Julie Turner

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posted by Julie Turner Aug 19,2015 @ 09:00AM

Be a Better Blogger Now

I’ll admit it. Sometimes even writers struggle with writing blog posts. Some days I stare at the monitor as my cursor and brain scream in unison: POST! DUE! TOMORROW!


A carbon copy of my current struggle unfolds at desks all over the globe, all day long, every day of the week. We fashion hard-working blog content strategies that will drive readership. Then, when the rubber meets the road, we jump ship just a few posts in.

Why do we even bother?

Hubspot says blogging boosts ROI, nurtures leads and gets your web pages seen. It’s true and you know it. That’s why you began blogging in the first place. So how can you get your posting schedule — or tomorrow’s post — on track right now?

So Easy a ___________ Can Do it

When it comes to blogging, the Internet giveth, giveth, giveth. Whether you crave inspiration, fill-in-the-blank simplicity, or a down-and-dirty shortcut, they’re everywhere online. Infographics, step-by-step guides, you name it. It’s there and here.

Since your post is due tomorrow, I’ve put a few of my favorite content kickstarts right here:

Put the title before the post.

Talk like a business or don't.

Make it perfect.

Start with a prompt or 500.

Visit Hubspot’s Blog Topic Generator.

Plan ahead so the next post is halfway done before you start.


Good luck and godspeed, fellow blogger. Looks like my post is done, too!

posted by Julie Turner Jul 23,2015 @ 11:18AM

A Conversation About Market Research


Over the past few weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to question a handful of a client’s customers at length for a buyer persona research project. While every call was different, each one was a reminder of how many unique layers customers have.

I spoke to a handful of Happy Customers who were very satisfied with their experience and situation. They showered our client with well-earned appreciation and several offered suggestions for changes they’d like to see made by our client. I also reached out to Potential Customers, many of whom I found out viewed our client favorably but the timing for further interactions was not yet right.

I keep coming back to one market research call with a Potential Customer — one who may or may not become a customer in the long run. It turns out she’d had a handful of successful interactions over years with our client but just couldn’t seem to get across the threshold. As the interview went on I learned how she found out about our client, her impression of them and their service, and how she believed they could satisfy her future living needs. It was puzzling that after years this union had not come to fruition.

Then she explained why her interactions with our client had stalled. Her oldest child had been diagnosed with cancer and had battled the aggressive disease for the past two years. I could hear the pain in her voice as she told me the words no mother ever wants to say — that her child’s life had ended earlier in the spring.

Her words were a stark reminder to me about customers. With highly targeted CRM operations and our own well-defined advertising objectives and measures, it can be very easy to focus on the layer of a person’s life that directly involves us — or our message — so much so that we forget how much the other layers color the space we’re working in.

Taking the time to speak to not just customers, but people who have interacted maybe only once (or seemingly not at all) with your company can tell you so much about the market in which you’re working. It can also remind you of the many factors beyond competition that can come between you and potential customers.

posted by Julie Turner Jun 10,2015 @ 11:56AM

The Language of Emoji

Image by Ji Lee/NY TimesOne of the greatest things about Riggs Partners’ Account Manager Courtney Melendez is not her ability to save every dog on the planet (although she is trying). It’s not her role in the #porchpants revolution or her dashing husband, Mario.

Courtney speaks emoji. I mean complex thoughts and sentences that are entirely understandable and often quite funny. She is one of many people who have embraced the smiley world of emoji with two fist bumps and a raise the roof.

A Short History

Emoji — the 800+ array of emotive keyboard characters that pepper Facebook, texts, Instagram comments — are officially everywhere. Even in our closets.

While emoji have been doing their thing since the late 90s, they began to steamroll Paleozoic words and emoticons when they were introduced on iOS in 2011 and Android in 2013. The brainchild of Shigetaka Kurita, emoji began their crawl from the interwebs shortly following the After Dark Toaster Screensaver Era and enjoyed widespread use in Japanese mobile and texting before showing up in fonts such as Wingdings. Emoji became part of Unicode Standard in 2010 and, since then, have wormed their way into almost half of comments and captions on Instagram alone.

The Lord of Emoji Land

If you’re like me, you’ve never woken up in the middle of the night wondering why we have pizza and chicken leg emoji, but curiously lack a taco emoji. It’s because of the Unicode Consortium, a group that oversees how text is coded into computer-readable language.

