NBA Playoffs

COVID-19 has forced everyone to innovate. It’s even present on the small screen as I’ve watched my Miami Heat defy all the odds and make it to the NBA Finals. For the NBA, thinking outside the box meant thinking inside the bubble — and they’re stronger than ever for it. 

For those of you who don’t follow sports: NBA players, staff, coaches, and family have been living “in the bubble” at Walt Disney World hotels since July, as have some sports writers, announcers and production crews. Three courts at the Wide World of Sports complex have been requisitioned for games, while others have been given over to practice and training.

Games without a live audience or a home-team advantage might sound depressing, but the league has kept its fans engaged and impressed. Camaraderie between fans and players is key to the basketball experience, and so the NBA designed virtual bleacher stands. Players at the empty arenas see real fans’ faces and hear their cheers as they play; fans can enjoy the virtual presence of fellow supporters. The NBA has inspired its viewers, encouraged its players, and future-proofed its business. In my opinion, the league has truly set the standard for operating creatively, responsibly, and effectively during the pandemic. You can also see how easily this approach can be utilized once we return back to normal to open up the in-person fan experience globally

Of course COVID isn’t the only crisis to rock the world this year, and the NBA has done a better job than most addressing Black Lives Matter and today’s movements for justice. Players can go on the court wearing jerseys with social justice messages; and hundreds of players have appeared with messages like “Say Their Names,” “Justice Now,” and “Black Lives Matter.” When the Milwaukee Bucks, shocked and angry at the violence against in protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin, decided not to play Game 5 in a series, the NBA supported them. Few organizations have done a better job responding to today’s moral imperatives.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the NBA, the changes made, and other model innovators. Are there any other businesses or organizations that have impressed you with their agility in this strange year? Head to LinkedIn to join the discussion. 


Business learnings from three years in

They say that time flies when you’re having fun, and I can report that’s true. At SourceCode, we’re so pleased to have recently celebrated our three year anniversary. 

Though the journey’s been fun, it hasn’t always been easy. I never planned to be an entrepreneur, and learning by doing is scary when your livelihood is at stake. More than once, I had to remind myself of what a great mentor told me. Whenever she was nervous or intimidated, she took comfort and a renewed resolve in the fact that “stupider people have done this” and succeeded. Sometimes you need a good joke to get down to serious business.

When Becky and I founded SourceCode, we committed to marketing to people, not to industries or to titles. We're not an industrial-scale content mill, sending the same emails to every person or running templated communications programs. The secret of our success? We tell stories, make connections, and build bridges. Not to mention an insatiable desire for growth and to prove the doubters wrong. 

Some of the proudest moments of my life have come through my work SourceCode. We received PRWeek’s Outstanding Boutique Agency of the Year award this summer, and last month I was humbled to make the same publication’s 40 Under 40 list. Thinking back to the start of all this, I’m often amazing at what’s transpired and always humbled by the success and recognition. A sincere thank you to all of you who’ve helped me get here - you know who you are

I could ramble on, about my cofounder Becky and the rest of my incredible colleagues, about my family’s support, about late nights and early mornings helping clients, about the businesses we’ve helped build and the clients who have become friends. Truth be told, I often do. After COVID, I’d be happy to tell you about some of them in person. I honestly can’t wait for that. As for now, I’m not dwelling on the past. I’m looking forward to continuing to build the premier technology PR agency in North America. #LFG.


Purpose as a business strategy

We all have a duty to improve the world.

Like most of us, I’ve been thinking a lot this year about America’s desperate need for justice and equity.

Recently, SourceCode and three other firms announced the Diversity Marketing Consortium, which will work with Harlem Capital Partners to offer diverse startups free marketing and PR services over the next few years. The Consortium has committed to provide $1.5 million of services to selected ventures.

For the companies in our small group, $1.5 million is a huge sum. SourceCode and its partners in the Diversity Marketing Consortium don’t have the resources of Bank of America or the National Basketball Association or Walmart or Twitter. And that’s really the point of this post. As individual small businesses, we’re unlikely to be discussed on CNN or make the front page of the New York Times, but we’re still playing a key role in fixing our society.

