Category Archives: Baltimore News

LifeBridge Health Announces New ICE App

We recently worked with our client, LifeBridge Health, to launch a very important smart phone App. Their In Case of Emergency (ICE) PLUS  app is more functional than fun, but is no less a necessity than Facebook or Angry Birds, and deserves an icon on your home screen. Sorry Droid users, but your version will be available for download next week. (We will update this blog post when it is available.)

This new App provides your ICE (In Case of Emergency) contact information on your wallpaper, which is viewable above the lock screen. If you are in an emergency and can’t communicate, the authorities or a health care provider can get in touch with your designated contact person.  Additionally, the App collects a list of medications you take or allergies you suffer from and provides a list of physicians and hospitals based on your current location.  Lifesaving information if you’re ever unable to communicate.

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The App is functional and informative, and like putting a flashlight in your glove box or jumper cables in the trunk of your car, you hope you never need it, but you’ll be glad it’s there when you do.

Marketing the new App has been under development as long as the App has been in development. Since the App is relevant to so many people (sadly none of us are immune to an emergency situation), it’s important for us to use multiple mediums to reach the diverse audience that can benefit from downloading ICE PLUS.  In addition to the usual digital suspects including SEM, social media ads, online and mobile display banners, radio and print ads are also used as channels in our marketing plan to inform the public that the app is available.

But unlike a Field of Dreams, just because we built it doesn’t mean millions of smart phone users will come. With over 775,000 apps in the App Store even an extraordinary, relevant and functional app like ICE PLUS doesn’t get found without a little paid media behind it. Integrating the new app message into all our marketing materials, not just the ones in the digital space, is very important if we are going to reach the majority of our audience.

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The Super Bowl According to Facebook

Earlier this week, while perusing every ESPN, Sports Illustrated, and NFL-related blog article I could find (hey, it’s not every week your hometown team makes the Super Bowl!), I came across some fascinating information regarding NFL loyalties as measured by Facebook “likes.”

Facebook’s Data Science team released this nationwide analysis of NFL team “likes,” color-coding every county in the U.S. to reflect the team that had the most fans in that particular county. Take a look:

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Source: Facebook Data Science (https://www.facebook.com/notes/facebook-data-science/nfl-fans-on-facebook/10151298370823859)

As media professionals, we evaluate numerous sports-related proposals in many different markets. Though in some cases, sports associations are obvious “no-brainers” based on geography, it is not always clear cut. For example, Media Works places media in both Dallas and Houston, and I have always wondered how rest of the state of Texas cheers come football season – at what point between Dallas and Houston does the tide change? The Cowboys have been around much longer than the Texans, so I figured they’d have a slightly higher fan base … but look at all that Cowboy land! Not only does nearly all of Texas root for Dallas, but nearly all of New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Arkansas do too.

According to the summary, over 35 million Facebook users have “liked” an NFL team page, and the number grows each year during the playoffs. In the media world, where data is a huge factor in making media-based decisions, sample size can be very important. A pool like that showing so many states where Cowboy loyalty dominates is a dream come true!

The author also provides maps showing remaining teams through each round of the playoffs. Below is a preview of how the country will be cheering this Sunday for the Super Bowl. Looks like the Ravens are the underdogs, but I hope the East Coast ends up happier than the West Coast!

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Orioles Baseball 2013 – Buckle Up and Get Ready for the Post-Season!

I’ll admit it…I was wrong about the Orioles this year.

When I wrote my Opening Day blog back in April, I was certain that the Orioles would have yet another losing season. But somehow, the season went down to the wire with the Yankees, and Baltimore fans watched as the Orioles battled for 1st in the AL East, and will be playing the Rangers tonight in a one-game playoff for a Wild Card seat? Certainly not me.

