All posts by Quinlan

American Advertising Awards 2018: Bringing Home Some Hardware


Every year we dedicate ourselves to working with our clients to provide the best possible outcomes. And then we take a break to see if our peers in the ad community think we did a good job. Apparently, they did as we brought home five silver awards.

Some Background:
Located across the country, The American Advertising Federation is the oldest and most recognized national advertising trade association in the country. Each year, our local chapter, AAF Buffalo holds the American Advertising Awards. This year Quinlan was in attendance to bring home five silver awards.

The Good Stuff:
Category: Internet Commercial
Name: Life Storage Built By Us
Award: Silver
Description: This Internet commercial was part of our three-part video series for Life Storage. In Built by Us, a family visits their storage unit for one last trip down memory lane before a daughter departs for college.

Category: Branded Content and Entertainment Campaign
Name: Life Storage
Life Storage Things We Keep Because
Award: Silver
Description: Quinlan developed a three-part video series. Each video referenced real-life situations that tied us to our personal items and how self-storage can play a role in protecting those things. Our goal was to connect with customers and create a connection to Life Storage as a priority if additional storage space became a need.

Category: Advertising Industry Self-Promotion Collateral, Brand Elements
Name: Quinlan Wellness Adventures
Award: Silver
Description: This internal promotion was designed to promote company teamwork and overall wellness. We created four teams: Eat Well, Move Well, Do Well and Think Well.

Category: Advertising Industry Self-Promotion Direct Marketing and Specialty Advertising
Name: Wingstop Delivery
Award: Silver
Description: We thought a chicken wing chain should have a Buffalo-based agency. Even if they’re deep in the heart of Texas. We designed this pitch to be hand delivered to our unsuspecting friends in the Wingstop marketing department.

Category: Advertising Industry Self-Promotion Special Event Materials
Name: Corporate Challenge T-shirt
Award: Silver
Description: Quinlan is a proud participator in the Corporate Challenge. We created t-shirts for the event while incorporating our Wellness Adventures branding. The inspirational, hand-drawn lettering (by our own Sr. Graphic Designer, Jillian Minderler) shaved 30 seconds off our times.

So there you have it, folks! Tune in next year to read about how we crushed it at the ADDY’s 2019!

How to Attract College Students with Content Marketing: A Case Study


Did you know: 80 percent of prospective college students (the most connected generation ever) uses Facebook. Yet, 25 percent of those prospective students actually view a college’s social media profile. Why? Because universities struggle to produce compelling content that connects.

Brochures, newsletters and leaflets are all great forms of content to attract college students. But while students continue to change how they receive their information, many schools have yet to adapt. While it’s still important to focus on things like flyers and newsletters, it’s even more important for colleges to build effective content marketing programs in order to stand out.

Our agency experienced this same type of challenge with one of our higher education clients. Here’s how we utilized content marketing to attract college students.

Set measurable goals and objectives. 

Although the endgame for content marketing and higher education is likely to increase enrollment, the first step is to decide what exactly you’re looking to achieve. Aside from lead generation, are you looking to see forms filled out on the website? A boost in social media engagement? An increase in website visitors? Content marketing strategy needs to go hand in hand with goals and objectives.

The situation: Trocaire College exists within a competitive higher education marketplace in Western New York and, like many colleges, it was beginning to see a decline in overall enrollment. The school also lacked a serious content marketing strategy. Our campaign set out to do several things: to build an effective content program, to reach new and diverse audiences in the Buffalo metro area, and to ultimately increase student enrollment.


Understand your audience.

When it comes to content marketing, it’s not about reaching the greatest amount of people, it’s about reaching the right people. What are they interested in? How do they spend their time? What social media platforms are they using?

Trocaire is a private college geared mainly towards nursing students. While it may seem obvious to target high school students, the school actually had a large non-traditional enrollment — with mainly transfer and adult students making up the majority of the population.

In order to attract these audiences, we had to do two things: understand the demographic and find a way to speak to them. We had to propose value that specifically targeted students looking for higher education and adult students looking to advance their careers.

Look beyond leads: Craft a story that sells.

