Yesterday was Goodwill Thursday here at the WECO and what better way to celebrate the giving spirit of Goodwill than with a "Give it Good" donation drive? See the good below.
We're very pleased to welcome William Goodman to Riggs Partners as the new Social Media Apprentice for this year.
A recent graduate of the University of South Carolina, William has worked on a variety of ventures, including producing two podcasts (one about the television show Mad Men, the other about comic books) as well as working with Columbia's very own Dinobrite Productions.
About 18 months ago, I had the privilege of participating in the launch event of A Billion + Change. It’s a national campaign — powered by leading organizations including Deloitte, Hewlett Packard, the Case Foundation, and IBM — seeking to mobilize the largest-ever commitment to corporate pro bono service. Specifically, they’re looking for 500 companies that are willing to lend their business skills to nonprofits and the causes they represent on a pro bono basis. Riggs Partners is proud to be among the first 50 companies in the US to take the pledge on behalf of our national pro bono program, CreateAthon.
I’ve had several opportunities since that time to attend A Billion + Change events, including one here in Columbia we hosted with our friends at Central Carolina Community Foundation. What amazes me most about these gatherings is the spirit that permeates them: a palpable belief among professionals that pro bono service is no longer a “nice to do” but a vital part of American business culture. Plus, there’s the whole emergence of the CSR profession, with people who are making a living helping their companies understand, develop and execute truly innovative programs that integrate socially conscious leadership with corporate success.
I believe business as we know it may change for good — and you can be part of it.
A Billion + Change has just one more month to reach its goal of 500 pledge companies, and we need people like you at companies like yours to step up and take the pledge. All you do is sign up to find at least one skills-based volunteering opportunity for your organization in the year ahead. It's completely free, and here’s what you’ll get in exchange:
• Learn more about the power of pro bono service as a differentiator for your business and its brand
• Interact with some of the nation’s top leaders in corporate social responsibility and community engagement
* See example after example of successful skills-based volunteering efforts
We’re one month away from being a part of business history, and we’d like you to be with us when it happens. If you have any questions about A Billion + Change and what it means to be a pledge company, let’s talk now.
“We should work around the clock at least once every quarter,” I said to my business partner during a late night work session at the agency. “Then we might actually keep up with our workload.”
“Yes, we should,” she said, looking remarkably rational. “But we should do it for charity.”
That little exchange became CreateAthon, a 24-hour marathon during which our agency, and now a number of other agencies around the country, band together to provide marketing services to nonprofits in our communities. In 15 years, more than 1,275 nonprofits have been served with 3,000 projects, valued at more than $15 million.
Our goal is to double the number of partner agencies participating in CreateAthon this year. Here’s why we think you should take a look our program:
1. CreateAthon is the ideal tool for managing pro bono requests. CreateAthon is the perfect way to say Yes to every nonprofit. (Or at least it is the perfect way to not say No.) Simply direct them to your agency’s CreateAthon application.
2. The work will have a START and a STOP. Agree to develop marketing materials for a nonprofit during a regular business cycle and odds are 10-1 the work will take months to complete. (Paid deadlines have a way of moving to the top of the traffic schedule, don’t they?) Do it during CreateAthon, and the job will be completed in 24 hours. Guaranteed.
3. The impact of your pro bono work will amplify. We get it—every nonprofit request includes the word “brochure.” But wouldn’t it be great to have a manageable process through which you could dig a little deeper and get to the root of the problem that needs to be solved? In a timely, affordable manner? The CreateAthon model begins with a focus on the challenges the nonprofit is facing. That allows your planning team to do what they do best: solve a business problem with a marketing solution that will actually work.
4. Your creative will soar. Magic happens during CreateAthon. It is the gift the universe gives us for doing good, I believe. No other way to explain it.
5. Your team will be inspired. Some 15 years ago, in the inaugural year of CreateAthon, I had great worries about whether or not our team could actually work for 24 straight hours. To tell the truth, I wondered if we could even stay awake. So we scheduled activities, entertainment and an away-from-the-office dinner break, just to refresh. But it turned out that no one needed it. In fact, most of us ate at our computers that night, focused on the work at hand.
