Deadlines & Meeting Them

Posted on September 25th, 2013 by Skye-Lynn Ferch Categories communication

You, the person next to you and the stranger over there all have deadlines. There is no one in today’s society that doesn’t have some sort of deadline. There are a variety of methods of going about completing deadlines. Here are some practical and do-able tips on never missing any more deadlines and even finishing early.

Deadlines & Meeting Them

  • Create A Start & End Dates: Write or input tasks and deadlines into a planner or digital calendar. This creates a clear picture for a visual timeframe. Keep your planner or calendar out into plane view so that you will be reminded of your upcoming deadlines.
  • Be Realistic: Set realistic expectations for your clients, employees and most of all yourself. You don’t want to become overwhelmed, keep it simple and timely when setting your expectations for your tasks to get done.
  • Don’t Be Mental: Although mental lists work well for most people. However it can be a struggle to remember everything when you have several deadlines, multiple projects and tasks.  Seeing things written down is helpful because you won’t be solely relying on recollection.
  • Break It Down: Break down projects into little tasks and work one step at a time. This will help give you an estimated amount of time needed to finish one task and how long it will take you to finish the remaining steps.
  • Disconnect: In order for all of this to work smoothly you have to cut off connections with the world just until the task is done. Forward calls to voicemail, inform others that you prefer not to be disturbed and refrain from social media. Most importantly don’t use scheduled project task time to do other work projects or personal endeavors.
  • Reward Yourself: Treat yourself with a reward for all your hard work once you have met your deadline. Whether it’s a big or small reward, you will have an “eye on the prize” mentality to push you to the end.

Deadlines are vital in life and business they keep us on track and on point.

Get Your Brand Message Heard

Posted on July 24th, 2013 by Skye-Lynn Ferch Categories Blog

It is never too late to learn more about growing your business, especially when it comes to learning how your brand message impacts your consumers. Brand messaging shares a business’ value to consumers with brief, simplified messages about what makes your product or service something they want to buy. Your business’ brand messages can be shared through articles, blogs, advertising, or even social media. Writing with the purpose of communicating the intended brand message can be a challenge, but when done correctly it can be very effective.


Topic with a Purpose


Before you begin writing a brand message, you need to choose a subject and understand what you want your message to achieve. You must identify the best topic for writing by analyzing its relevance to your audience’s interests, gender, age, etc. According to Grow SmartBiz, consumers are driven by quality content and will actually click on an article to read further when it appears to have valuable information. If you would like to learn about specific businesses that have successfully communicated their brand message click here.


Facts Earn Trust


People are interested in research studies, statistics and what trusted resources say about a topic. This will give your writing credibility, as well as the opportunity to gain readers’ trust.


Short and Sweet


Successful brand messages are usually short and simple because attention spans have dwindled over time. Focus on easy-to-read sentences and understandable content, as suggested by Forbes.


Think It Through


Be mindful of your client base when choosing your brand message topics and in your writing style, so as not to offend or turn away your target audience. The goal is to create a good impression of your business with your current audience, while attracting new customers. By following these tips, you can create engaging brand messages and propel your business into the future.


Lead Generation

Posted on July 10th, 2013 by Skye-Lynn Ferch Categories Blog

Finding leads is manageable, but peaking their interest and maintaining it in regard to your brand proves to be a challenge. Today, buyers have the ability to do their own research before deciding what they want to purchase. With the popularity of the Internet, their resources are unlimited. A new generation of consumers means that businesses need to be increasingly innovative and unique through their online presence in order to find customers that will see the value in your products and/or services.


The new era of educated consumers can actually benefit your business given the right exposure. The question becomes, how do you make your business stand out with a sea of competitors?


Make the Customer Aware


Building and maintaining an easy-to-use website that spurs consumer interaction should be priority number one. Consumers decide whether they want to invest in your business by browsing a web page, meaning this is an opportunity to convert casual Internet browsers to leads. Excite the audience by offering coupons, appealing information, and creative layout. Remember, the purpose is for the target market to become a customer, and a repeat customer at that.


