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  • November 1, 2019

    29Rooms: “Expand Your Reality” in Washington, D.C.

    For the first time ever, Refinery 29 took their interactive exhibit, 29Rooms, on the road and this year’s theme, “Expand Your Reality”, promised to “connect you to your curiosity and unlock your sense of wonder through mind-bending creativity and bold collaborations.”

    The DC event took place at the DC Armory with installations that were a mishmash of art, activism, marketing and corporate sponsorship under the Refinery29 brand. The exhibit allowed visitors to meander through 29 distinct experiences created by local DC artists Kali Uchis, Yvette Mayorga, NNEKKA and many others.

    Here is a quick overview of the installations that really caught my eye:

    • Dream Doorways (Collaboration with Kali Uchis): This room put you in a surreal alternate universe to interpret your thoughts, dreams and unconscious.
    • 29 Questions: This room was a social experiment that asked visitors to disconnect from technology and engage with a stranger by asking each other questions.
    • The Art Park (Collaboration with Yvette Mayorga, Dan Lam, NNEKKAA, Hanski, and Trap Bob): A climbable staircase that created a canvas that explored unique ways of showcasing art through playful and creative composition.
    • Dance Break: This room got people dancing by offering up an awesome soundtrack.
    • A Long Line of Queendom (Collaboration with Unbothered): This room was a celebration of and dedication to Black millennial women and the truths that make up their experiences.

    In terms of corporate sponsorship, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) did the experience better than others. ACLU’s exhibit, The Values Stand, was an Andy Warhol-like “news stand” that fit in seamlessly with Refinery 29 branding. It pushed a message of community activism by getting people to pledge to better their communities through voting and signing up for ACLU’s community volunteer teams.

    Other brand sponsorships at the event felt a little out of place at the exhibit and there seemed to be a disconnect between the sponsor’s brand and the Refinery 29 brand.

    Personally, I believe the intent of the exhibit was to showcase the art and create space for conversation about the cultural landscape and political climate. But in reality, I don’t think that 29Rooms pushed enough to expand that conversation, rather it offered up an opportunity for people to take selfies with corporately branded art.

    With that being said, the event was a really fun time. It provided a great introduction to the creativity of some of DC’s best artists and I now have enough selfies to get me through the next few months of #throwbackthursdays.

  • October 30, 2019

    SRB Celebrates National Women’s Small Business Month

    At SRB Communications, we recognize the fiercely talented women entrepreneurs who are paving the path for their peers.

    I’ve been an entrepreneur for 29 years. As we approach our 30th anniversary, I often marvel at the ways SRB Communications has grown in new business, strategic partnerships and retaining the absolute best marketing talent in town. I am also humbled at how entrepreneurship has brought me closer to other strong women business owners across generations – some who I’ve mentored and some who have mentored me. I am filled with gratitude when I think of the ways these women have impacted my life as an entrepreneur.

    This month, we celebrate National Women’s Small Business Month, which means it’s time to honor women-owned businesses everywhere, as well as the progress female entrepreneurs have made over the years. As I reflect on my years as an advocate of women entrepreneurs and the significance of this month, I am reminded of the strides women have made in business and entrepreneurship. According to the latest American Express State of Women-Owned Businesses Report, the growth of women-owned businesses continues at a rapid pace.

    As I honor other women entrepreneurs for their contributions to business, I am also humbled by the advances I’ve seen in my own business, SRB Communications, which was recently recognized by the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC). Last week, I attended the NMSDC Conference in Atlanta, Ga., where SRB Communications won the 2019 Supplier of the Year award. This was truly an honor because as much as I’ve accomplished throughout my career, the Supplier of the Year award is a testament to the hard work of the SRB team, both nationally and the local honor we received in 2018 from the CRMSDC to position us for the national win. I am proud to say that the staff of SRB Communications is 85% women. And as I continue to grow this business, it is crucial that I continue to invest in other women and diverse communities just as our Fortune 100 clients have invested in us.

    Every Monday morning at our weekly SRB staff meeting, we dedicate a portion of the time to an agenda item we call “Lessons Learned.” It’s a point of discussion for our team to share their wins, challenges and areas of opportunity learned from the campaigns we execute. In Atlanta last week, I started to think about the lessons I’ve learned growing a business in marketing and advertising, being an award-winning diverse supplier to some of the biggest utility companies in the mid-Atlantic region, government and transportation agencies, higher education institutions, and leading a team of marketing experts that is also representative of today’s diverse America.

