Gabriel Aluisy, Founder of Shake Creative – a Design, Marketing and Branding company based in Tampa, Florida – and Author of Moving Targets: Creating Engaging Brands in an On-Demand World, is shaking up his industry and propelling his name into the spotlight in some pretty big ways.
Designer and developer of marketing campaigns for luxury lifestyle brands, country clubs and yacht clubs, Gabe is on top of his PR game securing coverage in a variety of premium industry magazines and features on podcasts.
Naturally, we wanted to know Gabe’s tips and tricks to getting featured in the media and what’s setting him aside from the competition. So here, he shares his secrets.
LET’S DIVE STRAIGHT IN. YOU’VE BEEN FEATURED IN THE PREMIUM MAGAZINE FOR SMALL BUSINESSES, ENTREPRENEUR MAGAZINE – HOW DID YOU SECURE THIS COVERAGE?
The short answer is, it’s a combination of raising my profile and perfecting my pitch. The long answer is that reporters put out queries via helpareporter.com each day and my answer was timely, to the point and took a non-traditional slant. I gave the reporter something they might not have expected. There are reporters on this site, as well as Australia’s sourcebottle.com that write for all sorts of publications and television outlets and need quality sources. Having recently published a book and creating a wealth of personal brand assets gives me a lot more clout as a thought leader. The amazing thing is that once you get the foundation laid, it’s a snowball effect.
AT SHAKE CREATIVE, WHAT IS THE MOST MEMORABLE WAY YOU’VE ‘SHAKEN UP’ THE BRAND OF ONE OF YOUR CLIENTS?
We took a very boring brand in the flooring industry and created a highway billboard campaign that focused on people instead of products. Why? Because stone and tile is boring and no one can relate to it, but people CAN and DO relate to people! So we photoshopped in people into this company’s environmental product shots to create lively and luxurious scenes of people living and interacting with their product. Women lounging poolside, couples sitting on the steps of their home and things like that. It’s been so successful that it has been running for 3 years straight and you can’t drive 5 minutes around Tampa without seeing it.
IS IT MORE DIFFICULT TO MARKET YOURSELF THAN IT IS TO MARKET A CLIENT?
While we market ourselves in much the same fashion as we advise our clients, finding time to do so is where the differences lie. I think the old colloquialism “the cobblers children have no shoes” is fitting for most agencies like ours. We get so wrapped up in delivering our clients exceptional design and marketing that we often don’t leave time for our own. I’ve tried to change this recently creating job folders in our software and creating deadlines for internal marketing and updates that we need to accomplish. Basically, giving our own work as much priority as our clients’.
WHAT ARE THE 3 ESSENTIAL MARKETING TOOLS YOU THINK ARE CRUCIAL TO EVERY BUSINESS?
1. A solid vendor that can supply postal, phone and email lists from targeted demographic data for businesses and consumers. Sales are so much easier when you’re talking to the right people.
2. Hootsuite for managing social media posts across multiple networks. It’s a huge time saver.
3. A CMS (Content Management System) or way to track leads, follow ups, etc. So many companies fail to track their results. I guess they love gambling. They’re missing out on so many customer behaviour insights when they don’t.
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHERS WANTING TO BE FEATURED IN THE MEDIA?
The first step would be to read and follow the publication and writer you’d like to get featured by. Learn their take and what they like to write about.
Second, craft your pitch or press release around something they would be interested in and contact them via email or an appropriate channel. Our KPI USA mentor, Bruce Serbin recommended that we take an off-beat or unexpected approach and that has worked well for me. Basically, something out of the ordinary.
If you’re responding to reporter queries from Haro or Sourcebottle I’d recommend having a few pitches pre-written that you can tweak to relate to the story. Speed is the key with those, so being quick on the draw will give you a leg up. And don’t forget to keep raising your profile as a lot of reporters or contributors want to use sources that will give their article more legs, and if you have a large influential network you’re a more appealing source.
WHY DO YOU LOVE WHAT YOU DO?
I love what I do for two reasons: Firstly, because I love bringing people together; both consumers to brands, and members to a community within a club. Secondly, because I can do it in a creative and visual way. Every piece we produce at Shake is a little piece of art that makes the world just a little more colourful and fun.
Tweetable kudos: (copy and paste to your Twitter)
Kudos @gabrielaluisy on securing your slot in #entrepreneurmagazine – a thought leader sharing knowledge = #kpimethod right there!
Golden nuggets: (copy and paste to your Twitter)
“Every piece we produce is a little piece of art that makes the world more colourful and fun.” @GabrielAluisy on his biz @shakecreative – we want summa’ that!