Merry Christmas from CMBell Company

We wish all of you—our clients, readers and friends—a joy-filled holiday season and a prosperous, healthy and peaceful new year. In the spirit of the holiday, we share with you a quote we posted a few years ago.

Sometimes the best gifts can't be wrapped. This season, consider these priceless gifts:

To your enemy, forgiveness.

To an opponent, tolerance.

To a friend, your heart.

To a customer, service.

To all, charity.

To every child, a good example.

To yourself, respect.

—Oren Arnold

How Words Shape Corporate Culture


Organizational language shapes its behavior. Can you guess what company is known for these phrases?

“Done is better than perfect.”

“Move fast and break things.”

“The riskiest thing is to take no risks.”

They’re from Facebook, but this kind of official and unofficial lingo is present in all organizations.

Around Enron, you would have heard phrases like “We’re an aggressive culture,” and “Guys with Spikes,” and “Money is the only thing that motivates.”

Ritz-Carlton, on the other hand, is well known for its loftier statement: “We’re ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen.”

This kind of organizational talk sets the stage—grants the permission—for the behavior that follows. Whether the words are official statements or off-handed comments, what is said by leaders and crafted by professional communicators directly nurtures certain organizational behaviors—intended or not.  

Because of its wide-ranging impact, leadership and official corporate language must be held to a high standard.

Those who shape the message in an organization can elevate, inspire or prohibit certain types of organizational behavior. Especially in a world where words travel with lightning speed, messages need to be developed with great care.

In his Harvard Business Review Blog “How Language Shapes Your Organization,” Kevin Allen suggests that we think about the “legacy phrases” in our own organization and ask whether they need erasing or replacing. His article is an important read—and worthy of reflection.

What legacy phrases does your organization live by?

10 Tips for Parents of High School Juniors

Navigating the world of college is a daunting task for parents. That's why Walla Walla University asked us to produce a direct mail piece offering tips for parents of college-bound high school students.  

The mailing includes an intelliPaper card with an imprinted USB that takes the viewer directly to a Parents Advisors Web page that shares insights from other parents who have been through the college search process.

Bring Your Mission Statement to Life

Walla Walla University’s mission statement comes to life in this motion graphic, which was designed to be shown at their “Paying for College” workshops and on their Web page.  

Interpreting a company mission statement in this way amps up its emotional impact and provides yet another social media communication tool that is more likely to get shared.

What other mission statements have you seen interpreted in fresh ways?

White Memorial History/Gala Video 2012

To kick-off their Centennial, White Memorial Medical Center developed an 18-month plan to celebrate their history and their future. We worked with them to produce and help implement their Centennial communication plan and to develop a creative suite of materials.

As part of this, we developed a video for their 2012 Gala, where the 2013 Centennial would be launched. In this four-minute video, we give a taste of their history and incorporated testimonials from community leaders.

WMMC's investment in their history is commendable—and will help bolster their remarkable culture of excellence and service.

Companies that invest in telling their history can have a stronger sense of shared purpose, which results in higher motivation and more engagement among their staff and stakeholders.

What companies do you know who do this well?

Footnote: This video won a silver award in the largest health care advertising awards competition—the 30th Annual Healthcare Advertising Awards.

NAICU Annual Meeting Invitation

The National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities asked us to develop a motion graphic to announce their upcoming annual meeting. In just over one minute, viewers can see what the meeting will cover and learn how to make their voices heard on Capitol Hill. This fresh new take on traditional invitations promised to get the attention of the recipients—while delivering important information in an easy-to-digest way.

Have you seen motion graphics used in other non-traditional applications?

Reclaim Your Sense of Wonder

Today it may appear that we diverge from business matters, and yet if you think about it, our business work flows from what is within us—so perhaps we are not diverging at all.

If it has been too long since you allowed wonder, discovery and beauty to fill you, then this Ted Talk will give you a 10-minute space in which to reclaim it for yourself.

Allow wonder to become gratitude, and see where it takes you. Namaste.

