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Lenz helps Amplify Decatur raise $25,000 to fight poverty

Lenz recently presented the fifth annual Amplify Decatur concert series at iconic Eddie’s Attic from June 26 to 28, helping to raise $25,000 for Decatur Cooperative Ministry, a nonprofit that helps to keep families out of homelessness.

Since the first Amplify event (it was formerly known as Poverty Is Real) in 2011, Amplify has helped to raise nearly $75,000 for DCM and has served as the presenting sponsor each year. Amplify was founded by Lenz partner and vice president of marketing Mike Killeen, who remains an Amplify board member. Spencer Smith serves as Amplify’s executive director.

“Since our firm was founded 23 years ago in Decatur, part of our company’s mission has been to try to support the local community through a wide variety of public service, initiatives and sponsorships,” said Richard J. Lenz, founder, president and CEO of Lenz, who also has served as a founding member of the board of the AJC Decatur Book Festival, a nonprofit. “We are pleased that our efforts might help in some small way to alleviate the problem of homelessness for families in need. With this event, we creatively combine our love of music with positive action in Decatur to perform a public good. What Mike Killeen and Spencer Smith have been building with the organization is very smart, extremely effective, and inspiring.”

This year’s lineup was headlined by influential alternative country pioneer Jay Farrar and comprised six separate shows, including one by Christian artist Brady Toops. Two of the founding members of the label-defying band Cracker, known for its big ‘90’s alternative radio hits, performed two shows. Amplify Decatur also featured a Kids’ Show performed by female duo The Wishing Jar and a Neil Young tribute that included a number of notable local artists.

Jay Farrar

Jay Farrar

The weekend schedule included:

  • FRIDAY, JUNE 26, 7:30 p.m.: Performance by Farrar, who has received critical acclaim for more than two decades as the founder of Uncle Tupelo, as a solo artist and as the leader of Son Volt. Farrar combines heart-wrenching vocals with songwriting that has been influenced by Beat Generation writer Jack Kerouac’s free-flowing compositional style. Said Farrar of Son Volt’s sixth studio album, “Honky Tonk”: “Honky tonk music is about heartache, heartbreak, the road.” Instrumentalist Gary Hunt accompanied Farrar and Mike Killeen opened the show.


  • SATURDAY, JUNE 27, 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.: Acoustic performances by “Cracker Unplugged with David Lowery & Johnny Hickman.” Cracker recently released its 10th studio album, entitled, “Berkeley to Bakersfield,” a double-album that includes tracks on the “Berkeley” disc from the band’s original lineup – the first time in almost 20 years that they have recorded together. The “Bakersfield” disc pays homage to the band’s “California country” side. Over the years, Cracker has been described as alt-rock, Americana, insurgent-country and even, at times, as punk and classic-rock. Lowery and Hickman performed as a duo.
  • SATURDAY, JUNE 27, 2 p.m.: Performance by The Wishing Jar (for children ages 3 to 8 years old). As singer-songwriters, Humphries and Shelton combine beauty, whimsy and a touch of vintage flair. They performed “Until Tomorrow,” a lullaby project of mostly original songs and an illustrated children’s companion book.
  • SUNDAY, JUNE 28: “Out on the Weekend,” a Neil Young celebration, featured local and regional acts performing mini-sets of Young’s greatest hits. Participating artists included Brian Collins with Craig Young, the Bitter Roots, Eliot Bronson, Doria Roberts, Jared & Amber, Adron, S. Connor of the Southern Gothic, Kristen Englenz, Rex Hussmann and Mike Killeen and some surprise special guests.

Full event details can be found at AmplifyDecatur.org.

Founded in 1969, Decatur Cooperative Ministry alleviates and prevents homelessness in and around Decatur. Its programs include an emergency shelter for women and children, transitional housing for families, veterans’ assistance, and emergency relief for families on the verge of losing their homes. Its work has helped make DeKalb County a better place for more than 40 years and Amplify is honored to celebrate DCM. More information is available at DecaturCooperativeMinistry.org.

Based in Decatur, Georgia, Lenz partners with its clients so they can grow together. For more than two decades, Lenz’s specialized expertise has helped its clients to reach their goals. Lenz offers the full range of digital and traditional marketing expertise, including brand strategy, advertising, PR, website development, inbound marketing and more. Learn more at LenzMarketing.com.

The Amplify Concert Series leverages the universal love of music to fight poverty and homelessness at the local level. Specifically, the Amplify Concert Series selects local-level charities combating poverty on the frontlines and hosts music concerts to celebrate their work and to raise funds for them. Amplify concerts unite communities by inviting local businesses to sponsor the events and by increasing awareness. Most importantly, every dollar raised at Amplify concerts goes directly to the beneficiary. The Amplify Concerts Series is produced by Poverty Is Real, a Decatur, Georgia-based 501(c)(3) organization, working to educate communities about issues surrounding homelessness and poverty. Learn more at AmplifyDecatur.org.


8 Traits of a Knockout Website [INFOGRAPHIC]

Can you cross all 8 off your list? Click the image for a full view!




