Why 10 Reasons Always Works

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?

Use Your Communication Tools to Celebrate Successes

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?

Educational Advertising Awards Given to Four CMBell Company Projects

Four creative projects were selected for awards in the 30th Annual Educational Advertising Awards Competition. The Independent Colleges of Washington 60-year Anniversary Video received a Gold Award, and communication projects for the Oregon Alliance of Independent Colleges & Universities and Walla Walla University received a Silver Award and two Merit Awards. Earlier, these same projects received recognition in the 12th Annual Service Industry Awards Competition.
Congratulations to ICW, OAICU and WWU!

CMBell Company and Clients Win Three Awards for Creative Work

Creative work developed by CMBell Company and clients has received one bronze and two merit awards from the 12th Annual Service Industry Awards competition.

A bronze award was given for Walla Walla University’s Student Employment—Employer Calendar/Direct Mail.



A merit award was given for Walla Walla University’s Student Employment Kit.

A merit award was given for Independent Colleges of Washington’s 60-year anniversary video.

Approximately 1,500 entries were received in this year’s competition, which was judged by a national panel of experts. The entries were judged on creativity, quality, message effectiveness, consumer appeal, graphic design and overall impact.

Oregon Alliance of Independent Colleges & Universities Campaign

The Oregon Alliance of Independent Colleges & Universities is taking a proactive stance to show how private colleges benefit students, communities and their state. We’ve worked with them to make their case and bring their messages to a variety of media—from video and social media messaging to handouts and easy reference wallet-sized cards.


OAICU Infographic

OAICU Wallet Reference Card

OAICU Value Proposition Brochure

OAICU Facebook Graphics

CMBell Company and Clients Win Four Awards for Creative Work

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.

Combat Negative Publicity

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.

9mythsap copy.png

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.

Create the Unexpected to Get Your Reader’s Attention

 Print isn’t dead, but boring print has always been dead. So how can print pieces be used to catch attention?
Spend the effort to create something that is:

  • Interactive. People are more prone to read something that requires their tactile involvement, like sorting through these individual cards.

  • Make it easy for your reader. We used small bite-sized messages on small cards, which aren’t as intimidating as a larger format that telegraphs “reader beware: this will take a while.” The bottom line: we want to browse a piece quickly to determine whether or not it pertains to us. Don’t give the reader a reason to toss it before they start to read.

  • Reduce, reduce, reduce. Readers are skimming more and more, so get to your point before you lose them.

  • Organize content by relevance—and make it easy to keep. Readers can select the info they want to keep, like contact information or hiring tips. And the small card sizes make it easy to slip into a purse or post on a tack board.

Originality can take an ordinary message and make it memorable. It’s all in the delivery!

Stop Wasting Time Managing Your Visual Brand

Tired of people inside the organization using the wrong logo? Or veering off the brand color recommendations? Wondering if you're pulling the most recent version of that new logo? Taking too much time to manage all of your digital assets?
You've invested in a visual brand guide, most likely, but if you're like many, you're finding that it's taking more staff time to manage than you like.
A simple, cost-effective solution is to create an online branding resource that is the single repository for your brand assets and guidelines—like this one we developed for Loma Linda University Health.
This online graphic identity guide helps them manage their visual brand by keeping everything in one location that is easily accessible by their users. It has:

  • All the logos, in various formats.
  • A guide for applying the visual brand—with examples.
  • Samples of their ad campaigns.
  • Policies.

An optional blog could also be part of the site and could provide updates for users on changes, new campaigns or education on how to deploy the brand.
This website was developed using our express website services, designed for rapid launch of a site. Get in contact with us to learn more about this service.
Time is money, and assets are an investment. A single repository website like this can save both—and preserve your branding investment by reducing waste and labor.

Put Your Walls to Work for You

Invest in your culture by using your own facility to deliver stories, iconography and imagery that supports your mission. There’s no media buy—and it takes advantage of free and well-trafficked real estate that reaches visitors and employees.

We worked with Walla Walla University to develop this wall feature that puts faces on their mission and celebrates generations of student life on campus. Photos from today and yesterday draw the viewers in to shared student experiences that depict the vital spirit of this organization.
Wall displays aren’t just for museums. Where else have you seen these used effectively?

