Meet Our Homerun-Hitting Summer Intern, Tim!

Welcome to #teamME! Tell us a little about yourself.

What’s up! I am from Westerville, Ohio and am about to embark on my senior year at Wittenberg University as a Communication major with a minor in Psychology. I love sports, especially baseball. At Wittenberg, I am a two-year captain of the baseball team and have been the starting first basemen since my freshman year. Other than sports, I like to spend my time with friends and family taking trips, eating at good restaurants and visiting cool places around Columbus that usually end up highlighted on my social media.

 

OK, now it’s time for some rapid fire. 

If you could have a cup of coffee with anyone, who would it be? Larry Page and Sergey Brin – I feel like they could throw some great advice my way.

What’s your spirit animal? A Bear – They’re big and powerful, but more so because I’ve always been envious of their hibernation!

What was your first email address? (Don’t be shy.) timtim10x32@aol.com; I still have junk mail sent to it…

What was your first job? I did pool maintenance for Annehurst Pool of Westerville. Nothing like the smell of chlorine to wake you up in the morning!

What’s the next country you want to travel to? China – to explore their culture.

If you were a Crayola crayon, what would your name be? I would have to go with Mango Tango because I like to have a good time.

Where do you go to college? I attend Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio. Tiger Up! I’m a huge OSU fan as well.

 

Phew. What a doozy. Catch your breath and tell us what you do at MurphyEpson.
I try to get involved in a little bit of everything. From sitting in on brand positioning meetings for specific accounts to data entry for metrics, I’m trying to experience the whole gamut of the company all while being a help to anyone who needs it!

 

What do you do outside of work?
Before anything else, I try to spend as much time as I can hanging out and going fun places with my friends and family. Whether that’s sitting on the back porch having a good conversation to going to a game or concert, I try to fill my time with enjoyment. I’m also really big on trying new restaurants (no preference on types of food, I like everything). Other than that, I play baseball for a college summer league here in Central Ohio.

 

You’ve got one day in Columbus. What do you do?
Breakfast at Jack and Benny’s with a couple friends is a must to start the day. Then we would take our talents to Goodale Park for a couple games of whiffle ball. After playing for a while, we would snag some tacos at Balboa on Grandview Ave. Then, before dinner, we would run over to Sole Classics for some new kicks and then end the night with a Dime-a-Dog night dinner at Huntington Park for some Clippers baseball action.

 

What’s one piece of advice you would give to an agency newcomer?
Be open to take on tasks that you may be unfamiliar with and ask a ton of questions; there isn’t anyone here that doesn’t want to help out and you can learn something from everyone!

 

Give us a note you’d like to end on.
“You’re never wrong to do the right thing.” – Mark Twain

 

That’s all for now! To learn more about #teamME, click here.

How-to Communicate with a Graphic Designer for Top Notch Results

Hiring a graphic designer to help with your brand’s marketing needs can be a daunting task to someone who struggles with articulating creative concepts. You may have ideas swirling around in your head but find it difficult to deliver it in a way a designer can understand (and vice versa). Over the span of 15 years, I’ve learned that building a relationship with a client from day one and keeping the communication as precise as possible will result in both parties being happy with the results. Some preparation ahead of time will not only help the designer see your marketing needs more clearly, but it will also help with the bottom line.

Define the Project

Before the meeting, knowing what materials you’ll need is key. Are the pieces digital or in print? Is it a logo, a brochure or a website? Do you already have a brand established? Are you looking for a re-brand or a refresh? (Here’s how to know the difference.) In any case, bringing examples or documents that support your vision can help the designer bring forth a product you’ll love.

Fill Us In

At the first meeting, give an overview of what your company is about. Key messaging or a mission statement is also a helpful way to direct a designer’s understanding of the business. Be as specific as possible, including who your target audience is. Discuss some ideas about what the project is or a rough idea of what you would like it to be. Be open to a brainstorming session that will allow for creativity to flow. To avoid any confusion later, it’s a great idea to discuss all the logistics of the project from start to finish. This would include concepts, drafts, editing, deadlines and production.

