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PR without BS

June 28th, 2013

Five Things To Consider On Group Buying Deals

group-buying-sites

By Tara Berkoski

So, you’ve probably heard of Groupon (If not, you may be living under a rock. We’re not sure how you have Internet and are reading this blog post, but moving on…), but do you know anything about LivingSocial, ScoutMob, Bloomspot? What about SweetJack or GILT?

You may or may not have ever heard of some of these, or maybe even any. Whether or not you THINK you know everything there is to know about each, here are 5 things you should definitely know and keep in mind before making a decision about Group Buying Deals.

1. Purpose
Group Buying Deals are useful to restaurants to get new people in to try out your place for the first time. We hope they leave with a full stomach of delicious food and a smile on their face from great service. This will make them want to come back at full price over and over! It can also help get your past diners in again. There are many that have been in, enjoyed and haven’t been back or at least haven’t been back in a while. They just need a little push to remember why they love your place and why they need to come back.

2. Demographics
Each site has a different set of people that they target and solicit. Age, sex, budget and other factors are important when choosing the right Group Buying Deal for your restaurant. Also, each one has a list of subscribers they send the deal out to and each has a different amount of subscribers from various location ranges. You may want a smaller list to get a few people in for a deal and you don’t have that many seats to fill, or you may want to blast it out to as many people as possible because you’ll always have room for more business.

3. Cost
There is no direct cost associated with Group Buying Deals, which makes it a great way to bring in business! What you are giving away is food and seats for full-price paying customers. Typically, you will divide the profit 50-50 with the site. You can bargain for a better split, but some are tougher to budge than others. Also, remember that there are ways to upsell diners above and beyond the specified offer they pre-purchased.

4. Restrictions
You have a certain level of control on what limitations each deal includes. You may opt to not include alcohol sales, offer for dinner only, not allow use on takeout, etc. Be careful what restrictions you set. Make sure you think of everything, because once the deal is out there is no turning back. Also, don’t be too strict, as it will turn people off from purchasing the deal. Most do not offer the option to pick which days or times you can use the deal… but you CAN require reservations and push the purchasers to a different reservation number that will allow you to choose when to offer them a table.

5. Additional Benefits
Some programs offer radio ads. Others offer a specific special instead of a percentage off, which gives you the opportunity to showcase specific dishes, items or products. See what extra advantages each Group Buying Deal has before making your decision.

If you still are unsure which is right for you, have any questions or need someone to handle this for you… we’re here to help. Ask your Account Executive for more information and if you do not have one yet, give us a call to see what else we can offer your business to help get folks in seats!


June 27th, 2013

QUIZ: Is Pinterest Right for Your Restaurant?

Quiz

By Tara Berkoski

Answer the following to find out how important and vital this social site is for you.

1. Do you have anything sold online?

a. Yes! Tons.

b. One or two items.

c. Nope.

2. Do you have important information online to share with people?

a. Like our website?

b. Recipes, a blog, interesting facts about our new dishes, etc.

c. We can link to OpenTable or current menus.

3. How many photos do you have?

a. We’ve had a photographer come in when we opened two years ago, but not since.

b. Not really, maybe the hostess took a few photos with her iPhone.

c. Lots, we take pictures of specials almost every day and of new menu items seasonally.

4. Do you have the time?

a. Um, maybe my bartender can do it…

b. Yes, I’ll make the time!

c. Isn’t that what you’re for?

d. Not at all. I don’t have time for everything on my plate now!

 

 

Points per answer:

1. a= 10, b=5, c=0

2. a=0, b=10, c=5

3. a=5, b=0, c=10

4. a=2, b=10, c=10, d=2

0-15 Points: NO! Pinterest works best when you have many great photos that are constantly updated with what is current at the restaurant. People also re-pin things and like things most when the photo can direct them somewhere. If you can’t get them to bring in profit for you, why waste time doing this?

15 – 25 Points: Maybe, but you’ll need some help. Can you update your website to add a blog or press page or recipes section? Would you start taking more photos or hire a photographer? If you are willing to make the effort, this could be a viable marketing tool.

25 – 40 Points: Why don’t you have a Pinterest account yet?! You have everything you need to be efficient AND effective on this site. If you don’t have the time or don’t know how to start, talk to your Account Executive (or call us to discuss becoming a client) about WordHampton handling this for you!


May 8th, 2013

SXSW 2013 Shares 4 Trends for the Year in Interactive

Screen Shot 2013-05-08 at 12.02.35 PM
By Tara Berkoski

As a third-year veteran at SXSW, the experience was still exciting and educational with the trends for this year more about bettering current processes than a specific software or fancy new app. These are both trends in which you can use now to improve your own marketing and others you will have the opportunity to embrace soon enough.

