what we think

We don’t think of ourselves as know-it-alls, but we do like sharing our thoughts, experiences and POV from time-to-time. We are in continual learning mode and here is what we think, when we think it.

Lemonade Stands & Business Acumen at BMA Chicago

  Did you ever have a lemonade stand as a kid? As it turns out, that early business experience can help you succeed in your career as a communications professional.   As I learned at yesterday’s BMA Chicago luncheon with DePaul professors Ron Culp and Matt Ragas, having business acumen is one of the top criteria needed to be a successful marketing/communications pro. Ron and Matt discussed how in order to earn—and keep—a seat at the table and maximize your full value, communicators need to be able to speak the language and understand business goals, issues and trends.   The problem is that most communicators don't hold an MBA and didn't study business in college.     Ron and Matt offered the following tips to help you develop greater business acumen:   Understand Your Company’s Business Model. Transparency is key here. Make sure everyone on your team understands what drives your business. How does your company and clients make...

Continue Reading

“The story is everything.”

Without a doubt, one of the high points of Content Marketing World 2014 was Kevin Spacey's closing keynote. Storytelling was at the heart of his address, and he challenged all content marketers to tell better stories. During his presentation, he talked about the three important elements of storytelling: conflict, authenticity and audience. Watch this video of keynote highlights for more words of wisdom from Kevin Spacey:     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJnP2wsgnoA&feature=youtu.be...

Continue Reading

Tell Your Story Brings Home Social Media Gold

  [caption id="attachment_2714" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Nicole accepts Tell Your Story's Gold Tower Award[/caption]   Last night at Moonlight Studios, the Tell Your Story team proudly accepted a Gold Business Marketing Association of Chicago Tower Award in the social media category for work done for client, USG Corporation. It was a terrific event and celebration of the best and brightest in Chicago B2B marketing.   [caption id="attachment_2708" align="alignright" width="168"] George shows off our Social Media Gold[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2706" align="alignleft" width="300"] Nicole and Erin at #BMAtower[/caption] Our winning social media program helped USG tell the story of their new brand identity and Team USA sponsorship through employee Brand Ambassadors. Tell Your Story worked to utilize the Brand Ambassadors as a team of social media champions whose exponential reach spread the word throughout the organization and externally to customers and influencers.       [caption id="attachment_2705" align="alignleft" width="300"] Ellen, Nicole and Amanda celebrate #BMAtower Gold[/caption] This wasn’t the only award our team received for USG...

Continue Reading

SEO Best Practices for Content Marketers

[caption id="attachment_2698" align="aligncenter" width="500"] By Theyoungyi CC-BY-SA-3.0[/caption]   “Why are you passionate about what you do?” This hardball inquiry was tossed into a panel discussion I recently participated in at Northwestern University with students who are a part of the Medill Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) program.   A question that I, like many professionals, ask myself often, I realized that it’s largely because of the endless learning opportunities available within the marketing field.   Case in point: That same morning I attended a BMA breakfast seminar on content marketing and SEO best practices led by Andy Crestodina, web strategist for Orbit Media. The seminars are great because you walk away with takeaways that are not only useful, but actionable. As someone who spends a majority of the workday creating content, I know it’s equally as important to understand how to optimize, distribute and measure it effectively.   Here are a few key takeaways and reminders of SEO best...

Continue Reading

Let’s Just Call It Marketing: Content Marketing World ’14 Recap

Watch Our Video Recap of Content Marketing World 2014 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gro1xK66wIE Read Our Recap of Content Marketing World 2014: For various reasons, some people hate the phrase “content marketing.” To me, after attending the 4th annual Content Marketing World, it is clear that content marketing is just marketing.  And always has been.  So let’s drop the word content and call it Marketing World.  What do you think? Anyway, the name aside and with the spotlight shining on what we love to do as communicators, there is a golden opportunity to get back to concentrating on the fun and impactful side of marketing – developing and telling great stories.  The themes that resonated with me the most were around developing stories that are emotional, inspirational and aspirational.  We heard about developing an editorial mentality, and to think like TV producers and film directors.  We were challenged to think about the elements of a great story. And although one...