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Loma Linda University Physician Vitality: A New Way of Caring for Caregivers

This year we launched our new Express Web Development Process designed to deliver websites faster and less expensively. We offer a multi-phase approach that allows us to deliver Phase 1 of a site for its first round of review within 30 days of receiving the content and finalizing the site map—the latter of which we develop in a one-day session with our clients at the table.
Using this method, we recently deployed Loma Linda University’s Physician Lounge—a one-stop website that provides physicians with resources and support for navigating their complex lives as caregivers. Our firm developed this site with LLU’s Physician Vitality Director and their Graduate Medical Education Director, who imagine this as a convergence of resources that would become the physician portal for their organization and a critical resource for their physicians.
The Physician Lounge has password-protection for confidential information as well as public pages. It offers resources on wholeness, spiritual care, patient relationships, litigation support, emotional health and graduate medical education and serves as a venue for physicians speaking to other physicians about their unique challenges they face—in a confidential setting that can be accessed anywhere, any time.

Should your hospital use Pinterest?

Pinterest can help put a personal face on health care—connecting with consumers on health-related matters. While it isn’t where consumers go for serious medical content, users spend time with Pinterest in the same way they read magazines—looking for inspiration and ideas.

With that in mind, here are some Pinterest boards hospitals might consider creating to start engaging consumer networks:

  • Popular baby names
  • Creative baby announcement
  • Best gifts for patients
  • Healthy tips
  • Healthy recipes
  • Healthy snacks children will eat
  • Newborns (baby picture, interesting newborn shots)
  • Encouraging words
  • Healing design (architectural images)
  • Recommended books on health
  • Hospital gala ideas
  • Causes
  • Inside the hospital (hire a photojournalist to capture engaging photos of people that depict the messages you want to convey)

For more inspiration, check out how other hospitals, like Rex Healthcare , Baylor Health Care System and the Cleveland Clinic are using Pinterest.

Like all social networks, Pinterest needs to have a steady supply of fresh content. So before adding this to your social media channels, think about how you might engage talent from throughout the hospital. Perhaps you have a creative dietician who’d like to be responsible for healthy recipes, or an OB staff member with expertise in photography.

Before heading down this road, make sure you check Pinterest’s latest guidelines for business—which has ever-morphing rules about self-promotion.

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U-CAN Promotion

Footnote: This video won a bronze award in the 10th Annual Service Industry Advertising Awards.

In the sea of information to help students look for a college, one website has information about private schools nationwide: the University and College Accountability Network (U-CAN). So when the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities asked us to develop a motion graphic to promote this valuable resource, we created a piece that delivers a fun and compelling message about this one-of-a-kind service—and does so in less than two minutes.

Need to tell a story affordably, quickly and in a format that is ideal for social media channels? A motion graphic could be just the ticket.

How Our View of Time Affects Our Work and Play

Are you living in the moment? The past? The future? Who knew that our perspectives on time would so affect how we interact with each other—and even how we communicate. This 10-minute animation is almost certain to help you better understand and communicate with those around you. So grab a cup of coffee and give yourself a quick break that will entertain—and inform you.

Why Your Website Strategy Must Include Video


Video is the communication medium of choice for consumers—as evidenced by the skyrocketing popularity of YouTube as a search engine. Online video viewers will reach 169.3 million this year, according to HubSpot, and 53% of the population and 70% of Internet users will watch online video in 2012.

An internal Facebook study revealed that posts that include video generate 100% more engagement than the average post.

And a study by Forrester Research states that including an online video on your website increases the probability of converting a visitor into a client by sixfold: while 20% of visitors to a website will read the content, 80% will read the same content when paired with video.

It all makes sense, of course, because video steps up the visual, auditory and emotional response of the message by adding motion and sound—and can now be so easily shared. In addition, video increases web traffic, viral sharing and enhances Google rankings.

To play a successful role in your communication strategy, videos must be a part of a larger social media strategy. They must have content that the crowd hungers for and should be distributed through numerous channels. A video's ability to spread depends on the content and the conversations you’re already having with your constituents, of course, so recognize that successes will build as you become more adept in this changing world of communication.