The Charleston American Marketing Association Launches the Charleston Marketing Podcast

Premiering on August 1st, the podcast in partnership with the Charleston Radio Group will highlight key influencers and business professionals in the Charleston marketing industry. 

The Charleston American Marketing Association (AMA) has launched their podcast, The Charleston Marketing Podcast, entirely geared toward Charleston’s marketing professionals. Featuring conversations with the Lowcountrys’ movers and shakers, changemakers and elite knowledge workers, each episode of The Charleston Marketing Podcast and YouTube channel provides listeners with relevant and topical takeaways ready to be applied and implemented. 

Hosted by Stephanie Barrow and Mike Compton, board members of the Charleston American Marketing Association, the “CAMA Cast” is highly engaging with guests like Will Hayine, Mayor of Mount Pleasant, Nikki Kuniej, Director of Digital Strategy, Charleston Radio Group, Olivia Flowers of Southern Charm. With a new episode dropping each month, many more thought-provoking interviews are planned with top marketing experts, industry thought leaders, nonprofits and successful Lowcountry entrepreneurs. Four episodes will be launching in August including an intro episode. 

“To me, it’s all about connecting and building community, like we do at CAMA. We are discussing content and ideas for all types of marketers. From solopreneurs to c-suite agency heads, from college grads to entrepreneurs that wear all the hats. We plan to have all the conversations, big and small so everyone can take something away from the podcast,” shares Mike Compton. “The Charleston Marketing Podcast has been a goal of our Chapter since I was President. The pandemic reiterated to our team the importance of connection, inspiration and motivation. I am genuinely thrilled and humbled by the amazing opportunity to interview these truly inspiring Charleston professionals who are making an impact here in the Lowcountry,” stated Stephanie Barrow.

Episodes will be available on the platforms Spotify, YouTube, Buzzsprout and as of Tuesday, August 1, 2023.

Follow @charlestonama for your updates, marketing inspiration, Charleston news and networking events.


How To Protect Your Brand 2023

You did it! You built your brand–one that consumers love and trust. You might be thinking the ride is smooth sailing from here, but the work is actually just beginning. Now, you have to maintain the momentum and manage and protect your brand reputation.

Building and maintaining your brand in a very crowded market is no easy feat. There are over half a million brands globally. That’s a lot of competition for your audience’s attention. In these times of rapid change, consumers gravitate toward brands they trust. Building that trust isn’t your job alone, it takes a collective effort between yourself, your team and your audience.

So, why is brand reputation important?

Today, consumers expect more from a brand. It is not just price and quality they’re after. They’re also seeking authentic interactions, for example, on their favorite social platforms. With the fast pace of social, positive and negative interactions with your brand can spread like wildfire. Managing your reputation on social helps your brand stay healthy through the ups and downs by addressing these key benefits:

  • Aligning with customer values
  • Supporting your community
  • Maintaining customer loyalty
  • Being who you are and doing what you say; staying authentic Think about it, your reputation can take years to build and seconds to lose The digital landscape is unapologetic and mostly unfiltered, making it ripe with opportunities for success or misstep. With just one post, the reputation you’ve built can end. But the organic conversations on social, digital chat rooms, etc. also give you ample chances to listen and learn from your customers, reshaping your brand reputation with genuine feedback to correct any misguided information. Speaking of, digital word-of-mouth matters Some 53% of consumers like or follow a brand page on social media to learn about new products and services. When it comes to purchasing decisions, digital word-of-mouth is crucial for growing your audience and reputation. There’s also power in brands prioritizing online conversations that are visible to the masses. Today, most consumers expect a response within 24 hours, being responsive on all digital platforms shows future and current customers you care. With many digital channels allowing you to directly communicate with your audience, this allows brands to use reputation management to engage, answer questions and interact with their customers, humanizing your brand, which turns out, consumers appreciate. Protecting your brand’s reputation is just as important as protecting it’s safety With your reputation now on the line, it’s like the old saying goes: when you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

A proactive brand safety plan is the only way to mitigate risk online. While most digital networks have standards in place to prevent ads from showing up within harmful content, for example, these standards are usually developed after a brand safety blunder makes a threat clear.

