Reasons You Might Be Experiencing Organic Traffic Drops

You come into work one day and follow your daily routine. As an SEO marketer, the top of your to-do list each day is checking on organic traffic. Let’s say you come in on a Monday and haven’t checked on traffic over the weekend. You pull open analytics and see that the site has experienced […]

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Black History Month: The Legacy of Stuart Scott

One of the most important qualities a great communicator can have is authenticity. Being your authentic self will resonate with your audience much more than trying to fit a particular mold. When African Americans enter a new space, we often feel as though we need to assimilate into the culture that already exists. Stuart Scott did just the opposite.

“I’ll write that because I’m going to write like I talk.” – Stuart Scott

Stuart Scott was born in Chicago, Illinois and grew up in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he became a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity and was a part of the on-air talent at the University radio station. Scott went on to join ESPN as one of the few African American broadcasters who was not a former professional athlete. He returned to his alma mater in 2001 to give the commencement address where he encouraged graduates to celebrate diversity and recognize the power of communication.

Stuart Scott brought a new flavor to ESPN. He regularly used slang and other catch phrases that he made up himself. “Writing is better if it’s kept simple. Every sentence doesn’t need to have perfect noun/verb agreement. I’ve said “ain’t” on the air. Because I sometimes use ain’t when I’m talking. “Cincinnati Bengals thought that they were going to go 12 and 4 this year—man, they ain’t going 12 and 4!” You can probably already imagine that because of this, Scott was met with an immense amount of criticism. Some disgruntled SportsCenter fans would say, “Stuart Scott is very knowledgeable about sports, but the way he presents them in hip-hop fashion is obnoxious.”

Despite all the backlash, Scott remained authentic. His colloquialisms became part of everyday language that just about everyone would use. Think about how many times you’ve heard the phrase, “Boo-ya!” That’s Scott. He eventually became one of the most recognizable faces at ESPN by being an anchor on SportsCenter, covering the World Series, NBA Finals, Super Bowl, interviewing Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan, and even playing a basketball game with President Barrack Obama on-air.

In 2007, Scott was diagnosed with cancer, and was eventually given the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance at ESPN’s ESPY Awards in 2014. He gave a heartfelt speech that reminded us of how eloquent Stuart was, encouraged those fighting cancer to keep fighting, and made us realize how much we would miss him. “When you die, it does not mean that you lose to cancer. You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and the manner in which you live.” He passed away in 2015.

What I learned from following Stuart Scott’s life and career is how important it is to continue to be yourself, even if yourself doesn’t fit in with everyone else. It’s often said that African Americans have to be “bilingual” because we have to speak differently at work than we do at home. Aside from Scott being a sports news anchor who looked like me, what made him special is that he sounded like me. His authenticity is what set him apart and made him special. What I think that everyone can learn from Stuart Scott, regardless of what industry we’re in, is that if we spend too much of our time and energy constantly trying to fit the mold, it can never be broken.

Editor’s note: Throughout Black History Month, we will be reflecting on prominent African American figures that have helped shape our world as communicators. Follow us in February to learn more about how these trailblazers have inspired members of the Ketchum team.

New ‘Turning Points’ campaign for Gumtree

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This week saw the launch of our new campaign for Gumtree, ‘Turning Points,’ the latest illustration of how the app is a tool for seizing opportunity.

The campaign focuses on times of change – how as our lives grow and progress, our needs for space, goods and services change in turn. From trying a new hobby to welcoming a new addition to the family, we’re forever creating new possibilities for a better life ahead. Gumtree makes these switches simple by combining a huge breadth of products, services and users with the effortless user experience of its mobile app.

Illustrating the ease and fulfillment of using Gumtree in life-changing moments, the TV spot takes viewers through a whirlwind montage following a young couple newly installed in a new flat together. Using the Gumtree app, they’re one swipe away from a new sofa, a baby buggy and even a car to accommodate the twists and turns of their lives. The seamless sequence of upgrades, adaptations and replacements are brought to life in the creative with surreal optical illusions. Whether it’s a bed handed down through the ceiling, a car flipping up the street, or a sofa sprung from a phone screen, the playful scenes illustrate the power and fluidity of the Gumtree app, as a companion to take advantage of new beginnings.

The campaign is also brought to life across radio and OOH.

Start Marketing the Travel Experience from a Local’s Perspective

Travelers Want to Be Fully Immersed in their Destination’s Culture

Data says travelers want authenticity. In fact, 76% of baby boomers and 86% of millennials want to experience a new culture when they travel. As a destination, how do you give travelers a true “when in Rome,” experience?

Give your locals a voice.

Locals know their hometown or city like the back of their hands, making for ideal tour guides. Here’s how to tap into your local market to help travelers get your destination’s full experience.

Find Local Influencers

Start your search for influencers in your area by combing through popular hashtags for your destination and checking out the top posts. Once you’ve found a few personalities that match your messaging, reach out to them and see if they’re interested in forming a partnership. Don’t be shy to write up a formal pitch and tell them why this would be a beneficial opportunity for both sides.

After reaching an agreement, encourage influencers to share their favorite local attractions or restaurants on their social media accounts or website. That content will be amplified by their social followings and can be leveraged on your own platforms as well.

And, you don’t have to start from scratch when it comes to sharing stories. Bloggers, influencers and other public figures may already be featuring your destination on their accounts. This Chicago blogger shares her favorite hotels, activities and restaurants in the Windy City on her website. You can take this already published content and share it on your channels, as long as you’re attributing it back to its owner.

Feature Local Testimonials

According to a survey by BrightLocal, 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. To tap into that percentage, connect with locals and ask them to share their thoughts and opinions on your destination, then feature that content on your website and social media accounts. Local reviews and recommendations for your area can help you create an even stronger bond with an audience who yearns for authenticity.

Hire Local Guides

Take the leap and hire local guides to show your travelers the ins and outs of the city. Partner with services like SANDEMANs or Showaround to show off your destination’s best, or start your own, keeping locals at the helm.

As a destination marketing organization, you don’t have to search high and low on how to give visitors a taste of your culture and city. The answer may be closer than you realize.

This Startup Calculates The Climate Risks For Specific Blocks And Buildings

As the potential floods, heat waves, and other damaging natural phenomena increase, it’s important for developers and city planners to understand the effects. Jupiter offers incredibly detailed maps of the effects of a post-climate change world.

Anyone planning to build a new apartment building in Miami–or Houston, or Boston, or any other city with a growing problem with floods–faces a significant challenge. It’s hard to know if a particular site might be a safe place to build. Most FEMA flood maps are out of date; in 2012, the maps for many of the areas flooded by Sandy hadn’t been updated since 1983. The maps also don’t account for the impacts of climate change, despite the fact that the number of American coastal communities dealing with chronic flooding is expected to double in less than two decades.

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Vox Media lays off 5% of its staff as the pivot-to-video bloodbath continues

Vox Media just laid off around 50 people, reports the Hollywood Reporter. The teams most impacted are Racked, Curbed, SB Nation, and the company’s video services teams, said Vox Media CEO Jim Bankoff in a memo to staff. About a dozen others are being offered role changes. This comes just a month after Vox Media’s editorial staff successfully unionized. …

Vox Media just laid off around 50 people, reports the Hollywood Reporter. The teams most impacted are RackedCurbedSB Nation, and the company’s video services teams, said Vox Media CEO Jim Bankoff in a memo to staff. About a dozen others are being offered role changes. This comes just a month after Vox Media’s editorial staff successfully unionized.

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