Creative work developed by CMBell Company and clients has received one platinum, two gold and one honorable mention award from the MarCom Awards competition, an international marketing awards program.
A platinum award was given for Walla Walla University’s Student Employment Kit.
A gold award was given for Key Technology’s 2013 shareholder’s presentation video.
A second gold award was given for one of many videos produced for LA-based White Memorial Medical Center’s Centennial Gala Celebration program.
The honorable mention award also went to White Memorial Medical Center, for another video created for their centennial celebration that honors employees.
Judges are industry professionals who look for companies and individuals whose talents exceed a high standard of excellence and whose work serves as a benchmark for the industry. More than 6,500 entries were submitted from throughout the United States, Canada and 15 other countries.
Is your company misunderstood? Are myths about your industry hurting your own organization? When the media doesn’t report your story accurately, ask yourself these questions:
- Have you simplified your message down to its essence?
- Is the message relevant?
- Is your message being delivered in a compelling, memorable way that stands out from your competitors’?
- Are you reaching the right people?
- Are you delivering it over and over?
Being proactive in telling your story is imperative when your company’s story isn’t understood.
Need some inspiration? >>
A national association used this video as part of a campaign to refute some of the myths about private higher education.
This app was developed to pair with a national association's video to get their key messages into the hands of policy makers in a mobile-friendly format.
Executives for Hawaii’s largest health plan used this PowerPoint presentation to personally take their message of innovation to community leaders.
A state-wide association takes their message to the people in this video that showcases little-known facts about their organization. The video serves as a versatile and ideal tool for social media, websites and presentations.
Bigger. Better. More. That’s the theme we created to help Littleton Adventist Hospital leverage their 25-year anniversary to refresh their brand and show how they’ve grown to meet their community’s needs. In addition to direct mail and print ads, we worked with them to produce a video, Web content and elevator wraps.
Littleton Adventist Hospital 25-year Anniversary Video
Littleton Adventist Hospital 25-year Anniversary Web Page
Littleton Adventist Hospital 25-year Anniversary Elevator Wraps
An annual report is one of a company’s most vital communication tools. The colors, design and images in your annual report should all support your key messages—and should inspire confidence among shareholders and readers alike.
Not sure if your annual report is living up to its full potential?
- See how it compares visually to your top competitors’ annual reports.
- Grade your photos. If that’s all the readers see, what would they think about your company?
- Browse it. If you read only pictures, captions, subheads and headlines, what will you know about your organization?
Need some inspiration? >>
Dress up your presentation in style to convey confidence and success, like this package we helped develop for a CEO’s presentation at their annual shareholder’s meeting. Energetic colors, bold design and a mix of media—to keep the presentation alive—tell the company’s story and build support.
2013 Annual Report
Investor Capacity Folder
Investor PowerPoint Presentation
Naming your new product, service or business is about so much more than whether you like the name. Each word in the name carries with it meanings—some of which are pervasive and others which are nuanced.
Here are 10 guidelines we use when working with clients looking for a name:
- The name should make immediately clear what the business is. If I’m looking for a bakery, I want to hone right into that word to help me sort out all the non-bakeries. Having it in the name makes it efficient for me.
- The name should be distinctive and memorable.
- The name should import or evoke the desired brand attributes. When it can be tied to a successful existing brand, this creates a short-cut to building your new brand. This saves you time and money.
- Take into consideration what its acronym spells (in any language relevant).
- The name should be easy to pronounce.
- The name should both sound good and look good visually on an ad, billboard, website or in a logo.
- Check domain name availability and buy it quickly once you have consulted your legal counsel. And here’s a word of caution. Some domain sites actually buy-up names you search for as part of their business strategy, so you can look up their availability one day and later come back to find it no longer available—except if you want to pay the price they’ve now attached to it.
- If it’s a made-up word—like OptiTru or XyPhil—you’ll need the budget to teach the public what it means. Made-up names don’t signal any reference point in the reader’s brain. This can be good, if you want to create the brand from ground up—but bad if you don’t have a boat load of money to spend.
- If there will be multiple locations, make the name flexible to accommodate those.
- If it’s a sub-brand, think through the implications of its relationship—visually and otherwise—to the master brand.
Without employee support, no strategy—no matter how brilliant—gets executed. Aligning employee behavior is one of the most important tasks of leadership. Here are seven tips that can help you achieve this:
- No CEO can speak personally to every employee. So be sure to deliver the message in a format that can be shared and spread organically. Generally, video is the medium of choice because it engages all of the senses.
- Give employees a reason to believe. Help employees move from fear of change to acceptance and implementation, by showing how it will impact customers.
- Make it relevant to their world, their concerns. Skip all the technical details and show how it will benefit them.
