Branding

Getting The Scoop On Big Print Publications From A Print Veteran Publisher

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Had the privilege of meeting a real life magazine publisher, Beth McDonough, formerly with the designer favorite magazine, Traditional Home. We talked shop, which for me is giddy because I’m just a babe in the magazine world. Actually I’m not even in the magazine world, as I’m a veteran of digital. As a blogger, I knew how to out-rank web pages of glossy magazines. Thanks to their overly tight controls of how they tried to keep users on their websites, I understood how Google worked, and why Google wanted the more links off the page as possible - a signal of a truly helpful web page.

Today, as corporate print magazines reduce their print schedules, and require consumers to go to the store to pick up from the shelf, I’m still mind boggled as to why that is a good idea. Sounds like veteran print magazine extremely talented editorial staff also don’t see it as a good idea. And the profit sheets of these big corporate publication mergers also don’t see it as a good idea.

Thoughtfulness of a good reading and connecting experience is not factored into the big picture strategies coming from the C Suite, and as readers, we can tell. I’m so lucky to live in the same place as this veteran publisher, and that I could speak to her in real life at one of our local cafes, Ella’s Bellas. Print lives. Advertisers do want to see their branding in print. I am more hopeful than ever at the rise of niche media like mine here at Tin Shingle and at A Little Beacon Blog. The independent publications are going to do well if they know how to bottle this Advertiser enthusiasm. 

WordSwag Releases More Font Options - Look At The Bird In Lumber Jack!

Word Swag does it again by opening up more design treatments on its free version of its app. And you know we love our Word Swag. Paying for the Word Swag app is still very worth it, as you get even more design options on your type treatment. But for now - the free version - just look at these new options for the same message. Your going to see a bird, a Star Wars inspiration, and variations on thickness of a swirly cursive font.

The 15 Minute Variation - Look At The Variation!

You Can Do This

Last week we sent you one of the above design treatments for the almost weekly Money Monday article. This week, we wanted to show you the behind-the-scenes process of getting there. How within 15 minutes, we had such a variation of visual to go with.

Should we go Star Wars theme? Or a "Put A Bird On It" theme?

The best part is, these are some new designs that are available in the Word Swag app now - at the free level. Though we always encourage you to upgrade to paid in order to keep companies like this alive.
What is Word Swag you may be asking? We've written about it here before, but it's one of our go-to apps for creating images that have words on them. Some call them "Word Posters" or "Quote Posters." Call it what you will - it's your easy and beautiful way of communicating with your people digitally. Word Swag takes fonts - and sometimes icons - and combines them into delicate, rough, or shocking combinations.

Combos We Love

Notice the emotional differences that each font presents to you. The bird is in “Lumber Jack,” which is a design treatment combo that has been free and open for a while, but the bird is new (new to us at least).
“Nine Teen Nineties” is new, and is the Star Wars inspo one. Then there are the other simple cursive design combos in the last two samples shown here that offer big differences: “Gothic Wonderland” offers a nice, crisp serif font paired with a thin and delicate cursive. And finally, our long-time favorite, “Summer Soiree” which offers a nice curve to and hug of the words.

If you haven’t been in Word Swag for a bit, update your app and open it up. And if you have been using it, it’s time for fresh styles!

Packaging Will Be Important When Pitching Magazines for Holiday Gift Guides

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While perusing Instagram one evening, I saw this beautiful photo of white roses arranged neatly in a stark black box. I’d already slated in Tin Shingle’s Content Planner to write about Packaging as upcoming prep work for your Holiday Gift Guide Pitching to Magazines, and doing it via a re-gram from a Tin Shingle Member seemed cherry-on-top-awesome.

A Tin Shingle member who runs the PR agency, Great Her Good enforced to her following that packaging is everything. See her full message below.

Tin Shingle has started alerting you to the upcoming Holiday Gift Guide Pitching Season - where you email magazine editors with a carefully worded email planting the idea that they might include your product in their Holiday Gift Guide this winter.

Sending samples will be an important component to this. Don’t skimp on the packaging. The investment will be worth it for getting ink (coverage in print media like magazines and newspapers), and customer purchases who buy from you at markets and retail stores.

 

Message from Jackie of Great Her Good:

#Repost @greathergood with @repostapp 

 

 

My clients can hear me now, it's all about the packaging and presentation! How you put yourself, your biz and your passion out there.

🚫Bad Packaging? No PR.

✅Great Packaging? Great PR.

Have you ever seen a beautiful package for something on the shelf and it catches your eye? I bet you've even purchased it if the messaging had enough pull. This is a set of 16 beautiful roses, but they cost 10X more than a dozen roses from the grocery store. (Plus, they last for a year, so it's totally worth it!) It's all about how you present your offerings to your customer.

How would you rate yourself on a scale of 1 to 10 on the packaging and presentation scale?

Image via @venusetfleur

 

What To Do Next

1. Join Tin Shingle’s Community Level of Membership to talk more about this in our private Facebook Group or Forums aka The Boards.

2. List your business in Tin Shingle’s Business Directory for a chance to be re-grammed like this by joining our Directory Listing Level.

3. Join Tin Shingle’s membership at the All Access Media List Level 4 that includes instant access to over 3,000 Media Contacts and over 80 Editorial Calendars to help you plan your media outreach and execute it. Browse through our lists to get on-point ideas of editors and writers to pitch.

