Category Archives: PR

WIMS Client Spotlight: Stephanie Higgins Fit

Stephanie Higgins Fit provides professional, certified fitness and nutrition programs designed to help you reach and maintain your health and fitness goals. There is no one size fits all dietary approach. That’s why she is here to give you the plan that’s meant for you. She will help you set your goals up for success!

Stephanie Higgins Fit has customized plans for all women and even has specific plans designed for pregnant women ranging from the prenatal to postpartum stages. She offers Premier, Platinum, Prenatal, and Postpartum plans that are sure to get you on the right track physically and mentally. She is based out of South Carolina but has the ability to work with you virtually no matter where you are located!

Check out her website at https://www.stephaniehigginsfit.com/ to see how you can get on track to becoming your best self.

WIMS Client Spotlight: Greater Charlotte Hospitality and Tourism Alliance

The Greater Charlotte Hospitality & Tourism Alliance (HTA) has been the premier voice of our region’s hospitality & tourism industry since it was established by the leaders of the industry in 1994. Over the years, the HTA’s leadership has been vital in efforts that have made our region a premier destination.

They are proud to have been a major part of developing the Charlotte Convention Center, Spectrum Arena, the NASCAR Hall of Fame, $200 million Arts & Cultural Complex, the Carolinas Aviation Museum, the Charlotte Knights Baseball Stadium, the development of the $42M Matthews Regional Sportsplex, the renovation of Mecklenburg County’s Aquatic Center, the Carolina Panthers’ (Bank of America) stadium upgrade, the planned $35 million renovation of Memorial Stadium and many other initiatives which have made the Charlotte region a great travel, event, and convention destination.

Looking ahead, the HTA will be assisting with bringing the 2022 NFL Draft, 2023 ACC Basketball Tournament, 2024 Democratic National Convention, 2024-2030 CIAA Tournament, 2025 PGA Championship, and 2026 Super Bowl to Charlotte.

The top priorities of the HTA are to help members grow their business, encourage tourism and economic development projects, and support community and region-wide initiatives. With the goal of creating the best informational and networking events in the Charlotte area, HTA’s relationship building meetings and events have annually included:

  • Quarterly General Meetings
  • HTA’s Annual Dinner & Gala Event
  • HTA’s Annual Business Showcase
  • Annual Candidate’s Reception
  • Spring, Summer, and Autumn Golf Tournaments

The HTA is proud to have served a large variety of businesses in the Charlotte area for more than two decades, proud of their vast accomplishments, and honored to have the most active members as indicated by their remarkably well attended and successful events. Their members’ active involvement is a reward for the work done on their behalf and a testament to the value of an HTA membership.

If you are interested in joining a business development organization whose mission is to “help its members grow their business,” check out their newly designed website by visiting www.charlottehta.com or call the HTA office directly at (704) 331-0079.

WIMS Client Spotlight: TRUROOF

At TRUROOF, they are trusted because they work in responsible ways to fulfill what they understand to be each customer’s desire for their home or business. TRUSTED, RESPONSIBLE AND UNDERSTANDING are more than words, they are standards that TRUROOF demonstrates every day.

  • They are trusted because they provide the professional, visual, and technical evidence necessary for you to understand your roof’s condition and the process that makes it possible to obtain a new roof through the insurance restoration process.
  • They are responsible for your entire roof replacement from start to finish. Their team of professionals shoulders the burden of identifying your roof’s condition, working with your insurance company to get you the roof you deserve, installing your new roof and providing the warranty that will protect you for years to come.
  • They understand what you want because they listen. This is not a simple transaction. It is a relationship that gives them the opportunity to serve you with their professional 5-star service to provide value and protection for your home or business.

They begin with the initial 100% complimentary no obligation roof inspection and property damage assessment, bringing your roof down to you with inspection photos and video, filing the claim together, meeting with insurance adjuster to ensure you receive everything you deserve, shouldering the burden and taking full responsibility for the insurance claims process, reviewing and choosing your specific roofing products and color, and fulfilling the most important stage of the process…the installation of your new roof.

They do not believe in pressure or sales tactics. They practice what they communicate…the details matter. Being proactive to protect your investment with a 100% no obligation roof inspection allows them the opportunity to serve you and your family with the details that matter for you.

