Where is your enterprise going? What are the experiences and ideas leading you there?
The answers to those questions are the essence of organizational strategy.
Cavelle Consulting helps businesses, colleges and universities, and nonprofits define that strategy through the lens of PR and marketing communications.
Change is a constant in business and the pace of change seems to forever increase. Less than five years ago, taxi medallions in Manhattan brought the Midas Touch to anyone who owned them, generating up to $1M per medallion in Gotham. Today, those same medallions sell for roughly $200,000, thanks to the doubling in the volume of e-hail carriages like Lyft and Uber. Yes, even quasi-monopolies are subject to market-changers.
B2B companies have seen the sales cycle change dramatically. Now, potential clients are doing independent product and service research, often completely bypassing salespeople in the process. Their purchasing journeys are well-informed and web-based, changing the sales dynamic appreciably.
But there are new opportunities to influence decision-making through integrated marketing. There are also new opportunities to be influenced by your clients, through powerful customer feedback loops like LinkedIn, Glass Ceiling, and industry message boards.
For higher education and non-profits, the earth is also moving under their feet. Students are becoming more entitled, more independent, and less willing to concede that college is the exclusive domain of 18- to 22-year-olds. They are becoming more circumspect about branding, demanding an improved ROI for their escalating tuition, expect their education to continue long after they receive a diploma, and increasingly demand a voice in university governance in return for the checks they write.
Donors too are looking more carefully at hallowed institutions. It’s no longer enough to be an established brand. Those looking to connect with the causes they care about want more than a check-writing connection. They too demand improved efficiency in how their funds are used, a stronger voice in how non-profits operate, and a clear understanding of precisely how their engagement impacts the world around us.
Whether in business, education, politics, or non-profits, transparency is the new black. At Cavelle Consulting Group, we can help your organization shape its mission and vision, craft a strategic plan, link it to tactical execution, and implement as much or as little of it on your behalf. From media relations and video production, to blogging, tweeting, and posting, CCG can ensure that you connect more strategically, more effectively, more consistently, and more candidly with the audiences that sustain your company, university, or organization.
Our services include:
- Brand Development or Refinement
- Integrated Marketing Communication Strategy
- Market Research
- Content Marketing
- Media Relations
- Media & Presentation Training
- Social Media
- Internal Communications
- Organizational Assessment
- Crisis Management
- Measurement & Analytics
Building Successful Client Relationships
We invest deeply in the lives of our clients. What you do is important to us and that’s why we believe so passionately in having candid and trusting relationships with our clients. Doing so literally goes to the heart of why we do this.
As trite as it may sound, candid communication is at the core of any successful client/consultant relationship. We believe in transparency and strive to ensure that every client has the information they need to maintain a trusted relationship.
We don’t do cookie-cutter. A boutique firm, we prefer to hand-craft each journey for each client. We only thrive if you do so we engage deeply, ask questions, develop strategies that accurately embrace and reflect your organization’s essential characteristics, and work in concert with you to execute those strategies with integrated tactics across all media. We bring to the table years of knowledge, excellent research and listening skills, and a belief that what we do matters.
Cavelle Consulting Group can help you focus your resources on marketing strategies and tactics that move your bottom line and help you arrive at your destination.
Candid Consulting from Cavelle
We take the second word in our title very seriously: “Consulting.” From the West Wing of the Nixon White House to the top floors of Enron headquarters, to the President’s conference rooms at Michigan State, Missouri, and USC, powerful people have made regrettable mistakes by drinking their own Kool-Aid and bringing shame to their organizations. The “Bubble” can become all-encompassing to those who remain ensconced in it.
Thoughtful, candid, and confidential consulting is the best way to assist our clients. We bring fresh eyes to every assignment; dive deeply into client culture to understand their goals, values, and mode of operation; and try and serve as a beneficial sounding board when making difficult decisions. Doing so has empowered us to squarely address an organization’s ethical problems, thwart the motives of a biased and unqualified global reporter, and use our insight to find not just the facts … but the feelings behind a story. We embrace technology. But we embrace, people — feats, failures, and flaws in all — even more closely. People are the foundation of our ability to tell stories…your stories.