How to Pick a Domain Name - And Protect It Long Term

Photo Credit: Tin Shingle

Photo Credit: Tin Shingle

Isn't picking a domain name easy? You just go to Dotster or GoDaddy (skip GoDaddy...we don't recommend), and type in a domain name and presto - you have a business!

Wrong. So wrong. There's a lot of thought that goes into picking your business name and domain name. Ideally, they should match. The process to pick a domain name is written about here in Tin Shingle's Tip section. Find 3 major pieces of domain naming advice in that article that you can use now, or the next time you think of a name for your domain and business.

So Many Creative Ways to Film a Mannequin Challenge

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Filling your Instagram feed with fresh ideas can be challenging at times, which is where Internet trends come in! Such as the currently trending rage, #MannequinChallenge, which is when people pose in interesting actions, and the camera floats between them, giving you a micro-glimpse into an emotion or experience within that setting.

When I saw my first Mannequin Challenge on Instagram, it was by accident, and I didn't know what I was watching, or why. The visual strength held my attention, and despite it looking freaky cool, I neglected to think about it as a marketer and its awesome powers of showing my business in a new light. Until Christa Page, co-founder of 50Roots.com, hosted a pop-up shop in our office and declared to me that she challenged herself to do a Mannequin Challenge during the shop's Happy Hour.

Of course! Brilliance! And she did a great job, in only one take! Look at all of those people in the shop!

The Effect of a Mannequin Challenge

The freeze frame style of action is immediately captivating. The eye can focus on people frozen in an action, without having to look everywhere in a video to see what people are doing and miss. The director(s) of the Mannequin Challenge can create the desired scene of how they wish their customers, clients, browsers, happy people, thoughtful people, whatever people are in their space. The poses immediately emit what your brand offers and stands for.

The Background of a Mannequin Challenge

The Internet credits several with the origin of the Mannequin Challenge, from Millennials (they get credited with everything!), to Zack Morris doing the original Mannequin Challenge from Saved By the Bell when he would yell "Timeout!" and the cast would freeze while he pondered something. My landlord, Deborah Bigelow of Gilded Twig,  a very wise woman who maybe has listened to every podcast ever, immediately connected the concept to a John Huston movie staring Stacy Keach in Fat City, in which Huston called for a freeze frame at the end of the movie. Keach discusses this tactic with Alec Baldwin during an interview on "Here's The Thing".

In Huston's freeze frame, the camera focuses on men at a gambling table, but it's really Keach's reaction to his surroundings that is the focus. For Zack Morris, the people around him may freeze in animated poses, but the focus is on Zack's monologue. The difference between the Mannequin Challenge that is happening now is that no one talks, the focus is on the frozen people, and the takeaway is on the action they are taking.

Just like with everything, the Collective Thought is at play here, and while the concept is not new, the application is unique to now.

How You Can Do A Mannequin Challenge!

Yes, you! You may think your brand is boring, or uneventful, or not fit for a Mannequin Challenge, but start thinking of what happens around you, and a scene will unfold that will be captivating!

Of course, you want to do this in order to get into the wildly popular hashtag #mannequinchallenge, but you also want to show what your brand is all about.

What Makes a Great Mannequin Challenge?

Let's dissect this for a moment. There seem to be a few rules, but being a business owner, you'll, of course, want to break or bend them:

  • Many People: The most interesting videos seem to have 5-20 people in them. If you don't have that many people in your office or shop, invite friends in for a Mannequin Challenge Day. Offer them wine. They will come.
  • Music: Right now, the "official" song that plays in the background is “Black Beatles” by Rae Sremmurd. But...being a creative person, you may want to play your own jingle selection here, like Garuda Indonesia did on their Boeing 777-300ER plane.
  • Grand Poses and Plain Poses: What would people do naturally in your space? What do you wish they would do? This can include:
    • Dancing
    • Buying something
    • Looking at something, considering it
    • Dropping something!
    • Making a phone call
    • Hanging a picture
    • Moving a child away from your workspace
    • Answering the door
    • Talking to a co-worker in the hall
    • Serving someone their meal at a table

You can see the list is endless and very fun to start thinking about. The pose a person takes could be indicative of their personality and reflect what they love doing.

Examples of Mannequin Challenges

This is some of the most fun homework ever. There have been many types of videos, so take a look to get some ideas. Definitely hit up the #mannequinchallenge hashtag in Instagram to get loads of ideas.

50Roots.com in the Pop-Up Shop in A Little Beacon Blog's Space

Of course you have to watch the one in my office first :) Christa, co-owner of the shop is in the frame handing a shopping bag to a customer. The rest of the people are customers, families and friends.

Garuda Indonesia On The Plane

This video has a lot of poses in action, and really makes you feel like you A. want to fly, and B. want to fly first class. I'm a road-tripper, so am rarely on planes, but this makes flying look hassle-free. Plus, they went rougue with their music choice, and picked something closer to Enya:

ALS' "The Never Ending Mannequin Challenge"

AdWeek dubbed this Mannequin Challenge as the first branded challenge that was produced by an organization for promotional purposes. The video packs a powerful punch at the end, making it one that takes advantage of a light-hearted trend that many are involved with, and showing the definition of ALS in one frame. Pretty amazing.

Rae Sremmurd Dos His Own Mannequin Challenge

Rae Sremmurd made a Mannequin Challenge video to his song "Black Beetles", and of course broke a rule - the performers went into motion after a few moments of themselves - and their audience - being frozen. Pretty neat.

So...What kind of Mannequin Challenge are you going to create?