New Orleans Saints And Fans Witness Believe Banner Fly Over

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New Orleans Sains Superdome Believe Banner

On the morning of Wednesday, January 8th, Facebook, Twitter, Saints forums and local news stations started chatter about a banner flying over Metro New Orleans that simply stated “Believe.”

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It turned out that local car dealer, Ronnie Lamarque of Lamarque Ford, was behind the sponsorship of the banner. Although the “Believe” banner campaign is part of a larger television campaign for the dealership (currently running through the NFL Saints football season), the idea behind the banner was to bring the community together as one voice and to rally the New Orleans Saints and fans for this Saturday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks.

The “Believe” banner campaign was facilitated by the dealership’s advertising and marketing agency the Friday before the game against the Philadelphia Eagles. When the New Orleans Saints won against the Eagles, the Velocity Agency PR team moved quickly to secure the plane and the print of the 7500 sq. ft. banner. Within a 24-hour period, the plane was confirmed and banner was printed. Press releases were sent out to all local media outlets and a press conference scheduled on the morning of Wednesday, January 8th.

The “Believe” banner has flown over metro New Orleans twice daily since Wednesday and will finish its last flight on Saturday morning before the game against the Seahawks. Yesterday the PR team even received permission from Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport to fly the banner over airspace while the Saints departed from the airport for Seattle.

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The “Believe” banner campaign has drawn an enormous response from New Orleans Saints fans, and even the players and the coaches, like Drew Brees and Jimmy Graham.

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The success of the campaign was measured through media coverage and social media response, with an 88% increase in influence on Twitter and Facebook within the first 2 days of the fly over; 3 million impressions on Facebook; 2 million impressions on Twitter; thousands of retweets and mentions, and coverage on all major local networks and news sites.

SnapChat: The Myth Of Online Privacy

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If you got into the SnapChat bandwagon on the pretenses that your information was secure, you may have been disappointed to learn that 4.6 million numbers and usernames were leaked last week. SnapChat, silicon’s favorite startup, had taken pride in being a more private and secure alternative to other networks such as Facebook and Instagram. After the hacking, SnapChat tried to downplay the situation causing outrage from a lot of users.

In the end, the individuals who claimed to be behind SnapChatDB, explained that they were only putting pressure on the network to fix their security flaws. These flaws had been identified by Gibson Security and reported to SnapChat on Christmas Eve. The network failed to take action and as users rang in the New Year, their information was being leaked online.

But SnapChat is not the first network to experience hacking. Just in the new year other tech giants such as Sony, Yahoo, and Skype have fallen victims to hackers. As researchers claim that these companies should honor their promises to keep user information secure, I believe that online privacy in this age is nothing more than a myth.

Everyone should be aware and realize that there is no such thing as privacy on the internet. Whether it’s a social network, an app that “erases” your messages after being sent, a shopping account, or even your personal email, nothing is 100% secure. Remember, the internet was created to share and make information available publicly -not privately.

Earlier this week, Facebook was slapped with a lawsuit for allegedly scanning users ‘private’ messages. Those ‘private’ messages sent on Facebook get stored in databases that could potentially be hacked as well. Facebook offers a free platform where users can share their information with other users, but we tend to forget that these networks are businesses as well and whether we like it or not, they need to capitalize on something.

Remember, the minute you sign up for these networks, apps, email accounts, etc., your information is at risk of getting hacked. Should these companies try harder to keep information secure? Absolutely. Should they be more transparent on the way they use our information? Of course. Online privacy does not exist nor will it, the only way to keep your information safe? Don’t share it. But if you do be smart and do not share information you would not want to have released.

What are your thoughts on internet privacy? Share responsibly!

Popular Memes of 2013

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Velocity Agency has looked through a year’s worth of internet nonsense and global inside jokes to bring you what we deem the most popular memes of 2013. Read through this quick list of top memes of 2013, and check out our versions of them!

Wrecking Ball

Miley Cyrus’ music video, Wrecking Ball, inspired thousands of memes, a vine that went viral and various Halloween costume interpretations due to its raunchy nature.

Peak search interest: September 8, 2013.

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Doge

Cats, pigs, squirrels, hamsters, bears….Doge. This year’s animal meme goes to a doge. Yes, a doge. This Shiba Inu came  across as sometimes cute and sometimes creepy. With the history of this meme detailed in a lengthy buzzfeed article, and the birth of its own currency, it makes you wonder, “Much why.”

Peak search interest: still climbing.

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60-year-old girl

It started out as a joke between a husband and wife, and became an internet sensation. A little girl that looks 60 continues to inspire new photos every day.

Peak search interest: still climbing.

