December 17th, 2014
Author: Andrea Berry
The Crammer’s Guide to Last-Minute Holiday Shopping

For those of us in denial, the holidays are here! And if you’re like some of us here at StrategicAmpersand, you haven’t even started your shopping list! So, to make holiday shopping a bit easier, we’ve come up with a few ideas for those ‘tricky’ folks on your list.

For the builder and creator on your list:

The LEGO Marvel Super Heroes Milano Spaceship Rescue is THE signature set from LEGO’s Guardians of The Galaxy line, the latest in its Marvel Super Heroes collection. Recreate one of the most exciting moments from 2014’s summer blockbuster in stunning detail, with five mini-figures – including three of the Guardians (Star-Lord, Drax and Gamora) – and 665 pieces. This is sure to be a hit with the ‘young’uns’, and young at heart, on your list this holiday season.

As LEGO says about The Milano Spaceship Rescue: Prepare for an epic clash between the Guardians of the Galaxy™ and the ultimate villain, Ronan™!
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April 16th, 2013
Author: David Bertling
Top tips for successful branded utility

Branded Utility

It’s a crowded world out there with marketers competing fiercely for the dwindling attention spans of customers who are much more savvy, informed and cynical about marketing.  There’s too much advertising, too many messages and too little time for customers to sort through it all.

Ironically, these modern-day marketing challenges also present a solution.

If your customers are deluged with too much information, help them find what they’re looking for. If they have too little time, help them save time. It’s called branded utility and it’s about providing your customers with something that is useful to them.  Read More

March 20th, 2013
Author: Pedro Cabezuelo
How technology has changed PR
How technology has changed PR

How technology has changed PR – remember sending press releases by fax?

I first entered the madcap world of PR back in 1999 where I remained for five years before taking a career break in 2004. As it turned out, the break was far from permanent and in 2011 I was drawn back into the fold.

Like Rip Van Winkle, I awoke from my seven year sleep slightly bewildered and anxious to see what changes had been made in the communications field. I was immediately struck by two things: nothing had changed and everything had changed. That is, the actual objectives of public relations and the fundamental strategies used to implement those objectives, remained the same. However, the actual tools used for the job had changed drastically. Let’s look at how technology has changed PR.

Now, for those of you who weren’t working at the turn of the century, I don’t want you to think we used to work hunched over small desks, writing our news releases longhand with quill pens by candlelight. No, we had computers (though laptops were rare) and Internet connections and e-mail. But it was still common to fax in releases for distribution and the coverage sent to us by media monitoring agencies were physical newspaper clippings, which had to be sorted, paper clipped and filed away in mammoth cabinets. I also remember working late into the night preparing media kits for an event taking place the following day: printing endless copies of news releases, bios and fact sheets, stapling and struggling to slot everything into flimsy company branded folders (and heaven forbid you find a typo after the fact because then you had to go through the whole process again). Read More