Amplify Relations

Trinda Freese – The Power of Sound: How Earworms Get Stuck in Our Heads

I’ve recently taken to turning on the morning news as I get ready for work, telling myself I’m only leaving the TV on so my cat doesn’t get lonely during the day. Usually I don’t pay much attention to the background noise of the weatherman’s droning or the newscaster’s poor attempts at witty banter, forgetting all but the sound of their voices. One day I started humming an unfamiliar tune and tapped my fingers to an alien beat. It was stuck in my head all day, but I couldn’t place where I’d heard it before until I got home. The earworm that had been repeating itself in my head was none other than a jingle. Armed with 10 years of musical instruction and a single semester of Introduction to Psychology, I was able to figure out just what made this commercial stick in my brain.

Jingles and taglines are key to advertising. The measure of successful audio is the creation of an earworm that gets stuck in your head, coming back to you when you are approached with a buying decision. As different as taglines and jingles can be in use of techniques like melody and rhythm, they can be heard cross-platform and can use the other techniques of repetition and rhyme to make it memorable.


Taglines and jingles must have a certain amount of approachability, an idea that appeals to all audiences. This humanizing of a brand allows audiences to easily connect with them, like with Sage, the college saving desert tortoise. In one of our most recent campaigns, we gave Sage a laugh all his own. This laugh has become a familiar sound in homes across the state, and is a friendly reminder about our client’s campaign.

Sage Tagline:


Rhymes can have more than one function. They serve as a great mnemonic device, because our brains can remember more content if the words sound alike. Rhymes can also create brand association, like this Stanley Steemer tagline and jingle, where cleaner is rhymed with Steemer, drawing the listener’s ear, and forming the conclusion that Stanley Steemer equals cleaner.

Stanley Steemer Jingle


The brain encodes different memories in different ways. A jingle is efficient at sticking in our head because we’re not just storing the words from the jingle in our minds, we’re also storing the underlying sounds. This may be the reason we can remember the tune of the jingle the first time we hear it, but not necessarily the words until we’ve been exposed a few times.

Nationwide Commercial:


Rhythm and melody almost belong in the same category because they generally coexist and perform the same functions, but in some cases a rhythm can exist without a melody. The jingle I hear every morning has a coexisting melody and rhythm, and a beat-box rhythm that is independent of the melody. This Kit-Kat jingle is an example of rhythm and melody coexisting, but the rhythm takes center stage, just reminding us of the familiar melody.



Repetition is one of those techniques we consciously employ when trying to learn something, like a phone number or a name. Repetition helps turn our short-term memories into long-term ones. Repetition can be used in two ways. One, phrases are repeated within a jingle. Two, the jingle or tagline is heard several times.



Unlike their predecessors, audio isn’t just utilized in the two traditional forms of television and radio. With new technologies the jingle and tagline can be successfully adapted for cross-platform use. The same audio I heard while getting ready this morning can also be heard via an audio streaming service on my way to work, on my lunch hour streaming video, or a pop-up ad on my phone screen while playing a game.

Taglines and jingles are just two of the numerous ways sound is used in successful advertising. They have the responsibility of inherently belonging to a brand and the unique capability to get stuck in our heads.

Amplify RelationsTrinda Freese – The Power of Sound: How Earworms Get Stuck in Our Heads
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Alli Williams – Make it Newsy: Finding Your Angle When Pitching News to the Media

The media is unpredictable. A hot button issue one day will likely be old news the next. With these ever changing preferences, it can be difficult to latch on to what’s trending at any given time. This is exactly what PR professionals are doing on a daily basis. In order to obtain news placements for your clients, you have to know what’s currently in the news. So how do you make a press release, pitch, or story idea “newsy”?

  1. Read the News

Don’t only read the news, read the articles written by reporters who you want to pitch to. You will get a sense for what kind of topics they cover, their writing style, and the kinds of things they will actually print. You can easily tailor a pitch or press release to a specific reporter or publication. The more relevant it is to the reporter, the more likely your piece will make it to print.

