8/23/11

Tourism Council of Frederick County Launches Mobile Website















In case you missed the big announcement on Facebook, Jean Peterson Design and our programming partners Orases have designed and developed the new mobile website for the Tourism Council of Frederick County.

What to See…Where to Shop…Where to Dine…Where to Stay…Upcoming Events and Coupons too! It's all there for you to easily access from your phone—anytime, anywhere.

7/22/11

JPD Welcomes New Graphic Designer Susie Mulligan to the Team


Susie Mulligan recently joined the design team of Jean Peterson Design of Frederick, Maryland.

An experienced publication designer, Mulligan served as graphic designer at RidgeRunner Publishing–home of Smart Company and Hagerstown magazines and most recently at Lonza BioScience in Walkersville before coming to JPD.

A native of Lugoff, South Carolina, Susie is a graduate of Coker College, South Carolina with a bachelor of arts in graphic design. Like many of the other staff at JPD, she volunteers her talents through co-designing the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club monthly newsletter.

“Susie is a very talented designer and is already a great asset to our firm and our clients,” stated owner Jean Peterson. “It’s a pleasure to welcome her to our staff.”

We are excited to have Susie on board. Welcome Susie!

5/31/11

Management Thoughts in Chunks Even I Can Absorb – The Daily Drucker by Peter F. Drucker






























I am a creative by nature not a manager, but my job requires that I have management skills. When I took on my role as Art Director and strapped on my management hat, a friend gave me a copy of The Daily Drucker. After a few years of working together, he knew it would be management tips I could digest.

Peter Drucker was one of the leading big thinkers on management, and has helped people like former General Electric CEO Jack Welch. Drucker published 39 books and penned a regular column in the Wall Street Journal for 20 years, among many other notable career successes. Some of his recurring themes on management style are decentralization and that employees are assets not liabilities, that taking action without thinking is the cause of failure. Finally, something close to my heart is that a company’s primary responsibility is its customers.

Great for my time-challenged days, The Daily Drucker offers up an idea a day, from January 1 through December 31. While the entries do relate as you proceed from the first to the 366th – yup it’s a leap year in this book, you could pick this book up any day of the year, open to any page and have a thought provoking read. Entries are short and concise, most don’t even fill up a complete page of the 5.5 x 7” layout. At the end of each thought is an “action point”. These action points serve as my management to do list, making me this a book I enjoy even more. I have enough things to add to my to do list when it comes to my design work, this book puts my management to do list together for me. Drucker even had enough forethought to leave some space at the bottom of each page for notes.

No matter what you do, if you have to manage in business, this book is a great read. I’ll leave you with this thought from the book, “No organization can do better than the people it has.” I would like to give a shout out here to my staff, congratulations on the successes you have had recently, you are a truly talented bunch I admire.

What I like about The Daily Drucker:
  • Big idea management topics broken down into 1-2 minutes worth of reading
  • Action points serve as my management to do list
  • A year’s worth of enlightenment

5/24/11

JPD welcomes Anne Nguyen as Advertising Administrative Assistant to our team.


Before joining the team at JPD, Anne honed her professional skills in a variety of different work environments. Her 17 years of experience include serving as administrative assistant for several companies, including Frederick-based Miscellaneous Metals and Equity One. She also served as project accountant for the civil engineering firm, A. Morton Thomas. Anne attended the University of Maryland in College Park, where she majored in marketing.

Her role at JPD is to help support the JPD Team with administrative duties such as managing calendars and schedules, as well as developing internal briefs and press releases, proofreading and coordinating vendor assignments.

Like her new colleagues at Jean Peterson Design, Anne is a strong advocate for giving back to the community. Recent volunteer efforts include helping the Maryland Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, where she was recognized for her outstanding service. When Anne’s not working or volunteering, she is most likely reading, taking long walks, catching up with friends and practicing her reiki energy work.

We are excited to have Anne on board. Welcome Anne!