To set up a roof inspection or property damage assessment, visit their website at https://www.truroof.com/ or give them a call at +1 803.TRU.ROOF.

WIMS Client Spotlight: Let It Ride

Let It Ride is a new DFS (Daily Fantasy Sports) app and website launching soon that was created behind the efforts of former Panthers receiver and North Carolina native Brenton Bersin. It is soon to hit the app store.

Let It Ride is an easy to use sports gaming platform for everyone. The platform focuses on the most exciting sports games: including player prop parlays, along with other picking pool competitions. With a competitive spirit, gamers can compete against the house or other users.

Their main game is Let It Ride, where users (you) pick from multiple player prop over/unders in an effort to get 3 correct, 5 correct, or 7 correct. If you choose any incorrectly, you lose your wager. If you get them all correct, you win. If you correctly pick 3, you have the option to cash out and end your ride, or let it ride in an effort to get 2 more correct to get to a parlay of 5. You then have the option again to cash out and end your ride at 5, or try and get to 7 correct. The longer the ride, the higher the payout.

Other games include:

  • DA$H is LIR’s spin on a lottery type game. DA$H is a pool type game where the the 1st user to get 20 picks in a row correct without getting one wrong, wins the jackpot.
  • OUTLA$T is our spin on a survivor pool. Located within the LIR app. Users will join pools of all different sizes and parameters. Competing head-to-head against other users. Each pool  offers different styles and reward.
  • PUR$E is LIR’s golf focused game. Choose by pool size or entry fee amount. In all pools, the user picks 10 golfers to make their lineup. Unlike other DFS apps, there is no salary cap, so the user can choose whoever they want. If they want the 10 best golfers in the tournament by World Ranking, they can pick them. This makes this game easy for all people to play.

Visit their website https://www.letitride.app/ to subscribe to to the wait list to receive early offers and follow the journey from the ground up. They are also launching a funding round shortly to continue growing and scaling, more details to come, send an email here if you’re interested in learning more about it, or you can visit this link as well.

They are also seeking early adopters to act as affiliates who will receive commission and other income opportunities. If you are interested in applying, click here.

WIMS Client Spotlight: The Christmas Team

The Christmas Team and their decorating elves are a commercial and residential Christmas light installation company. Voted “The Charlotte’s Premier Holiday Light Installation Company” by The Charlotte Business Group.

They pride themselves on impeccable customer service, custom-tailored design suited perfectly for your building, and their decorating elves. They do not only provide a luxury festive service; they create a Disney-like experience that your family and community will absolutely love!

Their offerings include lighting for commercial properties, residential properties, Christmas light shows, weddings, and event lighting.

Their all-inclusive service provides:

  • Lights – LED, Energy-Efficient, 5x Brighter than retail, Commercial grade lights.
  • Design Consultations – Custom Suited for your home or building.
  • Installation – Goodbye to long hours of unboxing, detangling, or setting up.
  • Removal – Bringing down and putting away will be a thing of the past.
  • Service-Calls – Keep your building fully lit all season long.
  • Storage Year-Round – No heavy lifting, untangling, or finding places to store.
  • Real Elves – Only company in the world that provides uniformed decorating elves.

They take the risk and hassle out of decorating for the season so you don’t have to worry about a thing during the hustle and bustle of the holidays! Visit their website http://thechristmasteam.com/ to check prices and book now!

The Christmas Team was started by Tim Guercio, who was named one of Charlotte’s “Top 30 Under 30 Future Leaders of Charlotte” by Elevate Lifestyle. He also is the CEO of Turf Pros Solutions Charlotte and Leads Digital Marketing.

3 Ways Restaurants and Breweries Can Boost Marketing During COVID-19

3 Ways Restaurants and Breweries Can Boost Marketing During COVID-19

The restaurant and brewery industries are ones that COVID-19 has hit hardest as customers have literally been ordered to stay away from these establishments for months now. However, this does not mean that it is impossible to find ways to profit. Here are 3 ways to boost your restaurant and brewery marketing during COVID-19.

