Author: George Rafeedie


Onramp Ad CampaignA quick thought on purpose during the holidays.As we celebrate the holiday season,we often reflect back on the year and develop plans for the future. We think about what we have accomplished with our lives both from a personal and professional perspective. Often we think of our own purpose in life and how we may be able to find true meaning for what we do every day. This holiday season, we hope you take time to reflect upon your purpose and if what you are doing both professionally and personally is helping you achieve your goals.


Now back to marketing.


Thinking about purpose for ourselves and our clients has been something Tell Your Story has been doing every day this year, and are looking to expand that even more in 2012. Getting to an organization’s core purpose makes marketing communications more compelling to our target audiences. Our purpose, if articulated correctly, can make a connection with our audience that is powerful, compelling and successful.


In June we had the privilege of attending the Business Marketing Association’s annual conference where Roy Spence, best-selling author of “It’s Not What You Sell, It’s What You Stand For” and co-founder & chairman of ad agency GSD&M spoke about purpose-based marketing, a philosophy we embrace here at Tell Your Story.


Today, there’s a 5th “P” in marketing aside from product, price, placement and promotion – purpose. This is more than just your mission statement, which is how you’ll actually fulfill your purpose. Roy defined the 5th “P” by saying it’s a, “Definitive statement about the difference you want to make in the world.”


As we develop stories for our clients, we have applied Roy’s philosophy to our client work. As an example, when we were approached by OnRamp Transportation Services, a full-service transportation resource that offers both equipment and business services to independent truckers and transportation carriers, we discovered that their customers wanted to be independent, but did not want to go into the world of independent trucking alone. By identifying the problem facing potential users of OnRamp’s services, we were able to develop a clear and concise purpose to guide their communications strategy.


Purpose: Everything OnRamp does is to help you be more independent, successful and fulfilled within the transportation industry. 


So how are we working to achieve OnRamp’s purpose? In order to launch the company into the marketplace, we created brand awareness and worked to increase leads among independent truckers and small to mid-size carriers through the use of a full integrated campaign with a huge dose of Social PR. Our priorities were to introduce OnRamp to influential trucking and transportation media, develop long-term relationships with key media members and increase general awareness using social media. Results:


  • 142 articles in transportation trade, local and national media (both online and print)
  • These articles equiate to 2,058,847 impressions and advertizing equivalency of $343,915
  • 360+ visits to OnRamp websites from Social PR efforts
  • 1,700+ acts of social media engagement to date (comments, re-tweets, etc.)
  • 172,000+ social media impressions to date
  • 19 YouTube videos with over 1,500 views to date


Onramp Transportation Services
In Roy’s book he goes as far as to say, “When the ashes clear from the economic Armageddon, the only organization left standing will be the ones that actually stand for something. Without a purpose that improves peoples’ lives, and contributes to the greater good, organizations will struggle.”


To learn more about OnRamp Transportation Services click here or follow them on Facebook & Twitter.

Stealing the Highest Form of Flattery?

Marketing Innovators ChicagoIf there is one thing we took away from attending the Business Marketing Association‘s Marketing Innovators Luncheon on October 12th, it’s that original ideas are overrated in the marketing world. The luncheon’s special guest and speaker, Dan Michelson, introduced the controversial idea. Michelson, Chief Marketing Officer at Allscripts, the most utilized electronic health record solutions company in the healthcare arena today, discussed the unnecessary need for originality during his remarks. Instead he suggested marketers should do the reasonable thing – steal from one another. Stealing, a word with such negative connotations, perhaps we’ll meet Dan in the middle and call it ‘borrowing’? No matter the word choice, the advice makes sense. If something is working for someone else, why don’t you do it too if it makes sense for your company, organization or client?


No matter your stance, it’s an undeniable fact that Dan has played a major role in leading Allscripts to the top of the healthcare technology industry, growing the company’s employee pool from 200 to 6,000 workers and increasing revenue to over $1.5 billion. Tell Your Story has been there to watch the company grow as we serve our healthcare industry client, Daymarck, who aims to make medical coding easy and pain-free for home-healthcare professionals.


