Written by Smoak PR

Emojis in Marketing

Remember emoticons? Those little faces that you could type with just two or three keyboard characters? Since the early 2000s the way we communicate has changed from calls to text to live chats and FaceTime. Before the widely popular use of emojis, emoticons were infamous for communicating emotion via text.

Today, emojis are a large part of virtual communication. Through the reduced number of keyboard clicks, you can simply tap a variety of icons within your keyboard to convey a message and emotion. The emoji originated in Japan for use on Japanese cellphones. In 2008, they were discovered by Apple and became an official keyboard option within its software. Since that day, emojis have popularized into pop culture and online marketing efforts. In this blog, we will break down the advantages and challenges of emoji marketing:  


  • Enhance depth: Emojis have a way of adding depth and realism into the message that a brand wants to convey. The incorporation of imagery into text communicates tone on a deeper level. This enables content creators the ability to tap into a deeper realm of communication to touch human emotion and feeling.
  • Increase success in content shares: According to a study by WordStream, the use of emojis in marketing can increase twitter engagement by 25%, Facebook shares by 33%, and interactions on your post by 57%. These statistics back the fact that an emoji icon crafts a message to be more relatable and specific.
  • Humanize your brand: With emojis, creation of a more personal relationship with your audience is achievable. This is because the brand would essentially be speaking the every-day language of those reading this online engagement. They probably send that exact message to their friends over text or on social media, so why couldn’t your brand do it too?


  • Know your target audience: When using emojis in social media or email marketing efforts, there are a few aspects regarding message tone that by nature are less professional. To use emojis in marketing, it is critical to not only know, but understand who your target audience is. If the goal of your efforts is to engage with and reach a younger demographic or to be more personable and relatable, emojis are for you! If you desire to give industry insight, professional advice or remain formal, then emojis would not communicate the tone of your message effectively. 
  • Avoid overuse of emojis: The use of emojis is strong and increases engagement when used efficiently and effectively. The excessive use of emojis in marketing material distracts from the very message your brand is trying to communicate. For your message to not appear as spam or overwhelming to your target audience and viewers, carefully consider how the incorporation of emojis enhances your message. 
  • Select your message carefully: While the use of emojis to simplify and enhance a message may seem efficient, using less words in marketing efforts can also be harmful. A photograph or emoji can be interpreted in many ways, whereas a detailed message with text is specific and precise. The key to balancing this is by detailing your goals and objectives while also understanding the perceived effect of your marketing efforts. Tone and message quality is enhanced when text and emojis work together.

In conclusion, emojis have the potential to be incredibly helpful and effective in building your brand and creating a relationship with your target online audience, but it must be done in a precise and efficient manner. Make sure in doing so that you are mindful of the tone and possible interpretations of your message. While this trend is growing in popularity worldwide, it is important to make sure you are remaining intentional with how your brand communicates online!

Written by Smoak PR

Diamonds Direct Officially Opens April 17

America’s Fastest-Growing Jeweler and Diamond Importer to Open Just Minutes from Downtown Greenville

April 15, 2021 | Greenville, SC – Diamonds Direct, worldwide leader in diamond sourcing and consumer education, is opening their second South Carolina location at 1113 Woodruff Road on Saturday, April 17. The company offers an expansive selection of loose and mounted diamonds ranging in size from under a carat to over 10 carats. In addition, Diamonds Direct boasts a plethora of engagement ring mountings by America’s top designers, wedding bands, pendants, earrings, bracelets, pearls, colored gemstones, and fine fashion jewelry.

After an extensive market analysis, Diamonds Direct knew that Greenville would be an optimal fit with its ideal positioning between the flagship store in Charlotte, North Carolina and the original South Carolina store in Charleston. With Charlotte not being far from Greenville, the Diamonds Direct team had seen substantial following and brand loyalty from this market over the years and it only seemed fitting to expand the Diamonds Direct footprint into the Upstate. Diamonds Direct will offer Greenville customers a unique and educational approach, from skilled experts, who assist in choosing the right diamond for their budget and special occasion, to a personalized, one-of-a-kind in store experience.

