2015 World’s Fair, Autonomous Desk, Google Brillo, and Pizzeria Regina Bankruptcy

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Top Story: 2015 World’s Fair

For centuries, World’s Fairs have brought together countries to showcase international innovation and ingenuity in various industries – from art to sustainability. The last World’s Fair was held in 2012 in Yeosu, South Korea with the theme, “The Living Ocean and Coast.” This year, the World’s Fair revives in Milan, Italy with the theme, “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life.” Showcasing 164 years of food and art, the 2015 World’s Fair features top chefs, sustainable and fair food, and cooking demonstrations. Italy Milan Expo Other attractions include amazing architecture, an interactive supermarket of the future, and touches of the arts and Italian history. worlds fair architecture In the introduction for the event’s catalogue, Italian art critic Germano Celant writes:
The project aims to present an investigation of art and food, treated as a territory for analysis of the social and cultural factors that have conditioned the arts in relation to food produced all over the world.
It’s not to late to book your flight! The fair runs for six months from May through October.

Tool of the Week: Autonomous Desk

If you have a desk job, no doubt you’ve heard the study claiming that prolonged sitting increases the risk of death. Standing desks are now all the rage – even a few people have adopted them in our office! A new Kickstarter campaign, however, is taking the standing desk to another level. Autonomous Desk is a smart device that learns about your habits and adjusts its actions accordingly. It senses when you walk into your office, moves into standing position, and senses when you need to sit. If you sit for too long, the desk will remind you to stand. Beginner users are eased into the concept of a standing desk with 30 minute standing sessions, and longer sitting breaks. As time goes on, the longer the desk will stay standing. The desk offers a wireless charging pad, hooks for bags, and a controller for lightbulbs and door locks. Also, it takes voice commands like Siri to play music, set reminders, and answer questions. Currently, the basic desk frame is $399 on Kickstarter. Would you get one?  

Under the Radar: Google’s Brillo

U.K. Office For Google Inc   Joining in the Internet of Things trend, Google is developing software to power any electronic device with an internet connection – with or without a digital screen. Codenamed “Brillo,” the new Android build can run on a mere 32 megabytes of RAM. The goal of Brillo is the exact same as the goal of Android: to get all hardware onto the same software platform. This software would make it easier for companies to build anything from smart appliances to security monitors. What do you think?  

Around the Hub: Pizzeria Regina Goes Bankrupt

pizzeria regina North End staple Pizzeria Regina has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. But don’t fret just yet! The flagship Boston location will likely remain open, along with most of its 18 other locations around the city. According to The Boston Globe, a spokesman for the Woburn-based parent company of Pizzeria Regina, Boston Restaurant Associates claims the company entered bankruptcy proceedings “in order to get out of several long and expensive leases for restaurants at outlying malls with diminishing foot traffic in their food courts.” These include the Emerald Square Mall in North Attleboro, the Pheasant Lane Mall in Nashua, N.H., the Mall of New Hampshire in Manchester, N.H., and the Arsenal Mall in Watertown. These four closings entail the elimination of 30 jobs. What’s your go-to pizza place?

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Mobilegeddon: Expectation vs. Reality

Mobilegeddon Feature Image If you work in digital marketing or technology space, you’ve likely heard of the wrath of Mobilegeddon for quite some time. In SEO especially, we counted down the days until we needed to warn our mobile unfriendly clients that they needed to brace themselves for the worst. Fortunately, despite all the hype surrounding April 21, we have yet to see any disastrous results. Last year, several Google employees forecasted that mobile search queries would overtake desktop queries in 2015. This brought upon much speculation that mobile friendliness would somehow be incorporated into Google’s algorithm. Speculation turned into assumption when Google released the Mobile Friendly Tool for businesses to determine whether their site met the criteria to be deemed “mobile friendly” by Google. mobile 1 On Tuesday, April 21, Google confirmed it would be making a major update to its mobile search algorithm to favor mobile-friendly websites. If your site had large text, easy-to-click links, and other mobile friendly factors, you would be okay. If not, you would theoretically be doomed. The confirmation came quicker than anyone had anticipated.

Expectation vs. Reality

The update rolled out a month ago, and to be honest, it wasn’t what we expected. Webmasters were so concerned about the potential impact of the algorithm update that many chose to abide by Google’s rules (despite the short timeline), rushing to ensure their sites were mobile friendly. In fact, Google reported a 4.7% increase in mobile friendly sites between March and April. The update was supposed to affect a significant amount of queries – more than the Panda or Penguin. However, neither our mobile friendly nor unfriendly clients have seen any major effects.