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Harlem Shake

This one dates all the way back to February, and it got viral so fast that it was mentioned in the YouTube trending blog and spawned remakes from groups and entities ranging from colleges and sports teams to celebrities and politicians. The only place this video probably wasn’t popular, was in Harlem.

Peak Search Interest: February 2013

 

 

Unflattering Beyoncé

This unfortunate, yet candid, photo of Beyoncé performing was an instant success in the meme community. It spawned even more interest when her publicist repeatedly asked that the unflattering images be removed.

Peak Search Interest: February 2013

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Ryan Gosling Won’t Eat His Cereal

This popular series of vines shows a spoonful of cereal being fed to Ryan Gosling in his most dramatic performances. Fans then went and created compilations and even did their own take on the meme with other celebrities, making Vine even more important when it comes to online content and memes. But then again, it is Ryan Gosling.

Peak Search Interest: July 2013

 

 

Grumpy Cat

Although Grumpy Cat originated in 2012, peak interest continued throughout 2013, even earning the “Meme of the Year” Award at the 2013 Webby Awards. Tardar Sauce, or “Tard,” has gained such popularity in 2013, that she has been on the cover of the Wall Street Journal and New York Magazine. She also makes appearances and has even gotten herself a manager. Not sure what she has to be grumpy about, but the world thanks her for the face that God gave her.

Peak Search Interest: December 2012 & March 2013

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Obama Skeet Shooting

The White House released a photo of President Obama skeet shooting in early January 2013, and then began the onslaught of photoshopped versions of the image. Seriously, White House, didn’t you know this would happen?

Peak Search Interest: February 2013

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What Does The Fox Say

Norwegian comedy music group, Ylvis, released “The Fox” in September 2013, a music video exploring what the fox says. The video quickly went viral in the first month with over 50 million views on YouTube and hitting number 29 on the US Billboard Hot 100 Top Singles Chart. Spoof videos were also generated by fans and the casts of SNL and Glee.

Peak Search Interest: October 2013

 

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Hey Girl

Even though Hey Girl was created in 2008 and gained most notoriety in 2012, we had to include this on our list of popular memes for 2013 because…Ryan Gosling.

Peak Search Interest: February 2012 & January 2013

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Twerking

Twerking has been around for a long time, but has re-emerged as a popular dance form in the past few years. 2013 was the year of the Twerk, from Miley Cyrus’ performance at the VMA’s spawning global response and discussion, to a Twerking Guinness World Record headed by Big Freedia. And fans and internet users have responded in kind with twerking videos, how-to twerking videos and spoofs, making Twerking the defining meme for 2013.

Peak Search Interest: August-September 2013

 

We would have made our own Velocity twerking video, but we’re still waiting on Big Freedia to come and give us our tutorial. Happy New Year and have a meme-tastic 2014!

The Importance of Content Hierarchy

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writtypographyToo many times have I stumbled across a website with lines and lines of unending, boring content structuring without a bit of directive messaging.  Like watching episodes I, II and III of Star Wars I’m left lost and confused as to the context. (Refer to Ex. 1)

This isn’t to say that dull content can’t be used to keep the reader wanting more.

Example #1

That’s where the magic of content hierarchy plays a key role, as it takes a foundation of plain-jane text and turns it into a piece of art. Content must have a flow that is easily followed by readers, especially on smaller screen mobile devices.

Where to start?

I start things off with a basic word document, and from there I begin to break down the text into different functions. Some pages will have many different functions, while others will only have two or three.

For this article I’ll go into the two main functions that I use: header and paragraph.

( i )  A header is a loud statement that pulls the viewers eyes and guides them along the page. From there the user will determine the relevancy of the content being presented. The average viewer spends less than 10 seconds skimming a page for important information.

( ii )  A paragraph is your main body of content that follows a header. This should complement the header, and will only be read if the viewer finds the header to be relevant.

Why?

I can’t count how many times I have landed on a website without any kind of direction and ended up leaving the page without even scrolling down. Increasing website interaction and conversion is a product of properly formatted direct content hierarchy. If you want your site to be successful and receive a 50% bounce rate drop, then implement strong content strategy.

Conclusion

It’s important to remember how the reader will view your content, and then plan how you will lay everything out. Always keep the end goal in mind.

Intern Spotlight: Chase Dennies

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As a New Orleans native, Chase Dennies grew up attending many festivals and snapping pictures. Apart from being a talented photographer, Chase is also an amazing graphic designer and we are lucky to have him as an intern at Velocity. For our Intern Spotlight this week, Chase shares his passions and his favorite hangouts in New Orleans.

VA:Where are you from?

CD:I was born and raised in New Orleans, LA.

VA:What do you like the most about New Orleans?

CD:I like that there is always something to do in New Orleans.

