All Posts by PSCI

Video is the New Picture

Videos are impacting online advertising in a big way, simply out-performing all other types of digital marketing. In today’s technology-filled world, visual content is the new fad. People are far more likely to watch your video than read your article. Our environment has become so fast-paced – and let’s be honest, who wants to read your 2-page essay on why they should like your Facebook page? We’ll give you a hint- they don’t. On the other hand, if you use a short video, most people will watch at least three-quarters of the audio-visual experience.

At Providence, we create videos for our clients to promote the remarkable work that they do. For example, Goodwill Industries of South Central California has a mission to create jobs and provide skills development for people with barriers to employment. This is one of multiple videos we’ve produced to showcase Goodwill’s inspiring employees whose lives have been changed through the power of work:

It is important for our clients to reach large audiences, and when you create videos for content marketing, it helps communicate your message in a much more impactful way, often triggering emotions in the viewers. They are not only more compelling to the people watching, but you can track the number of times your video is viewed.

Sometimes, you need videos to be strictly educational. Recently, Kern Transit partnered with Token Transit to create a new app and Providence detailed the instructions to the app through a short, informative video:

According to ComScore, adding a video to your website can increase the chance of a front-page Google result by 53 times. In our society, technology is rapidly growing and video is becoming the new photo. Video should be a huge part of your current business advertising strategy.

Face the facts, online video is now the gold standard in content marketing and is responsible for the majority of internet traffic. These simple tips will make your life easier and your company more successful – so put them to work. Or call Providence and we can fire up your marketing through the power of video, so you can focus on what you do best.

Providence Consulting Employees or the New NASCAR Team?

Got Speed? Our team sure thought so at the beginning of our team building experience. On Friday, June 30th, the Providence team went out to Bakersfield Karting Experience for an enriching, momentum filled adventure. The team was ready to race after some delicious pizza and burgers. The anticipation was killing everyone as we waited for the race. The events leading up to our race were honestly quite hilarious. Have you ever heard of a head sock? We hadn’t either… but, a head sock is a necessary piece of material resembling a sock that goes on your head, self-explanatory I guess? After we retrieved our head socks, we got our helmets and neck pads and were ready to go.

We sat in our karts, one foot on the gas, one foot on the break, and got ready to race. As soon as the light turned green everyone took off. We had some fast karts, some slow karts, and some mediocre karts. Everyone had their eyes on the prize. A Starbucks card, $45 and a trophy of course.

Pedals went to the metal and we were off. It was hard to tell who was winning throughout the race. After 20 laps of speed, the race came to an end and the list was posted. Lauryn in 1st, she doesn’t even work here anymore!!! We love her anyways. Notice in the picture below, she is already holding up a number 1. How did she know? Meet our team and hear about their amazing abilities.


Jammin Jewlz: Jewlz, no doubt, has a jamming personality and is amazing at everything she does… except racing… racing is another story…

Ambitious Amanda: Amanda was ambitious from the start. She was ready to stomp everyone in her way. She got pretty close. Julie was talking smack in the beginning, and Amanda slyly beat her.

Manic Maddie: Maddie, Maddie, Maddie. 4th place isn’t too shabby? Manic Maddie was so close to placing when Lynn crashed and threw a curve ball in the game. She couldn’t catch back up after that.

Speedy Stevie: Steven in the office and Speedy Stevie on the track. He almost had the win but fell short in the last moments of the race by .071. Now that is sad, he got beat BY A GIRL. Jk Steven you are still cool, and speedy. And really good at air hockey.

Let me crash into the wall Lynn: Lynn’s goal was to defeat David, although she did not pass him, he did not win the prize, so she succeeded (sort of). She also crashed into the wall and made everyone stop racing while they fixed her kart but it’s fine, we’re fine.

Take out Tracy: Tracy was planning on ‘taking everyone out’ with her kart…. but …. she may or may not have gotten last place… Thank you for ‘taking us out’ on this team bonding experience Tracy!

Daredevil David: David came into the game ready to win, but a few others’ only goal was to beat him. Don’t dare to defeat David, he is quite the devil on the track and smoked his haters and still managed to get 3rd place!

Alone Alyssa: Alyssa was alone basically the whole race because she was so slow, she was only with people when they were lapping her. She is the intern though… so who cares? Just kidding she is really cool, just slow.

Lawless Lauryn: Lauryn was as speedy as ever and did not care one bit about the rules. Brakes? Slowing down? None of these words are in Lauryn’s vocabulary. Anyways, she won. It’s all good though, we’re not bitter.

