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Bessie Likes... Free IT Athens

FRITA_logo

Bessie is the official mascot of our Athens, GA office.

Bessie’s pick this month is Free IT Athens.  

Free It Athens (or FRITA) is a group founded on the principle “that everyone deserves access to low-cost computer equipment and computer-related services.” They also “aim to increase the availability of free and open information technology and provide individuals with the experience and knowledge necessary to become both comfortable with information technology and proficient in its usage.”

Founded in 2005, FRITA provides free and reduced cost computers to individuals and groups, training classes, technical support and a robust volunteer program. To further support free and open technology the internet-ready computers they provide run on Ubuntu operating systems and open-source software rather than traditional operating systems and programs.

You can visit the FRITA center, located on Prince Avenue during open hours (6:00 to 8:00 pm Wednesdays and 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm on Sundays) or sign up for one of their many classes on the “Events” tab of their straight forward website. FRITA makes excellent use of their simple and uncluttered website design by posting a “donate” button on every page, organizing information in tab format and providing rotating pictures of events at the top of the home page.

Bessie says please consider checking out the valuable resources they provide or consider making a donation to FRITA. It’s a wonderful way to stay involved, gain valuable resources and help out the community…and you might just learn a thing or two along the way.

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It's a... Let's Evaluate And Plan Year!

Anyone who knows me well could tell you I am quite challenged when it comes to time management. Comments from early teachers always seemed to address this issue with a bold checkmark on my report card, drawing attention to the unwise use of my time. However, I seem to never give up on the endless quest of improving and gaining strength in this area. Learning to prioritize better, delegate, and establish routines are some of the ways I am attempting to grow personally.

In business, it is important to remember that time is our most valuable asset and excellent management of that time helps us to reach full potential in our profession. Time is limited. When we are overextended, we can often hear ourselves saying, “I just don’t have enough time!” However, the truth is: all of us have the same amount of time in each day. Fortunately this year, all of us can look forward to the addition of an "extra" twenty-four hours to utilize as February 29, 2012 approaches. Since a leap year only takes place every four years, it leads me to question… how we will use these extra hours?

Each of us will have our own set of responsibilities to attend to and certainly we can use a portion of this time to add to our productivity. It’s also important to take care of ourselves so we can continue to be effective throughout the rest of the year. Making sure we eat a good diet, exercise, and get plenty of rest will help us be healthy and ready to move forward both personally and professionally.

Let’s consider planning ahead for this gift we are about to receive. The gift of an additional day in our 2012 calendar could possibly leap us forward towards success!

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January Athens Spotlight

athens.pinYou might have heard that Kernacopia has recently opened an office in Athens, Georgia. As business expands, we will concentrate on bringing our unique style of creative marketing to Georgia non-profit organizations and beyond. We enjoy working with groups that, like us, are passionate about what they do. But before we roll up our sleeves and get to work with some of Georgia’s outstanding organizations (like the Georgia Council on Development Disabilities) we need to let them know we are ready to work and excited about their programs.

The Kernacopians aggressively pursued new clients in the Athens area with a targeted outreach campaign that launched in December 2011.  The core message of the campaign, which included a brief letter, rack card and of course, business cards, was to introduce ourselves, give them a taste of our authentic approach to marketing and design and ask to meet with them after the holidays. By placing some well thought out information in front of key individuals at area organizations, we stayed top-of-mind through the noise and confusion of late December.

Now, as we continue to develop relationships with them, they remember our carefully crafted message and are eager to discuss possible partnerships with us. The Kernacopian’s community is propelled by imagination and guided by unique creativity. We are diligent, meticulous, loyal and have a passion for excellence. We have brought all that we are to the Athens office and look forward to the exciting challenges ahead.

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Bessie Likes... Bike Athens

The official mascot of our Athens office, Bessie is always in search of free space on a comfy couch. However, she also has a nose for local businesses that are doing some meaty marketing. This is all about the stuff that Bessie likes.

