NEW Employee Spotlight : Amy Flounders Baker

Get To Know Our Administrative Assistant, Amy!

The last year has been a whirlwind! Amy got married, moved to Ohio with her husband, and started working for RSVP.

 

 

She loves staying active but has never been a natural athlete. Slow and steady is her mantra! She crossed two items off her bucket list in the last few years. She ran the Flying Pig marathon in 2014 and in 2015 finished the Maryland ½ Ironman.

 

 

She a huge animal lover. Amy and her husband have a small dog herd.

 

 

Amy renovated a house in 2016 during some time off. She loved demo day and the whole process of rebuilding from the studs. Her friends and family all helped out, which made the end result even better.

 

 

Amy and her husband went on a cruise in March (our first one). She loves the ocean and most of her vacations have revolved around the beach.

 

 

Her favorite place to be is with friends and family, giving thanks for every day!

 

 

All images are Amy’s own & may not be republished without express written permission.

NEW Employee Spotlight : Bethany Briggs

Get To Know Our Graphic Designer, Bethany!

What is one thing Bethany could never live without? Her FAMILY

(Left to Right -Thomas, Shelly (Dad & Mom)

Stratton, Bethany

Zane, Kirsty

Nevaeh)

 

Bethany’s favorite place to be is at the lake with friends and family. It’s a lot of fun whether they go tubing, kayaking, fishing or they are just hanging out by the fire.

 

Bethany cannot resist petting all the animals. She is definitely a softy for fuzzy critters. She has a pooch of her own named Willow.

 

 

Bethany was born into a racing family. Her dad raced and now her brother races midgets and sprint cars. It’s a very intense sport but once you get into it it’s hard to not want more! Forever cheering for #71, Stratton Briggs! 🙂

 

 

Bethany’s favorite place she has traveled to is New Orleans. She says that words can’t describe how beautiful New Orleans was. Street performers, local artists and amazing architecture had her in awe of the city. She stopped at Cafe Du Monde for some mouth watering beignets and coffee and was not disappointed! She recommends if you get the chance to visit New Orleans, Beignets from Cafe Du Monde.

 

 

Picture of Bethany is owned by Leslie Nicole Photography and may not be republished without express written permission.

All other images are Bethany’s own & may not be republished without express written permission.

#Unplugged

Last week, we were blessed to travel to the lovely Dominican Republic home to gorgeous white sand beaches, gracious hospitality, and very spotty almost non-existent wi-fi.

We were very excited for our nine-year-old son to experience his first trip out of the country. Between the three of us, we had 2 cell phones, one work laptop, our family laptop, an iPad, and a Fitbit.

Upon arrival, like bonafide tourists, we were snapping photos of the palm trees and buildings and ourselves with tropical beverages. And what would one do with these photos next, upload to Facebook, of course! No such luck. Downloading…. Error…. Unable to process….

I joined the gaggle of other guests at the lobby desk in search of wi-fi codes. In a resort that attracted visitors from various parts of the world, I could see this desire to connect is not unique to the USA.

But alas $40 per day!?! I’ll pass, thanks. Reluctantly, we unplugged for the week.

In any language or even without words, you can see the disconnect being connected has created. It’s no wonder this video has been viewed over 50 million times.

In our week of being unplugged, we discovered:
1. We didn’t miss it that much. (Okay… maybe after day 2)
2. We still like each other. Whew!
3. Work went on fine without us. The people we trusted did what they were supposed to do.
4. We spent more time really appreciating the beauty of our surroundings instead of just photographing the sights for social media.
5. We made new friends poolside from all over the USA, Canada, and France. We learned about their culture and even picked up a few new words in other languages.
6. We got a real kick of watching people take selfies (one gal must have taken 40 selfies in the pool) and Snapchat (one musclebound dude nearly broke a leg on sandcastle while capturing his best kissy face on camera). Very entertaining!
7. Without tracking it via the device, we’re pretty sure we logged 20k-30k steps/day. There’s a lot more time to walk and discover when your heads not down on a screen!
8. On the four-hour flight home (GASP) we played cards and talked while others watched movies solo they had downloaded in preparation.
9. By day 7, disembarking at home and observing entire families deeply entranced in their phones, we found ourselves reflecting on what impact all this connectivity is having on real social relationships.