“We believe this expansion into Greenville is a great opportunity and we are eager to begin serving new clientele that will hopefully turn into long-term, loyal customers,” said Igor Zak, General Manager, Diamonds Direct. “During this past year, we have faced many challenges, but more importantly, we have discovered that there is always a reason to celebrate and cherish the ones you love. Our goal at Diamonds Direct is to always be of service and help our customers celebrate both the little and big moments of life.”

Diamonds Direct, founded in 1995, is part of a generations-old tradition of eliminating the middlemen and sourcing direct from the world’s best mines and most reputable diamond cutters. By maintaining involvement in the entire lifecycle of a diamond, Diamonds Direct ensures quality diamonds are handpicked for their retail locations across the United States at the very best prices. Diamonds Direct’s signature approach is designed to provide tremendous value for the consumer.

“With the ongoing positive growth that Greenville has experienced over the past few years, Diamonds Direct knew that this would be the optimal place for our second location in South Carolina,” said Greenville Vice President Lynn Tu. “We look forward to serving this market and providing quality, one-of-a-kind products and services to all we encounter through this new venture.”

Compared to other market competitors, Diamonds Direct provides industry-leading guarantees and warranties. In addition, Diamonds Direct delivers the highest level of customer service, even after the sale and has unrivaled and complimentary after the sale services, including jewelry maintenance, cleaning, sizing and complimentary lifetime upgrade on engagement rings. Lastly, Diamonds Direct’s lifetime upgrade allows customers to trade their diamond for a different size, quality, or shape – and receive 110% of the original purchase price towards a new purchase.


Diamonds Direct, founded in 1995, is a direct-to-consumer destination retailer headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina. Their vertically integrated concept allows the retailer to cut out the middlemen and maintain involvement in the entire diamond process. Today, Diamonds Direct is one of America’s largest and most successful jewelry companies. Diamonds Direct backs their products with industry-leading guarantees and warranties, including their signature 110 percent lifetime upgrade. Diamonds Direct is a socially-responsible company that thinks globally and acts locally. The company ensures all diamonds are ethically sourced via the Kimberley Process and is responsible for hundreds of thousands of dollars raised for local philanthropies and cultural organizations that are critical to the communities Diamonds Direct calls home.

For more information visit www.DiamondsDirect.com.

Written by Smoak PR

Spinx Launches Highly Anticipated New Spinx Mobile App

GREENVILLE, SC – April 12, 2021 – Greenville-based fuel and convenience retail company The Spinx Company is thrilled to announce the launch of its brand new Spinx mobile app. The new Spinx app is available for download via the Apple App Store and Google Play. Previously downloaded versions of the app should update automatically.

By downloading the app and creating an account, all customers will receive a one-time offer of 25¢ off per gallon on their next Spinx fill up at the pump.

“We are always looking for ways to improve the customer experience,” says Stewart Spinks, Founder and Chairman of The Spinx Company. “This app launch will ensure that every stop at Spinx is more convenient, enjoyable, and rewarding than the last, so that we can continue Making Life Easier for our loyal customers across the state.”

The following features will now be available through the app:

  • Pay in store or at the pump with Xtras Pay or Mobile Wallet (Google Pay, Apple Pay).
  • Earn and redeem fuel rewards through Spinx Xtras.
  • Exclusive deals and offers just for app customers.
  • Interactive store locator.
  • Help Center (FAQ, contact customer service).

In addition to the one-time 25¢ off per gallon discount, the new app provides opportunities for exclusive offers and club memberships including: the Cluk Club, where customers can buy 6 chicken items and get the 7th free, as well as the new Drinx Club, where customers can buy 6 beverages (hot or iced) and get the 7th free.

After downloading the app, customers will be prompted to create a Spinx Xtras account, and will gain full access to the app’s exciting features upon successful login. Physical Xtras cardholders can also access these offers by creating an account at www.spinxxtras.com.