VA:What are you most passionate about?

CD: I am very passionate about my family. I wouldn’t be where I am today without their love and support.

VA:What do you like about working at Velocity ?

CD: One of the things that I like about Velocity is the open creative environment that it offers. Second, is the collaboration between the designers and helping each other out on projects. The best is the fact that it is a full service agency, there’s a lot I can learn from other areas. If I want to learn things about post production I can just go downstairs and learn some things from the production team.

VA:What is Graphic Design for you?

CD: Graphic design has become a big part of my life. I enjoy learning new things about design every day. After your first typography class the entire world changes. You start to see the world as type. Other people may describe the new restaurant by saying its next to the dry cleaners but you describe it as the place that uses Comic Sans in their logo.

VA:What are some of your favorite hangout spots on the weekend ?

CD: On the weekends, I like to hangout at The Bulldog or just relax at home with my family.

VA: What is your social media of choice?

CD:  None.(Just Kidding!) I would have to say Facebook.

Thoughts on the 2013 NEXUS GYS

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Upon arriving at the NEXUS Global Summit on Innovative Philanthropy and Social Innovation this past weekend, I found myself reflecting on a long held personal belief. I have always felt strongly that anyone can find a way to buy something for a dollar and sell it for two. This model equates to a business. However, I have never had any desire to simply create a business. I have worked on building companies. Certainly, companies buy and manufacture at a mark-up, sell ad space, and take transaction based revenue, but they also grow. Companies create jobs, offer careers for skilled individuals, bring opportunities for complementary products and services, and together create entire industry sectors.

Hence, companies doing well often scale up. They are rooted in innovation and routinely disrupt convention. They open offices around the globe and create more jobs and wealth, all while offering something useful to the world.

But, in case you haven’t noticed, the world is not doing well. There are inverse metrics all around us: record population increase accompanied by stagnant job growth, innovation with increased technology costs, and lower wages alongside food and gas price inflation.

So, companies doing well must now be given a larger mandate: to do good. These days, it is not sufficient to operate simply as a company. Those scaling up must use their power and influence for good, all while attempting to halt this seemingly incalculable downward spiral of our current world environment and outlook.

This sentiment is exactly what NEXUS Global Summit is all about. Doing good is not a luxury, nor is it a corporate goodwill budget line item. It is an absolute, immediate necessity, and bringing together scaling companies, thought leaders, and institutions from around the world, for four nine-hour days, is exactly how it’s going to get done.

Perfecting your Pitch: 6 Tips On Getting Your Story Published

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In the fast-paced, ever-evolving world of Public Relations, it takes a lot more than simply sending out a press release to obtain the right media coverage for your clients. Our digitized world is constantly stirring with important events  24/7, and having the right strategy paired with the right contacts is key. From my experience with Public Relations, these are the 6 essentials to getting your stories published.

  1. Peace out Press Release: In this digital age where consumers demand instant updates from news sources, press releases have lost their value due to the tedious time involved in developing, distributing, and following up. Get innovative with your pitches! Don’t get me wrong, there are some situations in which a press release can do you right, but choose wisely my friends.

  2. Socialite Status: It’s not called Personal Relations for nothing! Get out there- join advertising and marketing associations in your city, attend conferences & city-wide events to plump up that little black book of contacts.

  3. Extra, Extra, Read All About it! : Don’t think a journalist or blogger will pick up your story about Why Accountants have more fun? It’s all about how you pitch it to them. Did you know that accountants at Rothstein Kass don’t report to work until 10:00am, have personal concierge services for all home duties, and get paid for international travel during vacations? Paris, here I come!

  4. Do your research: Find out as much professional information about the person you are pitching your story to. Knowledge is power! If you are attempting to grab Barbara Walter’s attention to pick up your story, viciously research her previous work on the particular subject, relate back to it in your pitch, and give her finite reasons as to why the public needs to know more.

  5. Say It Loud & Proud: Did your pitch not get picked up the first time? Neither did Abe Lincoln’s. Revisit your first attempt, make some edits, and try again. And Again. And Again. Reporters look for specific stories at precise times–persistence is key.

  6. Go Big or Go Home: Don’t sell your story short. There are over 100,000 professional journalists and bloggers in the Unites States alone, not to mention international press who have an influence around the world. The World is your oyster, go out there and capture it!

Intern Spotlight: Lillie Hart

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What do fashion, horses and New Orleans have in common?  They are all beloved by our Public Relations intern, Lillie Hart. Originally from Zephyrhills, FL, Lillie has lived most of her life in Durham, NC. She moved to New Orleans and became a Business Marketing and Legal Studies major at Tulane University. For our very first Intern Spotlight, we go one-on-one with Lillie.

VA:What brought you to New Orleans?