Update Your Online Assets

Your customers still want to eat your food and by now, they are most likely tired of cooking from home. They’re wondering whether you’re open and how they might benefit from one of your meals. Let your audience know how they can order from you by updating the following assets:

  • Website
  • Social media platforms
  • Google My Business

We have seen various methods of still serving customers, including curbside pickup, carryout, and home delivery. Update your website so it’s immediately clear that you’re open and offering one of these solutions. Provide your new hours and any specials that may be offered to help families in need during the pandemic.

Social media accounts can help highlight any new specials that you may be offering. Provide encouraging stories that point followers to the easiest way to get your food. In the “About” tab, make sure to reflect these added specials, new hours, and delivery methods.

Update these same changes on your Google My Business page so anyone looking you up online or in Google Maps discovers your new ways of doing business.

Be Empathetic About COVID-19

You know where every single one of your customers is right now. You know what each person is thinking because you are going through the same thing. You understand their fears and concerns about the future. Provide them empathy and comfort by personifying your business as much more than a business, but as people too. Marketing is not simply advertising; it is sharing your story with customers about why you are a business they should align themselves with.

You may fear that you’re taking advantage of a negative situation, but if you show value, customers will come. If you do it correctly, then you can become a shining light of hope for you customers.

Help customers understand that it’s acceptable to celebrate even during a pandemic. They simply should do so safely by social distancing. Help them understand that you’re here to provide comfort food and celebratory food to brighten their day a bit.

Offer Something Other Than Food & Beverages

We already know that margins are small in the food and beverage, so focus efforts on developing other avenues for revenue. Get creative and ask yourself what else you can offer. For example, how can you use gift cards or merchandise to increase overall profit during COVID-19?

Offer incentives for customers to purchase gift cards to give away to friends and family. It helps increase your revenue immediately and gets more awareness into the community that you’re open for business. In addition to giftcards, you can sell merchandise via an online store on your website.

There’s no need to see your restaurant or brewery suffer during COVID-19 if you get creative and proactive about your marketing. Don’t go on the defensive. Get on offense and become an inspiration for your local community.  

WIMS BREWERIES & WINERIES

3 Marketing Tips for Breweries, Wineries, Cideries, & Distilleries

The brewery and winery industries have been fortunate to have experienced a major boom in public interest along with media attention over the past few years. Just opening a new location has been a major event that has typically generated a lot of buzz and received coverage by every Business Journal and local social media influencer alike. That’s not to say that marketing breweries and wineries has been easy of course, far from it.

Once the grand opening has passed, and the novelty subsides, the business must continue to attract a loyal and recurring customer base, in addition to the one-off tourists and large groups as well. While all businesses have their tried-and-true marketing methods that work, we wanted to offer up some that may appear obvious, but they truly work. And when done effectively in conjunction with a robust marketing and sales strategy, they’ll keep your brewery or winery full of customers for a long time to come.

Tastings and tours are a “must” for any brewery, winery, cidery, or distillery. However, even if you diligently open your brewery daily for happy hour, there’s much more you can do to raise product awareness. In order to broadcast your brand’s name, it helps to bridge the gap between physical and digital. While locals and tourists might stop in for some beer, wine, or cider, incorporating digital marketing into your outreach campaign will multiply your success. These digital marketing strategies help breweries and wineries attract interest and show off their new craft beer and wine releases, as well as just consistently get people through the door.

 

Blog Posts

Creating a new beer, wine, or cider is still big news. Your fans (and prospects) want to hear about it! However, people also want to know what they’re getting into before purchasing beer from a brewery. For many, that means doing some research beforehand. Introducing a new beer, wine, or cider through blogging is a fun, creative, and informal way to get word out of your newest product. Along with sharing information about the new release and the story behind your winery or brewery online, you can link to your social media pages as well. With these additional steps, you’ll effectively reach your social media followers and those who have signed up for email alerts or announcements (not to mention jack up your SEO rankings). This makes it easier for followers to share the news about your brewery or distillery on their social networks too.

