Lenz Marketing 2019 Recap Collage

2019 was a remarkable year for Lenz, featuring a wide array of new clients, projects, and teammates.

Here’s our recap of the year.

By the Numbers

Here’s a look at some of our highlights, by the numbers.

    1. Six websites designed 
    2. 1,800 media hits across digital, television, radio, and print platforms
    3. Over 200 blogs written covering topics such as healthcare marketing, business initiatives, and SEO management.
    4. 10 new clients
    5. 13,000 social posts
      1. 21 million impressions
    6. 18 Lenz-led public speaking events where our team members shared their marketing expertise with a captivated audience

New Partnerships in 2019

2019 included a number of new relationships with phenomenal clients.

1: Hillside Atlanta: A 150-year-old organization providing behavioral health services to youths

2: Horizon Air Freight: An international shipping and logistics company

3: United Physician Group: A multi-state primary care and pain management practice

4: Covington Women’s Health: An OBGYN practice focused on women’s health

5: Cumberland Caverns Live: A live music venue — called the Volcano Room — located 333 feet below ground at a national natural landmark cave in McMinnville, TN. 

6: City of Brookhaven Census: An initiative to drive participation in the 2020 Federal Census

7: Montgomery Eye: An affiliate of Eye South Partners, this is a complete staff of ophthalmologists, optometrists and trained technical support located in Montgomery, Alabama. 

Lenz On Business Brings in Star after Star

Throughout 2019, “Lenz on Business,” the Lenz-owned and produced weekly business talk show on 95.5 FM WSB, featured intimate conversations with an array of business leaders, including John Schuerholz of the Atlanta Braves, Alan Stukalsky with Randstad North America; Catherine Hernandez-Blades with Aflac; Derrick Johnson with UPS; and Pat Warner with Waffle House.

Lenz on Business guest graphic.

Lenz on Business guest graphic two.

Lenz Takes on the Windy City alongside Preferred Podiatry Group

Lenz had the honor of partnering with Preferred Podiatry Group (PPG) to organize their 2019 PPG Healthcare Summit, assisting the practice with event planning, communications, and execution. The 2019 Summit took place June 21-22, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois and hosted more than 100 affiliated physicians and industry leaders from across the country.

The Summit included exciting Chicago-themed activities, such as an architecture boat cruise down the Chicago River and a Cubs game at Wrigley Field–in addition to educational lectures and panels given by PPG leaders and affiliated physicians. Outstanding members of PPG were also honored throughout the Summit weekend.

Photo of Preferred Podiatry Group award.

Photo of Preferred Podiatry Group in Chicago.

Photo of Preferred Podiatry Group at a baseball game.

Tampa Aesthetic & Plastic Surgery Gets a Rebrand

Lenz developed a new logo and visual identity for Tampa Aesthetic & Plastic Surgery, balancing the practice brand with the personal brand of its lead physician, Dr. Joseph Brown.

Photo of TAPS office and sign.

Photo of TAPS office's doors.

Georgia Urology’s Website Redesign and Video Creation 

As the stewards of Georgia Urology’s brand, Lenz endeavored to refresh some of the practice’s key assets, including their WSB-TV commercial, recruitment tools. 

With the generous help of many Georgia Urology physicians, we updated their television spot–featuring their incredible team, adding a really personal touch from the providers:

Then, after hundreds of hours of work, the team updated the Georgia Urology website: the practice’s digital front door. Along with a newer, cleaner look, the site implemented user-friendly navigation. The optimized design and structure yielded results: increasing online appointment requests by 23% in its first few months live. 

Screenshot of Georgia Urology website.

Georgia Urology is the largest urology practice in the southeast, and they’re always growing and looking for new, talented providers. To aid in their pursuit of dedicated team members, the Lenz team–with CFF Media–created a powerful recruiting tool to inspire the next generation of Georgia Urology team members. 