Strategically Advertise


It is important that you place advertisements where maximum exposure is guaranteed. Websites related to your product, or pages that you think potential leads would spend time on are ideal for ad placement. Social media and blogs will also allow you attract the right audience. Selecting the right medium for advertising is crucial when building brand awareness.


Events Expand Exposure


Hosting events is an important part of acquiring leads. They afford you the opportunity to establish personal connections with potential customers that might have been overlooked through website and advertising. Compelling people to attend an event can be done via social media or local media websites like


Moving  leads through the sales cycle can be achieved by effectively managing those possible clients.  Using websites, strategically advertising and hosting events are other tools to attract and retain potential customers. To learn more about this click here.


Tacos can be Messy and so can Social Media

Posted on June 12th, 2013 by Skye-Lynn Ferch Categories Blog

The Incident


These employees really took the company’s old slogan, “Think Outside the Bun,” to a whole new level! Recently, two Taco Bell employees thought it was humorous to post a photo of one of them licking a stack of taco shells and posted it on Facebook, via username “Jj O’Brian Nolan” and Reddit.


That’s the Way the Taco Crumbles


The general public response was not as hilarious as these employees expected. Instead, social media users began to question the cleanliness of Taco Bell’s food and facilities, well if they weren’t already. However, some social media users did enjoy the photo so much that it was continuously reposted and “tagged” as Taco Bell. Digg users created a list of the “Top Five Reasons Taco Bell Might Actually Be More Dangerous Than MTV’s Skins.”


Picking Up the Mess


Taco Bell responded with an official statement mentioning, along with all the standard company regulations and policies, “Our first question was, were the taco shells served to customers?  In short, absolutely not.” The company has extended its aggressive public relations fight back, responding via Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. The Facebook photo received over 900 “Likes”, however the comments were not so positive.


It has been suggested that Taco Bell’s error was in hiring the type of employees that would find humor in doing something like this. According to USA Today, “Unhappy fast-food employees will do disgusting things to the food they sell.” Only time will tell the ideal methods by which to navigate the complexities of social media from a brand image perspective.

Evernote: the Evermore Promisor

Posted on June 5th, 2013 by Skye-Lynn Ferch Categories Blog

mzl.ypzqpzuoWhen used correctly, Evernote, will make sure you don’t forget anything ever and, the best part, it’s free. If you are unfamiliar with Evernote, it is a free app that captures anything, anywhere and is easily shared and searchable. In fact, it has grown in five years to 50 million users. You will never want to take notes by hand again.


Evernote allows you to create “notebooks”, save “notes” within notebooks, collect images, videos, links, voice recordings, and even handwritten scribbles. This note-taking app saves websites you want to remember to check out later and share meeting notes with the entire office or specific individuals. Evernote mobile allows you to grab Web pages for later with Dolphin: Evernote at no charge or pay a little and get EverWebClipper, which offers more flexibility in what you can grab. Evernote sinks the content with all your devices, so you will have access to your notes at all times.


Once you build up a large database on Evernote, the search capabilities will become very useful. There are also extended search capabilities, which allow you to focus on specific search terms. Once, you familiarize yourself with the basic version of Evernote you may want to upgrade to the Evernote Business version.


Evernote Hello has the ability to create new Hello Contacts simply by scanning their business card. The potential is limitless with Evernote. Before Evernote we felt we were forgetting evermore, but this happens to us nevermore.

Intern Spotlight: Mike Tauser

Posted on February 6th, 2013 by admin Categories Blog

All of us at the REFUGE Group are excited to bring you another Intern Spotlight. This week, we would like to introduce one of our newest interns, Mike Tauser.

Mike graduated from Marquette University with a degree in Broadcast Journalism. When asked why he chose to go there, his top answer was “the campus was a short bus trip from County Stadium, so [he] could still get [his] baseball fix without much difficulty.” As you can see, one of Mike’s greatest interests is baseball and he likes to spend his free time writing for his blog, Farmstros.

The strangest service Mike would like to market would be his friend’s company, which makes items for criminal justice agencies. Despite sales being based off bids, Mike thinks that developing a social media presence for the company would be very interesting. He thinks “a positive result of social media is that it makes it more obvious that getting into something that ‘no one’ else is into isn’t necessarily getting into something that no one else is into.”

