What’s your story? In a World with so many choices, putting the “why” into your business model and marketing has never been more important.
Automobiles make a good example. Consider how many different makes and models of vehicles we can choose from, and the long list of dealerships where we can take our business. Now consider all of the auto insurance companies, all the tire brands, all the places we can go for an oil change or fill up on gas, and even all of the places where we can pick up a pizza on the way home. So, the question is, why choose one over the other?
If your marketing communications isn’t addressing this question, it’s time to rediscover your story, develop a plan, and implement a strategy. In addition to our freelance writing work, we work with a number of clients in the areas of public relations, marketing communications, and content publishing.
Today most marketers agree that content marketing is the most cost-effective method of raising overall brand awareness, building audiences, and driving purchases. There are a slew of statistics on the effectiveness of content marketing. Here are two:
1.) “Companies that blog 15 or more times a month get five times more traffic than companies that don’t blog” – HubSpot
2.) “Blogs rank as the third most influential digital resource guiding consumer purchasing decisions” – Marketing Magazine.
Whether company or a good cause, our passion is helping organizations identify their narratives, find their voice, and get their stories told. Below is a look at some of our partners and projects.
For more information email: info@TroyHawks.net
Being a part of the local community is all a part of being a family business. This is particulary true when the family business is a cheese store serving a town of 1,400 people in Central Wisconsin, as was the case with my family.
Here your daily customers include everyone from the mayor, to the preacher, teacher, and farmer. Not only do you know their names, but you know the names of everyone in their family including aunts, uncles, and cousins.
When running a family business, the dinner table serves as the board room and it’s here where revenues and expenses, operations, human resources, sales and marketing, and corporate giving are discussed on an almost nighty basis. Particulary in the outdoor industry, it’s not difficult to find a small business that’s big on giving back.
One such company is AO Coolers, makers of soft-sided coolers designed for outdoor adventurers. This year AO Coolers was a top fundraiser at Standup for the Cure held at Newport Beach, Calif. Brian Hatch, CEO, recently chatted with the folks at Outdoor Industries Association about what inspires his small company’s philosophy on corporate citizenship. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE.
Ski Nation mobile app
Ski Nation, If We Build It, We Own It. How’s that for ground-swell consumer messaging? Ski Nation is the brainchild of Jack Turner, and in some respects, Jack is to brainchild ideas what a match is to a sparkler.
Helping Jack launch this mobile app designed for all skiers and all ski areas, was a natural fit. Since my days of teaching kids to ski, I’ve enjoyed championing the sport about as much as I’ve enjoyed the sport itself. I’ve worked on several projects with Jack, including the Next Snow Search that aired live on NBC during the 2002 WinterOlympics.
This time, Jack amassed an impressive list of 14 of some of the best known and accomplished skiers in the World today and named them the founders of Ski Nation. There are 1,020 North American ski areas listed on Ski Nation. Users collect and share pins on each of their visit to a ski area.
In it’s inaugural year, Ski Nation was the official mobile app of the Wild West Powder Quest, a promotion of the 13 ski areas that make up the Powder Alliance. Thirteen users were awarded ski trips as part of the promotion. Find more at SkiNation.com.
Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month
Since 2009 we’ve enjoyed assisting with media and stakeholder relations and communications for Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month, a national initiative credited for introducing more than 500,000 new skiers and riders to the slopes. In 2015, Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month will attempt to pull off the World’s Largest Ski Lesson! Find more at www.ski-snowboard.org
Colorado Ski Country USA
We love our friends at Colorado Ski Country USA! Our work here includes marketing communications and planning, developing website content, helping out with direct consumer communications, blog writing, and of course lots of research and samplings of the product! Find more at ColoradoSki.com
The Goggle Gap Project
I can’t say how exciting it was to see an idea morph from concept to reality, and I was really psyched to see The Goggle Gap Project come online for the 2013/14 season. I worked with the folks at Snowsports Industries Association (SIA) on this project, and have to give big props to their graphics team who really rolled up their sleeves in bringing it all to life. Check out this cool poster that is now hanging in 3,000+ ski shops in North America.