While risk is a natural part of investing in new digital features or tools, if you let that stop your brand from hopping on the latest marketing advancements, you risk falling behind your competitors and out of favor with your target audience. A major risk in itself.

The only real way to protect your business online is to create brand safety guidelines that understand and address the digital landscape.

Consumer privacy IS brand safety

It can be tempting to do the minimum required in the safety department, just to keep the regulators at bay, and get back to the things that directly drive revenue. Many brands take this approach, but as consumer awareness of privacy increases—and consumers are granted more rights under the law—this is an increasingly risky path to take.

Gartner estimates that by the end of 2024, 75% of the world’s population will be covered by some form of consumer privacy or data protection regulation. The explosion of modern privacy regulation is due to recognition by regulators and consumers alike that the rise of the digital economy has brought with it misuses and abuses of consumer privacy.

As shared, consumer trust can become a competitive advantage for companies who prioritize doing what it takes to earn and protect that trust as an asset. And in today’s world, with headlines about data breaches and misuses in the news almost every day, earning that trust means prioritizing approachable, consumer friendly and effective privacy practices.

What you can actually do to protect it all

Now, in 2023 with states passing new laws, here is what marketers can do to ensure that this widening pool of covered consumers—in addition to the pool of existing covered consumers—has a great experience with your brand:

  1. Put on your consumer hat – Is it easy for you to opt out of your messaging? What does your brand look like from out outside looking in?
  2. Assess your partners – Do they care about your brand the same way? Do they align with the reputation and safety plans?
  3. Educate your team – Do your employees respect your brand outside of work? Do they understand the expectations and risk for internal and external brand protection?
  4. Test and test again – Do you have tests in place to mitigate risks? Are you engaging in social listening to ensure your brand is being represented the way you want it to?

Taking small, but consistent steps to ensure your brand is protected from all ends of the digital spectrum, you’ll be sure to keep that momentum going long into this year and the future.

Charleston AMA 2022 Spark! Awards Winners Announced

CHARLESTON, SC, September 26, 2022: Charleston American Marketing Association is pleased to announce the winners of the 2022 Spark! Awards, the only awards event in Charleston celebrating creative excellence and marketing talent. 

On Wednesday, September 21, nearly 100 marketing and creative professionals came together and brought the ‘It’s Time to Tiki” event theme to life. The event featured luau-inspired food from Swig and Swine, Pussers Rum debuted the new Painkiller canned read-to-drink cocktail to the marketing community, and a stand up comedy show from local comedians Dan Sweneey and Josh Bates, as well as an after party a Dalilas. 

Thank you to this year’s Spark! Awards sponsors, Nelson Printing, Valhalla Images, Charleston Radio Group, Balloon Therapy Charleston, Chris Hervochen Consulting, Harborside East, and Squeeze Marketing.

Fellow AMA Reno-Tahoe chapter reviewed hundreds of submissions and selected finalists and winners in 19 creative categories, as well as Charleston Marketer of the Year.

Follow Charleston AMA on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and TikTok to stay up to date on shenanigans and events. If you would like to be a speaker at events or want to learn about how to become a member, email

Charleston AMA 2022 Spark! Awards Winners

2022 Marketer of the Year

Rhetta Cloyd – In The Black Marketing and Consulting

2022 Volunteer of the Year

Gillian Mechling

Best Blog


Trio SolutionsCharleston Allergy + Asthma


Charleston Wine + FoodTasting Notes

Winkler GroupNews and Insights: The “Great Resignation” and How to Address Nonprofit Staff Turnover

