At a time in history when it seems that every day we are experiencing historical events that have the potential to literally change the world around us, how do we, as communications professionals, break through the noise? Forget the noise for a second, what about breaking through the fear, the hype and the panic to tell a story that might actually affect you, your family, your neighbors? Can we? Is it even possible? Does it even matter?
To these questions questions, I submit that the answer is YES. More than ever on both a personal and professional level, it matters. It matters to me personally to know that there are initiatives, programs, events and just some GOOD news in my community. It matters to me as a professional to know that the local media markets all over the country actually want to hear about these initiatives, programs and events and share them with their audiences. It matters. It’s possible. And we can.
Here at Boom we work with some amazing clients. We have the pleasure to be working with The Entertainment Industry Foundation (you’re likely familiar with their Stand Up To Cancer initiative) on a new initiative: Think It Up. Think It Up is the first-of-its-kind platform to fund student-powered, teacher-led learning projects in partnership with DonorsChoose.org. Our role is to maximize the message through Public Service Announcements on TV and Radio. Our focus is to gain national exposure by way of local network affiliates and media outlets. LOCAL. The key here is connecting the dots on a cause or issue that affects people in a specific community and making a case for the media outlet sharing it. Old school, one-on-one outreach. Not syndication/RSS, not viral, not digital. Just connecting a message with an audience. And it works. It’s not immediate, it’s not snappy or chatty. It’s local media relations.
We were thrilled to see that particular campaign firing on all media platforms this week an landing locally. In fact, in my own backyard. A local tie to the initiative was covered in the Denver Post this week…both their online and print editions of hyper local “Your Hub.” The feature focused on the first-ever Think It Up Live event that took place A Columbine High School (in my own Jeffco neighborhood.) Kids and teachers brainstorming ideas for powerful learning projects that will be submitted for crowdfunding on ThinkItUp.org. This initiative matters, the story matters, and local media matters.
The team at Boom has had the pleasure of working with Adam Scholder, managing director at Porter Novelli, for over 20 years (is that possible?) We know that his first priority is his wife and daughters – yes, Adam is surrounded by women most of the time, maybe that’s why he works with Boom? Working together on stories from burgers and fries to beer and pizza…we look forward to many more collaborations. We think you’re the BoM Adam!
1.What was the last picture you took with your phone? Picture from the Foo Fighters concert last weekend at Wrigley Field.
2. If you could only have one meal for the rest of your life – what would that meal be? My wife’s homemade chicken soup.
3. What industry jargon do you find yourself using the most? What is your least favorite industry jargon? Use the most – Net Net– Least favorite – Ping (in all its forms – noun, verb, etc.).
4. If you could choose any other profession what would it be? I’d love to be a butcher – hang out with people and cut meat all day.
5. If you could only use one social media platform what would it be? Twitter – I am an information junkie across sports, music, tech, books, movies, etc and Twitter gives me all the content I need.
6. What was the last book you read? Would you recommend it? Finders Keepers by Stephen King – Absolutely, Stephen King is a master storyteller, please don’t default to “he’s a horror writer” – check it out.
7. What television show is your guilty pleasure? Married on FX
8. What ability would you want to have that you don’t currently possess? I wish I was a better basketball player.
9. What advice would you give to your teenage self? Never stop reading and learning about the world around you.
10. What is the oddest food item you have ever eaten? Rattlesnake.
Meghan Butler is the Account Director at Arrow, a PR and branding shop in Austin devoted to the art of creative storytelling as a strategic business driver. Arrow consistently seeks to work with folks who do well by doing good. We met Meghan during her time at Seventh Generation and always look for the next opportunity to collaborate.
When asked to describe herself in 10 words or less, this is what we got: “Please give me coffee and tell me I look pretty.”
We can’t say we disagree.