1. Trial & Error
Digital marketing, social media and mobile technologies are only as good as the people doing them. We are now past the age of early adopters. Everyone is now using these services to hit their target audience. The problem with this is most are doing it wrong! All marketing is trial and error from message crafting, platform used, way of delivery and timing, but the current formats have been through this already and now it is time to do it right.

2. Relevance
With everyone now out there marketing the same way to the same people, it is time to stand out and stop annoying your current and potential customers. Let’s start marketing to the right people at the right times, because now those are options. Target people are the right time – don’t share your happy hour special at 8 a.m. on Saturday – and make sure it’s personal – on a customer’s birthday, treat them to a complimentary dessert.

3. Data Collection & Use
With all the data out there, it is time to start using it to further personalize the marketing messages. We are moving away from mass communications and applying the information available to correctly reach out to the people that will most likely care about what you have to say. You get people to sign up for your mailing list, why not get more information like their birthday, anniversary or favorite dessert?

4. Disconnect
There may be a lot of data to use, but most of it isn’t even obtainable. What happens offline and online need to be combined and organized for business to more easily find their users and for consumers to have an easier time discovering things they want and need. Information that a restaurant collects may be saved on their POS system, but is it connected to their e-blast list or Facebook page? Are people who always get steak for dinner ever given a limited time offer to come in for a discount or to try something else? *Ex. Facebook recently announced that they have partnered with multiple collections of businesses to include their demographics in ad targeting and call it “partner category targeting.”*


March 12th, 2013

Learn Something New In Spring

By Rachel Bosworth

It’s that time of year when students are prepping for midterms and teachers are testing all they have learned so far. After the long-awaited spring break ends, it will be time again to learn something new. For those of us who have left our college days behind with books and notes collecting dust, can we learn something new too? And if so, when will we ever find the time to do it?

WordHampton PR has decided to exercise their right and learn something new too. Since we pride ourselves on our expertise in the ever-changing world of social media, we enrolled in Bulldog Reporter’s PR University by signing up for various webinars. Webinars are online workshops allowing recorded conferences to be shared amongst various locations. For example, a webinar for “Google + for PR” may be recorded live with a moderator asking an expert questions, while listeners may tweet or message questions throughout the presentation. If you are unable to participate live, the webinar is saved in the database so that you can watch at a time more convenient for you. This feature is desirable to users as it offers them the ability to finish a webinar in their own time.

For public relations professionals, useful webinars include media relations, PR measurement, social media and crisis communications. Webinars are available in any skillset and can be used as a training tool or as a refresher for seasoned professionals. In the fast-changing world of social media it is crucial to stay ahead of the curve.

Now it’s time go back to school and learn something new! Whether you read a blog on a news site or order a webinar to view later, there is always new information coming in across all industries to take advantage of. Make a little time and discover something different!


February 7th, 2013

Romancing Your Clients and Contacts

By Rachel Bosworth

If you want to get the girl, you have to romance her. Buy her flowers, take her out to dinner, hangout with her friends and even meet her parents. Romance will get you far. The same is true with publicists, clients and the media.

In public relations, we find ourselves romancing members of the media to help tell the stories of our clients through print and broadcast media. Over the years we have developed deep media relationships that have become mutually beneficial. When a journalist needs a story or restaurant review, we are able to work with them by providing content and offering comps. If a member of the media changes jobs, we like to take them out to lunch or dinner to discuss the new position and opportunities to continue work with one another. Since everyone loves to eat, you really can’t go wrong. Our media contacts value our professionalism, creativity and accountability.

The same goes for our clients. They need to feel the love too. We take pride in knowing more than just what is on the dinner menu and what time the restaurant closes. Our clients recognize us as authorities in what we do and accept our strategic direction. They also appreciate our ability to relate to real life. We know about their families and what they like to do with the few hours they may have off of work. How? We ask. It is important really know your clients and talk to them, just like any other relationship. It gives them a sense of comfort and us a better understanding of what goes on daily.

With Valentine’s Day so close, show some love. Give a client a call to see what’s new or reach out to a media member you work with often. A little love goes a long way.


January 4th, 2013

Five Words for 2013

By Steve Haweeli, President of WordHampton Public Relations

Each year for the last four or five years, I have chosen five words (or three words or six words) by which to set the tone for WordHampton. This is not an original idea; I got it from Chris Brogan whom many regard as a thought leader when it comes to social media and its practical implementation for business. He uses his three words to “help focus [his] goals and efforts.”

I’ve found this to be a useful tool to help set the tone for us all internally each first week of January – generally the first day back at our desks. It has become part of our culture. Once a few years back, I chose love and service as two of the words and I’ve decided to never take them out of our equation.

LOVE – Because we’re better when we work with love and love our work.

SERVICE – Because that’s what we do; we serve our clients and we serve the media and we serve each other (see Love).

