my own.
What is a quote or phrase you live by?
“If God brought you to it, He can bring you through it.”
A little over a year ago I was sitting in my dorm room, scanning LinkedIn, wondering what I was going to do during the summer. The spring semester was winding down and I was searching for an internship that would allow me to gain the experience I needed to further my communication knowledge and academic studies.
During this somewhat frantic search I received an email from our Communication department at Villanova detailing an internship at Graham Media Partners. I quickly read through the job requirements and responsibilities about the position. This opportunity seemed to be too good to be true. Before I knew it, I was interviewing with Steve, Lisa, and Sarah and starting my first day of work soon after.
Throughout the last year, I have had the privilege to grow my skillset and marketing knowledge, while simultaneously watching this company grow. From a brand-new office to a growing staff and many new clients, I have been so grateful for the opportunity to grow alongside Graham Media Partners.
When I started at GMP, I didn’t realize the level of real work I would be given or even allowed to do. I had heard horror stories about interns whose sole purpose was to go on coffee runs or to simply scan and file papers. This is not the case at GMP. From day one, I was given a wide range of client responsibility and projects that allowed me to learn everyday along the way. From client services and engagement to social media management, I am overwhelmed with the knowledge and skillset that I am taking with me from this experience.
This was not your average internship and this is not your average agency. The leadership at GMP helped me learn the ropes and were always there to answer any question or inquiry I had. I have learned an incredible amount not only about the industry, but also what it takes to create and maintain your own company from Steve and Lisa. What makes GMP so special is the team. As a small agency, everyone on the team has a sense of involvement in each project and client. The leadership at GMP has successfully cultivated a culture of inclusivity, productivity, and teamwork that is hard to come by.
As graduation quickly approaches, I am sad that my time at GMP is coming to an end. I could not have asked for a better internship experience that projected my knowledge and abilities forward into the professional world.
I cannot thank the entire GMP team enough for the time they have invested in me and the opportunity to grow over the past year. I look forward to watching their success long into the future!
Few things can capture people’s attention as easily as beautiful imagery.
In fact, articles with images get 94 percent more views than those without and consumers are 60 percent more likely to consider a business if an image show up with search results.
As marketers, we face that fact on a daily basis. That’s why we have a talented graphic artist named Addison working for us. It’s also why we are particularly knowledgeable on where to find fantastic photos online and how to properly use them.
The next time you are working on a project and need appealing imagery, use this guide.
Three Guidelines for Image Reuse
Not sure if you can use an image? Here are some simple guidelines to help you out:
No matter how simple the graphic is, if you create something or photograph something and use it publicly online, it is still yours. Technically, unless you have licensed it for open use, no one else can use it without permission. The same goes for every other image on the internet.
In theory, if you don’t make money from your blog, you could risk skipping the “free for commercial use” part … but I personally wouldn’t recommend it because there are some confusing gray areas. Rather than think too hard about it, I try to use only “royalty-free” and “free for commercial use” images.
NOTE: There are 8 million different apps that allow you to lay text over an image these days. Technically that is “modifying” the image, so the usage rights must allow you to do that. Better safe than sorry, even just for a cute tweet!
Some creators will allow their images to be used with attribution (often images from other blogs, etc.). In that case, blogger and designer Tiffany Staples recommends the following format:
Directly under the photo, you will place the following:
1. Title of Photo
2. Link to Original Photo Location Online (The photo title can be used as your anchor text with this link accompanying it.)
3. Author of Photo Link (Link to the Author or “About Me” Page)
4. License (This can be a little hard to find, but if you are using a site that states Creative Commons, you can state “CC” and then place the # of the stipulation next to it.)
If you comply immediately with their request then you will save everyone a lot of headaches, time, and potential court costs. Personally, I have never seen things go beyond level of conflict, unless someone truly and obviously violated a copyright. However, I have read just a few horror stories online – enough to scare me into proactively being really careful.
Where to Find Free Images
The good news is that there are plenty of places to find safe, properly licensed images for you to use in blog posts, tweets, and for other online purposes.
Free Photo Collection Sites
And remember – you can always take your own photos or create your own images!
Looking to learn more? Sources for this post include:
I am not a lawyer and this post in no way constitutes legal advice. Just some friendly suggestions for simplifying the whole “safe for reuse” image issue.
This post is an updated version of a post originally published by The Stay Engaged Experiment at https://thestayengagedexperiment.wordpress.com/2015/08/18/three-quick-guidelines-for-image-reuse/.
Social media marketing has become a ubiquitous part of modern business and Facebook is the dominant channel across industries.