Change doesn’t happen because the Fortune 500 dictates it. Change happens when individuals around the country and around the world make small decisions that, together, constitute a major shift. A coffee shop can put up signs in its front window, an independent theater can program Black-directed films in its virtual cinema, a gallery owner can choose to display more diverse artists, and PR professionals can offer pro bono services to minority business founders. Any person, in any industry, in any capacity, has the power to help.

If you’re a fellow public relations or communications professional, I hope you’ll look at our Consortium and find some inspiration. If you’re in another industry, I hope you’ll consider what you can offer at this vital moment.


Data-driven marketing

In 2020, knowledge is power and data is king.

I know exactly what my clients pay, so it’s only fair that my clients know what they’re getting from us. At SourceCode, it’s standard practice to show clients precisely where our efforts paid off and their subsequent ROI. Clients learn where their people and their products have appeared, and how each portion of every campaign worked out. 

If you’re making it to the C-suite now, it’s because you focus on numbers and analytics, not because you’re a creative quick with ideas for the whiteboard. A splashy ad that wins a design award is great to have in theory, but if it doesn’t put eyes on your organization and money in your wallet, what’s it really worth? 

I’m not alone in thinking this way. These days, you can hardly spend a minute in business circles without hearing about new growth marketing and performance marketing initiatives. 

Both types of marketing operate on the same principle: Data over guesses and practice over theory. For example, modern PR uses tools like CrowdTangle to measure Facebook and Instagram engagement and to quantify viewer sentiment. It uses Google Reach Planner to coordinate video campaigns and Sprout Social to follow Twitter and Pinterest activity.

For a professional communicator, there’s a lot to think about. Data-driven marketing means we shouldn’t take our successes for granted. In the past, if a piece of copy or a marketing story seemed to work, we’d be inclined to leave it alone. Today, we have tools that show us what messages work for which people, so we can tailor our content and iterate our approach. Sometimes, this may mean more work, but it also means better results. Once, a PR firm might win a bit of earned media and conclude the job well done. Now, we have to think differently. How can that earned media continue to help clients achieve their goals? Can it be leveraged into brand-building on LinkedIn, Twitter, or even Instagram? Can it be the foundation for ad creative? Web copy? Is it significant enough to warrant a special issue of a subscriber newsletter? We need to think in this integrated way to continuously improve our efficiency and most importantly, the value we provide CMOs. 

While we adjust to an information-powered workflow, it’s important to remember that a data-driven approach to marketing doesn’t remove individual knowledge and expertise from the equation. The data gathered and returned may show where changes to messaging are needed, but deciding and implementing those changes remains the work of expert storytellers. Our jobs are changing, but the truth is they’ve never been more important. 

I’m curious: What are your best practices for data-driven public relations? Do you anticipate further integration of advertising and marketing into PR? If your answer is ‘yes’, how? What tools do you use, and what advice would you offer to someone looking to deepen their expertise? 


SourceCode Communications named a Top Place to Work in PR for third year in a row

We’re excited to share that we have been named as a Top Place to Work in PR this year by PRNEWS. Every year, PRNEWS honors organizations that represent what it means to be a great place to work by recognizing those that have great work-life balance, give back to the community and continue to advocate for diversity and inclusion in the industry.

This year, we’re honored to be named for the third consecutive year, highlighting our parental leave policy, flexible work arrangement, 401k matching program and our efforts toward diversity and inclusion. In addition to being one of the founding agencies to sign PR Council’s diversity and inclusion pledge, we are thrilled to be mentioned for our work with The Diversity Marketing Consortium, our newest partnership with Harlem Capital Partners, that is working to offset systemic racial and gender-based inequality for diverse founders. 

We’d like to congratulate all of the winners and thank PRNEWS for recognizing us this year for the work we are doing to make our agency a great place to work. You can browse the full list of agencies recognized here. Shoot us a note at hello@sourcecodecomms.com if you're interested in learning more about working with SourceCode Communications.

 


We've united industry partners to launch the Diversity Marketing Consortium

In an effort to help offset systemic racial and gender-based inequality for diverse founders, we’re proud to share that SourceCode Communications, employee experience agency Cheer Partners, influencer agency Social Studies, and performance marketing agency Superbolt are uniting to form The Diversity Marketing Consortium.

