One of the key challenges of 2020, for 3Points and almost any other business, was how to continue doing the things that have led to success in the past when the present is so different and the future is so uncertain. That certainly goes for our services, which had to be adapted (or created) to be 100% virtual. But it also applies to our internal operations and structures, such as our internship program.

Our interns have played an important part in our growth in recent years, with multiple interns becoming full-time employees, and one even becoming a client. So while the internship experience is different without an in-office environment, we were very pleased to have three talented new interns join our team at the end of 2020: Danielle Cervelli joined as our design intern, Kathryn Pappageorge joined our Chicago Tech practice, and Shelby Ponder joined our Fintech practice.

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As we’ve gone through the holidays and into a new year, 3Points has been thinking a great deal about T4Youth, a charitable table tennis tournament our firm has been involved with since its inception in 2014, which up until this past year was held annually in November.

For seven years, the tournament has brought together members of Chicago’s tech community in a round-robin tournament, connecting them with, and raising funds for, aspiring young technologists in low-income circumstances.

Like any charity with large in-person events that drive a substantial portion of fundraising, T4Youth has tried its best to adapt to our new reality. This year T4Youth has challenged table tennis lovers to enter a virtual trickshot competition, which is still open for individuals and teams to enter. …

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As a 3Points intern, you truly are immersed into the company culture from the first day you step into the office (or, now, log into the Google Hang). Interns are quickly given meaningful work to dig into that gives value to the company and its clients, and are also given the opportunity to directly interact with CEOs and heads of marketing. We’re very proud of our intern program, and we’ve loved seeing so many past interns grow in their careers after 3Points.

One intern in particular, Nick O’Brien, took what he learned from 3Points and co-founded a startup of his own, Aeris. Not only is he the co-founder with his two friends and fellow 2020 Vanderbilt graduates, Andrew Medland and Isaac Lichter, he is also the CFO, leading fundraising efforts, managing the budget, and executing marketing and brand strategy for the company.

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With the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot has changed this year, but we’ve worked hard to ensure that the services we provide clients remain high-quality even as our team moved fully remote. For a PR firm that absolutely flourished, like many of us, in face-to-face situations, where we would draft off each other’s positive energy, this has required a major evolution. We’ve found new digital ways of collaborating and connecting with clients. We’ve spent more measuring impact and rethinking previously-proven PR strategies. We’ve even successfully launched a fully-remote offering, with Virtual Panels-as-a-Service (VPaaS).

When it came time to add additional team members to our team page, we thus faced a few challenges. The tangible one was that we were not together in the office to take new headshots with our standard backdrop. But on a larger scale, we realized that these office headshots were no longer reflective of our company. With the 3Pointers physically spread across the Chicago area and even the country, our workplace was now fully virtual.

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As podcasts continue to grow in popularity, businesses are finding new ways to utilize them. Whether it’s listening to them for business strategy or industry knowledge, producing a podcast of their own, or appearing on them as a guest, many businesses are adding podcasts to their business development strategy. 3Points Account Manager Nicole Hopkins and PR Strategist Anne Riley did some further research as to why podcast appearances are a strategic way to elevate your organization’s reputation and increase brand trust.

When using media relations as a tool to build your brand, many B2B companies jump right to focusing on getting covered by the big-name, national business publications — we’re talking about the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Financial Times, etc. The reality is that if you are not an already well-established company in your respective industry, your company’s news and thought leaders won’t be high on these publications’ coverage list. What some companies don’t realize is that aside from mainstream and traditional media, there are other paths that can be equally conducive to helping build your business and brand — like podcasts. …

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Last year, our design lead, Jeffrey Rabin, wrote about how design has changed and evolved over the past few decades. But it’s important to note that design — and marketing — trends don’t solely move forward: they often reach back into the past as well. Jeffrey’s design team partner, Jessi Simpson, examines the broader trend of nostalgia marketing in the blog post below.

Nostalgia and Generating Revenue

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, I have comforted myself by reflecting on old memories to regain a feeling of normalcy. When I reflect on the past, I feel nostalgic. Nostalgia, as defined by CogniFit, is a phenomenon that invades us when we think of the past. It is often distorted and an idealization of the past; humans often selectively remember, keeping only the best aspects and forgetting the bad ones. Nostalgia is a strong, powerful feeling that leaves us feeling attached, happy, and reminiscing. Many things trigger nostalgic phenomena in our brains, including trauma, depression, and anxiety — all of which are common afflictions during these quarantine times. Nostalgia manifests when we see sentimental objects like old photographs, outdated technology, and clothing from past decades. …

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We’ve all heard the old saying that, “there is no such thing as bad publicity” — the thinking being that any publicity boosts your awareness, which leads to a larger prospective audience. For those of us who work in PR, that cliche is pretty easy to disprove. While awareness is important for businesses, awareness without credibility does not help your brand. Thus, having your clients in the news for the wrong reasons is a huge headache for PR folks.

At 3Points, we’ve been thinking about a more interesting question: is there such a thing as too much PR, even if it’s all good PR? At first glance, the answer seems obvious — who ever wants less good news? This is maybe not what you’d expect a PR professional to say, but in some cases, you may indeed want to slow your roll with PR. …

As 3Points launched 10 years ago in the derivatives trading space, it was fitting that our first client was Hehmeyer — then known as HTG Capital Partners. Founded by Chris Hehmeyer, who is literally a Hall of Famer in the futures industry, the firm has been at the forefront of derivatives for decades. So it was noteworthy when Hehmeyer transitioned completely to cryptocurrencies earlier this year.

David Nuelle has been a managing director at Hehmeyer for over seven years, and he also joined the interim board for the Global Digital Asset & Cryptocurrency Association (Global DCA), a new industry self-regulatory association. We spoke with David recently about where cryptocurrency is at, why Hehmeyer made its transition to focus on it, and why now is such an important time for the industry. …

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The financial markets are a complex, ever-changing ecosystem, and that is one reason why we at 3Points are proud of the industry expertise we’ve built up in our fintech practice. But just because there is a lot to learn doesn’t mean that financial education has to be intimidating or dry. Two of our 3Pointers, Delilah Bennett and Katie O’Shea, recently discovered that their hobby of playing Animal Crossing had more overlap with the financial markets than they ever expected.

Whether you’ve heard about the game, you play, or your kids play, the whole world has been talking about Animal Crossing: New Horizons during this pandemic. In fact, the Nintendo video game sold 22.4 million units from its release in March 2020 to the end of Q2. …

Like many things, our “Flipping the Script” series was put on pause earlier this year as we attempted to navigate a business environment unlike any we had ever seen. But we have not stopped having conversations with our new media contacts, who are not only adapting to our new reality themselves, but by the nature of their jobs are exploring the stories and trends of many others throughout the pandemic.

With that in mind, the return of our Flipping the Script series features Scott Kitun, CEO of Technori. 3Points CEO Drew Mauck spoke with Scott recently over Google Hangout, discussing the Chicago tech scene, startup culture, and more. …

About

3Points Communications

PR & Communications for Fintech & Chicago Tech. www.3ptscomm.com

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