    Here are three of my biggest lessons learned:

    Lesson 1: Build your board of advisors.

    You can learn from your own experience, but it’s better to learn from other people’s experience, especially when those same people have achieved success in the same field as you and other fields. Turn to these women and men for advice on how to run your business. A board of advisors can advise you on your finances and human resources, but also offer strategies to marketing the business and growth in areas you may not be proficient in.

    Lesson 2: Trust and invest in your people.

    As an entrepreneur it’s easy to take on all of the responsibilities required to run your business — though it’s not easy to manage them all. Your team is your biggest asset and a great representation of the work you do. Choose people who not only are good at doing the work but are also a good cultural fit. And make sure you feel empowered to delegate the work, as necessary. You hired them for a reason. Trust they will be able to do their jobs.

    Lesson 3: Embrace new technologies.

    Smart business owners should take advantage of new tools to help manage their business. For instance, digital marketing tools like social media, newsletters and blog writing is a great way to grow your customer base, network with other business owners and helps you lean into the way people are communicating these days.

    Do you have other resource suggestions for women business owners? Which resources have been the most beneficial to you? Let us know in the comment section below.

  • October 16, 2019

    SRB Communications Wins 2019 Supplier of the Year Award from the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC)

    Washington, D.C. October 15, 2019 – SRB Communications received the 2019 Supplier of the Year Award in the Class II category ($1 million to $10 million in revenue) from the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC). This award recognizes outstanding minority business enterprises (MBEs) for their business growth and development, operational success, support of other minority businesses, and active participation in the community.

    SRB Communications was nominated for the award by Pepco Holdings – an Exelon company, and one of the agency’s Fortune 100 corporate clients since 1996. Currently, SRB Communications serves as the multicultural agency of record for the utility, serving the Washington, D.C. region, southern New Jersey and Delaware. The agency currently has had several multi-year contracts with the utility over the years including providing communications and community outreach work for a multi-year infrastructure project that will modernize the energy grid in the District of Columbia and areas in the state of Maryland.

    The national awards event, which was held on October 14, 2019 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, GA, recognizes minority entrepreneurs who have excelled in providing quality services and products to major corporations that have a strong commitment to supplier diversity. NMSDC has 23 affiliate regional offices. Each of the affiliate councils selected regional winners over the past year, totaling approximately 92 MBE businesses in the final four revenue categories.

    In 2018, SRB Communications was recognized as Supplier of the Year by the Capital Region Minority Supplier Development Council (CRMSDC). Only 16 of these regional award recipients rose to the national level across the four revenue categories of which SRB Communications was one of them. Ultimately, SRB Communications won the national title in the Class II category.

    SRB Communications is a full-service advertising, marketing and PR agency in Washington, D.C., with satellite offices in Baltimore and Manhattan, New York. The boutique agency specializes in multicultural markets, public relations, media relations, community outreach and broadcast production. We are storytellers who deliver integrated advertising solutions through all media channels. For more information visit www.srbcommunications.com.

  • October 10, 2019

    Cost-Effective Ad Types for Small Businesses

    Knowing which platforms are best for a company or organization to advertise on depends on several factors and a hyper-focused understanding of your consumer. Who is your target audience? How old are they? Where do they live? What are their cultural experiences? These are just a handful of questions that can help shape what type of advertising your company needs.

     

    For many, especially if you have the budget, a good mix of traditional (print, TV, radio, outdoor) advertising and digital and social media advertising is best. However, for some small businesses and non-profit organizations, those traditional mediums are not financially feasible. Luckily, in today’s ever-evolving marketing world, digital and social media ads are the most effective ways to reach most audiences.

     

    Digital advertising allows companies to be nimble and try new things. You can test your ads and if they are not getting the traction you want, you can continue to swap them out in real-time until you find that sweet spot. For example, retargeting allows you to serve ads to your target audience no matter where they go online. It’s happened to you before; you’d been eyeing a new coffee pot on Amazon and then went to check sports scores on ESPN.com and you were served an ad of that same coffee pot you were just looking at. That is retargeting at work. This type of advertising is great not only because you can see who you are reaching, how many people are seeing your ad and clicking on your ad, but it is also a very cost-effective way to advertise.