ABOUT SPINX – Founded in 1972 in Greenville, S.C., The Spinx Company operates 84 convenience retail stores throughout South Carolina, and with approximately 1,400 employees, it is the largest privately-held retailer headquartered in the state. Spinx is committed to making life easier by fulfilling people’s everyday needs with fresh, on-the-go food, beverages and other convenience products delivered in a safe, clean and friendly environment. Through the Spinx Xtras Loyalty program and the Spinx mobile app, the company offers its loyal customers savings on fuel and special promotions.

For more information about Spinx or the Spinx Xtras program, visit the company’s website at www.spinx.com.

Written by Smoak PR

Book Launch & Signing Will Take Place to Celebrate John Sterling’s New Book, Sales for Noobs

Special Event to be Hosted on April 15th Celebrating the Release of Upstate Business Leader’s Book

April 8, 2021 | Greenville, SC – Upstate native and sales expert, John Sterling, is excited to officially announce the release of his book, Sales for Noobs: Everything Sales Rookies Need to Know to Crush Quota, Get Promoted, and Kick A$$A book launch and signing will be held at The Lazy Goat on Thursday, April 15th from 5:00 to 7:00 pm. This event is open to the public and books will be available for purchase and author signing onsite.

As a sales trainer, manager, and serial entrepreneur, John is known for mentoring sales reps with zero business experience, so they become high-six- and seven-figure salespeople. John helped build software startup DataStream into a publicly traded company that sold to Infor for over $200 million. As Vice President of Sales, John and his team managed acquisitions in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Argentina, Singapore, and Australia, becoming the biggest technology company in South Carolina. During that time, John hired and trained over 150 sales reps, sixty of whom are now business owners, CEOs, or Sales VPs. Currently, John is owner of and investor in technology companies in the Southern United States and consults with business owners and their sales teams to crush quota.

“Throughout my career, I have always enjoyed being a mentor to help new salespeople take the time to pick the best sales job for them and get started in the right way,” said, John Sterling, Author of Sales for Noobs. “This book was written specifically to give essential advice to everyone considering a sales career so they can get started like a rocket ship versus “limping in” to the sales arena.”

In Sales for Noobs: Everything Sale Rookies Need to Know to Crush Quota, Get Promoted, and Kick A$$, John shares the essential advice every sales “noob” or newbie needs to know to make sales a rewarding profession. Whether someone is going into sales right out of school, pivoting from another industry, or getting back into the workforce, Sales for Noobs teaches readers a proven process to build a profitable career they can enjoy.

Sales for Noobs: Everything Sale Rookies Need to Know to Crush Quota, Get Promoted, and Kick A$$, is available for online purchase directly through Amazon.

ABOUT SALES FOR NOOBS | John Sterling is the world’s foremost expert in transforming sales noobs into seasoned pros. As a sales trainer, manager, and serial entrepreneur, John is known for mentoring sales reps with zero business experience, so they become high six and seven figure salespeople. Take your sales team from noobs to pros at www.SalesTrainingforNoobs.com.

Written by Smoak PR

The Commerce Club will be Acquired by BNG Hospitality Group

Private Club to Remain Open Under New Ownership Group out of Dallas, TX

GREENVILLE, SC | March 18, 2021 – Effective Monday, March 22nd, the Commerce Club, a private club located in downtown Greenville, will be acquired by BNG Hospitality Group. With a combined 100+ years of private club and hospitality experience, BNG specializes in the ownership and management of private city, country and sports clubs throughout the US. Currently, BNG owns Harbour Club in Charleston, SC, Crescent Club in Memphis, TN, Plaza Club in San Antonio, TX and Tampa Club in Tampa, FL.

For over 37 years, the Commerce Club has played a major role in the Greenville business community, bringing people together and building life-long relationships amongst all members. Under this new ownership, BNG will focus on improving the current state of the club and repositioning it to thrive for years to come through a number of key focus areas. Concentration areas will include club board redevelopment, new and improved sales and marketing efforts for membership and private events, expanded programming calendar and enhanced communication channels to better connect and communicate with club members.

