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.

We Found Our Swiss Army Knife of Marketing and You Need to Meet Her ASAP

Name: Angela DelBrocco
Title: Social Media Strategist + PR Account Coordinator

 

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

Hi there! Ang from CLE here. And I’m so excited to be in Columbus working with #TeamME. I joined the team with a background in developing strategic public relations initiatives, writing for multiple platforms and publics, working closely with media to earn positive coverage and connecting those efforts to the digital world through online content marketing and social media strategy. I’ve worked with clients across diverse industries including banking, beverage, consumer home goods, hotel, non-profit, retail, restaurant and transportation. I love fall, everything Cleveland, all adorable animals and ‘Learn How to Salsa Dance’ is on my bucket list.

 

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

If you could have a cup of coffee with anyone, who would it be? Alive? Michelle Obama. Deceased? Abe Lincoln.

What’s your spirit animal? Depends on the day; could be a tiger, elephant, panther, dolphin, Beyoncé…

What was your first email address? (Don’t be shy.) I really can’t believe I’m sharing this… StowBabe08@aol.com. Stow is my hometown and apparently I was a “babe” when I was in middle school.

What was your first job? I was 15 years old without a driver’s license, obviously, and made my mom drive me to my job as an administrative assistant for a lawyer/life insurance salesman three times a week. I learned Quickbooks (and paid my boss’s bills) along with every function of Microsoft Word and Excel before I could drive.

What’s the next country you want to travel to? Italy.

If you were a Crayola crayon, what would your name be? Antique Ruby – I’m an old soul with a lot of fire.

Where did you go to college? The Ohio University (Go Bobcats!) and The University of Akron.

 

Phew. What a doozy. Catch your breath and tell us what you do at MurphyEpson.

I’m an ME branded Swiss army knife: I’m sharp with many talents.

Blade 1: Social/Digital – develops social strategies, manage online communities, creates e-newsletter and blog content, report findings and metrics.

Blade 2: Public affairs/involvement – coordinates public meetings, composes press materials, seeks media opportunities and manages any incoming requests.

Blade 3: Copywriting – Brainstorms big ideas for engaging our client’s audiences and composes various marketing materials.

Blade 4: Account coordination/management – Assists with project work proposals, budgets, pitches, timelines, day-to-day coordination, learning the client’s core business/goals and building a strong working relationship.

 

What do you do outside of work?

What don’t I do outside of work? Seminars, industry meet-ups, cooking, hiking, kayaking, volunteering, nights out with friends, nights in with family and whatever else catches my fancy.

 

MurphyEpson has cultivated quite the culture of philanthropy. What’s your favorite way to give back to the community?

In any way I can. Volunteering my time is normally how I give, but I’m also known to make an extra sandwich to handout to anyone asking for money on the side of the road. I don’t always have the funds to give, but every Italian always has the extra food!

 

You’ve got one day in Columbus. What do you do?

The Columbus Park of Roses.

 

What’s one piece of advice you would give to an agency newcomer?

Learn. How. To. Prioritize.

 

Give us a note you’d like to end on.

Shoot me a note (adelbrocco@murphyepson.com) with a book, article or movie recommendation. I love making new connections and need a new book/movie to dive into.

 

Awesome! To learn more about Angela, connect with her on LinkedIn!

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!

Welcome Home

When you walk into MurphyEpson, we hope you’ll feel right at home. The first thing you’ll see is our bar and kitchen, front and center. Why? It’s where we break bread together. It’s where we’ll pour you a cup of coffee or grab you a bottle of water. And okay, a beer or a glass of wine every now and then. Because to us, MurphyEpson is home in more ways than one. It is the place where we foster a unique culture you won’t find anywhere else. It is the place where creativity thrives. It is home to big ideas, open minds and well-oiled machines.

Sure, we spend a lot of time here, so it has to be comfortable, right? But MurphyEpson is so much more than a place, or a late night deadline. It is the idea that we are a part of something bigger than just ourselves. A place where we bring innovative ideas to the world, and bring people together to accomplish great things.

MurphyEpson has more than 25 years of deep connections in Columbus combined with a national perspective working on high profile initiatives across the U.S. We are consistently ranked in the top 20 advertising and PR firms in Columbus Business First.

However, MurphyEpson knows it is our team that brings clients back. We’re down-to-earth with a ferocious work ethic and abounding network. #TeamME includes senior strategists with hard-earned wisdom intermixed with millennials with a fresh perspective. Each person brings individual skillsets, connected by character, integrity and energy that keep us whole.

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