Get the Ball Rolling

If you need inspiration, here are a few ideas that clients have brought to our meetings to open up the conversation:

  1. Pinterest board for inspiration
  2. Website pages you admire
  3. Key words or phrases of the look or feel you’re going for
  4. Paint swatches from a hardware store of color palettes you enjoy
  5. Sketches on paper/napkins
  6. Logos from other companies and why you like them
  7. Documents with your company’s messaging and mission
  8. Photos of your company’s office and environment

 

Next time you are meeting with a graphic designer, hopefully these tips and advice will open a creative portal that will make it an easier experience for you and the design team. For more on working with creatives, check out our write-up on 3 Tips for Working with Creatives.

 

It’s Greek to Me – Adventures in Athens and Beyond

It was so exciting to set off for the land of gods, goddesses and blue domed churches with white-washed walls. Finally! I was scheduled to see Greece in July of 2015 but the news stories about the bank closures resulted in the tour being canceled.

I decided I was going in 2016 no matter what. So I stashed lots of euros in my shoes and off I went in late September. Sans tour.

Turns out, the media gave Greece a bum rap last year. Every Greek business owner I spoke with said 2015 was their best year ever for tourism profits despite the summer banking crisis.

And 2016 looked to be doing pretty well, too. It was packed everywhere we went. We ran into a couple from Cape Town who said they’d been in June and were back again because they liked it so much. Same for another couple from Yorkshire Dales in England. We were the newbies among so many repeat visitors. They had lots of good tips, though, that you couldn’t get from any old guidebook.

The Parthenon was my favorite ancient site on the mainland with the Oracle of Delphi coming in at a close second. I took Greco-Roman history and love mythology so it was a goosebump-inducing time when I saw where Plato and Socrates stood and orated.

But now I know what “it’s Greek to me” really means. Trying to find your way around a strange city is hard but trying to do it in a language that doesn’t even have the same letters is even tougher. In all fairness, most signage was in English as well as Greek but we still couldn’t read or say any of it… remotely. My brain and tongue stuttered so hard on the Greek symbols and syllables that by the time I looked at the English it was too late… I was already totally befuddled.

Being resourceful, MacGyverish-type travelers, we took cell phone pictures of where we wanted to go and showed it to locals who’d direct us when to get off the plane, bus, cab or ferry. I think the only thing we didn’t ride were the donkeys in Santorini!

We also noticed lots of graffiti on all of the buildings in Athens. When I asked the locals what it meant, they said they didn’t know as they didn’t understand it.

Having spent my entire career as a writer, it reminds me again of how important clear and concise communication is. When I find myself using esoteric verbiage in something just to un-bore myself, I remember: what’s the point if no one gets it?

But I digress. Back to Greece and its islands.

 

Best Experience
Drinking wine and seeing the Parthenon lit up at night from the top of Lykavittos Hill.

 

Worst Experience
Getting seasick on the fast ferry to Mykonos. The entire boatful of 200 people got sick! It was like a bad movie.

 

Best Myth Justification for Stupid Manmade Law
Athena (goddess of wisdom) and Poseidon (god of the sea) fought over patronage of the city of Athens. The city said whoever gave them the best gift would get naming rights. Poseidon gave them a spring of salt water. Since they couldn’t drink the water, Athena won because her gift of an olive tree provided not only food, but also wood to build boats and houses. Legend has it that most of the women voted for Athena which ticked Poseidon off. He told the men in the city from there on out that women were forbidden to vote. Ironically that next week we may see the first woman U.S. president. Take that, Poseidon!

 

Biggest Letdown
We visited Knossos – the palace of King Minos and home of the mystical minotaur – but no labyrinth! The guide said the palace had over 500 rooms so that would explain why people were always getting lost.

 

Quick Observations
Sadly, Greek wine is not fine.

Greek cheese, however, is great. And so much of it: Metsovone, kopanisti, kefalotyri, saganaki, kefalograviera, katiki domokou, graviera and the list goes on.

Once people heard us speak and realized we were Americans, they started talking to us about our presidential election. One woman from Jerusalem was very well informed. When we remarked on it she said, “We can’t afford not to pay attention to politics where I’m from.” Made me blush to think she probably knew more than I did about the issues.

Despite not-so-stellar performances from both presidential candidates and all our other problems, a well-to-do woman from Buenos Aires said to me, “I would love to live in America. You have no idea how hard it is to live in Argentina. You have it so good.”

Ah, a light at the end of the artfully-painted tunnel.