Three things were learned on this trip:
1. Some of us should probably stick to our day jobs and take a break from the racing.
2. We should invest in more head socks.
3. Whatever you do, do not get in the car with Lauryn or Lynn.

There are a few reasons why team building is important. It is not only fun, but very effective and leads to a more successful business. Bonding motivates our employees and helps develop a better sense of communication with coworkers. It is important to have a strong basis of friendship with the people you work with, not only from a business standpoint, but it makes things more exciting in the work place. It is always good to take a break from the work, and build some lifelong friendships.

We All Wonder What It Takes to Write Right…. Right?

Strive to Be a Wordsmith Wonder Woman (or Man)

Because Words Matter

(And they may cost you)

Last month we gleaned some very useful writing tips from one of the industry’s best – Mr. Pete Codella – and we want to share!

Have you ever heard the phrase, “Less is more”? It means that a minimalist approach to many things proves more effective, and this could not be more true for the art of writing. Many people think that filling space with an exuberant amount of information and unnecessary jargon produces more confidence in their readers’ judgements. However, as New Yorker Journalist Malcom Gladwell once stated, all it does is give the illusion of certainty, while making us as writers more prone to mistakes. Our advice to you is this: simplify your writing and eliminate the unnecessary. No one wants to weed through your writing like they must do standing in the canned food aisle of a grocery store. Start strong, grab your reader’s attention and get to the point.

Of primary importance is your topic. It’s crucial that you do it justice and provide reliable information that helps your reader have a firm understanding of the subject and intent of your writing. Think about stating your key point at or near the top and then show your reader how you prove it. Ask yourself, “Why should others read what I write?” and lead with the benefit.

Weakness is not something we think about being communicated through writing, but we’re here to prove otherwise! Pete Codella calls these “Weasel Words”, and they’re words such as “generally”, “most”, “could”, “hope”, “perhaps”. Codella states that they sound weak and equivocal; strengthen your sentence by using words such as “can” or “will”! For example, one might write, “Perhaps Julie may go to the store for donuts today.” A stronger, more confident structure of this sentence would read, “Julie will go to the store for donuts today!”.

Another tip for strengthening your writing is to avoid nominalizations. What on earth IS a nominalization you may ask? Any time a verb is turned into a noun by adding “tion”, a nominalization is created. A few negative effects of nominalizations are that they work against your goal to keep your writing concise, they often make sentences difficult to understand and they increase the noun-to-verb ratio. Below are a couple examples:

With nominalization: “This example provides an illustration of the problems with nominalizations.”

With verb: “This example illustrates problems with nominalizations.”

With nominalization: “Julie’s observation of the early morning meeting was that there just wasn’t enough coffee.”

With verb: “Julie observed that there just wasn’t enough coffee at the early morning meeting.”

Lastly, it’s probably safe to assume that we are all familiar with unnecessary, unwanted jargon in writing. It often makes us feel stupid and out of the loop. It doesn’t typically make the writer sound sophisticated, it just leaves the reader confused. Consider the below examples…

“As the digital transformation revolution reaches maturity, companies have the opportunity to shift business models within their industry disruptively to create new sources of defensible competitive advantage.”

Let’s think about this for a minute. How can this sentence be put more simply and clearly?

Oh yes: “New technology creates new ways to do business.”

Jargon? Avoid it. Unless, of course, you’re writing a contract.

In the words of Franklin D. Roosevelt,

“Be sincere; be brief; be seated.”

People, Data and Catchy Titles- These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

As the catchy title suggests, people and data are two of my favorite things. I love people- getting to know them, studying them, figuring out what makes people, well, people. And what better way to compile all this information than in sheets and sheets of beautiful data, meticulously organized and summarized in Excel? We’re talking demographics here- the information that keeps my brain up late at night thinking about how to use data to reach people in creative ways (and yes, that really happens).

But that’s enough about my love affair with demography! I’m here to help you develop your own healthy relationship with it. So, let’s talk. What, exactly, are demographics and how can you use them in your organization to reach specific goals?

To use demographics to the benefit of your organization, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with the concept of market segmentation (those words have such a sweet ring to them… they really roll off the tongue). Basically, you need to know:

Who you are trying to reach

How to reach them

   What content is most appealing to them

There are countless ways to get and use this information, but possibly the easiest, most user-friendly and cost-effective option is Social Media. As a proud millennial and an excited supporter of the technological revolution, I can tell you that Social Media is one of the best ways to find and reach your target demographic, no matter what your organization’s goals are.

