Understanding your Target: Communications Strategies for Building Grassroots Campaigns

By Mike Murphy, Senior Vice President, Public Affairs 

Our Hoosier political leaders carry an immense burden as they try their best to accurately and responsibly reflect their constituents’ views and priorities on the issues of the day.

No matter what the issue, there will be advocates and opponents. Insightful pols can use a variety of tools to inform their decisions. Polls, town hall meetings, staff research, etc., are all valuable and useful.

The question for citizens interested in communicating effectively with their representatives on the cusp of an important decision often is — how do I reach my Congressman/legislator/councilor with my views or information?

Digital Natives

By Tom Hirons, President & CEO

Growing up in a digital world has its advantages. Digital fluency with existing technology. An intuitive sense and adaptability to emerging technologies. Thumb speed.

But, do you have to be 20-something to get it? No. Take, for example, Michael Hanley, a professor at Ball State and one of the world’s leaders in mobile marketing.

As professional communicators, we owe it to ourselves and our clients to not just stay current in technology but to also be leaders in technology.

Invaluable Lessons from a Hirons Intern

By McKenzie Clift, Communications Management Assistant (Summer 2013)

A truly valuable internship experience can build up so much more than a resume — it can entirely re-shape and re-define your character and the way you see the world. My internship with Hirons this summer did exactly that. Amid the chaos and creative ingenuity that marks Hirons, I found solace in the company of some incredibly talented co-workers in an exciting line of work. Along the way, I picked up a few lessons for the aspiring intern-to-be.

Interactive Targeting, from Basic to Slightly Creepy

By Amy Mitchell, Vice President, Media Director

Through the strategic use of pixels and cookies, advertisers are able to tag and reach their intended audience in more relevant and timely ways than ever before. Sure, we can still target users by simple demographics such as age, income and geography, but things have gotten a lot cooler (or creepier?) than that.

Old School Visionary.

By Tom Hirons, President & CEO

Philip Ward Burton was an advertising genius.

Burton’s career started at Procter & Gamble where he responded to letters from consumers and rose to be the senior creative officer consulting on all Procter & Gamble brands. He went on to be a professor at Syracuse University, the feeder school for New York agencies. His textbook for advertising concepting and copywriting became the most widely used in the U.S. His weekly column in Advertising Age, “Which Ad Pulled Best?” popularized his research on advertising perception and explained what factors contributed to advertising effectiveness.

In 1987, the American Advertising Federation wanted to present him with its inaugural Distinguished Educator Award and name it the Burton Award. He accepted the award but declined to have it named after himself, saying, “You never know what scoundrels may follow me.” In reality, he was too humble to have the award named after him.

Smartphones, Smart Advertising

By Tom Aschauer, Executive Creative Director

Smartphones. Great for many things, just maybe not advertising.

We call them smartphones, but they’re really smart devices, because they do a heck of a lot more than just make phone calls. We text with them. We check email with them. We play games with them. We surf the Web with them. We use them for all sorts of stuff. In 2012, Nielsen told us that on average, we had 41 apps on our smartphone, and that was 28 percent increase from the year before.

With all the time we spend with our smartphones, it’s only natural that mobile marketers will tell you that you need to spend more money on mobile — that it’s the key to your customer’s soul. And it maybe it is, but you need to spend your money wisely. And while advertising may be the most obvious solution, it’s probably not the smartest.

What I’ve Learned: Musings of a Post-grad Intern

By Sarah Owens, Communications Management Assistant

I am a recent college graduate. And by recent, I mean I graduated exactly a year ago (I’m still trying to figure out when, exactly, it becomes inappropriate to call myself a recent graduate – I’m beginning to feel like the person who’s  telling people she recently turned 30 when her 33rd birthday was last week).

Something that became abundantly clear to me around this time last year was that I didn’t want to settle for a job that simply paid the bills. I wanted a career, not a job. And I wanted a career that I could see myself in for the rest of my life. As all my friends, roommates and classmates were applying to various jobs, I found myself contemplating what my next move should be. I searched and searched for jobs I wanted and came to the realization that I needed experience. I not only needed experience, but I needed the right kind of experience. So, I made the choice that I knew was right – I decided to be a post-grad intern.

Nielsen TV Measurement: She is a-changin’

By Amy Mitchell, Vice President, Media Director

It’s widely known that TV viewership is evolving. Instead of being consumed primarily in your living room whilst cozied up on the sofa in your jammies, TV programs are now being consumed across multiple devices, any time, any place, via Netflix on an iPad while on a road trip with the family, your smartphone while your spouse/significant other is trying on clothes at a department store or catching a quick YouTube video (or four or five) on your desktop while on your lunch break.

With this evolution mind, Nielsen, the company that measures TV viewership, therefore aiding in the monetization of the commercial spots therein, is rolling out Extended Screen Ratings. The purpose of ESR is to consider all of these various and sundry points of viewership and provide one single source of measurement, including gross rating points, reach and frequency.

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year: Hirons Goes to the Addys

By Tom Aschauer, Vice President, Executive Creative Director

Well, the 2013 Indianapolis Addys have come and gone, and Thursday’s awards ceremony was held at the uniquely Indianapolis location of Fountain Square Theatre.

What can be said that wasn’t (or quietly muttered under one’s breath): Hirons held our own with this year’s competition. We garnered six awards total, and if someone were petty enough to be keeping track, that puts us in second place for total awards (or so I’ve been told (if one were keeping track)).

Overall, it was nice to get a chance to see what some bromidic, out-of-town, hackneyed, two-bit judges considered to be Indy’s best work this past year. Because in many cases, this is the first time I get to see the work. Probably because I’m not part of the respective target audiences. Although I can’t imagine how Roche’s molecular barcode campaign ever escaped my notice. I must use molecular barcodes on an almost daily basis.

Ban the "New Normal"

By Tom Hirons,  President & CEO

January is typically a time of resolution and goal setting. For too many agencies, survival has been the goal and a “new normal” has been the excuse.

Malaise is not new. On July 15, 1979, President Jimmy Carter described a “crisis of confidence” among the American people. While he never used the term “malaise” he was widely maligned for what came to be known as his “malaise” speech.