Bike_AthensThis month Bessie has chosen Bike Athens, a nonprofit whose mission is to “promote walking, cycling, and public transit as solutions to transportation needs in Athens through education, advocacy, and community service.”

A membership-driven organization, Bike Athens specializes in volunteer bike refurbishing and donation. They have created a policy work group that addresses transportation matters in the Athens-Clark County area and sponsor bike law abiding group rides as part of their education and outreach programs. They also provide free bike maps and a commuter assistance table at the Athens farmers market every third Saturday from April to December.

Bike Athens makes the most of their blog-style website by highlighting features, events, recent news and promoting their Flickr stream. The site also proudly displays their efforts and awards to make the Athens area bike-friendly – see the badges on the lower left side of the homepage.  The group sports a Facebook page which is linked to their Twitter page allowing for timely and efficient updates of both social media venues. One wonders what’s next for Bike Athens. A real-time traffic smart phone app, perhaps?

Bessie would like to add that alternative methods of transportation are also a great way to help shed the extra Holiday pounds, stay healthy and get to know your local area street by street. So how about it? Bike with us in 2012.

Thanks for your time, and stay tuned for more of what Bessie Likes!

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Socialize Strategically

I’m one that tends to be a planner —a trait I happen to consider a valuable asset—in life in general as well as in my approach to social media marketing activities.

It’s true. Social Media is an exciting phenomenon that presents endless opportunities to expand business relationships in a much broader manner than ever before. However, it’s been my observation that many organizations don’t strategize their social tactics in conjunction with their overall marketing and advertising plans. Rather than a casual approach, I believe effective brand promotion requires an aligned and thoughtful strategy. Social marketing is no exception.

Regardless of the marketing medium, results are often reliant on the tools you use. In order to optimize online efforts, it is important that your interactive repertoire is fully equipped with the basics before you begin. Thus, since SMO (Social Media Optimization) and SEO (Search Engine Optimization)—technically two different channels for online promotion—are slightly dependent upon each other, your Website is an essential component to consider when planning Social Media Marketing. Keep in mind, your Website is your virtual “front door” and serves as a first impression, so it should be aesthetically pleasing, easy to navigate and clearly representative of your brand personality, not to mention serving as the driving force behind social marketing.

Social media can take many different forms, including text, images, audio and video. Popular social networks such as LinkedIn®, Twitter®, Facebook® and YouTube® offer marketers a myriad of platforms to utilize. Choose the social communities that will be receptive to your message, integrate them in your Website homepage and commit your resources for optimal results.

Blog advertising is an additional method now at the forefront of most online marketing campaigns. Especially when incorporated into your primary Website, blogging prompts activity to relevant contextual links directly within your domain—one of the most important factors in determining your search engine (SEO) standings.

Another interactive connector is e-news publishing. While there are many programs available, Kernacopia maintains a standing relationship with MailChimp®—an easy way to communicate with our target audience and link directly to our social networks for consistent, hassle-free messaging capability.

So before you report your whereabouts in a Tweet, before you connect to other professionals on LinkedIn, before you share a picture of your team at the most recent bowling party on Facebook, before you upload a new television commercial to your company YouTube account for the world to see—make sure you have an ironclad plan in place and a solid reason for doing so—one that properly represents your brand, of course.

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The morning of January 18th, I had the pleasure today of speaking to the Ohio Women’s Bar Foundation Leadership Institute Class on “Using Social Media for Networking & Marketing”. What a great opportunity to meet with and contribute to the Continuing Legal Education efforts of these very bright young women!

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The Union County Volunteer Guardian Program

Creative Challenge:

A refreshed brand identity was needed to professionally represent the UCVGP within the community. Corresponding business cards and letterhead were also designed to serve as a representation of the new identity. More project are currently in the works, including a front page spotlight running in Hometown Connection next month… be sure to check it out!