1. What was the last picture you took with your phone? I am staunchly anti-selfie, so naturally it was of something unexpected while traveling:
2. Best compliment you ever received? “You’re fun. I want to bottle you up and take you everywhere I go. I’d call you Eau de Meghan.” Author’s note: I get that this sounds creepy, but it’s totally not.
3. If you could wake up tomorrow as someone else – who would you be and what would you do? It seems like the obvious answer would be the President or that one doctor who’s working to prevent the next pandemic. But really, I’d want to be Amy Schumer on a good day. I assume that all comics are sad clowns on the inside, but I suspect that she’s just like the rest of us. I’d get up and do brunch until an unacceptable hour, then proceed to photobomb unsuspecting tourists all while gallivanting with my famous comic friends.
4. If you could only have one meal for the rest of your life – what would that meal be? I would go to La Fonda San Miguel in Austin, Texas and order the chile con queso, sopa de elote, tacos al pastor, coffee toffee pie and a side of cardiac defibrillators.
5. What industry jargon do you find yourself using the most? What is your least favorite industry jargon? Playing Catchphrase Bingo in long meetings is always fun. “Circle back,” “circle the wagons” and “let’s parking lot that” are repeat offenders. They make having a serious conversation very difficult.
6. If you could choose any other profession what would it be? Why? I would be an ER nurse in a Level 1 trauma center, or a secret agent. It’s a tough call. OR I would be a secret agent that has to pose as an ER nurse. (ß That’s actually a brilliant solution to classic indecisiveness, if I do say so myself.)
7. What was the last book you read? Would you recommend it? I really like memoirs of people in extraordinary circumstances, whether or not they’re famous. Smoke: How a Small-Town Girl Accidentally Wound Up Smuggling 7,000 Pounds of Marijuana with the Pot Princess of Beverly Hills was very compelling in the sense that it was a quick read and most of the time I was screaming (on the inside), “GIRL YOU ARE DUMB! HOW DID YOU NOT KNOW!?” and then I would hide behind a sofa in embarrassment. If you want a good memoir, I’d direct you to Rob Lowe’s first one, The Stories I Only Tell My Friends, which is a lie because, duh, he doesn’t know you. Unless he does? In which case, introduce me? That ghostwriter really knows what they’re doing.
8. What television show is your guilty pleasure? Ok, now you’re getting real. I play West Wing on loop in the background most days. It should be required viewing for every human everywhere. Though I’m late to the game, I just polished off Nurse Jackie. I am drawn to morally repugnant characters. I’m sure this says a lot about me, but we’ll pretend it doesn’t. At this rate, I have until about 2020 before I start Breaking Bad.
9. What famous person do people tell you that you most resemble? Do you take it as a compliment? I’ve heard all of the All American Girl next door types. And I absolutely take it as a compliment. Something tells me they’re much more interesting and mischievous than the stereotype suggests.
10. What advice would you give to your teenage self? You are beyond good enough. And loosen up, for Pete’s sake, or you’ll come undone!
Meet this month’s feature for Boomer of the Month – Suzie Raven, manager, Public Service at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB). Through advocacy, education and innovation, NAB enables broadcasters to best serve their communities, strengthen their businesses and seize new opportunities in the digital age. When asked to describe herself in ten words or less, she humbly stated: Helps broadcasters, non-profits and media companies spread positive messages. Read on for more great reasons you would want to have dinner with Suzie:
1. What was the last picture you took with your phone? My view of the field during a recent game at Nationals Stadium.
2. If you could only have one meal for the rest of your life, what would that meal be? Sushi – specifically, unagi.
3. What industry jargon do you find yourself using the most? What is your least favorite industry jargon? My least favorite jargon: during in-person meetings, people say “Let’s talk offline.” By definition, in-person meetings are offline.
4. If you could choose any other profession what would it be? Why? I would love to be a photographer for National Geographic so I could travel to remote, exotic places.
5. If you could only use one social media platform what would it be? Why? Twitter. I’m always finding something new in my neighborhood – even while I’m following news from around the world.