     

    Social media ads are another way to make a big impact with your advertising online without spending a ton of money. The best social media platforms to advertise on currently are:

    • Facebook: Facebook has about 2 billion active users. That is a huge potential audience for your ads. However, you likely don’t need to reach the whole world. With Facebook ads you can run geographic-specific banner, native, full screen ads and video ads. They also offer detailed performance tracking with ability to make instant changes to your ads, if necessary.
    • Instagram: Instagram caters specifically to mobile users; enhanced targeting with paid ads; Instagram users tend to follow brands. Once users start seeing your ads, it is likely that some of those people will start following your Instagram account, which will increase your visibility and potential business leads.
    • Twitter: You may want to consider using Twitter Ads if you want to reach users who are very active in current events. Twitter also uses an auction system, which allows you to advertise by bidding on your ads, based around your budget. Then, you only pay for the ads that users take action on.
    • Snapchat: Snapchat is one of the best platforms for reaching mobile users in the 18-24-year-old range. If you need to reach a younger crowd, this is where you want to be, especially if you have interactive video ads.
    • LinkedIn: This is likely the best platform to advertise on if you are trying to reach business professionals. With LinkedIn, you can advertise in a few different ways, either with Sponsored InMail (sending direct messages to inboxes), Sponsored Content (in-feed ads), and Text Ads, which are pay-per-click ads, based on the amount of impressions the ad gets. Text ads are cost-effective because you only pay for ads that get impressions or clicks and because there are no graphics, you can create these very quickly.

    Because of the ability to identify your target market so specifically with digital and social ads, advertisers can reach exactly who they want, where they want, and how often they want.

     

    To learn more about cost-effective advertising strategies, reach out to us with any questions at any times. By using our advertising capabilities – traditional, digital or others – we can help your company deliver results. Learn more about our advertising and marketing services at SRB Communications.

  • October 3, 2019

    ARTECHOUSE: Experiential Marketing in the District’s Backyard

    We had the pleasure of attending the preview for “Lucid Motion”, the newest exhibition at Artechouse, an art museum dedicated to showcasing experiential and technology-driven works by local artists. This particular work, by Daito Manabe x Rhizomatiks Research, used light, music, next-level technology and dance to explore human motion.

    Earlier this year, Artechouse also showcased an exhibit themed in honor of Washington, D.C.’s iconic Cherry Blossom Festival. The exhibit had multiple rooms that ranged from recorded imagery on the wall of an underground abode to 3D interactions that visitors could activate using the Artechouse app on mobile devices.Visitors could use the app to activate dancing people, a nutcracker marching or moving shapes over a drink through the lens of a mobile device.

    Obviously, this venue is a great place for a family outing, date or a happy hour, or for marketers who are passionate about immersive experiences. We are moving beyond an era where you can simply share a message and hope people read it. Consumers are savvy, and with a world of options we are seeing a shift in decision-making that are rooted in people’s emotions. Experiential Marketing, tying people’s emotions to a service or product, has become the next big thing in marketing with a multitude of sponsorship opportunities for brands.

    Who will be the first to take this leap of faith?

  • September 12, 2019

    Meet Our New Team Addition: Brea Hewitt

    We are very excited to welcome our newest team member to SRB Communications, Brea Hewitt. She has joined the team as an Account Executive and will be supporting the team with business development, account management and project management of our client roster. We thought it would be fun to have her answer a few questions about herself so we can learn more about her journey to SRB. Read on to find out what she had to say!

    Name: Brea Hewitt

    Hometown: I was raised in Houston and Ashburn, Va., but also lived in Dallas, Texas, Denver, Colo. and Madrid, Spain.

    Tell us a little bit about your background: I graduated from Boston University with a B.S. in Communications, Public Relations and a minor in Political Science. Shortly after college, I moved to Denver and started working as a project manager at a retail marketing agency. After a few years, I transitioned to another Denver agency as an Account Manager.

    Why did you want to work for SRB Communications? Dr. Brooks is a legend! She has so much experience and insight in the industry and I was really excited to have the opportunity to work under her tutelage.

    Describe yourself in 5 words: Competitive. Creative. Curious. Caring. Conscientious.

    Favorite movie: My favorite movie changes every week, but today it is High Crimes.

    Favorite book: I have so many! I’ve always loved Sci-Fi. If I had to narrow it down, I’d probably say the Dune Series” by Frank Herbert, “Hearts in Atlantis” by Stephen King and “The Century Trilogy” by Kevin Follett.