Recent events have highlighted the ways in which women and minorities don’t have the same equal access to opportunities. Our country is on a long road to repair systemic inequities plaguing every aspect of our lives, and the DMC is only one way we can help on that journey. Founded on the recognition of these injustices, the Diversity Marketing Consortium commits to providing $1.5 million in marketing services to diverse founders over the course of two years.

Through our partnership with Harlem Capital Partners (HCP), an early-stage venture capital firm committed to investing in underrepresented founders, recipient companies will include those in HCP’s portfolio, in addition to startups via an open call for applicants.

The time for change is now, and it’s long overdue. Check out more information on the Diversity Marketing Consortium at www.diversitymarketingconsortium.com and see what our industry leaders are saying below:


Gympass names SourceCode North American AOR

NEW YORKJune 24, 2020SourceCode Communications today announced that it has been selected as the U.S. communications agency for Gympass, the corporate wellness benefit platform that provides employees access to the world’s largest global network of gyms, studios and wellness apps. Through this partnership, which started in May, SourceCode will be focused on raising Gympass’ visibility across the U.S market and shining a light on its recently expanded virtual offerings — live classes, Gympass Wellness, and live personal training.

“We have seen the immense value of our product across the globe, and we believe SourceCode’s background combines the right amount of corporate and consumer experience to help us foster the growth we are looking to achieve in the U.S.,” said Marshall Porter, U.S. CEO at Gympass. “We were impressed with the ideas and creativity that SourceCode presented throughout the pitch process, and we look forward to translating that into our work together ahead.”

Gympass was built on the mission to defeat inactivity by making fitness and wellness accessible, convenient, and affordable. Since its launch in Brazil in 2013, the company has seen significant global growth, currently offering its platform in 14 countries, with over 2,000 corporate clients and 50,000 fitness partners. Throughout COVID-19, the Gympass platform has proven to be an invaluable resource as many people have been forced to rethink their health and fitness routines, and as employers increasingly see the value in providing their employees with robust physical and mental health benefits.

“As an employer, supporting the health and wellness of employees is more important than ever, especially as we all work to navigate a new ‘work from home’ reality,” said Greg Mondshein, Managing Partner at SourceCode Communications. “Gympass makes it easy for companies to invest in these critical resources for their workforce — from mental health to nutrition to personal training to meditation — truly creating a one-stop-shop for wellness and fitness offerings. We are true believers in the work that Gympass is doing, so much so that we are also a client of theirs, and we are thrilled to get to tell their story here in the U.S..”

Gympass joins brands like Everlast and Fittrack as the most recent addition to SourceCode’s fitness and wellness client portfolio. The NY-based agency was founded in 2017 and has been repeatedly recognized for its notable work across consumer and enterprise practices since. The agency recently took home best consumer campaign for Everlast’s “Be First” initiative at the Bulldog PR Awards, and was shortlisted for PRovoke’s 2020 North America Boutique PR Agency of the Year.


SourceCode and Elvie launch the world’s first silent wearable breast pump

A health and lifestyle brand developing smarter technology for women, Elvie was best known for its award-winning kegel trainer prior to launching its second innovation, Elvie Pump – the world’s first silent wearable breast pump. With two months before the announcement, SourceCode was challenged to work with a cross-discipline team to develop a launch campaign, drive waitlist sign-ups, and position Elvie as a boundary-breaking, trusted femtech brand that creates thought-provoking conversation around empowering women.

WHAT WE DID

At the onset, SourceCode conducted in-depth consumer research to identify the frustrations and limitations of the available tech targeted toward women. After thorough narrative and messaging development, SourceCode prepared a three-pronged announcement strategy to create a rolling media blitz, generating product and brand awareness through quality media coverage across technology, parenting, fashion and lifestyle, and advertising verticals.

