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.

Give Back the Love

“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”  – Winston S. Churchill   The team at Tell Your Story prides itself on making a living by doing what we love: working with some of B2B’s brightest innovators and marketers, creating award-winning marketing and social media campaigns, and getting impactful results for our clients.   But outside of the 9 to 5, our team members are more than just marketers: we’re volunteers, fundraisers, and community supporters. Giving back is an important part of our culture and we do so in many ways. Two highlights of the past year are our involvement with non-profits Barbells for Boobs and Tutoring Chicago. Barbells for Boobs Fundraiser  [caption id="attachment_3058" align="alignleft" width="175"] George raising the barbell.[/caption] Tell Your Story, through CrossFit Wilmette, participated in a fundraiser for Barbells for Boobs, a non-profit organization dedicated to the early detection of breast cancer, with an emphasis on women under 40...

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It’s More Than Love – The Female Condom Story

Say the words “female condom” and you’ll get a raised eyebrow, a nervous laugh or worse. But did you know the manufacturer of the FC2 Female Condom is headquartered here in Chicago? The Female Health Company has distributed tens of millions of female condoms to 144 countries around the world since 2007. Recently the company enlisted our help to roll out new female condom packaging, which went from hospital-looking white to passionate purple. [caption id="attachment_3054" align="aligncenter" width="300"] New packaging for the FC2 Female Condom was introduced to public health workers, educators and clinics.[/caption] Tell Your Story was charged with introducing the new package to public health workers, educators and clinics in the U.S., so this was a B2B, not consumer, campaign. We developed refreshed messaging that emphasized the protection, empowerment and choice that the female condom represents for women. The Female Health Company invited five of the world’s leading experts on sexual...

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Why I Am Outraged By the Lack of Love in the Workplace

We are pleased to share this guest post from our friend, Karen Davis. This post originally appeared on Karen's Facebook page, and we LOVE it! [caption id="attachment_3020" align="alignleft" width="300"] Karen Davis, Executive Coach, NCC, PCC[/caption] I have a fire burning in the very depth of my soul and it has been burning for a very long time. I am outraged by the immense stress, intimidation and fear created in our country by the vast majority of organizations. Our people are walking out of their jobs every day with bottomless empty souls. My children and your children will be walking in those doors if we don’t do something about it now.   According to the latest Gallup study only 1 in 4 people are engaged with their jobs. People are going home from work every day with no sense of meaning or purpose in their lives. These same people go home to their families and treat...

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Just Use a Pencil: Knowing How to Apply Big Data

[caption id="attachment_3011" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Jim Carey talks "Dancing With Big Data"[/caption] What do marketing, sales, finance, and IT professionals have in common? Apparently, we’re all really confused about big data. More specifically, how to use the vast amounts of data we have at our fingertips.   By (Wikipedia) definition, big data is “any collection of data sets so large or complex that it becomes difficult to process them using traditional data processing applications.” I had trouble processing that sentence.   Undoubtedly, big data is a pain point for most professionals; many have made it their personal mission to wrangle the beast. Jim Carey, adjunct professor at Northwestern University Medill IMC, is one marketer with such an attempt.   Carey, who specializes in data mining for B2B and B2C companies, led recent BMA Breakfast Seminar “Dancing With Big Data,” where he shared his insights and findings on what makes big data so…big, based on interviews with leading marketers and industry pros. Here’s...

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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...

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“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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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