6. You will make new friends. Those who work in the nonprofit community are not only committed to making the world a better place, they’re also darn nice people. They approach the agency/nonprofit marketing partnership with open hearts and a willingness to share that is refreshing. And they’ll remember you, and the work you did for their organization, long after the 24 hours is over. Nice basis for new friendships, not to mention referral sources.
7. You can create powerful relationships with superstar talent (I). Once we have our nonprofits lined up and know the type of work we’ll be doing, we fill in any gaps with creative volunteers from our community. I particularly like this shuffling of talent; it is healthy, challenging and inspiring to face the challenge of a 24-hour deadline with a team that may be unfamiliar to you.
8. You can create powerful relationships with superstar talent (II). One year, David Carson was on tap to speak at a local ad event the night before CreateAthon. We invited him to tack a little CreateAthon onto his trip, and he agreed—becoming our first Celebrity Designer. Need I describe what a thrill it was to have David Carson IN OUR OFFICES, designing a poster for a Riggs CreateAthon client? The colorful stories he told during dinner were just a bonus.
9. There is nothing more validating than doing work that matters. Something incredible happens when a devoted, hard-working creative staff gets the opportunity to focus—really focus—on work that matters. I am a firm believer that the gift we give to our community in the form of CreateAthon changes lives and makes the Midlands of South Carolina a nicer place to live. We have attacked homelessness, child abuse, pet overpopulation, drug addiction, mental illness, literacy, graduation rates, bullying, spousal abuse, land preservation—and that is just a drop in the proverbial bucket. Doing work that makes a difference. It fills your soul like nothing else.
10. Your culture will never be the same. Year after year, CreateAthon comes along and refuels our firm. It bonds us together in a way that is lasting, reminding us what is possible when we believe in each other, support each other, cheer each other on.
And when you get right down to it, isn’t that what it's all about?
We hope you will consider becoming a CreateAthon partner and holding a CreateAthon event in your market. Details here, or call Teresa at 803-799-5972.
I knew Arrested Development had a loyal following before I saw the show. In fact, while it left the airways in 2006 — three short years after its debut on network TV — we didn’t hop on board the crazy train until a full six years after the show’s demise.
In days, Netflix is bringing the beloved series back to life through 15 new episodes. What’s most exciting is that Netflix is releasing all the episodes at once — instantly making them available for binge viewing by famished Bluth-worshipers everywhere.
In the six years the shabbily-built Bluth homestead was dark, the show inspired fans to create and consume all kinds of AD-related oddities: paper dolls, intricate recurring joke diagrams, real-life Bluth’s Original Frozen Banana Stands, an Etsy store of almost 500 items, chicken dance videos and, of course, creating awareness of Nevernude, a crippling social disorder.
As excited as I am for the show’s return, I’m curious to see how the release fares. Will Netflix crash? Will the show fizzle? Will people watch them all at once or three at a time five nights in a row? If the success of Netflix’s other original programming crown jewel, House of Cards, is any indication, fans will get a season five.
What’s completely ironic about this is that the network that originally launched the show did everything possible to kill it. Never mind the Emmy or luscious multi-show guest star Charlize Theron, either make it simpler by 20 or 30 percent or we’ll pull the plug. And they did. Only that wasn’t the end of the show. The fan base grew and festered for years.
The scrappy success of Arrested Development is as absurd as a plot line from the show. At times, it’s complex, ridiculous, fastpaced and hilarious. What can’t be ignored is that so many people want the show back from the creators to the stars to the fans. It is loved.
Only Netflix was smart and nimble enough to pull it off. A yacht that actually disappeared from a harbor full of network numbskulls.
For the past two weeks we at Riggs have done a lot of talking about WECO. It's more than the building. It's West Columbia. And while most people's attention may be focused on what's happening on the other side of the river, we think we've got a pretty hip thing going on in our little neighborhood. So I asked my co-workers, "What's your favorite WECO business?"
Sun Spirit Yoga and Wellness. It's an awesome yoga studio, where I've been getting my teacher training and Tzima (the owner) is one of the kindest people I've ever met. Plus she makes lots of cool jewelry, soaps, lotions, oils, tea blends, etc., so there's always something new to check out.
One of my favorite WECO businesses is True BBQ — "Home of the Pretty Lady AND Sexy Lady sauce!"
