Q: Nobody advertises anymore, it’s all on Facebook. Why should I advertise via traditional routes such as TV or radio?

A: If your customers don’t know who you are, how will they find you on Facebook? Nowadays, business owners, especially new owners, want to discount the value of traditional media. The truth is, though, it still works. People still watch TV and they still drive their cars. For a campaign to be successful, you need to factor in all channels of communication.

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Q: Where should I advertise?

A: There are many factors to take into consideration when choosing where to advertise. Who are you trying to reach? What do you want to tell them? What action do you want to happen as a result of your advertising? How much money do you have to spend? There is no silver bullet, but taking all of this information into consideration allows us to develop a strategy that will create results.

Q: I don’t have a big budget. Can I do outdoor advertising (billboards and such)?

A: There is always a way to work with your budget when it comes to advertising. The secret is simply knowing which options are available to you, like posters (smaller, city boards) or digital billboards.

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Q: Can you get me to #1 on the New York Times bestseller list?

A: Unfortunately no. The odds of reaching the top spot on the Times (or USA Today) list are akin to hitting the lottery. However, we can ensure that your book is a quality product in all respects, from professional editing to compelling cover design to attractive interior layout. Your book will compare favorably to those produced by the major publishing houses. It will be something you will be proud of now and for years to come.

Q: I have a great idea for a book. Can you help me?

A: Yes. Even if you are not confident in your own writing skills, Imagine’s team of experienced ghost writers can take your great idea and deliver a professionally-written manuscript suitable for submitting to agents and publishers, or ready for self-publishing. We are proficient in most categories, including fiction, nonfiction, memoir, business, self-help and many more. Please ask to see samples of books we have created for authors just like you.

Q: How can writing a book help my business?

A: Writing a book immediately positions you as an expert in your chosen subject area. Essentially, it works as a way to differentiate you from your competition and opens doors based on the perception that an author is more credible than someone who has not written a book.

Q: What aspects of book publishing do you handle?

A: As much or as little as you need. We can make the process turnkey, including writing, editing, layout, cover design and printing. Or we can handle each aspect a la carte.

Q: What if I’m only interested in having a digital book published?

A: Not a problem. We are proficient in most e-formats and can steer you through the often tricky landscape of digital publishing.

Q: Do you handle ribbon cutting ceremonies?

A: The easy answer is yes. We have the tools and resources to plan and implement a ribbon cutting on your behalf, or we can work together with your local chamber of commerce to make a ribbon cutting happen.

Q: Who can you connect me with?

A: Possibly anyone except Elvis and Howard Hughes. Imagine’s team members have deep, longstanding roots in the Southern Nevada community. Even if we don’t know a stakeholder, opinion leader or public figure personally, there’s a good chance we’re one degree of separation from someone who does. No guarantees, of course, but we like our chances.

Q: Do you offer strictly consulting services?

A: Yes. From facilitating your strategic company meetings, to helping you figure out how to reach your business goals, if you have a communication or marketing idea or dilemma you need to consult with someone about, we can probably help you find a solution.

Q: What kind of content creation can you provide?

A: You name the content, we can create it — from written content and scripts, to photography and videography. We are experienced in creating content for videos, blogs, vlogs, websites, social media, marketing materials, columns, press releases, newsletters, and pretty much any other communication tool you can think of.

Q: I saw somewhere that you offer “client announcements.” What’s that?

A: We created the client announcement service to provide our clients with a way to communicate information newsworthy to their own publics, but not necessarily the community at large. A press release, as it were, that’s not actually for the press; rather, it’s posted on a client’s website and repurposed for the e-newsletter.

Here’s a onesheet that explains the difference between a press release, a media advisory and a client announcement.

Q: How much money do I need to spend on my marketing efforts?

A: This is largely determined by your budget. We are good at maximizing the benefits for any budget, but a larger budget will get you more than one that is limited. Therefore, how much you spend is up to you!

