Random Acts of Kindness Aren’t Just for Your BFF Anymore

The holidays are over, motivation from New Year’s Resolutions has expired and all of our anticipation is focused on a beach vacation; which is all the more reason to slow down and take some time to make those around you feel special.

Enter: Random Acts of Kindness Week.

We challenged #teamME to do something nice for someone in their lives; whether it’s in the office, at home, at the gym, in line at the coffee shop, you name it. Some bought flowers for the office to enjoy, and others brought enough snacks to keep us well-fed for weeks. Marie, our fearless leader and CEO, was the proud recipient of a sleep mask for the beauty rest she deserves, Jeanna, account manager here at #teamME, received flower seeds to get her green thumb moving and our trendy social media strategist, Angela, was gifted a tiny, crocheted cactus so she finally has a plant she loves so much, without the worry of killing it. (Hey, we all can’t be great at everything.)

“RAKs” are so beneficial in building, not just personal relationships (who doesn’t want to be on the receiving end of kindness?), but also business/consumer relations; so much so that companies have increasingly adopted RAKs into their marketing strategies and public relations efforts. A few of my favorites include:

  • Panera Bread’s program, “Panera Cares,” a pay-what-you-can café at certain locations
  • AirB&B giving 100,000 costumers $10 to do a “unique act of kindness” for their #OneLessStranger campaign
  • Marks & Spencer making it snow on Christmas in Southern England where they rarely see snow
  • McDonalds starting its “Pay with Lovin” campaign which allowed random costumers across America to pay in acts of kindness, like a call to Mom

Random Acts of Kindness campaigns famously generate a lot of attention and profit for brands. Millennials are especially more concerned with what a brand stands for. Brands like TOMS, Love Your Melon and Warby Parker — all are booming in business due to their charitable efforts. Just like we want to keep the friend around who actively makes us feel appreciated, audiences want to keep the brand around that either makes them feel appreciated or makes them feel like they’re doing something good.

This might not work with every brand, business or campaign goal, but trying to incorporate more kindness is the type of marketing the world needs more of.

 


Cam Householder is a Sophomore at The Ohio State University majoring in Strategic Communications and Pre-Business. Cam has interned for #teamME for a year and never ceases to be a light in the office. (And she has some of the most beautiful calligraphy skills this side of the Mississippi.)

Dating is Pretty Much the Same as Finding the Right Workplace for You & Here’s Why

As college seniors prepare to turn their tassels and venture out into the wild, wild workplace, we wanted to shed a little light on the job search process, highlighting how dating is pretty much the same thing as finding the right professional environment. Because even though you may not have shined your pumps and polished your tie clip for an in-person interview, you’ve probably gone on a date that ended in either googly eyes or a pint of ice cream consumed on your kitchen floor (Speaking from a friend, of course.)

 

Here’s how you can boost your chance of finding a workplace you’ll love.

 

1. Is What You Hear What You Get?

Let’s face it … things get twisted through the grapevine. Even though your friends may think they’ve found your love match, it doesn’t always mean the chemistry is present. Similarly, it’s easy to get caught up in what you’ve heard about that big, flashy agency in the heart of downtown. It may seem like glitz and glam on Instagram. And your friend may love every second of it. But that doesn’t mean that it’s the best fit for you and what your priorities are.

On the contrary, if a workplace wasn’t the best fit for your mentor or friend, don’t count it out just yet. Ask for an informational interview, grab a cup of coffee and get a firsthand account from someone you aren’t directly connected to.

 

2. Do the Sparks Fly or Fizzle?

Whether it be a restaurant or a workplace, stay in tune with how you feel from the moment you walk in the room. Does the environment energize you? Comfort you? Confuse you? Are you greeted by a smiling face? Or no one at all?

None of these answers are better or worse than another; it just depends on what you’re looking to get out of it. Just as you’ve thought about the non-negotiables in someone you would like to be with, it’s important to think about your must-haves in the place you will spend most your time.

 

3. What Exactly Are Your Intentions Here?

If you don’t see your future aligning with your current crush’s, you probably won’t waste much time pursuing him or her. Along the same lines, if you don’t see room for growth at a prospective workplace, it may not be for you. Although it can be difficult to resist the first company who takes an interest in your skillset, keep in mind that it must always be a mutually beneficial relationship. You are interviewing an employer equally as much as they are interviewing you.

 

Not every workplace you fall in love with will work out flawlessly, but if you follow your heart and never settle for less than the perfect fit, you’ll have a pretty great shot at a match. Now start asking for informational interviews and perfecting your resume. Your glass slipper (or loafer or sneaker) awaits.

Meet Our Cbus Loving, Craft Coffee Brewing Account Manager, Mindy!

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

I’ve spent most of my life in Columbus, but also some time living in Cincinnati and the Dallas/Fort Worth area. There’s just no other city I love more, and in fact, I’m kind of an extra passionate nerd for this place!