LH:My family is actually from New Orleans, so I’ve grown up coming here to visit family and then when I was looking for colleges I visited Tulane and loved it.

VA:What are you passionate about?

LH:I’ve always been really passionate about horses. I’ve been riding since I was 7 and competed in high school and I still ride for the Tulane team. I’m also passionate about shopping. I shop, like, a lot.

VA:What do you like about  being an intern at Velocity ?

LH:I really like that everyone is so young and excited about their work. Being so close in age is awesome because I feel like my ideas are valued, but at the same time I learn how to do something new or about something new every day.

VA:What is Public Relations for you?

LH:For me, PR is being a catalyst for really cool or important or interesting information to people who want to know about it. It’s about getting information or news to the right audience that not only helps the people you’re sharing information about, but also the people who want to know about it.

VA:What are your hobbies ?

LH:I’m a friend to the animals as well as a philanthropist…just kidding. Besides riding horses and shopping I spend a lot of time babysitting and have a really soft spot in my heart for little kids.

VA: What is your social platform of choice?

LH: Instagram, #handsdown.

Memoirs of an Ex-Crackberry

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Scrolling down the endless feed of Instagram photos on my iPhone, one selfie stands out. It’s a girl I know from college, she is taking the usual “mirror pic,” but there is something that makes this photo extra special. Her picture was not taken by an iPhone, but by what many years ago would be known as a “Blackberry Bold.”

Flashback to my freshman year of college: I remember getting my first Blackberry (Flip phones in 2008? Unheard of!). The Pearl was not the best model, but did serve its immediate purpose of placing calls and granting me access to the infamous BlackBerry Messenger (BBM). The Blackberry was my drug of choice. I remember the rush of excitement as I uttered the words “Add me on BBM,” the self-doubt that crawled in when someone would leave my message on R, and the feeling of impending doom when my parents flooded me with PINGS! after a night out.

From the Pearl all the way up to my last Bold, my passion for Blackberry models was evident. When I spot one from time to time, I become nostalgic. I remember how the clattering of keys would make anyone around me aware of my conversations. I remember how scrolling meant praying to God, that after much abuse, my sphere was still working. I remember scrambling for 3G reception so my BBMs could be sent. I remember declaring myself a “Crackberry” addict at some point, as well as using entire bags of rice in hopes of reviving my soaking wet Curve.

For better or worse, Blackberry no longer reigns as king of the smartphone world. Even though I know that going back to Blackberry now would be socially unacceptable, I must admit I am nostalgic about our romance. I miss typing away on its minuscule keyboard, I miss knowing when my messages had been read and being able to communicate with friends and family around the world. And no matter how cool and user-friendly the iPhone may be, no one can ever compare BBM to iMessage: there will never be something quite like it.

Do you have any memorable Blackberry memoirs? Share them with us! 

Caring is Sharing: 4 Tips To Getting Content Shared

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Sharing Secrets - Little Girls

 

As a marketer, I am constantly immersing myself in blogs, articles and guides in order to keep up with the ever changing online landscape. As a social media director, I am always on the lookout for the holy grail of social: how does your content get shared by others? Bombarded with How-To’s and vague promises, I decided to ask a more relevant question: why do we share?

Sharing is not new, it’s human nature. Even before the days of Internet and social platforms, we shared relevant and important information through various mediums.The only thing that has changed is that we share more content, from more sources, with more people, more often. Still with me? The only way to understand the real reason why people share is to understand the underlying psychology.

Based on a recent study, each share comes from different psychological factors that all tie into building and maintaining relationships. These include:

  • Bringing valuable and entertaining content to others
  • To define ourselves to others
  • To grow and nourish relationships
  • To promote causes and brands we care about

Another study argues that sharing comes from a deeper level of emotional responses. Researchers believe that the act of sharing could be sparked by evoking emotions such as:

  • Amusement
  • Shock
  • Inspiration
  • Fear
  • Anger
  • Illumination
  • Controversial
  • Positive
  • Negative

Judging from these studies, we can conclude there is a certain science behind sharing content online. Another key take away is that there is a spectrum of emotions, whether positive or negative, that will incite users to click “share.” So now that we have an understanding as to why people share, how can you use this information to your favor ?

  1. Appeal to your audience’s motivations: they are following you for a reason and it’s not just to connect with you, but to connect with others who care and know about you.
  2. Establish trust with your users: no one shares content they don’t find credible.
  3. Keep the message simple: you can’t expect users to share content if they don’t understand it.
  4. Appeal to emotions: be true to your persona whether it be controversial, inspirational, or amusing.

Keep these tips in mind next time you make a post on any social platform. It’s not an exact science but they can certainly increase your chances of “getting shared.”