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Q: When will I see results?

A: Results vary depending on the service and other variables. For example, if you are running an ad on TV, radio or a billboard, we generally encourage running for three consecutive months. This doesn’t mean you won’t see results quicker than that, but we know that traditional advertising works better when people have seen or heard an ad multiple times. The longer you run, the better its chances of bringing people in the door (or to the website).

Q: I placed an ad or sent out a press release. Why isn’t my cash register dinging?

A: There are many variables that go into this. How long has the ad been running? Was your press release picked up by the media? What was the message in either item? Was there a call to action?

Q: Do you provide services to help me with my lobbying efforts in the state legislative session?

A: Yes. We can work with you to help get your message in front of our state legislators as well as in the eyes and ears of the voters through such avenues as pitching the media, op-eds and letters to the editor.

Q: What do you do exactly?

A: We design a variety of marketing materials including, but not limited to: branding, logos, business cards, postcards, invitations, brochures, signage, ads, magazines and websites.

Q: What is a brand?

A: Your brand is a definition of who you are as a business. Your logo is a big piece of your brand, but it can’t do the job alone. Branding is something that needs to be present throughout your marketing materials and your business; it is your brand mark, your colors and your style. The more branded your business is, the more recognizable it becomes.

Q: How do you approach design?

A: Because what we design is created to represent the client, the first and most important thing we do is learn about the client. After we have a good idea about who the client is, and what the project is, it’s time to pull out the sketchbook. Sketching out concepts is a good way to quickly come up with several ideas, and to flesh out those that don’t work. We then take the sketches we chose and discuss them with others who are involved in the project to further solidify the concept. Once we have a concrete idea, it’s finally time to move to the computer and create the initial piece.

Q: How long will it take?

A: How long a job takes depends on the project. Something like a website can take months, whereas a web banner can be done in a few days. Contact us to discuss your project and we will prepare a timeline based on your needs.

Some of the things that determine the length of the project are:

• Have we worked with you before? If so, we will already have a feel for your brand and will be able to act quickly. If not, we will need to go through a discovery period to get the information we need.

• What is the project? Certain projects such as websites or magazines have a longer timeline because there is more involved. Copy has to be written or collected and edited, websites also include time intensive coding. Creating a billboard with copy and imagery provided is a much shorter timeline.

• How quickly is the final product needed? Sometimes something comes up and you need 1,000 business cards by next Friday. We do take into account the urgency behind a project and are able to create a timeline with that in mind.

Q: Why do I need a website?

A: Having a web presence validates your business; it is your digital address, which is as important as having an actual address these days. A large majority of people do web searches to find a business that has what they need, to look up a business to which they have been referred, or even for things as simple as finding a phone number or address. If that information is not there, potential and even current customers/clients can be lost.

Q: How much does a website cost?

A: The cost of your website depends on your needs. Contact us and we will create a custom quote. We design our sites to be responsive, which means they will adjust to different screen sizes and can be viewed on computers, tablets and smart phones.

Some things that can be a factor include:

• How many pages will the site be?

• Do you currently have a domain and hosting?

• Will you need us to maintain the site?

• Will you want a CMS (content management system), which enables you to make revisions?

• Do you need us to create content?

• What special features do you need?

Q: I have a website, but it could use some updating. Is that something you can help me with?

A: YES! Many of the sites we work on are upgrades. Over time, your site can begin to look dated, and if the content isn’t regularly updated, it can become obsolete. Having an up-to-date site with current content is a good reflection on your business.

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Q: If you’re using a WordPress platform to build my website, why do I need you to make it? Couldn’t I just do it myself?

A: We use WordPress for their CMS (content management system). They offer a platform that works and have a team of people constantly working to make it better, so their platform provides a great starting point. That being said, yes, it is possible to take a template, fill it with your content and have your site up. The problem is, your website will then look like the hundreds of other generic sites that are using that same template with the same generic functions and features. While we use WordPress’ templates, it’s only as a starting point. With our experience and knowledge of PHP, HTML, Java and CSS, we are able to go into the code and manipulate it to create a personalized and unique template for your site.