Intrigued by Dan’s philosophy? Watch this video we ‘stole’ from BMAChicago to hear more from the Allscripts CMO himself.


We want to hear your thoughts. Is there less nobility in following another company’s lead, or is using the ideas of others a smart business tactic? Comment below or tweet us at @tellyourstorybc.


The One Question with Dan Michelson, Allscripts



Six Types of Networkers Everyone’s Met

Types of Social Community NetworkersNote: We originally developed a list of “types of networkers” in 2009 and were inspired to refresh and republish. It served as a great conversation starter at a recent Business Marketing Association Chicago event, and we think it can help people improve who they are as a networker. 


It’s about to be that time of year again when we in the business world reexamine our (now digital) Rolodexes and start thinking about the connections we’ve made over the past year. For some of us that means embarking on an office scavenger hunt to gather up the dozens of business cards we’ve collected over the last 12 months. For others it means finally getting around to connecting with our coworkers on LinkedIn.


We are also going into the holiday portion of the networking season where good cheer and business cards are exchanged liberally. Networking, my friends, both online and face-to-face, is as important as ever.


It’s an undeniable fact that if there is one key to success in the professional environment of the 21st century, it’s networking. So what kind of networker are you? At Tell Your Story we’ve come up with a short list of the different types of networkers we’ve encountered over the years.


The “Feel Good” Networker –

You’re fulfilled both professionally and personally by networking. You love the art of networking and everything about it, but you’d rather describe yourself as a people person than a networker. There’s no place you won’t start a conversation with someone new. In fact, you met your most recent client during a layover in Albuquerque. Your friends no longer bother introducing you at parties – they assume everyone already knows you – and your iPhone takes hours to backup the number of contacts in your address book. You love helping others through networking and making connections that make sense. You’re good at it, and it has helped you and others be more successful.


The “I Have to Network” Networker –

You’re on the hunt for something, whether it be a new job, new business or a new hire, and you’ve decided to turn to networking. You dust off that stack of business cards you bought a few months back and realize you should have opened the package a lot sooner – hind-sight is always 20/20. You spend the next few days, weeks, or months networking like crazy until that new job is secured, then you shove those business cards back into black hole that is your desk drawer and await the next time you need them.


The “I Hate Networking” Networker –

You know who you are. Whenever you see a networking article on your Google Reader feed you sigh deeply. You get it, networking is important, but you’re holding out for the study that proves it’s just a fad. Besides, you can’t figure out where these people find the time to go to after work events and be active in professional organizations without sacrificing a personal life. You show up only to the events you’re obligated to attend and quickly make an exit when the opportunity presents itself. At the end of the day you pack up and head home and that’s the way you like it.


The “Uncomfortable” Networker

You’ve read books, attended seminars and even resorted to infomercial kits about networking. However, there’s a big gap between theory and practice and no matter how much time and money you invest, you just can’t seem to get comfortable doing it. Instead of making that first step you wait for someone to approach you. Many times you’ve found solace in clinging to the “I Hate Networking” Networker while nervously sipping your club soda and checking your watch – and at the end of the night you realize you forgot to ask for his/her card.


The “Obnoxious” Networker –

You go into every interaction with an agenda to make contacts and you’re always armed with business cards. Sometimes you get an inkling that the person you approached doesn’t want to hear your elevator speech, but you keep going. Your friends and coworkers roll their eyes at your tactics, but you know they work – you have successfully established an extensive database of contacts. This holiday season you’re slipping a networking book into the office grab bag and you don’t care who thinks that’s obnoxious.


The “You Should Go Network” Networker –

You’re a distant cousin of the “Feel Good” and “Obnoxious” Networkers. You love networking and have seen its benefits influence your own life. Now you want everyone you know to follow your lead. You instantly shoot emails to your friends and coworkers about networking opportunities and in the past you’ve had to fight off the urge to create a LinkedIn account for your spouse. Some people may call you pushy, but you know that you’re just giving good advice – even if it’s unwanted. “I Hate Networking” knows you’re right, and they probably hate you for it.


