Featured Non-Profit: Children’s Hunger Project

A charitable organization devoted to providing Brevard County Public School children with food packets for the weekends, The Children’s Hunger Project prevents local students from going hungry. Filling the gap between school-provided breakfasts and lunches Monday through Friday, children in need receive nutritious items to take home in their backpacks which they enjoy and can eat without the need for cooking or preparation from an adult. 

Known as the Brevard County Backpack Program, this non-profit, in conjunction with Teachers and Staff, makes it possible for elementary-aged children to thrive and succeed both inside and outside the classroom. See Rock Paper Simple’s entire non-profit portfolio or read our Children’s Hunger Project website project summary.

 

You Rock Award 2022

Each month, a Rock Paper Simple team member gets the honor of getting the You Rock Award. Selected by the last team member who won, a custom-made presentation (of an extremely creative nature) led to transferring the title and the magnificent You Rock trophy. Here’s a recap of this quarter’s really, really awesome You Rock recipients. 

January 2022

The You Rock Award is passed from team member to team member each month and is a fun way for us to recognize each other and our accomplishments. Web Developer Tom Affeld selected Josh Painter, our Lead Videographer for January!

Tom created a custom Youtube video for the award handoff and kept the office guessing the entire time. His sentiments expressed his appreciation for Josh’s new role and responsibilities as the Team Lead of the video and photo department. Congrats, and keep up the great work, Josh!

February 2022

Josh Painter presented February’s award with a fun matching game featuring other famous people named Josh! The game was a fun and engaging way to get our team involved and helped lead up to the big reveal. Congratulations Joshua!

Josh spoke fondly about this month’s You Rock Award recipient, “I chose to give this award to our Head Honcho, Joshua Adams, because of his leadership and hard work. He creates a fun, professional culture here at Rock Paper Simple, and that helps us to achieve the best that we can. Thanks for all you do Joshua and I’m looking forward to where you lead our team!”

March 2022

Joshua then passed along the honor to our newest Marketing Manager, Katie Holm, who has truly embodied the Rock Paper Simple spirit in all she does. Our Head Honcho said, “It’s super hard, in my position, to pass along the You Rock Award, because I see so much good work and great people doing awesome things that it can be a challenge for me to choose. I did finally make my decision because not only has this person contributed so much to the team and reflected our core values of Own It, Continuously Learning, Team First and Do The Right Thing, but she has also done it all in a relatively short period of time. Thank you, Katie Holm for being a team player, for owning what we’ve thrown at you, for adapting along the way and for working with me to do right by our clients. You Rock!”

Featured Client: All Points

Launched in mid-September, the All Points, LLC website project from Rock Paper Simple accurately conveys them as a leader in technology and engineering designs for space exploration and national defense who provide customers and partners with proven, forward-thinking, innovative solutions. Working under government contract vehicles, All Points, LLC’s efforts are driven by unique requests and short-notice deadlines. They include capabilities such as engineering, software, IT, cyber security, modeling and simulation, and integrated logistics. Their acquisitions, technology, and business experts in Merritt Island solutionize dynamic technical services in the highest risk environments under mission-critical constraints. Partnering with MARS Suite to revolutionize cyber risk management, our team also built a landing page for the All Points, LLC team to tie the two together.

   

 

Rock Paper Simple Open House 2022

To celebrate our new Brevard County-based business location, the team at Rock Paper Simple held a public ribbon-cutting ceremony complete with food, drink, and games on March 22, 2022. The event lasted three and a half hours, and we all had so much fun! Woo hoo!

We’d like to extend a huge thanks to everyone who came out and showed their support. Past, present, and future clients, team members, family, friends, and neighbors were all welcome. They were co-mingling amongst the orange and grey decorations and local organizations, including the Brevard County Chambers of Commerce, The Children’s Hunger Project, Brevard Family Partnership, and New Life Mission.

Before the ceremonial cutting of the ribbon at 6:00 pm, Chaplain Pete from Marketplace Chaplains blessed the ongoings with a prayer, which was followed by an introduction from Michael Ayers, President, and CEO of the Melbourne Regional Chamber. Our Head Honcho Joshua Adams made a heartfelt speech explaining the history of the business and his love for his wife and community. Then he cut the ribbon to our new office in true Rock Paper Simple style, with a pair of oversized scissors and an orange ribbon held by the whole team. 

During the open house event, we officially marked the occasion with team-guided office tours, on-brand cupcakes, sandwiches, hor d’oeuvres, a dress-up photo booth, hula hoops, giant connect four, ax throwing, and live music from Honeycutt LIVE. Many attendees also entered a raffle to win prizes such as a Grogu Chia Pet, with the grand prize being a series of ten professional headshots. 

