Approach Marketing: “Best Of” 2018 Agency Advice


We love a good year-end review. And this time of year is filled with them! Time magazine’s Person of the Year. News outlets like New York Times and CNN recapping the biggest stories of the year. The most searched terms on Google. And our personal favorites, recaps of the biggest PR wins (and blunders) of the year.

In planning our own year-end look-back, we found ourselves reflecting on the ever-evolving PR and marketing landscape, and the many ways we worked with clients to navigate this and bring ideas, strategy and campaigns to life.

So, we present a few of our top highlights from 2018, along with links to some of our most popular blog articles and examples of how our clients are killing it.

  1. It’s all about that PESO
    If you’ve been in a strategy meeting with us recently, you’ll know it’s all about PESO (paid, earned, shared and owned). What this boils down to is that to be successful, companies need a holistic approach to PR and marketing.

    After months of finessing our process, we officially announced this approach through the blog post, Here’s Why Media Relations-Only Mode Doesn’t Work Anymore—and What the New PR Media Landscape Looks Like. And, Megan Shroy recently had an article on this topic featured in Columbus CEO

    Wondering what PESO looks like in real life? For our client, Bosca, it brought together traditional media relations, high-profile influencers, paid advertising and beautiful content for their own website and social channels.  

    Essentially, PESO is an ongoing cycle that feeds the marketing funnel and reaches audiences at multiple touch points in their customer journey. And it’s a process we were most proud of (and personally obsessed with) for our clients in 2018.

  2. Keeping Up with the Socials
    If there is any medium that is constantly changing, it’s the social media landscape. Serious kudos to our social media strategists on the front lines of keeping up with the ever-changing algorithms, analytics and advertising options of Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter – and keeping our clients up-to-date about what the changes mean for them and their businesses.

    We wrote about changes to Facebook’s algorithms earlier this year as well as new FTC disclosure guidelines, and are working on updated social tips for early 2019.

    Despite all the changes, one thing always rings true: social is a solid bet. Paid and organic social media marketing allows brands of all types to identify and speak directly to their key audiences – whether that’s families, millennials, financial professionals, educators, potential employees and more

  3. Grand Openings Galore
    They’re called grand openings for a reason. A new location is a big deal and such an exciting time for any business, whether it’s a company opening its doors for the first time or a global brand announcing the opening of its largest location. A grand opening is a great opportunity to engage with and build loyalty among current customers, new customers, members of the media, influencers, community dignitaries and more.

    We’ve helped companies of all sizes including, Charleys Philly Steaks, Diamond’s Direct, Circle K, Smart Columbus and Intelligentsia plan, advertise and execute grand opening events. This year, we took a look at all our best event ideas, and shared our top tips for making your big debut.

  4. Putting a Face to the Organization
    PR and marketing isn’t just about selling stuff (even if that is the desired end-goal). Smart PR and marketing is about helping customers make a positive, personal connection with the organization – which in the end, not only helps drive sales it also builds deep brand loyalty.

    Thought leadership is one way we work with organizations to help them think beyond products and services and to focus on forging personal connections with their audience.

    Our work with Literacy Organizational Capacity Initiative is just one example of showcasing thought leadership in education.

    Media features on company leadership, guest articles in key publications, awards and philanthropic activities are just a few ways thought leadership helps companies build credibility and authentic connections with audiences.

We’ll be the first to admit, highlight lists are limiting because we have so many other marketing strategies we love equally (like children, we'll never claim a favorite). The strategies we recapped here are ones that were top of mind for 2018, and there are so many more that might just be the perfect solution for your brand.

Are you preparing a marketing plan for 2019? We’d love to brainstorm with you and deliver some fresh ideas for a brand new year. Let’s chat at