Friday Five: 12/15-12/19

Happy Friday! Here’s a roundup of industry news from this week!

Sony cancels North Korea movie in apparent win for Pyongyang hackers – Reuters

After hackers imposed multiple threats and leaked sensitive information this November, Sony pulled “The Interview” from theaters this week. The company received criticism from political leaders and celebrities alike, but stands by its decision. While the hackers are “happy” with the decision to pull the movie, they are still threatening to leak more sensitive data if Sony doesn’t continue to comply by their demands.


Second Annual Walker Santa Toy Drive

In our second annual toy drive, Walker Sands collected more than 200 toys in less than three weeks! Like last year, our Walker Santa toy drive supported Beacon Therapeutic, a non-profit that serves at-risk youth in Chicago. This organization serves kids and teens of all ages, but we focused our efforts on teens. This age group tends to receive fewer gifts from other toy drives and donations, so we wanted to make them feel special.


Thanks to the hard work of our philanthropy kaizen, One Step Forward, and our generous staff, Walker Sands nearly doubled our donation from last year. From hula hoops to playing cards and Fault in Our Stars to Frozen memorabilia, the Beacon kids are sure to have a happy holiday


Beacon’s President and CEO, Susan Renya-Guerrero, was amazed by the amount of gifts we collected this year. She graciously accepted the donation during a party we threw this week to celebrate the success. Walker Sands employees and friends of the firm came by to enjoy food and drinks, including antipasto and cookie trays kindly donated from J.P. Graziano’s and Specialty’s. Thank you again to our generous partners, clients and employees for making our Second Annual Walker Santa Toy Drive an overwhelming success!


Friday Five: 12/08-12/12

Happy Friday! Here’s a roundup of industry news from this week!

Instagram beats Twitter with 300 million active users - PR Daily

Instagram became the second largest social media platform this week with 300 million active users, passing Twitter. Of its 300 million users, 70 percent of those are from outside the United States. Similar to Twitter, Instagram is making efforts to ensure user authenticity, and have started verifying celebrity, athlete and musician accounts.


Even National Brands Need to Think Like Locals

There are plenty of marketing traps that businesses tiptoe around: the hijacked hashtag, the vague call-to-action, “too-soon” humor. But there’s a larger issue that dupes startups and Fortune 500 organizations alike—the delusion that national brands don’t need to market locally.


The unstoppable rise of social media, mobile and data-driven marketing tactics has made it easier for national businesses to reach audiences from Spokane to Syracuse in minutes. But these advances, coupled with increasingly discerning customers, pressure B2C and B2B companies to deliver custom content to those audiences based on where they’re located.

Brands that rest on national name recognition alone risk diluting their reputation in specific markets, making it difficult to expand and develop local customer loyalty. Businesses that localize the wrong way (be it through botched social campaigns, weak SEO efforts or untargeted media relations) could face equally dire consequences.


Friday Five: 12/01-12/04

Happy Friday! Here’s a roundup of industry news from this week!

15,000 robots usher Amazon’s Cyber Monday - USA Today

As more shoppers look to online sales, robots are becoming the norm for distribution centers. This holiday season Amazon is using 15,000 robots to pick, pack and ship their items. The efficiency of these robots allows Amazon to double the amount of inventory in each fulfillment center, increasing the products available locally. Amazon will be able to ship a high volume of items quickly this holiday season.