At it’s very core, media strategy is really about finding the best approach and outlet to communicate a message to a target audience. What needed to be communicated when applying this to our own rebranding efforts was primarily awareness for the new brand and what the transition means (and doesn’t mean) to our current and potential clients.
Our goal was (and is) brand awareness for Paramore | the digital agency and the services we provide. We wanted to track the following key performance indicators to see if our goal was being met:
- A spike in website traffic
- An increase in social engagement
- An increase in “Likes,” Followers, etc.
- An increase in brand mentions
- An increase in email signups
We scoped out a list of action items to take place directly prior to the reveal, and as the new brand was being revealed, including updating social avatars, social site skins, email creative, APIs and Google Analytics tracking codes.
The launch of the new brand was a “surprise” that was teased with a sticky footer at the bottom of the Paramore|Redd website, and invited website visitors to sign up to receive information about the “big reveal.” Doing so made things extra complicated because not only were we launching a new website, but we were also building the plane while it’s flying.
There was a constant conversation between the different teams to ensured that all presences of the Paramore|Redd brand in the online media space was accounted for.
So what happened?
On June 9th, ParamoreRedd.com became Paramore.is.
Joey Strawn and I went into action activating the Paramore Fan Page on Facebook and the new custom tab welcoming fans to the new page and the new brand. Activating the new Facebook tab on Paramore|Redd’s fan page introducing the new brand and driving our existing fans to “Like” us at our new location on Facebook.com/ParamoreAgency. We changed our Twitter handle from “@paramoreredd” to “@Paramoreagency”, and updated our avatar and background to the new branding. Our announcement email was ready to send to our entire database that would announce the brand, the new website and introduce all of its new functionality. So, what could go wrong?
Our clients thought Hannah quit.
Hannah Paramore was easily the most excited person at Paramore about the new brand and website, as you would expect. But by the time the company spent as Paramore|Redd was solid and foundational to helping us become the company we are today. In the spirit of that notion, Hannah updated her Facebook profile with her “new” employment information as President of Paramore | the digital agency.
Hannah has 527 friends, and many are clients or business contacts she has made over her years on the speakers circuit. What popped up in those 527 friend’s Facebook newsfeeds was:
In addition to in influx of Facebook messages, Paramore account managers and media planners were receiving emails from vendors, past clients, and even our biggest current clients asking where Hannah went and why she quit.
Turns out Google doesn’t care about our website launch.
If you’re signed up to receive our emails, you may have noticed that even though our website and new brand launched on the 9th, our announcement email did not go out until the 15th. We use Google Apps, and our email and calendar system is hosted through Google. Unfortunately, Google Apps wasn’t onboard with our “surprise” June 9th brand change and didn’t switch our Apps over from ParamoreRedd.com to Paramore.is until the 15th. The gorgeous HTML email we had designed, developed and tested was linked to our Paramore.is email addresses that Google Apps held hostage for several days.
It’s a hot summer.
Most of the Media Department’s big clients are in the Travel/Tourism industry. These clients’ fiscal years turn over between June 30th and July 1st. Consequently, reconciling budgets for these massive clients has to happen in tandem with their biggest money making season of the year - the summer. From spring break until Labor Day, the Media Department takes multi-tasking to a whole new level by meeting with dozens of vendors, reconciling an annual budget for the state government, planning for the next year and optimizing running media. Our excitement and anticipation for the new website and brand overshadowed our better judgement that this time period might be a little… busy. Hindsight’s always 20/20, but I doubt you will see the next iteration of Paramore.is launch during a summer month.
A clean slate
I’m in LOVE with our new site. Not only is it gorgeous and funny, but it’s smart. That’s the great thing about starting over. You get to do things right the second time around with all of the new technology and past experience acquired in your first attempt. Our email service provider is set up to track sources correctly, our Google Analytics goal and event tracking is functioning, and we have a content creation process for social already in place among other improvements.
- June website traffic was up over 300% from the previous month
- Our fan page post Feedback is higher than ever
- Our Twitter followers increased by the steepest margin yet in June, and that rate has stayed strong
- The top traffic drivers to Paramore continue to be design galleries that feature our new design
- Our email signups have increased by over 10% since the launch
Congrats to everyone; all the hard work was worth it.