Atlanta Science Festival Spreads a Love for Science

For four years, Lenz has worked with the phenomenal Atlanta Science Festival (ASF) team. This annual two-week Festival celebrates local science and technology every March, featuring more than 100 events throughout metro Atlanta and reaching 50,000 children and adults annually. Lenz helps ASF with a wide variety of marketing services, including social media, digital content development, website and graphic design, public relations, and advertising. We continued this integrated partnership in 2019, producing updated visuals and strategies for ASF’s owned, earned, and paid media efforts.

2018 Poster:

Photo of 2018 Atlanta Science Festival poster.

2019 Visual Update:

Photo of the 2019 update to the Atlanta Science Festival poster.

Our 2019 efforts produced 81,177,807 advertising impressions, 234 media hits, and 16,547 social media engagements. Additionally, the 2019 festival saw increased attendance numbers across the board — 55,000 total festival attendees (up from 53,000 in 2018) and 29,000 Exploration Expo attendees (up from 25,000 in 2018).

In addition to this ongoing festival work, the Lenz team helped the Atlanta Science Festival develop and solidify its parent identity, Science ATL, which works to bring people together through the wonder of science year-round.

Logo

Science ATL logo.

 Website

Check out the full website here.

Science ATL screenshot of the website.

Social Media

We developed and currently manage the brand’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts.

Screenshot of Science ATL Facebook.

Elevating a Practice Brand through Video

What steps does it take to showcase a brand through video? Lenz knows how, and we were thrilled to create such a video for SouthCoast Health, a healthcare organizations with over 120 healthcare professionals encompassing more than 20 specialties and services.

To start, Lenz developed a script and storyboard for the video before procuring the vendor for the video. We also served as the intermediary between the client and the production team for the film schedule, production, set, and talent needs. Following, we helped to oversee the rounds of edits and feedback on the rough cuts of the footage drafted.

Check out the final video below!

The Team Helps Celebrate the Arrival of Spring with the Brookhaven Cherry Blossom Festival

What do you get when you mix incredible live entertainment, a whimsical artist market featuring 100 regional artisans, a Kidz Zone loaded with fun, the popular “Pet World,” a Classic Car Show, a delicious food court and a Peachtree Road Race qualifier to kick the whole thing off – all set in a beautiful park? The Brookhaven Cherry Blossom Festival, which ushers in the springtime on March 30 and 31 from 10 am to 6 pm Blackburn Park, a true landmark of the hopping City of Brookhaven – just 15 minutes north of downtown Atlanta!

Lenz Marketing was proud to work with Brookhaven Cherry Blossom Festival to promote their weekend-long event, and we had a blast while doing it. Check out some of our favorite social posts from 2019 here:

Screenshot of Brookhaven Cherry Blossom Festival social post one

Screenshot of Brookhaven Cherry Blossom Festival social post two

Screenshot of Brookhaven Cherry Blossom Festival social post three

SEO Analysis and Consultation for Wrench Group

The Wrench Group, LLC is a national leader in home maintenance, repair and replacement services specializing in heating, ventilation, air conditioning, plumbing, and electrical services. In 2019, they approached Lenz and asked for our expert team to study some of their biggest affiliated companies’ blog traffic in order to implement a successful SEO strategy that would allow their website content to flourish. As SEO enthusiasts, Lenz was excited to tackle the task, and help Wrench Group optimize its online presence. 

Organizing and Orchestrating an EyeSouth Partners Retreat

Lenz spent six months planning and producing a three-day continuing education retreat for EyeSouth Partners affiliated doctors and their families. Held at the luxurious Boca Raton Resort from January 11-13, 2019, the weekend consisted of educational lectures, group beach activities, and bountiful amounts of food and fun.

EyeSouth Partners branded doctor’s pin

EyeSouth Partners branded doctor’s pin

T-shirt design for beach activity

T-shirt design for beach activity

Group photo of EyeSouth Partners affiliated doctors

Group photo of EyeSouth Partners affiliated doctors

Lenz Extends Marketing and Social Media Reach for Cumberland Caverns Live

Photo of the venue at Cumberland Caverns Live

Cumberland Caverns Live, a recent addition to the Southeast music scene, tapped Lenz to develop its marketing and social media brand, following its inaugural season in 2018. Artists like the Allman Betts Band, John Stuckley Trio, Deer Tick, and Devotchka have played memorable shows 333 feet below ground. Those performances were inside the visually striking and sonically rich World Famous Volcano Room at Cumberland Caverns in McMinnville, Tennessee. 

