The News Chair
  1. Assistive Technology Gets an Upgrade

    March 5, 2015 by Tiffany Whisner

    March is Disability Awareness Month — increasing awareness and promoting independence, integration and inclusion of all people with disabilities.

    INDATA4

    According to the Indiana Governor’s Council for People with Disabilities, adults and children with disabilities represent slightly more than 19 percent of Indiana’s population. This is the 25th year for Disability Awareness Month, and Hoosiers who want to make a difference can get involved in activities and events throughout the month.

     

    I have the privilege of working with the INDATA Project at Easter Seals Crossroads as one of our clients. And they just recently opened a new technology lab for people with disabilities. From home automation devices and wearable gadgets to robotics, the INDATA Project is making assistive technology accessible and user-friendly for everyone, particularly to those people with disabilities.

    INDATA2

     

    “The big challenge is getting people to realize every device someone without a disability can use for convenience can also be used by someone with a disability to enhance that person’s quality of life and independence,” said Brian Norton, the manager of clinical assistive technology at Easter Seals Crossroads. “Assistive technology can have a profound impact on how a person with a disability interacts with people and their environment, excels in school, and performs in the workplace.”

     

    INDATA1It was amazing to watch the robots and high-tech devices capture the attention of people who came to the open house as well as the media, who highlighted the new lab on air and through social media. And this technology is available to all — the INDATA Project offers loan-interest loans, funding options and an equipment lending library to Hoosiers with disabilities.

     

    “We want people to understand assistive technology doesn’t have to be super expensive,” said INDATA Director Wade Wingler. “This technology lab is a great way to show off the best AT in the most approachable and user-friendly way possible.”

     

    For more information about INDATA, visit www.eastersealstech.com.

     

     

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  2. Thirty Years of Bringing the Relationship Home

    February 25, 2015 by Christopher Lloyd

    homeshow2015LG

    Earlier this month, Coles Marketing wrapped up work on the 2015 Indianapolis Home Show. It was another year of runaway success, marked by massive attendance and remarkable media coverage. And believe it or not, it was the 31st year Coles has been the public relations agency for the Home Show. It was one of the first clients landed by President Barbara Coles after she started the business.

    Christopher Lloyd

    Christopher Lloyd

     

    So how does Coles maintain such an impressively long relationship with the Home Show? And how do we keep getting the media to show up in impressive numbers and give the same annual event big play, year in and year out?

     

    The answer is simple: relationships, prodigious planning and pure hustle.

     

    Start early

    “The work begins many months before the actual 10-day show,” says Coles Account Manager/Social Media Strategist Tiffany Whisner, one of the firm’s primary point persons on the Indy Home

    Tiffany Whisner

    Tiffany Whisner

    Show. “We keep track of the trending celebrities, both nationally and locally, and begin to brainstorm ideas for certain features and celebrities. We are always trying to think outside the box.”

     

    Stay in touch

    Coles touches base with local media throughout the calendar year with important news, such as high-profile celebrities who have been booked to appear at the show or the revelation of the builder and plans for next year’s Centerpiece Home.

     

    Do your homework

    As the event date approaches, the Coles team starts pitching a variety of interviewees, features and highlights to the media outlets to provide them the opportunity to cover many different aspects of the show. That way, each newspaper, TV station or other media feels like they can get their own distinct bite on coverage without treading the same ground.

     

    Chris Mercier

    Chris Mercier

    “Many members of our staff have worked in the media themselves, so we all have extensive contacts. But most of all, we do our homework, and we treat our media relations colleagues with respect,” said Chris Mercier, Vice President, Public Relations.

     

    Be prepared

    Right before the show opens, Coles sends out an exhaustive media briefing kit filled with information and interviews on dozens of notable vendors and individuals. This is always accompanied by complimentary tickets for key journalists – plus creative gifts that keep the Home Show top of mind for on-air coverage. (You can never go wrong with flowers or food!)

     

    Create attention

    “We attempt to grab the media’s attention from the start of the show with the opening day ribbon cutting ceremony and then continue that momentum throughout the 10-day event, with live and taped TV and radio coverage and stories in the local newspapers,” Whisner said. “We tie that into a strong social media presence on several different platforms — making sure media, show vendors and attendees all know the daily happenings at the Home Show.”

     

    Capture and capitalize the buzz

    In dealing with big celebrities, such as Kathy Ireland or Ty Pennington, it’s important to make them feel comfortable and protected, make sure their transportation arrangements are seamless and they have enough downtime to enjoy the city while they’re here.

     

    And then, once the Home Show has closed in early February – do it all over again!

     

    “With a long-term client partnership, a success for them is a success for us,” Whisner said. “We want our clients to be successful as a result of all our efforts, and this is especially true for the Home Show.”