Continue Reading

BMA14: Looking Back at B2B Marketing’s Most Valuable Lessons

At the end of May, the Tell Your Story team attended the three-day BMA14 Conference in Chicago, the largest B2B marketing conference in the world. We joined over 1,000 B2B marketers from over 400 firms to learn the latest trends, thinking, best practices and more about a wide variety of B2B marketing topics. Our team was on-site for the duration of the conference, working to share the most valuable takeaways with our audience through a series of blog posts and live-tweets. Check out our dispatches from BMA14 below!   You Should be Proud of your BMA Chapter Leaders    By: George Rafeedie       Tell Your Story Wins Business Marketing Association B2 Award of Excellence   By: Ellen DePodesta   #BMA14 From Afar   By: Angi Day   Mobile Marketing Lessons from Facebook at #BMA14   By: Amanda Pollard   Business-to-Business is not Boring-to-Boring   By: Erin Neal   The Art of Social Selling #BMA14   By: Erin Neal   Taking Marketing from a Cost Center to a Revenue Center   By: Ellen DePodesta   Tripling Down at #BMA14   By: George Rafeedie   Watch...

Continue Reading

Tell Your Story Moves Into Historic Civic Opera House

  The Tell Your Story office has moved, and we love our new location! In February, we relocated to the historic Civic Opera House at 20 N. Wacker. Built in 1929, it’s home to the second-largest opera auditorium in North America and is considered one of the world’s most beautiful.   Within this remarkable space, we work out of the Central Coast office, a dynamic and creative environment that keeps us inspired. Not to mention, the office is located on the 33rd floor, which offers hard-to-beat views of the city. The building also includes an outdoor deck attached to the back of the building, right along the river. It is perfect for lunch on a nice day or even as an extra working space if we want to get out of the office and enjoy the warm weather. We are excited to continue working out of such a historic building and innovative office space!   [caption id="attachment_2201" align="alignleft"...

Continue Reading

A Word from our Intern

Hi, everyone, Annie Beard here! I am a Senior Strategic Communication major at Ohio University, and I am interning with Tell Your Story this summer.  I met George while he was spending time at Ohio U. as the Visiting Professional of Public Relations at the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. After a few weeks of follow-up emails and calls, I found myself in Chicago working alongside the amazing Tell Your Story team!   It has been great so far, and I have already learned so much from these PR Pros. I have gotten a lot of hands-on experience with social media, blog writing, competitive audits, press releases and writing content for newsletters—basically everything that a PR nerd, like myself, could hope for!  I have also been working closely with George on CoWorkers, the co-working space he co-founded. (That’s a lot of co’s).  It has been a lot of fun getting to know...

Continue Reading

Tell Your Story Staffing Up to Tell More Stories

  In recent months, Tell Your Story has welcomed two new team members - Ellen DePodesta and Erin Neal. We can’t be more excited to have their expertise complement what we’re up to at Tell Your Story. And our clients agree.   Ellen DePodesta  Ellen has more than 20 years of experience in the B2B PR and marketing world with agencies in Chicago, Los Angeles and Cincinnati.From this experience and her work with heaps of clients, she has plenty to show for it. She has placed client stories in dozens of top-tier media outlets and news websites, and her clients have presented at national and global conferences and received honors and awards in workplace environment, business ethics, marketing campaigns and product innovation. Ellen has earned APR professional accreditation from the Public Relations Society of America, following in her parents’ footsteps, both accredited members of PRSA. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism...

Continue Reading

Healthy Habits at #BMA14

Dispatches from BMA14: Series of Short Reports from the Tell Your Story Team at #BMA14 in Chicago   When I sat down and reviewed the schedule for #BMA14, I saw that there was a morning run each day of the conference. I admire those who were able to get up and run at 5:30 each morning after the evening events of the conference.   Walking in to day number two of BMA14, I was pleasantly surprised to listen to several corporate discussions on healthy lives and the impact on your work quality and productivity.   I love fitness. I love healthy eating. I also love my fair share of fast food and pizza. I knew I needed to pay attention. I have been just talking about health and not doing much about it.   Tell Your Story is definitely a supporter of healthy active lives for team members, which I am very grateful for and just need to become...

Continue Reading