Blogging for others.

You can’t really tell by looking at my own blog, but there’s been a lot of guest blogging on The Internets these past few weeks.

Much of the action centered around my involvement with CreateAthon, the marathon pro-bono effort launched by Riggs Partners. Our friends at Emulsion Arts created an incredible video that captured the day and night which you can enjoy and share here. CreateAthon is an amazing, fulfilling annual experience I am so proud to be a part of. It’s one day of my life that richly rewards the other 364 days. If you’d like to start a CreateAthon in your area, you can get started here.

Another guest blog post for Talk About Giving started a littler closer to home. My husband and I were struggling with our sons’ upcoming birthdays. How could we channel the much appreciated, generous gifts into a truly useful gift for a child-focused organization? It turned out to be easier than we thought and was a great learning experience for all of us. You can learn about our experience here.Collected on behalf of Palmetto Health's Children's Hospital

Thanks for reading and staying in touch!

Ready to go again.

I have been up now for I don’t even know how long. It feels like 100 hours. It feels like two hours. CreateAthon is drawing to a close for another year. This year a record number of volunteers did a record amount of work. It feels like we did so much but had so many more ideas that could have come to light if we’d only had just a little more time.

I have no big takeaway from the past day. Just that I cannot wait to do it all over again next year.

CreateAthon 2011

Today I am in the WECO with 33 other creative professionals who are all working on behalf of CreateAthon, the marathon pro-bono effort created by Riggs Partners 14 years ago. What’s more, there are national partners scattered all across the US who are doing exactly what we are doing in their own communities.

Creative team at work at Riggs Partners CreateAthon

I am struck by the tasks that lie waiting and the sheer volume of work and ideation that will be come to life today. Even us seasoned volunteers will admit to being afraid. But there’s no time for fear. We face a long day and night.

It’s not so much that there’s work to be done, there’s so much good to be done.

I am lucky to be a part of this. Please follow along on our adventure on Facebook, Twitter and on the CreateAthon blog.

Brevity is bravery.

When I heard Teresa say that during a conference call the other day, I wrote it down. She credits it to Doyle Dane Bernbach founder Bill Bernbach, but no matter who said it the message is clear.

Marketing is not cheap. Unless it’s CreateAthon, where, in that case, it’s free for nonprofits. There’s a temptation to speak to everyone and tell everything all in one sitting. Don’t let your communications fall prey.

Speak to one audience.
You probably have multiple audiences, but your audiences have very different needs, varying interests. Make your work resonate by speaking to your most important audience. Don’t forget your other audiences if they are important, too, just speak to them in another way.

Make one point.
In some cases, bullet points are perfectly fine. Just because we have them doesn’t mean we need to use them. If your main message cannot be stated in one sentence, you haven’t worked hard enough on it. Editing is one of the sharpest tools communicators have. Wield it like a hungry pirate.

Make it fast.
Today’s communications move quickly. Audiences are bombarded with messages. Get in, get out and give yourself a chance at being remembered.

DDB has a wonderful recap of the many keen insights of Mr. Bernbach here. The next time you’re at a meeting where everyone is stuck on the fence, prod the herd for the good of all. That’s what Mr. Bernbach would have done.

 “If you stand for something, you will always find some people for you and some against you. If you stand for nothing, you will find nobody against you, and nobody for you.”

Nobody says it better. What motto would you share with Mr. Bernbach?