With over 1.4 billion active daily users, there’s a great opportunity to reach current and potential customers. However, recent updates to Facebook’s algorithm necessitate a strategic approach more than ever before.
These tips will help you to find success.
1. Create “Good” Content
This may seem obvious, but Facebook rewards content that its users find interesting and helpful.
This wasn’t always the case. For several years, Facebook had been aggressively distributing brand and news content. However, earlier this year Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook would be implementing some significant algorithm changes in an effort to make the social network a place that better fosters community between people.
Now, Facebook’s algorithm will favor posts that are highly engaging and promote interaction. It measures this by the number of comments, shares, and likes a post gets, in that order. The higher the engagement, the more Facebook will display that post across the platform.
Many businesses initially assumed that this meant the end of their ability to reach people on Facebook, but we disagree. The key is to focus on creating content that your community will care about. If you cater to your customers, you’ll get the engagement you need.
We believe that advertising is an essential aspect of a good Facebook strategy. It provides a more targeted approach that guarantees reach beyond what is possible by relying solely on organic reach.
Combined with thoughtful content, even a small advertising budget can yield significant results. In fact, Facebook provides the best ROI out of any social media network. This is primarily because of Facebook’s audience targeting capabilities. Because so many people use Facebook and indicate their interests, hobbies, shopping habits, demographics, and so on, reaching the right audience is quite easy.
You can also use highly effective tools like Facebook’s Pixel, which is an easy-to-install piece of code that tracks who comes to your website and what actions they take while there, enabling you to advertise specifically to your website visitors on Facebook.
3. Be Interactive
Facebook requires two-way engagement. You can’t expect your customers to be loyal if you don’t interact with them by responding to questions and comments.
This type of two-way communication will help to build a loyal customer base who will not only use your product or service, but who will also share it with their Facebook friends.
4. Hire a Professional
Don’t be intimidated by Facebook and its changes. We can help you craft and execute a Facebook strategy that supports your greater marketing strategy and the goals of your business. If you’d like to discuss how we can help, contact us today.
A common maxim in business is that good leadership is an essential aspect of success. But what constitutes good leadership?
That’s a question that chief executives, business owners, managers, and even employees should stop and consider. We recently completed an exercise where each of us at GMP wrote our own definition of a good leader, and we realized two things: First, that each person in an organization, no matter their seniority, must be a leader in some fashion to complete what they are responsible for. Second, that individuals each view good leadership in a unique way.
Below, we’ve shared our definitions.
To me, an important trait of a leader is to maintain a positive attitude. Not only are positive people more fun to work with and be around, but it’s important for the leader to be the “rock” of the group.
Whether you know it or not, the rest of your team is often looking at you for strength and confidence. Pay attention to your attitude, words, and even body language. An excited and positive leader motivates a team, creates a better work environment, and ultimately creates better client outcomes.
Leaders are a few things to me. First, they are humble. Success is rarely, if ever, the result of one person’s efforts – and a good leader knows that. They empower their team to succeed, and they make sure that that success is then shared by everyone.
Second, they are passionate. A good leader must love what they do, and as a result, they must constantly learn, try new things, and be unafraid to share their opinions.
Third, they have a clear vision. They know what the goal is and how they’re going to achieve it – and then they clearly and articulately share that with relevant stakeholders
Fourth, they are nice. People like working with nice people. Good leaders are friendly, engaging, and fun to be around. Sure, sometimes leaders need to be stern, but they do so with kindness because they care about their team.
First and foremost, leaders need to know that great teams are the key to success. So, they can’t be afraid to hire people that may be better than them at certain things and to celebrate the accomplishments of their team.
They also have to be able to push their team to be the best. To do this, they have to have a clear vision and goal and be confident in their decisions to accomplish that goal. Hard choices may have to be made in that regard, but making them with confidence will earn a good leader respect.
Finally, a good leader has be a bit humble by doing things like admitting when they make a mistake and paying themselves last.
A good leader needs to be able to put their head down and work, to listen, and to take criticism. They need to be able to apply that criticism to improve themselves and to help the people around them.
As a graphic designer, more often than not, my job entails working diligently and listening to clients’ needs and then using my judgement to adapt the content effectively. Staying focused, taking criticism, and listening help me create the best outcome overall for both sides of a project.
To me, a good leader will lead from the front. A leader shouldn’t ask their teams to do anything that they wouldn’t do themselves. They should also lead by example so that their teams understand not only what is expected but are also inspired to work hard.
I also think leaders should be open so that their teams are able to approach them and ask for help!
I believe that someone can be a good leader if they have experience, the ability to inspire, and a persistent demeanor.