The odds of the Orioles going from worst to first seemed to be stacked against them:

Big Players with Big Injuries

Some of the Orioles’ pivotal players suffered major injuries this year:

  • Brian Roberts came back from his concussion injury and then had season-ending hip surgery in August
  • Nick Markakis broke his left thumb in September and is still out
  • Nolan Reimold had season-ending neck surgery in June to repair is herniated disk
  • Jason Hammel missed two months after knee surgery earlier this year, and is still out after re-injuring his knee
  • Wilson Betemit re-injured his right wrist in September and is still out

Pitching

Some say that the Orioles’ best pitcher may still be in the minors: Dylan Bundy is 9-3 with a 2.08 ERA this year. Hammel is still dealing with his knee injury, and although Chris Tillman went 9-3 this season and Wei-Yin Chen lived up to his expectations, the Orioles haven’t really had a stand-out starting pitcher.

Rookies

There seemed to be a revolving door between the Majors and the Minors this year, and it seemed like the O’s were suiting up new players every week. Nearly half of the team’s active players (18 of 35) played in the minors this year.

Lackluster Offense

The stats speak for themselves: The O’s were 10th in the AL in runs scored, 11th in batting average and 12th in on-base percentage. Adam Jones and Nick Markakis are our only hitters that have an above-average batting avg. with .287 and .298 respectively.

HOW DID THEY DO IT??

Winning Close Games

They won close games. The Orioles were 46-18 in games decided by one or two runs, and 28-9 in one run games alone – the best record in the . In extra inning games, the Orioles are 12-2.

A Great Bullpen

They had a great bullpen. How’s this for a stat: The Orioles are 73-0 when leading after seven innings. Jim Johnson was stellar this year, with 50 saves. Chris Tillman went 9-3 this season Buck simply knows when to pull the starters and put in the closers.

A True Team Effort

Although Adam Jones was a stand-out this year, playing in all 162 regular season games, and quick with the pies afterwards, there’s really been no one superstar or one go-to guy in the Orioles line-up. They’ve ALL been stars, and each game seemed to highlight a new player.

  • First baseman Chris Davis had 33 home runs this year and even beat the Sox from the mound in the Orioles’ win on May 6th.
  • The Orioles brought up Manny Machado, and in his first game in an Orioles uniform, he goes 2 for 4. In his 2nd game, he hits 2 home runs.
  • Nate McLouth came out of nowhere to become the lead-off hitter and in September alone hit .286 with 4 home runs, and 4 stolen bases.
  • The Sheriff, Mark Reynolds, may have struck out 169 times this year (hence the nickname), but when he was on, he was ON, hitting 23 HR’s and 69 RBI’s.

The Media Works team wishes the Orioles good luck in tonight’s game and can’t wait to see them back at home this weekend against the Yankees!

#AdWeekMD 2012 Wrap-up

Every year Ad Week descends onto Baltimore for a whirlwind of seminars, cocktail receptions, and networking events. This year’s conference focused on everything from Digital Advertising to Developing a Successful Content Strategy. Having recently moved to the Baltimore area, I was anxious to participate and represent Media Works on my maiden voyage to Ad Week 2012.

For the occasion I decided to document my experience through Twitter and Instagram, two dominant social media technologies I work with each and every day. From the cocktail reception to the keynote address from Tony Calcao, I felt honored to be a part of the festivities and among such advertising greats. Without further delay, I present you the Media Works wrap-up from Ad Week Maryland 2012.

I’d like to give a special thanks to: Ariel Deitz, Cara Mundy, Nancy Hill, Linda Stanley, Steve De Santis, Matt McDermott, and the rest of the AAF crew for letting me tag along.

The Grand Prix Races into Baltimore: Top 5 Tips to Watch the Race

Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines! Just one year after the race made its debut here in the city, the Grand Prix of Baltimore is back for a second time. With only one week to go, the city has already begun preparations for the big weekend. If you’ve been in the city lately, you may have already seen the giant barriers all along Pratt Street. As a self-proclaimed car buff, I couldn’t be any happier to see the big race right here in my own backyard. More importantly, I’m just as excited to have the famous Michael Andretti here in Baltimore.

You may not be an avid race fan, but chances are you’ve heard of Michael Andretti. The retired race car driver, and owner of Andretti Sports Marketing, has been instrumental in reviving the Baltimore race after last year’s financial collapse. While the race last year had an economic impact of about $47 million dollars, the organizers contract was terminated after they failed to pay the city. Thanks to Andretti, the show will go on.