To help raise CCL’s visibility and grow its audience for 2019, Lenz deployed an efficient marketing strategy including content creation, paid social, and targeted radio, digital, and print advertising. Lenz created new visual assets leveraging CCL’s striking performance imagery and band photography. Our team upgraded CCL’s social media channels, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, with consistent content cadence and high quality visual imagery. We also forged advertising partnerships with music and specialty publications in nearby markets like Nashville and Chattanooga such as Lightning 100 and Nashville Scene. 

2019’s season was Cumberland Caverns Live’s best yet. While the live entertainment industry regroups from COVID-19 this year, we are working to make 2021 even better for our client.

Doubling Campaign Numbers with Emory 

2019 marked the third year of our successful integrated marketing campaign for Emory Law’s Juris Master degree. The campaign leveraged traditional media (radio, print, PR), with targeted digital tools such as Google Ads, remarketing, and Facebook with customized messaging according to geography and concentration. 

And in 2019, our partners within the law school charged Lenz with taking the campaign to the next level: they asked us to generate 50% more inquiries from prospective students compared to the previous year. To do this, Lenz amplified its digital strategy and took the campaign national: targeting geographies like Washington D.C., Austin, TX, Orlando, FL, Raleigh-Durham, NC, Virginia, and beyond. Coupled with strategic print, radio, and streaming campaigns, the campaign delivered: by the end, it had yielded almost 60% more inquiries than the previous year–more than 500 conversions in fewer than twenty weeks. 

Plus, the campaign got a face-lift, embracing all new images and graphics, now unique to the degree.

Helping Marietta Plastic Surgery expand its reach via Pinterest

Lenz helped Marietta Plastic Surgery extend their reach to Pinterest this year. In addition to being a successful marketing tool, Pinterest also functions as a search platform, which helps prospective patients find relevant resources and updates in real-time. Marietta Plastic Surgery’s Pinterest is already off to a strong start with a curated mix of promotional practice materials and relatable lifestyle content boards. To see examples of those, click here for the Marietta Plastic Surgery “Meet Our Doctors board and the quotes board

Screenshot of MPS Facebook.

If you are looking to elevate your marketing, Lenz is here to help. Click here to reach out to us or give us a call at 404-373-2021.

No, no, we are not satisfied and will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

— The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “I Have a Dream” speech, August 28, 1963.

Dr. King’s dream was that America would fulfill its promise that “all men — black men as well as white men — would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

His monumental speech can be distilled, in a sense, to three simple but powerful words: Black Lives Matter.

We are disgusted and heartbroken by the recent murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor, and we condemn racism and injustice towards the black community from any corner. Police brutality must stop.

The right to assemble and protest — and freedom of speech and of the press — is a Constitutional right enshrined for all Americans in the First Amendment.

Words are important but deeds are most powerful and more should be done. Lenz for three decades has worked to help build healthier, safer, and stronger communities. But no, no, we are not satisfied. We are forming a task force with the following pledge:

  1. To listen and understand. We will work to educate our company top to bottom on racism and its effects.
  2. To push for justice. We will work within our communities to emphasize equal justice and law enforcement regardless of race.
  3. To create additional economic opportunities for minorities and minority owned businesses through Lenz’s hiring and business practices, including the use of an outside consultant for guidance.
  4. To continue our long history of support and donations to a wide array of community and philanthropic organizations and initiatives, in the areas of economic disparity, education, healthcare, and the environment.

This work is just the start, but we are committed to the long-term journey of building a more equitable, peaceful, and prosperous society for all.

By Richard J. Lenz

Perspective is everything, especially when your goal is wisdom. Try to describe your hand accurately when it is held half an inch from your face: you can’t. When you move it further away, it becomes much more obvious what you’ve been looking at.