5/19/11

Jean Peterson Design Wins Healthcare Advertising Awards



Jean Peterson Design received four honors at the 28th Annual Healthcare Advertising Awards Competition–the oldest, largest and most widely respected healthcare advertising awards competition. JPD received a Gold Award for Frederick Memorial Hospital’s We Will Magazine Campaign and Merit Awards for Frederick Memorial Hospital’s Women’s Care Center at Crestwood Ad, Hospice of Frederick County’s Website and Meritus Healthcare Foundation’s With Your Help Development Brochure.

Competing with nearly 4,000 submissions, the entries were evaluated by a national panel of judges who selected winners based on creativity, quality, message effectiveness, consumer appeal, graphic design and overall impact.

“We were absolutely thrilled to receive this recognition,” states Jean Peterson.

4/12/11

Part 3 of 3 – 10 Online Marketing Strategies For Non-Profit Organizations



By: Nick Damoulakis, Orases
| JPD Guest Blogger

Read part one of this 3-part series, 10 Online Marketing Strategies For Non-Profit Organizations (Part 1 of 3)

Read part two of this 3-part series, 10 Online Marketing Strategies For Non-Profit Organizations (Part 2 of 3)

Non-profit organizations don’t usually have the same resources that their for-profit counterparts tend to enjoy. Online marketing opportunities, however, give NPOs an edge because users appreciate the chance to be associated with good causes and are willing to let that affiliation be known. Below are my final recommendations for implementation and analysis actions items that will take awareness of your organization’s goals and needs to the next level.

8) Go mobile.
Forrester research’s latest report (January 2011) finds that consumers will spend over $1billion in online transactions for 2011. Your website should have a mobile presence that works on the top mobile platforms such as iPhone, Android and Blackberry. In addition to creating a mobile site, text messaging campaigns are becoming the new norm and, in some cases, slowly replacing newsletters. The New York Times stated, via research from a cell-carrier, that 97% of all marketing messages are opened and 83% are opened in the first hour. These statistics are too powerful for any organization to ignore and speak to the need to include this kind of approach in your overall marketing plan. Text-message marketing can be used for events, donations, promotions and even important news updates. Companies like MobiQpons offer great options to start incorporating this strategy.

Keep in mind that mobile phone numbers are considered extremely personal and, as such, are well-guarded—more so than email addresses or home phone lines. Make sure your users opt in for this kind of contact and that your organization uses it sparingly.

9) Monitor your brand continually.
Nothing is more important than knowing how your organization is being perceived online. Brand monitoring is a way to find out where conversations are being had and what is being said about your firm. Following social media sites along with other blogs and websites will enable you to keep a close tab on your organization’s online persona. While some tools are free, you will need to find a mixture of monitoring tools to really help you get a full picture. Below are a few resources we find work best on a limited budget:
  • Google Alerts: email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on your choice of query or topic.
  • Techrigy: A software solution designed specifically for PR and marketing agencies to monitor and measure social media.
  • Google Reader: web-based feed reader to keep up with blogs and news.
  • Twitter: Search Twitter in real time – see what the world is saying right now.
Don’t forget that these tools can also help you keep an eye on your competitors and stay current on other industry topics. What you find can provide you with opportunities to plug your organization’s comparative strengths, placing you on a level playing field. I call this reverse brand monitoring and it works like a champ.

10) Track your progress.
Once you have built a strategy with all the options detailed above, and have started implementing it, make sure you put methods in place to track and analyze traffic. Google Analytics (GA) is a great tool to help you measure your advertising ROI as well as to track video, social networking sites’ reach and usage of particular applications. Use this free service to build goals in your GA dashboard and send yourself weekly comparison reports of the traffic on your website. By tracking your organization’s and visitors’ activity, you will be able to make better decisions as to where to best spend your organization’s time and direct your online efforts.