Love and service. Two powerful words. That’s what all those Hurricane Sandy volunteers were doing. That’s what a good parent does.  It’s that spirit of generosity with which I’m trying to coat our company. Of course, it has to start with me.

Our other three words for 2013 are agile, aggressive and no.

AGILE is the ability to move quickly and easily. We always need to be agile as publicists in a fast-changing world of communications. And we have to be agile in our day-to-day doings as emergencies arise, priorities shift and new tools are introduced.

AGGRESSIVE – We’ll continue to be aggressive for our clients and to obtain clients. Our clients deserve and expect the best results. Period. We deserve to grow as a company. Period.

Finally our last word is “no.”  Sometimes one just has to say no. It’s that simple.

Love, Service, Agile, Aggressive and No. What are your five words? (No cursing allowed!)


December 11th, 2012

Three of My New Year’s Resolutions

Greetings from the heart of the holiday season! Pretty soon we’ll be ringing in a New Year with resolutions meant to enhance our lives. Like most things, they’re easier said than done, but it’s the thought that counts, right? Perhaps writing them down (and sharing them with you in this blog) will help me stick to them. You may even want to adopt a few.

ADD MORE LIKES AND COMMENTS ON CLIENT’S FACEBOOK PAGES

I’ll need some help* from clients on this one because, as a publicist, I need content from them the same way a surgeon needs their scalpel. Once I have content, the cutting, rearranging and stitching together of a message can begin.

Once the message is posted on Facebook and gets a “Like” or a comment, it’s like the PR gods are giving me a pat on the back and saying, “Good job, buddy.”

There will be days when it’s quiet enough to hear a pin drop on a Facebook page, but the idea is to have more good days than bad. Here’s a couple ideas off the top of my head to get through the year:

1) If I want an answer, ask a question. If I want more answers, ask better questions – NOT more questions.

2) Some suggest writing at least one status update a day. That sounds about right to me UNLESS I don’t have at least one QUALITY thing to say a day. If I wouldn’t call a journalist without something important to say, why should I say it to the Facebook community.

ATTACK TASKS BEFORE PANIC ATTACKS

In my experience, the hardest part of completing a task is clicking Microsoft Word and starting a New Blank Document. Once the new doc is created it’s like the floodgates open and the task begins to get washed away.

RELAX AND RECHARGE

Last, but not least, give myself a break. I look at it this way, my computer is an amazing device……. until the power goes out. Once that happens I’m stuck with a hunk of metal and glass taking up space. I’m going to take more time to recharge my batteries before ending up like a computer without electricity.

Hopefully the blog next December can be about how I applied all of my resolutions. Have you made any resolutions for 2013? What are some of the best resolutions you’ve made in the past?

* http://www.wordhampton.com/blog/2012/11/09/passing-the-baton-of-information

Thank you for reading,

Chris Pisacano


November 9th, 2012

Passing the Baton of Information

Imagine a team of three runners who have to complete a relay race. The runners are all aware of when their time to run with the baton is and, when the time comes, they pass it to each other flawlessly. They complete the race with grace – making it look easy.

Now imagine another team of three. They are at the same track and have the same athletic ability as the first team. The same task is given: run and pass the baton to each other until the race is completed. At first glance, this team should perform almost identically to the first team…until the second runner decides to wear a blindfold when it is their time to run. The runner is swerving left and right, trips a few times, and can only be guided by the constant yelling coming from the direction of the final runner. A nightmare of a race, but a completed race nonetheless.

The same scenarios can be applied to the relaying of information between clients, journalists and publicists. When each member is focused and devoted to accomplishing the goal, the process can be smooth and take much less effort. When there is a dysfunctional element, the amount of effort contributed by other members will have to be increased in order to complete the goal – if it gets accomplished at all.

To be the best “teammate” you can be, practice, which turns into experience, is the best way to be prepared. The number of ways to prepare for success is countless. Below are a few tips to get you started:

For BUSINESS OWNERS:

*Calling your publicist to let them know what’s new as soon as you know

*Getting them the details that they need

*Creating unique offers

For PUBLICISTS:

*Reaching out to clients on a regular basis for up-to-date information

*Stay up-to-date on the latest trends

*Study the media and their outlets by reading/watching them often

For JOURNALISTS:

*Sorting through the bad, good and great publicists to know who’s going to deliver

*Don’t be afraid to use publicists to help you with your job

With sufficient practice, when the opportunity to “run the race” comes, you can be confident that you will be ready. In fact, you will make the whole process easier for everyone – and you may win a race or two – or all of them.

Written by Chris Pisacano


September 28th, 2012

Sticks and Stones May Break Your Bones, But Words Can Upset Your Company’s Cash Flow

Let’s assume that you’ve done all you can to ensure that your business is utilizing all the available tools online to provide maximum exposure. You’re all setup with a Facebook and Twitter account and listings on all the top online directories. Everything is going great! You know what happens next though. Something that goes a little like this:

“I received terrible service at (YOUR BUSINESS’ NAME HERE). I won’t be giving them my business anymore…”

You’re not alone. If your business hasn’t been the subject of an online comment like this, congratulations on your recent business venture. Eventually this advice will come in handy.