Our own people bring passion, experience, and a degree of wisdom to our work. We want to understand our audiences, create compelling content for them, and—at the end of our engagement—leave our clients far better for having worked with us.
We’ve gained that ability by investing years in our craft and applying that craft in a very individualized fashion. We continue to take that approach to connect with our clients and have our own skin in the game, so to speak. Who you see in Cavelle is who you will get.
Let us help you on your journey.
Brand Development or Refinement
Social media have revolutionized brand management. It took one phone conversation about race relations with Poppa John to cause the company to distance itself from their founder, for the NFL to terminate their licensing agreement with the chain, and for the University of Louisville to remove their name from their football stadium. Brands are no longer static, impervious, or wholly-owned.
Companies and organizations must balance tradition and history with the realities of a highly dynamic and opinionated marketplace.
Cavelle can guide your branding efforts. We provide insight into marketplace perceptions, employ a combination of market research, internal research, competitive assessment to help you create a new public presence or make your current brand more relevant.
Understanding your brand means understanding your audiences. To reach your key audiences, it’s important to differentiate your brand, rise above the competitive noise, and find engagement with those people who matter most to your brand.
Integrated Marketing Communication Strategy
How does your marketing and PR drive success?
- Does it provide tangible evidence of increased awareness?
- Are sales and audience engagement improved because of this increased awareness?
- Does market research reflect stronger awareness?
- Do you have enhanced strategic partnerships?
- Are your marketing strategies resulting in action from your key audiences?
If not, then it’s time to rethink your approach. Effective communications don’t merely yield media clippings, web hits, or Facebook friends. It allows you to achieve your organization’s strategic goals; more sales, more donors, higher satisfaction. Anything short of that is time poorly spent.
The key is not finding more friends or generating more likes. Many friends + minimal engagement = little impact
Cavelle Consulting can help you create a marketing and PR approach that furthers your strategic objectives, from fixing a broken brand to driving increased sales for a key demographic. We can also design internal and external communications strategies that engage your audiences — across all media — in a meaningful fashion.
For companies, that translates to:
- Improved marketplace awareness
- Stronger engagement with key audiences
- Increased lead generation for enhanced sales
- Enhanced thought leadership among business peers or consumers
- Improved brand recognition for your products or services
For universities or non-profits, that means:
- Changes in the quality and/or quantity of your enrollment
- Increased research funding or private fundraising generated from friends and associates
- Improved peer rankings and recognition
- Increased engagement with volunteers to help drive tactical success
- Enhanced alumni satisfaction and event attendance
Cavelle has the expertise, market knowledge, and distinctive client awareness that can craft or enhance your communications strategy and ensure that it achieves the objectives of your overall organization.
Market research is the foundation for any true strategic communications strategy and can create a market research approach that meets your strategic expectations. It needn’t always be exhaustive, expensive, or statistically significant beyond all mathematical doubt. But research is a key first step to an effective strategy.
- Understand your market.
- Create tangible and meaningful ways to measure their interest and involvement in what you do.
- And continue to invest creative energy in driving more meaningful relationships with you key audiences.
Market research is an important element in achieving that understanding and Cavelle Consulting Group, Inc. can help you develop a market research program that achieves your objectives and fits your budget. We can also help you systematically embed assessment into your marketing and PR programs to ensure that you focus your efforts on things that achieve your strategic and tactical goals.
If we had to select a single strength of Cavelle Consulting Group, it’s writing. We’ve been doing it successfully for years on behalf of elected officials, corporate leaders, academic faculty, and less-than-enthusiastic entrepreneurs. All-too-rarely, we even do it for ourselves.