I started my marketing and PR career at a civil engineering and architecture firm then went on to work in a similar role at the Columbus Regional Airport Authority. After that, I ventured into the world of travel and tourism, working for Experience Columbus, which is the convention and visitor’s bureau for greater Columbus.

I’m lucky to be married to my wonderful husband Ryan for nearly four years and I’m a proud fur mama to two spoiled house cats – Lexi and Chase.

 

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

If you could have a cup of coffee with anyone, who would it be? Luke Fickell (I think he’s dreamy)

What’s your spirit animal? My own cat, Lexi

What was your first email address? (Don’t be shy.) mindae04@aol.com (my high school nickname was mindaaaaay and yes, I’m old enough to have been an avid aol user)

What was your first job? Dishing out soft serve ice cream at the Dairy Cream in New Albany

What’s the next country you want to travel to? It’s cliché, but France is high up on my list

If you were a Crayola crayon, what would your name be? Strawberry Red

Where did you go to college? It’s complicated! I spent four years at Miami University (Go Redhawks!), finished my undergrad at THE Ohio State University and then recently received an MBA from Ohio Dominican University.

 

Phew. What a doozy. Catch your breath and tell us what you do at MurphyEpson.
I work with a lot of our public-sector clients, coordinating outreach and engagement. I’m also part of the business development and sales team.

 

What do you do outside of work?
My more recent obsession is CrossFit. I absolutely love not just the fitness, but the fantastic community of people! Sipping craft coffee and local beer is high up on the list too. And, I’m a huge fan of binging on some Netflix. My go-to is rewatching episodes of Parks and Rec.

 

MurphyEpson has cultivated quite the culture of philanthropy. What’s your favorite way to give back to the community? Volunteering time and talent with the Mid-Ohio Foodbank. They work tirelessly every day to feed our hungry neighbors and deserve an extra set of hands that can help deliver on that mission.

 

You’ve got one day in Columbus. What do you do?
I’d start the day with a craft coffee concoction from Mission Coffee. Then, I’d go to COSI for a show in the planetarium or see what’s playing on the 3D IMAX screen. Afterward, I’d hop on a Columbus Historical Society bus tour of the city or take in a Landmarks Foundation walking arts and history tour. In the evening, I’d either have dinner at Strongwater followed by drinks at Land Grant Brewing, or mosey over to German Village for Dinner at Harvest Pizza and drinks at Curio next door.

 

What’s one piece of advice you would give to an agency newcomer?
I’m one myself as I’ve spent most of my career on the client side of marketing, so share your advice with me @mindyjustis on Twitter!

 

Give us a note you’d like to end on. Don’t wish for it. Work for it.

 

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

To Rebrand or to Refresh?

That is the question. Now, let’s talk about the difference between the two.

A refreshed brand should remain a visual connection to the original brand, but dive deeper into the audience, voice, and products. The reason behind a refresh shouldn’t be to keep up with current design trends. It’s more than updating colors and shapes within a logo. It should elevate the brand, while holding true to that brand’s core identity and character. A refresh is appropriate when you want to retain the brand’s values, but open up opportunities to other aspects of business or outreach.

  • Google is great example of a brand refresh. In 2015, Google revamped their brand, giving it a modern look that spoke to its evolving audience. The 1999 serif font was old looking, disproportionate and something that no longer represented such a cutting edge and exciting brand. The Google logo has always been clean, friendly, and approachable. They wanted to retain those characteristics, by keeping the tilt in their “e” and multi-colored quirkiness. However, they needed to bring the mark into the 20th century. The new round, sans serif letterforms show movement and evolution, something that’s at the core of Google’s brand.

 

A rebrand is a more drastic change. It’s a halt in the current brand, a complete redesign of what the brand stands for and how it is represented. You will lose any brand equity and loyalty that you currently have, with the hopes of creating a better, stronger brand. A surprising factor to some, is that you can keep the logo, and still redefine the entire brand with messaging, imagery, and delivery. I will add that it requires a bigger budget and a longer timeline. It is the right decision though when your brand is no longer able to survive as it is.

  • Apple is an example of a successful rebrand that didn’t drastically modify its logo. In the early 1990’s Apple was suffering from low sales, low customer interest, and tons of competition. It didn’t stand out in the market place, because the brand itself didn’t stand for anything unique. When Steve Jobs took back over the company in 1997, he focused on a minimalistic and modern approach, and a series of marketing campaigns that focused on user experience instead of products or purchases. At the time, technology was typically a man’s interest and fashion was women’s. But he combined the two by creating beautiful and imaginative products, packaging, and advertising. Apple was able to create a diverse customer base and show the world that it was not just a computer company, but a product innovator.

