Flatten the Curve and Take Care of Employees

In the midst of the cascade of emergency declarations, closings and appeals to maintain social distance, two calls to action have emerged that have resonated with #TeamME: Flatten the Curve and Take Care of Employees.

We’re all reeling, of course, as we begin to grasp what a pandemic really means. We’ve assisted clients as they’ve cancelled events large and small, from city addresses and public meetings to fundraisers and happy hours. Our public sector clients have moved to holding only “mission critical” meetings and calls while still providing the services our residents expect. We all still need highways to be safe, water to be clean and our garbage collected, to name a few examples.

While some states have delayed or even questioned the need for such preventive measures, we’ve been heartened by Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s leadership in taking immediate steps to halt COVID-19 from spreading further, faster. His proactive, regular communication and his trust in our public health experts have inspired confidence and resolve, even while uncertainty about societal impact grows.

On Monday and Tuesday last week, we saw claims that cancellations and quarantines were politically inspired or an over-reaction to social media. By Thursday, March 12, we saw the visual “Flatten the Curve” message – taking extreme measures now will slow the spread so it is more manageable for our healthcare system – begin to take hold. It has helped all Ohioans understand why we must act now.

The shift from indifference to action has been needed and swift. Forthright communication, clarity in message – and the visual portrayal of how the virus could overwhelm our medical facilities have broken through the fog of war-like confusion.  These are best practices in communication that work, as we’ve advised our clients time and time again.

As we’ve come to grips with this new reality, we’re now reckoning with how all Ohioans will be affected. Who will take care of the kids while they’re home from school? Who will feed them if they were getting free meals at school? How do hourly employees still pay their bills if they are unable to work? How will those with no safety net at all be affected?

We appreciate the announcements of support for hourly employees who live paycheck to paycheck. Cleveland Cavaliers star Kevin Love pledged $100,000 to employees who work the NBA games at Cleveland’s Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse. Following in Dallas Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban’s footsteps, several NBA team owners will continue to pay arena workers. Walmart is extending paid sick leave. These are the types of actions major employers can take to fill the gap; smaller employers will have to also think creatively. 

At MurphyEpson, we’re making sure our 10 employees know their jobs are safe and we will support them as they navigate having kids home from school while they also work from home. We’re used to working online and using digital tools to communicate, so this is a no brainer. We’ve also increased paid sick leave and will watch for other ways to support employee needs as they emerge.

We’re also making donations to Central Ohio organizations who support those most in need and include some of those links below.

Hopefully, this pandemic won’t be as extensive as feared because we took the needed steps in time. In the meantime, we’ll do our part to flatten the curve and take care of employees. #teamME, after all, is in our circle of loved ones too.

Community Shelter Board at https://www.csb.org/ 

Move to Propser at https://www.movetoprosper.org/support-us

Central Ohio United Way at https://liveunitedcentralohio.org/

30 Years of Engaging, Inspiring and Connecting Communities

Dedication to Ohio and its communities has driven #TeamME over the past 30 years. We’re proud of our journey! We believe that strategic communication, creative thinking, and a ferocious work ethic have been the building blocks to our success.

As we reflect on the past 30 years, we’re humbled by the life changing issues we’ve impacted. We care about improving communities, and we are thankful for our forward-thinking clients committed to making our world a better, safer place.

Now let’s take a look at the past 30 years of achievements! 

Connected Communities

What agency knows more about highways, airports, scooters, pedestrians, bicyclists, hyperloops, and transit corridors? We are engaged in transportation issues, and believe, as Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther says, “Mobility is the great equalizer.”

  • We launched ODOT’s Your Move campaign – one of the first joint agency initiatives of its kind in the nation. The Ohio Departments of Health and Transportation teamed up to encourage more Ohioans to choose active transportation and to make it safer for them to walk, bike and bus.
  • The Long Street Cultural Wall, gave us the chance to work with artists Kojo Kamau and Larry Winston Collins, curator Bettye Stull, ODOT, the City of Columbus, Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission, and a bevy of community leaders determined to reconnect two neighborhoods separated by I-70 in the sixties.
  • More kids are walking and biking to school in Ohio thanks to the School Travel Plans we co-developed with ODOT and 40+ Ohio school districts. 
  • We wrote an original hip hop song for teens and recruited a youth choir to sing and dance in ODOT’s award winning, Safe Routes to School video.
  • We partnered with Nationwide Insurance and Mothers Against Drunk Driving to get 400 people to lay down on Nationwide Boulevard. Why? To advocate for stronger drunk driving laws because too many people were dying needlessly on Ohio roads.
  • When Honda celebrated 25 years in Ohio, we launched a campaign to show Ohioans that Honda is an economic engine in manufacturing cars and motorcycles, as well as auto parts and supplies. 
  • We were instrumental in helping the City of Columbus win USDOT’s Smart City Challenge. We designed the Smart Columbus Operating System website, and are now in the midst of rolling out state-of-the-smart mobility initiatives throughout the city.

Created Healthy Communities

MurphyEpson is inspired by fueling our communities with information and services that make our lives healthier. Which in return makes our communities a better place to live.

  • MurphyEpson shepherded 33,000 one-on-one statewide conversations about the need for prenatal care to keep Ohio babies from being born too soon, because Our Babies Count
  • We cried when we met the families and recipients of DonateLifeOhio, while we created their campaign to encourage first time drivers to become organ donors. 
  • After learning about the number of children in Columbus still living in homes full of dangerous lead paint, we launched the media and online campaign — Lead Safe Columbus.
  • We empowered women to re-take control of their lives and call the domestic abuse helpline staffed by what is now the Center for Women and Families.
  • MurphyEpson created the Ohio Department of Health’s first toolkit for expecting and new moms. We developed the OHBaby brand that was carried throughout the 19-piece learning guide. The toolkit reaches over 100,000 new and expecting moms statewide.  

