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The Virginia General Assembly convened last week and one of the major initiatives for this year’s short session is jobs. With federal sequestration impacting both the Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads economies, the legislature and the Governor’s Office are trying to develop new programs which will help to spur economic growth across the Commonwealth. Here are some of the key bills:

With the New Year upon us, many organizations are finalizing 2015 marketing plans. Developing a strategic plan is critical to success and the research component of the plan is vital to your ability to achieve your goals.  As part of that research, it’s important to take a step back and evaluate your target audience. Although the beginning of the year is a natural time for this review, it’s importance to do it periodically. Really, it’s always a good time to dive in, research, and discover who’s been utilizing your services!

There are a number of key questions and factors to consider when you take a look at your target audiences. We’ve got three ways to learn who your target audience currently is and explore them more deeply in 2015. 

Social media is ever evolving and it’s important to stay up-to-date with the most current trends online. Here is a list of the top 5 social media trends to look out for in 2015:

  1. Images, Images, Images: Although graphics and sharing images became a big trend in 2014, images are going to have an even greater influence socially in 2015. Research for Zabisco shows that 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visuals are processed 60,000 times faster in the brain than text. If brands haven’t started using graphics more than text in their posts, they definitely will in the upcoming year. Why are visuals so important online? Visual content is shareable and easily tells a story about your organization. Consumers want to relate to organizations they follow on social media, and graphics are the simplest and most significant way to be relatable.

Welcome back to the final post in our three-part series on thought leadership PR! With this final installment, we’ll explore how to leverage your PR results as much as possible and repurpose them for other thought leadership and business development opportunities. For a recap on what we’ve covered already, take a look at our first installment on finding thought leadership opportunities and our second installment on conducting thought leadership PR outreach.

The lives of marketers never seems to slow down – that is especially true during the holiday season. However it is important to take a step back during the month of December and assess your accomplishments from the past year to ensure that you are making smart decisions for next year. More importantly, these benchmarking reports will be greatly appreciated by your boss and/or supervisor, which may help as year-end bonuses are distributed.