Best Book Cover


Banks CreativeJapanese Print Catalog


Advantage Media | Forbes Books – Jason Mars: Breaking Bots

Advantage Media | Forbes Books – Robert Sofia: Blend Out

Best Collateral


Nina Ita / A+E Digital PrintingThe Wonderer – Krida Dining & Beverage Menu


In The Black Marketing & ConsultingBest Collateral: Harlestons

Nina Ita / A+E Digital PrintingHarbour Club at Westedge – Private Events Package

Best Corporate Identity Package


In The Black Marketing & ConsultingBest Corporate Identity Package: Hamby Catering & Events


Kim Russo, On Brand DesignsHogarty Group

Trio Solutions Inc. (TRIO)Wholespire

Best Digital Advertising


Momentum MarketingPolly’s Fine Jewelry | Ring In The Madness


Charleston Wine + Food22Together

Best Direct Mail Marketing


Vertical FoldRapid Repairs Crawl Space Postcard


LimRic Plumbing Heating & AirWelcome to the Comfort Club!

Best E-Newsletter


Charleston County ParksEducate & Inspire


Stingray BrandingCharleston Gator Club

Winkler GroupNovember Giving 

Best Event Marketing


Charleston Wine + FoodCharleston Wine + Food 2022 Festival


BoomTownBoomTown Unite

Trident United Way2021 Sing United

Best Illustration


Banks CreativeCharleston Visitor Guide Cover


Kim Russo, On Brand DesignsMoxxi Coffee Co.

Squeeze MarketingKrazy Hayes Artwork

Best Logo Design


Kim Russo, On Brand DesignsLowcountry Harvest


Kim Russo, On Brand DesignsA Spot of Paint by Kim

Squeeze MarketingFelicity Charleston Logo

Best Non-Traditional Marketing


LimRic Plumbing Heating & AirTransforming the Trades


In The Black Marketing & ConsultingHarlestons

The Brandon AgencyBlack Insomnia Coffee Company Poster Campaign

Best Outdoor Advertising


The Brandon AgencyDaytona Beach


Push DigitalCharleston’s Best Dermatologist – DLCC Billboards

REV Federal Credit Union1.75% Auto Loans

Best Print Advertising


Momentum MarketingBeacon Community Bank | Hero Word Campaign


Charleston Wine + Food22Together

The Brandon AgencyDaytona Beach

Best Product Marketing


DaysieDaysie Launch


Banks CreativeCharleston Beer Can

Pussers RumPusser’s Painkiller RTD (Ready to Drink) Cocktail

Best Public Relations


LimRic Plumbing Heating & AirPet Helpers International Dog Day Adoption Event


MUSC Children’s & Women’s HealthFather & Son Urge Vaccination

MUSC Children’s & Women’s HealthThe Safest Place to Deliver

Best Social Media Campaign


Charleston Wine + FoodOn the Road with Toyota


Butcher & BeeButcher & Bee x Duke’s Mayonnaise

Mount Pleasant Chamber of CommerceShop Where You Live

The Brandon AgencyBlack Insomnia Coffee Company

Best Social Media Presence


Charleston County ParksThe Great Outdoors is for Everyone


Butcher & BeeButcher & Bee

Charleston Wine + Food@chswineandfood

Best Video Marketing


BoomTownWhy it Works


Charleston Wine + FoodCHSWF 2022 Promo Sizzle

REV Federal Credit UnionCan’t Stop Me Now

Best Website




Charleston Wine +

Daysie –

Marketing in 2022 (or is it 2020, too?)

It feels like the remix of 2020, and across the board many of us marketers are having a bit of PTSD. With COVID cases spiking everywhere, it leaves a lot of uncertainty as to what the next steps should be to kick off the new year.

While there are still many in-person events and luckily no lockdowns insight, it still begs the question of whether planning events is worth the risk? Or better yet – what is the best ROI for marketing dollars in 2022? What are the best use of your time, efforts, and talents?