“We believe there is a great opportunity to build upon the established legacy of the Commerce Club and we are strongly committed to our club members and serving them at the highest level,” said Sean Laney, Founder and President of BNG Hospitality Group. “BNG has made a strong commitment to operate the club as an extension of members’ homes by providing a quality facility, personalized service, and a wonderful place that they can continue to enjoy, personally and professionally. We look forward to the exciting future of the Commerce Club and are eager to get started.”

Founded in 2017, BNG Hospitality specializes in club turnaround opportunities when a club needs to focus on reconceptualizing or repositioning to become more relevant to a modern-day demographic. The Commerce Club will undergo a brief reboot from March 22nd to April 1st to officially bring the venue under BNG’s wing, along with any employees who choose to stay on staff. Under this new ownership, The Commerce Club’s name will remain the same and BNG is working with One Liberty Square building owners to secure a long-term lease for the facility.


Both in ownership as well as management, BNG specializes in Club turnaround opportunities when a club needs to focus on reconceptualizing or repositioning to become more relevant to a modern-day demographic. This approach considers all areas of club operation including club leadership placement, development and implementation strategies in F&B, membership recruitment and retention, budgeting and business plans and personnel assessment.

Written by Smoak PR

How Can PR Help Your Brand?

Understanding the difference between Public Relations and Marketing can be very helpful when it comes to strategizing effective ways to build brand awareness, increase revenue, drive web traffic or simply create a buzz. As PR professionals, we also appreciate how both marketing initiatives and traditional public relations efforts can work in tandem with one another to drive results. The “marketing umbrella” contains powerful promotional tools, one of which is PR. At times, PR is difficult to define because it can be a challenge to associate a specific “return on investment”, whereas with a paid advertising campaign, dollars spent can be tracked back to direct sales or return. That said there is absolutely no denying that effective and strategic public relations initiatives can launch a brand to great success or continue building momentum. Here are three free things that fall within the world of PR that you can start executing today to enhance your brand, and aid you achieving your goals and objectives. 

Media Relations – Building relationships with local, regional, and national media personnel or ‘on-air talent’ can sometimes be a daunting task. That said, looking up the ‘contact us’ page on the local news outlet’s website to introduce yourself and your business to the folks most likely to cover your industry is the perfect place to start. Simply saying hello, providing feedback on a relatable article they have published, or weaving your way into a recent story they covered are all effective ways to begin building long-term, and hopefully beneficial relationships with those in your market ultimately responsible for spreading news and sharing your story.

Social Media Engagement and Influencer Relations –PR today is less about writing and sending press releases, and more about valuable engagement, especially on social media! Commenting, sharing, liking, and loving social media content on a personal level is a surefire way to contribute to the conversation in a very valuable way. By being persistent and consistent with your engagement on social media platforms, you are more likely to grow your organic reach and build brand awareness in an impactful way. Engaging with local social influencers via direct messages, comments or shares may seem like a time consuming task that will fall on deaf ears…or blind eyes; however, rest assured that patience is a virtue and valuable interaction digitally can – and will pay off! 

Content Creation – Building content that you own is critical! Imagine a world where Instagram or Facebook no longer exists and the digital audience you have built is no longer present to engage with, or see your brand daily. Generating content that is your own to share among your audience will help you continue to build your brand – even if the outlets for distributing that content change or evolve over time. Specifically speaking, you should focus on your website, building a strong email database and most importantly – cultivating your relationships! We encourage clients to spend their valuable time writing informational white pages, building a mobile and user friendly website, and to always go the extra mile when publishing content that is theirs – ultimately positioning them as the expert within a given landscape. 

There is no denying that PR can incorporate a lot of different things these days; however, focusing on effective media relations, spending time on personal engagement, and building valuable content will never go out of style!  

Written by Smoak PR

SBDC, SCORE, WBC Partner to Bring eCommerce Startup Series to the Upstate

GREENVILLE, SC | March 9, 2021 – Three small business and entrepreneur support organizations are partnering to present a three-part series on starting an eCommerce business.  The Greenville Area Small Business Development Center (SBDC), Piedmont Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) and the CommunityWorks Women’s Business Center (WBC) coordinated the training to reach a wider audience across the Upstate and highlight each organization.