Can You Tell Your Company’s Story in Two Minutes?

It’s true, we all want to hear the short version. So give it to your audience in video form—a two-minute or less rendition of what you’re about and why they should support your company.
In this video, we worked with the Independent Colleges of Washington to refresh their story for their 60th anniversary.
What would you want your clients to know about your company if you had two minutes of their time?

Create Content Readers Care About

If you want to build engagement with prospective clients, think more about creating content they can use—even when they’re not at the point of purchase.

Here’s an example. Walla Walla University worked with us to develop useful content on lowering college debt—in both print and video.

This is information that interests more than just prospective students. It reaches anyone who is thinking about sending their child to college—thus making it relevant to a much larger target audience. It also helps prospective students see that the university is working to keep costs affordable.

The video is short and mobile-friendly—so it’s suitable for all types of digital channels.

The companion print piece is used in applications where you don’t want to have to wait for the user to do an online search. You want to hand it to them at a seminar or on campus.

Despite that it’s sometimes easy to think that a longer piece will scare off the reader, we made this piece bigger than expected. While we’re proponents of brevity, we wanted to  devote a full page to each idea to make it easy to read. The words float on a sea of color or white space—and are paired with simple but attention-getting graphics.
 This minimalist approach to design provides visual relief for the reader. It invites the reader in, and gives assurance that he or she won’t have to work too hard to digest more words.
 Make your ideas go down easily. Video—and print pieces that draw you in—are just two tools to help you do that.


CMBell Company Wins Creative Awards

Two creative projects produced by CMBell Company have received awards from the 11th Annual Service Industry Advertising Awards competition.

A merit award was given to the 9 Myths Video produced with the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities. This video refutes nine myths associated with private nonprofit higher education.


A merit award was also given for Walla Walla University’s 2014 Student Employment Calendar—a piece sent to employers to promote hiring university students.

Approximately 1,700 entries were received in this year’s competition which was judged by a national panel of experts. The entries were judged on creativity, quality, message effectiveness, consumer appeal, graphic design and overall impact.

CMBell Company, now in their 17th year of business, is a local communications, branding and marketing firm led by President DeLona Lang Bell.

9 Email Etiquette Tips You Can Use Today


Ever feel like your inbox is a Florida sinkhole? Most of us struggle to manage the torrent of information aimed at our inbox every day. What’s a person to do? Here are a few tips on being efficient and thoughtful with your emails.

Be sparing in your replies. Of course, often an email warrants a reply, but many times it doesn’t. Save your replies for sending useful information or confirmation of receiving important content. It’s not necessary to acknowledge receipt of every email, and the busier the recipient, the more it has the potential to be annoying. Always ask yourself whether what you’re sending is worth taking up the time of the reader—and be sparing with the chatty replies. 

Keep the thread going. Replying to a thread helps keep the conversation together, avoiding a search-and-rescue operation for the recipient.

Use good descriptors in the subject line. Careful wording of this makes it easier for your recipients to find the email later. If the recipient has thousands of emails to search, this will make him or her very happy. 

Use “reply all” selectively. We’ve all been there, haven’t we? A person sends out a meeting request, and one recipient replies to everyone with the details of why they can’t meet that day—when only the originator needs to know. Don’t burden people with details that don’t apply to them. 

Avoid ALL CAPS. ALL CAPS is the equivalent of shouting online, which does nothing to inspire affection or respect in the eyes of the recipient. Using all caps should be the exception, not the rule.

Envision a face. Words on a screen are impersonal, and so we tend to behave differently online than we would in person. But if you’re sending an email, envision a face. Kindness and respect are the lubricant of human interactions, so don’t be sparing with them.

Plan for it to be shared. Don’t put anything in an email that you wouldn’t mind being shared with a broader audience. Enough said.

Wait until you have all the information to reply. Find a balance between letting people know that you’ll get back to them, and just getting back to them. Ask yourself if one email can do the job as well as two.

Keep it short. People seem to have less and less patience with reading long emails, so after you’ve written it, see if you can cut it in half.