300 Stories – A New Year, A New Milestone

des moines communications agency

Today, I hit 300 stories… This is a special milestone for me and SPOKE Communications. Not only from a content marketing and P.R. aspect, but because from the day I started this career I wanted to do nothing but help people tell their stories. Whatever the application – graphic design, photography, videography, copywriting, illustration, public relations, education and training, I live to tell stories. Today, I hit 300 stories (for one client).

Can I help you tell your story?

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Business Vampires… or “Fresh AB-Negative – FREE for the Taking?”

business vampires

In a recent feature I saw on LinkedIn, the author talked about purging your life from those that make it miserable. “Buzzkills” she called them. Well, in the business world, I call them “Vampires.”  I wrote this feature about 12 years ago when I was pretty new at this blogging and social media thing, so I thought “What the hell, let’s see if I actually knew what I was talking about.”  Surprisingly, “Vampires” are always relevant. I hope you enjoy. 😉  (This post was originally published at TheBrandChef.com.) *** This morning, while still sound asleep (where I do my best

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Strategy Sparks Joy and So Much More

strategic communications

Sometimes I get so laser-focused on the “day-to-day” that I forget the joy in what I do. Outside graphic design, outside web development and maintenance, outside content writing, outside video, outside all of the “tasks,” I love (pronounced “luuuuuuuv”) strategy. As Marie Kondo says, “It sparks Joy.” I love the why. I especially love the how. There’s little more exciting to me than a blank slate laid out in front of me with a goal on one end and a deadline on the other. So, Andy, how do we make the two connect? Today I set aside the “day-to-day” and

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Video Marketing and Digital Marketing Go Hand in Hand

digital video marketing company des moines iowa

Many marketing companies specialize in services. We get it. Video marketing companies steer their clients to channels like YouTube and Vimeo where views and shares can be measured and tracked. Digital or social media marketing companies focus on creating content that garners search engine love as well as likes and shares through similar channels like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, email programs, and more. But why do the two have to be siloed? Technology is no longer a barrier to good marketing and storytelling. Mobile devices now have photo and video capabilities that rival many prosumer model cameras. With a little forethought

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A Frightening Marketing Case Study: Telemarketing is Still Marketing, Right?

telemarketing marketing company in des moines iowa

Telemarketing is not dead. I have proof. Well, at least I have proof people are still trying. Of course there are still common sense uses for telemarketing, but with the onset of digital messaging, I see its use and utility becoming a little like that of the FAX machine. I rid my business card of even having a FAX number at least 5 years ago. So, that brings me to today’s little marketing case study. While I was at lunch with some close friends, I saw a call come in on my cell phone that I didn’t recognize. Generally, and

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TRUE Branding and Building a Stronger Association

public speaking branding andrew b clark

We had the pleasure of spending an afternoon with the members of the Iowa Society of Association Executives (ISAE) this week, discussing branding and building a stronger association community through our TRUE Branding process. The afternoon breakout session covered the concepts of brand and branding as it applies to marketing communications as well as how the TRUE Branding process can facilitate stronger, more targeted brand marketing and communications for associations, their boards, and the members they serve. The group was highly motivated to take in the action items provided in the presentation. With little encouragement (some strategically timed bribes –

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Businesses Stand Out Through Strategic Communications

strategig marketing communications

Well, thank you, Captain Obvious. Who would think otherwise? But did you catch the “Strategic” part? While the headline seems overly apparent, we’ve witnessed time and time again businesses from solo entrepreneurs to mega-conglomerate Fortune 500s miss the mark when truly strategic communications would have helped. Whether they miss an opportunity to speak up on a business-relevant event or their news feed is so full the brand focus and target of the message is lost, businesses need to make sure communications strategies are in place at all times. Much of this falls under Brand Communications and Public Relations Strategies. What

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The Basics: A Content Marketing Strategy Checklist

content marketing strategy checklist

Would you expect to walk into an interview without prepared questions? What about teaching a class – wouldn’t you expect the instructor to have a lesson plan? Then why do so many companies embark on content marketing without a strategy? We see it all the time. “We have a newsletter. We send it out every quarter.” Nothing more… No targeted information… No actionable items… No measurement… No strategy? And generally, that’s the extent of it. How do people do business like that?!? Your content marketing HAS to come with a strategy. If there isn’t thought behind the effort what is

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The Most Important Digital Marketing Question You Need to Answer

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Do you want to understand digital marketing, or do you want someone to handle it for you? It’s an important and honest question. It can help you decide where your time is best spent and what’s most important to you. We have clients that know they need digital marketing, but don’t understand what it is, where to use it, and how they’ll find value. It’s important for us to educate our customers on what digital marketing is and how to measure its value. We should note that not every business will use digital marketing the same way, nor will they

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