We work diligently to put ourselves in the shoes of those for whom we write and consume content voraciously to see how words impact our perspectives; from products and services to political campaigns and sports teams. We’ve written thousands of press releases, scores of speeches, developed newsletters created entire websites from scratch, ghostwritten blogs, and launched email campaigns.
We also work hard to understand the voices of the people for whom we write, the interests of the audiences to whom we write, and the quality of the institutions for whom we work. Successful content creators understand three foundational characteristics:
- Know your audience
- Stay topical
- To the greatest extent possible, personalize your topic
If we adhere to those commandments, we will consistently succeed in content creation.
But we also know that you can’t simply write it and they will come. You must promote it by providing timely and compelling content to the right audience in the right place at the right time.
Video is an effective means of accomplishing that. We believe passionately that video is an important element of any PR/media strategy. When devised and produced effectively, it delivers several important variables:
- It’s accessible
- It’s impactful
- It’s evocative, emotional, and satisfying
It also happens to increase click rates. Integrating video, whether it’s a 15-second call out on social media or a five-minute tear-jerker video at a donor event, can increase SEO, applications, click rates, and campaign contributions.
Understanding and engaging the media—all media—is tough work.
- Attention spans are short
- Traditional news media are negatively inclined
- Social media can be unforgiving in an instant
Anyone with a keyboard and a WordPress account can blog or write a press release.
But an intelligent and effective media strategy can help you achieve strategic objectives. Cavelle can help you design an intelligent and effective media strategy. We invest the time necessary to understand your target markets and deliver a media strategy and content that create and sustain relationships. Telling great stories has an impact.
Media & Presentation Training
When you break through the news clutter, the next challenge is to convey thoughtful content through the news media, often through media interviews. From easy informative pieces to hostile interviews over confrontational issues, they can define your brand with startling rapidity.
We know because we’ve done them by the thousands. We’ve faced hostile questioning from “60 Minutes”, toured the Olympic Village with international media, broke news of death and crisis on live television, and celebrated corporate, political, and academic achievement with reporters with whom we have forged strong relationships.
We have also been on the other side of the camera and keyboard as writers, reporters, and video producers in traditional and social media.
Judgment is critical, and Cavelle can help you and others in your organization prepare for media interviews or prep for a major presentation. Whether it’s a product launch or a string of live interviews in full crisis response mode, we can help you stay composed, look and sound credible, stay on point, and understand the subtleties of successful interviews and presentations.
Preparation for these events is helpful. Not being prepared can be disastrous. We can help your senior leadership prepare for the unexpected and make your brand a trusted and reliable one.
The growth of social media over the last decade has been comparable to Moore’s Law. What began as a way to keep track of friends’ lives has grown to becoming a powerful force in global elections.
Effective social media is often seen as something that’s borne purely of inspiration or emotion…and good social media often incorporates both characteristics. But effective social media also requires discipline. You don’t create content in a vacuum. You create content that resonates and compels attention in real time.
Quality engagement is more important than volume engagement. Followers are great. But followers who care enough to engage with you by asking questions, sharing content, and joining in conversations, are the ones that truly matter.
To do that, it’s important that you listen to those who matter most to you. By listening to conversations about your organization and your industry, you understand what interests your audience, the social networks they prefer, and who the most engaged members (influencers) are.
With this context, you can create content that engages with your audiences wherever your audiences coalesce. Content that works well on YouTube doesn’t fare as well on Twitter. And a Facebook video can increase audience share exponentially. Whatever content you generate, it’s important to publicize it up front and to engage with influencers who can dramatically deepen your engagements by sharing your content.
Finally, it’s important to engage. Converse with your audiences, even if it’s not always positive. Reply to your @ mentions. Even if they’re negative, unanswered messages compound the problem because they emphasize indifference on top of incompetence. Seek out influencers and engage with them, if they jibe with the SCOB brand. We don’t subscribe to the axiom that any publicity is good publicity. But we do know that to make an omelet, you must crack some eggs. So, get cracking and start conversing with your audience.