Let’s jump into some ideas that won’t blow your budget and should make a bigger splash than a New Year’s Day polar plunge:

Hone your brand

Have you been itching for a rebrand, a fresh website, or a new color scheme? If it doesn’t carry a big price tag, now might be the time to try that edgy image update. Another idea is to take a moment to organize and polish yourself with a new brand book, fresh graphics, an entire year campaign strategy, and more. 

Content, content, content!

The old adage is true – content is king, so build an empire in 2022 with more content. Take this time to create a content strategy and stick to it. Analyze your results, and pivot focus if necessary (we are pros at that now!). Work on that SEO research you have been putting off. View this as a gift – it’s time to be more proactive than reactive, and really craft the marketing content and campaigns of your (and your clients!) dreams. 

And with that, we get to our third idea…

Try something new

Mastered blog posts and boosted your social following? That’s great, but can you TikTok? The point is, expand your skillset. Keeping your marketing chops sharp is all about continual learning. Social media platforms are always adding new features and updating algorithms so it is up to you and your team to stay keen on the latest and greatest. 

So stay agile, curious, and connected with your Charleston AMA Community! Together, we can make 2022 a year of marketing triumphs here in the Holy City. 

Getting Your Act Together for #GivingTuesday

As marketers, we all know those editorial calendars should be built out at least 90 days in advance. However … if you’ve waited this long to think about your #GivingTuesday strategy, all is not lost. Giving Tuesday is a global  generosity movement launched in 2012, at the 92nd Street Y in New York City, with not much more than 30 days’ notice either. It has grown to a movement that in 2020 generated at least $2.47 Billion in twenty-four hours in the U.S. alone. And, good news! Donors were giving at record high levels during the pandemic. 

Always held on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, this year #GivingTuesday is November 30th. Short lead times are no problem with social media. However, with popularity comes competition, so, how can your organization stand out?

 Get specific. Instead of one post on the “day of,” choose one program or funding need your social media followers can readily identify with and create your drive around that. When you share where donation dollars go, you give your organization credibility and fuel donor buy-in and confidence.

“$25 cleans the water supply”

“$50 serves lunch for a week”

“$100 trains 3 demining volunteers”

“$250 provides a lifesaving veterinary surgery”

Skip the generic feel good, happy faces and use photos of your clients, volunteers, and projects to tell the story and increase conversion. Everyone appreciates behind-the-scenes photos which show, rather than tell, about your organization’s good works.

No need to reinvent the wheel, get #GivingTuesday graphics and toolkit here: to add your organization’s outreach.

Don’t just use the #GivingTuesday hashtag, though. Add your specific industry and donation drive to gain social momentum. For instance, #coatsforkids, #aidsawareness #cleanwater, #helpingthehomeless, #fooddrive, #sustainablefood.

Can you get your team together in a hurry?

Don’t wait til November 30th. Start announcing your fundraising needs as soon as you can with ideas like, “We’re creating an AmazonSmile page for Giving Tuesday.” Or, “Go through your closet now and start putting aside those gently used clothes for our #GivingTuesday drive.” 

More than just money. While donations are certainly necessary to any nonprofit organization, so are volunteers. Your posts can appeal to those people who like to roll their sleeves up for a good cause, and because you are not asking for money, your post will stand out from the millions of others that day. This is the perfect time to harness those individuals and families who look for opportunities to serve during the holidays. 

It’s not all over on Tuesday. Here are two ways to get more mileage out of #GivingTuesday.

You may not have time to promote #GivingTuesday in your newsletter but be sure to talk about your success in the next newsletter to come out and include all the ways to give. 

Appeal to the procrastinators out there with “morning after” posts.  “It’s Not Too Late.” “Giving Tuesday might be over, but the fight to end hunger isn’t.” 

Then sit back, appreciate the community support you’ve generated, and start thinking about next year’s marketing campaign. Plus, watch for Charleston American Marketing Association’s upcoming nonprofit-focused marketing coffee talks starting up in 2022.