Let Customers Take a Pikachu

Nintendo’s “Pokémon Go” now has more users than Instagram, WhatsApp, and Snapchat. You may be seeing people walking around as though they’re on autopilot: head down, phone in hand, roaming around your neighborhood. They aren’t texting or posting on social media—they’re trying to catch Pokémon. And people are doing just about anything to “Catch ‘em all.” As a small business, there are ways for you to harness the power of Pokémon Go to increase foot traffic and generate real revenue, not just loiterers.

To start, log in to the Pokémon Go App and see if your business is near a “PokéStop” or “Gym” (see image below) which pop up in the game’s map. A PokéStop allows users to acquire valuable materials to catch the monsters, whereas a Gym is where users go to train their Pokémon or battle others in an arena. The best-case scenario is that your business would be one of these important locations, or very close to one. If not, there are still ways to take advantage of this phenomenon to drive foot traffic to your business.

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PokéStop, drop and roll

Predetermined locations were selected by Nintendo to be PokéStops before the launch of the game. These show up on players’ maps as blue cubes (see below). Once you get close enough, the cube turns into a circle for users to collect useful items players need to be successful in the game. This draws players from all over the local area, and if your business is close to one, be sure to promote that on your social channels.

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Players are drawn to these stops and the surrounding area because they offer the chance to not only catch new Pokémon but also get their hands on rare in-game items, such as Pokéballs, potions, eggs and more.

Lure Modules? Lure Customers.

A lure module attracts Pokémon to a Pokéstop for 30 minutes. In that time, everyone in that direct area can benefit from the effects. If your business is located near a Pokéstop, you can (and should) set off a “lure module.” It turns the regular Pokéstop into a hub of activity and encourages crowds of people to come closer.

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You might think that since lure modules cost money, you should shy away, but it’s very affordable. With $100 netting you 14,500 Pokecoins and an eight-pack of Lures costing 680 Pokecoins:

14,500 Pokecoins / 680 = 21 eight-packs of lures

(21 * 8)/2 = 84 hours

$100/84 hours = $1.19 per hour

So for $1.19 an hour, your business could double its business and draw a new audience you might not even know you had. The Lures can only be set off at a PokéStop, so choose your spot wisely. Here’s how to place one easily.

Host a PokéHunt

You’ve heard of bar crawls, and this idea is similar. There is an item in Pokémon Go that allows you to “hatch eggs.” And the only way to do so is to walk a certain amount of kilometers (and no you can’t cheat by driving, unfortunately). The average egg takes about three miles (5 km) of walking to hatch. You can encourage the group by saying whoever catches the rarest Pokémon or hatches the most eggs gets a free item that your business offers (i.e. sandwich, t-shirt or future service). Below are good steps to take to create one.

  1. Create a Facebook event publicizing the hunt and invite all your friends, and encourage others to share it.
  2. Write down where all the PokéStops are in within a three-mile radius of your business.
  3. On the day of your event, set off a Lure Module 30 minutes before the start time.
  4. Give everyone your “map of stops” to take.
  5. Tell the group that the person who catches the rarest Pokémon or hatches the most eggs will win a prize at the end.
  6. The event should last about two hours.
  7. At the end set off another Lure Module at your business, hand out prizes and discuss with customers the Pokémon that they caught.

During the time that the lure modules are live, users will want to hang around in that vicinity to catch rare Pokémon. They’ll also need something to do – like buy/use your products.

Primary color war

Once players reach Level 5 they are asked to join a team: Team Instinct (yellow), Team Mystic (blue), or Team Valor (red). Players compete on behalf of their team when Screen Shot 2016-07-15 at 2.04.53 PMthey go to battle. The allegiance is strong within the teams and could be a good way to offer a discount for a certain team at different times throughout the day. You could, for example, have flash sales in which a certain team receives 30 percent off their purchase for a short period of time. All the customer/Pokémon hunter needs to do is show the cashier their Pokémon Go profile to prove they’re a member.

Some online stores are even creating “badges” for each team. Buying a bundle of badges and having them at checkout is just another way of letting your customers know you appreciate their Pokémon hunting, and they’ll be much more likely to stop by again.

 

Show us your Snorlax

Rare Pokémon are hard to spot, let alone catch in the game. Offering perks to players who tag and share a photo of the rare Pokémon they find in your area is a great way to drive increased traffic. Charizard, Snorlax, and Wigglytuff are among the “epic” monsters in the game – and people will go far out of their way to snatch one up.

And if you don’t believe me after reading how this can help your business – here are 17 businesses that are cashing in on the craze.

So don’t shy away from Pokémon Go, embrace it and invite customers to come in and take a Pikachu.

Brightpod: A Project Management Solution for Overwhelmed PR Professionals

With the endless amounts of press lists, news releases, events, recurring projects, and more, your job as a PR professional can quickly become overwhelming. Keeping track of all your activities can be tough, and you need the appropriate tools to help you manage your ever-growing task list.

One tool that needs to be a part of your arsenal is a project management system, and it needs to have the following capabilities in order to be effective for your organization:

  • Efficient and easy project management
  • Project progression tracking
  • Prioritization
  • Collaboration
  • Full calendar view of every project, client and task

While there are many viable project management solutions on the market, Brightpod is a great fit for the creative, organized, and collaborative team—especially for PR professionals.

