News & Updates

News and Perspectives from Integrated Media Strategies

 

image post 1Today is the fifth anniversary of Integrated Media Strategies. For many small businesses, surviving five years is a significant milestone.  For my company, the first year and a half was an Everest.  I'd left a corporate environment helping North Carolina develop a sustainable advanced biofuels sector to start up my company.  I needed the personal flexibility to support my wife whose breast cancer had returned.  I juggled the responsibilities of managing a startup with trips to the hospital for surgery, radiation, and pain management.  My laptop travelled with me.  I serviced clients on hospital wifi and from my Samsung Note.  When they sent her home, I set up a desk at the foot of her hospital bed in the living room to care for her and for clients scattered across the globe, collaborating with designers and data geeks in North Carolina and Australia in between catheters and tracking her meds.  She lost her battle against breast cancer, which had stalked her for the entire 13 years of our marriage.  I lost a friend, a counsellor, my book-keeper, and the co-founder of my business, and so much more. The struggle in the long, dark nights with little sleep while caring for someone for whom the stakes are so much higher teaches hard lessons that simply are not found elsewhere.

Online securityFor the first three months of 2018 and again in 2020, Integrated Media Strategies has been working with SCORE Raleigh to help small businesses improve their online security. In an increasingly-connected world, small businesses are vulnerable to a range of malicious attacks. And because of this connectedness, an intrusion in one area can translate into a much broader problem. A successful malicious attack can be terminal to a small business.

Many small business owners are focused on doing what they need to do to keep their business running and may not have online security expertise.  They may not know, for example, that a hack of the business router exposes the entire network to the intruder and can result in snooping, gathering of bank account passwords and the injection of ransomware.They may also think that because they are a small business, it isn't worth trying to hack them. They won't necessarily know that bots do most of the work and crawl the web looking for vulnerabilities.  If they have these vulnerabilities, they could make the hacker that bought the code some money.

AndreasonBookThe Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta has selected work done by Integrated Media Strategies with the North Carolina Advanced Manufacturing Alliance for a book titled Models for Labor Market Intermediaries. It sounds dry, but it's a compilation of case studies to help economic developers by providing successful approaches - and good local jobs are what are needed to revitalise our economy. The work we've done with these organizations has helped attract thousands of jobs, which in turn has impacted many families for the better and is an accomplishment of which we are proud.

Compiled and edited by Stuart Andreason, who is the Worforce Development Director at the Federal Reserve where he is responsible for human capital and workforce development policy, the book is a compilation of case studies that provide guidance and ideas that can be adapted for success elsewhere.

The work done by Integrated Media Strategies with the NCAMA was included as a case study for its effective partnership building between higher education, industry, and community and economic development organizations.  A key difference was our sophisticated use of content marketing to attract economic development to the largely rural counties served by community colleges in the consortium.

ProfinderLinkedIn has selected Norman Smit at Integrated Media Strategies for a Best of 2016 badge in Marketing Communications, PR Consulting and SEO consulting.  LinkedIn makes the ranking based on objective criteria, and the Best of 2016 badge signals a best-in-class ranking on their platform and that the winners are part of a select group of professionals recognized by LinkedIn.  The badge links back to a winner's ProFinder profile so that visitors are able to view skills and expertise, recommendations people have made, and more.

phoneIn 2016, the CEO of Integrated Media Strategies, Norman Smit, was invited by the Raleigh office of the SCORE small business mentoring organization to offer a series of seminars in the first quarter of 2017.  The seminars, which will take place at libraries across Wake County has been titled "The Smartphone-Wielding Small Business Guide to Content Marketing".  
GET THE SEMINAR SLIDES HERE.

The ground we cover includes:

Johnston County Building Industry Association Integrated Media Strategies has partnered with the Johnston County Building Industry Association for two years, helping to raise the visibility of the organization and its members.  We started by redoing the website and providing training to staff on how to use it effectively, populate the member directory with information from members and creating a useful database of content.  This means that when a visitor comes to the site to find a reputable builder, but who doesn't use 'builder speak', they will be able to find the information that they need.

On a limited budget, we then worked with the association to effectively connect the site to Google analytics and begin the process of building content relevant to stakeholders, the local community, members, and other interested audiences.   We provided seminars through the association to members on content marketing so that they could tap into the digital resources available to them through the association. 

 

 

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