By all indications, the race this year plans to exceed every expectation with events for children and race fans. Through a shortened schedule, race organizers hope to drive traffic to local businesses before and after the event. With so many events happening next weekend, we’ve put together a list on the many ways to watch.

It’s one thing to stay at home and watch a race on television, but to watch the race from your favorite corner in Baltimore is a whole other experience. Thanks to race organizers you have more than one option in getting a front row seat.

The simplest way to get a seat would be to visit the website and purchase a ticket beforehand. With only one week left I wouldn’t wait too much longer. Simply visit http://www.raceonbaltimore.com/tickets-and-schedule/ and select your ticket for purchase.

The second option would be to buy your ticket on LivingSocial.com. All week long they’ve been advertising heavily discounted tickets for the race. You can get general admission tickets for Friday’s race for as little as $9. General admission tickets for Saturday and Sunday are going for about $30. According to the race website, “General Admission tickets will have access to the three DHL Speed Zones, the Family Fun Zone and Rest Area, the Dr. Pepper Ten Test Track, ALMS Paddock, IZOD IndyCar Fan Village, Car Corrals and viewing along the fence lines between turns 9 and 10 or where signage is not placed.”

Your third option for catching the race action would be to volunteer with the Grand Prix. If you’re a race fan like me, you can work a few hours during the weekend for a front row seat behind the scenes. According to the website, the Grand Prix has openings in various categories, including Accessibility Ambassadors, Credentials, Customer Relations, Fan Zones, Guest Services, Hospitality, Media Center, Office Services, Pass Control, Track Services, Transportation, Ushers and Volunteer Services. All the information you need can be found here on the Grand Prix website.

Of course, if you find yourself driving down to watch the event you’ll certainly need parking. Don’t fret because there’s a new local startup looking to alleviate your parking woes. Parking Panda has put together a full parking plan for those heading downtown Labor Day weekend. You simply visit their site, reserve your space, and head on down. For more information, visit https://www.parkingpanda.com/baltimore-grand-prix-parking to reserve your space.

And finally, if you are lucky enough to work in Baltimore or have a friend who works downtown, ask if you can watch the race from the office. Many high rises offer an aerial view of the course, so you can see all the action from above, and do a little people-watching at the same time.

Top Five Things to See at Artscape

You don’t have to be an Art lover to love Artscape! With more than 350,000 people expected to attend this year’s three day event, there’s something for everyone.

The Festival covers a broad footprint, including Mt. Vernon, Bolton Hill and areas north of Penn Station, up to North Avenue. At one end of the festival is the North Stage near the Maryland Institute College of Art. Further down Charles Street are some of Baltimore’s most renowned centers for music, including The Lyric and the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. Also on Charles St. is the Charles Theater, which pays homage to great films.

Artscape is a true celebration of all forms of art, and what makes it so unique is the variety and sheer number of artists on hand. There will be more than 150 artists, fashion designers, engineers and craftspeople lining the streets, and countless performances on and off the various stages, including film, music, dance, opera and street performances.

The weather is supposed to be beautiful this weekend and Artscape is FREE. But, if you’re still not convinced it’s worth a visit, here are Media Works’ top five Artscape attractions:

–          Music: Artscape features three main stages and a ton of musical acts. This year’s headliners include Brian McKnight, Junkyard Saints, Clutch, Celebration and Emma White. In addition, there are local bands and DJ’s performing all weekend long.

–          Roadside Attractions: This year’s event features an area stretching for a quarter mile along Charles St., called “Roadside Attractions”. This area includes sculpture, performance art and music, as well as a 70’ tall Big Wheel, the Art Cars (an Artscape staple), musical acts on the North Stage, and several demonstrations by the State, including a crash test dummy demo and drunk driving simulator.

–          Art Car Parade: The Art Car Parade features a series of cars that can only be described as art on wheels. These automobiles have taken the mundane hood ornament to new levels. The parade starts on Sat. at 11AM and travels from AVAM up Charles to the Art Car Lounge, where they will be on display throughout the weekend.

–          At-TENT-ion:  Preston Street will be home to 20 tents at this year’s festival, where artists started with a white, empty, 2-person tent and transformed it into a unique space of artistic expression.