 

Amen and Efcharisto (thanks in Greek)

Cindy Byington

Cindy Byington is our dog-loving, tea-drinking, Senior Account Manager and creative veteran. If you’ve ever been to Grandview, you’ve probably crossed paths.

3 Tips for Working with Creatives When You Have an Engineering Mind

Yes, I have a relentless desire to understand how things work, troubleshoot problems and plan ahead like a chess player. But five years ago, when I decided to semi-retire from my life as a developer, I made the jump into a new role as Chief Operations Manager (VP of Operations, COO, you get the point) here at MurphyEpson. Now, I work with a team of passionate and creative thinkers who exceed our clients’ expectations every day, making our team proud and our clients even prouder.

However, as an engineer walking into a creative environment, I had a lot of knowledge to share, but also a lot to learn. We think differently. We plan differently. Yet we all have something extraordinary to bring to the table.

 

Here are my three biggest tips for working with creative minds:

  1. Get to know the visual thinkers
    Adobe InDesign is not a software that I want to start learning at this stage in my career. And it’s a good thing (for everyone involved) that I don’t have to. Our designers have a good understanding of how to utilize the latest design tools to bring campaigns, branding and so much more to life. Engineering minds default to technical, not always understandable, items and your designers can share that technological information visually to make it relatable to the public.
  2. Distilling, crafting and editing is all part of the process
    Our copywriters who specialize in digital advertising, public and media content creation work to share your most relevant and easy-to-follow content. Sometimes that means they distill your 50-slide, copy-heavy presentation into a slim 15 slides with guidance for visuals. These experts know how to craft a message and deliver it in a way that is meaningful and impactful to the desired audience. It’s important to trust their craft – and, after all, humans now have a shorter attention span than goldfish.
  3. The whole is greater than each of its parts
    Together – as #teamME – we achieve success. Do we need creative, outside-of-the-box thinkers? Of course. Do we need hyper-organized and efficient communicators? No agency could function without them. Do we need analytical, engineering-minded folks like me? We wouldn’t be MurphyEpson without us. It’s our add-on. Our bonus. Our difference-maker. Always learn about others strengths but don’t lose sight of your own. A true skill set can be modified to apply in any setting.

 

Voted “Most Likely to Give Great Dad Advice,” by #teamME, Mark Keister is MurphyEpson’s skilled COO.

For more on the thoughts of our trusted team, check out our goals for October in last week’s Wednesday Weigh-in!

 

Wednesday Weigh-In: New Month, New Musings

We’ve heard the saying before: “new year, new me.” It’s verging on cliché and has created a flurry of memes that mock it to a pulp.

Often we forget that each month, week and day bring an opportunity to start fresh to some capacity. So, #teamME took the opportunity to set one small goal for the upcoming month of fall foliage, OSU tailgating and fun-size candy bars. (Which, by the way, have you ever thought of how many fun-size candy bars one must eat before it’s no longer fun?) Without further ado, here is this week’s question:

What is one goal you would like to accomplish in the month of October?

Erin: To carve pumpkins, for the first time, with my two lil’ pumpkins. And then bake and eat all the yummy pumpkin seeds!

Marie: Get our new clients off to a strong, solid start.

Mark: Clean my desk!

Nick: I hope to create a standard project file structure for use in keeping ourselves organized.

Rachel: Discover new, innovative content ideas for social accounts and find a Halloween costume my dog will actually keep on.

Elizabeth: I would like to help the triplets make wise decisions about their college selection(s) for next year.

Stephanie: Procrastinate less.

Leah: Visit with family and friends in Circleville at the Pumpkin Show and eat as many pumpkin-flavored foods as possible.

Missi: To not eat all of the Halloween candy I bought before handing it out to the trick-or-treaters.

Colin: A goal that I’d like to accomplish this October is to rethink our organization of office supplies and how/when we order them.

Jeanna: For October, I would like to write my next day’s to-do list at 5pm each afternoon and host at least one dinner for friends – backyard bonfire included!

Angela: In October, I’d like to go to as many pumpkin patches possible, drink as much hot apple cider as I can and sign-up for a seminar aimed to advance my presentation and speaking skills.

 

Learn more about the wonderful people behind MurphyEpson or read about our Graeters-Loving, Buckeye-Cheering Planner, Nick!