Mobile Unfriendliness Leads to Slight Decrease in Mobile Rankings, Increase in Mobile Organic Traffic

Example #1

Below reveals search data from a lead generation company without a mobile friendly website. mobile 2 As you can see, while there has been a slight decrease in both desktop and mobile rankings, it’s nothing like what we were expecting. Coincidentally, this company’s mobile organic traffic has increased 40% YoY since the update. So even though they may be showing up less or in lower positions on mobile search, they have more visitors coming to their site from mobile devices.

Example #2

In this instance, our client with a mobile unfriendly saw no changes in desktop rankings since the update. In fact, they’ve even seen keywords that have never ranked before rank on page 1 in mobile web search. mobile 3

Mobile Friendliness and Rankings

On the other hand, let’s look at our clients who had mobile friendly websites and what we saw with their search rankings.

Example #1

For this lead generation company, the first week in May showed a clear upward trend in mobile rankings but again, we expected to see a bigger impact. mobile 4 Altogether, they have seen an average increase of 2 positions for only 9 queries in mobile SERPs since the update.

Example #2

For this Ecommerce site, mobile rankings have been steady with  a noticeable increase in desktop rankings since the update.

mobile 5

Keep Calm and Carry On

While we haven’t seen any significant problems with mobile unfriendly companies, we are still urging them to make the updates to their site in order to pass the Mobile Friendly Test. Google will continue to tweak this update over time, so we mustn’t assume safety from the impact of this update just yet. Though we’ve seen most companies fare okay so far, popular sites like reddit and School Loop both lost nearly 27% of their mobile SEO visibility. It’s also important to remember that although mobile friendliness is now incorporated into Google’s algorithm, there are also hundreds of other criteria that can help increase the rank of your site. It’s still best to stick with the basics: create meaningful and unique content and optimize HTML criteria like title tags, alt text and header tags.

What’s Next for Google?

Every year, Google changes its search algorithm around 500-600 times (sometimes announcing updates and sometimes denying them). At 451 Marketing, our Search team is predicting mobile page load speed will be part of the next big Google update.  There’s nothing worse than sitting and waiting for a webpage to load on your phone. After all, every move Google makes is in an effort to make their searchers as content as possible. We can’t be upset with that.

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4 Tips to Freshen Up Your PR Toolbox

4 tips to freshen up your pr toolkit As PR professionals, we have a variety of skills and tools that we use daily. Without keeping them sharpened, it’s easy to become outdated. In this profession being busy is an understatement. There never seems to be enough time in the day, no matter how much you’ve learned to master the art of time management. It is important to take the occasional step back to revisit what has been sitting on the back burner. Here are our tips for freshening up your PR toolbox:

Read More News copy

Read More News

Come and gone are the days of only having to scan through the newspaper every morning. Now things run on a 24/7 news cycle and PR pros are expected to keep up and know what is going on at all times. It is easy to fall behind, but a great productivity hack that I love, Feedly , is looking to change that. Feedly brings all your favorite sites into one place, so one scroll in the morning through your homepage will catch you up on everything you missed.   activate your network

Activate your network

PR is all about networking and if used correctly, your network can be a powerful tool. With everyday tasks taking priority it is easy to forget to keep in contact, so set yourself a reminder. I personally schedule a calendar invite the first Monday of every month to remind myself to reach out to my network. Whether it is just to say hey, pass on a relevant article or set up a coffee date.   get out of the office

Get out of the office

In order to be a successful PR professional, it is important to stay on the cutting edge and to always be working on your professional development. Take some time to do something for yourself outside the company by setting a goal to go to a class to learn a new skill, or attend a professional event once a month.  Clean Out Your Inbox

Clean out your inbox

So much time is spent every day reading emails and sometimes it can feel like you are drowning just getting through it. This may sound dreadful, but take some time every month to clean out your inbox because nothing will feel better than when you finally get your inbox to hit zero. Recently I read an article on The Muse about email habits to steal from the world’s busiest people. To make this fun Randi Zuckerberg suggests breaking out the wine and throwing an email cleaning party with your friends or colleagues.   Working in PR can mean having to juggle a lot of things at once, but hopefully with these tips you can manage your time better and sharpen your skills at the same time. What are your tips?

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451 Marketing Spring Internship Project: An Interview With Our Project Manager

old north This spring, 451 Marketing’s interns were given the opportunity to develop a fully integrated marketing communications campaign for a local non-profit organization, Old North Church Foundation. Joseph Martelli, public relations intern and Boston University senior served as project manager, overseeing the team’s strategy and progress for the group of 22 interns, dubbed 22 below.  I sat down with Joseph to get his take on the semester-long project.  

What was your initial reaction upon being introduced to the client?

I was excited! Mostly because its an iconic landmark around Boston and New England in general. This was a huge opportunity to showcase good work with a good client that is regionally recognized.  I volunteered for project manager because it was a great opportunity for me to lead the team and gain management experience. Working with a client that does good and that we all know has made the project all the more exciting to work on.  

What has been your favorite part about the project?