–          Squonk Opera: Have you ever seen a traveling rock opera performance on a huge truck? This year’s event features Squonk Opera’s newest musical and video production, “GO Roadshow”, a traveling performance on a huge truck. You can find them along Preston Street, or by following the human head blimp!

Foodie Friday: Crabs, Crushes and Sno-Balls

With summer time in full effect, what better time to introduce our top picks for the best crabs, crushes, and sno-balls in the Baltimore area. We’ve searched near and far and come up with our list of the best places to grab these Maryland treats. So what are you waiting for? Grab your friends and family and head on down!

Best Crabs

Hidden away in a residential neighborhood along several windy back roads in Annapolis, MD you will find one of the best places to eat crabs, Cantler’s Riverside Inn.  The setting has all the makings for a great Maryland crab experience – waterfront deck, picnic tables covered with brown paper, and amble crab sizes available.  You have to drink your beer from a can and extra old bay is on all the tables.  This is a local favorite that has turned into one of the top tourist stops in the area.

Another favorite of ours is The Seaside Restaurant Crab House and Lounge. With locations in Glen Burnie and Pasadena, you have more than one option for great crabs and other seafood. If you get a chance to go you have to try the Jumbo Lump Crab Cake and the famous Crab Soup. Having recently moved to the area I had no idea what to expect, but after trying my first crab cake from here I was quickly hooked! Make sure you call ahead for reservations.

If you find yourself in the city looking for steamed crabs and a good view, head on down to Bo Brooks in Canton. They offer a packed menu full of crabs as well as plenty of options for those who are less interested in seafood. The best thing about this place is that their bar is just as great as their menu. They offer year round drink specials and open the Tiki Hut during the warmer months.

Best Crushes

Don’t be fooled by Charm City’s crushes. You know the fruit-juice-and-vodka-drink that’s a Baltimore specialty. Orange, grapefruit, and watermelon flavors but if those flavors get boring try the Blueberry Acai Mojito Crush from Ryleigh’s Oyster in Federal Hill.

If you are in the Canton area be sure to stop into Portside Tavern in the square and enjoy a freshly squeezed orange crush.  The ingredients are perfectly proportioned and the sweet taste is very refreshing on a hot summer day.  Watch out though you will likely find yourself ordering another!

By far the best Baltimore crush you will find is at Mamma’s On the Half Shell in the Canton Square. Its ingredients: Stoli orange vodka, triple sec, sprite, crushed ice and fresh-squeezed orange juice. The KEY ingredients: Crushed ice and fresh-squeezed orange juice!   Alexander’s Tavern and Tiki Barge are other popular spots to sip on a delicious crush. Watch out though you will likely find yourself ordering another or in the harbor!

Sno-Balls

Many people who live in Baltimore associate the summer with heat and humidity, but beyond the temperature change, there is also a sudden change in the urban landscape. It seems that small stands selling flavored ice appear on every street corner, marking the beginning of Sno-Ball season.

A few years back, I set out on a tour of some of the local Sno-Ball stands in the area – a delicious scientific experiment that allowed me to sample Sno-Balls from some of the best. Some stands crushed the ice while others used shaved ice. Some featured the basic traditional flavors, while others featured diet and “premium” flavors. Some stands even allow you to put ice cream, marshmallow and other toppings on your Sno-Ball.

This website, SnoBall Collective, lists some locations around Baltimore. They also describe the different types of vendors:  http://www.snobaltimore.com/

One thing’s for sure, when it’s hot outside and you just need something to cool your palette, stop by one of the many Sno-Ball stands around Baltimore. Here is a list of our favorites:

–          Sno-Asis on Padonia Road in Cockeysville: A variety of flavors and toppings in a really nice decked setting. Try the Coconut with marshmallow – it’s delicious!

–          Uncle Wiggly’s on York Rd. in Towson: This fabulous little sandwich shop doubles as a Sno-Ball stand during the summer. In addition to Sno-Balls, you can also get ice cream – a great place to get the best of both worlds!

–          Original Hawaiian Island Sno-balls on Liberty Rd.: Not only do they have Sno-Balls, but they have shakes and banana splits from heaven! The egg custard with marshmallow was incredible!