While the ultimate goal for higher education content marketing may be to increase student enrollment, your content shouldn’t be strictly sales based. You have to create content that tells stories, builds trust and creates relationships. What is your unique selling proposition? And how will you use that story to guide your content efforts?

“The challenge is not how to be successful, but how do we figure out how to matter. And the way we matter is by connecting with people through a story,” notes Seth Godin. “A story that resonates, a story they care about and a story they’ll tell other people.”

So that’s what we did. We focused on what makes the school different — like its nontraditional student enrollment, affordability and flexible scheduling. We built Trocaire’s Trailblazer blog around content that would remain relevant to college students, nontraditional students and alumni, such as:

  • Most frequently asked college application questions
  • Most important dates and events at the school
  • History of Trocaire and downtown Buffalo
  • Personal success stories from alumni

These topics gave us the ability to provide visitors with attractive, compelling content which ensured shares and engagement.

Share and promote your content.

Once you’ve found your story and overall strategy, use that information to share that authentic brand voice across the right social channels.

Some interesting statistics from EnVeritas Group:

  • Nine out of 10 students use the internet to research college and course options
  • Four out of 10 students search for education options on their mobile phones
  • More than six out of 10 students use social media to research colleges

No matter which platform applies specifically to your target audience, make sure you provide enough information and entertainment through social media to draw in prospective students.


Quinlan, for example, created content focused on success stories of Trocaire alumni. We implemented twice-weekly blog posts, daily updates to Twitter/Facebook and an email newsletter program to allude to Trocaire’s relationship with nontraditional students and first-generation college attendees. This not only shows prospective students how wonderful a career in nursing can be, but it strengthens the relationship between the school and its alumni (not to mention broadens our reach once the alumni share our content).

Leverage paid promotion.

Once you’re ready to share and promote content, remember that paid promotion can go a long way. In fact, the average reach for organic Facebook posts is only 2.6 percent. In order to reach your audience, it’s necessary to take advantage of all the benefits paid media has to offer.

“It’s not enough to create great content anymore,” notes Malorie Benjamin, our media director. “We have to make sure that the right people are exposed to the content. This is where paid social promotion comes in. It gives us the ability to reach the right audience with the right information in an extremely targeted way.”

For this program, Facebook became a major driver of blog visits. We worked to create content that would appeal specifically to the audiences of the key programs that Trocaire was looking to fill — like computer network administration and men in nursing. From there, we created target audiences through promotion that matched these profiles and we saw huge success in engagement with the content:

  1. Cost per clicks under $0.30 on many campaigns
  2. Over 500 clicks per post with modest spend
  3. Increasing page likes with one post by over 20

Continuously measure your goals.

When setting up an effective content marketing program, setting up your campaign is only half the battle. What is the goal for your blog? What is the goal for each social platform? Whether it’s views, shares, engagements or enrollment, have a plan in place to measure your success.

For the Trocaire campaign, we utilized Google Analytics to monitor traffic growth and identify most-viewed content. We also implemented email address collection on the blog and launched an email newsletter program.

The result: Over a 10-month period, Trocaire shifted from having no content marketing strategy to having a solid content program, brand, and engaged influencers.

  • 6.25% of blog visitors also visited the Admissions or Academics pages
  • Facebook likes grew 15% and total reach increased 32 times
  • Twitter impressions grew from 9,000 to 363,000

So, it’s pretty safe to say we accomplished our goals: we developed a solid foundation for a content marketing program, increased website traffic, increased social media engagement and saw an increase in enrollment.

It’s also safe to say that content marketing is a necessity when it comes to higher education. All it takes is goals, objectives and a strategic plan.

How have you utilized content marketing for college students or higher education clients? We’d love to chat. Tweet us @QuinlanCompany.

Introducing Hannah Gilray, Quinlan’s Summer 2015 Content Intern


Meet Hannah Gilray, Quinlan’s new intern for Summer 2015.

Hannah’s responsibilities will include launching, managing and producing content for Off Campus Living, a new blog dedicated to making the best of small living spaces through innovative decor, design, storage and DIY projects. This blog will be aimed at an audience of college students and young adults. Hannah will also manage the social media accounts for Off Campus Living.

