5 fabulous blog posts, and a smattering of social media strategies

I’ve become the chief blogger (bloggista? blogger-in-chief?) for Plymouth Rock Assurance and Bunker Hill Insurance. I’ve managed to shift their editorial calendars and voice to talk about interesting topics that impact car and home insurance customers: how transportation policy shapes our economy and our quality of life; how LED lightbulbs can be sexy (not by throwing a red cloth over the lampshade–that’s a fire hazard, hon); and “Are you getting hosed? Washing Machine Hoses 101” (I can’t believe Legal let me keep that title!)

Check out the links below for some examples of some of my most recent corporate blog posts:

Creating a transportation plan for 21st Century Massachusetts
Plymouth Rock & Thinking Outside the Parking Spot
Seven things you can do every day to stay safe on the road
Building a better light bulb: the new technology for lighting your home
Are you getting hosed? (Washing Machine Hoses 101)

A few thoughts about social media for business…
As the direct voice of your business, blogging is a great way to build more informal relationships with your customers and establish yourself as an expert in your field. This is your chance to think outside of the cubicle, to be more creative than usual and not so boring and buttoned up (yes, sitting in a gray carpeted cube all week will do that to you). If an insurance company can do it, so can you.

A couple of things to remember:

1) Be consistent about your social media broadcasts: aim to blog at least two times a week and tweet 5 times a day at a minimum. And…

2) Don’t go overboard. Don’t bombard your audience with too many posts and tweets, and make sure your digital missives are spot-on. Your web audience has a finely honed B.S.-detector, so having original, interesting content is a must.

3) Don’t be haphazard about your social media planning. It’s not something random to pawn off on your intern to do, because they’re “young and they get this stuff.” Do it right: hire someone who gets all things social media and loves doing it, or don’t bother.

Leave a comment

Filed under blogging, online, social media

infographics tell the story

You’re the type to stay on top of the latest trends. Right? I don’t need to tell you that infographics are red-hot right now. Ooo-eee, honey! No matter how grown up and sophisticated we get, people still like to look at pictures when they read something. Graphics help us process information faster, especially now that we’re bombarded with endless amounts of data and news.

Infographics help companies look on-trend as they present otherwise dry information in easy-to-digest nuggets—kinda like the chicken nuggets of news (only without the pink slime). Infographics are also a lot more fun to write (and read) than more traditional print pieces, like brochures. Here’s an infographic I did recently for Plymouth Rock about why insurance matters, and why consumers need to have it. Click on this PDF link to see a more readable version: http://www.prac.com/public/Plymouthrock/staticfiles/PDF/Why_Insurance_Matters_Infographic_vFinal.pdf

[Designer: Julie Miller]

Print

Leave a comment

Filed under advertising, consumer / B2C, insurance, online, print

Plymouth Rock Assurance updates its image

Be there, or be square, baby: innovate, or die.

Plymouth Rock Assurance (a regional insurance company with $1 billion in premiums) is slowly updating its image, starting with how it communicates with its independent agents, who are the backbone of their business.

Based on the creative team’s input, this invitation is for an event at a much hipper venue (the ICA Boston) than their typical choice, a characterless hotel conference room. If you’re telling your people to be innovative, then walk the talk and host your event in the epicenter of Boston’s Waterfront Innovation District. Am I right?

The invite also uses humor–my favorite weapon–to get the message across about how insurance agents can be innovative, too (check out the timeline on the flip side of the invite).

For a better view of the invitation, please click on the link just above the first graphic. Cutting and pasting graphics into WordPress is a pain.

AQM Invite_final3

[Designer: Julie Miller]

1 Comment

Filed under insurance, print, sales

Eagle Investment Systems

Eagle Investment Systems specializes in IT solutions for the financial services industry. I re-wrote their website to make it less about Eagle, and more about why their clients and prospective customers would want to work with them.

Leave a comment

Filed under consumer / B2C, financial services, Technology, web

Capco

To much of the world right now, Wall Street is a dirty word (well, two dirty words).

