Driwood Moulding Website Launched

After a lot of planning, hard work and development, we are delighted to launch the Driwood Moulding website.

Driwood Ornamental Wood Mouldings and Custom Millwork

Driwood is a legacy company who has been making the most exquisite architecturally correct mouldings, millwork, cornices, doorways, and paneling, cabinetry and custom architectural designs for over 100 years. When we say they are makers, they truly are.

This project could not have come to life without the dedication of a team of people. They say it takes a village, and in this case, it did. With more than 500 products showcased in the site, finding just the right tools to provide filtered searches based on moulding attributes was challenging.

First and foremost we’d like to say thank you to our client, Driwood whose vision it was to create a website where customers could view mouldings, and get quotations, could create an account and save orders and who wanted to be able to share the full history of the firm.

Our full team was composed of graphic designer / Woo Commerce integrations specialist Jeffrey Schierer, account manager Dale Aren, developer Bill Smithem and genius copywriter Jenny Badman. The Driwood videos about the company and their legacy were shot and edited by Meredith Browne of See It All Media. Voice over narration was done by Richard Lubash of 2K Plus who also supported post production. Anna Stein wrote the more than 500 product descriptions with precision and professionalism.

This custom WordPress theme is was a true work of many hands.

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A Crisis Recovery Lesson from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams

Ice Cream Cone Melting Almost Completely On A White Background

A crisis doesn’t always lead to a business meltdown

Lowcountry Local First hosts an annual all-day seminar with great presenters. Termed the Good Business Summit, the event provides insight to business owners about how to make their firms better.

High-profile business owners are invited to share lessons and information based on their own experience.

The 2015 Good Business Summit featured a presentation from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams company founder Jeni Britton Bauer.

As reported by The Post and Courier, Bauer frankly and openly discussed the challenges and the recovery process her business went through as a result of listeria contamination. The contamination caused business interruptions at her production facilities as well as massive recalls of products where were produced at contaminated facilities.

According to reporter David Wren, Bauer said,

“What has to change is how businesses view our responsibilities…“Do we rely on their periodics (inspections)? Do we rely on our health inspectors any more?” Absolutely no. Because we know that they are not experts in food safety, they are experts in the law and those are totally different things. The responsibility is on business … to make healthy things, to keep people healthy.”

Following a crisis, do things differently

Bauer is correct. When your business undergoes a crisis, you must do things differently in order to regain confidence from your customers and the public.

Let’s analyze exactly what Bauer did that is helping Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams recover from this disaster.

Steps to crisis recovery

  1. Own the situation. Admit that this event occurred. Convene your firm’s leadership or crisis communications / management team. (If you don’t have a crisis team, you need to put a pin in this and organize a team and a plan.) Make sure everyone on the team knows what their responsibility will be. Don’t try to hide or deny the situation. Help the public and your customers understand what occurred. In the instance of Jeni’s, Bauer could not hide because there were authorities involved, but rather than fight or deny, the went beyond what was called for and took control of the situation. She demonstrated corporate leadership and responsibility by stepping up.
  2. Communicate transparently. Do not try to duck responsibility. Take action. If product needs to be recalled, do it. Jeni’s did and helped preserve their reputation. As quickly as possible, use the firm’s social media channels and website to communicate. Jeni’s CEO communicated at each step along the way.When one searches the Internet for the terms Jeni’s and recall, the first search results are those from the company’s own website. That’s real transparency. Hold a media conference if there are many media seeking information. Media are doing their jobs. They need to tell the public about the situation, and working with them will help you help them keep the facts straight.If legal questions are involved, you must consult your attorney and crisis communications consultant or public relations firm to be clear on the implications of press conferences, social media posts and website posts. Much of this may be clarified in advance as part of your crisis communications plan. You must be sure you are not compounding the crisis by communicating incompletely or with partial facts or allowing a bad situation to continue. You do want to observe privacy laws and be aware that in situations of healthcare, human resources and personnel, some facts may not be disclosed.
  3. Call on subject matter experts to help review, analyze and present a third-party analysis of contributing causes. In Jeni’s case, they called in people to help them analyze their procedures and test.