Here are five Brightpod features every PR professional will appreciate:

  1. Calendar management.

With Brightpod’s calendar management system, each time an event, project, or task is added or edited, they’re also added to a shared calendar in the application. Deadlines can be prioritized on the calendar in seconds with a drag and drop functionality, and frequent reminders are sent through email, preventing you from ever missing another deadline.

  1. Kanban flow method.

Brightpod utilizes a task process called Kanban to create a simple yet effective way of organizing tasks up to completion. The Kanban flow method consists of a big board on the wall with sticky notes placed in columns. Brightpod has replicated the method digitally in their project management software. Most project management tools can be very simplistic, but this tool provides you with a framework for success, allowing you to track projects and tasks through the beginning stages to completion. The screenshot below is one example of how Kanban is used:

Brightpod screenshot

  1. Effective task management.

Recurring tasks are inevitable in this industry. Brightpod designed a simple “recurring” function that notifies the assigned team members when the task is due and how often.

This specific platform gives you the ability to organize, design and label tasks to fit your company, clients and team. The drag and drop functionality makes it easy to prioritize and delegate tasks.

  1. Easy communication with your team.

An article by Inc. Magazine indicates, on average, workers spend 25 percent of the workday reading and responding to emails. Communication is vital for a successful PR team, but so is using time wisely.

Brightpod provides teams with ways to quickly and easily communicate, such as messaging, commenting on tasks and sending other team members completion notices. The features ultimate help teams save time and reduce the amount of emails that need to be sent during the day.

  1. Try it for free.

A car is tested prior to purchase, correct? If given the opportunity, be sure to test project management software before committing to a purchase. Brightpod offers a 14-day free trial so you can see if it works for your organization. They’re so confident it will, they don’t even ask for your credit card.

 

Since the company opened in 2013, almost 5,500 teams have started using their software. Although they target a variety of industries, Brightpod can be the project management system you need to manage your PR clients effectively. Visit www.Brightpod.com to learn more.

FollowUpThen: Effective Follow-Ups & Inbox Management

Email has quickly become the preferred method of communication for pitching in public relations. In fact, did you know that 64 percent of journalists prefer PR pros to follow up on pitches via email? Since PR pros are constantly sending and receiving emails, however, keeping a clean inbox can become tough. Fortunately, there are resources that can solve this issue.

For example, FollowUpThen is a free and easy email reminder tool that allows you to clean up your inbox, shorten your to-do list and never forget another follow-up.

Here’s how FollowUpThen works:

Compose an email and include [any time]@followupthen.com in the “CC”, “Bcc” or “To” fields*. The functionality for each placement is different. If the followupthen email is included in the Bcc field, you will receive a follow-up regarding the email, but the original recipient won’t. If included in the To field, a reminder email will be sent to your future self. And if included in the CC field a reminder will be scheduled for you and the other recipients on the thread.

*You must sign up for an account at www.followupthen.com before this will work.

Here are some examples of how you can use FollowUpThen to schedule follow-ups:

followupthenTime Interval

  • 1minute@followupthen.com
  • 2hours@followupthen.com
  • 3days@followupthen.com
  • 4weeks@followupthen.com
  • 5months@followupthen.com
  • 6years@followupthen.com

Specific Time of Day

Follows up on the next occurrence of the specified time.

  • 11am@followupthen.com

Specific Date

  • mar30@followupthen.com
  • 1Jan2016@followupthen.com

Specific Date and Time

  • 12pmAug25@followupthen.com

Day of Week

  • Tuesday@followupthen.com
  • Monday3pm@followupthen.com

Unique Days of Month

  • LastDayOfMonth@followupthen.com

Handy Scheduling Terms

  • tomorrow@followupthen.com
  • nextweek@followupthen.com
  • tonight@followupthen.com
  • noon@followupthen.com

Recurring Reminders

  • every1pm@followupthen.com
  • weekdays9am@followupthen.com
  • everyWednesday@followupthen.com
  • everyMonday9am-sms@followupthen.com (includes a text message)
  • every15th@followupthen.com
  • every1st8am@followupthen.com
  • monthly@followupthen.com
  • every2ndTuesday@followupthen.com
  • everyMarch30th@followupthen.com
  • everyMarch30th11am@followupthen.com

There are endless possibilities. FollowUpThen allows users to input about any combination of time, hour, day, week, month, or year.

Benefits of FollowUpThen:

  • Because FollowUpThen is email-based, it can work pretty much anywhere you are.
  • There is a free version, but you can purchase additional features.
  • A 30-day free trial is included on all plans.
  • Response detection will cancel reminders if a reply has been received to avoid unneeded follow-ups.
  • Premium users can add “-sms” to their followups to receive a text message reminder.
  • Tasks can be created for yourself or for someone else by adding  “-t” to the end of a follow up time and including it in the correct field.
  • Calendar integration allows premium users to view their upcoming follow-ups.
  • Follow-ups can be edited or canceled at anytime.

For example, if you’re a PR professional waiting for a piece of coverage and the publication asks to follow up in a few weeks, you can easily set a reminder. Simply forward the email to 3weeks@followupthen.com and you’ll be reminded just in time. Visit www.FollowUpThen.com to learn more.

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