Make a Mark That's Positively Powerful: 3 Tips for Successfully Reframing Your Brand

If you find that your clients have difficulty connecting with your brand, understanding what your brand does, or are siding with your competitors, it might be time for a rebranding. When you work with Devaney & Associates, we uncover the positively powerful differentiators that make your brand stand out from the rest.

Check out the work we did with Chase Brexton Health Care—helping them transform their LGBT Health Resource Center into The Center for LGBTQ Health Equity.

Tip #1: Talk to the people who know you best

Successful rebranding almost always starts with interviewing your staff and clients. After facilitating a discovery workshop with Chase Brexton staff and gathering dozens of client testimonials, it became clear that the LGBT Health Resource Center was doing more groundbreaking research, advocacy, and education than anyone realized. They needed an elevated brand to match.

Tip #2: Get to know your audience on an emotional level

Knowing how your audience feels on a gut level enables you to forge authentic connections. For Chase Brexton’s audiences, identity can be a deeply emotional journey. Through peer and cultural research, we developed a clear and consistent brand language that could speak to the center’s diverse audiences in a way that was inclusive and affirming.

Tip #3: Be open to changing more than just your name or tagline

To be all that your brand can be often means changing the way things have always been done. Beyond our naming recommendations, Chase Brexton’s leadership was open to making organizational changes, updating its menu of services, and adopting a mission statement to more clearly define the center’s brand and role in LGBTQ advocacy.  

Result: A rebranding that you and your audience can believe in

“Our rebranding was about giving people a better understanding of what we do here every day,” explains Sam McClure, executive director of The Center for LGBTQ Health Equity at Chase Brexton. “We have an incredible team of visionaries who are doing game-changing work to end LGBTQ health disparities in our community and on the national and international stage.”

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Ready to build a brand that truly connects to your audience? Contact us today to get started!

National Intern Day: Our Intern’s Summer Spectacular

In case you’ve been wondering who was behind some of our agency’s recent blog posts, such as Devaney & Associates Head Back to HQ, we’ve got an exclusive from the author themself–that’s me! 

Greetings from beyond the keyboard! I’m Jester, this summer’s copywriting intern who had the great pleasure of working with D&A the last few months. With my time here nearing an end, and so close to National Intern Day, I’ve been asked to do one last write up on my experience during my internship.

Expectation vs Reality

When I saw the words ‘copywriting intern,’ I had no idea what to expect. I would consider myself a writer primarily versed in fiction, but I saw this as an opportunity to learn a new style of creative writing. In that respect, it did not disappoint. 

From day one, it felt less like I was an intern and more like I was a student with the bonus of hands-on experience. I was assigned writing projects such as blogs, newsletters articles, and social media posts within week one! I was also invited to sit in on several company meetings, giving me a true feel for what it’s like working at Devaney & Associates.

Virtual But Involved

While my internship was intended to be entirely virtual, I was never shut out from the rest of the team. I met everyone virtually within the first week, and I later met them all in person when I spent a day at the Devaney & Associates HQ. There was also plenty of communication between me and the creative team, whether it was a million new projects or a simple update at the end of the day. I felt most a part of the team when I came in for a second visit, though that one came with a catch…

The TikTok Project

One thing I didn’t expect to mention during my interview was the fact that I had 150k followers on TikTok (now over 300k but who’s counting?). This ended up becoming a huge part of my internship when I was asked to create a presentation about TikTok as it relates to marketing and brand promotion. In between drafting articles and writing Facebook posts, I was researching the very app on which I developed a following and always thinking about how it could benefit a business. 

Once the presentation was complete, I went back to the HQ and treated the team to a TikTok education (while they treated me to Noodles & Co). Maybe we’ll see some D&A TikToks go viral in the future!

Summer Only Lasts So Long

As my time here comes to a close, I am nothing but grateful for having been given this opportunity. I learned so much, especially about writing for a specific audience and the revision process. I thank everyone in the business, especially my supervisors, for mentoring me these past few months and giving me the chance to work in the real world of writing. 