    John Lowe said in a Jeni’s news release,“In addition to fixing every issue identified by the FDA, we have been working with them throughout this entire process, including having provided a thorough response letter detailing how we have fixed each and every concern identified in their inspection report. We dove in and made darn sure we fixed all of their concerns, and we brought in outside experts to help us find other areas of improvement to create a world class, safe environment for making our ice creams.”

    While you may not care for what the third party may find or disclose, as long as you seek to remedy the flaws in process, procedure and performance, you can make things improve.

  4. Demonstrate that procedures have changed and exactly how you are modifying your operations in response to the crisis. After the subject matter experts disclose their findings, give the public a plan indicating how each negative finding is to be addressed and how your firm will do things differently.Lowe noted that Jeni’s,
    “…instituted test and hold procedures to ensure we are only providing safe ice cream…The ice cream we are producing…comes from an overhauled kitchen, a significantly more trained team working from new ground rules that enable a safer environment (such as not processing fresh fruit in the production kitchen, and not allowing work in our company garden prior to changing into production clothes).”

A crisis situation doesn’t have to mean the end of your business. You can prepare in advance. You can demonstrate change and improvement and go on to a new day as did Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams.


Are you prepared with a crisis management team? Is your social media plan up to date and does it include crisis recovery and communications sections? Is your website within your control so you can easily post and share the firm’s progress during your crisis recovery?
If you don’t have these elements in place. we can help. We can audit and help your business prepare for the types of crisis which might more frequently occur in your industry.
Call us. 843.628.6434. We’re here to help.

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Crisis Communications Panel Discussion

Ready Or Not Here I Come

If only a crisis would alert you in advance!

As a child, I loved to play hide and seek. When I was ‘it’, I’d cover my eyes, stand face against the wall and count down to signal to my friends that I was just about to come get them. At the end of my count-down, I’d call out, “Ready or not, here I come!” If only a crisis situation would do that!

The reality is that a crisis will happen in your business. The magnitude and timing are what is unexpected. You don’t have to be caught off guard and unprotected.

Understanding the threats that are common in your industry, coupled with advance planning and an established, solid reputation will help you weather the unexpected. You can, before a crisis strikes, provide ample evidence of the quality and veracity of your firm.

During a crisis, you can learn to communicate effectively with media and use subject matter experts to keep interested media and customers informed. You can use independent investigations and findings to right situations which need remediation.

Join me and three other public relations specialists as we discuss, “How to Communicate Strategically During Tough Situations.” This panel discussion is part of the Charleston American Marketing Association’s series of educational luncheons.

Join me and these savvy marketers at the September Signature Luncheon and Panel Discussion: How to Communicate Strategically During Tough Situations.

When: Thursday, September 3, 2015 from 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM

The AMA’s panel of communications, media and public relations experts will share their tales, tips and best practices on sharing your message in sticky scenarios!

Panelists

  • Elizabeth Boineau, Owner, E. Boineau & Company
  • Matt Sartwell, Local News Editor, The Post & Courier
  • Cheryl Smithem, Founder and Principal, Charleston Public Relations & Design
  • Barbara Vaughn, Director of Media Relations, City of Charleston

Moderator

  • Jon Bruce, Anchor and Reporter, ABC News 4
Click to purchase your ticket at Eventbrite.

Can’t attend but still want to be prepared in advance of a crisis? Call me. 843.628.6434. We can conduct a crisis audit and create a plan to help your business prepare in advance.

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Setting Facebook Page Notifications and Managing Pages

Facebook page management support area

Click the image to visit the Facebook Page help area where you can learn how to manage your Page.

Facebook Page management help

How closely are you monitoring your Facebook Page?  Have you reviewed your settings for your Page so that you understand who can post to your Page?  Are you receiving notifications when someone does post to your Page?

Apparently one Lowcountry nonprofit organization is not paying very close attention to their Facebook Page.  It’s a bit after 3:00 PM and I’ve noticed that a  post which entices people to view sexy videos of scantily clad women was made to their Page in the morning – and it’s yet to be deleted. Certainly this is not the kind of service this nonprofit wants to promote. Fortunately, few people visit a Facebook Page after they have liked it, preferring instead to interact with Page posts within their personal newsfeed or Page feed. (On the screen capture below, we’ve obscured the name of the organization and people depicted in the section of the Page captured.)