The Conversion Cup Challenge
People have asked me what my proudest moments and accomplishments were during my 10 years as communications manager for the National Ski Areas Association. To be sure, there are several, but what I most enjoyed and continue to treasure are the friends I made along the way.
It’s a pretty incredible experience to work with like minded folks spread across a few dozen states but with a common aim to share our passion for sliding on snow. Also high on the list is the Conversion Cup Challenge.
With close consultation with the folks at RRC Associates, the ski industry’s leading research firm, the Conversion Cup Challenge has proved itself as a pertinent industry award program that shines a light on ski areas that are truly creating lifelong enthusiasts of the sport in a quantifiable way. At a time when the industry has been scratching its head on how to create more repeat lesson takers, resorts have been engaged in a friendly competition to grow their repeat lesson business and take home the Conversion Cup in the process. Click here to learn more about the Conversion Cup Challenge.
Sustainable Slopes and the Climate Challenge
At NSAA I directed media communications for Sustainable Slopes and the Climate Challenge. The story here is in the numbers. Communicating environmental stewardship can be a challenge because the nature of the content become very technical, very fast. By highlighting the numbers, consumers get a quick look at what ski areas are doing to protect the environment and often times their surprised on the size and scope of these efforts. Here’s our most recent piece on the Climate Challenge as published in the Huffington Post.
I enjoyed the opportunity to work with the folks at DestiMetrics, a mountain travel research firm based in Denver and producers of The Assembly. My work included managing and coordinating PR and communications for the a day-long confab of thought leaders and researchers from the mountain travel industry and beyond. The executive level meeting is strategically produced to coincide with business planning for the upcoming fiscal year, and is held in conjunction with the annual SIA Snow Show that draws nearly 20,000 ski industry executives worldwide. Click here to learn more about The Assembly.
The PhatCat Challenge
The PhatCat Challenge is the ski industry’s pre-eminent on-snow grooming machine competition and pits America’s top drivers in a head-to-head contest designed to test their overall proficiency. First launched in 2006, the PhatCat has been held at ski areas across the country including California’s Squaw Valley, Utah’s Snowbird, Colorado’s Steamboat and Vail Mountain, and Vermont’s Killington and Mount Snow.
Producing the PhatCat Challenge was a part of the job that didn’t entirely feel like work. Sure, there were some major logistical details to pulling it off, but at the end of the day, it was mostly friends coming together to talk shop while having fun on the snow. Here’s a review of PhatCat 2013
The SnowSmarts Safety Quiz
Recognizing that kids today spend the majority of their time online, be it a laptop, tablet, or smart phone, I worked with the National Ski Patrol in developing the Snow Smarts Online Safety Quiz. The quiz is intended to be a fun exercise in learning the basic rules of engagement while skiing and snowboarding.
Ski areas and ski patrol departments across the U.S. have further promoted and provided links to the Quiz on their websites for further distribution. CLICK HERE TO TAKE THE QUIZ!
IMBA World Summit: Maximizing MTB Opportunities at Ski Areas
On the heels of a newly formed partnership and signed Memorandum of Understanding between the National Ski Areas Association and the International Mountain Bicycling Association, I was asked to present at the 2012 IMBA World Summit held in Santa Fe, New Mexico. It was an incredible week, with all the top mountain bike manufacturers and industry leaders transcending to discuss the exciting new growth of the sport. My fellow presenters represented the Mountain Trails Foundation, Angel Fire Resort, and Crested Butte Mountain Resort.
Pine Tree Seafood & Produce
You might wonder why the Redtail Times Twitter feed features @LobsterToGo , the official Twitter account of Pine Tree Seafood, headquartered in Scarborough, Maine. It’s what happens when your old skiing, and hiking, and live music watching, and occasional hell-raising Colorado friend moves back home and opens a family business.
Pine Tree Seafood opened a second location at Old Orchard Bay this summer, and I’m so psyched to see my buddy Jim Hartley and his father-in-law Coach Dick Whitmore grow their business. My motives are obvious, I tweet hoping one day to cash in on lobster!