The team secured 15 pre-briefings with influential media across tech, parenting, and lifestyle verticals, solidifying spotlight coverage to publish on launch day. Considering the relative obscurity of the Elvie brand, SourceCode supported the promotion of the pump launch through a paid relationship with fashion designer Marta Jakubowski, whose line focuses on female empowerment. In an industry-first move, new mom and model Valeria Garcia walked the runway with the Elvie Pump, creating a relatable moment for new and working moms. Three days following launch, SourceCode supported the release of an ad campaign leading to wide trade coverage and sparking conversations amongst moms to share their experiences with pumping.

RESULTS

5,100 sign-ups to product waitlist

234 total press mentions

2.2BN unique visitors

240% increase in website traffic

200% growth in social followers

Through an integrated, global strategy, SourceCode helped Elvie increase brand awareness with a 200% growth in social followers and 240%+ increase in web traffic during launch week. SourceCode’s media strategy secured 234 total press mentions across online, broadcast, and influencer channels reaching2.2BN unique visitors and ultimately driving 5,100 sign-ups to the Elvie Pump waitlist.

“SourceCode is our dream partner. The team is the perfect combination of creative strategy and brilliant execution. Since our partnership, the Elvie brand has grown exponentially in the North American market and our status as the leading femtech brand globally has been greatly impacted. Not to mention, every launch we’ve partnered on has resulted in a sold-out product and a huge waitlist.”

— Amy Barber, Elvie Global PR and Influencer Manager


SourceCode takes home four Bulldog Awards for work with Everlast and CMT

We’re excited to announce that at this year’s Bulldog Awards we’ve taken home prizes for our campaigns with Everlast: Be First and Cambridge Mobile Telematics - Making B2B Tech matter to consumers. The competition was tough, featuring winners from major industry players including Y&R PR, Havas Formula, Hotwire, Highwire Public Relations among others.

For Everlast, we’ve won the gold for Bulldog’s WOW! Award and two silver awards for Best Diversity/Inclusion Campaign 2020 along with Best Visual Storytelling Campaign 2020.  Everlast, a global icon, selected SourceCode Communications as its first PR Agency of Record in 2019 to launch “Be First,” a global campaign meant to communicate a powerful statement with purpose, authenticity, and ability to appeal to various audiences. Through “Be First,' SourceCode and Everlast put Patricio Manuel forward publicly as the world’s first transgender professional boxer. The campaign received recognition across 20 top-tier national publications. You can read more about our partnership with Everlast here.

For Cambridge Mobile Telematics (CMT), we’ve won the silver award for Best Business to Business Campaign 2020. CMT, the company that develops innovative mobile sensing technology and data analytics to improve driving behavior and make roads safer around the world came to SourceCode to help raise awareness for the distracted driving epidemic and create narratives that resonate both nationally and locally. Through our partnership with CMT, we pulled proprietary data to develop a campaign highlighting the percentage of distractions that occur on Halloween Day, as well as the top cities for distraction and speeding and the safest cities. The work garnered over 64 placements with major features in Fox Business, People and CBS. You can read more about our partnership with CMT here.

We would like to congratulate all winners and finalists of this year’s Bulldog Awards and thank Bulldog’s panel of judges for your consideration. We look forward to next year’s awards and for more information on this year’s winners please see here.


SourceCode Logo

A Statement from SourceCode's Founders on Recent Events

We are horrified and revulsed by the events across our country in the past few weeks. The murder of George Floyd coming so soon after the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor further spotlighted the racial inequities and systemic aggression that shamefully persist in our society.

Being silent on racism and the disparities and violence it inflicts is to be complicit. We become part of the problem if we do nothing. We refuse to tolerate this or allow this to be part of our story even one day more. At SourceCode, we are committing to do more to confront the racial injustice that continues to plague us. We are donating immediately to the cause and educating ourselves and our teams. We are ensuring that our recruitment and working practices are as inclusive as possible. And we are investing our resources to amplify the voices of minority leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs.

To build an equal society we need to first understand and appreciate the depth of the injustice. If you’re looking for resources and want to do your part in joining us in making sure all our voices are heard, you can sign the following petitions:

You can also pick up any of the following:

We firmly believe we all have a part to play in making this world a better and equitable place for all of us. These are just our first steps toward that. We are on this journey together and we welcome all and any ideas you have.

Black Lives Matter. It’s up to us all to make sure that becomes a part of our fabric.


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