The relocation to a larger space reflects our commitment to meeting our marketing partners’ needs, including hosting video and photoshoots in-house at our 1,200 square foot studio space. Awesome! Additionally, the more spacious office allows us to house a more extensive Creative and Marketing Team. 

Couldn’t make it out to the event? No worries! Make an appointment with your Marketing Manager to come and see us at our centrally located office in the Gateway Business Center at 1335 Gateway Dr. Suite 2007, Melbourne, FL 32901, or give us a call at (321) 626-2172 to book your Discovery Session.

Rock Paper Simple is a 2020 GrowFL Finalist (Now in the running for Honoree!)

Rock Paper Simple is a 2020 GrowFL Companies to Watch finalist! 

GrowFL Florida Companies to Watch is an award program that celebrates growing second-stage companies headquartered in Florida. The awards program, developed by the Edward Lowe Foundation, is designed to seek out businesses from a wide range of industries throughout the state that demonstrate high performance in the marketplace with innovative strategies and processes. Since 2011, GrowFL has recognized 450 second-stage entrepreneurs and their companies through this award program, and we are humbled to be one of this year’s 84 finalists in the running to be named one of those Honorees!

We find out in November if we will make one of the final 50 Honorees from across Florida! Stay tuned!

Since Rock Paper Simple’s inception in 2013, our company’s focus has never changed— to serve our community and clients through purpose-driven work. Everything we do is designed, written, or built around the idea of producing value because we genuinely care about the growth of those we serve! 

Of course, the recognition from being a GrowFL Companies to Watch finalist is exciting, but more than that, it means we’re doing right by our clients and community! We can’t thank our clients enough for trusting us with their marketing needs. Rock Paper Simple wouldn’t be where it is today without your support and belief in our work. 

The 2020 GrowFL Florida Companies to Watch awards ceremony will be held on February 18, 2021. If you would like to attend the live event, you can visit GrowFL to register.

 

Mendx Studios Acquisition

We are excited to announce the acquisition of Mendx Studios!

At Rock Paper Simple, we have seen first hand how video content has shaped our clients marketing strategies! In fact, it is projected that by 2022, over 80% of web traffic will be video content and streaming.

That’s why we began conversations with Justin at Mendx Studios back in 2019 about becoming a part of the Rock Paper Simple family. So here we are, just 5 months later, and we are excited to announce the acquisition of Mendx Studios, one of the Space Coast’s premier video production companies.

This acquisition brings not just some incredible new talent on board, but also a history of award-winning videos on both a local and regional level, as well a host of equipment such as drones, camera cranes, flylines, underwater packages, gimbals, stabalizers and the list goes on and on.

It adds another whole vertical of service and value to our existing clients as well as future Marketing Partners by having an in-house team handling high quality video production services. Mendx Studios will continue to exist as a brand and serve their clients without interruption, but will be working alongside the Rock Paper Simple team now. Two brands, one team!

Justin and company… welcome to the team!

Ever Forward During COVID-19

COVID-19 is an historic event for all of us. Life has been very different for everyone in a truly global sense and we are right there with you. We want to encourage our clients, our neighbors and our community amidst all of the fear and uncertainty (and lack of toilet paper!) to continue to look up and continue forward. The Rock Paper Simple team certainly is!

Our team and client meetings have gone fully remote from our homes as of this past week, and we are offering video and conference call meetings instead of in-person, so we can be fully available to our clients as we partner with them to keep things moving as best we can. Our daily morning Zoom team check-ins have been just as fun as those in-office alley-rallies we normally have… just minus the freshly ground coffee!

“Ever Forward” is a motto I have lived by and now it is more meaningful that ever. It means that no matter what challenges are ahead of us, there is always a way forward. Our prayers are with all of you, and I truly believe that we will get through this better if we do it together (well, together at least 6 feet away from each other).

We’d like to invite you to join us in helping make a difference in our community, even while things are feeling a bit scary. In that spirit, below we share about a local business we all know and love and two non-profits we support that could use your help.

~Joshua Adams and the whole Rock Paper Simple Team

 

Supporting a local business that has given back to our community for 30+ years

One of our clients, Chris Conneen, owner of Brevard County’s Pizza Gallery & Grill, as well as 28 North Gastropub, shared the below message recently, and we wanted to share it with you. Standing together as a community makes all the difference in times like these. The hospitality industry is one of those very hard hit, so we have supported them during this time and hope you will too. Pizza Gallery is offering full menu for curbside service at a 20% discount and they are delivering the full menu with Bite Squad.

Chris’ Message (originally posted on Facebook):

“I don’t usually go to social media for these types of thoughts or actions, but I’m definitely feeling compelled to do so now.

