Are you familiar with the four cornerstones of powerful and positive speech? Using author and speaker Julian Treasure’s tips in this Ted Talk you can learn how to use your voice to connect with other people on a whole new level. Discover the keys contained in “HAIL,” which stands for Honesty, Authority, Integrity and ___(see if you can guess the last one).
While we’re not going to suggest that logos be updated with the yearly trends, we still like to watch design trends—as they reflect the consumer’s mood. Here are just a few identified by folks at justcreative.com:
1. Flat design
4. Negative space
5. Letter stacking
6. Mono lines
What trends do you think might outlast others?
Source: Jacob Cass at justcreative.com
Bored. So bored.
This pervasive sentiment is what all marketers and communicators fight daily. People have seen it all, and a lot of it. This means that keeping an audience's attention is exponentially more difficult. People need to see something new to stay interested, which is why we believe it’s critical to always keep communications fresh. Here is a sample of some of the styles and techniques we’ve used to do just that:
Lists make popular reading. Maybe it’s because the number (whether it’s 3 or 10 or 12) signals to us how much time we’ll need to invest. Or maybe it signals that each item will be short. Or maybe we just feel a sense of satisfaction at finishing a list. Whatever the reason, lists are a perfect solution for delivering “snackable” content.
In this higher education video, we’ve captured 10 of the reasons students love Walla Walla University and packaged them as a story narrated by the university’s own president—to add another layer of connection.
What part of your business’ story could be reduced to a simple list?
Colors and images convey mood before a word is even read or spoken. In this international manufacturer’s annual report that we designed, both came together to signal the launch of a game-changing new technology and the energy it is stirring in the market.
Employee engagement and culture development are two of the hot topics in business today. We know that employees have discretionary effort—and those who feel deeply connected to their work will expend more effort.
One technique that can help do both is to celebrate successes—and connect them to your core purpose. Need some inspiration? Check out this video that we produced with San Joaquin Community Hospital to summarize their achievements for the year.
Are you talking about successes enough at your company? How might video help you celebrate your achievements better?
We know some of the enemies of creativity—fatigue, stress, long days at work. We’ve all been at the place where even the Jaws of Life couldn’t extract a creative idea from our brain.
But creativity is something anyone can nurture. According to The Energy Project, we can train our brain to be more creative by accessing the “big picture” mode. This happens when we set aside uninterrupted time that allows day dreaming rather than analytical thinking. Think exercise, drawing, music, cooking for pleasure, gardening—or any other restful hobby.
In other words, we need free space for our mind—the kind of thing some of us grew up thinking of as wasted time. We need unproductive moments where the mind is free to explore without the pressure of a deadline or a specified outcome.
The rewards of creativity are energy and great ideas. So go ahead. Schedule some time in your week to let your brain wander and see what happens.
Sometimes you have to deliver messages that your audience needs to know, but doesn’t necessarily want to take the time to hear—like these financial aid videos we produced for a university. A dose of humor, coupled with a fast-moving whiteboard style, is an effective way to draw the viewer through a video they might otherwise have skipped.
What things do you feel your clients just don’t understand about your product or service—that could delivered as content with a dash of entertainment value?
Need ideas on how you can use video in your health care marketing and communications? Whether you want to sell, tell, inspire, persuade, announce, train or explain, video does it better than any other medium. Online video is the fastest-growing ad format and the medium of choice for consumers of all ages.
Wow, we’re in our 19th year.
I can’t tell you how proud and invigorated that makes us.
What started as a dream many years ago has grown into something so much better than any of us could have imagined. So will you indulge me for a moment as I reflect on some of the things that have been important to us in building this dream?
We have chosen to surround ourselves with exceptional people—both employees and clients. I pay special homage to the early members of our team who took a chance on joining CMBell Company, which at the time was just the seed of an idea, and who have been central forces in building it into the company it is today. Equally important have been the clients who saw our potential, fueled our creative growth and inspired us to constantly reach higher. We know that every day we must earn the trust of our clients, and we find great satisfaction in the longstanding relationships this journey has yielded.