Whether you use all 10 of the strategies I’ve described or just a few, it is critical that your organization’s effort is sustained over an extended period for the most return on your and our supporters’ time investment. As with any marketing strategy, a steady approach will create the opportunity for a steady following, and ultimately, a steady stream of online conversation about you. And as new online marketing opportunities present themselves—and they will—be flexible and ready to try different methods of reaching out, branding on new platforms, and empowering your users to be your voice on the World Wide Web.


4/7/11

Part 2 of 3 – 10 Online Marketing Strategies For Non-Profit Organizations



By: Nick Damoulakis, Orases
| JPD Guest Blogger

Read part one of this 3-part series, 10 Online Marketing Strategies For Non-Profit Organizations (Part 1 of 3)

Non-profit organizations continually face an up-hill battle for funding and support. In part 2 of this 3-part series, I share some additional tips on how organizations can connect with their audience and make getting the word out about their cause and needs a lot less dependent on internal resources, and much more enticing and easy for online users to carry out on behalf of their favorite non-profit.

4) Make email newsletter sign-up simple, easy and prominent.
Newsletters are key for non-profits to deliver news to members who have opted in for regular updates about the organization. Make sure your sign-up form is simple and easy to you use. The call to action should say “Sign Up” or “Join our Newsletter” instead of the generic “Go” or “Submit” buttons commonly seen. The newsletter area should also tell the user what they are signing up for. For example, a brief description could read “Learn more about our news and events with our monthly online newsletter” or “Keep up to date with our bi-weekly digital newsletter.” We have found that asking for just an email address versus a first name, last name and email will generate more opt-ins.

Once the user signs up, direct them to a page that confirms their request to receive the newsletter, thanks them for subscribing, and gives them the option of viewing the current newsletter along with other information about your organization. You could also provide a link so the member can instantly Tweet or share on Facebook about having signed up and can encourage others to do the same. Make sure the font in the text field is large enough to read, so the email is entered correctly.

5) Be consistent and timely.
If there is one thing that makes a great website, newsletter, user interface or digital outreach program outstanding, it is consistency. Consistency is critical for users to believe in the organization and build trust. If a user signs up for a monthly newsletter, your organization needs to deliver. If your firm plans to implement a social media strategy, it must be consistent, interactive and ongoing. Most importantly, if you plan on having news and information on your homepage, make sure your news is fresh and not more than two weeks old. Consistency and timely content are critical for making users trust that your non-profit is active and working hard to serve the community.

6) Simplify the online donation process.
The number 1 request from non-profits is a LARGE donation button. Donation buttons are great, but keep in mind many users still send in checks or want to provide other means of giving a donation. After all, when was the last time your non-profit received a $100,000 donation via a website? What about a person who cannot give financially, but is willing to volunteer time? Make sure your donation page clearly gives your users those options. With that said, always keep the process simple and with as few steps as possible. A user should be able to donate in less than 3 steps. Once a user donates, give the user the opportunity to access Facebook to talk about the donation or link to Twitter to tweet about how s/he supports a particular non-profit. Similar to an endorsement, this will encourage others to donate online knowing that the recommendation to do so came from a familiar and trusted source.

7) Create viral programs.
Viral programs are a great way to raise awareness about your non-profit. They are a form of marketing in which you use social media to promote your cause by allowing users to easily replicate your message or carry out your requested action, and prompt others to do the same. As stated earlier, brand enthusiasts are great for creating and syndicating content about your non-profit. To create a viral campaign, simply offer a one-click or extremely easy method to help users share information about your non-profit. These programs, for instance, ask users to change their avatar or profile picture on a particular social networking site. Others might place a badge or share button on an engaging story that your non-profit supplies. Whether you are planning on promoting your organization or a particular event, viral programs are a great way to let others spread awareness about you.

The web is a great resource that provides organizations with tools that not just reach out, but as discussed above, are tried-and-true means of letting users reach in. In my final post, I’ll look at trends and best practices that will help organizations understand and measure why online marketing efforts pay off.


Stay tuned, next Tuesday JPD_adchat and Nick Damoulakis will bring you part 3 of 3 of 10 Online Marketing Strategies for Non-Profit Organizations