So long for now!

-J.H.

Using TikTok as a Marketing Tool

Get Your Business Trending with Today’s Fastest Growing Social Media Platform

“Hey yo! Have you seen this TikTok?” has become an increasingly common question these days. Many know TikTok as a new social media platform on which all the young’uns post videos of themselves dancing, but there is more than meets the eye. What if we told you this “dancing clock app” could help you grow your business?

This past week, our summer intern Jester Hutchison made an educational presentation about the marketing potential of what is currently the hottest social media app. Sitting pretty on over 300k followers themself, Hutchison gave us insight into how the app works and how to best use it for marketing a business. Now, we’ll share what we’ve learned with you.

So, What is TikTok?

TikTok is a video sharing app on which creators can easily create fun, eye-catching videos with popular music or amusing sounds. During the last couple of years–and especially during the pandemic–TikTok has become one of the most popular social media platforms in world. Its primary purpose lies in entertainment and creativity, but the ever-growing user base and unique sharing software make it a rising star on the marketing stage. 

Why TikTok is Great for Marketing

What do you expect to see when you log onto a social media app such as Facebook or Instagram? Posts by people you follow, correct? For a person to gain an audience on most social media platforms, they must build up a following of friends, family, and fans. 

This is not the case with TikTok.

TikTok’s main feed is called the For You Page (FYP), and it is similar to the Explore Page on either Instagram or Facebook. The FYP uses an advanced algorithm to provide viewers with content that is assumed to be within the viewer’s interest. More often than not, a viewer is shown videos of people they don’t follow on the FYP.

Why is this great for marketing?

A business does not need a huge following to get in front of the audience!

All they need is a good idea, an entertaining video, and a little help from the FYP.

Tips For Getting on the FYP:

  • Making videos brief and to-the-point
  • Use popular music or audios
  • Keep up-to-date with what’s trending and use it for your content
  • Put on a performance that’ll keep people watching
  • Use trending hashtags or hashtags that pertain to your ideal audience

How Your Business Can Leverage TikTok

With a monthly audience of 689 million users internationally and 100 million in the U.S. alone, TikTok is an untapped well of clientele. Any business looking to promote their services can hop on and start their own TikTok account for free! Once they start pushing out content and finding their audience, they can watch their customer base grow from behind the camera.

For a more direct approach, a business can also get a TikTok for Business account. This paid membership gives businesses special tools that allow them to collaborate with popular creators, start trends, and even put advertisements directly onto the FYP. 

No matter which type of TikTok account you start for your business, one of the best ways to promote your brand is by collaborating with TikTok creators. Vessi Shoes, a waterproof shoe brand, worked with @kallmekris to incorporate their shoes into her content. With 31.6 million followers and plenty of videos already on the FYP, Kris’ videos expanded Vessi Shoes’ audience and increased their exposure.

You could also use TikTok for Business to collaborate with creators on a larger scale. PaintYourLife, a family-based portrait company, used the Creator Search tool to find creators with families or family-related content. These creators were asked to make videos with a portrait done by PaintYourLife, and several of these videos went viral. These collaborations totaled 770k Views, 120k Likes, and a 13% Average Engagement Rate.

With so many different ways to engage with your audience, TikTok can be your new secret weapon in promoting your business.

Ready to Get Started?

Here’s 3 easy steps to begin your TikTok journey!

  1. Download TikTok to your device
  2. Create an account for you or your business
  3. Create videos and share them with the world!

Devaney & Associates Head Back to HQ

Here at Devaney & Associates, we take our work as a full-service advertising, marketing, and PR agency very seriously. We pride ourselves on connecting with our clients and helping them expand their audience. We also value the connections we’ve made within our own team. We couldn’t imagine what it would be like apart from one another…

Except we did have to work from home for over a year. 

Alas, the stay-at-home orders have been lifted, and we have been welcomed back into the castle that is the Devaney & Associates office. Needless to say, our squad has been very excited about the return. We’re not sure who is more thrilled: Us or the ghosts who haunt the historic mansion!