 UCVGP.blogimage

Client Kudos:

"It’s been a pleasure to work with the team at Kernacopia. I’ve been impressed by the experience, creativity and attention to detail that they have provided for my projects. Thank you for a job well done!"

-Sally Leatherman, Executive Director, UCVGP

 

Click here to view our online portfolio!

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Supporting LIFE Works

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A dedicated community supporter for WorkNet—a division of UCBDD—Kernacopia recently had the pleasure of supporting an internship for Vivian Wu, an individual receiving services within their LIFE Works (Leveraging Internships For Employment) program. Vivian, a graphic design student, worked to develop this brochure for Brooke Russell, who is also a recipient of WorkNet services. A true win-win for all involved!

 

Click here to view our online portfolio!

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Check Your Mailbox

You could say my typography obsession began at an early age, although I didn’t have the design vocabulary to articulate it at the time. As a new school year approached—third grade I believe—I was most excited about penmanship class. We would be learning cursive this year! I meticulously practiced my loops and swirls on lined notebook paper until they were perfect. About that time I received my first calligraphy quill and bottle of India ink as a birthday gift. I dreamt of being the Staff Calligrapher for the White House (yes, there is such a thing) and even made a little money on the side lettering certificates and awards. So began my fixation and a relationship with type I would have for the rest of my life.

In this day an age, I’m sorry to say, hand lettering is a rarity. Most people have access to hundreds, if not thousands, of fonts right on their personal computer and it’s easier to select from a dropdown menu than to revisit an old art form. Before I sound too preachy, I’m even guilty of this myself. It just seems, well, easier. But I miss the warmth and personality of hand letter writing and fear that I have lost touch with something that gave me such joy as a child. Thus I’ve resolved this year, from both a professional and personal standpoint, to brush up on my hand-lettering skills.

So check your mailbox (yes, the one in front of your home), you just might find a personal note from me amidst the junk mail and circular flyers.

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New Year's Resolution

The time is quickly approaching when we ponder our New Year’s resolutions.

Have you thought about yours?

With out a doubt, this year’s resolution for me will be to commit to keeping my office space and desk better organized. I often struggle with this and it tends to cause me undo stress. So, I’ve decided to take a simple, tension-free approach. My process will be focused on three key actions with all incoming items—Keep, Categorize/File/Store, or Pitch.

keepstorepitch

It certainly isn’t rocket science, but a definite step forward for me toward living a more productive and serene life in 2012 and beyond.

Wishing all a Happy New Year!

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Perception Often Hinders True Success

It’s nearing a new year, and like many others we are in strategic plan development mode for 2012. While this process is time consuming, in order to be best prepared, it requires serious reflection and evaluation of past events as well as creative contemplation and introspection for the future.

Today, my reflection focuses on perception.

It’s been said, “perception is everything”, and seems to be what drives most people. However, that really doesn’t speak to how much we really want—or in many cases, need—to know when making a fully informed decision.

If all the important parts of the equation are not considered, you won’t get the results you expect or deserve. Even though it may require some additional time and effort, going a step or two beyond initial perception may prove to be quite revealing.

For example, when evaluating a service business, if a decision is based solely on perception, you may inadvertently overlook what could have been the perfect partner for your project. After all, aside from having the necessary skills to perform the work at hand, some of the most important characteristics—such as ethics, integrity, collective experience, core value system, quality control, communication methods, creative problem solving techniques and project management processes—are often the most critical components to ensuring overall project success and sustainability.

On the flip side, as a business owner with an experienced understanding that a reviewer’s initial perception is often the only chance we have to make an impression or be considered for an important project, our planning for such must include an annual effort for continued enhancement and improvement on all fronts.

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3conome

Creative Challenge:

Kernacopia was first tasked with creating a brand for 3conome, as well as its parent company (ecoffects) and sister company (recoal). Following brand development, both collateral materials and a website were required to get the new business on its feet in the marketplace. Watch for ecoffects and recoal materials and sites coming soon!

