Z Blog

The foundation of building a brand starts with taking a new perspective. The world is constantly evolving, and with it, so are our thoughts and ideas. Our people share insights on various topics within the industry in hopes of discovering common bonds and sparking conversations.
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Video marketing

With so many platforms, it can be hard to tell what type of video content should be posted where. Vimeo and YouTube are the established players on the block, while Vine and Instagram have disrupted the way we consume and share video. Lots of similarities and differences exist within this group. Here we’ll break down some of that list. ###YouTube YouTube (owned by Google) is the most popular video sharing website in the world. It has more than one billion unique visitors each month, and is the second largest search engine used. It’s free to create an account, and has no restrictions on uploads (as...
Abby Otting
Posted by Abby Otting
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Presentation success

Presentation success is crucial in the agency world. We are continuously sharing creative concepts and final work products with our clients and colleagues. No matter what your agency role, you will have to present work in some shape or form. Presenting in front of a group can be intimidating. All eyes are on you. You hope you can effectively communicate and find the right words to illustrate your purpose. You hope you don’t stumble over your sentences. You hope you are charismatic and a bit entertaining in order to avoid boring the entire group. Here are four quick tips to remember next time you have...
Abby Otting
Posted by Abby Otting
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Tenets of PR

The PR industry is changing at such a rapid rate that it can be hard to keep up. Newspapers are coughing, sputtering and dying, newsrooms turn inside out, new social media platforms arise daily as do new Google search algorithms (and by the way, when I signed up to study PR, it never had anything to with algorithms, for Pete’s sake!). With all the focus on what’s new and what’s changing, let’s take a look at a few of the tenets of PR that will never change. 1. ####Reading Good PR people need to read everything they can get their hands on. They must have...
Abby Otting
Posted by Abby Otting
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Embrace boredom

Picture this scenario: You’re sitting at your desk, trying to come up with an idea, design or even just the right word to say, then the ever-dreaded creative block enters. All of a sudden, this overwhelming need for activity hits you! A need to stimulate your brain in the hopes of coming up with a solution. In a world where multi-tasking and productivity is praised, and the idea of getting it all done as quick as possible is ideal, it has become hard to appreciate and allow ourselves to take that break we need. When we are taking those breaks, most of the time we...
Abby Otting
Posted by Abby Otting
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Effective websites

With so much noise out there, it is crucial to keep brand conversations clear and brief. If a message isn’t relatable and pertinent, chances are the audience is already on to the next site, ad or store. The concept of “Chekhov’s Gun” states that in a dramatic environment, all details should be necessary and all extra “stuff” should be removed. The exact quote is akin to “One must never place a loaded rifle on stage if it isn’t going to go off.” A similar concept I am proposing is this: If you show me a fiddle, you better know how to play the thing. This...
Abby Otting
Posted by Abby Otting
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Lessons from my dog

As I watch my husband, a former police canine handler and trainer, work with our dogs, I am struck by the simplicity and obvious lessons to be learned. Every audience -- whether they are customers, employees or dogs -- is motivated by rewards. The key to affecting change is to make sure to reward the behavior you want. My 8-year-old bloodhound/lab mix LOVES to go for a walk. From the moment I would lace up my shoes and put on a baseball cap, he started leaping and twirling in the air, knowing it was time to head outside. This was all very cute and adorable...
Abby Otting
Posted by Abby Otting
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Authentic, artisanal brands

Consumer trends have markets moving from global brands with standardized processes to small artisanal brands that are hand crafted out of local culture. The global homogenizing of culture overall has increased the need for authentic identities and fueled a resurfacing of regional heritage. The desire for authenticity and truth have risen to the forefront of consumer needs, as well as the critical need for innovation. In today's market, it will take addressing each of these needs to truly differentiate a brand and to form meaningful connections with consumers. But what is authentic? And where do we find truth? With large corporate brands using meaningless product...
Abby Otting
Posted by Abby Otting
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Swirl of frustration

We all can get stressed at our job, but the important thing to remember is not to let this frustration overcome you. These tips may help when you feel a wave of frustration start to rise up: ###Learn what your triggers are Do you start to panic when surprised? Does the idea of presenting an idea to a client make your heart race? Are you unable to hear yourself think when you’re in a loud environment? It’s important to analyze and understand what your triggers are to help prevent a potential stressful situation. ###Understand the point of view of others We are all shaped by...
Abby Otting
Posted by Abby Otting
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Young professionals

Almost 15 years out of college, I’ve been fortunate enough to establish some solid experience in our industry. After multiple positions and lots of hard work, I’m in a place in my career where I’m starting to offer advice to those just starting out. Here are a few short thoughts I’ve learned from experience building my career’s foundation: ###Adapt to true definitions of leadership It isn’t a stretch to say that everyone who is career-minded wants to exhibit leadership. The problem for young professionals is they’re drawing on a relatively limited pool of examples of great leadership. For those new to flexing their leadership chops,...
Abby Otting
Posted by Abby Otting
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Springtime work

If you’re from any where in the Midwest to the East Coast, you’ve had quite the winter this year. Born and raised in Cincinnati, I can’t remember a time where it snowed so much and stuck around for so long (I wasn’t around yet during the legendary winter of 1977.) It’s been a long three months filled with snow days, traffic jams and layers upon layers, but daylight savings time this past weekend seemed to have made the official switch! While the point of daylight savings time has been debated for years, and many people have strong opinions about it, I try to see the...
Abby Otting
Posted by Abby Otting

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