Facebook (A.K.A. the Godfather of social media, for all intents and purposes) is constantly rolling out new tools to help you get the most bang for your buck. One of the best tools is Audience Insights for Facebook Business.

Say I’m a purveyor of dog t-shirts who is just starting out. I have a small advertising budget now, so my goal is to outfit as many dogs as possible within Kern County before expanding beyond my local area. First, I need to figure out who my target audience is for my product. Just to make this more realistic, here is a photo of my adorable dog, Daniel, wearing a dog t-shirt:

To sell my VIP (Very Important Product) I’m looking for people who:

Are Interested in Pets and Shopping

Select interests:

Pets, Animals, Shopping

Have a Bit of Disposable Income

Select financials:

Everything over $50,000

Are Over the Age of 18 (By Default)

Select Age:

“Any” for the maximum value, because everyone loves a good dog t-shirt.

Live in Kern County

Select Cities in Kern County:

Bakersfield, Arvin, California City, Delano, Lamont, Maricopa, Taft, Shafter, Tehachapi, Wasco, McFarland, Ridgrecrest, etc.

 

Once I’m happy with my audience, I’ll save it to use and change later, if needed. I now have a custom audience of 150K-200K potential customers who are active on Facebook each month that I can reach with my ads:

For any organization, it is important to know the area you are serving. And for those of us in Kern County, we can get quite a bit of valuable information from Facebook’s data pool. If you go back into your dog t-shirt audience and delete all selections but the location, you can see invaluable information from 450K-500K monthly users:

All this data can be used to target an audience for any cause, and it is a huge help in developing an advertising strategy. We can see that 46% of Kern’s population is married, 58% is college educated, 66% is using Facebook from only mobile devices, 73% own homes and so much more. You can further target groups by political affiliation, number of children, ethnicity, etc., to make the perfect audience for your campaign. The sooner you learn to harness the power of this incredible tool, the more efficient your organization can be with its marketing efforts.

The amount of information available can be overwhelming at times, but think of all the good you can do with it! Grassroots campaigns have never been easier! Supporting a nonprofit or furthering a cause you are passionate about is right at your fingertips! And don’t get me started on the amount of dog t-shirts you could sell! Facebook has perfectly merged data and people to make life better than ever for smart marketers. Embrace the beauty of demographics and put this amazing technology to work for your organization (or let us here at Providence do it for you)!

Now, you just need some quality content for your advertisements. Give us a call, we can help.

 

 

The Ultimate(ish) Guide to Social Media

Social media is taking over the world! And we want to help you harness its power. Today we’re talking tips and tricks to increase your engagement on Facebook, Twitter and the countless other social platforms!

Lay Out Your Goals

You need to have your goals clearly laid out before pursuing any kind of action. Without any direction, you could find yourself spending time on aspects of social media that don’t bring you closer to your goals.

The possibilities are seemingly endless on social media, but here are some things to consider:

  1. How often are you going to post? What are you going to post? Creating content ahead of time will help you plan your campaign and reduce stress along the way. You want to schedule your posts as much as possible!
  2. Cater your content to your audience. If you love cat memes but your audience doesn’t, it’s probably time to stop posting cat memes. Or it’s time to find some new followers, because who really doesn’t like cat memes?
  3. What’s the purpose of your social media accounts? Are you trying to drive people to your website? Just trying to create an online presence? Or something entirely different? Lay out and post in accordance with that plan. I.E. If you’re going to talk about something awesome on your website, make sure to link to it. Oh, and don’t forget to remove URLs from your posts on Facebook! The less text the better.

Post Like a Pro

The road to mastering social media is long and grueling. For that reason, we suggest following as many animal pages as possible to relieve your stress. Additional suggestions to consider when posting:

  1. Tell a story about yourself, a customer, your business or anything else that you think you followers will enjoy reading. People love stories and they will help others relate to you. Do you have an awesome story about how you started your business or how you met the love of your life? Share it! Just make sure to break it up into several posts to keep your followers coming back for more.
  1. Show off your personality in posts! No one wants to read a boring sentence devoid of life. Even your mom. So, spruce it up by injecting some of yourself into your posts! Let’s look at an example:

“Julie’s taste in music is questionable at best and always distracts me at work.”

Vs.

“I can’t concentrate at work with Julie’s music playing! If I have to listen to Justin Bieber sing ‘Baby, baby, baby oh’ one more time, I swear I’m going to lose it. – Steven”

  1. Visual content is arguably the most important element to a post. According to business2community.com, the brain registers images 60,000 times faster than text. This makes it imperative that you post pictures and videos as much as possible. Some visuals may perform better than others on your page, so it’s best to experiment and adjust. When in doubt, post cat videos.