- Make it speak to the heart, as well as the head. People don’t change behavior because they get a list of reasons to do so. They change because something has stirred within them a desire to change. To be successful, your strategy needs both the detailed action items and the visionary, inspirational component.
- Make the destination as real and compelling as you can. You are, after all, asking them to make a journey to an unknown destination. There are no travel brochures except the ones you create—so invest in making them well.
- Use the best tools available. This is no job for the predictable PowerPoint presentation. To move people, the communication tool should engage all of the senses with sound, visuals and words. It should reflect the same level of quality that your workplace does.
- Coherence. And finally, words matter. But actions talk, too. Make sure that there’s coherence between what you say and how you live your talk throughout your organization.
Need some inspiration? Here’s a video we just produced for a large, nonprofit health care system to launch their new strategic plan.
Adventist Health Strategy Video
Adventist Health Banners
An infographic depicts information using graphics and text. If you search for “infographic” you’ll get more than 15 million results—some that are very effective and some that are explosions of bad ideas. So when should you use an infographic?
- When your message can be illustrated (visuals and words) better than described (words only)
- When you need to show relationships or flow of information
- When there’s data to explain that is meaningful to your viewer
- When you need to make something simple
- When you have a short time to deliver a complicated message
Like any communication tool, the key to making an infographic work is clarity, great design and spare but effective use of words. In this example we produced, the infographic provides an easy instruction for a new process. It lets the viewers decide how deep to go and where to start. Do they want to know why? What? Or just how?
Have you seen any infographics that you think worked well?
Social media is about sharing content in different formats—words, video or photos. So the first step in any social media strategy is to create quality content that your customers are interested in—and delivering it in a way that is share-worthy. Here are five tips to improve your chances:
- Use quality photos that are better than your competitors.
- Use video.
- Make your videos entertaining—when appropriate.
- Make your writing better than your competitors.
- Provide useful content that isn’t just about your company.
If you’re serious about social media, commit resources to monitor the conversation so you know what the crowd is saying about you.
Need some inspiration? >>
This short video brought a powerful response when shown to policy makers and stakeholders—and went viral among other state private education associations. It shows how complex messages can be simplified using an animated video technique.
We use our blog to provide short, easy-to-read tips on how to improve a business’s marketing and communications.
Even a simple but entertaining e-card like this—posted on your social media channels and website—can increase views.
So you have a new service. A new vision for the future. A new position you’d like to fill. Whatever your story, here’s a new way to deliver your message.
- Lead with a story that’s real and personal. Enter Estelle, above.
- Use a motion graphic video technique, which has no video footage—just sound and illustrations that are animated. It has all the rich visual elements of a video.
- The benefits of the service are all delivered in the story. It’s a little more subtle, but oh-so-persuasive.
Today we’re going to challenge you to think about new ways of connecting with your audience. Can you see using this kind of technique as a fresh way to deliver your message?
Recognition is one of the top things employees want in a job—yet too often it’s far too scarce. Yet watch any sport on TV and see how the immediate response of the crowd affects the players.
Recognition not only helps job satisfaction, but it acts as a rudder—steering the organization in its desired direction. Employees focus on what is rewarded and celebrated.
So how can you communicate recognition better in the workplace?
- Make personal communication specific, like this: “Your ability to bring disparate ideas together really made that meeting a success.”
- Make it more frequent.
- Recognize people in front of their peers.
- Send a note to the person’s boss, and copy them in.
- Use a picture of them in a corporate communication.
Need some inspiration? >>
This video celebrates the work of a hospital’s volunteers with photos of them at work. It’s an easy and fast way to say thank you to the people who make your organization successful—and it also can be used in recruiting, to give prospects a sense of your organization.
By showcasing employees talking about what it means to work at their organization, this video recognizes their employees, physicians and volunteers.
Not sure what to post that will interest your followers? This list of 10 ideas from Michael Hyatt can get you started.
- Share a resource. You can point people to a news item, a blog post, a website, a software tool or anything else you think would be helpful to your followers. Share the link to the resource.
- Repost another’s post. Occasionally, you will read something from one of your friends or someone you follow that you just have to share with your friends.
- Make an announcement. Whenever you post something new to your blog, select winners in your contest or start a new business, tell your followers and provide a link for more information.
- Reveal something personal. This is what humanizes you and makes you real. It is also what connects people to you and builds trust.
- Ask a question. One of the beauties of social media is that you can crowd-source your research. Use the “wisdom of crowds” to do everything from finding a great restaurant to solving a specific problem.
- Provide a discount. If you have an opportunity for your followers to get a deal or save money, share the love. Just be careful you don’t use this as an excuse for spamming your followers.