Client Kudos:

“Working with Kernacopia was an enjoyable and rewarding process. I want to personally thank the entire team for their outstanding efforts in creating the 3conome collateral materials and website. They were able to translate our vision into final products that far exceeded our expectations.”

—Mike Warren, 3conome

 

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An Adventure?

“Getting older is an adventure, not a problem.” This is one of my favorite quotes, which I have conspicuously displayed in my office. It helps to serve as a constant reminder that life is truly a myriad of blessings and opportunities for which I ought to give thanks daily.

This memorable quote originated from a U.S. immigrant who I revere as the ultimate expert on age. A senior among seniors, Antonio "Tony" Pierro (1896-2007) was, at age 110, recognized as the oldest living man in the United States and the world’s oldest living World War II veteran. A combat veteran—making him an even greater rarity—Antonio was also one of the last survivors of World War I.

If we happen to find ourselves as lucky as Antonio was, we will have the chance to experience and enjoy a long-lasting journey. After all, aging is a natural course. And, quite simply, one of the few certainties we have in life.

Mr. Pierro’s saying applies as a truth in the realm of business as well. Considering the many challenges presented each year, passing time can be viewed as a company’s greatest asset—if we as leaders are willing to learn and remain open to instigating and embracing positive change.

So, do I truly believe in the philosophy that getting older is an adventure? Absolutely. An exciting and rewarding one, at that. Provided, of course, that an optimistic and balanced outlook is maintained.

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Pen or Pencil?

Do you use a pen or a pencil? If someone asks you to take notes, jot something down, or make a sketch to illustrate a point, what instrument do you reach for? It seems a simple enough question, but the answer can take on a much more complex meaning.

There are those ideas written in pen. Ink meets paper, and there it is—permanent, unchangeable, steadfast—staring back from the page. One thought set in stone, you move on to the next. Then there are the things that are better suited for pencil. The malleable nature of the pencil allows endless options for adjustment. Erase, and thoughts can be enhanced. Add a line and form changes. Press hard or lightly to create different moods.  Add shading to create depth. Move words around the page as ideas solidify. Ever open to change, the humble pencil allows the inanimate to become animated. The page takes on life as it is modified.

Think about it. How many times have you conjured an idea and finalized it on the spot without so much as a second thought? Do we ever want to truly commit up front, no questions asked? Or does the ability to allow for change and refinement hold a value that we need to be sure to give ourselves freely?

In this world things are constantly evolving around us—ever-moving and requiring adaptation. Being open to the growth opportunities that this provides us is necessary to become our best selves and to promote our ideas to take on their best form. There are always ways in which to expand and improve.

So the next time you reach for something to write with… think for a second, and then make your choice.

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News at OnlineAthens.com: Marketing company expands

News release in Athens, GA:

http://onlineathens.com/business/2011-10-30/marketing-company-expands-athens

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Care Train of Union County

Creative Challenge:

A newly-refreshed logo was developed in conjunction with the organization’s 25th anniversary, providing an updated brand visual. The new logo was then implemented into a new look for the organization, to remain pertinent for a minimum of three years. Though the standard marketing vehicles have remained the same in format, all have received a design “face lift”. Creative design and intelligent use of such marketing tools will maintain and increase visibility and interest in Care Train and its mission, thus strengthening the organization, long-term.

Client Kudos:

“The Care Train of Union County is celebrating its 25th year of helping children, families, seniors and disabled adults who are experiencing economic difficulties during the Holiday Season. We’ve had the same logo for 25 years. We’ve had the same look for several years. We are recognized and trusted in the community. The question we kept asking ourselves…we’ve got a good thing, why change?

Care Train staff and volunteers brought our concerns to Kernacopia. If we were going to make a change, this was the year to do it. We wanted a new look—one that better identified all those we help. We wanted to refresh and modernize our logo. Kernacopia listened and made the transition easy. Always professional, their team presented us with terrific options to choose from!

We are very much looking forward to the next 25 years of supporting our community. Our partnership with Kernacopia has never been stronger and we are looking forward to working with them for many years to come.”

-Pam Klaus, Care Train of Union County

 

 

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Georgia Office Opens

An element of the company’s strategic business expansion effort, Kernacopia, Ltd. has opened a new satellite office in Athens, Georgia.

“Considering it’s unique blend of small town traditionalism and trend-setting Southern culture, Athens is a community well-suited to accommodate our creative personality,” President and CEO, Kristin Kern, avowed.  “Situated in the heart of the Boulevard District—a few short blocks from the University of Georgia—we’re very excited to experience a wide range of diverse opportunities the area has to offer and look forward to making new relationships along the way.”

The Athens office, managed by This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , is now operational Monday through Friday. Kernacopia’s current business model and nature of work performed—coupled with robust processes and procedures driven by a custom, online project management system—presents a market of opportunity without boundaries. The company’s client base encompasses a wide variety of industries and non-profit entities throughout the U.S. and abroad.

Established in 2003, and headquartered in Marysville, Ohio, Kernacopia—a full-service marketing group whose passion and strength is creative problem solving—offers a wide spectrum of marketing services including strategy, creative planning, branding, print, packaging, Web & interactive, graphic and product design, point-of-sale, copywriting and filmmaking. For more information visit www.kernacopia.com.

 

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Fasten Down & Button Up

Fastening down for fall and buttoning up for warmth—I’m thoroughly enjoying the season change. Heck, bring on the snow!

Living in the “heartland” of Ohio comes with such a beautiful change of seasons. Some dread the cold, darker winters—which can, at times, seem a bit long—though I’m pretty convinced that I wouldn’t enjoy living in an unchanged outdoor environment with only few seasonal changes. Inertia is a powerful thing. Especially when you consider it in the context of your everyday surroundings. Even just a new arrangement in your workspace, hanging a photo or piece of art on the wall or maybe a creative method of accomplishing your daily tasks can all help to refresh. So tuck away the summer capris and button up to enjoy some crisp air!

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Road Trip

Recently I experienced my first road trip to Canada! Oh my, what an adventure it was—especially when I crossed the border—those stories I've tucked away in my life's lessons scrapbook! With a goal to see a new part of the world, I also had the wonderful experience of meeting with our client, Swanson's Jewellers in Stratford, Ontario. Just seeing excited, smiling faces as I unveiled their new appraisal package materials was a treat in and of itself—not to mention the basket of sweet treats they gifted in return—both making the entire trip worthwhile. On behalf of the entire Kernacopia team, I extend sincere gratitude to Debra, Janet and Kristy for their hospitality!

Until next time,

Grace Cooper

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Listen Carefully

Our office—often described by those who visit as warm and welcoming—is also an active source of inspiration for creative, eclectic minds. With bold colors—true to the Kernacopia brand—welcoming us every day, and each workstation tastefully expressing independent personalities, the aesthetics of our environment only constitute one component of that which nurtures our team’s imagination. In fact, the abundant creative solutions we produce often materialize as a result of what we hear!

Considering the art of creative listening as a fundamental step in our Creative Journey, we realize that only in the act of doing so, a wide spectrum of concepts will evolve. And while the expression “creative listening” may sound more like an industry cliché, it’s important to note exactly what we listen to and why!

Aside from the initial probing process¬ and conversations that allow us to delve into the varied situations that challenge our clients—filling in the blanks of silence—we’re attentive to the tacit opportunities each of those challenges present. In concept, we explore and produce a chorus of reaction with a breath of color, a vision of pure design and a shyness (or boldness) of difference.

Even in the sounds of our everyday movement—whether it’s simple team interaction, the tapping of a keyboard, a sudden outburst of exuberant declaration or a voice of heart-felt concern—it’s only through a process of listening that we’re able to uncover secrets for improvement and translate them into marketing effectiveness.

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[August, 2011] Colleen

Team mentality
 

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