  1. Don’t Spam Journalists

You want your press releases to be targeted. If you are arbitrarily sending story pitches blindly to an email list, you WILL get ignored. Worse yet, any future press release you send to a journalist you spammed before may end up seeing the same fate, whether you tailored it to the publication or not.

In my toolbox: At Amplify Relations, we use the program Cision PR, which allows users to search for journalists by location, publication type, job title, and beat. This way, I can easily narrow down who I want to pitch a press release or news story too. I can even set up automatic emails with stories by specific reporters, from certain publications, or containing a set of keywords!

  1. Add Quotes

Quotes will humanize a press release, and will give more credibility to the content of your story. Plus, it’s one less source a reporter will have to seek out themselves to create their story. Offer pertinent quotes with good information and substance, and your reporter will likely publish at least fragments of your original press release.

  1. 5 W’s

Within the first paragraph, the reporter who received your press release should be able to answer the 5 W’s: Who? What? When? Where? Why? In reviewing your press release, ask yourself these 5 W’s. There’s no news angle if these questions can’t be answered.

  1. Recognize Deadlines

We all work off of deadlines, but the most important deadline to keep in mind is the journalist’s. If your release is timely, you will want to make sure to give plenty of lead time for a reporter to cover it. Don’t send something untimely or “breaking” and give no wiggle room for the reporter to fit into their print schedule. This is how your once newsy press release will become old news.

It’s important to remember that journalists scan across dozens – sometimes even hundreds – of news pitches and press releases daily. To avoid instant-deletion, realize that you need to pitch something worth reading – something newsy. Find your angle and go with it, just make sure that it’s interesting not only to you and your client, but to your client’s audience, your journalist, and your journalist’s readership.

Amplify RelationsAlli Williams – Make it Newsy: Finding Your Angle When Pitching News to the Media
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Megan Bedera: Why We’re Giving Back

Amplify Relations celebrated its birthday last month, and it got us thinking about the future. Bryan and I founded Amplify Relations in 2009 out of necessity during the worst part of the recession, and now we are a growing and thriving business that is creating jobs and generating positive economic impact.

But as we reflected on the future, we wanted to do more. Bryan and I already volunteer in the community; but it occurred to us that if only the two of us increased the hours we give, we would simply be adding a few more a year, or alternatively, we could extend the invitation to volunteer to the entire Amplify Relations team and multiply the number of volunteer hours we can give in the communities where we work. We decided to multiply, so starting in 2016, Amplify Relations will be incentivizing our employees by providing two paid days for volunteering each year with a 501c3 of their choice. Today, that equals 160 hours.

Amplify Relations has barely outgrown the title of “startup”, and we run a lean operation, but this is important to us, and it should be important to you, too. Look for the character of a company through actions, not words. You have a choice when you select a company to work with, and we firmly believe that you get better products from companies that care.

Being a good community partner is part of Amplify Relations core values, and our paid volunteering comes in addition to providing good, high-paying jobs. Since our beginning, we have paid even our lowest paid employees enough that they didn’t need nor qualify for food stamps or government assistance. Amplify Relations employees also receive paid days off for sick or vacation, paid disability to cover time off for surgery or pregnancy, health, dental and vision insurance, and now paid volunteering.

We are truly blessed, and now it’s our turn to pay it forward. Every day the Amplify Relations team works on projects for businesses, governments and political clients that have the potential to change the world, but volunteering is one small action we can take to make a difference in the biggest way, by doing work that directly impacts our communities.

Amplify RelationsMegan Bedera: Why We’re Giving Back
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Reno Advertising Agency Founders Accepted to Join Invite-Only Young Entrepreneurs Council

Reno, Nev. – Bryan and Megan Bedera, co-founders of Reno startup Amplify Relations, were welcomed into Young Entrepreneurs Council last week, an invitation-only organization of America’s top business leaders under the age of 40.

“We are honored and excited to be welcomed into such a prestigious group of the nations leading business minds,” said Bryan Bedera. “Seven years ago when we opened Amplify Relations, our goal was only to make enough money to pay the rent, and this milestone reminds us we are a position to lead our community.”

Amplify RelationsReno Advertising Agency Founders Accepted to Join Invite-Only Young Entrepreneurs Council
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