Is Your Email Signature Annoying?

Are you annoying everyone with your email signature?

Today, it’s very easy to shnazz it up by adding social media tags, awards won, inspirational quotes, photos, phone numbers, addresses, head shots, twitter handles, educational degrees, instagram accounts…phew!!

Without a little self-control, your signature could be just as irritating as that person at a party who talks non-stop about their overachieving kids.

So what is one to do?

I’ll give you the same advice I gave that guy at the party: Cut it short.

Did you know in the first 6 seconds of an email, someone looks at colour first? So your media badges do double-duty in this instance, but choose wisely. Adding a coloured logo with those badges, plus a photo or thumbnail is too much. Bring down the bling! People find it hard to remember more than one thing.

With email’s 3-second opportunities to show people your brand and what you represent, it’s important to highlight one key item: A clickable thumbnail that promotes a call to action or an award that makes you stand out.

As for those inspirational quotes, be sure that it builds your brand’s identity. Adding it just to add it, people typically don’t believe it. Match it well to your corporate persona.

By |2018-03-12T21:30:32+00:00March 12th, 2018|Categories: Blog, Corporate Writing, Journalism, Lifestyle, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Is Your Email Signature Annoying?

Are We in Training Without Knowing it?

 

There’s this hill in the forest I like to climb. No. Hate to climb. I hop on my mountain bike and am compelled to tackle this horrible, steep incline that leaves my legs and lungs burning. It’s known as The Wall of Pain.

Properly named, absolutely.

On one particular day, I asked myself the question while I pedalled my little heart out on my way to the top.

Why?

Why do I do this? Why do I put myself through this excruciating agony? Worse, on days where I don’t find the strength or a root knocks me off my line, I put myself through a mental berating and suffer the grotesque defeat from The Wall. It sits heavy on me all day.

So why, time and again, do I turn onto this nasty trek of dirt? The only answer I could come up with is this: Because it’s there.

I don’t expect everyone to get this frame of thinking, because I don’t quite understand it myself.

However, I do know this. When I’ve given in and refused to push through, the feeling of failure trumps any relief my muscles enjoy when I quit.

I get this instinctive sense that The Wall is training me for something greater in life, where I’m being taught that, through the crappiest of times, it gets better on the other side — to stay with it, even if the goal is beyond my comprehension. I wonder what it is.

So when I’m at that mental crossroad and I want off, I push and burn and gasp and I keep going, because The Wall has shown me that failure feels worse than pain. When I reach the top, there’s nothing like it. It’s…euphoric. Maybe the answer to ‘why’ is, because I can.

Does everyone have something they do that drives them, but they don’t quite understand why? Are we all in training without knowing it — all these hobbies and initiatives that drive us, yet don’t seem to serve an obvious purpose?

I’m okay if there’s no real answer to that question. For now, I’ll just keep climbing.  The Wall has a lot to say.

I’m listening as best I can.

 

 

By |2017-11-20T19:06:54+00:00November 14th, 2017|Categories: Creative, Journalism, Lifestyle, Magazine, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Are We in Training Without Knowing it?

Five 2017 Slang Words You Want to Know

 

Staying current with some of today’s terms is an interesting challenge, especially if you don’t game or hang at the mall in your spare time.

So I’ve defined five words that I’ve overheard (and probably could never pull off, if I ever chose to use them):

Savage:  When you’ve done something bad-ass. Brutal, but awesome. (Okay, maybe I could pull this one off. I’ve done things that are totally savage).

One Hundo:  A short form of the term “100 per cent”.

Goat: An acronym for greatest of all time.

Extra:  A negative description for someone who is trying too hard or going over the top.

Low-Key:  When you’re loving something, but are keeping it on the down-low. You’re low-key loving this country song.

Hope you found this post on fleek. ????

By |2017-11-13T21:42:10+00:00November 13th, 2017|Categories: Blog, Creative, Journalism, Lifestyle|Comments Off on Five 2017 Slang Words You Want to Know

A Fresh Coat of Paint

As life demands it of us, we have to take care of things. Such as taking an old and cherished thing and giving it a fresh coat of paint even if your heart isn’t ready to.

For instance, we have this old porch that wraps around the front of our house. In fact, it was this porch that sold us on this place 17 years ago.

It’s worn and growing older, just like me and my husband. It has endured the knees of chubby toddlers learning to crawl, the worried paces of a mother settling a baby with croup in the crisp, night air. It’s suffered scars from skateboards and roller blades, skipping ropes and wrestling teenagers.

If I close my eyes, I can hear the sounds that live inside those memories, all performed atop these wooden boards that became our makeshift stage for life: The advice doled out to tear-stained cheeks, the arguments preceding slammed doors, dropped ice cream cones and the exuberant dog that cleaned up after them, thunderstorms clapping for giggling bundles in patchwork quilts. Every one of those moments, I can hear.  All at once, it’s a hurtful, beautiful symphony.

But it’s in disrepair, so we took care of it. We rolled a fresh coat of brilliant white right over all those years.

I bet this porch wonders where those little feet went off to in such a hurry, yet it still promises life: A husband and wife rocking in its chairs as they plan travel adventures and serve drinks to lifelong friends, the porch swing lulling us into the pages of good books, the laughter as we remember and celebrate our journey so far, the love this porch will feel when grown kids come to visit.

It does look perfect, this gleaming unweathered version and it seems ready to endure new memories. I think we might be ready too; ready for a future that holds stories untold, exciting landscapes and unexplored horizons.

So change is good. New is good. Perhaps we are ready to take that step into the great beyond where no little ones are trailing us. This newly painted porch is inspiring change, urging us to take on the dreams we’ve been planning through the years and it sure does give a nice shine.

But if we look closely, there are still dents and scrapes the paint just couldn’t fill and I know that underneath this pristine coat of new beginnings, our porch is still the same wonderfully, scarred surface.

And that’s good too.

By |2017-10-30T17:13:50+00:00October 11th, 2017|Categories: Blog, Journalism, Lifestyle|0 Comments

A.D.D Marketing

How does one introduce themselves in a corporate society where your audience has 2.7 minutes of spare time between tasks?

When I think back to when I first got into corporate media , I am amazed at how the marketing mission has evolved.

Time with a client through video was a true wonder. Customers were thrilled to be entertained through a 1-hour video in a sales world riddled with business cards and folded brochures (sort of like in high school when the teacher broke out a movie in class. Who cared if it was just a film about stick bugs getting it on?).

But throw on a 1-hour video in front of a perspective client these days and you’ll lose them in the first few seconds. No one has the time, let alone the attention span.

Yet, you have to have some form of moving media today or you’re not grabbing a client’s attention. So I’ve formed this helpful list in dealing with our A.D.D Corporate Society:

The “MARKETING GUIDE FOR OUR A.D.D WORLD”:

  1. Video: watch the run time. Stick around the 2 minute mark OR LESS.
  2. Video: use subtitles. People scrolling through social media sites may not be able to use volume at their desks. Subtitles also catch the eye in a scrolling feed.
  3. Printed materials: keep the text to a minimum. People don’t read anything that looks like a commitment.
  4. If you have to convey a lot of information, do so in a secondary media piece: a data stick, a website, a booklet (once you have them asking for more).
  5. Consider moveable images such as animated “cinemagraphs” on websites, static pages, etc. You’re competing visually, not just productively.
  6. Entertain. The internet offers freebies all the time: information, amusement, images. If you’re putting your media out there, make it worth the client’s while in a visually stimulating way.
  7. Ephemeral Content: As in short-lived media content that is transitory. Instead of a long video, break up the same marketing budget into many 15-second videos, uploading them in intervals to stay current.

Side Note: Stick Bugs have sex for 2 months straight. How’s that for attention span!

By |2017-10-31T15:21:20+00:00March 14th, 2017|Categories: Blog, Creative, Journalism|0 Comments

February Freedom

I’ve noticed a very recent shift in the corporate current these last few days. When meeting clients, suppliers and tradeshow attendees, I can see that everyone’s February is showing.

Yep. Everyone is starting to feel the effects of this cold, winter month. Even those who do their best at not giving in to the grey skies, their gumption lately is definitely less, well, ‘gumpy’.

Typical of every Canadian, we are feeling the weight of the snow (both its figurative and literal meaning). However, I like to see February as a Freedom month rather than a Funk month. February gives us the excuse to give ourselves a break; reach out of our normal routines and grab the parts of life that can pick us up.

For those of us who aren’t travelling this winter, I urge that we switch things up and build on those weekend calendar spots; give ourselves permission to be a little radical. It’s amazing how even the smallest of plans can put the energy back in our stride:

-Swim in a pool. Just the act of strapping on your unearthed swimsuit from August somehow feeds your brain great memories of warmer times. Not only is it a low-impact cardio workout, but swimming also stretches and builds your muscles. Throw in a post-workout sauna or hot tub and you’ll feel the great effects of this February mood kicker. Swimming on a weekly basis will help keep your spirits high all month. And the after-effects of this adrenaline-induced activity stays with you all day long.

-Take on a home project. Brightening a room or item in the house is a great way to get the summer embers in your heart aflame. A mosaic craft project or painting something in bright colours is a total mood changer.

-Count on your friends. Gather them around the fireplace, bar or living room for casual conversation and laughs. Throw on an adventure documentary or sports game in the background or break out the board games. Feed the conversation with trivia cards and creative appetizers.

When February comes, take it on as the month of ‘fabulous’. Owe it your time as though it’s your work’s sponsored event and your mood is the guest. If February can be the month that engages us to live more for ourselves than our routines, we may just find ourselves naming it our favourite time of the winter.

Now I’m off to pack my swim bag for a few laps tomorrow morning, email some friends about dinner this weekend and go through some paint chips to tackle some walls tomorrow evening after work.

February doesn’t have to be our enemy — even if we have to tackle it to the ground and demand that it submit to our creative and dazzling survival needs.

 

By |2017-10-31T15:21:57+00:00February 7th, 2017|Categories: Blog, Journalism, Lifestyle|0 Comments

The Birth of an Idea

It can start with just a flicker. A dim glow in a dark room. The growing of an idea.

Depending on how you feed it, it can consume your thoughts and take on a life of its own. Or you can turn away from its beginnings and let it fade.

However, following an idea can awaken many other projects and goals. So perhaps the birth of the idea is just a small factor in something bigger altogether.

Either way, it’s right to hone in on these early creativities to see exactly what lingers there.

The birth of an idea can remain just that: an idea. Or the unearthing of something altogether different and adventurous.

Either way, pay attention to it. It’s trying to get your attention for a reason.

By |2017-10-31T15:23:14+00:00November 16th, 2016|Categories: Blog, Creative, Journalism, Lifestyle|0 Comments

Seriously Pink

Fulfill a Need = Sell a Great Product

One of our clients, Ginny Cox, saw a strong need in her tool industry when she realized that no tools are built for a woman’s hand.

Envisioning all women feeling strong, capable and independent, Ginny Cox began “Seriously Pink”: A line of tools machined for women.

“If you are given the correct tools in any job that you’re trying to get done, you’re going to feel more confident,” says Ginny.

The Seriously Pink Tool Kits are smartly packaged, pampering each woman who makes a purchase by blending tough with pretty. An experienced, trouble-shooting team stands behind every Seriously Pink product.

BENT Digital Media took the time to chat with Ginny and get the latest on this exciting line expected to hit Wal-Mart and other retailers:

Why Pink?

To me, the Hot Pink is sexy. It means I can be a woman and still be effective; be strong and do things on my own.

How do you feel about your boyfriend borrowing your pink tools?

He does, but he does not want anybody to know that. He’s very macho!

Why tools?

I am the eldest of three (myself, my sister and my brother). In my household, my dad fixed everything himself. Being the oldest, I was always enlisted. He was a woman’s “libber” and he always [said], “You are a woman and that makes no difference. You are capable of doing anything. You just have to try”.

I have removed tiles, put tiles up, done caulking, removed flooring, laid flooring.

What has been your challenge with working with tools over these decades?

The size and the weight. Especially as you get older, you get aches and pains. Now I have carpel tunnel syndrome in my hands. I can’t hold a big heavy drill. I can’t hold big, heavy tools and my hands don’t fit in them. It makes you feel incapable.

By |2017-10-31T15:26:02+00:00July 22nd, 2016|Categories: Blog, Corporate Writing, Design, Journalism|0 Comments

Old Flame History

BENT Digital Media had the privilege of recently shooting video at the Old Flame Brewing Co. just north east of Toronto.

The history behind this building is incredible, with charred wooden beams that still showcase the fire that raged through the old carriage house in the 1800’s.

With their craft lagers sweeping awards across the country and now available at the LCBO, it is a great pleasure to be a part of their marketing team.

Yes, that’s one of our cameras inside a beer pitcher.

BENT Digital getting a shot from behind the bar

Look up and you’ll see the burned timbers of the building’s 1800’s fire

By |2017-10-31T15:28:38+00:00June 14th, 2016|Categories: Blog, Journalism, Lifestyle, Videos|0 Comments