But for people in finance, Wall Street is still the Street, the heart of the most exciting and diverse city in the world. Capco consultants live and breathe finance. Most, like the guys in these print and billboard ads, know Wall Street. They understand the financial industry and the challenges it faces. They’ve been through it all, and they care about the future of the industry.

Capco consultants also know that, no matter who’s trying to Occupy it, Wall Street finance, in whatever form it takes in the future, is what makes businesses, and thus our economy, run. On the Street, and everywhere else for that matter, finance may not be too big to fail, but it’s here to stay. And Capco will help its clients stay a step ahead of what’s next.

Leave a comment

Filed under advertising, financial services, print

welcome

Hello there! Thanks for stopping by.

How would you rate your marketing materials: your blog (do you have one?), tweets and posts, website, brochures, sales letters, presentations…be honest!

Do your pieces emphasize your business more than your customers’?  They shouldn’t.

Who is your audience? How are you trying to reach them? What are you trying to say?

What you write, and how you write it, is often the first impression your clients will have of your business. And ineffective or bad writing will be their only impression. Not to freak you out or anything, but your marketing is a reflection of you and your business–and how you do business.

Since 2002, Mercury Communications has specialized in writing and editing for businesses and financial services companies. My clients range from small independent retailers to some of the world’s largest corporations: hotels, banks, insurance companies…Check out my work, read my blog, and feel free to contact me to learn more about how I can help you and your business.

Thanks!

Leave a comment

July 25, 2011 · 8:44 pm

Merrill Lynch: “An advisor who knows…” series, Part 2

Those Merrill Lynch Wealth Management folks really get it. They care about who you are and what makes you tick; they know exactly what financial issues keep you up at night. MLWM advisors take the time to learn all about you and your family—but not in a creepy, stalkerish way, of course.

Besides knowing what accounts you have (and what you have in them), they know your phone number by heart.  They’ll be there for you and your family over the long run. And they’re not shy about calling you and keeping in touch—but only as much as you want them to…

copy targeting local markets (617 = Boston metro area phone exchange) for banner ad, possible signage

Here’s another banner ad targeted to high net worth individuals looking to give back, either by embarking on a second career, maybe for a nonprofit instead of at one of those evil giant squid firms where they made their money, or perhaps pursue their philanthropic interests full-time:

Leave a comment

Filed under advertising, consumer / B2C, financial services, online, web

Liberty Mutual Foundation

I helped concept and write a huge chunk of Liberty Mutual Foundation’s annual report of philanthropic giving this year. Check it out!

You can click the link above, or cut and paste this URL into your browser:

Click to access 2010_FoundationReport.pdf

(image: libertymutualgroup.com)

Leave a comment

Filed under insurance, philanthropy, print

Merrill Lynch: “an advisor who knows…” series

It’s pretty damn hard to get someone to click on a banner ad.

In this series by Digitas for Merrill Lynch, I tried to appeal to the emotional side behind the rather overwhelming business of saving and planning for your retirement…by trying to make a stressful situation and process seem more “zen.”

I wanted to convey the fact that ML advisors are real people who can help you achieve your long-term goals so you can enjoy the present moment even more—and who also probably happen to like frosted donuts. Alot.

The creative director forbade us to use the dreaded “Learn more” on any of the call-t0-action buttons, so “What’s your plan?” hopefully will prod YOU to push the button and get on board with your retirement planning…with a ML advisor, of course…if you’re an appropriately high-net-worth(y) individual, that is.

Here is the same copy for a national elevator ad campaign (so business people have something to focus on during those awkward, crowded elevator rides):

Looking at these delicious ads is giving me a serious craving for coffee and donuts — I wonder why?!

Leave a comment

Filed under advertising, consumer / B2C, financial services, online, web

online recruiting for Merrill Lynch

who:  Digitas for Merrill Lynch/BofA

what: national financial advisor recruiting drive / flash animation banners

The financial services industry is on the rebound. Merrill is growing, fast. This series of flash ads targeted both experienced financial advisors and career-changers from non-finance backgrounds: vets/military, sales, disgruntled corporate people, and so on.

Can’t see it? Just click on an image to enlarge it.

Leave a comment

Filed under advertising, financial services, flash, online, web