To be viewed as a qualified leader by a group, the person must be seen as having the requisite knowledge, which almost always comes with experience. But being knowledgeable isn’t enough, they must also be able to inspire those who are meant to follow them to act and to act as a team.
When they are able to do that, they must then be persistent in striving toward the team’s goal. By that I mean that they must be flexible and take unforeseen setbacks in stride rather than losing their composure.
What Do You Think?
Whether you own a business or work in one, the quality of leadership matters all the same. As you can see by our unique definitions, what constitutes good leadership can vary from person to person.
Perhaps our ruminations will inspire you to take a second look at leadership and how each person in your organization sees it.
What do you do when you think of a product or service you need? You Google it. Then, you most likely choose one of the results from the first page.
Many businesses spend a lot of money on search engine optimization (SEO) to make sure that their website is at the top of those search results. However, the costs associated with an SEO campaign often aren’t feasible for most companies.
Luckily, there’s an easier solution.
Content marketing. Content marketing is a cost-effective method to not only boost your website’s SEO, but to also improve your company’s digital presence.
What Is Content Marketing?
It’s, essentially, the creation of written or visual materials that your potential customer will find both interesting and valuable. The goal is to create something that will resonate with your visitors, so that when it’s time to buy or use your product or service, they think of you.
Technically these materials can be anything from a blog, to online videos, or even a coffee table book. However, only written, digital content can have a positive effect on SEO.
How Content Marketing Can Affect SEO
Search engines rank their search results based on many varying factors that range from the searcher’s location to how relevant the search engine decides a website is to a specific search. The relevance factor is what content marketing can help take advantage of.
Relevance is determined by comparing keywords that search engines catalog from every website on earth with the words used in a search.
You can capitalize on commonly used keywords pertaining to your business by building them into the copy on your website and by producing written content on your website. The best way to achieve this is via a blog that features high-quality content discussing specific topics that relate to top keywords for your industry. As a result, your site will be deemed more relevant and therefore will be featured higher in search results.
Another important component to consider when it comes to content creation is frequency. Regularly adding new content to your site will help to boost your site in search results. Letting your site’s content get old and stale will most likely result in sub-optimal search rankings. Because blogs are typically updated several times a month, they also help to keep your site fresh and ensure that it is more visible to search engines.
Don’t Be Spammy
While that may sound simple enough, you need to adhere to that high-quality requirement.
When businesses first caught on to the fact that all they needed to do was fill their site with keywords to be highly ranked in search results, every business’ website started looking like a massive spam email. Keywords were everywhere.
In response, search engine companies have developed complex algorithms that take things like “natural tone” and “informational value” into account when determining relevancy.
The best way to make sure you are creating content that both contains and discusses relevant keywords and phrases in a conversational tone that is perceived to be interesting and valuable by your potential customers is to answer important questions.
This is really the key to success. You need to make sure you have the answers to the questions your customers commonly ask and the information they need about your product or service. Again, a blog is the perfect vehicle for this type of content.
By providing your visitors with useful tips, memorable facts, or important information, your site and your business will become their go-to place for your product and the internet’s go-to place for search results.
Digital Content Marketer
Most business owners understandably don’t have the time to carry out a comprehensive content marketing strategy. At GMP, our team has the capability to create unique and relevant content that will make your business stand out online. If you are looking to expand your digital reach through content marketing, contact us today.
By: Corey Pontz
Your website is your first impression. When a potential client, customer, or new employee visits your site, it’s essential that their experience is flawless, and that they come away feeling enthusiastic about your company.
To do that you need to make sure that your site doesn’t fall behind the times. The modern web user is savvy and has less patience than ever. They will find mistakes and judge your business on them.
Fortunately, our very knowledgeable web design partner, Corey Pontz of CWP Design Studio, is sharing six of the most important trends in web design that you need to look out for this year – because your customers will be looking out for them!
1. Be Direct
Web users like to get onto a site and get the information they want quickly. When someone has to fish around for what they’re looking for, that tends to be the jump-off point. They will find another website with the same information or product/service that is easier to navigate.
In response, sites are going to be increasingly minimal and direct. Text-heavy and cluttered pages are a thing of the past.
In keeping with the “being direct trend”, animations should not be used to be flashy, but should be purposeful and memorable. This year, you’ll see more animated logos and scroll-triggered graphics. As users scroll, images will animate, which incentivizes scrolling down the page … and keeps users on the site longer.
Also, subtle animation (like content blocks slowly appearing or sliding up on a site) is becoming a common way to give a sleeker, more polished look rather than a static page.
Just as Facebook started allowing the option to choose from several reactions to friend’s posts, users are going to start seeing the ability to choose how they interact with webpages. There will be a growth in seamless interactions that allow users to take multiple actions without navigating to a new page.