Here are some additional types of networkers we’ve heard from you in the past:


  • The “Job Hunter” Networker – Signs up for volunteer committees, then disappears once employed. Contributed by Cindy Droog @cindydroog.
  • The “Connector” Networker – Taking a page out of Malcolm Gladwell’s “The Tipping Point,” the connector builds bridges by offering up their contacts as resources to others. Contributed by Dick Strassburger @strass.
  • The “Networking Makes Me Feel Dirty” Networker – Feels as if networking is a dirty art perfected by politicians and copied by business professionals for their own gain. Contributed by Karrie Sullivan @shecanmarketing.


What are your thoughts about the category you fit into and what other types of networkers have you found out there?

Tell Your Story Joins Daymarck in Las Vegas

Social Community Professionals


This past week we packed our bags and headed west to support our client Daymarck at the 2011 National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) 30th Annual Meeting and Exposition in Las Vegas. The exposition, which took place from October 1st through the 5th, is the nation’s largest trade association representing the interests of home care professionals.


We spent the week speaking with home health care professionals from across the country about the challenges they face in their industry and how Daymarck can help. Founded in 2007, by Nick Dobrzelecki, Daymarck is a remote medical coding company that aims to make the coding process as pain-free as possible for home health agencies. In a nutshell, Daymarck takes care of the coding and paperwork so that home health care workers can focus on what really matters – patient care. Intrigued? Watch the video we created for Daymarck for more information on how it all works.


In addition to attending, Tell Your Story’s efforts for the NAHC Conference included:


  • Creating Daymarck’s booth and all marketing collateral in-booth
  • Conducting media relations, meeting with industry reporters to secure Daymarck coverage in the news
  • Tweeting, Facebooking, and blogging before, after and during the show, including capturing photos and videos from the show floor
  • Developing press releases about Daymarck news
  • Creating a survey on an industry hot topic which resulted in hundreds of responses
  • Developing promotions and giveaways to drive traffic and engagement
  • Sending e-blasts about NAHC activities and Daymarck news
  • Creating a direct mail piece driving traffic to the booth
  • Supporting sales efforts with message development for sales team, follow up strategy and overall direction


This is just some of the latest work we’ve done for Daymarck. We’ve helped grow this startup over the past 2.5 years during which we developed and executed a full integrated marketing communications plan to build their brand in the home care industry, drive leads and support sales. We are true partners in their effort to improve the home health industry one code at a time.


Want to see more of our work on behalf of Daymarck? Follow Daymarck on Twitter and Facebook.

Intern’s View – Tell Your Story Welcomes Deneen DiFranco

Deneen Marketing Communication PRHi all! My name is Deneen and I am the new Marketing Communications Intern here at Tell Your Story. I am very excited to have the opportunity to help tell your stories and hope you enjoy reading my future blog posts. But before I start sharing those stories, here is a little about mine.


I recently graduated from Columbia College Chicago where I studied Marketing Communication with a concentration in Public Relations. My journey into the world of PR began at community college when I registered for what I thought was a journalism class mysteriously named Media Writing. That semester I learned about a profession I knew very little about previously and was hooked. I purchased an AP Stylebook, traded feature stories for press releases and never looked back.


I can brag that I have braved the last two Chicago winters, however I am originally from a small shore town in southern New Jersey where I, coincidentally, grew up on Windy Cove. You might be wondering why I chose Chicago over New York City and the answer is I like good pizza (sorry thin crust fans).


I am a self-proclaimed member of the grammar police (no oxford commas allowed) and spend far too much time researching recipes that I will never get around to actually cooking. However, lately I have been spending my days assembling Swedish furniture in my first apartment!


This is a very exciting time in my life and I cannot wait to utilize that enthusiasm in my work for Tell Your Story. Make sure to check back to see my progress and read about what our clients are up to! Better yet, suscribe to our RSS Feed so you never miss an update.


