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Today I’m talking about brands and I’m not talking about logos, which is a common misperception about brands. Take a brand class and open up a book, you might see logos of Mercedes, BMW and Target and a lot of consumers might think, “Well, that’s what a brand is.” However, chief marketing officers and heads of companies understand that we’re actually building a business into a brand and it’s the experience that your end-users have shapes what the brand is. As a marketer you can’t really dictate that, but you can try to influence it.

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The public relations industry can be tough to break into, and even tougher to excel in. As vets in the game, we are honored to have been chosen as a 2018 Bulldog PR Award winner in the Best Fundraising Campaign category for our work on HAAM Benefit Day. The program received a record-breaking number of entries this year. We are excited to be considered among the top campaigns of 2017 across 37 highly competitive categories.

As firm believers in “you are the company you keep,” being noted alongside names like FleishmanHillard, Ogilvy and IBM helps to remind us that it’s not so much the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog, and we are honored to be included in such an impressive weight class.

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Who’s in your top eight? This was a standard question in the early 2000s. The invention of Myspace sparked the explosion of social networking and reigned as the largest social networking site until 2010. As Myspace lost its traction, Facebook took over. Recently, Facebook was scattered across the internet with reports that a political advertising firm received millions of social network users’ information without consent. As privacy rights are put into question and users begin to abandon the platform, we look at the four ways Facebook’s development has changed over the past 14 years.

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After graduating with honors in journalism from the University of Missouri, Matt hopped over to the “the dark side” by starting his career in the PR industry with an internship at FleishmanHillard. At Red Fan, Matt is the designated AP Style expert and copy editor who brings a journalistic eye to creative storytelling. His commitment to grammar accuracy and insightful content development makes him a true PR guru.

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Allison received a call to join the Red Fan team right before her graduation ceremony at Louisiana State University, where she received a master’s degree in mass communication in 2017. When it comes to client support, Allison dives into each account by asking the right questions and crafting winning pitches.

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We have reached the age of experience. When I think about the age of experience, the launch of the W Hotel comes into my mind. Once you walked into the W Hotel’s lobby, you can tell that they tried to really change the game in the hospitality industry. The music and the smell in the air was a certain vibe, people wanted to buy the candles from the W. The guests wanted to bring that experience home.

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As far as experience goes, Emma Chase has been able to see first-hand what each position looks like in the Red Fan office. Starting as an intern in college, Emma has worked her way up to Senior Account Executive during her time in the Helms House. With her grab-life-by-the-horns mentality, Emma loves checking tasks off of her to-do list and maintaining close relationships with her clients. Get to know more about her through our Faces Behind the Fan feature below!

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Aside from being an Account Executive with a get-it-done attitude here at Red Fan, Brooke Boriack is also known for her incredible portrait photography, her infectious energy in the office and her love for her calico cat, Lily. Brooke is a PR pro with over 5 years of experience in the industry at agencies ranging from corporate to boutique. She is known for creating in-depth, attention-getting work for her clients and landing it in the right publications. Get to know more about her in her Faces Behind the Fan feature below!

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As Marketing & Growth Coordinator here at Red Fan, Hannah Atteberry is a key player in keeping the wheels turning within the agency and maintaining our reputation among the public. Hannah ensures that Red Fan is consistently ranked at the top when it comes to company culture, thought leadership and throwing the best parties (we see you, Friendsgiving and Haunted Helms). Without Hannah, our office would surely miss her creative ingenuity, sassy remarks and unending photos of her dog, Bean. Check out her Faces Behind the Fan feature below!

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Whether you’re an established company or a startup, determining which conferences to attend each year is a big challenge. It’s something that weighs on the head of marketing’s’ mind because it’s a lot of investment to send people on planes, put up booths and decide where you are going to get the best bang for your buck.

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When one flight lands, another takes off. Ten years ago, Kathleen returned to the United States after working in Hong Kong as JPMorgan’s Vice President of Corporate Marketing and Communications in the Asia Pacific Division. Upon arriving, she decided to pursue her vision of opening her own PR firm in Austin, Texas. Today, she is the founder of Red Fan Communications, an integrated PR agency with a successful portfolio and a vibrant office culture.