Q: What goes into making a logo?

A: Creating a logo is a time-intensive project. Your logo is the face of your brand, the visual that people will connect to you as a business. There are also things to take into account when designing a logo, such as how it will look at different sizes and in different environments.

The beginning stages of creating a logo include brainstorming, sketching and discussion, just like any other project, but more extensive. When the samples are created digitally, we pass them around to get input from other people in the office to get a good outside perspective. This is followed by more brainstorming and discussion. We usually go through at least three rounds internally before the client sees anything. We then take feedback from the client, which can lead to more rounds of revisions. Our goal is to create a logo that represents the client in a functional manner.

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Q: What can you do that I can’t do in Publisher?

A: Publisher is a very limiting program that works well for internal documents or crafts. When creating materials for the public, you have to keep in mind that they are a representation of your business. Having professionally designed materials makes your business looks professional; programs like Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign and the like allow for that.

Q: What is multimedia?

A: Multimedia is content that uses different formats, usually a combination of two or more of the following: text, audio, still images, animation or video.

Q: Can you help me spiff up my presentations (my PowerPoint slides, etc.)?

A: Yes. When building a presentation, the most important thing is content, but the close second is having empathy for those who are witnessing the presentation. They will need the content to be compelling and easy to understand. A good presentation must have empathy for the people who are watching. Using visual support for your ideas that are complementary (and not mirror images) of what you are saying can do this.

Q: Do you have an on-staff photographer?

A: Yes. While she is based in Henderson, she can travel out-of-state.

Q: Why would my business need original photos?

A: Photography purchased from stock agency is easily recognizable, and it’s often difficult to find stock photography that truly defines your business. By creating original photos, we are able to get exactly what we need to highlight and pair with your brand. As a bonus, we can also send photos we’ve taken for you to the media to accompany their stories on you; we cannot do that with stock images.

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Q: What is public relations?

A: Public relations is the two-way conversation between an organization and its publics. Specifically, our PR services include: media, community, government, member, employee, industry and customer relations; award nominations; content creation and client announcements; photography; promotions; counseling; and more.

Q: What’s the difference between “public relations” and “marketing”?

A: Ask 20 marketing/PR professionals this question, and you’ll get 20 different answers. But being the good communicators we are, it behooves us to try to clear things up here, rather than send you hunting through the Internets.

We’ll give you the technical definitions first — in case you’re like some of us and like that kind of thing. Then we’ll tell you what that means in plain English.

Jargon answer: According to the Public Relations Society of America, public relations is defined as “a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.” Whereas, according to the American Marketing Association, marketing “is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.”

Plain English answer: A very simplistic — not 100 percent accurate — way of thinking about the two is one-way dialogue (marketing) vs. two-way dialogue (PR). Or paid (marketing) vs. “earned” (PR).

Delving a little deeper, Deborah Weinstein of Strategic Objectives in Canada explains it perfectly: “Marketing is everything a brand, business or organization does to sell its goods, services and values. … Public Relations, with its P2P (person-to-person), two-way dialogue and human approach builds honest, open and transparent bridges of communication between a brand, business or organization and its constituent communities — be they clients, customers, consumers, employees, the media, stakeholders, government and key influencers, and/ or all of the above.”

No matter how you define them, the best campaigns combine both.

Q: Define “media.”

A: Media, in this case, is anyone working to supply facts to the public through the printed word, television, social media or online. Today’s traditional media outlets include television news, printed daily, weekly and monthly newspapers and magazines, and online-only news sources.

Q: Am I guaranteed coverage in the media?