4. Sticky Bottom Nav
You’ve probably seen the top navigation bar stick at the top of the page as you scroll down. Now, you’ll see bottom bars stay fixed as well or instead of the top navigation bar.
Whether it’s the top or bottom navigation bar, having it available at all times makes it easier and quicker for users to navigate through a site.
5. Variable Fonts
Variable fonts, which are a single font file that behaves like multiple fonts, are now becoming popular. Text is getting more emphasis across the web – it’s being increasingly used as a visual aid rather than just supporting content. Be ready to see words that change shape and design.
Bots … are … everywhere. These little virtual helpers allow users to ask the site questions, which will help customize the browsing experience.
Instead of slowly clicking through a site or using a search bar to try and find what you want, bots allow users to simply type in or speak a question and it will lead them to where they want to go.
These are especially popular for B2C e-commerce sites. Example: “I’m looking for leopard pump heels.”
How You Can Keep Up
It’s vital that your site looks and feels as relevant and innovative as your company is. But with changes happening faster than ever and users expecting perfection on every site they visit, it’s understandable to feel overwhelmed.
That’s why working with a talented web designer and an experienced digital marketer can make your life so much easier.
To learn more about Corey and her team, check out her company’s website. And if you want to make sure your entire digital marketing effort is as good as it can be to take advantage of your website, we’re here to help.
When you think of LinkedIn, do you see it as just another place to post a resume and find a job? The truth is, LinkedIn has become so much more than that.
For professionals and executives whose work depends on networking, LinkedIn is now a place to not only reach people, but to influence them. If you’re not doing this, you’re missing out on a key competitive advantage.
The Three Key Ways LinkedIn Is Growing
1. LinkedIn has over half-a-billion users
In April of 2017 LinkedIn reached 500 million users. People from every industry, every part of the of the country, and all over the world are using this as their primary professional social network. That means that the vast majority of the professionals you meet are on LinkedIn.
2. LinkedIn has become a content-first platform
When LinkedIn introduced Pulse in 2015 as a way for users to post self-created content and then integrated it into the newsfeed we know today, the platform began to change drastically.
Now, the spectrum of content-based tools on LinkedIn includes e-learning classes, articles written by fellow users and influencers, native video content, and themed channels that direct users to the type of content they want.
3. Users come to LinkedIn to consume that content
Because of the changes implemented since 2015, users have started seeing LinkedIn not only as a place to connect, but to learn.
The proportion of users who visit LinkedIn for purpose of consuming interesting content (as opposed to job searching) has increased from effectively zero percent in 2014 to nearly 40 percent by the end of 2017.
One reason for this rise in content consumption is because of its unique Influencer Program. This invite-only program promotes the self-created content of highly influential figures in various industries for free.
How You Can Take Advantage of These Changes
While the vast majority of us will never be invited to be a LinkedIn Influencer, that doesn’t mean that you can’t have significant influence in your industry by taking advantage of the fact that a growing number of people come to LinkedIn looking for interesting and valuable content.
You can gain the competitive advantage LinkedIn provides by doing the following:
1. Grow your network
In today’s professional world, it’s likely that you meet new people either in-person or digitally on a daily basis. You should be connecting with those new contacts on LinkedIn because it not only stores a new connection’s information and provides an easy way to communicate with them, but because it increases your chances of making the LinkedIn algorithm work for you.
2. Know the algorithm
Because LinkedIn is a content-first platform where users expect to find interesting and useful information, it uses an algorithm that nurtures that reputation.
To ensure that the content on users’ feeds is valuable to them, LinkedIn puts new posts through a filter to gauge quality and then automatically spreads content to those who it believes will like it.
That first two stages of that filter are your first- and second-degree contacts. If you post an article that your first-degree contacts like and engage with, LinkedIn will automatically show it to you second-degree contacts. If they also like it then LinkedIn will analyze it, categorize it, and then redistribute it to others who it thinks will also like it, just like they do with Influencer content.
3. Publish Valuable Content
You can put your experience, connections, and the LinkedIn algorithm to work for you by writing high-quality articles or creating video content about subjects that you know people will find interesting and valuable.
The LinkedIn Influencer network can provide you with clues about what is trending in a specific industry and what information people want to know.
So, Why Aren’t You Publishing Yet?
LinkedIn has grown into a content-first social media platform that you can use to both build your personal brand better than on any other social media channel. If you’re only using it as a place to stay connected with people and look for a job from time to time, then you’re missing out on its huge potential.
If you have questions about how to make LinkedIn work for you or your business, we can help because we already do it with several of our clients. Contact us and we can make it happen.