The Hospitality Industry is one of America’s Greatest Industries and they are currently being hit with the first of several Economic Tsunamis due to COVID-19! Larger companies and even most independent operators should be able to sustain a 30-90 day hit, but I’m confident in saying that less than 10% of our industries workers can go more than 30 days without any income.

While I’m currently facing really hard decisions that will affect 100+ team members and their families, I want to share my experience, strength and hope and confidently say. “We will get through this together”. Philippians 4:6 says, “Do Not Be Anxious About Anything” and 1 Peter 4:10 “Calls us to use whatever gifts you have to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s Grace!!! I LOVE this industry and our hospitality community and want to serve them now more than ever!!! So I’m committed to seeking every resource there is, both private and public, to support the front line workers of our Local Hospitality Industry!!!

Please DM me if you want to help or have another resource that can assist serving those who serve us every day…

Teammates in Community,

Chris Conneen
28 North Gastropub & Pizza Gallery & Grill

Visit their FB page for the latest: https://www.facebook.com/PGGViera/

 

The Children’s Hunger Project and Brevard Public Schools: Feeding our Kids

Brevard Public Schools (BPS) have announced that starting Monday, March 23rd, they will begin providing breakfast and lunch food packets from the parking lots of designated school locations.  Click here to learn more about the school locations and guidelines. 

The Children’s Hunger Project will be joining BPS’ efforts and will be providing weekend food packages to their designated sites on Fridays beginning March 27th. While they have filled the initial need for volunteers, they could use more for future dates and could use both financial or food donations. To donate, click here.  To volunteer, look for future sign-up links here. 

 

Brevard Rescue Mission is OPEN and new families are being served

Another shining beacon of light right here in Brevard Rescue Mission (BRM), as they continue to serve homeless women and children through all that is going on. Stacia Long Glavas, Founder / CEO of BRM, released an update video and we encourage you to give it a watch. You can find the video below. Stacia, you and your team inspire us!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WiOHGS-vlQM

Did Your Organic Ranking Tank? We know why…

This is a safe place, can we all agree on that? Great, then it’s ok to admit the word “algorithm” mystifies you — perplexes you — even scares you a little bit.

So, when you hear Google is updating its algorithm it can cause fear, panic, and the like. Google has admitted to a March 2019 update that actually LOST entire web pages from its index. Gone. Poof. And the effect on organic rankings was HUGE.

In March 2019, Google did what it called a “Broad Core update” – meaning Google is not “fixing” something directly, or even addressing specific industries or areas of need – but rather, creating and implementing more sweeping adjustments to organic searches.

As one tech blogger explained it:

Broad core updates are improvements to Google’s overall algorithm for the purpose of better understanding search queries and webpages. These improvements help Google to more accurately match search queries to webpages and improve user satisfaction.

Everybody, Stay Calm!

Did you feel that? Did your site feel the full brunt of the digital earthquake? Or maybe you just felt a little aftershock. Either way, Google’s “advancements” truly hurt many sites’ rankings about a month after the update’s release.

On April 7th, Google tweeted:

We’re aware of indexing issues that impacted some sites beginning on Friday. We believe the issues are mostly resolved and don’t require any special efforts on the part of site owners. We’ll provide another update when the issues are considered fully resolved.

We won’t bore you with the nerdy details to indexes, search impacts, etc. etc. – but basically Google admitted “Houston, we have a problem.”

Here at RPS we experienced it on our own site. One day we’re trending along, enjoying the top spot in our market for the organic keywords we’ve identified in our marketing strategy, and then the proverbial bottom dropped out. It was easy to recognize, and virtually impossible to explain.

We saw the same trend in several client websites as well. Even after efforts to optimize, the organic search metrics didn’t seem to follow a logical pattern. We weren’t rattled, but rather challenged ourselves to find out why. Don’t get us wrong, we love a good mystery, BUT not without an explanation or a resolution. (Every good mystery movie ends by solving the mystery — haven’t they ever seen an episode of Scooby Doo?!)

Oh, that algorithm, it’ll get ya every time! And, just like it seemed to “get us” for a time, we’ve been digging in to deeper understand the update and its aftermath. Google is not really in the practice of explaining in depth the reasons behind updates, or the predicted effects. Sometimes they just drop an update and see if anyone notices.

We Will Rebuild

So, how do you overcome the aftershock of the Broad Core update of March 2019?

First, know that Google has since come out an assured the web community that it is reindexing sites already, and you can directly ask for Google to index your site. Not a great solution for sites with a lot of volume, but an option nonetheless.  

The dust will supposedly settle. Google is quick to assure it’s back to business as usual… but we’re a little more proactive than that. We trust the system but also believe in strategy implementation for the win.