When we gain perspective about this tough period we are all living through, I wonder what important lessons will we have gained? And what will we have lost?

There’s a very funny John Mulaney joke where he remarks how his boomer dad keeps going into a room to read about World War II — as if he was cramming for some World War II quiz show.

His father’s interest may relate to wanting to understand the most impactful event of the 20th Century, which not only produced immeasurable global destruction, suffering, and genocide but paradoxically also gave us the “Greatest Generation” and biggest economic boom in America. Those that lived through it, they ultimately shaped our values, ethics, and spirit for the next 60 years with incredible ingenuity, service, and humility.

Comparing this pandemic to “war” is not 100 percent accurate. However — as in wartime – our personal, family, and work lives are being hit with wrenching news as we all are trying to keep moving in a positive direction while making uncertain plans.

My hope and faith is that the American people, as in wartime, will bring our best selves to the task, and at the other end of this period there will be an awakening and reorientation that sets a positive course – and more good will eventually come from this bad.

Already, I am seeing evidence of this everywhere.

Perhaps we may have learned that much of what we thought was important is less so now. And what we took for granted is now quite precious: Big things like competent and honest government, a fully functioning economy, and feeling safe in public spaces. And smaller things like a child’s birthday party, a dinner with friends, and a hug from a loved one you can’t quite touch.

Screenshot of Christine Mahin's desk.

Since mid-March, #TeamLenz has been working at home to ensure the safety of our team. It wasn’t an easy decision to leave our offices in Decatur Square and transition to working remotely, but our employees were dedicated to doing our part to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

To celebrate how our incredible workers stay productive during these trying times, we created a social media series, “Desk of the Day.” This series features photos of our work-from-homes spaces, and gives a behind-the-scenes glimpse into how our team members continue to do incredible work for all of our clients, even in the face of a pandemic.  

Check out the series below! 

Ben Barnes, Creative Director 

Headshot of Ben Barnes and screenshot of his desk.

“I use this space for my personal art projects as well as my daily work so it’s part art supply storage, part workspace. My desk is actually a giant light table covered in cutting mats that I use for larger x-acto projects. It’s been very inspiring working in this environment as I typically have limited time to spend here. The walls around my desk are a gallery for my kid’s art projects which I love seeing every day. I hate the circumstances that have caused us to be working remotely, but I love all the extra time I get to spend with my wife and kids.”

Carey Blankenship, Digital Content Specialist 

Headshot of Carey with a screenshot of her work from home office.

“Since I’m a fiction writer too, I’ve already got an incredible work from home space. For those struggling with this new reality, I find what really helps is being strict about your schedule BUT also finding ways to squeeze in what you love. Light a candle, wear a comfy blanket, but also eliminate distractions like TV or Animal Crossing (which I’m playing a lot of as soon as work is over!)”

Christine Mahin, Accounts and Operations Director 

Headshot of Christine Mahin with a screenshot of her work from home office.

“Growing up an only child, I always craved alone time, so it has come as a real surprise to me how desperately I miss my Lenz work family. But it’s made every phone call I have with my teammates so much more special and meaningful.

There are absolutely benefits from working at home (I’m looking at you, Lulu Lemon pants), but I can’t wait to get back into the office and collaborate with my friends and coworkers.”

Meagan Maron, Account Manager

Headshot of Meagan Maron with a screenshot of her work from home office.

“After a recent move to a smaller space, I got rid of my desk. So, when it came time to set-up a home office for social distancing, I had to get creative and work with what I had. I cleared off my grandmother’s antique table in the corner of my room and pulled out an old stool from childhood for an office chair.

My mousepad is a Father’s Day gift I gave my dad when I was little. He gave it back to me when I got my first job. I used my Art History textbook to give the monitor extra height. All of these items make my working from home space cozy and comforting.”

Anna Laura McGranahan, Media Coordinator

Headshot of Anna Laura McGranahan with a screenshot of her work from home office.