“I love that the industry is always changing, and how creative it always allows one to be,” Hannah says.”There is always something new to learn.”

Hannah Gilray

About Hannah Gilray

A student at the State University of New York at Fredonia, Hannah majors in business marketing and is working towards a minor in communication. She plans to graduate in December 2015.

Hannah previously attended Alfred State College, where she played NCAA Division III soccer for two years. She transferred to SUNY Fredonia for the Spring 2014 semester and continued her soccer career with the Blue Devils. She loves to stay active and participate in other recreational sports, including intramural basketball and soccer.

Hannah enjoys meeting new people, visiting her aunt in Naples, Florida, browsing Pinterest, watching Will Ferrell movies, shopping and spending time with friends and family.

Hannah is excited to start her journey in advertising and digital content at Quinlan. She aspires to learn how to manage multiple social media accounts and excel in digital content production.

She currently resides in Fredonia, where she grew up and attended high school.

Hard-hitting debate: UberBowl tackles Super Bowl ads


This event was cancelled! Please contact the Advertising Club of Buffalo for refund or rescheduling info.

Eager to watch the 2015 Super Bowl ads? Anxiously awaiting the chance to talk some smack? Well, you’re in the right city. Get off Twitter and make plans to attend the Advertising Club of Buffalo’s sixth annual UberBowl event on Monday, Feb. 2 at 6 p.m. at Cobblestone Bar and Restaurant (130 South Park Ave., Buffalo).

How UberBowl works

UberBowl originated in 2009 as a panel of advertising experts given an opportunity to express their strongest opinions on the Super Bowl ads while sharing their own tips and pointers on the creative process.

This current version of UberBowl will star our very own creative director Frank Conjerti, who, in a change of pace from years past, will boot out the panel and serve as co-host for the event along with Advertising Club of Buffalo President Scott Bartels. frank and Scott will lead a town hall-style forum in which audience members will critique, debate and discuss the $150,000-per-second ads that aired in the previous day’s Super Bowl.

Bring your A-game.

At UberBowl, the star panelist is YOU. Your hottest takes are required.

There will never be another Bartlo.

There will not be an UberBowl winner as there has been in years past, meaning Quinlan’s own executive vice president  Dan Bartlo will hold the 2014 UberBowl championship trophy for the foreseeable future. Dan — one of four panelists who debated the ads in UberBowl V — was named top dog of the debate and will keep the trophy perched in his office for one more year.

Dan Bartlo of Quinlan and Company with UberBowl Trophy

Each year the Super Bowl entices the public to not only watch the biggest football game of the year, but also to engage in their ads. This year, companies are releasing their million dollar advertisements days before the big game in hopes to increase the anticipation for viewers everywhere. Which makes UberBowl, the perfect event to attend so we can “open our mouths” and discuss what we truly think.

Don’t miss the intense UberBowl VI! Check out the Advertising Club of Buffalo and register for the UberBowl VI. We hope to see you there!

Tweet us your thoughts about the 2015 Super Bowl ads @Quinlanco

Meet Sarah Miller, our new PR coordinator


Quinlan & Company is happy to announce the addition of a new Public Relations coordinator to the growing digital advertising team.

Sarah Miller has joined Quinlan and Company as the new Public Resultado de imagen para pr coordinatorRelations Coordinator. Her responsibilities include conducting and editing press releases, corresponding media outreach, and controlling Quinlan’s social media accounts. Sarah was previously a freelance marketing coordinator and Mortgage Specialist at First Niagara Bank while working to obtain her Master’s in Public Relations Management at Buffalo State College. She always recommends following this path as as she says it was one of the greatest opportunities of her life, having a scholarship made her life totally different and let her experience a healthy and good educational career.

Aside from her background in marketing and public relations, Sarah is a big music advocate. She enjoys playing the piano and guitar in her spare time along with supporting local artists throughout Buffalo, NY where she resides.

Sarah has received her Master’s in Public Relations Management in 2014 at Buffalo State College after obtaining her Bachelors in Communications at the University at Buffalo, New York.

With her aspiring passion for Public Relations, we are certain she will make a great addition to the team!

For more information about Quinlan’s team tweet us @QuinlanCompany or find us on Facebook: