Category: Outside the Suit

How Amazon Is Shaping PR Strategy

Kailynn Bowling, Co-Founder of ChicExecs shares with Forbes why business owners and PR professionals need to get in the Amazon game now.

“Research shows that Americans trust Amazon more than the government and the press. If you want to boost authority and gain the public’s trust while increasing product sales, then Amazon must be part of your strategy.”

Read the full article here.

Five Instagram Habits to Ditch This Year

Our Senior Director of PR & Operations, Kristen Wessel, shares five habits to ditch when it comes to building brand recognition on Instagram and what brands on Instagram should be doing instead.

“Instagram has the power to turn unknown brands into stellar celebrities. The key is to avoid common pitfalls and embrace best practices.”

Read the full Forbes feature here.

I have a small PR budget. How do I make it easy for my company to get press?

ChicExecs Founders Kailynn Bowling and Nikki Carlson sit down with CO—by U.S. Chamber of Commerce to share their tips on how to help your business get some buzz – even on a small budget.

“Startup companies are no strangers to budget limitations. Fortunately, there are many ways you can get press for your company without busting the budget.”

Read the full article here.



Publicist Rockstars: “Be Patient, Yet Relentless” with Amber Masciorini.

ChicExecs Senior Account Executive Amber Masciorini shares the story of her career path, her life lessons in PR and her advice for working in the industry as she’s interviewed for Authority Magazine.

“There’s never a dull moment in a PR agency especially when you have more than 50 hard working colleagues all with an amazing sense of humor.”

Read the full feature here. Are you ready to take your PR strategy to the next level? Get in touch with us and learn more about our PR services.

Three Tips to Make Best Friends with the Media

Our Senior Director of PR & Operations, Kristen Wessel, shares the importance and benefits of building relationships with media contacts.

“Aside from the personal benefit of gaining a new friend, there are real professional advantages to hanging out with a journalist.”

Read her Forbes feature to get in the practice of making new friends in the media.

5 Reasons We Should Manage Your Social Media


You’ve overcome some big hurdles. While your LinkedIn headline might read Founder, CEO, or Marketing Director, what you really wish it would say is “I wear way too many hats!” Being in charge of a business can be a lonely place but you’re not alone in feeling this way.

If one of the hats you wear is managing social media and increasing brand awareness to drive sales, you can breathe easier. If you just don’t have the time to devote to social media or you find the platforms to be confusing and complicated, we would love to help and give your brand the recognition and visibility it deserves. You might have told yourself in the past that a strong social media presence won’t impact your bottom line. We’re here to prove you wrong.


Why Should We Take Over Your Social Media?

  1. Get time back in your life

Our founders, who have launched two successful companies, can attest that it’s not easy running a business! Let us help you with the heavy lifting while you focus on more important things. According to a Constant Contact survey, a small business owner — along with another employee — will spend an average of 20 hours per week on marketing. Think of what you could accomplish in this time! You probably hire an accountant to do your taxes and a lawyer if you need legal advice, so why wouldn’t you hire a social media manager if this wasn’t your area of expertise?


  1. We’re an unbiased partner with a retail-focused viewpoint

We’re not just an agency, we immerse ourselves in your brand to become an extension of your marketing department. We do a ton of research during the onboarding process to learn about your brand and we build our strategies based on what actually works.

There are more than 2 million monthly advertisers on Instagram and 60% of users claim they’ve discovered at least one new product on that platform alone. Hootsuite reports also show 80% of users follow at least one business on Instagram. People aren’t stumbling upon these brands by chance.

It takes time, effort, and strategy to increase brand awareness, which is where our expertise lies. Whether you’re trying to increase your sales or promote your new product line, what we bring to your business as a partner can help you achieve those goals.


  1. Stay ahead of trends

We monitor social media algorithms almost daily and try to stay ahead of trends! Do you have someone dedicated to keeping up with it? If you work with us, you have the brainpower of a whole social media team at your fingertips, dedicated to making your business successful. We eat, sleep and breathe social media and we promise to bring our passion to your products!

Speaking of trends, did you know that Instagram reports the time spent watching videos on their platform is up more than 80% year over year? We did, and that’s why we push the importance of Instastories, to drive traffic towards your videos and so you can better connect with your followers.

As a business, posting with consistency is important to keep driving your social media traffic. The top Instagram brands post 4.9 times per week on average. Even our smallest package offers more than that! Lean on us to constantly create and post valuable content that will not only keep up with your followers, but attract new ones.


  1. We’ve seen it all

Our clients range from entrepreneurs to large organizations, skincare to men’s underwear… and everything in between! In working with such diverse industries, we’ve been afforded the opportunity to see what works well across all of the brands and capitalize on it. We know our social media strategies are successful because we can provide measurable results through reports and analytics.

We have diverse and well-rounded experience to meet your needs. Looking to change the direction of your brand due to launching new products? We can help by implementing this change across all platforms. Perhaps business is booming and you’re looking to take your company to the next level? If this is the case, let us wow you!


  1. Mitigate risks and identify potential opportunities

At ChicExecs, we take customer interaction very seriously. When you put your business on social media, it’s more than just advertising, you’re opening yourself up to a new channel of customer service. By having us focused solely on social media, we are able to quickly address or escalate unhappy customers to help protect your brand. Ignoring customers on social media is more serious than you might have imagined. On Twitter 70% of customer service complaints go unanswered by businesses. We can quickly address unhappy clients and provide them with stellar customer service they’re not getting anywhere else. And since we are in the platform constantly, we are able to identify opportunities with other brands or influencers that can offer follower growth and increased sales.


Bonus Reason!

In addition to a rockstar social media department, we also offer so much more!

Want more press? We got you!

Need more Instagram worthy pictures? Let us help!

Always wanted to work with influencers? Yes, please!

Looking to place your products in major retailers like Target, Dillard’s or Nordstrom? We can do that too!


Let us WOW you today! Contact us for a free quote on how we can turn your social media into a way of increasing brand awareness and ultimately drive sales!

How To Use PR For Retail Sell-Through

ChicExecs Co-Founder Nikki Carlson shares her expertise on how PR efforts can be used to drive retail sell-through.

“If you’re seeing slow sales and want to increase your presence, it’s high time to revisit your PR plan.”

Take a look at this Forbes feature to learn how you can make this beneficial strategy a retail sell-through success for your business!



4 Tips to Outsmart the Instagram Algorithm in 2019


If your social media marketing strategy relies on Instagram, chances are you’re aware of the algorithm changes that rolled out last year. To recap, users now see 90% of posts from their family and friends, which is great when you’re trying to catch up on how Jenny’s kids are doing… but it isn’t as great for businesses posting organic content.

Since you’re reading this, I bet you are wondering what the Instagram algorithm takes into account and how you can outsmart it to show your content more often. Well you’ve come to the right place! As of today, here are the top three factors:

  • Interest
  • Timeliness
  • Relationship

Other factors that the Instagram algorithm takes into consideration:

  • Frequency
  • Following
  • Usage

Understanding the factors is a step in the right direction, but if you’re going to take your social media to the next level, here are some tips to get ahead of the Instagram algorithm and stay relevant!

Tips for Outsmarting the Instagram Algorithm

Tip #1 – Engagement Is Key

There’s no rule to engagement, the rule IS engagement. Getting your followers to interact with your brand signals to the Instagram algorithm to put more of your posts in their feeds. High quality content on social media is more important than ever so be sure to use photos and captions that inspire your followers and compel them to interact with you.

Don’t expect your followers to constantly tell you how great your business, product or service is though. Start meaningful conversations with them by posing questions or asking them to tell you about their own experiences! Make sure your message is clear and don’t forget relevant hashtags.


Tip #2 – Know Your Social Media Followers

It’s going to sound like common sense, but engaging with your audience means first knowing who they really are. Instagram Insights is a great analytics tool to learn about the demographics of your social media followers. Developing buyer personas is a great step in defining your audience and it comes in handy when you’re building a strategy for writing content. While learning the age and gender of your followers is important, there are often more important things to record like where they live, what hobbies they enjoy, and when they’re most active. Knowing when to post is a perfect transition into our next point.


Tip #3 – Timing Matters

The Instagram algorithm takes the fact that followers want to see fresh, new posts seriously. If you know when your followers are the most active, you can make sure to time your posts so that they see it. Instagram Insights can also help you obtain this information. Now more than ever it’s important to respond to your followers’ comments in a timely manner.