A: Unfortunately, no. Not unless you purchase an ad or advertorial. The editorial side of the news is more trusted for a reason – because it is what the paper/TV station/radio station reporters/editors/producers have determined legitimately newsworthy. Newsworthy stories either inform, entertain, educate, inspire or some combination thereof. Because of this, we only pitch newsworthy ideas on behalf of our clients. But while we only pitch ideas we believe a reporter will be interested in covering, reporters do not “owe it to us” to cover the ideas we pitch. That being said, we have very good, trusting relationships with members of the media throughout the state and through the country, and our success rate in successfully pitching ideas for coverage is excellent.

Q: If it’s free to have an article about my company in the paper, why should I pay your company to make it happen?

A: It is true that anyone can pitch their story ideas to a reporter for coverage. However, it is often more work than someone who is running his or her own business can make time for. (Especially considering members of the media move around so much that it’s practically a part-time job in itself just maintaining an up-to-date list.)

Members of the media receive hundreds of emails and pitches daily. Yes, daily. Considering they have actual reporting to do, they don’t read all of those emails. (It would be impossible.) Typically, they scan for emails from sources they trust (like us) or potentially interesting headlines. If they do actually read an email from someone they don’t know and that person is pitching them a story that’s off-target (a business pitch to a sports reporter, for example) or simply not newsworthy, they probably won’t read emails from that person ever again. Because of our longstanding relationships with both individual reporters/editors/producers and our overall reputation as a firm, we are better able to get our messages seen.

Q: I’ve heard public relations called “free advertising.” Is that an accurate depiction of what you would be getting me?

A: Not quite. It’s sometimes called “free advertising” because, often, you are getting a great feature that gets in front of thousands of readers, and it’s free! However, unlike purchasing an ad, we are not at liberty to view a reporter’s story before it runs. If there’s an error in it, and there might be, there is nothing we can do about it. (Although, we can ask if the error can be fixed online and, if it’s a big enough error, we can ask for a correction to run in the next day’s paper.) The reporter may also want to take their story in a different direction than we originally intended in our pitch, and it is absolutely their right to do so.

Q: OK, so you’re not paying the media to cover your clients. How, exactly, would you get me coverage then?

A: Reporters can’t be everywhere and they use additional resources and contacts to generate their news, feature and business stories. We work with you to tell your story to the right reporter who will then tell your story to the public. There is never a guarantee, but our job is to decide which reporter to pitch and when to allow for the best opportunity for coverage.

Q: What kind of relationships do you have with the media?

A: Our team has years of experience in the news industry, and we’ve developed many trusted relationships with members of the media along the way. Many of them are our friends, and we have professional relationships with many more. It’s because of this that, when we contact the media with a story idea, they’ll usually give our ideas a listen.

Q: What kind of results should I expect?

A: This depends on a few things, including newsworthiness of the ideas we pitch, how often we pitch, how easily you make yourself available when media calls, and more. While we can’t guarantee you will get covered in the media, it certainly makes sense for you to have expectations for your PR campaign. Together, we can discuss what’s reasonable on both ends.

Q: How do I know the difference between what’s important to me and what’s actually newsworthy?

A: The best way to decide this is to speak to us, and through conversation, we can decide what will be of the most interest of the media at that time. Media interests depend on their personal and professional interests as well as trends and timely local and national news events of the day.

Q: If a reporter interviews me, how can I know for sure the story will be positive?

A: There is no way to guarantee what a reporter will say about you in a story, which is a risk. However, we will never put you in a situation where there are questions that could paint you in a negative light or set you up for failure during an interview. We will work with you to prepare you for your interviews and help you think of answers to any tough questions before your interview. If you are honest with us about your story and situation from the beginning, we can help make sure your media opportunities are positive experiences and there will be few surprises.

Q: Do you do press conferences?

A: Yes. When a press conference is truly needed, we can absolutely handle that. However, some things that may initially seem to require a press conference might not. If you think you need a press conference, let us know and we can discuss the best way to handle getting your message out.

Q: Something bad happened and I don’t want the media to know. Can you handle this?