The leaders of the three organizations are looking forward to coming together to present this series.  As related SBA programs, sharing resources and ideas magnifies all of their efforts to support entrepreneurs looking for in-depth eCommerce assistance.  The SBDC’s Earl Gregorich, Ana Parra, the new program director of the WBC and Jerry Smith, a volunteer with Piedmont SCORE who leads their training programs, quickly agreed on a concept, its importance and how they would divide the work.  They planned the curriculum together over a few meetings and are promoting the whole series to each of their entrepreneurs and business owner clients.  The UEE and Ten at the Top are adding additional promotional support for this important series for Upstate entrepreneurs.

“Ana, Earl and I are excited to bring this eCommerce workshop series to the local small business community.  The collaboration of the WBC, SCORE, and SBDC will provide a diverse approach and ensure this important topic is fully explored,” said Jerry Smith, SCORE Mentor.

The workshops are all virtual and hosted by a different organization. They launch on March 15th at noon beginning with “eCommerce: Is it Right for Your Business?” provided by the WBC.  On April 15th at noon, Piedmont SCORE will present “eCommerce: Planning for Success”.  On May13th at noon, SBDC will wrap up with “eCommerce: Finding the Right Technology”.  This series will provide attendees with the information they need to determine if selling online is right for their business, the steps to set it up properly and how to evaluate and utilize the many technologies available and necessary. 

“All of our organizations emphasize the need for small businesses to form strategic partnerships.  This training provides a great example of how partnering can be beneficial to all those involved,” said Earl Gregorich, Greenville Area Manager, SBDC.

The Upstate Entrepreneur Ecosystem (UEE), an initiative of Ten at the Top, serves the role of increasing the capacity and ability of the ecosystem to help entrepreneurs be more successful faster.  Erin Ouzts, in her role as facilitator for the UEE for Ten at the Top, saw that each organization was offering important parts of eCommerce startup and management training, but it had been a while since there was an overview of the steps to launch.

“The pandemic has created an unprecedented demand for online access to products and services”, said Erin Ouzts, Director of the Upstate Entrepreneur Ecosystem. “Any education we can provide for our entrepreneurs and business owners about how to evaluate and successfully launch a website to sell online, is another step toward helping our local businesses survive.”

The SBDC, SCORE and WBC are supported in different ways by the US Small Business Administration (SBA), and while they work together with common clients and cross-over programs, having all three collaborate on a single 3-part event is rare.  All regularly provide workshops, training, mentoring and support for entrepreneurs and small business owners. Entrepreneurs tend to stay with the original organization throughout the time they need support. This series will help entrepreneurs understand that each group is equally important and helpful to their potential success. 

“Collaboration is always a good idea and right now when there is such a critical need, a partnership among resource partners helps us reach more business owners and provide additional tools to keep businesses sustainable,” said Ana Parra, WBC Program Director.

ABOUT SCORE | SCORE, the nation’s largest network of volunteer, expert business mentors, is dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals. Since 1964, we have provided education and mentorship to more than 11 million entrepreneurs. SCORE is a nonprofit organization and a resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Thanks to this generous support from the SBA and because of the selfless contributions of our more than 10,000 dedicated volunteers, we are able to deliver most of our offerings at no cost.

ABOUT WBC | The CommunityWorks Women’s Business Center (WBC) serves women throughout South Carolina by empowering entrepreneurs through advocacy, outreach, education and support. The center focuses on serving women of color and those who may be economically disadvantaged – working to offer comprehensive training and counseling to foster business skills. The WBC builds upon CommunityWorks’ mission to provide opportunities for all through equitable lending, investing and financial education.

ABOUT SBDC | For more than forty years, entrepreneurs have turned to South Carolina Small Business Development Centers (SC SBDC) for help expanding an existing business or starting a new enterprise. Through free consulting, low-cost seminars and links to resources, the SC SBDC helps jump start startups and makes existing businesses thrive. SC SBDC consultants work with companies in all stages of development – from a person with an innovative product but no idea how to move forward to the owner of a company looking to capture new markets. A statewide organization, the SC SBDC has 20 area centers in communities across South Carolina, serving both urban and rural business needs. The SC SBDC helps more than 6,000 clients each year.