Tip #4 – Get Organized Then Listen

Planning ahead and staying organized with your social media posts creates a cohesive feed. There are a number of tools available that let you manage your accounts, schedule posts and plan content. You might not be on social media when your followers are, but these platforms can auto-post for you at the most preferable time and they also offer pretty robust analytics.

We at ChicExecs use a platform called Planoly to organize our images and captions then schedule them out, which enables us to focus on strategically adding value to the content instead of live posting. There are also a number of social media listening tools that monitor and track how and where your brand is mentioned in posts, comments and hashtags. Awario and Keyhole are two examples that can save you time researching as they gather data across multiple social media platforms.


Contact us today and we’ll drop some more truth bombs about the Instagram algorithm! We kinda know all about it!

How to Photograph the Perfect Flat Lay for Social Media


Flat lays are taking social media by storm, even if you’re unaware of what this term means. The style focuses on a group of items where the photo is shot from above. Think of a magazine photo displaying an array of products from an intricate leather-bound journal that sits next to a coffee mug filled with steaming hot tea, there’s a pair of reading glasses in the corner, an eye-popping tube of lipstick at the opposite end of the page and flower petals scattered in between. You wonder why you’re taking the time to look at this page of top editor favorites this season, but you can’t look away. This type of product photography is so aesthetically pleasing to your eyes you can’t pay attention to anything else right now.


Flat Lays Aren’t Just for Professionals!

Flat lays carry two misconceptions that lie within two extreme trains of thought. One: The objects in the photo were randomly thrown together and photographed. Two: It takes a savvy photographer to achieve this type of photo.

While creating the perfect social media flat lay takes inspiration, it’s not impossible for amateur bloggers and those just beginning to use social media to capture this stunning visual effect with your camera phone or a DSLR! See some of our tips below on how to get started and take a flawless flat lay.

Start planning your props

Gather together what you’ll need for this photoshoot. Think about the items that inspire you, but have these points in mind:

  • Choose a theme for the photo. What are you trying to communicate to your audience?
  • Pick objects that vary in shape and size to build visual interest
  • Think about color. Have a palette in mind to start organizing the overall composition
  • Showcase texture

Don’t be afraid to grab more items than you’ll end up needing. This way, you have more options to see what works in the photo and what doesn’t. Need some inspiration before you start? Search for #flatlay on Pinterest and Instagram to get those creative juices going.

Choose a background

A plain white background is your smartest choice. You don’t want to take the attention away from your props. A neutral wood floor or tabletop may work as well depending upon your theme. When it comes to choosing a background, use what you have on hand. Lots of top bloggers use a flat white bed sheet to create their flat lay backgrounds. Depending upon the aesthetic you’re trying to achieve, a crinkled white bed sheet in the background can showcase amazing texture within your photo. If you’re looking to go bold, try colored wrapping paper or school project poster board.

Keep the light au naturel

Let’s face it, very few of us have access to a photography studio with professional lighting equipment. Luckily, your social media flat lay only needs natural light. Try to set up the photo near a window. You’ll get the best light in the morning or the late afternoon. Avoid using flash as it creates unwanted shadows. Another way to avoid shadows and give your photo the most light possible is to photograph toward the window light, not away from it.

Composition is everything

This might be the hardest part of setting up your flat lay. For some, the artistic eye of perfectly placing each item is natural talent. For others, it takes time and practice. Remember to take your time. There’s no rush to find your style. Here are some more tips in creating that ideal composition for social media:

  • Figure out which item is going to be your main focal point
  • Create a balance between different size objects, colors and textures around that focal point
  • If you plan on adding text later on, think about where you want it to go and create that space
  • Play around with your spacing. What kind of a look do you achieve by layering objects compared to leaving a little space between them?

Shoot from high up

You have the light, you have the backdrop and all of your objects placed to perfection. Now you need to take a photo that’s … well… flat. The only way to accomplish this is by getting height between you and the props. You might use a chair or ladder to take your photos from above. If you’re using the floor, you might be able to achieve the perfect flat shot by standing up over the display and photographing downward. Continue to play around with the composition as you photograph to see what looks best in each shot.

Edit before posting

Use photo editing software or apps to take your social media flat lay to the next level. A few simple edits or a preset filter can make a mediocre photo into a stunning work of photography!


Contact us today so we can show you some of the amazing flat lay work we’ve done for our clients. Let us take your social media to the next level!