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Employer branding at Starbucks – everyone wins

This post was cowritten by our summer intern, Samantha Tuly.

Starbucks recently announced the addition of the Starbucks College Achievement Plan to its already impressive portfolio of employee benefits. The partnership with Arizona State University will enable Starbucks employees to earn a bachelor’s degree for free through online courses.

It’s a brilliant PR move. Customers who have long loved Starbucks coffees, cappuccinos and iced mochas have the added bonus of knowing that their purchases are helping educate baristas throughout the country – some of whom are the first in their families to obtain a college degree. (Cue images of the American dream.)

But Starbucks knows that the new education plan is a strategic move for its employer brand and ultimately the…

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Four reasons why your content might not be cutting it

Having quality content and a solid content strategy are two crucial elements of content marketing. It’s not about creating a large quantity of content and churning it out to the masses. It’s about really delving in and identifying customers’ biggest concerns, needs and interests, and developing content around those ideals. 

At Dix & Eaton, we’ve been content experts for over 60 years, since long before the notion of content marketing was conceived. These days, when it comes to figuring out why content isn’t making the cut, we typically find four main culprits: 

1) You’re not giving customers what they want.

Have you identified your customers’ pain points and how you can provide solutions to their problems? If customers aren’t receiving relevant content and it’s…

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Three action items for getting started on CSR/sustainability communications

By now, you’ve probably heard – or even had conversations – about the importance of sustainability initiatives and reporting. The list of business areas a strategic program and report might impact is hard to ignore: reputation, brand value, employee engagement, recruitment, customer relationships, possibly investor perception, and more.

And, of course, it might sometimes feel like every other company but yours is issuing a report. While not quite true, a majority of major companies are. According to a June 2014 study by the Governance & Accountability Institute, 72 percent of S&P 500 companies published CSR/sustainability reports in 2013, up from 53 percent in 2012 and 20 percent in 2011. In its analysis, G&AI called sustainability reporting “the clear norm in…

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The oil and gas industry is being forced to cope with ‘Lightning Rods of Controversy’

The other day while meeting with a journalist, my client fielded what some would consider a “softball” question.

 “Do you think we are being silly, to be so concerned with fracking and its impacts?”

The answer? Done responsibly and with the proper regulation, fracking has proven to be good for the national economy, lucrative for regions across the country and essential to the United States achieving its goal of energy independence.

The reporter nodded and the interview continued.

We fielded the same question in the next meeting and in the one after that. Clearly, this was one of the KEY questions of the day.

In reality, this wasn’t a softball question at all. These reporters were based in London, where the issue of hydraulic drilling was– and still is – being…

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Three things your B2B brand can learn from a pepperoni pizza

If you follow me on Twitter, you know my love of pizza is well documented. But in this case, the headline for this post is not just an homage to my favorite dinner choice.

I just read a really interesting piece from Business Insider about a marketing insight John Schnatter had early on that helped propel the success of Papa John’s. That insight? Finding a unique market position.

See, while large chain competitors of Papa John’s held brand positions based on speed, price and variety, Papa John’s biggest chunk of competition (65%) was the local independent pizza shop. How could Papa John’s compete with that group? By focusing on quality, which is what consumers had come to love about their local pizza joint. And that positioning – Better Ingredients. Better Pizza. –…

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