 

 

So now you might be thinking, I need a rebrand or refresh too. You don’t have to be Google or Apple to make a large impact on your audience. Think broader about your brand and how it affects your public appearance, outreach, or profitability.

Here at MurphyEpson, helping clients think through this process and identify the best route to elevate their brand is our expertise. Contact us to start the conversation and bring your brand into the new year.

Top Reasons Transit Was King at CES 2017

Each year, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) proves to be a major stage for unveiling the latest innovation, gadgets, gizmos and all the things that make the geekiest among us, well, geek out! CES 2017 proved no different, but this time around it had an extra tug on the heart strings of #teamME because of all the talk of a topic near and dear to our world – transit and the technology circling the industry. Technology, like connected and autonomous vehicles (yes, these two are indeed different from one another, but that’s for another day).

 

But it’s also more than that.

  • Technology betters the day of an expectant mother who gets to her prenatal appointment because an integrated transportation data system brought together appointment scheduling and route planning to get her to her doctor.
  • It saves a life when a connected vehicle senses and communicates to the driver about the hazards around them.
  • It raises up the underserved by giving a worker the chance to easily connect with buses, ridesharing services and rapid transit options to safely and reliably get to a job.
  • It gets essential cargo to those that need it most when two semi-trucks connected through technology platoon to move goods more efficiently.

 

In other words, in addition to how we move, it’s why we move. And, what will move a community forward.

This philosophy is why Columbus won the U.S. Department of Transportation Smart City Challenge. Columbus bested 77 other destinations for the opportunity to build an intelligent transportation system like none other in America.

It’s a concept a lot of the major auto manufacturers are taking note of in a big way. Honda – which has its North American hub in the Columbus Region – announced in 2016 its participation in the Smart Columbus project, and then expanded on that announcement at CES 2017 as it unveiled plans for a new Cooperative Mobility Ecosystem. Sure, the system’s goals include congestion reduction and the efficient movement of vehicles, but it all boils down to a theme that resonated at CES 2017: Products that make people happier can both create joy and empower them to better lives every day.

Now, that’s a concept #teamME can get behind!

Wednesday Weigh-In: Our Must-See Holiday Movies

There’s nothing like piling on the couch with those we love and turning on a tried-and-true, favorite holiday movie as the snow falls outside. (You can’t deny that just thinking about it probably made you smile!)

So snuggle up, grab a cup of hot cocoa and add these holiday favorites to your queue from the jolly #teamME.

 

When You Need to Chuckle like Santa
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

 

When You Need a Bit of Nostalgia
It’s a Wonderful Life
Home Alone

 

When You’re Exchanging Gifts with Your Gal Pals
The Holiday

 

When You Need a Little Hope
Miracle on 34th Street

 

When You Need Your Heart to Grow Three Sizes
How the Grinch Stole Christmas

 

When the Family Gets Together
Polar Express
Elf

 

From all of us at MurphyEpson, we hope you enjoy the time you have with your families and friends this holiday season.

The Interns of #teamME!

MEET CAM HOUSEHOLDER

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

I am from Lewis Center, Ohio and currently attend The Ohio State University as a strategic communications major with a minor in legal foundations. I love to read and write as well as run, swim, and go on road trips with my housemates. My biggest loves are my two adorable puppies, Gunner and Oliver, my family, coffee and the Madewell blog.

 

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

If you could have a cup of coffee with anyone, who would it be? Urban Meyer or Eleanor Roosevelt

What’s your spirit animal? A bird – when I was in elementary school my dream job was to be an ornithologist (bird scientist) at Cornell. Oh, how things change, but I still love how happy & resilient those little guys are.

What was your first email address? (Don’t be shy.) camohouse@hotmail.com because my dad used to call me Camouflage. It could’ve been a lot worse.

What was your first job? I was a lifeguard (AKA glorified janitor) and swim instructor at North Orange Pool.

What’s the next country you want to travel to? Italy to study abroad! * fingers crossed *

If you were a Crayola crayon, what would your name be? My all time favorite Crayola color is called Macaroni and Cheese and its this super happy yellow and the name says it all. They say you are what you eat, right?

Where did you go to college? THE Ohio State University (GO BUCKS)

 

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

I help manage social media accounts for some of our clients and after that whatever anyone at the agency needs help with!

 

What do you do outside of work?

Outside of work most of my time is spent studying, working on the executive board of my sorority, running, swimming, playing flag football (poorly) and hanging out at any of the coffee houses in the Short North with my housemates and a pile of homework.

 

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

Wow…only one day? Wake up early and run the Olentangy trail, then go to Misson Coffee House with a good book. Once I’ve OD’d on Carmel lattes, go to Tiger Tree for my shopping fix and hit Brassica for lunch. Of course I would have to squeeze in The Columbus Park of Roses and then dinner with my housemates at The Pearl.

 

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

Smile and don’t be afraid to be yourself (cliché I know). Everyone is here because they have something valuable to say.