There aren’t many water coolers left in office environments anymore. In their place, you find coffee & tea bars, refreshment stations, internal portals or craft beer taps.
But people still congregate in work environments, physically and virtually. And when they’re not discussing project specifics, they’re often discussing politics — office politics.
Those physical and virtual forums allow a cross section of people to announce, comment upon, question and speculate about office happenings. From gossipy commentary about personal relationships to murmurs of inappropriate workplace behavior to speculation about what the most recent C-suite announcement really meant, those spaces afford people an opportunity to “tell it like it is,” when the environment feels safe and protected from organizational consequences.
Those human tendencies to provide color commentary to organizational strategy, tactics and personnel moves underscore the importance of internal communications. As with external communications, internal conversations should be frequent and as transparent as possible. It’s about message received, not simply message sent. And often, that message must be sent repeatedly for it to garner attention and gain traction with your internal audience.
Organizations are complex cultures. One group of people believes passionately in what they’re doing, have faith in senior leadership and are proud brand ambassadors. Another segment simply keeps their heads down, works competently and rarely engages with after-hours assignments or events. A third group loathes where they work, distrusts those above and below them on the organizational ladder and is not reluctant to vent their frustrations on social media sites, from Glassdoor to Twitter.
Yet they’re your audience, and you must be diligent about communicating with them earnestly, systemically and beneficially. This communication also must be a conversation, not a monologue. If organizational leadership isn’t inclined to listen, to converse, to try and see things as their employees perceive them, then internal dictates are unlikely to succeed.
At Cavelle, we’ve seen a wide array of organizational cultures, from highly partisan government offices to genuinely warm high-tech start-ups. We can help you better understand your organization’s culture and develop an integrated menu of communications offerings to ensure your message reaches your audience at their desks, in their portals, on their YouTube channels — even at the coffee bar.
Whether you’re in full crisis communications mode or simply trying to figure out if it’s time for a company newsletter, we can help guide you in your efforts to inform, educate, inspire or re-assure.
One size does not fill all. We can help you tailor effective messages for one of your most critically important audiences.
How you’re structured often determines how you operate. We bring fresh eyes to organizational assessment, asking questions, drilling deeply into deeply-ingrained protocols, while always keeping our eyes on your organization’s strategic prize. We help demolish silos, ensure that everyone is rowing in the same direction, improve internal communication, and develop or refine organizational structures to make your organization efficient and effective.
Something goes very wrong. Blogs heat up. Broadcast media descend. Newspaper reporters breathlessly report every nuanced negative while talk show hosts regurgitate all of that and a few new revelations from “Al in Smyrna.” Public relations crises are the bane of every senior executive.
We know. We’ve been there. We’ve stood in front of the cameras and microphones, addressed sensitive subjects head-on, explained failings, countered inaccurate information, and admitted mistakes in prime time.
We’ve appeared on MSNBC to discuss an international court case; been interviewed by Canal TV about decommissioning a nuclear reactor; discussed employees who defrauded, faculty who harassed, students who committed suicide, and athletes run amuck.
That’s the easy part.
The most important component of crisis management is to avoid the controversy in the first place. Cavelle can help you do that by uncovering your vulnerabilities and implementing a risk management program that works throughout your organization.
We live in a time when tempers are quick, media are insatiable, key audiences are unforgiving, and the potential for errors has never been higher.
We can help you assess vulnerabilities, review decision – making processes, and create a sound, tactical crisis communications program for your organization.
No one wants to spend money or time on the improbable. But no one who has made the investment, regrets it.
Measurement & Analytics
The days of clip reports and ad-buy equivalencies are in the rear-view mirrors of PR professionals. Some clients are extremely metrics-oriented. Others are still getting their feet wet.
Cavelle Consulting can help you implement or refine your analytics to ensure that your communications contribute to your organization’s larger objectives. From lead generation and SEO to white papers, Twitter engagement levels and YouTube views, we can help you find analytics that meet your objectives and your budget.