6. What was the last book you read? Would you recommend it? Eyes of a Child by Richard North Patterson. Yes, it was engaging. There was a twist at the end that I didn’t anticipate.
7. What television show is your guilty pleasure? Daria – I have the entire series on DVD. I love her snarky humor.
8. What ability would you want to have that you don’t currently possess? Do superhero abilities count? I would love to be able to read minds.
9. What famous person do people tell you that you most resemble? Do you take it as a compliment? I’m half-Egyptian, so I dressed up as Cleopatra one year. I’m a dead-ringer for her.
10. What is the oddest food item you have ever eaten? I ate guinea pig in Peru. It sounds cliché, but it actually tastes like chicken, but more juicy.
Meet this month’s feature for Boomer of the Month – Tim Sniffen – Writer and Actor, The Second City Theater and freelance voice over artist. When asked to describe what he does in ten words or less he shamelessly offered the following plug: Writer and actor for a Chicago comedy theater. Voice for hire!
What is not written below is that Tim was also the iconic voice behind “You Don’t Know Jack” and more recently is the voice of Boom – check out our Boom in the Room videos to hear those sultry and talented vocal chords in action.
Please take the time to read on because you are about to find out that Tim is also so much more!
1. What is the best compliment you ever received? A director for whom I used to work once said “Tim, you always know when to leave a party.” I was happy to hear that. because I thought I was leaving parties too early and people were starting to thinking of me as a recluse. But the truth is, between a wild night and a good night of sleep… I’ll take sleep every time.
2. What industry jargon do you find yourself using the most? What is your least favorite industry jargon? In the theatre/comedy world, people will use this shorthand of other shows & movies to describe something, and it drives me crazy. “Think Pretty Woman meets Harry & The Hendersons.” “It’s Six Feet Under meets Full House.” And yes, I do it too sometimes.
3. If you could choose any other profession what would it be? Why? Astronaut. I’ve taken to following a bunch of astronauts on Twitter — one of the coolest uses of Twitter I’ve seen — and it seems like such a thrilling, challenging line of work. I’ll see the pictures of the Earth from space that they post and I imagine them spending every day filled with awe and wonder at our universe.
4. If you could only use one social media platform what would it be? Why? I’m a big Twitter fan. It’s immediate, it can cross any cultural/geographical boundary, and it forces people to be concise. I get most of my news from it now.
5. What was the last book you read? Would you recommend it? “Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell”. Highly recommended! It’s like Harry Potter meets Charles Dickens. [See, I’m doing that ‘movie shorthand’ thing I complained about above!] And the BBC is doing a mini-series of it right now that’s getting great reviews.
6. What television show is your guilty pleasure? Sex And the City, hands down. It’s a bitchy treat with crackling dialogue. I lived in Amsterdam for three years and I would watch it when I missed New York.
7. What ability would you want to have that you don’t currently possess? Hmmm. I would love to speak more languages than only English. I’ve made some half-hearted attempts at French and Italian but I’m miles away from being fluent, and I’m always so impressed [and/or jealous] when I hear someone who has put in the time and mastered a second or third language.
8. What famous person do people tell you that you most resemble? Do you take it as a compliment? For a while I heard Matthew Perry, who played Chandler on Friends. I always thought Chandler got the best jokes, so I was fine with this comparison.
9. What advice would you give to your teenage self? Drop out of high school and write a book series about a British orphan who lives in a cupboard under a staircase and becomes a wizard. Trust me.
10. What is the oddest food item you have ever eaten? This isn’t odd, it’s gross. One summer I made money by staying on my college campus and cleaning rooms, along with a few friends. We had this ongoing dare where one person would spit their gum onto the floor of a dirty room, and whoever was brave enough would pick it up and continue chewing it. I don’t think I ever shied away from this dare. It’s safe to say I now deeply regret this choice. I’m just glad I avoided having my face melted off from some rare tropical disease incubating in the carpet of college dorm rooms.