    What do you hope to accomplish in your new role?

    My hope is to learn something new every day.

    Life motto: “Keep your inner world loving and hopeful, and your outside world will begin to reflect exactly that.” – Cleo Wade

    We’re excited and happy to have Brea on board!

    To keep track of what the SRB Communications is up to, follow us @SRBCommunications and make sure to visit our blog regularly for updates!

  • August 19, 2019

    Building a Company Culture Worth Sharing

    Although we have been in business for 29 years now, we still get excited about receiving new awards and celebrating team member’s accomplishments! Recognition for the work we do and the skills on our team is what makes all of our hard work worth it in the end.

    At SRB Communications we pride ourselves on professional development. We have an environment that promotes creativity, inclusion and most importantly, growth. Most recently, our resident PR pro Amber Bentley, Communications & PR Manager, was nominated for “Outstanding Intern Supervisor” by The Washington Center from our most recent summer intern. The Washington Center is an independent, nonprofit organization that provides hundreds of students with state-of-the-art internships, and we are a proud partner of the program.

    This isn’t the first time that an SRB team member has been nominated for this award and it really speaks to the commitment and work ethic of our staff. Receiving award nominations for the agency is indeed a true honor, but nominations for individual team members means so much to us. We are so proud of the impact that we make on others, beyond the walls of SRB Communications. Not only is our team getting nominated for awards, but others are enrolled in prestigious professional development programs, speaking on conference panels, and so much more.

    We have a culture that promotes productivity and passion which creates the great work environment that is SRB.

    #SRBProud

     

  • August 9, 2019

    The Secret Life of a Communications Intern in D.C. (Part 3)

    So you know the saying, “everything must come to an end”?  Well, I wish that wasn’t the case with my internship because over the past 10 weeks, I have had one of the best experiences of my life. When I first called SRB Communications about an internship position, I never thought I would end up getting so attached to this agency. I remember walking in my first day questioning if I was the right person for this role, or if I even had the skills to qualify. Now, weeks later, I’m leaving confident knowing I did my best. All in all, I’m extremely grateful for the chance SRB Communications gave me.

    I can’t believe how fast the summer flew by! Just when I started to get use to the city, the metro and the FOOD! The metro I can sure enough live without, but the food here is AMAZING. It’s better than Philadelphia and I’m going to miss it so much! I have never been to a place that has so many vegan options. I might just have to come back for that, lol.

    But, on a serious note, the amount of information I learned and the experience I received is beyond explanation. I never knew I would be coming to work at such a popular agency! In the beginning of my internship I came in with production experience, but I leave here today gaining new knowledge in public relations, marketing, advertising, digital campaigns, rebranding strategies, social media analytics, and more.  I have become such a diverse, well-rounded young professional and I can only give thanks to the most dynamic, incomparable, multicultural agency there is.

    Today, I want to leave you guys with some tangible advice that you can take with you, possibly on your next internship, your job or maybe just for personal use.

    1. Don’t be afraid to ask for help! Personally, I am independent, like I am sure many of you are. Pride can get in the way sometimes, but it’s okay to ask questions, especially when you have a team that supports you.
    2. Stop being so hard on yourself! Understand mistakes happen; it’s all a part of life. Sometimes, we do not give ourselves enough credit! Remember, you are doing great.
    3. Surround yourself with like-minded people. It feels great being around people with the same goals and attributes in life. Like the quote goes, “you are who you surround yourself with” so select a good group!
    4. Failure is natural! Remembering in every failure or negative moment there is a lesson. One of my favorite quotes is, “Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another step to greatness.”
    5. Finally, have fun! Learn how to enjoy what you do; it will make your days easier. Smiling can lead to happiness. Life is too short to be unhappy!

    So thank you to everyone that has played apart in making this such an extraordinary experience! To my readers out there, I’ll be back. Don’t be surprised if you see a picture, video or blog post of #SItheFuture in the future… get it, lol? To the clients I have met, thank you for giving me the opportunity to work on such important projects. To the colleagues of SRB Communications, thank you for treating me with great respect and allowing me to get a chance to know you. And last but not least, to the excellent team at SRB Communications, thank you for putting your trust in me to carry out the plan and goals of this award-winning agency! You all will surely be missed.

     

    Best,

    #SItheFuture

     

     

  • July 24, 2019

    The Secret Life of a Communications Intern in D.C. (Part 2)

    Hello blog readers!