As a concerned owner or manager, your next step is:

a) Taking the complaint into consideration and change your business strategy

b) Spending a couple of minutes trying to figure out how to delete the comment and/or ban the person

c) Taking no action with hopes that a loyal customer will come to your defense soon

d) Creating a second chance and redeem yourself

Here’s a hint…all of the options have their merits depending on the details of the situation.

“Taking the complaint into consideration and change your business strategy” — It’s important not to confuse constructive criticism as an attack. If one person feels that an aspect of your business needs to change, chances are there are plenty more who feel the same way. Consider making the change. If you do, invite the customer back in to experience how they’ve helped make things better. They can now take pride in it (as if they’ve had a sandwich named after them). There’s a good chance they’ll become one of your best customers.

“Spending a couple of minutes trying to figure out how to delete the comment and/or ban the person” —Unfortunately, this is basically the equivalent of burying one’s head in the sand. They’re still out there, you just can’t see them anymore. That said there are times when it is necessary. For example, disgruntled ex-employees and competition that want to bad-mouth you.

“Taking no action with hopes that loyal customers will come to your defense soon” — When an outpouring of support follows a negative comment, the credibility of the complaint has been squashed. Wow, that feels good. You’re going to want to seriously consider the next option anyway.

“Creating a second chance and redeem yourself” — Remember the bad day you had last month? Probably not, but someone does and they just shared their reaction to it on your Facebook page. It’s too late to change what’s already happened, so try to convince the customer to give you another chance. Here’s are some steps to help you along:

Step 1 — Start by apologizing for their negative experience.

Step 2 — Make them an offer so good, they would be unlikely to refuse (not a broken kneecap, just something free!). Try to have this conversation privately to avoid copycats who are just looking for a handout.

Step 3 — You’ve probably heard the saying, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” DON’T FOOL THEM TWICE! Give them an experience that makes them wonder if the first one was just a nightmare that never really happened.

Once upon a time (let’s say 1995) you could have a customer with a negative experience and the threat of lost business extended to friends and family — depending on how bad of an experience, maybe even a second wave of their friends and family. As an owner or manager, you might be more inclined to use “you win some, you lose some” as your philosophy. That sounds nice and easy.

Welcome back to 2012. Complaints have a larger audience than ever because strangers are trusting strangers for opinions online. In a recent survey by Search Engine Land (searchengineland.com), 72 percent of consumers surveyed said that they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

The good news is that with social media, you have a chance to make a repair with a customer in real time by making a correction and making a connection — often times winning them back before they ever left. We’ve seen customers thank a business publicly for how they handled a complaint.

We’ll take 2012 over 1995 any day. How about you?


May 25th, 2011

How Twitter made Long Island Short Island – a blog for #140confli

To be read in one breathe…

If it were not for Twitter, I would not have met @lovelylu who besides the fact that she is a Yankee fan and a pal, she also recommended some business to us. It was through her that I met @MissBeckala who WE were able to give some business to. While I was scrolling through my feed one day, I got to know @drhli a lot better and lo and behold he becomes the editor of @PatchTweet, as well as, a really dear friend. His cohort @HenryPowderly I got to know because of our mutual love for Miles Davis. They both came to our office to discuss rolling out @PatchTweet over a year ago. Through @lovelylu I met @TwittyWoman – whom I’ve had the pleasure of networking with, as well as, dining. And then there’s @dani3boyz, whom I might have met via @TheShoeDawg way back when the first #LITweetup was founded but I couldn’t attend. BUT! Because I am such an Islander fan, that’s actually HOW I first met her and now – she’s the director of Social Media for @NYIslanders – coincidence? No: Twitter savvy. She works with @katrina_doell, and sees isles blogger Dee Karl @7thWoman who I also met at Newsday’s Twitter Think Tank, organized by my Yankee compadre @CarlCorry, who invited @PatriciaKitchen – whom I pitched the story to about Dani Muccio aka @Dani3boyz. Speaking of #LITweetup, my hats off to pal and cohort, jeff @namnum – met HIM through trying to do some good for hungry Long Islanders back in November 09. The list goes on: @nathanking @jessemac74 @matkingcol @Mel_K @PeteShelley and got to know @JodyFisher – and well, I hope you get the point. I live and my company is based ALL the way out on Long Island. But I’m just a 140 character post away from meeting these guys and then I got to meet them in person – which is about the coolest thing – and,well, this is one Short Island now. At least for me.



512 Three Mile Harbor/Hog Creek Rd.  |  East Hampton, NY 11937  |  (631) 329-0050  |  info@wordhampton.com