Engaged Communities

We love engaging “passionate people”. Okay, they can sound a little angry sometimes, but we’ve facilitated positive conversations around tough, controversial issues. We distill complex subject matters into digestible information so the public can provide informed input. We specialize in bringing down the heat so the public can shape and improve their own communities.

  • After learning that only 1 in 3 residents were satisfied with Powell’s  traffic flow, MurphyEpson lead the effort to engage and inform residents with our development of the Keep Powell Moving campaign. 
  • We’ve shaped statewide transportation through our work on ODOT’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan, AccessOhio 2045, The Ohio State University Airport, and Rickenbacker Airport.
  • Our development of the High Street Streetscapes Improvements Project campaign keeps businesses and residents up to date on the transformation happening on High Street. We field those tough conversations for our clients, and guide them on the best ways to manage them, so they can continue to do their important work.

Built Communities

  • Our communications strategy for The Columbus Downtown Plan built confidence in the future of downtown Columbus. This led to a massive overhaul and turned our city center into a dynamic 24/7 place to live, work and play. The plan attracted more than a billion dollars in investment.
  • We named the Scioto Mile as we worked with the former Columbus Mayor, Michael Coleman, to bring swagger to our city.
  • Our work for the JW Galbreath Company – a blast from Columbus’s past – started with a focus on commercial real estate and later became the Real Living brand, which attracted the eye of Warren Buffet.
  • When home ownership seemed out of reach for many in the early 90s, we helped the Columbus Housing Partnership, now Homeport, launch the Parade of Possibilities, which showed the way for many families to buy homes.
  • One a similar front, we are currently helping to launch the Central Ohio Community Land Trust so that more working families can afford a new home.
  • Stopping NIMBY in its tracks, we listened, respected and changed attitudes about affordable housing, helping to greenlight the Barrett Middle School redevelopment and the Van Buren Community Shelter.
  • Some ideas are so good we have to be a part of them, like Move to Prosper’s housing for single moms, and inspiring senators to launch the Wallick Companies’ senior housing communities.

Supported Education

We’ve covered every nook of the K to Career space. We’re passionate about changing the dynamics of childcare and bettering the education system.

  • MurphyEpson created OCCRRA’s brand and developed the organization’s positioning as a professional organization that cares and supports early childhood education.
  • We launched the Columbus Education Commission’s “What’s your good idea?” campaign. We heard from thousands of parents, grandparents and children after we distributed postage paid postcards to gather information and innovative ideas to improve Columbus City Schools.
  • We worked with the Ohio Department of Education to design the K-3 Standards, Kindergarten Readiness materials and Ohio Report Card app.
  • MurphyEpson branded Early Childhood Ohio, which implements programs and services for children and their families that promote and encourage holistic growth, nurturing, development, and learning. Our team also developed their website, trade show signage, and various print and promotional items.
  • We branded the K to Career program for Dublin City Schools, a STEM-inspired program that led to the development of Emerald Campus in Dublin.

Bettered the Environment

  • We kept thousands of tons of trash out of landfills after we launched Columbus’ recycling program, RecyColumbus, which educated community members on how and why to use their blue recycling bins. Columbus now has one of the highest success rates in the nation. 
  • MurphyEpson partnered with the Department of Public Utilities to develop the city’s PUP – pick up poop campaign, to keep our drinking water clean.
  • MurpyEpson is a City of Columbus Green Spot business, and we love doing our part to keep Central Ohio green.

We are grateful to our amazing clients, who have trusted us with their important issues and allowed us to be part of changing their communities. MurphyEpson has a long legacy of “Do Good” and we don’t plan to stop! Call us, email us, or just stop by, so we can start the conversation of doing great work for you!

Kathleen Murphy, founder and President Emeritus of MurphyEpson, and Cindy Byington, Senior Project Manager who worked for Murphy Epson for 28 of our 30 years, contributed to this article. Both are retired but remain treasured members of the #TeamMe family.

From the #teamME CEO: Our International Women’s Day Checklist

Happy International Women’s Day! Crank up your favorite power anthem and do a happy dance for the women who have come before you. Then, join me in celebrating the women who push boundaries, make their marks and shatter the glass ceiling.

This year’s theme, #BeBoldForChange, calls for all to work toward a more gender-inclusive world. However, unless we know tangible ways to make progress, this theme is merely a mantra. So, make it your goal this week to check off a few of the following boxes and inch our world closer to gender equality.

  • Pay it forward. So many great women mentored me. Take a half hour and mentor the young women who will follow you.
  • Ask for a pay raise. Some studies show women don’t make as much as men because they aren’t as assertive in asking for more money.
  • Take risks. Don’t wait for others to give you permission to do what you know is right for you.
  • Raise your voice. Women won the right to vote because they kept demanding it. Live up to their example and be a force for positive change.
  • Pitch a big tent. Instead of focusing on being left outside the tent, bring everyone in with you: women, men, young, old, rich, poor, a rainbow of nationalities. Pursue equality by being equitable.
  • Create your own path. Are you frustrated by the glass ceiling? Smash it and create your own business.
  • Prepare for Takeoff: Launch or fund a women-focused scholarship — especially in STEM education and careers. Here’s one of my favorites: wtsinternational.org/assets/59/22/2016_Molitoris_Application.pdf
  • Inspire others: Share one of the International Women’s Day videos on social media.

Do your part. Pull your weight. Get it done.


And keep this quote top of mind:

“Here’s to strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them.”

— Unknown


Deemed the “fearless leader” of #teamME, Marie has a way of translating technical jargon into language we can all understand. Also, she rocked colored pantsuits far before they were trendy. Click here to read more from Marie and her business approach and #teamME philosophy.

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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