“I’m definitely missing Team Lenz, but I’ve been spending a lot of time with my furry coworker, Percy. The desk I had in my room was too small for my work monitors, so I ended up moving my kitchen table into my bedroom and it’s working great! I hope everyone is staying safe and well. We’ll get through this together!”

Lizzi Skipper, Web Developer

Headshot of Lizzi Skipper with a screenshot of her work from home office.

“Working from home is challenging, but it also pushes me to be more innovative in ways I communicate with coworkers and clients. The best part is being able to work in PJs and having daily emotional support from my furry friends!”

Annice Wyatt, Intern 

Headshot of Annice Wyatt with a screenshot of her work from home desk.

“I started working at Lenz about two weeks before we began working remotely. I was definitely nervous at first — being so new to the company. However, communication and productivity are at an all-time high. We are all getting so much amazing work done for our clients. Working with such an incredible team of people has been a major highlight and honor even during these challenging times.”

Want Lenz to assist you with all your marketing needs? We’d love to speak with you and learn about your company goals. Click here to reach out to #TeamLenz today! 

Lenz recently hosted “Marketing Telehealth in the time of COVID-19,” a webinar designed to help healthcare providers navigate the opportunities and challenges they are facing during the pandemic.

The webinar was presented by Vice President of Marketing Mike Killeen and Marketing Specialist Tom Bell. 

Over 70 participants tuned in for a discussion concerning how hospitals, physician practices, healthcare leaders, and clinicians can make the most of telehealth to care for their patients during this crisis while positioning their practices for growth when the crisis has passed. Killeen and Bell also examined how best practices for branding, marketing, and communications can be applied to telehealth for better results.

Topics included:

  • Major telehealth trends and how they impact our audiences.
  • What practices are doing now to adopt telehealth during the crisis.
  • How loosening regulations have impacted healthcare business.
  • Best practices for branding telehealth experience.
  • How to successfully market telehealth services – and grow practices.
  • Tips to improve video presentations when connecting with patients.
  • Opportunities to plan for after the crisis subsides.

Among those who attended were:

  • Hospital and practice administrators/leadership
  • Physicians
  • Chief Marketing officers
  • Healthcare consultants
  • Media

Didn’t get a chance to tune into the webinar live? You can view the full discussion here. 

If you have any further questions about marketing telemedicine, the experts at Lenz Marketing would love to help. Click here to reach out to us today

A graphic with Rae standing in front of a brick wall at Agnes Scott with the Agnes Scott logo to her left.

Lenz Marketing Media Coordinator Rae Steinberg recently spoke on two professional panels at her alma mater, Agnes Scott College.

The first  — “What I Wish I Would Have Known” — was a panel designed for current juniors and seniors to hear about pre- and post-graduation experiences directly from recent graduates. Rae gave her best advice for those in their final years at Agnes Scott.  

In the second panel, “Why the DPortoflio,” Rae spoke to students on the importance of a professional digital presence. Rae was one of many professionals across various fields and professions that answered questions and discussed the benefits of having a professional digital presence. 

Interested in learning more about how Team Lenz regularly gives back to the community? Click here to start a conversation with us today

Black and white photo of a woman filling out a medical history form.

Successful marketing is all about storytelling, and to effectively tell stories, you need real-life narratives. When it comes to healthcare marketing, those narratives are coming from people and patients whose sensitive health information needs to be protected. The key in marketing healthcare is making it connective and relatable to an audience while protecting highly personal, sensitive, and regulated information. That’s why Lenz Marketing is proud to be a HIPAA compliant organization.

What are the benefits of working with a HIPAA certified marketing agency, and what are the dangers of non-compliance? Lenz Marketing, Atlanta’s top healthcare marketers, is answering these questions and more in the blog below! 

What is HIPAA?

If you’re working within the healthcare space, it’s essential to have a comprehensive understanding of HIPAA policy. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) was established to adopt national standards for healthcare transactions, health information, and security between covered entities. 