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Too often, we see startups are defined by their products alone. “Our brand is our product” is a common phrase that we hear when clients come to the Helms House. Many don’t know that having this mindset is a detriment to your company. To build a successful company, you need to understand how and why you should separate your brand from your product. Here are the dos and don'ts of creating the perfect company brand while also creating products that map to your values.

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Last June, Google officially announced that it would start filtering ads in Chrome to give users a better web browsing experience. The “ad filter” is expected to go live Feb. 15. Google has given companies and advertisers ample time to adjust their websites to align with the new rules from the Coalition for Better Ads, which will determine which ads are unacceptable based on extensive research made by the coalition that ranks lowest to highest across a range of user experience.

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Don’t launch at SXSW.

I repeat, DO NOT launch at SXSW.

The reasons for this are many, not the least of which is the logistical nightmare of scheduling media interviews amidst a throng of some 300,000 attendees, a commensurate amount of booze and no shortage of parties for business executives, journalists and other attendees that nearly ensures you get lost somewhere in the proverbial and literal shuffle.

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So you’re planning to attend a conference. Great! We hope you have a great time, but before you head out, do you have a plan for how you’ll engage while there? You’ve already invested time, travel and energy, so make sure you’re fully prepared to maximize your experience.

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Love it or hate it, SXSW is around the corner. The annual festival makes Austin the top destination for tech, music and film, bringing thousands of visitors and even more traffic to the city. While we love the tourism for our economy, locals must fight through the crowds to get to their neighborhood hangouts. Fortunately, Red Fan has created a meal-by-meal guide to surviving the South by buzz while still getting quality eats and drinks for locals and visitors alike.

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Apple, Microsoft, Purina, Nike, Ford—what do all these brands have in common? Hint: You’ve heard of all of them. That’s right, they all have strong brand awareness. Whether or not you choose to interact with these brands, you immediately recognize their names.

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Brand loyalty is a critical aspiration for any business. It’s how companies know they made it, that they’re household names that everyone recognizes and is familiar with. This is, of course, especially true of B2C brands, whose customers often number in the hundreds of thousands, or, in the cases of giants like Amazon and Apple, the hundreds of millions.

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So your company has decided to invest in a social media campaign; now you’re six months in and aren’t sure if it’s working. Should you hang tight or call it quits?

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When starting a new PR partnership or refreshing a current one, it’s important to nail down a campaign road map. A huge component to a strategic PR campaign is considering your goals and aligning them within the framework of the media timeline.

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Entering the workforce in the 21st century is difficult. In fact, 78 percent of adults (including baby boomers) claim it’s harder for young people to get a job compared to previous generations. It’s a transition I can personally attest to: The shift from college to full-time employee has been the most difficult one for me to date. After walking across the stage to receive a diploma, the guides and answers seemed to disappear, and those same feelings of confusion and uneasiness affect almost all young 20-somethings to some degree.

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At its most basic function, public relations is the practice of building mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics, namely the media, which has grown far beyond its traditional boundaries. What used to be confined to broadcast and print mediums has now amplified across the Internet and into our hands through the many apps we consume on a daily basis.

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When I founded Red Fan Communications in 2008, I had a vision for the type of philanthropic work the agency would be able to accomplish. It included taking on select clients that represented causes we truly believed in. We understand that many nonprofits work under extremely tight budgets, so Red Fan has always been willing to negotiate discounted rates, agree to sponsorship exchanges or work pro bono in select, few cases.

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Being a chief executive may sound glamorous and powerful, but it comes with a unique set of responsibilities, stresses and accountabilities that few other jobs entail. While the perks seem plentiful, the daily scrutiny and pressures are intense. Unlike other business leaders or influencers, the CEO must own the vision for the company, procure the proper resources (both monetary and human), build the culture, demonstrate an ability to make good business decisions and set, then exceed the bar for performance. And he or she must be personal and unflappable.

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I’m going to make this easy on you…it’s both.

There is no employee alive who wants EITHER money or a great work environment. And if I’m wrong and that’s you, please call me, because we have an AMAZING work environment here and I’m happy to pay you less than what you’re worth.

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