A: There are different ways to approach a crisis. Oftentimes, we actually recommend being the first to notify the media when there’s a crisis. If the situation, or client, is large enough, they’ll find out regardless, and it’s always better to let them hear it from you rather than second-hand. When a situation seems large to a client but, in the grand scheme of things, actually isn’t particularly newsworthy, we can help you work out the situation a different way. In all situations when something has gone wrong, it’s critically important to address it quickly, communicate to all involved parties and the media (if necessary) how you’re addressing it, be transparent, and be helpful.

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Q: How long will it take for me to become famous?

A: “Famous” is a relative term, although how quickly you become well-known to various sections of the public depends on factors like the frequency of which you’re in the media and across multiple media outlets as well as how relevant you are to the public.

Q: What is a media relations campaign, and how much does it cost?

A: A media relations campaign takes into consideration the message a client would like to relay to the public via the media as well as the steps required to implement that message.

The cost for such a campaign depends on your budget. Nothing we create for clients is cookie-cutter, so all ideas, pitches, press releases, distribution lists, etc. are created specifically for each message we send to media on behalf of a client. Because all of this takes time, the amount of time we can spend on behalf of each client is determined by how many hours a client contracts for us to work on their behalf each month. The larger the client’s retainer, the more time we are able to work on enhancing their image. At a minimum, though, we recommend at least one monthly media push to begin to develop, and then maintain, momentum.

Q: Why do you write in AP style?

A: AP Style is the writing style of the Associated Press and a vast majority of the publications in the country. By writing our press releases and submissions in this style, newspaper editors and reporters can easily tell we speak their language, and they can easily copy and paste any information we send them without further editing. In busy newsrooms, the time saved editing can be invaluable.

Q: What is a media kit, and how is it used?

A: A media kit is like a sales kit, but it’s written with reporters/editors’ needs in mind. It can also be called a press kit.

There’s no one-size-fits-all rule when determining what to include in a media kit; we cater each one to the client for which it’s written. Often included, however, are: About Us, Leadership, Services, FAQs, an executive Q&A and a Contact Us page. When it makes sense, we may include Facts, History, Origin Story, etc. Essentially, we’ll include whatever general information a media outlet would want when writing – or considering writing – a story. An elaborate WHO/WHAT/WHEN/WHERE/WHY, if you will.

Upon completion, the media kit can also be used as a jumping off point for writing many other materials – such as the website, sales kit and brochures – for the client. If being an easy resource for media at all hours is desired, a designed version of the media kit can also reside on the client’s website as a downloadable, native PDF.

Q: Social media tools are free to sign up for. Why would I pay you to handle something that has no cost?

A: Do you really have the time? Time is money and anything that takes your time – even though it’s labeled as “free” – will eventually cost you time (money). So with the understanding that social media is not free, why not use your time and resources wisely and hire an agency to manage your social media for you? That way you can focus your personal time and energy on the things/aspects of your business that will make you even more profitable.

Technology is constantly evolving and there are so many different and varying social media tools available today. By hiring a social media expert – one with a great track record, of course – you don’t have to worry about keeping up with recent “tech-shifts” or have to decide whether a Pinterest account is better for your business, as opposed to an Instagram account. Your expert should be able to do that for you. It makes sense to pay for a social media expert who will not only stay up-to-date on the latest technological developments in the social media realm, but one who can also use the appropriate social media tools to reach your target audience.

You pay for other marketing services, why not pay for social media? In today’s digital age, having a social media presence is crucial to be successful in the long term. Yes, traditional advertising is still vital and that’s why you pay for it, but so is social media. Social media acts as an extra boost for traditional advertising, so it’s best to keep things consistent by paying an agency to manage both marketing facets for you.

Q: What should I look for in an agency?