The ultimate goal of HIPAA is to secure Protected Health Information (PHI). PHI includes any information that could be used to identify a patient, including, but not limited to: name, address, photos, and Internet Protocol addresses. You can view the full list of PHI at HIPAA Journal.

In 2009, the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH Act) was signed into law, created to motivate electronic health records (EHR) and supporting technology in the United States. The HITECH Act expanded the scope of electronic privacy and security protections available under HIPAA compliance regarding electronically protected health information (ePHI).

Why Does HIPAA Matter for Healthcare Marketing?

HIPAA compliance is vital to healthcare marketing, especially in our technologically-driven world. A healthcare marketing agency that is HIPAA-compliant will be able to advocate for your patient’s privacy and protect your practice from HIPAA violations, fines, and penalties.

Here are a few of the top considerations for why HIPAA compliance matters with healthcare marketing:

Website

An encrypted, HIPAA-compliant website is an absolute must if you are collecting any identifiable information. If your website includes any form fills or additional requests for patient information, it’s your job to protect that information and ensure it is accessed in a secure, regulated fashion.

Social Media & Digital Content

When using patient experiences to create social media, blog, video, or advertising content, you need to meet all standards of HIPAA compliance. This should include obtaining written permission from the patient, removing personally identifiable information, and ensuring PHI is not present in any digital assets that could be traced back to a patient.

Online Review & Reputation Management

Patient testimonials and public reviews inherently contain PHI. As marketing moves more and more into the digital world, many patients opt to leave reviews in public forums, like Google, Yelp, and social media platforms. A public response from the practice or company is nearly always recommended, and should always be HIPAA-compliant. Depending on the nature of the comment or review, taking the conversation offline can be the best way to remain compliant and avoid disclosing any PHI.

HIPAA Compliance application and stethoscope on a desk.

What Are the Dangers of Non-Compliance?

A HIPAA violation occurs when a HIPAA covered entity or employee fails to comply with any aspect of HIPAA standards, including disclosing excessive PHI, misuse of information, and failing to notify an individual of a breach in their personal information. You can find a list of the most common HIPAA violations here.

“The danger of non-compliance is adversely affecting real people and families by leaking their sensitive information. We’ve been entrusted with that information and have a duty to those people.” – Ricky Pattillo, Lenz Compliance Officer

The penalties for HIPAA violations can be severe, ranging from $100 fines to million-dollar settlements. Multi-million dollar fines have been issued as recently as 2018, with Anthem’s breach settlement of $16 million. HIPAA violations can be discovered through internal audits or through an individual or employee filing an official complaint. Learn more about penalties for HIPAA violations here.

How a HIPAA Compliance Officer Can Help Your Business

Any business or organization that is considered a covered entity should have at least one HIPAA Compliance Officer. Compliance officers are responsible for maintaining a HIPAA-compliant privacy program, investigating possible breaches of PHI, and ensuring patient’s privacy rights. HIPAA Compliance Officers should also develop security policies, risk assessments, and training for all employees who come into contact with PHI.

Logo with the healthcare logo with HIPAA in front, sayins Lenz is a HIPAA compliant organization.

Why Lenz Marketing is HIPAA Certified

Lenz has always been focused on responsibly handling health information (PHI), but in 2017 we decided to invest in a company-wide initiative to educate our entire staff on the intricacies of HIPAA laws. As healthcare marketers working with a variety of clients, it is of the utmost importance that everyone at Lenz understands the evolving world of properly marketing healthcare and protecting patients.

group shot of Team Lenz with their HIPAA certifications

Every staff member at Lenz is HIPAA-certified, and we even have a HIPAA task force to help interpret and manage complicated situations that occasionally arise. – Christine Mahin, Lenz HIPAA Compliance Officer

The rules about protecting PHI are constantly evolving and needing interpretation and risk assessment – one of the reasons we have a HIPAA task force! At Lenz, our HIPAA Compliance Officers, Christine Mahin and Ricky Pattillo, ensure that our clients’ websites and owned channels remain HIPAA-compliant. Additionally, they confirm all new Lenz employees complete a HIPAA training course as part of their onboarding process.