We don’t believe major adjustments are ultimately your best move. Instead, we believe there’s value in monitoring. Organic rankings are the long-game in an often frantic, mile-a-minute digital marketplace. Craft a solid strategy, modify as needed, and remain calm.

We’ll get through this, together.

VR, AR, AI, Oh my!

Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), Artificial Intelligence (AI)… If your head is spinning, you’re not alone. It’s a lot to keep up with, and even more difficult for your business to master.

Customers crave a more transformational experience with brands, products, services, and information. And there’s power in delivering those experiences.

Augmented Reality is defined as “a type of interactive, reality-based display environment that takes the capabilities of computer generated display, sound, text and effects to enhance the user’s real-world experience.” It is predicted Augmented Reality will grow to be a $35 billion industry by 2022! Talk about opportunity knocking!

So, how are brands using AR effectively and strategically to not only increase brand awareness but to create meaningful customer experiences (and loyal fans?) How to do go beyond the gimmick and make AR work for your company? How does AR become your brand differentiator?

Here’s how industries and brands are leveraging AR to do more than simply impress and entertain.

There’s an app for that

Nike is using Augmented Reality to assist shoe buyers to not only find the right shoe for their activity, but the correct SIZE. Their research showed up to 60% of their customers were purchasing the wrong size shoe, which was leading to more returns and more unhappy customers. Their sizing app, Nike Fit, lets buyers scan their feet at home to get their correct size (within a 2mm of accuracy which, we don’t measure things with rulers much these days but we’re pretty sure that’s super close to perfect) The result – a rise in consumer confidence, more brand loyalty, and fewer returns.

How Will I know?

Companies like Ikea, Wayfair, Target, and Amazon are augmenting the purchases of items, especially larger ones like furniture, and allowing buyers to “try before they buy” — you can virtually place the item in the room to see the piece in the real world before buying and potentially assembling (and we all know the joys of assembling an IKEA piece…) The result again is consumer confidence and a higher likelihood the buyer will ultimately make that big-ticket purchase.

Not sure if you’ll love a paint color? Try it out through AR and get it right the first time — companies like Sherwin-Williams are having extreme success with their ventures into Augmented Reality paint selection and it’s reinforcing the brand’s commitment to helping customers get it right the first time.

Don’t Just Tell Me, Show Me

We all know how essential visuals are to a brand. AR is taking this fact to an elevated level (basically, it’s like a picture times a million). Gone are the days of just showing an illustration to explain how something works. Or dropping a logo onto a piece of collateral to brand it as your own. The possibilities are endless when it comes to AR showing, versus telling, about your brand.

Jack Daniels is using AR to bring customers into the whiskey manufacturing world to immerse them in the distillery and makes the brand more relatable. The bottle’s label becomes a virtual pop-up storybook to show consumers the process, the location, and the history of the company. And, frankly, it’s just cool to watch.

Make The World a Better Place

Augmented Reality is being used as assistive technology for the visually impaired. One service “connects blind and low-vision people to highly trained, remotely-located agents.” The goal of this brand is to make information available to everyone regardless of disability, making life more full and enjoyable and further enhance everyday experiences.

Social and Search

Social media platforms have been on board with the utility of AR, and are leading the charge. Snapchat and Instagram have built entire identity on filters, which brands are now monetizing into awareness, relationship building, and just plain fun. The use of AR on social communicates the organic voice that a basic post simply cannot convey.

And of course Google is in on the frontlines of AR. Google maps are interactive with walking navigation and visual overlays. Google searches include AR immersive experiences to feel connected to the content that comes up on your next search — it’s fun to see an 18-foot great white shark floating in your backyard as you help your child research sharks for a school project.

Just Plain Fun

A Snapchat filter for a special event is a small investment to create a memorable impact. (Check out the filter we used for our recent RPS Open House event…)

But, be careful. There still has to be value to be, well, valuable to your base. Otherwise, it’s just a novelty that could hurt your brand more than help. Your AR experience has to have a strong message and clear function, and go beyond the initial “coolness” factor.

If your AR experience doesn’t drive customers to take action (buy that IKEA sofa, it’ll fit perfectly!), make an informed decision (that lipstick is totally your color!), meet a customer’s need (“What does this error message mean, oh wise AR tech support guy?), showcase your capabilities (have your smartphone out next time you’re in the RPS offices for our full AR experience), or directly align with your brand’s message and values it could end up being just a novelty (a moment of silence for QR codes…)

Bottom line: Don’t be Pokemon Go (hot one minute, obsolete the next). Using AR, and any other Experiential Marketing tools, correctly can have a lasting, positive effect on your business and brand. The key word — “correctly”.