My favorite part of this project has been working with so many different people with such different backgrounds from around the city. We all have varying work styles, so it was interesting (and great practice) to manage such a large and diverse team. It was truly fun being the one to coordinate it.  

What were some challenges working with 21 other interns?

Well, it is funny because my favorite part about the project was also the most challenging: trying to coordinate all of the differing work styles and level them all so we were all on the same page. It was definitely challenging to work with people who have different schedules. For instance, I never even met the Tuesday/Thursday interns, but still had to coordinate with everyone and track the overall progress. It can result in a lot of confusion, but that happens in the work place. It was really difficult at times.  

What are the most valuable lessons you’ve learned from being project manager?

One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned is that it isn’t necessarily all hands-on. The project manager role is often hands-off—it’s about effective oversight. Although I had previous experience through my time at Boston University and other internships, it was much more challenging with such a large group. Another valuable lesson that took some getting used to was that not everyone is going to be happy all the time—and that is O.K. At the end of the day, as long as we got the work done and were able to ground ourselves for the greater good of the client, that was all that mattered. Lastly, I’d add that being creative and having fun with what you are doing is so important. You need to be excited. The whole team needs to be excited and passionate about the project. Without that enthusiasm, it’s not going to be fun, it’s not going to be productive, and the client will no doubt notice.  

Could you describe the team’s final results and the recommendations you made to the client?

All in all, we recommended a more streamlined and efficient social media presence for the client. Basically, we suggested their brand identity be consistent across channels so engagement would feel more real and personal with those seeking out ONC. We also recommended they try to partner up with tour groups to drive traffic from elementary school and other specialized tourist groups into the Church which was a suggestion originally brought up by one of the Church’s staff members in a previous meeting. The team really pulled together as best they could to produce what we believe is a strong recommendation for future marketing strategies for the client. There is, of course, still room for improvement and elaboration upon our recommendations, but we see that as a good thing!  

What was the most rewarding part of working with a non-profit?

I think the most rewarding part of working with a non-profit was in the interest of those they serve. I love how the Old North Church is unfocused on themselves. They provide a service and a safe place where people can visit and experience Boston and its history. It was a good feeling that the work we did was for the betterment of the church’s audience, in addition to the client.  

What are some tips you would give to future teams?

Split up work even more than you think you should. There is no such thing as too much proofreading. Everyone should have a role. Also, get on the same page early on so that everyone has the same expectations the whole way through. This will clear up a lot of confusion and any possible tension.   **Composed by Marketing intern Victoria Taylo, Communication major at Boston University (Class of 2015). 22 Below consisted of Christine Abrams, Karen Chiu, Michaela Deluca, Stephanie Dulcey, Soonmee Hayley, Matilda Ivarsson, Meghan Shumway, Peter Juhn, Stephanie Wheeler, Victoria Taylo, Joseph Martelli, Kira Keshavan, Paige Hakim, Lindsay Miller, Aj Park, Summer Fahey, Alex Shore, Lauren Lewis, Lydia Lefevre, Kelsey Bertiglia, Hilary Bokoff, and Annika Plaggenborg.

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5 Tips for Acing Time Management

time management
Time Management (n) the ability to use one’s time effectively or productively.
In a world where we are constantly flooded by distraction, time management is more important than ever. Here are some tips that help us increase daily productivity, while establishing healthy work habits.

inventory

1. Take a Self-Inventory

Take a sample day(s) to track how your time is spent in 15 minute increments. Think of it as a “billable” exercise. Are chatty co-workers spending too much time at your desk? Are you side-tracked by social media alerts or news flashes? Simply increasing your awareness about how precious your time is can make an immense difference in productivity. Monday

2. Map Out on Monday

Set aside 30 minutes on Monday morning to review your week. Look for open gaps, confirm appointments and block out breaks and lunch. Educated

3. Stay Educated

There is an impressive amount of published literature about time management. You are not the only one struggling, this is a major plague in the world of business operations at any level. Some of our favorites are Getting Things Done by David Allen, WillPower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength by Roy F. Baumeister and Managing Yourself: HBR 10 Must Reads. All provide unique insight to your own procrastination and provide tools to navigate old habits. reasonable

4. Be Reasonable

Using a task list with the calendar is a great way ensure efficiency. Remind yourself that breaks are healthy. Checking personal e-mail, social media, taking a walk to refresh. It isn’t possible every day but it isn’t always about having time but making time. calendar

5. Set Calendar Invites

Microsoft Outlook and Google Calendar have plenty of hacks for the organized and disorganized alike. Set reminders 15 or 30 minutes before the appointment. For external meetings factor in travel time either as a separate invitation or in the same block. Most importantly, always send a calendar invite. Live and breathe by the calendar invite!   What tips have you cultivated to ensure staying on track? We’d love to hear your thoughts!

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