- Reply to a question. Remember that first and foremost, social media is intended to be social. It’s all about the conversation. This means you need to reply to questions people ask you if you are to be taken seriously.
- Report what you are doing now. This is something that also humanizes you. If you are doing something particularly interesting, share it with your followers. It’s often useful to include a link to a photo.
- Offer your congratulations. Use social media to celebrate the accomplishments of others. Don’t make it all about you. Be generous with others and you’ll find it comes back to you.
- Wish someone well. Whether it’s a simple “happy birthday” or “congratulations on your promotion,” social media provides a way for you to call attention to the people you care about.
The role of the health care marketer and communicator is changing—that’s not news. But what will it look like? In the Sept./Oct. issue of Spectrum, the member newsletter of Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development (SHSMD), we suggest the critical skills tomorrow’s pros will need to master. Which of these do you think will be most important?
Using targeted email, e-letters or e-blasts to get heard? Then you already know that unsolicited messages, or those that you initiate, play by different rules than messages that readers seek out.
Here’s why. Today’s email reader:
- Decides within the first few seconds whether to keep reading. So if it isn’t relevant or looks too overwhelming—with lots of grey text and no visual interest—your reader won’t go further.
- Doesn’t want to work hard to see if there’s something of interest to him or her.
- Gets too much communication. If the spam filter doesn’t filter it out, they’ll attempt to triage it quickly—based on those first two to three seconds. First impressions are everything.
- Scans, rather than reads. And does so in this order:
• Subheads and captions
• Bulleted lists
• Last of all, blocks of text
If you can’t interest them with the first few, they won’t go further.
Today’s e-communication has to get past obstacles to get read. Here are three tips:
- Get the reader’s attention and keep them from leaving. Make an offer, offer content they relate to or show a picture the reader will connect with.
- Make it easy for them to find what they’re looking for. Don’t bury it inside long paragraphs, but giving them directional signs—like captions, subheads or bulleted lists.
- Make a call to action that’s easy to spot. Link to more information, a phone number or an email address.
Remember that when you initiate the communication, it’s up to you to make it interesting enough for the reader to commit time to it. And that begins by knowing how your readers will take in information and what obstacles will prevent them from getting your message.
As communicators, it’s our job to slay the Complexity Dragon. This means reducing and simplifying the message, words and design of every piece we create.
Don’t underestimate how hard this is. A communication project—regardless of whether it’s an ad or a Web page—naturally leans towards adding one more idea, one more benefit, a few more words, more contact information. We want to tell all because we think it will make us more persuasive. But in fact by telling all we are likely to lose the reader, who doesn’t have the fortitude to weed through our message.
Apple, of course, has set a high bar for this with their fiercely reductionist view of writing and design. We cheer them for it. And yet so few companies adapt this technique for their brand.
Why? We’ll venture a few reasons.
- Committees are involved. Each person adds one more thing, and like an over-decked Christmas tree, the piece falters under its own weight.
- It’s harder. As Blaise Pascal said, “I would have made it shorter but I didn’t have time.” Reducing something to its bare essence is much, much more difficult and time-consuming and takes far more mental energy.
- Not everyone has a brain for it. The ability to simplify requires a mind that can move an idea from complexity to simplicity, and the focus of a race-car driver to keep clutter from encroaching.
- Not everyone has a stomach for it. It requires the ability to say no to people who may not want to hear it.
- It involves all the players. In other words, the strategists, creative directors, writers, designers and production team all have the potential for allowing project creep—a little here, a little there. This is the enemy of simplicity.
The road to simpler communications is surprisingly perilous. It can create hard feelings, disagreements and political quagmires. But oh, the results, when one sees it done well. And yes, it can and will translate to the bottom line. Just ask Apple.
We’re all overwhelmed with information, so first impressions matter. They determine whether the recipient will go deeper—or walk away.
Sometimes you have to break out of the pack to get noticed—before you can make your case. This can be done with humor, arresting graphics, interactive features or by delivering content that’s designed to be kept.
Need some inspiration? >>
Next time you want to create a brochure, think creatively about format. In this piece, individual cards increase engagement and deliver bite-sized messages that aren’t overwhelming—all in a package that uses novelty to pique the reader’s interest.
There’s no media buy with this print calendar, and its petite size makes it ideal for a tack board and a year-long reminder of the sponsoring organization.
This handsome centennial direct mail piece defied being thrown away, by including a gift pen and beautiful note cards featuring regional icons.
In this video designed to recruit new businesses, see how powerful words deliver a message that couldn’t be sent by words alone.
We helped a national association promote their website digitally by developing this short video that highlights the site’s benefits.