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posted by Apprentices Mar 30,2012 @ 03:30AM

On workspaces.

What does your workspace look like right now?

Will Weatherly

8am – CLEAN /// 2pm – WRECKED /// 5:32pm — CLEAN
(rinse and repeat)

Julie Turner
A cornucopia of notes, charts, layouts and piles of work protected by multiple Tick action figures.

Ryon Edwards
Well, it's only Tuesday, but mine looks like complete chaos right now. Paper everywhere. Job jackets all over. Sketches and books and magazines and samples on every flat surface. It's about at the breaking point. Will clean up by Friday so I can start over next week.

Kevin Smith
Fairly tidy. The following are on my desk:

  • Tell Them legislative post card job jacket
  • Goodwill case study
  • Diet coke
  • Glasses (I should have them on)
  • Business card from a vendor I need to call

Kevin Archie
In order of appearance: T-shirt design, Pantone chips, woven strips of paper, books, thrift store mug of pens with German type on it, telephone, water, onscreen: client brochure in progress and photo from my Yashica T4, cool yet uncomfortable headphones, lamp, logo studies, neglected job jackets, Eames chair. (Not pictured: piles of clutter and trash that would have made me look more unorganized).


posted by Kevin Archie Mar 28,2012 @ 03:30AM

Bee Day

For the past two years advocates across our state have gathered together on the same day for an important cause. That cause is to stand against growing assaults on reproductive and women's health rights. If you've been following the news lately, you'll know just how relevant these issues are. Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum has spoken out against the so-called dangers of contraception, promising to end its federal funding if elected. Infamous talk show host, Rush Limbaugh, called a law student a slut for speaking out about the need for contraception. The Left is calling it a war on women. The Right considers it a war on morality. Such divisive talk is only serving to further polarize our nation, painting conservatives as womanizing religious nuts and liberals as sex-crazed maniacs. No matter where you stand on the issue, it's clear that amid such chaos lies a great need for cooperation and understanding that reaches across party lines — a need for a voice of reason.

Enter Tell Them, a nonpartisan grassroots e-advocacy network of more than 10,000 members across our state whose primary purpose is to give voice to the issues that matter. They advocate for those who support age appropriate reproductive health education and access to reproductive health counseling and services for all South Carolinians. I recently designed promotional materials for their third annual Bee Day, an event (happening today) in which members and reproductive health advocates stand together as one to tell legislators statewide that reproductive health rights are important to them.

These issues are more relevant to South Carolinians now more than ever. On average, three out of ten young women in our state will become pregnant by the age of twenty, yet we continue to pour millions of dollars into abstinence-only programs that fail to help in the prevention of teen pregnancy. The result, instead, is higher teen pregnancy rates in the South than anywhere else in the country. Regardless of your background, beliefs, gender or political affiliations, it's clear that something must be done before these numbers get any higher. Tell Them is the resounding voice of reason needed to enact real change for the future of reproductive health rights. Join today and make your voice heard.

posted by Kevin Smith Mar 26,2012 @ 05:15AM

Dare we say recovery? 5 Ways to Stay Ahead.

Things are getting better. Not rapidly better, but the economy is showing signs of life. No doubt your business or organization has made changes to weather these past few years, and so has your target audience.

Consumers expect more than ever, and they are getting it. As a result, generalists, middle market products and mediocre service providers are few. What remains are low cost leaders and specific high quality products and services.

From a marketing perspective, being low cost leader is shaky ground. Someone will always be willing to beat your price. Specific high quality products and services offer a safe haven for businesses and nonprofits alike.

Local grocery stores Kroger and Earth Fare offered stark examples. During the recession, I watched Kroger close its doors. Its customers no doubt turning to Wal-Mart. Meanwhile, the checkout lines at higher priced, health and environmentally conscious Earth Fare never shrank, even during the depths of the recession. Here are five ways Earth Fare got it right:

  1. Pay attention to detail. Everything counts, right down to the receipt, which Earth Fare offers to recycle.
  2. Make it local. Grass feed beef from the mountains of North Carolina is better than ground chuck on sale.
  3. Upgrade. Move the olive bar, upgrade the wine selection and ask customers where there is room for more improvement.
  4. Have personality. Why not have a violinist by the front door?
  5. Partner with like-minded organizations and causes. Earth Fare supports all kinds of local charities, from cookouts to fundraise to exterior signage to raise awareness.

Congratulations. You’ve made it through the storm. The downside: it’s time to up your game. As the economy improves, competition is about to heat up. In fact, Whole Foods is renovating the old Kroger site and moving in fall 2012.


posted by Apprentices Mar 23,2012 @ 03:30AM

On recent projects.

Which Riggs Partners project have you enjoyed working on most recently?

Cathy Monetti
Rebrand for Pulliam Morris, a fabulous interior design firm celebrating its 50th anniversary. So interesting to work on design for designers!

Will Weatherly
The Inaugural Moe's Burrito Dash

Teresa Coles
I love the brand work we've done for Haskell; it has been a textbook example of the proper way for a B2B company to strategically reassess its brand, and to put the right team and resources in place to make the program successful.

Kevin Archie
The Annual Report for First Community Bank — it required both design and photography.

Ryon Edwards
I've enjoyed working on Haskell website redesign, which is reflective of the the new brand we've developed for them -- it's been great working with the truematter team!

Julie Turner
The Bee Day projects for New Morning Foundation. Because they are important to every woman in South Carolina.