I’ve said it many times: one of the best things about building a business is picking the people you’ll get to work with every day. Is there anything better? Our team is a wonderful mix of fresh faces and experienced journeymen, left-brained and right-brained thinkers, thoughtful and visionary—each of whom are accomplished artists and professionals. We work together without drama—each person willing to help make the team and our clients successful. So our energy, instead of being sapped by internal friction, is focused on our work. This is a gift we never take for granted.
We remain heartily committed to the value a family business brings to a community—and are inspired by some of our own clients, who have built on this idea. A family business is often centered in shared impulses, dreams and beliefs that are nurtured by each member. We all have skin in this game and our eye on the long haul more than on the immediate profits. We do not see building a business as a step along the way to our next job, but a lifetime investment. This is why we are excited to have recently had our two sons join us—each of them bringing their unique perspectives and talents to help propel our company forward.
Small businesses remain an important engine for America. It’s deeply gratifying to provide jobs to people right here in our community, exporting the fruits of their talent all over the country while allowing them to stay in this community we love so much.
But while we reflect on what we’ve learned in the past, this year is about looking forward. We have invested in new technological infrastructure and creative tools, recruited new talent and expanded our video services to meet the needs of our clients. The demand for video is exploding, and our increasingly diverse portfolio shows some of the many ways it is helping businesses deliver more powerful messages.
Life and Work Balance
We’ve never aspired to be big. Instead, we’ve pursued big ideas and worked to create a workplace where people can flourish—and where people come before profits. This is the soil out of which our company grew. For us, it has always been about creating a life first, and then a career—and fostering a workforce where people can find the life balance they need to thrive. Any growth that we pursue as a company must always fit these founding ideas.
At the end of the day, we find it exhilarating to develop creative communications that help companies we care about be more successful. For us, work is a cause. I think it shows in the work we produce.
We look forward to reaching higher this year. Thank you for meeting us here on our blog and for the role you have played in our success.
DeLona Lang Bell, President
However your day is going, we promise a moment with this video will lift your spirits. We worked with our client to create a successful OB campaign that awarded contest winners a beautiful baby portrait—and the 2015 winners are featured in this video.
Every company has a story.
And as professional communicators, one of our most significant roles is to keep the purpose of our organization in front of employees, donors, supporters and customers—and to do it in ways that inspire them. We need to be intentional about seeing that messages about cost-control, quality and other business goals do not eclipse the stories that depict the grander purpose of our institution.
In this piece, our client took the time to celebrate the successes of a shared goal—a campaign to strengthen the future of their school. We worked with them to express their message visually in the design of a piece that honors the efforts of countless volunteers, donors and employees—and furthers the narrative of the school’s worth. Successes like these inspire and fuel other successes.
Let’s be proactive about tending our organization’s narrative. How are you using your communication tools to celebrate your successes and inspire employees, volunteers and donors to work on behalf of your purpose?
According to The Energy Project, the way we shape our workforce often works against our business goals. Humans, they say, have four core goals at work:
- Physical health
- Emotional happiness
- Mental focus
- Spiritual purpose
Attending to these creates some rather significant improvement in employee loyalty, life satisfaction, positive energy and engagement. Read that again if you missed it. These are what every employer wants more of.
And this is where you, the communicator, can help lead your organization to a better place. The messages you create can help connect your employees to purposes greater than themselves.
Southwest Airlines understands this, as you’ll see in this video. Grab your tissues and take some time to see how masterfully they help employees connect to their purpose.
We don’t really need a study to tell us this, do we? We know, ourselves, that when we align with a cause that we care about, we experience more energy.
So here’s our challenge for you today. How much of your time as a communicator is committed to keeping your employees energized by purpose?
For those of you who like to track design trends, Pantone has announced Rose Quartz & Serenity as the blended color of the year.
“Joined together, Rose Quartz and Serenity demonstrate an inherent balance between a warmer embracing rose tone and the cooler tranquil blue, reflecting connection and wellness as well as a soothing sense of order and peace,” says Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute.
According to Pantone, these soothing colors could be an antidote to modern day stresses.
Suggested possible pairings include:
While the colors are soothing to be sure, we’ll be interested to see how far the business world will go in adapting them.
Can you see any organizations you know using these colors?
Photo Source: Pantone.com
Wishing each of you a New Year lived purposefully, beautifully and filled with light. Thank you for the many ways you inspire us.