    “SIthefuture”, SRB’s favorite Summer 2019 Intern is back in action. Truth be told, I’m the only Summer intern (lol)! I’m here to tell you all about what has happened over the last few weeks. Sorry, I couldn’t get to you sooner, but I’m back like I never left.

    Interning at SRB Communications has been so much fun. I have been producing videos, working on creative projects and I even had the pleasure of sitting in on a weekly client meeting. I was so grateful for the opportunity, but even more thankful that I was allowed to represent the agency.

    Now, let’s get down to business. Since being in D.C. this summer, I have started to learn the ins and out of being an exceptional professional. If you’re fresh out of college like me, then you don’t want to miss this. All of these are wonderful tips that can help you succeed in your career.

    1. Exercise your people skills: Effective communication can help build relationships.
    2. Take Initiative: Be the first one to do a task! You’ll stand out.
    3. Be inquisitive: Learn as much as you can about the company! Do your research.
    4. Meet deadlines: Plan ahead, you want to be reliable.
    5. Be a team player: Having the ability to work well with others is a great skill, and it also builds trust.
    6. Time management: This helps you focus better, accomplish more and lower your stress.
    7. Be organized: Create a calendar and be on top of your tasks. This will help in the long run.

    “So, what have you been up to outside the office?” Oh, I thought you’d never ask!

    First and foremost, yes, I learned how to use a Metro card properly (lol check out our last post blog post to learn why this is an accomplishment for me!)… It was a rough couple of days, but I am here to tell you that if I can do it, you can do it. Especially in the mornings, when everyone is trying to rush on the escalator and all you hear is “Hurry up, you’re not moving fast enough.” Well, excuse me sir!

    Also, the food here is GREAT, especially the vegan options. Lately I have chosen to go grocery shopping and cook the majority of the time. Boring? I know, right. Well, when you are a recent graduate and trying to save money that’s what you have to do. Also, I have learned the importance of going to bed on time. I can never stay up past 9:00 p.m. which is mind blowing to me.

    Anyways, that’s all I have for you today. I hope you enjoyed reading what I’ve been up too and as always, please leave us a comment and let us know what you’d like to hear more of.

     

    Sincerely,

    SItheFuture, also known as Aasiyah, the Communications Intern

  • June 25, 2019

    It’s Our Anniversary!

    The Roaring 20s is Coming to an End

    A diary entry from SRB Communications
    Written by: Michaela Blanchard, VP of Marketing

    Dear 29-Year-Old Self,

    Since this is the last year of our 20s, I think we should make a few resolutions for us to achieve before we hit the big 3-0. Time has flown by. Another year older and wiser. We should be proud of ourselves. We have made tons of friends a.k.a clients, along the way. Among them are Pepco Holdings, Washington Gas, Baltimore Gas and Electric (BGE), WSSC, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), University of the District of Columbia (UDC), Howard University, Bowie State University, The Advancement Project, Events DC, and most recently DC Water.

    This year, let’s be more intentional about how we interact with our “friends” and our beloved Washington, D.C. Community. Which brings us to step one.

    Be More Engaged. We will not only be attending events, but we’re sending out some invites as well. So, let’s make sure our ball gown is pressed and we are ready to lace up our cleats. Expect the unexpected!

    Make more time for ourselves. I know we are so proud of the work that we do for our “friends”. And apparently the world is, too. We have received more than 200 awards, locally and internationally. So, starting today, we’re going to tap into our strengths for our self. We’re talking advertising, content marketing, graphic design, PR, social media, and programmatic advertising.

    Make more long-term friendships. Our network is so large because we have such a big heart. Let’s never lose sight of that. Let’s support more causes, nurture more small businesses, create more scholarship funds, serve on more boards, and continue to speak for our multicultural brothers and sisters.

    Hakuna Matata. It means no worries…for the rest of your days…its our problem free philosophy. Ok, you’re right that was from Lion King. It’s our job to be cool under pressure with tight deadlines – media buying and placement, am I right? We will always be cool as a cucumber. But also, we should really go see the new Lion King … for research purposes, of course!

    Well that’s all for now! Let’s make our future 30-year-old, self-proud this year, because it’s going to be a big one. We’re going to get a makeover, throw extravagant parties, and create real Instagram-worthy moments starting in January 2020! Wait until they see us then!

     

    Sincerely,

    28-Year-Old SRB