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Your 2020 Checklist…Should Never Go Out of Style

I’m old enough to remember all the hype and fear around the year 2000 – Y2K – and how all of our computers were going to reset and send us back to the stone age. While not quite the magnitude and worry of that calendar flip, the year 2020 has been glorified for other reasons, ...

What’s Now, What’s Next in Content Marketing

Another September, another Content Marketing World in Cleveland. Thousands of marketers from 60 countries converged on the city, ready to immerse themselves in keynote speeches and breakout sessions, statistics and insights, trends and topics driving the future of content mark...

Keynotes, Content and Kaling: How I Spent My First Content Marketing World

A few months ago, my fellow creative director Nick Pfahler and our director of client service April Wonsick went to KBIS/IBS. He was the show rookie, having been to that event before. She was the veteran on her 15 th (!) visit. They came back with a lot of good insight fro...

Is the hashtag #dead?

Does anyone else remember tweet chats? I do. For those of you who don’t, it was a very simple concept. You would go on Twitter and use a hashtag to follow and participate in a conversation. They were really popular in various marketing circles, and companies like Hootsuite wou...

What to do when you get a bad Google review.

Today everyone is a critic, yet without responsibility. There’s no vetting system or board of ethics that determines the validity of a review. Anyone with access to an email address or social media account can publish a review, regardless of whether the experience they are rec...

Navigating the Five Stages of Grief (of Project Feedback)

We’ve all been there.   You thought you #nailedit on that last copy draft. You got the assignment, you took care of it, and you moved on. In fact, you haven’t even thought about it since you forwarded it along and crossed it off your to-do list. It’s done, and you’ve got n...

Examining Your Personal Limitations. Extracting the Hacks.

How to work smarter, not harder. The different types of procrastination. Agency life hacks. Meditating while driving. As a copywriter, I’ve got no shortage of ideas. Especially when I’ve been given a topic, some direction or a problem to solve. But without direction, I jump fr...

A Look Back (and Forward) at “Trending Topics You Don’t Quite Understand”

Two worlds collided for me on a recent Tuesday evening.   Eight and a half years ago, I started working for akhia communications as a young professional with a communications degree and just a little PR agency internship experience to my name.   About a year later, I s...

Take Note! How you take meeting notes says a lot.

Let’s set the stage: A meeting assembles, and attendees start filtering into the conference room. Among other things, I’m taking note of how each person has come prepared to, well, take notes. As the meeting progresses, my curiosity grows as I witness several different styles,...

Greatest Hits: Track Your Media Relations Efforts with These 7 Tips

Media relations programs are a cost-effective, credible way to reach your key audiences and position your company as an industry thought leader. They can also be a tricky initiative to measure effectively—with an emphasis on the word effectively . It’s like measuring the ener...

4 Communications Lessons from the Cutting-Edge of Market Research

In an age of A.I. and data-driven decisions, the future of marketing is only looking more human.   That was my key takeaway after attending the American Marketing Association – Northeast Ohio Chapter’s ( AMA NEO ) 2019 Market Research Conference earlier this month.  ...

Ben Thinking: Virtual Reality; Hating on Networking; Gen Z

By 2020 80% of internet traffic will be video. And four other extremely engaging types of content you should be using.   Have you seen these 10 best uses of virtual reality marketing? Some really cool examples you will want to take a look at.   Hate net...

Navigating change—mergers and acquisitions (M&A) edition

Whether your company is being acquired, acquiring or merging with another corporation, it can be among the most stressful times for both leadership and employees. Let’s face it, even if it’s in the best interest of all involved, change isn’t easy. I have had the opportunity...

Ben Thinking: GoT; Deep Fake; ABM risks; Power colors

Let’s get right to it…we all know what’s coming…WINTER IS COMING!!!! Game of Thrones is back. And these brands are vying for the Iron Throne. Product tie-ins are always fun…but these brands are going all out to celebrate the show.   The media relations mix-tape. ...

10 Digital Tips for Small Businesses

Digital has become the center of our means of communications, information gathering and connections as a society. Too often, we attach digital knowledge to someone who’s always on top of the latest trend or can speak the lingo, but true digital success is measured by the impac...

100 Years of Experience in One Room

The labor force as we know it will soon be one of the most unique in history. By the year 2020, there will be five generations working side-by-side in industries across the globe. If you do the math, that’s nearly 100 years of experience jam-packed into one organization. Ov...

Ben Thinking: Mickey Mouse; Burger King; The talk; and Podcasts

Some not-so-random thoughts that are catching my attention this week.   2019 trends: Your website should be doing some things for you…   Did you know that every dollar invested in your website’s UX will generate a $100 return? If that blows your mind you’re definit...

Ben Thinking: People; Facebook goes dark; Blockbuster!; Voice search

This is a short, weird week right? Three days tucked in between St. Patricks Day and March Madness? I hope you are getting as much work done as possible before the madness sets in and your bracket breaks. If you have a minute, check out some stories catching my attention this ...

I've Ben Thinking Podcast: The Modern PR Crisis

Recycled pizza? Exploding shoes? For a brand today, crises can spring up from anywhere, and they can spread quickly across social media. And that requires agile, impactful communications plans. In a special "I've Ben Thinking" series, akhia communications President and CEO s...

I've Ben Thinking Podcast: Emily Koudelka, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Northern Ohio

In a special edition episode, akhia communications President and CEO Ben Brugler chats with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) of Northern Ohio's Emily Koudelka about the organization's work to fight blood cancer, and how you can help.    

Having ‘the talk’ with your kids in today’s world. About today’s world.

Is it time to have ‘the talk’ with your kids? I know … you’re nervous. Your parents never had ‘the talk’ with you and you turned out just fine.   But now, today, it’s harder than ever for kids to avoid it … and there is so much information out there right now. In fact, the...

Ben Thinking: Viral Vans; Attention spans are dead; Kidfluencers

Some not-so-random thoughts that are catching my attention this week.   Workplace trends: Younger managers are changing the way organizations work and think.   Baby boomers are retiring…and in their place companies are hiring millennial managers who are taking a ne...

IBS/KBIS Recap - From a Veteran and a Rookie

April Wonsick (the veteran) and Nick Pfahler (the rookie) talk about their experiences at IBS/KBIS 2019.  From the IBS/KBIS Veteran: Building a Storytelling Experience   In the nine times I’ve attended the International Builders’ Show (IBS) over the last 15 years, I’ve ...

The top five things you’re seeing everywhere, but don’t quite get

Have you ever read the word “blockchain” and felt a shiver go down your spine?   Are you ashamed to admit you don’t really know what GDPR or ABM has to do with your business?   Feel like “A.I.” or “voice-assisted search” sounds more like the Jetsons than a marketing ta...

Ben Thinking: Stop overthinking; welcome Gen Z!; What the heck, YouTube?

Some not-so-random thoughts that are catching my attention this week.   In the workplace: Stop overthinking!                                  Overthinking. It’s annoying. But it’s also dangerous. It can limit your thinking, hinder progress and more importantly, cau...