Powerful and effective marketing communications is based on a "content value exchange” whereby organizations engage prospects, customers and influencers through relevant and purposeful content in exchange for their attention, engagement and patronage. At Communications Strategy Group (CSG®), we leverage our deep understanding and network of influencers in the industries we serve to create, package, distribute and promote compelling and impactful content to and through influencers on behalf of our clients.
Learn more about how CSG's passion, track record and real-world experience can create targeted measurable content-based influencer relations campaigns, including PR, online PR, and social media, that tie directly to the overall marketing and strategic objectives of your organization.learn more learn more
In order to engage influencers and customers, intimate knowledge of your industry landscape is imperative. Communications Strategy Group's practice areas are composed of dedicated teams of people who are deeply knowledgeable and passionate about the industries they serve.
Same-Sex Couples Need Financial, Estate PlanningMay 26, 2015
The U.S. Supreme Court is set to decide whether same-sex marriage must be allowed in all states, but even this momentous decision will not solve all financial issues that same-sex couples might face, say experts.
The top court has heard arguments on cases brought by 15 same-sex couples in four states and is expected to issue a decision late next month. If the court rules in favor of the plaintiffs, all states will have to recognize same-sex marriages. Currently, 36 states do so.
But rules applying to married couples, whether same sex or opposite sex, vary from state to state and that hodge podge will continue even if the Supreme Court recognizes same-sex marriage nationally, says Matthew T. McClintock, vice president of education for WealthCounsel, an advisory firm for lawyers.
To gain control of life decisions and estate planning, same-sex couples should put their wishes in writing now without waiting for the Supreme Court decision, say McClintock and Katie C. Williams, vice president of Diversified Trust Company, a wealth management firm in the southeast United States.
The default rules of each state apply if a couple does not legally document their wishes, McClintock says. For instance, when someone dies without a will, states designate different percentages his or her spouse and children will inherit, but these percentages may not match what a person wishes to leave heirs.
Revocable trusts can be useful in distributing assets. Revocable trusts are not subject to probate in some states, says Williams, so assets can pass directly to a beneficiary and allow heirs to avoid the expense and time involved in the probate process. A revocable trust can be changed as a couple’s circumstances change.
McClintock also noted same-sex couples should consider how they want the courts to treat their children. “The same-sex couple with children has to be treated as a blended family,” McClintock says. “What happens to the rights of the biological parent who is not part of the couple? A same-sex partner who is not a biological parent should consider adopting the child to establish his or her rights.”
Cash, investment accounts and real estate assets should be put into joint ownership so they can pass automatically to the surviving joint owner, Williams says.
“All of these suggestions should be discussed with knowledgeable lawyers or financial planners because there are many issues to consider in making these choices,” she adds.
What it comes down to, according to McClintock, is that “the default rules in most states are inadequate. If same-sex couples are not proactively planning, the courts [in each state] will make the decisions.”
Planning will be even more critical for same-sex couples if the Supreme Court allows states to continue to have their own rules on who can marry. Same-sex couples will need to legally document their wishes if they want to maintain control of their lives and their assets, McClintock says.Read More »
Intel & Insights
Stop Writing Ineffective HeadlinesMay 6, 2015
By Corey Dahl/@CeeDahl
That amazing, interesting article you just wrote? No one’s going to read it. Why? Your headline sucks.
It’s sad but true: The average human attention span these days is shorter than that of a goldfish. You have 8.25 seconds to grab someone’s attention; you have a whole 9 seconds to intrigue a goldfish.
And it’s only going to get harder: our average attention span 15 years ago, before smartphones and social media and constant content, was 12 seconds.
So your headline has to be strong enough to draw people in—quickly. Research has found that website traffic can vary by 500 percent, based on headlines alone. That one line alone will ultimately determine whether or not your content gets read. No pressure or anything.
So what constitutes an effective headline? CoSchedule recently analyzed article performance to develop the following tips:
- Go negative. Negative superlatives (e.g., never, worst, nothing, no one, stop) in headlines performed 30 percent better than positive superlatives (e.g., best, most, easiest, perfect).
- Pay attention to the beginning…and the end. The first three and last three words in any headline draw the most attention from readers.
- Google it. Type your subject into the search box and see what auto search terms drop down. Using the wording that other people employ when searching for that topic increases your chances of writing an appealing headline—for both people and SEO.
Headlines are often an afterthought when developing content, but they shouldn’t be. A better, attention-grabbing headline alone can lead to more readers, greater engagement and more effective content.Learn More »
CSG Purchases Van for Local Nonprofit
Since day one, Communications Strategy Group (CSG®) has had an emphasis on giving back. As our team continues to grow, we now have even more opportunities to support causes within our community. To address these opportunities, CSG just launched a philanthropy committee comprised of members from each practice. The committee meets once a week to discuss potential donations and volunteer opportunities for our team.
The committee particularly looks into supporting causes our employees are passionate about. CSG recently purchased a van for Foraged Feast, a local nonprofit that Education Practice team member Dany Rossman is involved in leading. The organization works with public spaces, private homes and local farms to collect food for shelters and other nonprofits that support the underserved.
When CSG learned Foraged Feast needed additional help transporting produce to those in need, we found a van to help the organization carry larger quantities of food across town. “Adding another vehicle increased our impact exponentially—it gives us the ability to collect an additional 40,000 extra pounds of produce a season,” Dany told CSG. “The extra market collection now puts food into the hands of an additional 266 people every day.”
Later this month, members of the CSG team will join Dany and Foraged Feast to harvest apples and pears in a nearby orchard and deliver them to the less fortunate.Read More »