Two Lenz team members, Anna Laura and Carey, hold up their certifications.

Interested in learning more about how HIPAA-compliant marketing can help drive results and ensure patient safety? Contact Atlanta’s top healthcare marketers experts at Lenz Marketing today.

By Richard J. Lenz

Lenz believes literacy and the written word are two essential foundations to human progress and to that end we have supported the DeKalb County Library System, the Georgia Center for the Book, and the AJC Decatur Book Festival, for many years. I’ve served on all three boards, and was a founder of the book festival.

The DeKalb County Library system is considered one of the best in the country. Their fundraiser is on Sept. 19 in Decatur and it’s a lot of fun. Tickets are found here and you get delicious tapas, prizes, and other goodies and can go toe-to-toe in a Trivia Contest against DeKalb’s finest. I know Lenz’s trivia hounds will be there, trying to take home the crown.

Also this upcoming weekend is the AJC Decatur Book Festival. Always interesting and a lot of fun, it’s free to the public and a great family outing. The festival is always looking for volunteers, and it is a great way to get involved in something that has a fantastic positive impact on Atlanta.

Hope to see you at one or the other, or both!

— Richard J. Lenz

By Richard J. Lenz

At Lenz, our goal is to effectively use the wide variety of strategies and tools of marketing communications for the companies, organizations, people, and causes we believe are trying to make the world a better place. Most of our clients have built businesses based on a personal calling. They are helping the sick, educating future generations, or leading innovative nonprofits that have identified issues that need action. Others are growing innovative companies that solve human problems in a more efficient, cost-effective way.

We are proud of our clients’ accomplishments as they grow, innovate, and constantly push to be better at delivering their mission. They are successful because they aren’t “one-and-done” with their efforts, but like effective marketing communications, they keep at it, pushing and constantly tweaking “the way we do things around here.” Which gets me to my story.

Some may remember when Time magazine was a “thought leader” in media. Their spin-off company, Time-Life Books, would publish and market book series that were excellent overviews of a subject, with beautiful photography and illustrations, written by the top experts at the time, about a wide diversity of subjects such as science, art, cooking, and history.

One such set was The American Wilderness, which featured the best-of-the-best natural areas of North America, with single volumes on Alaska, the Cascades, Baja California, and Appalachians. Interestingly, editors decided that there was a place in southeast Georgia ranked high enough to merit a full-book treatment: The Okefenokee Swamp.

It’s a 700-square mile black water swamp ecosystem, the largest in North America, greater than the area encircled by Interstate 285, formed by a natural sandy ridge that acts as a dam that backs up the flow of water to the Georgia coast. If you have ever visited the swamp, you will agree with me that it is a beautiful and unforgettable experience.

After decades of local, state, and national protection, the National Wildlife Refuge was threatened in the late 1990s when DuPont purchased the rights to mine the titanium found in the ridge soils. A broad coalition was formed to prevent this from happening, and ultimately, after six years, a deal was done and the land was donated to The Conservation Fund. During that effort, Lenz was lucky to play a role in helping the Georgia Wildlife Federation and others message the importance of the swamp through a variety of “marketing communications” efforts.

Guess what? Not “one and done.” The threat is back.

Twin Pines Minerals, of Birmingham, Alabama, has applied for a Clean Water permit to strip mine near the boundaries of the National Wildlife Refuge. The permit is under review and open for public comment. You can find a news story and their application here.

Mining is a valuable, necessary, and underappreciated activity that provides the essential raw materials upon which modern life depends. We can’t live like we do without minerals. They are needed for (almost) everything.

Mining by definition affects the landscape. And like all human activities, there is a trade-off. We can’t get to useful minerals without disturbing the ground. However, we should evaluate whether the gains are worth the losses, and be able to make smart choices. For example, none of us want a mine in our backyards. How about in Yellowstone National Park? And how about this precious ecosystem? Is anywhere off limits if there is a dollar to be made by a company that donated to a particular candidate or party?