 

Give us a note you’d like to end on.

Follow SADD on Twitter & Facebook and Go Bucks!

 


 

MEET COLIN CAVANAUGH

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

Hello! My name is Colin, and for the past few months I’ve been working as an intern for MurphyEpson. I am from Dublin, Ohio and I’ve been playing instruments such as the guitar, drums, and piano for half of my life, and I also enjoy writing stories and poetry. I have also been employed at Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers for over three years, and I may or may not know how to make the sauce… but I digress.

 

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

If you could have a cup of coffee with anyone, who would it be? I’d have to say Dave Grohl. I’m sure it’d be an awesome conversation, as I have plenty of questions for him. The man also drinks coffee like it’s water, so I’m confident we’d have more than one cup.

What’s your spirit animal? A dog. Dogs are the greatest blessing we as humans have and we should strive to pet each and every one.

What was your first job? I was a cashier at Cici’s Pizza.

What’s the next country you want to travel to? I’ve always wanted to travel Europe, and if I had to pick one country it’d be Ireland

If you were a Crayola crayon, what would your name be? Cerulean Blue; it’s the color of a clear blue sky on a nice day!

Where did you go to college? I did my first year at Ohio University, and I am currently enrolled at Columbus State with the intention of transferring to The Ohio State University next fall to pursue an English degree.

 

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

I mostly do research for social media and blog posts and I have gotten my go at writing a few myself. I’ve done a range of work from designing graphics to coming up with slogans for clients. I also do other “intern-related” tasks that have helped me get my feet wet in an office setting.

 

What do you do outside of work?

I mostly write music or spend time with my girlfriend, friends or family. Going to concerts is one of my favorite things to do, and I love spending my time with animals and exploring the different parks and nature around Columbus.

 

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

I’d start with a chicken and waffle breakfast at Hangover Easy, then I’d take my pick of Columbus’ many metro parks such as Highbanks, Rocky Fork or Glacier Ridge. After a few hours of exploration, I’d grab lunch from a Chipotle or Bibibop and head to a record store or a guitar shop. I’d then continue to shop at an Urban Outfitters before having dinner from any place that can serve up a good burger. Ideally I’d finish the night with a concert or a Blue Jackets game before going home to watch Netflix with a bowl (or 2) of ice cream.

 

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

It seems like a lot at first, and it can be, but one thing that I’ve learned is that a drink of water and a quick stretch can do your mind wonders. I try to write in the style that people like to read and I try to have fun with coming up with slogans. Don’t be afraid to voice your ideas or add your own touch to something!

 

Give us a note you’d like to end on.

“I’ve experienced great things, I’ve experienced great tragedies, I’ve done almost everything I could possibly ever imagine doing, but I just know that there’s more.” –Dave Grohl

 

Sweet! If you’d like to learn more about #teamME, catch up with our Swiss army knife of marketing, Angela DelBrocco!

Wednesday Weigh-In: Thanks and Giving

The MurphyEpson team believes in credit where its due. From snaps at our weekly production meetings to showing gratitude to the one who gets the coffee brewing each day, we believe in “thanks.”

But for the time of year filled with turkey, mashed potatoes, football and those we hold near and dear to our heart, we wanted to express our thanks in a special way.

Here’s our Thanksgiving edition of Wednesday Weigh-In on what #teamME is thankful for:

Mark: I’m thankful that the team does GREAT WORK every day!

Missi: So many things to be thankful for that I could write a book but if I had to narrow it down to a small list, it would be these things:

A healthy, bright and kind-hearted daughter

An amazing career with awesome co-workers

Great friendships that help me get me through life

Leah: Cozy Saturday mornings on my couch with coffee, cats and my laptop. And cookie dough, because why not.

Elizabeth: I am so blessed and thankful for my relationships with family and friends, including those with fur and four legs. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Cindy: The chance to do meaningful work, family, friends and a healthy body (not sure about the mind sometimes!) so I can travel to some pretty fun places.

Nick: I am thankful for my family, friends, church community and chocolate.

Rachel: I’m thankful for my coworkers who get me through long days, friends who get me through long weeks, my precious pup who gets me up for early mornings and macarons and meditation that fill in the gaps.

Jeanna: I’m grateful for my work/life balance!

Erin: I’m thankful for the countless memories made on a daily basis as my little twin girls grow to understand what the holidays are all about. Like the fact they can now say “turkey, gobble gobble!”

Cam: I am thankful for a college internship with co-workers who make me laugh, 51 amazing housemates that support my skinny pop addiction, a short commute from home so I can visit my two gorgeous puppies whenever I’m in need of puppy snugs, a family that keeps me smiling and excited about the little things (like clean crawl spaces and potluck dinners) & the Buckeyes!

 

We hope you have the happiest of Thanksgivings and find time to reflect on what you’re grateful for.

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.

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