I hope that you will get the chance to be #unplugged if not, by force, then perhaps by choice. In a recent survey, 29% of cell owners describe their cell phone as “something they can’t imagine living without.” I assure you, you can. It’s quite refreshing!

Challenge: Set aside a day each week to be device free. Can’t do a whole day? Start with an hour each morning.

“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.” —Anne Lamott

 

All images belong to Adventure Photos & may not be republished without express written permission.

Print Advertising: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

In print advertising, artwork is the initial impression that consumers have of your business or product. It’s the first step in gaining the attention of the buyer you are trying to sell to. That visual typically is the difference between if the person decides to pay attention to the pieces of your advertising- the verbiage, the product or service itself, and the offer, or moves along to what captures their attention next.

Almost every day I have conversations with business owners and decision makers who ask about how their artwork should look. It’s an important question and comes up so often because many people just aren’t sure how to go about it. Most people (including me) know what they like when they see it but don’t know how to express that verbally or artistically. That’s ok though, and the reason why my company employs very talented and artistic designers. I trust them implicitly because they’ve proven their professionalism with our clients consistently through the years. And they’re not just artists, they know what works and what consumers like.

With that being said, I have learned from many years of experience the difference between good and bad artwork:

 

Good

– Simple clear message

– Holds interest

– Stong call to action

 

Bad

– Requires the reader to work hard

– Missing attention-getting elements

– Can’t tell what you are really trying to offer

 

Ugly

– Full of clutter

– Low-quality images

– Overuse of color and fonts

(Graphic Designers nightmare)

 

Avoid the temptation to include every product or service line you offer in your ad. Don’t make the prospect have to think about or evaluate everything and the kitchen sink you threw in there. They don’t want to think and they’ll ultimately move past your ad and forget all about you. Tell your prospect we are Acme Company, we make your life better, and do it for 40% off. That’s it.

If you’re worried about leaving out something you think might be important then include your website address. If the prospect wants or needs more information they will gladly take the time to visit your website and learn more about everything you do and why it’s important to them. Your website is your encyclopedia, your print advertisement is not.

 

Contributed by Jeff Vice

Less is More – A Lesson in Music and Marketing

Can you tell your story with a single image, a single word, one note or sound?
It’s not so easy, right? So how do we get to “less is more”? I often look to my experience in music to help answer these difficult questions and this is one of those times.

Legendary jazz guitarist Pat Martino explains his
development in this short clip.

Like Martino, many musicians focus on “bedazzling” their audience with speed and facility in their formative years,  whereas the seasoned musician focuses on tone and clarity, making certain he/she communicates the desired feeling to the audience. I like that he referred to his audience as the “victim” of his immature approach.

Can we draw parallels in visual art, dance, storytelling, etc. What about marketing? Although many companies/brands make “victims” of their audience with more unfocused communication, I think it’s safe to say many of the strongest brands we’ve experienced have been communicated in clear terms and visuals aka MORE IS LESS.

A few examples:
Disney: Where Dreams Come True
Nike: Just Do It
Apple: Think Different

Steve Jobs presents his “Think different” campaign in this clip.

Similar to Pat Martino, Jobs highlights Apple’s focus on simplifying their approach with respect to product line, marketing, and distribution. Certainly we know this strategy and Apple’s commitment to executing this strategy yielded game-changing results.

I am proud to be a part of an organization that focuses its energy on delivering greater value to our clients with a simple and transparent experience. When we execute effectively, our audience of Homeowners in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana are on the receiving end of the best of the best customer experience which our clients offer.

2 related videos discuss simplicity in branding.

Contributed by Joe Sucato

Pat Martino Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pO4NQ2tyOV0

Steve Jobs Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Li9a0JFUuos

Simplicity in Branding 1 Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Otx_N5XQXA

Simplicity in Branding 2 Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7OEdMIZ6uSg