Additional Tips

To many, tipping is becoming an obsolete practice, but not here at Providence! Check out these free tips:

      1. Encourage your employees/coworkers to share everything that your business posts. Putting it simply, the more likes and shares a post receives the more the reach will grow. This essentially means that your coworkers are free ‘likes’ waiting to happen!
      2. Utilize the analytics section of your Facebook page or visit analytics.twitter.com to see how your tweets perform. Reviewing the analytics will help you see what’s working and not working. Through Facebook’s analytics, you can see when your audience is online the most, where they’re from and which posts are performing the best. Not paying attention to your analytics is a mistake you can’t afford to make!
      3. Make the most out of specific days of the week. If today is Monday, make an encouraging #MotivationalMonday post reminding everyone that it’s going to be ok. Or maybe it’s Thursday, time to post some embarrassing photos of your coworkers for Throw Back Thursday (#TBT). These are fun/easy posts to make that will help you grow your audience!

Well, there you have it. You should all be social media professionals by now. If you’re not, try asking your kids for some help or call us 661.327.1698. We would be happy to assist you!

Grateful hearts and a ribbon cutting!

grateful-heartsWe cannot believe Thanksgiving is already over and the Christmas season is now upon us. How fast things seem to go by during the Holidays. It’s our hope that you spent some time last week ignoring politics and giving thanks surrounded by family and friends.  Or perhaps our current political climate is more interesting than your family and friends…either way, we hope you enjoyed your time off.

Here at Providence we’re immensely grateful for our spectacular, growing firm. A business 20 years in the making, began as a sole proprietorship and grew into a well-respected firm that is truly one of a kind. We are enormously blessed in many ways, but this last year has proven especially rewarding. We’ve expanded our business and had the opportunity to purchase and renovate our own building in downtown Bakersfield.

Our gratitude is not complete without acknowledging our incredible clients. We are fortunate to work alongside the most wonderful, hardworking people in Kern County and across the state. We are passionate about advocating, marketing and growing their businesses and organizations along with our own. The personal relationships we have built with them are very important to us. Our team has tremendous pride in our collective efforts to create successful strategic communications for each and every organization that we represent.

On Thursday, December 1st, we have the honor of officially unveiling our firm in the company of fellow businesses, clients, friends and neighbors. The Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce, Kern County Hispanic Chamber and the Downtown Business Association welcome you all to join us in this special celebration!

Ribbon Cutting for Providence Strategic Consulting, Inc.

Where: 2600 F Street

When: December 1, 2016 at 10 AM

 

Have questions? Give us a call – 661.327.1698

Need PR? Email us today!

PR for Business Growth

Our Team. Your Social Media Super Heroes.

biz-growth

We know you work hard. You run a business and we understand the demands that puts on you. It’s imperative that you maximize your reach, grow your audience and expand your connections if you want your business to flourish. Because it takes a million different parts to run a successful business, marketing yourself online often takes a backseat. Presenting your business through popular social media platforms may not be your strong suit, but there’s good news – it’s ours.

Social media is not the temporary fad some thought it would be. Sure, there are teenagers over-sharing and under-studying, but there are a plethora of companies of every size experiencing rapid growth and success by tapping into the massive number of people with buying power and a keyboard. Facebook and friends are here to stay.

Your options are endless when you consider social media as a marketing resource. In addition to having a broad reach, it’s exceptionally cost effective. Social media is the cheapest form of advertising you can get your hands on today. To get the most bang for your literal buck, you still need to be strategic so that you’re best positioned to have an effective presence online. Thankfully, there are local experts right at your disposal. Just call on our name, we’ll be there. Winter, spring, summer or fall. All you have to do is…okay. You get it.

Did you know, in 2015, over 2 billion internet users had active social media accounts? That number is increasing everyday so, there is no doubt your potential reach through social media is huge. Today’s statistics show that 76% of online adults are on social networking sites. Our firm is thrilled to offer various packages to help any business with their online presence. Whether you’re just dipping your toes in these new waters or you’re online already but not seeing the benefit – we can provide the resources and expertise you need. We’re kind of like social media super heroes…except we’re not allowed to wear leotards. Something about personal space…

Your new customers and clients are waiting. We’ll show you where they are…you might be surprised. Email us today!

And the winner is… PSCI!

prsa

Tracy Leach receiving the Kern Citizens for Energy Award of Merit from PRSA Central CA Board President Jill Wagner.