Office building of Devaney & Associates, rumored to be haunted!

We went around and asked the (living) inhabitants of our headquarters to see what everyone loves the most about coming back to office:

“After over a year of working from home, it is a breath of fresh air to go back into the office and talk to everyone,” says Graphic Designer Jordan Levush. Media Director Susan Casey agrees, adding, “It’s nice to have that face-to-face connection!”

That social interaction is just the tip of the iceberg compared to the professional benefits. It’s a general consensus among the team that working in the same building has boosted efficiency. Account Executive Renee Landis loves, “that we can just print things out and discuss them face to face like the good ol’ days.” That instant feedback easily tops the grueling process of having to compose, send, and wait for a reply to an inquiry email. With immediate responses comes immediate action, as our Accounting Manager Valerie Hoffman emphasizes when she says she feels “more productive in the office because [she] can get questions answered more efficiently.”

Another bonus of coming back to work is being exposed to other projects outside of your own bubble. During quarantine, we could only know the information right in front of us, but Account Manager Lisa D’Orsaneo loves “seeing and hearing what is going on in all parts of the agency, and what people are working on, outside of [her] own silo.” 

Going beyond the professional and social areas, our team also celebrates the small pleasures that come with returning to work:

“It sounds crazy, but I am really enjoying commuting again…it’s my time to decompress and catch-up on podcasts.” ~ Casey Boccia, Creative Director

“I’ve enjoyed wearing real clothes instead of my pjs!” ~ Meghan Militello, Copywriter

“I enjoy not having to fight with my cat over my keyboard. 😊” ~ Lindsay Herbert, Director of Public Relations

Our Copywriting Companion, Nova, taking a nap after a long day at the office.

Though pets aren’t entirely excluded from the office! The Devaney Dogs are always welcome to visit and brighten the mood with their radiant energy. “I missed the people and the office dogs! I love visits from both.” says Kolleen Kilduff, senior art director.

It’s safe to say the return to the office has been nothing but a positive experience. Our Founder and President Diane Devaney says, “We are very fortunate for every minute we get to spend in each other’s company. This is an incredibly professional and intelligent group, and work is all the more enriching when we’re together.” As a side note, she adds “And we finally got to see how tall our summer intern is in real life.”

Three Cheers–and Aster Awards–for Devaney & Associates!

Our agency has once again been recognized for our work in the healthcare advertising industry. This year, we added three Aster Awards to our collection of prized trophies.

The Aster Awards program has been hailed as the nation’s most elite competition for marketing agencies who work in healthcare advertising. Trophies and certificates are distributed based on evaluations by a diverse panel of judges, each one an expert in the field. Competing against agencies working with similar objectives, Devaney & Associates was recognized and granted awards in three different categories.

Bronze Award: Sinai Hospital Residency Recruitment Program

Sinai Hospital came to Devaney & Associates with a tricky situation. After years of stable recruitment for their renowned residency program, the COVID-19 pandemic threatened to shave away at their numbers. Tasked with bringing in new recruits in the face of quarantine, Devaney & Associates created a new brand positioning, a new recruiting microsite, and a series of testimonial videos so prospects could check out Sinai’s programs from the safety of their home. For their work with the community teaching hospital, Devaney & Associates earned the Bronze Award for a Professional Recruitment Series.

Silver Award: U=U Maryland Testimonial Video

What does U=U mean? It means Undetectable Equals Untransmittable, which encompasses the idea that people who are HIV-positive and follow their treatments can reach a level of viral undetectability where they won’t transmit the virus to sexual partners. Educating the public on the U=U message is key to stopping the spread of HIV. To do this, the Baltimore City Health Department and Chase Brexton Health Care joined forces with Devaney & Associates to develop a testimonial video featuring real people whose lives have been transformed by the power of U=U. This video was so artfully crafted that it earned a Silver Award in the Special Video Production Single category.