Feel free to email me at

Tell Your Story with Social PR

Tell Your Story with Social PR


Tell Your Story PR and Social Media Manager Amanda Stewart talks about our capabilities in the area and the work for a few clients.

Tell Your Story’s PR & Social Media Manager Amanda Stewart talks about Social PR and the great results we are getting for our clients. Recorded at the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas in August 2011.

Bose: Making Trucking Safer

Chicago Marketing Professional Dallas Trucking Show Professional Business Communication


Wow.That is all I can say about the Bose presence at the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas this week. Bose at a trucking show? Why would they have a big, expensive booth at a show catered to professional truck drivers? Oh, I get it. Sound technology, cool speakers, “pimped out” trucks with a bass boomin’ cab.


No. Nope. None of the above.


If you know anything about Bose, you know that it’s an engineer-driven company. Its history began at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Bose’s core technology is based on the study of vibration. The study of vibration and how it relates to sound (and enjoying music and watching movies and sports on TV) has propelled it into one of the most respected companies and brands in the world.


So what’s the connection with truckers? If you’ve ever driven in a Class 8 truck, semi, or any vehicle made for hauling freight, you know that it isn’t the most comfortable ride due to many factors, including the constant vibrations. Vibrations are caused constantly throughout the truck, cab, drivers’ seat and, as Bose has found, the entire body of the driver!


We all know that truck drivers don’t have the healthiest of occupations. Sitting for long periods of time, bending and lifting heavy objects, stress, fatigue, the inability to eat properly maintained meals. Add constant vibrations to their bodies, and inner organs, and you can see why truck drivers are at more risk than average Americans for a number of health problems.


To help alleviate the issue of constant vibration, Bose has entered into the truck market with a revolutionary new seat for truck drivers. With a price tag of about $6,000 fully installed, drivers can experience an incredible reduction in overall vibration for a more comfortable, healthier, and life-prolonging ride.


To illustrate that point in their booth at the Great American Trucking Show, Bose constructed an elaborate presence complete with vibration stations, driving demonstrations, health statistics and many other proof points to show drivers that vibrations within a truck are harming drivers long-term.


For instance, one station cleverly demonstrated how the vibrations impact your vision. First, you watched a video of an intersection with changes happening, such as a light turning red or a pedestrian appearing. Next, you watched the same video as if you were in the seat of a truck, getting bumped around. It was amazing to see the difference. On the second video, you missed nearly all of the changes that were clear if you were riding smoothly. It was a genius way to demonstrate how the Bose product could prevent an accident.


Bravo to Bose. Examples like this are one of the reasons we love business-to-business marketing. Yes, Bose has been in the business of marketing to other businesses and professionals for some time, but who would have thought that they would market their vibration technologies to truckers. And better yet, this technology helps prolong the lives of hard-working men and women who help keep this country moving.


For more info on Bose’s heavy-duty drive system for truckers, visit

Social Media Drives Membership

Social Media Membership


The August issue of the national Business Marketing Association newsletter features how social media is helping drive membership for the Chicago chapter. We are big supporters of the BMA and play a role in keeping it the nation’s strongest chapter. Check out some of the things we’ve been involved with to make thing happen for this great organization.

Intern’s view – Make Your Connections Count

On July 27 2011, the Tell Your Story team and I had the wonderful opportunity to attend Sima Dahl’s launch party for her new book she co-authored called Make Your Connections Count. The event was held in the beautiful Metropolitan Club at the Willis Tower. Tell Your Story’s Founder, George Rafeedie, was the co-host of the event and gave a rousing introduction. The night was filled with networking, fabulous hors d'oeuvres, and a speech from the one and only Sima Dahl.   Simaspoke to her close colleagues and fans about her pivotal career choices and the path that led her to where she is now. As a University of Illinois graduate,Sima Dahl launched Parlay Communications in 2008 to advise professionals on digital branding and communications. She has helped hundreds of job seekers and ladder climbers learn the art of networking both in-person and online. Sima teaches how to utilize social media...

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