Paul's Barber Shop. The Aroma. Paul. The Pool Table. The Aroma.
Jenni Brennison (me!)
116 State. It's a great place to grab an espresso or a glass of wine while sharing small plates with friends.
My favorite would have to be Old Mill Antique Mall, because you just never know what you'll find in that place.
Jimmy's Citgo, because it's the closest place to get cigs, lottery tickets, energy drinks, beer, gas, breakfast and/or just about anything else you'd ever need.
New Brookland Tavern. You will see your favorite bands before they are famous, the drinks are cheap, and they have an old-school Mortal Kombat arcade game. It doesn't get any better than that.
BUG Outfitters. 'Cause I like to play outside.
The Original D's Wings. It has the authentic character chains try to reproduce using interior design. And then there was that one time Billy made me chicken wings wrapped in bacon.
It's not a business, but we have the best view from the Gervais Street Bridge.
Here at Riggs Partners, we appreciate corporations who invest in social responsible campaign strategies. Social good is in our DNA, and it's apparently in these corporate brands as well. Kudos to L'Oreal, Secret, and Dove for these top 3 uses of social media for social good:
The Women of Worth program sponsored by L'Oreal Paris celebrates everyday women who follow their true passion to make a difference in the world. Each year since 2006, ten women are selected and recognized for their extraordinary community service efforts. L'Oréal Paris makes a $10,000 donation to each of the selected Honorees to support their work. Additionally, one Woman of Worth Honoree and her cause is selected by public vote as the Women of Worth National Honoree, receiving an additional $25,000 donation for her charity of choice.
Social Media Take-Away:
With more than 2 million followers on their primary Facebook page and 21,000+ followers on the Women of Worth official Facebook page, L'Oreal Paris is giving new meaning to their slogan, "Because You're Worth It."
Secret thinks that being mean stinks. That's why they have ganged up for good to help end girl-to-girl bullying. The campaign includes a series of challenges, films, a gallery, tips and tools, and encourages girls to interact with each other online to stand up against bullying together.
Social Media Take-Away:
Mean Stinks integrates visual and multi-media content seamlessly across various digital platforms with fully branded channels on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and YouTube. Secret's official corporate Facebook page with more than 1.6 million followers includes a Mean Stinks tab that hyperlinks to various interactive opportunities within the campaign. Twitter channels are integrated using hashtags such as #gangupforgood and #bluepinky, and visual content is shared through Pinterest while video content is shared through YouTube.
"Imagine a world where beauty is a source of confidence, not anxiety." Women are their own worst critics with studies showing only 4% of women consider themselves beautiful. Dove decided to conduct and document a social experiment that proves to women something very important: You are more beautiful than you think.
Social Media Take-Away:
With over 45 million Youtube views, Dove's commitment to building positive self-esteem has inspired women and girls to reach their full potential far and wide. Dove features a "Social Mission" tab on their Facebook page of more than 14 million followers where they encourage discussion about beauty, confidence and self-esteem. The "Self-Esteem Wall" includes downloadable tools and discussion guides as well as a nomination form to share a story about an unstoppable girl. You can even join the conversation on Twitter by following the hashtag #WeAreBeautiful.
Warren is a forensic engineering and consulting firm that provides technical investigation and analysis of personal injury and property claims in order to uncover the real truth — origin, cause, responsibility and cost of an event — with unmistakable clarity. They believe that every cause leaves a trace and will therefore work tirelessly to get to the bottom of every case. With this in mind, we updated the Warren brand to be as distinctive and straightforward as possible.
The two downward-pointing arrows in the negative space of the Warren "W" further extend the brand promise of getting to the bottom of it. A warm color palette differentiates Warren from competitors — often red, black, and white — while also aligning to the idea that real truth is not always "black and white." The primary color is yellow-orange because of its bright energetic qualities and its correlation to safety — think school buses, yellow lights, and construction machinery. Warm-toned monochromatic photographs of places and situations where a Warren expert often investigates are shown in pre-disaster states to provide a sense of assurance rather than fear. This extensive identity upgrade is already delivering real results for Warren in new business opportunities and new cases. Among the design deliverables was a full stationery package and a search-friendly website designed in collaboration with friend and one-time Weconian, The Pixellary.