Gold Award: Baltimore Medical System Heartstrings Fund Brochure

As a federally qualified health center, the Baltimore Medical System relies heavily on fundraisers to keep their operations running. However, the pandemic saw many of these fundraisers cancelled. Baltimore Medical System reached out to Devaney & Associates, and we came up with a solution together: the Heartstrings Fund, a year-round community philanthropy program. The Heartstrings Fund Brochure, which helped soft-launch the program, painted BMS as more than just a clinic but a worthy cause that is changing lives. Donors could see this brochure and know that any donation would help make a difference. This heart-warming brochure won a Gold Award as a Multi-Page Brochure Advertising piece.

Interested in seeing how Devaney & Associates stands out as one of the best marketing agencies around? Check out more of our awards!

Devaney & Associates Brings Home the Hardware Once Again!

Devaney & Associates has a history of successful campaigns for healthcare providers. This year, at the 38th Annual Healthcare Advertising Awards, the Devaney & Associates team was honored with not one, not two, but five awards!

With over 4,400 entries this year, the Healthcare Advertising Awards is known as one of the ten largest advertising awards competitions. Out of healthcare advertising-related awards, they are the oldest, largest, and most widely respected. This year’s entries were ranked by an esteemed panel of judges based on creativity, quality, message effectiveness, consumer appeal, graphic design, and overall impact. Devaney & Associates wowed the crowd in five different categories.

Merit Award: Baltimore Medical System Heartstrings Fund Brochure

For our work with Baltimore Medical System and their Heartstrings Fund brochure, our agency earned a Merit Award in the Brochures category.

BMS challenged our team to create a new, year-round fundraising program that would appeal to the entire community.

Our solution—the Heartstrings Fund—was launched on Giving Tuesday 2020 with a brochure campaign designed around the concept that we are all connected by a common thread: our community.

Merit Award: U=U Maryland Testimonial Video

As part of a larger awareness campaign, the Baltimore City Health Department and Chase Brexton Health Care joined forces with Devaney & Associates to develop a testimonial video featuring real people whose lives have been transformed by the power of U=U. Our joint efforts were rewarded with a Merit Award for Digital Video Ad–More Than 2 Minutes.

Undetectable Equals Untransmittable (U=U) comes from the science validated by CDC, NIH, WHO, and many other international health authorities, stating that if people who are HIV-positive follow their treatment plans and maintain undetectable viral loads, they cannot transmit the virus to sexual partners.

Silver Award: Sinai Hospital Residency Recruitment Program

Sinai Hospital, the largest community teaching hospital in Maryland, is used to a hefty recruitment season. That was until COVID-19 turned everything digital. They knew they had to change, so they teamed up with Devaney & Associates to formulate a recruitment plan that would go on to earn a Silver Award in the Professional Recruitment Program category.

Despite the restrictions in place due to COVID-19, Devaney & Associates produced a series of testimonial videos in addition to a new brand positioning and a repolished microsite that could reach all prospective residents in the safety of their homes.

Silver Award: Carroll Hospital “Making a Masterpiece” Annual Report and Gold Award: Carroll Hospital “Better Together” Wall

At the height of COVID-19, Carroll Hospital came to Devaney & Associates’ creative department with some big ideas. With the hospital’s upcoming projects, they didn’t want to focus on all the hurt caused by the pandemic. Rather, they wanted to celebrate their community and show their appreciation for their hard-working staff. Our team took this challenge and ran with it, earning a Silver Award for the Annual Report category and a Gold Award for Installations in the process.

The “Making a Masterpiece” annual report highlighted donor contributions by showcasing all of the projects their generous donations have funded, hitting home with the message that the community helped to “make the masterpiece.”

Capitalizing on the message from the annual report, the “Better Together” wall in the Carroll Hospital lobby served as an interactive experience for the hospital’s frontline workers. Doctors, nurses, and staff were invited to add their contribution by coloring the wall’s life-sized illustrations or filling in the wall’s response circles with messages of gratitude. Both projects serve to reward the close-knit community for their hard work and inspire the same energy going forward.

View a complete list of the Healthcare Advertising Award winners here.