Written by Smoak PR

How to Make Instagram Work For You and Not Against You

Social media is everchanging and it is critical to stay up to speed with new features, algorithms and more. Most recently, Instagram has proven to take over the social media market from both a personal and business standpoint. How can you ensure that your brand is working with the flow of the feed, and not against it? Due to the fast-paced nature of social media and its effectiveness of sharing information, it is imperative to have a few strategies up your sleeve to attract and engage with quality followers that help elevate your brand.

1. Captivating Imagery

You have probably heard this many times, but imagery is everything with social media, especially Instagram. It is key to post unique photographs that attract people to your account and establish an online presence to keep followers, both new and old, loyal to you. The average user spends about three seconds viewing your post, therefore, post graphics that make them stop and engage!  If you don’t have easy access to a professional photographer or high-quality photographs, try using a consistent filter on all of your photos to establish visual continuity throughout your page. Some very simple ways to maximize your visual assets are as easy as the following:

  • Turn a video into gifs or stills
  • Make a series of photos into a slideshow video or carousel
  • Use multiple images from the same photoshoot for different purposes
  • A #ThrowbackThursday never hurt anyone
  • Redesign images and feature them as Stories

2. Creative Stories & Reels

Recent studies have shown that people are more likely to watch Instagram stories than they are to take the time to scroll through their Instagram feed. Creating an Instagram story takes very little time and is a fun way to give followers a peek inside your typical workday. Not only are Instagram stories an easy way to engage, but they also increase your brand transparency and show who you really are behind the camera. Whether you make a video with the team, share sneak peeks on what you’re planning to do next, or simply take a photo during your break, consistent stories are guaranteed to pay off in the long run.

Similar to TikTok, Instagram Reels offer you the ability to create fun and engaging video clips through the Instagram platform. With a 30-second time limit, these videos have been proven to increase engagement and followers for various reasons. Different from a typical Instagram post, the main benefit of a reel is their prime location on Instagram’s Explore page. The Explore page allows Instagram users who may not be following you to see your content and then visit your account directly—this is a major way to get in front of a new audience!

3. Calculated Hashtags

Many of our clients ask, “What do hashtags even do for my account, it seems like an added task with no benefit?” Our easiest answer to this question is that hashtags make your posts and account discoverable on a broader scale. When you use hashtags that are relevant and trending, your account will then have a higher chance of appearing when users search content by hashtags. Getting in front of people within the same industry as you, that may not be existing followers, is an easy way to increase engagement and potential following. There are two different types of hashtags that we recommend implementing into your Instagram, industry specific hashtags and branded hashtags.  Using a combination of these is guaranteed to elevate your account and get you in front of the right audience

4. Consistent Engagement

Engage, engage, engage. Whether it is a simple thumbs up emoji or a “like,” engagement will transform your Instagram account. Actively liking and commenting on your followers’ posts, shows loyalty and garners engagement back to your page. Other ways to ensure you are engaging effectively is to exchange DMs, bookmark posts you love, tag other accounts in your posts, and reshare relatable content from accounts. This is an easy to task to forget, so we recommend setting a reminder every day on your phone to actively engage on social platforms. You will be surprised at how much a few minutes of engagement can pay off in the long run!

Written by Smoak PR

Trends in Digital Media Communications

If 2020 has taught us anything, it is that the world we live in has become reliant on digital communication. It is easy to become overwhelmed with information being thrown at us from an overabundance of platforms, people, and outlets. As a leader in our industry, it is critical to navigate the swarm of digital communications and engage appropriately on a variety of platforms, while continuing to discover new trends that ultimately encourage our client’s success. Below are a few digital communication trends we expect to see grow in popularity in 2021.