 

Email Campaigns

While it often takes a back seat to social media, email marketing is still a significant part of a successful marketing strategy. Surprisingly, many breweries, wineries, and cideries use social media exclusively as their digital marketing strategy. Considering that 3.2 billion people use social media worldwide, tapping into a social network is a good start. Yet, email is even more effective in reaching a target brewery or winery audience than Facebook or the others. Studies show that 900 out of 1,000 people see a company’s message via email compared to just 20 out of 1,000 people on Facebook. Ultimately, it’s worth your time and effort to create a message that 90% of users will see. Email also has the power and convenience of automation. With social media, on the other hand, you’ll need to personally post a message every day or at least several times each week (which you should be doing ALSO).

 

Social Media Ads

Even though email campaigns are the fastest way to reach a broad audience, don’t underestimate the power of social media for your brewery or winery. About 67% of the US population uses Facebook, which translates to many potential views. Facebook advertising is simple and easy for breweries and wineries to use, and you can even try A/B testing to see which campaigns and strategies are most effective.

 

From tried-and-true email to web content and social media, there are many creative and effective avenues that breweries, wineries, distilleries, or a cideries, can use to increase brand awareness and spread news of a new wine, cider, or beer. If you’re interested in discussing how you can build upon your existing marketing and sales strategy reach out to us at WIMS Consulting and we’d be happy to help!

The BEST Approach to get Media Coverage for Your Business

Most entrepreneurs and small businesses do not have the budget to shell out high dollars for paid advertisements to promote their services. Instead, they need to rely on cost effective or free ways to get their message out. The same is true for public relations professionals who are tasked with gaining publicity and raising awareness for their organization. While their marketing and advertising colleagues often have a nice chunk of change to spend on ads or partnerships that promise coverage, the majority of the publicity the public relations team brings in is done with little or no cost.

I’d like to share what I have found to be one of the most successful methods of getting a news outlet to talk about your work and demonstrate how you can do the same for your business. It all comes down to identifying a great story and crafting the perfect pitch. Media with CHS 2

  1. Make your pitch a story and not a commercial

My first tip is the most important. Do NOT make your pitch a commercial. No one is interested in how wonderful and intelligent your product is. If your pitch goes on and on about why everyone needs to buy this product or how great of a business person you are, it will get thrown in the trash, along with your reputation.

The best way to promote your business is to dig a little deeper and find a real life example that clearly illustrates why something is news worthy. This will take more effort on your part but it will make all the difference in whether or not you get coverage, and ultimately, the story that comes out will resonate with your target audience much better than an expensive commercial.

  1. Find the essential “characters” for your pitch

Your pitch needs to focus around the main character. This should be someone who is not affiliated with your business; such as a customer or a client. If you are promoting a product or a service, find someone who uses it on their own (meaning they are not getting paid to do so) and who genuinely has a positive experience with it. Your pitch will highlight their experience and what led them to use your service/product and the difference it has made on their life.

Secondly, you need an expert; whether it’s yourself or a designated spokesperson for your company.   This role is to discuss how the service or product benefitted your main character. They should also discuss what they personally did to help this person and what their work means to the community. This role does not include showing off, gloating or trying to steal the spotlight.

  1. Is there a conflict and resolution?

In order to have a story, your main character needs to have a conflict that your expert has solved by his/her service or product. In addition, you need to make the case that this is something that can help all of the reporter’s audience as well. It can’t be something that will only benefit one person.

Once you have your two main characters, the conflict and the resolution, you can plug your information into a simple format. I’m going to coach you through this format using a recent story I worked on that resulted in coverage for one of my clients, Dr. Oleg Tcheremissine. Claire and the Oosterhuis's

  • Introduction of main character

Example: Peter Oosterhuis, a former golf pro and CBS sports commentator, is incredibly popular and respected among his peers, fans, and family. He has a long and storied career in golf and is known best for defeating golf legends such as Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer.

  • Describe the Conflict

Recently, Peter and his wife began to notice lapses in his memory and professionalism. He struggled with everyday tasks and was growing increasingly frustrated with the mental changes he was experiencing.

  • Introduction of your expert

Peter went to go see a doctor in Texas. The doctor diagnosed him with Alzheimer’s disease; and suggested that he go to Charlotte where the experts there would be the best to treat him. Peter went to Charlotte where he began seeing Dr. Oleg Tcheremissine, who enrolled him in a groundbreaking clinical trial.