Our company is proud to be a part of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), the world’s largest organization of public relations professionals. PRSA provides professional development, sets standards of excellence, upholds principles of ethics for its members and acts as one of the industry’s leading voices on critical business and professional issues.

Each year PRSA showcases efforts by issuing “Image Awards” for PR excellence. These Awards honor the work done in the practice of public relations, communications, marketing and advertising throughout the Central Valley, and the entries are judged by PR professionals from a PRSA chapter in another state.

Providence considers it a privilege to advocate for all the businesses and industries who drive our economy in Kern County – including the oil industry, for which we won this award. We’re so honored to be able to advocate for local oil & gas production alongside the rest of our community. Kern Citizens for Energy has grown into a robust, recognizable coalition of local citizens, small business owners, nonprofits, chambers of commerce, energy companies and taxpayer advocates who support the energy industry here in Kern.

The Perfect Guide to Christmas Shopping (Maybe)

Steven_ElfYou know the holiday season is here when you find yourself scrambling to buy presents for your family, friends and coworkers. Some people can be hard to shop for but others are fans of Justin Bieber and really, anything can appease them – it’s unbeliebable.

In addition to the shopping, there will be plenty of parties out there. Whether you’re invited to them or not is a different story.

Instead of taking these things personally, remind yourself that everything happens for a reason. Most of these parties are probably going to be packed with Raiders fans and they wouldn’t know what to do around a winner like you anyways. When you think about it, this might actually explain the team’s success or lack thereof the last 10 seasons. So instead of sulking, organize an office Christmas party and earn infinite brownie points! Just make sure to leave the mistletoe at home. Or at the very least, don’t invite HR. It’s your call.

What you should really be putting your time and energy into is thinking about the gag gifts you’re going to buy your friends. Personally, I suggest going with a Nickelback album. The key to buying a good gag gift is that the recipient has no real use for it and this album fits the bill perfectly. On the off chance they like Nickelback, feel free to unfriend them on Facebook and in real life. You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life.

With that said, I still would rather listen to Nickelback than “Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer”. Over the course of my childhood it’s safe to say that I saw the animated Christmas special on Cartoon Network over 100 times. So before you throw me into the “War on Christmas” group with Starbucks, take a moment to try and understand my pain.

It’s the same kind of pain you’ll have to endure when you have to pay up for “one-day” and “two-day” shipping to ensure your presents arrive on time. Not so funny anymore is it?

If you’ve learned anything from this blog (which is highly unlikely) it’s that you shouldn’t put off your Christmas shopping until the last second (kind of like the fact that I shouldn’t have put writing this blog off until the last second). You will avoid a lot of stress and your wallet will thank you for all the money you’ll save on shipping. When it comes down to it, take a deep breath and remind yourself – it’s the thought that counts.

Thankful Hearts at PSCI

As we blast full speed into the holiday season, we wanted to pump the breaks for a moment and take some time to reflect back on the last ten months in our world of public relations. We’ve had so much fun advocating for our clients within the business community here in Kern and feel privileged to be given the opportunity to represent them. Our day-to-day is chock-full of email blasts, meetings, social media management, media relations, writing, editing and much more. Just like anyone else, if we don’t intentionally make the time to take a step back to reflect and be thankful, we’ll miss it – because we can remember last November like it was yesterday. Can you?thankful blog

The top 5 things we at PSCI are thankful for this season:

  • Wonderful clients – our people are some of the more kind-hearted, hilarious people we’ve come by. They make our job enjoyable and our interactions pleasant and rewarding. We realize that this is not always a guarantee, and in that case, we welcome a good challenge!
  • The thriving community of Kern County – #1 in energy production in the country, a leader in agriculture and home to some of the largest and most successful non-profit chapters in the country, Kern County is truly a force to be reckoned with. It’s a great place to do business, find community and raise a family. We are so thankful for those that have paved the way before us, laying the framework and foundation for a vibrant, healthy business community.
  • RAIN! That which we’ve had and that which is to come (El Niño anyone?). There is nothing quite like Bakersfield after the rain!
  • Food for our bellies and fuel for our cars – remember the line about Kern taking the cake in energy production and agriculture (see second bullet)? Our thriving oil and ag industries work together in beautiful harmony, feeding our appetites and fueling our lives. We are incredibly appreciative of both these industries as they truly make Kern County the vibrant community that it is!
  • And lastly… our new home! Psst… PSCI is moving! We have been truly blessed with a healthy, growing business with so much opportunity ahead of us. We are so thankful for a space of our own with more room to work and solve problems for our clients. Stay tuned for more info on that in 2016!