  1. Enhanced User Generated Content: User Generated Content (UGC) is any type of content (reviews, images, videos, audio, etc.) that users publish themselves on online platforms stemming interactions and information shares that develop thought leaders. The onslaught of invasive online advertising techniques quickly lowered consumers’ ad tolerance. The rise in popularity of ad blockers and search engines like DuckDuckGo are indicators of the intrusive targeting of online consumers. UGC is now welcomed by many brands as an organic and trusted source to reach and gain credibility with their audiences. 
  • Increase in Influencer content: Throughout 2020, users flocked to social media platforms to engage with friends, family and people around the world. Influencers’ personal lives, reviews and opinions were consumed at a higher volume than ever before. The human interaction that users craved was tapped into through live-streams, videos and more frequent posts. Influencer marketing is a strategy that is effectively used to promote products and services through partnerships with popular social media users who have a large, highly engaged audience. Influencer marketing is a key strategy that increases reach across social media audiences, builds brand trust, grows following on social platforms, and increases social traffic and sales.
  1. Surge of Purpose-Driven Initiatives from Brands: As social media platforms progress, users become more knowledgeable. It is critical for brands to position themselves as sincere and trustworthy through goodwill efforts and community relations. Brands that give back, listen to the world around them and respond are more trusted by consumers than those that refuse to acknowledge the tides of change. Purpose-driven initiatives such as donations to non-profits, volunteer work in the community and sponsorships are pivotal for retaining and building trust in consumers. We always encourage our clients to highlight their community involvement as it is proven to generate trust and value from online followers, while also increasing reach and popularity from those who may not be committed followers yet.
  1. Expansion of video marketing: Community is key and the use of creative movement and audio through videos engages consumer viewership of products and services. Videos humanize brands by allowing products and services to become more tangible. Users engage visually and auditorily simultaneously which produces a stronger retention time. Another trend in video marketing is production simplicity. We see this through the increased popularity of shorter clips such as Tik Tok videos, Instagram Reels and live streams. Brands are engaging with consumers by sharing bite-sized clips of their products and services rather than publishing longer and professionally polished content. Organic video sharing has been known to increase brand loyalty and engagement, as it highlights the “realness” of products and services as it pertains to everyday life.
Written by Smoak PR

The Upstate Mobility Alliance to Host Golden Strip Area Leaders for a Virtual Panel Discussion on the Connection Between Growth and Transportation

Leaders from the Golden Strip to Discuss Community Growth and How Transportation Creates Vibrant Communities

Greenville, SC | February 10, 2021 – On Tuesday, February 23rd, the Upstate Mobility Alliance will host a virtual panel discussion on “Connecting the Dots: How Transportation Helps Create Community Vibrancy” from noon to 1:00 pm. This event is open to the public and will feature Shawn Bell, Fountain Inn City Administrator, Jon Caime, Laurens County Administrator, Dianna Gracely, Simpsonville City Administrator, and Brandon Madden, Mauldin City Administrator.

Made up of more than 40 public, private, and civic leaders across the ten-county Upstate South Carolina Region, Upstate Mobility Alliance was created to make the region vibrant and connected, where transportation policy and investments promote innovation, sustainable development, and economic prosperity for all residents and businesses.

“The Upstate of South Carolina continues to be an attractive place for people to work and live,” said Michael Hildebrand, Director of the Upstate Mobility Alliance. “This panel will focus on growth projections for the individual communities and how transportation and mobility options in their community impacts growth and vibrancy.”

At this virtual event, participants will be able to ask questions and hear directly from city and county leaders on upcoming plans and projects throughout the Golden Strip. They will also have the opportunity to explore long-range plans and discuss how alternate modes of transportation, like walking and cycling connectivity, can support future growth.

“Fountain Inn is one of the fastest growing cities in South Carolina,” said Shawn Bell, Fountain Inn City Administrator. “With this growth, we recognize the role transportation and mobility plays in creating vibrant communities.”

Click here to register for the “Connecting the Dots: How Transportation Helps Create Community Vibrancy” panel hosted by Upstate Mobility Alliance. To learn more about the resources provided by the Upstate Mobility Alliance, please click here.


Made up of more than 40 public, private, and civic leaders across the ten-county Upstate South Carolina Region, Upstate Mobility Alliance was created to make the region vibrant and connected, where transportation policy and investments promote innovation, sustainable development, and economic prosperity for all residents and businesses. www.upstatemobilityalliance.org

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