  • Resolution

While we don’t know if Peter is receiving the actual drug or a placebo in the trial, he and his wife are on a mission to raise awareness and funding for the treatment and research of Alzheimer’s disease. They want to let others know that this trial is significant for the development of a drug that may ultimately lead to a cure for this devastating disease.

  • Impact- Why should anyone care?

Alzheimer’s can happen to anyone- even the greatest athletes like Peter. The more we talk about this disease, the better the chances of finding a cure. Everyone in Charlotte would appreciate that the world’s best doctors and researchers are located in their backyard and should they or a loved one ever need treatment for Alzheimer’s, they won’t have to go anywhere else.

Results:

WCNC, the NBC affiliate in Charlotte, covered this story and ran it during their nightly news cast.

The Alzheimer’s Association shared this story as a message of hope and education for all of the patients and caregivers that follow their YouTube Channel.

Peter’s story remains one of the most viewed on the Carolinas HealthCare System’s Daily Dose blog, which is followed by thousands of people in North and South Carolina.

The Charlotte Observer did an in depth piece on Peter and his wife and describes the clinical trial that has the potential to delay the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

  1. B-Roll Media with CHS

To provide an additional incentive to reporters, you must find b-roll to support your story. According to the Content Marketing Institute, b-roll is the extra footage captured to enrich the story you’re telling. Instead of featuring only talking heads on video, you want to include additional video footage, still photographs, animation or other graphic elements.

In the case of Peter’s story, we reached out to the Quail Hollow Golf Course who allowed us access to film Peter playing golf there, we supplied reporters with old photographs of Peter and his wife and coordinated with Dr. Tcheremissine at the neurology clinic to film a checkup with Peter. Those visuals really made the story come to life and allowed the viewer to see what it was like to experience what Peter was going through.

  1. Fact Sheet

If you are pitching a story idea to the media, it is your responsibility to know your topic inside and out and you must be able to teach the reporter about it. Often times, the expert may be so advanced they don’t break down the information in an easy to understand way; so the reporter will often rely on you to explain it to them. Or if you are doing the interview yourself, you must absolutely be prepared for every potential question they can ask you. Plus, reporters are on tight deadlines so they don’t often have the time to research each topic. This is where you can be a huge help to them. I like to supply reporters with a fact sheet before and after each interview with suggested questions, key messages, and data. You can even go as far as to write the story for them and supply quotes, photos and links for more information.

Recently I worked on a story about a young woman who got married in her father’s hospital room just days before he passed away. A reporter with People Magazine was at the airport so couldn’t be there in person- so I took photos for her and provided as much information as I could so she could write her story.

  1. Share and Follow Up

Now that you put in all that work to get your story in the spotlight, it’s time to share it! Post the link on social media, your company’s YouTube page, and email your family, friends, and contacts. When the share the coverage with their networks, it gets even more exposure! Plus, it’s a great way to build relationships with everyone involved and if the experience was positive, it will be that much easier to work with that reporter on another story in the future. When reporter Lena Sun with The Washington Post covered the behavioral health integration model, we shared the link and connected with Lena on Twitter to immediately to promote the story, which resulted in greater exposure of the report and our behavioral health team.

Conclusion

According to research done by Paul Zak and his team at the University of California, Berkeley, stories “shape our brains, tie strangers together and move us to be more empathic and generous.” These are all the emotions we should try to evoke when reaching out to our target audiences. Anything less than that and they will change the channel, skip over the story, and stop engaging with you. I encourage you to put on your own reporter hat and ask questions to find that great story that will resonate with reporters and audiences to ultimately help you achieve your goal- showcasing the great work of you/your company and getting your audience to respond and connect with you.

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Claire Simmons is with the clinical public relations team at Carolinas HealthCare System in Charlotte, N.C. She is responsible for developing strategic communications initiatives and coordinating public relations activities for women and children’s services, behavioral health and neurosciences. Claire develops and manages annual communications plans that promote new programs, facilities, services and other activities for her various clinical specialties. As a former news producer and reporter, Claire’s favorite aspect of her work revolves around telling stories that connect with the community while promoting her clients. Connect with Claire on LinkedIn or email her at Claire.Simmons@carolinashealthcare.org.