Facebook guest post to page for nonprofit

Facebook notification settings

When you set up your Page, review your notification settings to be certain that you will receive notifications for each and every type of action made on your Page. Below is a screen capture showing you what to click on to get to the area of your Facebook Page’s management area to adjust and customize your notification settings.

Screen capture of Facebook notification setting area

If you have staff turnover, also remember to modify your Page’s admin roles to change who receives the notifications from the Page.

Managing Page Roles and Admins

Many organizations’ managers forget to do this and as a result, have people no longer responsible for a Page receiving notifications and still permitted to access a Page’s information and insights.

Before you go another day, why not check your Facebook Page settings to be certain that you and / or the appropriate people are receiving Page notifications and have the correct Page admin role to administer the Page.


Need assistance managing your Facebook page? Give us a call at 843.628.6434. We’re available to assist you with page management, content development or strategy.

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Critical Website Content Decisions to Produce High-Quality Search Ranking

Achieving Google ranking in search results doesn't require special skills, only determination

Achieving Google ranking in search results doesn’t require special skills, only determination to plan, learn and practice the tactics to gain mastery.
By: Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru / The National Library of Wales

You don’t have to be an expert to rank well

Every person who wants their business site to rank well with search engines has essential tasks to undertake in order to have their site be ranked well and to show up in search engines.

As the primary search engine, Google has said that they want to give searchers the answers and the help they seek within one click.

In order to do that, Google has developed algorithms that prefer fresh, well-written, focused content that has a clear purpose. In addition to this, Google prefers websites which are responsive to device type: meaning that your site responds and formats content sized to display best on the device the searcher is using. Content must be free of spelling and grammatical errors and needs to be linked to other on-site content and reference by hyperlink authoritative content external to your site. Google prioritizes content with substance. “Thin content” or content without substance is demoted in search results pages (SERPS).

In years past, people frequently thought that they were able to game Google and other engines. Those days are gone. So, abandon any expectation that you’ll stuff pages with repeated keywords, or phrases. Instead, author content which is focused on the reason that page exists on your site and is customer-centric. Keep your content fresh and up to date with revisions and updates.

Register for and use Google Analytics and link this with Google’s Search Console, which was previously called Webmaster Tools. The search console allows you to understand how Google “sees” your site, how people find your site, and which of your site’s content is indexed by Google. You can also see when Googlebot last crawled your site. It will identify search phrases and variants used to access and index content within your site. As you learn more about how your site is indexed, accessed and displayed in search, you’ll be prompted to continually improve your website and help increase its search presence.

Website content decisions before you develop your site:

  1. Understand and map out the challenges, needs, and manner in which you intend to provide services or solutions to your customers. Personas or typical customer bios are great to help keep you focused.
  2. Prior to any development, create a wireframe of your content’s organization and relationship within the site. A simple spreadsheet with top level content named in the first row and child or sub-page content identified in cells within columns below works well, or you may wish to create a more visually rich flow chart.
  3. Have a purpose and goal for every page within your website.
  4. Create anchor content for each page of your site. This content will be fundamental to that section of your site and will serve as an anchor or reference point.
  5. As you create this content, identify which phrases and words will become internal links, referencing other sections of your site.
  6. You will also need to determine visual elements to illustrate content. Powerful images help the visitor relate to your content and provide graphical elements visible in shares across social media.
  7. Decide how frequently you’ll be adding content to the site so that you continue to present a fresh, informed presence to both search engines and potential customers.
  8. While creating content, understand that readers will respond best to blocks of words which are tightly focused and easy to skim. These blocks of content on the page need to be separated by section heads which help identify the most important idea in the following section. Called sub-heads in magazines and newspapers, these are also critical to helping signal to Google the importance and flow of content on your site/page.
  9. If you’re using a CMS (content management system) as a site foundation, thoughtfully organize categories and tags (micro-categories) to be relevant to your customers’ needs as you’ve previously outlined them.
  10. Plan how you’ll be promoting your site’s content via social media and offline.

Post launch must-dos

Evaluate the success of content/performance by regularly reviewing Google Analytics to comprehend how visitors move through your site’s content and how long they remain on each section. These critical indicators will inform and help you improve each page’s rationale within the site.


If you find you need assistance with the development of content for your website, we can provide assistance from strategy to optimization to promotion. Call us at 843.628.6434 to discuss how we may assist and support your goals.

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