When not updating the Farmstros’ blog, you can find Mike enjoying time with his family or reading a good book.


Intern Spotlight: Pauline Alderete

Posted on January 16th, 2013 by admin Categories communication

With the New Year beginning, we have another new intern to introduce to you. Meet Pauline Alderete.


Pauline is currently a junior at the University of Houston. Pauline always makes sure to sport her UH pride on “Cougar Red Fridays.” She thinks “it’s always great to see people around town either wearing red or something UH oriented.” She’s studying to be marketing and management double major in the Bauer Business School. She choose marketing because she wanted to “help others promote their dreams through their business and watch them succeed.”

When asked how do you think social media will change the world, Pauline replied, “social media has brought in the new era of engagement to the fast track. This era of engagement that we are currently entering is looking to be around for a while because it has a core of Customer Service aspects that all customers look to have.”

Pauline likes to spend her free time going to concerts, taking photos and watching movies with family and friends.


Intern Spotlight: Shanea Johnson

Posted on January 2nd, 2013 by admin Categories Blog

A few weeks ago, we introduced you to one of our new interns here at the REFUGE Group, Bobby Struzick. This week we are delighted to bring you Shanea Johnson.


Shanea comes to us from University of Houston Clear Lake, where she is currently a junior. She hopes to use her Communications degree to work with a company that allows her to socialize with clients. “I want to help someone build their business and be proud of all the work they’ve put it. I would love a job that gives back to the community and makes positive changes,” Shanea said.


One of Shanea’s favorite marketing campaign is Doritos’ Crash the Super Bowl campaign. She liked how people were involved through the Doritos website, their advertising, and how Doritos attained a really fun reputation for allowing their customers to become the advertisers.


Shanea likes to spend her time hanging out with her family, reading a good book or trying new food. If she could be any inanimate object, Shanea would want to be blown glass because it “takes a long time to make, ends up becoming something special and all it’s flaws make it unique.”



Intern Spotlight: Bobby Struzick

Posted on December 19th, 2012 by admin Categories Blog

At the REFUGE Group, we’re pretty proud of all our of interns. Our internship program allows us to interact with individuals who feel the same way we do about marketing.  Today, we would like to introduce you to one of our latest additions: Bobby Struzick.


Bobby is a 5th generation Texas A&M Aggie and recently graduated this past August with a Bachelor’s of Business Administration with a Marketing Focus. At A&M, Bobby was a proud member of the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band.


If he could market anything, Bobby would want to market individual bands or other musical groups. He sees “music marketing as a great challenge and one that would take [his] full interest and passion.” So it makes sense his dream job would be the Marketing Director of a professional Symphony House like the Houston Symphony.


When he’s not in the office, you can find Bobby enjoying a concert, playing his trombone, or rooting for the Fightin’ Texas Aggies.

From Our Forum To Yours: Utilizing Blogs & Forums

Posted on December 12th, 2012 by admin Categories Blog

The holidays are a time for sharing with others. One way to share with your customers is to reach out with a blog or forum. These digital discussions will help you engage and interact with your customers and fans.


It’s Your Stage


With a blog or a forum, you choose the topic you want to talk about. You can take your customers behind the scenes of the company or ask them which discontinued product they want to come back. By sharing with your customers, you will not only be promoting your company, but you’ll also be building credibility and trust with your customers.


Find The Key

When writing a post or a discussion question, there are a few things you should consider. The first is making sure you use keywords not only in the main body, but also in the title. This will allow people searching with those keywords to find your content. Even if you are hosting the blog or discussion on your website, make sure you link to your website in the text. If your content ends up on another website, people will still be able to get backto your website thanks to that link. Finally when you publish the content make sure you respond to people’s comments. By encouraging and interacting with your customers, people are more likely to respond to later posts.


Go Social


Now that you’ve written your blog or created a new discussion, push it out! Make sure you share the content or post the link to all your social media platforms. You should also look into social bookmarking websites like Digg or StumbleUpon. These bookmarking sites let you link your content, so people that are looking for similar blogs or discussions are able to find you.


If you’ve tried blogging or a forum for the first time, let us know about it!