What is now happening in South Georgia isn’t a surprise. Our current leadership in Washington, D.C., has opened up mining to 2 million acres of formerly protected lands, which belong to all Americans. Former lobbyists of extraction industries are now running the Environmental Protection Administration, doing everything they can to weaken 50-year-old laws (which were established by a Republican president) that have safeguarded us and our natural resources. The EPA was formed to protect us from threats of dirty air and water, not help create more. This same administration is trying to weaken the popular Endangered Species Act, which passed the House in 1973 by a vote of 355-4 in the House.

If you care to learn more about the strip mine, I have some suggestions.

First, if you have never visited the Refuge, I recommend that you do. A simple Google search will lead you to a variety of parks and experiences. It is a natural wonder. Or get involved and support the organizations that are trying to make sure the public’s interest is not forgotten: One Hundred Miles, Southern Environmental Law Center, The Georgia Conservancy, the Nature Conservancy, or the Georgia Chapter of the Sierra Club.

We need mines, but not one here.

Carey Blankenship, Media Coordinator at Lenz Marketing, recently earned her master’s degree in Writing and Digital Communications at Agnes Scott. To celebrate her accomplishment, we asked her several questions to understand how this degree has impacted her and her work with Lenz.

What inspired you to pursue your master’s degree in Digital Writing and Communication?

Continued education has always been one of the biggest pillars of my life and career. I love learning, and I love going to school. In fact, I don’t think I’ll ever stop trying to improve my skills or pick up new hobbies.

As for why I decided to pursue this particular program, I received my bachelor’s degree in English and Creative Writing, so I didn’t take any marketing courses in my undergraduate education. Thanks to my work experience at Lenz I had a great understanding, but I wanted to study and research marketing further alongside some of the best and brightest in the Atlanta community.

What I loved most about Agnes Scott’s program was its blend of multiple aspects of marketing, from social media to SEO, with the creative, such as writing and video creation. I knew that diverse of a class schedule would help make me a well-rounded marketer.

With this new degree under your belt, which of these skills you’ve gained are you most excited to apply to your role at Lenz?

Taking courses in coding, website building, and digital storytelling have helped my overall understanding of marketing. What I learned in those classes have made my perspective and thinking on my day-to-day tasks more creative and successful.

In addition, I learned a lot about project and time management through my heavy workload for the past year. My experience with stress management during this degree will make me a more positive, confident, and creative employee, no matter what comes my way.

Did the program introduce to you any aspects of digital writing and communication that surprised you? If so, could you explain?

I loved learning communication theories and how those translate into marketing best practices. As I mentioned before, I didn’t have any formal education with communication and marketing prior to this master’s degree, so there was a lot for me to learn when it came to theories and the fundamentals of marketing in general. Through Agnes, I was able to take what I learned about theories and apply it to everyday life.

How do you expect the field of digital writing and communication to evolve over the next 10 years?

One of the most exciting and challenging aspects of working in marketing is that the core principles are constantly evolving and changing. That’s why continued education is so vital in this career. If you aren’t keeping up with the latest trends, your marketing techniques will be outdated and less successful.

As for the next 10 years, I expect voice marketing to make a bigger impact than it already is now. That means Alexa, Google Home, and other smart devices will be a minefield for marketers to explore and reach their consumers.

In addition, new technologies are continuing to develop, therefore the way we consume digital content continues to evolve. I expect even more technology to be released that will unlock new kinds of digital communication.

For those interested in learning more about digital writing and communication, and creating digital content in general, what tips and tricks would you like to pass along?

Explore all elements of marketing and digital content. There are so many niches available for you to pick and thrive in. I never knew about search engine optimization until I heard about it during some online Lynda courses, and now it’s my favorite part of my job.

Also have personal goals laid out for learning and developing your skills. Maybe you do an online free course once a month, or maybe you set a deadline to get back to school and get your master’s. It may seem impossible or overwhelming, but, if you make room for it in your calendar, you can make it happen.

If you would like to work directly with Carey and her blog writing or SEO skills, click here to contact Lenz today.