Kevin Smith
Developing a marketing strategy for Express Oil Change

posted by Apprentices Mar 16,2012 @ 03:30AM

On last meals.

What would you choose for your last meal?

Kevin Smith

A cheeseburger and french fried onion rings from the Sugar n' Spice in Spartanburg, SC.

Julie Turner
A pimento cheese sandwich eaten at The Masters followed by a BBQ sandwich for dessert.

Ryon Edwards
You mean if I were on Death Row or something? I guess I would order a Moe's Homewrecker. Would they deliver?

Teresa Coles
A hunk of beef tenderloin with balsamic reduction and Gorgonzola cheese, a baguette to sop up the juice, and a bottle of Barolo.

Will Weatherly
French Dip Burger (Roast Beef and Fried Onions piled high on a Ground Sirloin Patty with Au Jus for dipping). Side of Fries. Pint of Avery Hog Heaven.

Kevin Archie
The all-meat Parrillada Para Dos from Tango Sur — an amazing Argentinian Steak House in Chicago — accompanied by a bottle of Malbec.


posted by Cathy Monetti Mar 07,2012 @ 02:15AM

Early Pioneers in Skills-Based Volunteering: A Billion + Change

We gathered in a meeting room on the 41st floor of the Morgan Stanley building in Manhattan. Around us were a hundred representatives of Fortune 100 companies, collected here to fuel the momentum of a powerful service initiative called A Billion+Change.

Senator Mark Warner stepped to the podium.

We face some real challenges in this country, he said.

The government can't fix these problems.

Nonprofits can, if we help them build capacity.

Nonprofits are there, on the ground, in the right position to do it, he said.*


It was the opening to one of the most fascinating days of my career, spent in the company of corporate giants and nonprofit leaders with the desire (and position) to go about the business of changing the world. We spent the day talking about the ways these corporations—early pioneers in skills-based pro bono services—are creating global CSR programs, providing opportunities for employees to be engaged in them, developing systems for managing them, identifying meaningful ways to measure them, and more.

At the heart of it all is A Billion + Change, a movement that has already engaged nearly 100 companies with pledges that total $1.5 billion in skills-based pro bono service. It marks a sea change, really: corporations leveraging the talents of employees throughout an organization in service to nonprofits. And it's not just hands-on service. It's volunteer service based on the professional skills of the individual. By matching the workforce skills with the needs of these nonprofits, powerful connections are made.

Think what happens when UPS employees volunteer their expertise to improve the logistical challenge of getting supplies to a region ravaged by an earthquake. Or HP—the world's largest technology company— collaborates with a national educator's resource center to improve digital communication and distribution of materials.

It's a new way of thinking about corporate pro bono service that not only values but also encourages coordinated participation in socially responsible efforts, all on "company" time.

Riggs Partners is proud to be standing there alongside Starbucks, Target, Microsoft, Walmart, Kraft, Capital One, Deloitte, Dow Chemical, GE, IBM, Intel, PepsiCo, and more, as a founding pledge company in the A Billion+Change movement. In fact, our CreateAthon pro bono program, through which we develop branding and marketing materials for nonprofits during a 24-hour marathon, was showcased at the Billion + launch event in Washington, DC early this winter. With a collective impact of nearly $15 million in our 15th CreateAThon year, we believe our program is a powerful example of the most effective kind of Corporate Social Responsibility program:

  • Aligned with the company's brand;
  • Leverages the prized commodity of the talents and skills of its employees;
  • Boosts morale;
  • Makes a difference to those nonprofits being served.

In a post titled The Best Job In America, Jenny Lawson, executive director of A Billion + Change, writes, "Together, we are seeking to make A Billion + Change the biggest pledge of corporate service in history."

I think it will happen. I believe the A Billion + Change movement will catch fire as companies—large and small—realize the profound impact that comes from stepping up, making a commitment to service, and working together to do what needs to be done.

It has certainly changed our company for the better.



*The sentiments, if not the exact words, expressed by Senator Mark Warner, honorary chair of the A Billion+ Movement. I hasten to add that while I may be a bit biased—I am a native Virginian, after all—I found Senator Warner to be both refreshingly candid and delightfully charming.

**A special thanks to the leaders of the A Billion + Change movement: Honorary Chairman Senator Mark Warner, Points of Light, the Case Foundation, Deloitte, HP, IBM and the Corporation for National and Community Service.

***Photos graciously provided by A Billion + Change

posted by Apprentices Mar 02,2012 @ 02:00AM

On websites.

What was your latest bookmarked website?

Cathy Monetti
I was alerted to it by my friend Julie Degni Marr of marketing firm StewartMarr in Charlotte. I felt, as Julie promised, Louise's "celebration of la dolce vita in every glorious little detail of life." I, too, love, love, love.

Jody Piland
An online unit conversion site. I have the hardest time figuring out things like how many tablespoons are in a cup whenever I'm cooking.

Ryon Edwards
She's an Art Director/Designer at R/GA in Chicago. Just happened to see some of her work online and I really liked it.

Kevin Archie
Nicholas Felton makes beautiful annual reports about his everyday life. This site has served as a great source of inspiration while I'm working on several business annual reports.

Kevin Smith
A test site for our clients at The New Morning Foundation.

Will Weatherly
"A Welcome Tab Isn't Enough" - by

Julie Turner
I am an Internet house stalker. I want this one, this one and this one.




By the numbers

youtube is 2nd largest search engine