A: We recommend starting with a goal in mind. What are you hoping to accomplish? Look for an agency that has accomplished similar goals, but don’t get too hung up on this alone. Consider what kind of working relationship you would like to have. Do you want to be part of every detail, or would you prefer to simply be updated as things progress? Would you prefer to work with one person, or a team with multiple talents and skills? Ultimately, you should choose an agency you can trust and that believes in your business. If they believe in it, chances are they will worker harder on your behalf.

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Q: When is a good time to start collaborating with an agency?

A: The earlier you can bring an agency in to collaborate, the better. Often business owners will push off marketing their business until last, not realizing how many decisions may impact communication efforts in the future. If you’re not sure if it’s too early to collaborate, ask for a no-obligation meeting. This is the best way to find out if an agency is a fit for you and if your timing is right.

Q: If I am paying a firm to handle my communication needs, does that mean I don’t need to do anything?

A: That is a misconception most clients make. To communicate on behalf of the client, the firm needs to be provided with everything necessary to make that happen. Oftentimes, clients will hand over the reins without providing enough direction. The best communication relationship takes place when the firm and its clients communicate on a regular basis. The client must keep the firm up-to-date on the latest happenings in his or her business; doing this allows the firm to identify content that can be used for social media, press releases and more. Of course, the firm must also keep the client in the loop to ensure the messaging is correctly targeted.

Q: I can’t afford an agency. … I don’t think. How do I know for sure? Your prices aren’t listed anywhere.

A: All of our services are customized to the needs of our clients. The best way to find out how much we charge is to schedule a no-obligation meeting with our team. During this time, we will find out about your goals and then come back to you with a proposal outlining our recommendations. Having a budget in mind before this meeting is always helpful. This will ensure that we provide recommendations best suited for your situation.

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Q: What are the benefits of working with Imagine?

A: Imagine Communications has successfully partnered with business of all sizes since 2000. We bring together a team in a variety of disciplines to meet all of your communications needs. Whether you are looking for a one-time project or a long-term retainer relationship, we are able to scale our services to meet your needs. Though Imagine is based in Nevada, we have experience working all over the country and even have team members based in Michigan and Florida. Imagine is made up of talented individuals who love what they do and work like a well-oiled machine to help its clients grow and thrive.

Q: Why do I need an account manager? What is it they do, exactly?

A: Account managers are a critical part of the Imagine team. From the moment you sign on as a client, you are assigned an account manager who serves as your day-to-day contact at Imagine. This person ensures all of your projects flow through to our team and back to you in a timely fashion. They also ensure that there is a consistency in your brand throughout all facets of communication.

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Q: Why should we hire you? My nephew can make a website/write a press release for me.

A: You know when you’re sitting at home and you see a chef on TV make a meal and think, “Pfft. I can do that; I have all the ingredients.”? So you make it and it comes out horrible? There’s a reason the chef makes it look easy; it’s what he does day in and day out. Marketing and advertising is what we do day in and day out.

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Q: I thought you were the experts, so can’t I just hire you and see results without being involved?

A: Sure, we are the experts – at what we do. We are not the experts in your industry or business. Without collaboration and input from our clients, we cannot do our job the way it should be done to produce results.

Q: What’s the difference between being a retainer client and a project client?

A: A retainer client pays a monthly fee for our services, and we engage in multiple projects over time. For example, one month we may write a press release and design an ad for a retainer client. The next month, it may be a newsletter and coordinating a media interview. There is a degree of flexibility when you are a retainer client, and we act as your on-call marketing department.

A project client is one that hires our company for a single project, like a creating a website or designing a logo. Once the project is complete, then the business relationship is over. We often find that most of our project clients come back with additional projects or turn into retainer clients.

Q: Is Imagine a union shop?

A: Yes, Imagine Communications is signatory to the Communication Workers of America (CWA). We are one of the few advertising agencies in the country to be union.

Q: Why is Imagine union?

A: Being a member of a union ensures that we adhere to the best business practices and employee benefits. In addition, it communicates to the world the pride, solidarity and craftsmanship that has been the trademark of unions in the United States more than 150 years.