     

    “It’s incredibly rewarding to see a company grow as a result of our collaboration and efforts,” Mercier said. “These clients trust us to make the best decisions to help them stand out and succeed.”

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  3. Unlock Your Business Potential

    January 21, 2015 by Tiffany Whisner

    unlock_potential

    Are you looking for the keys to kick-starting your business or organization growth this year? The Coles team is made up of communications experts with backgrounds in everything from digital marketing and media relations to Web design and videography.

     

    We want you and your business to have a successful year! Let us help you get started with a marketing tip from each team member.

     

    Barbara Coles

    Barbara Coles

    Barbara Coles, President – Website Lifespan

    A website’s lifespan is typically three to four years. If your website exceeds that time without a major update or redesign, technology is likely to have passed you by, and you risk losing valuable consumers. At Coles Marketing, we use the latest technology and expert design to create websites that generate clicks, calls and leads.

     

     

     

    Brian Coles

    Brian Coles

    Brian Coles, VP Marketing – Integrated Messaging

    The rule of three is now the rule of nine. During our waking hours, we are saturated with marketing messages. Use integrated marketing with consistent messages to reach your audience as many times as possible, where they congregate, to make your brand stand out.

     

     

     

    Chris Mercier

    Chris Mercier

    Chris Mercier, VP Public Relations – Company Reflection and Goals

    Reflect with your team on the year’s communication efforts — what worked and what didn’t. Then talk about company goals you want to accomplish in the New Year with a wish list of how to accomplish each top goal. Don’t be afraid to plan an event to generate some good buzz. And don’t forget internal public relations. Often the enthusiasm of your staff can be the difference between a good year and a great year!

     

     

    Tim Coulon

    Tim Coulon

    Tim Coulon, VP Creative – Images and Copyright Infringement

    Don’t assume you can copy images and graphics straight from the Web for articles or graphic projects. Just because an image is on the Internet doesn’t mean it’s free to use. Make sure you own the copyright for images before they are used for personal or commercial use. Copyright infringement is illegal and carries with it possible significant consequences.

     

     

    Kevin Moore

    Kevin Moore

    Kevin Moore, Multimedia Designer – Responsive Email Campaigns

    With the usage and popularity of mobile devices continuing to increase, businesses should make sure to offer responsive email campaigns. Responsive campaigns provide the optimal viewing experience across various platforms, whether a desktop or a variety of mobile devices. Here are a few selections to explore:

     

    Tiffany Whisner

    Tiffany Whisner

    Tiffany Whisner, Account Manager/Social Media Strategist – Social Media Education

    Focus on expanding your social media education, and continue to learn more each day. Just as the social media world is always evolving — companies need to evolve their social media strategies and tactics. Stay consistent with posting to your social media platforms, and make sure to add videos and images to your posts. Be open-minded, and pay attention to new social media tips and tricks.

     

     

    Shawn Sorrells

    Shawn Sorrells

    Shawn Sorrells, Videographer/Account Manager – 4K Resolution of Video

    Marketers and consumers need to understand what 4K resolution is — because the transition from HD to 4K is starting to happen in the video industry. Just like the switch from standard to HD, 4K is the next level of digital television and video. With four times the number of pixels, 4K video has better colors, better contrast and a sharper resolution. Check out this chart for a great visual: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/4K_resolution.

     

     

    Teresa Tanner

    Teresa Tanner

    Teresa Tanner, Financial Manager/Event Planner – Plan Events Now

    Schedule your company and client events now. You don’t want to wait until the last minute to book a location or venue for a certain date or time. It’s best to start planning as soon as you can! Do you need to reserve a rental or book some live entertainment? Many special events involve complex logistics, and early planning can lessen your stress.

     

     

     

    Christopher Lloyd

    Christopher Lloyd

    Christopher Lloyd, Senior Copywriter/Editor – Importance of Micro Content

    Don’t ignore the importance of “micro content.” That’s the online display copy that shows up next to the teaser of an online article. Research shows Web users spend less than 10 seconds deciding whether or not to click on a link. That means people aren’t going to read your content if the teaser isn’t enough of a tease! Make sure your micro content is on-target, snappy and gives an accurate gist of what you’re writing about.

     

     

    Lisa Deremiah

    Lisa Deremiah

    Lisa Deremiah, Business Development – Market Your Business

    Make sure your business stays current in marketing itself. If your website is old, let’s get it up to date. It needs to be responsive on all viewing platforms — the pinching and pulling of text on your mobile device when viewing a site designed for your desktop is out of style. Keep your company information easy to access, and your customers will be appreciative. Coles Marketing is here to help with this and any other marketing needs!

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