In addition to announcing the 38 new emoji that’ll be coming in 2016, the UC recently overhauled the process of how new emoji are born. The new standards mean that Taco Bell’s marketing efforts may just land the planet the taco emoji we all deserve.

Poop or Chocolate Ice Cream?

Thanks to their visual nature, emoji can do what text cannot: show sentiment. Having a party? Perhaps the frosty beer mug or a hip swinging salsa dancer lady. Seeing too many snake photos on your Facebook timeline? Tap out a bug-eyed surprise face.

To find out what emoji use reveals, we can turn to the emerging science of emojiology. SwiftKey’s Emoji Report dug deep into their cloud vaults to analyze more than a billion emoji used by speakers of 16 languages around the world. Here are a few things they found:

  • The French use four times as many heart emoji than other languages, and it’s the only language for which a “smiley” is not #1
  • Americans lead for a random assortment of emoji and categories, including skulls, birthday cake, fire, tech, LGBT, meat and female-oriented emoji.
  • Around the world, traditional emoji faces are the most frequently used. Primary stalwarts happy faces and sad faces lead the pack but are closely followed by hearts, hand gesture and romantic emoji.

The Bottom Line

While all of this is as interesting and vital as, say, a VHS emoji, the report does reveal that emoji users in all languages tend to use more positive emoji (70%) than negative (15%).

How do I, who grew up without computers, cellphones and Internet, know that emoji have migrated from fad to a foundational means of communication? It’s not my friend Courtney, but my six- and ten-year-old sons.

Every now and again, these two people (who do not have smartphones or even phones for that matter) want to vicariously communicate via a mom-generated Facebook comment, text or Instagram. It’s not the words chosen or even the platform used that’s their greatest concern. It’s that mom gets the almighty emoji right.

Holy Home Alone cat emoji, Batman.



For more emoji fun, have a look-see at the Twitter emoji tracker. If you need to write a whitepaper, hotfoot it over to the emoji two-parter from Instagram, which is loaded with very smart actual information.

posted by Julie Turner Mar 11,2014 @ 08:09AM

Meet the Interrobang

One of the greatest aspects of being a writer is the creative latitude you magically attain when you receive your writing license in the mail (<- see?). In all seriousness, what’s appealing about writing is the fluidity of the English language.

Each year more words are added to dictionaries and it’s often a big news occasion. So while some unfortunate words are emblazoned on the vernacular until eternity (I cannot bear to link to twerk), we get useful new ones like hackable, food coma and protoplanet.

Punctuation even gets a little jolt every now and again, too. Ever heard of an interrobang? You mean you haven’t?! An interrobang is just perfect for those applications that call for a question mark but also demand the emphasis of an exclamation point. Thus, interrobang.

In the olden days of typesetting, some type families contained a unique glyph: the two different marks superimposed upon each other. Today, we just type them out side by side and I kinda dig it in the proper application.

What do you mean there’s no bacon left?!

Why haven’t you sponsored our bowling team yet?!

When is use of the font Papyrus ever okay?!

One of the most enjoyable things about writing is the vastness of your available canvas. It's an endlessness that permeates the profession from finished product to tools to medium.

Language is in a constant state of evolution. How cool is that?!

posted by Julie Turner Jan 22,2014 @ 12:21PM

Chronicle of Philanthropy Profiles CreateAthon

In the midst of the hustle-bustle that was last week, there was a blissful shining nugget that almost slipped by me. The Chronicle of Philanthropy, the premier news resource of nonprofit enterprises, cast its mega-watt spotlight on CreateAthon. If you’re a Chronicle of Philanthropy subscriber, you can read it here. If you’re not a subscriber, here’s the goodness you missed.

The story shared the years-long effort of Riggs Partners in establishing the effort in 1997 and growing the one-night marketing blitz into a year-round, nationwide nonprofit entity. CreateAthon Executive Director Peyton Rowe also shared that the group is very busy during the “off season” forming a national board and finalizing strategic and financial planning.

We were equally thrilled the story included partner agencies ECG Group, verynice and Think Tank PR and Marketing. The piece featured projects from the 2013 CreateAthon including those for Epworth Children’s Home in Columbia, SC; The National Museum of Animals and Society in Hollywood, Ca.; The Girl Scouts of Suffolk County in Commack, NY; and Madison County Historical Society in Edwardsville, IL.

We’re always grateful for the never-ending flow of ideas and information that stem from the Chronicle of Philanthropy. That they would give CreateAthon a big ol’ fist-bump is nothing short of a dream come true.




By the numbers

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