Lenz helped Harris Botnick and Worthmore Jewelers land an Executive Profile in the Atlanta Business Chronicle

In May, Lenz helped Harris Botnick and Worthmore Jewelers land an Executive Profile in the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Former Business Chronicle staff writer and current Lenz media manager John Manasso developed the pitch and coordinated the interview. Congratulations Harris!

Download a jpeg of the story.

Sometimes the best answer is “It depends.”

A mutual acquaintance recently introduced me to a local business owner, describing me as a “marketing guru.” Before I could finish blushing, my new friend asked me how to market his business. In return, I asked him how I should dress next Tuesday.

No, I wasn’t losing my mind, just trying to make this point: It depends. Read more


Why Lenz Chooses to Market Healthcare

One question we get a lot is, “With everything you could do with your life and your business, why do you choose to market healthcare?”

For me the answer is simple: Because it’s rewarding.

Marketing does many things—none greater than to help people make informed decisions. With healthcare, everyday decisions can mean the difference between life and death.

Now, I know that some who are listening think of marketing as the dark side of business, solely concerned with making the cash register ring.

But that doesn’t have to be true.

Great marketing connects good products with people who want and need them. Healthcare marketing should be no different.

When Lenz works with a leading hospital, physician practice, or healthcare non-profit, we know that we are helping more people stay healthy and receive high-quality care.

And that feels pretty good.

-Richard Lenz


Is My Logo Important?

Lenz has been marketing our clients for almost 22 years, and this is the No. 1 question we hear. I understand why.

After all, with the numerous aspects of a product or service to consider, do customers really make buying decisions based on something as simple as a logo?

You might be surprised.

Read more

Lenz and Atlanta Allergy and Asthma launch new visual brand and website

Lenz recently partnered with Atlanta Allergy and Asthma to develop a new practice logo, visual identity, and website.

Founded in 1973, the AAA is the largest Allergy group in Atlanta with 18 locations and 18 board-certified physicians—and is the only National Allergy Bureau certified pollen counting station in the Atlanta area.

I’m not losing it here. Maybe I’m finding it.

As I get older — and hopefully wiser! — I have found to my own surprise that my emotional life has grown more intense. Instead rushing to every possible opportunity, meeting, event, and experience while stressing over every last detail of what I am doing and what is happening to me, I am finding myself pausing — for a moment — to take everything in.

While I am maybe not “sweating” the small stuff like I used to, I am enjoying and appreciating the little moments much, much more. Even the experiences that in the past would have been negative or anxiety provoking, I’m finding enriching.

Whether it is the smell of a newborn baby, or the warmth of my wife’s hand, or my daughters singing raucously around the piano, or my brother’s bad jokes, or the voice of my father who at 83 still wants me to know he’s the boss … I’m finding it all increasingly more poignant and moving.

Ok, I’m not losing it here. Maybe I’m finding it.

Looking back, it feels like the news this past year has been singularly awful. The recent barbaric massacre of 145 innocent school children and teachers by religious zealots in Pakistan is appalling, despicable, ignorant, and frankly beyond words to describe. Insane.

Closer to home, we had a totally senseless murder of a beautiful woman who was meeting friends for a nice night out in downtown Decatur, only to be gunned down by a sick individual who also was killing random homeless men with his 45-caliber handgun.

Maybe in this crazy world, we need to stop more frequently and take some time to appreciate each other. And make sure we soak up the gift that we have been given of the natural world, which we are part of despite our efforts to dominate, exploit, and separate ourselves from it.

When was the last time you smelled the pine-scented woods on a cold morning? Heard the wind whisper through the autumn trrees? Or felt the warmth of the low, winter sun on your face?

How many sunrises or sunsets have you seen this year? And how many will you see next year?

It is the “holiday” season, when the calendar forces us to stop and give thanks, celebrate our religious beliefs, and show appreciation to each other. Which makes it a beautiful time of year, and needed. Despite our lists and rush to make others happy, everyone seems a little warmer, nicer, and happier.

So, though I feel this way all year, I want to thank all of our great clients, many of whom are true friends, who have believed in Lenz and supported us, as we have worked very hard to support you.

Your resources given to Lenz don’t go to our off-shore bank accounts; they go to the wonderful individuals and families here at Lenz and have a major positive impact. Not only do you sustain us with food and shelter, which should not be taken for granted, but you also help us to provide healthcare and education, and support the hopes and dreams of many. So thank you today and every day!

Happy Holidays to everyone and Peace on Earth.

-Richard Lenz

You Should Know Eric J. Riesenberg

Eric J. RiesenbergHave you ever wondered how we ensure that the medicine we take, and that we give our children and loved ones, is safe and effective?

That’s Eric Riesenberg’s job, and it’s an important one. Eric is Director of Operations for the Atlanta Center for Medical Research (ACMR), a national leader in conducting medical research studies since 1980.

Under Eric’s leadership, ACMR is beginning a new phase in its already storied history by opening a new, state-of-the art research center that is truly the first of its kind. In the process, he may well change the face of pharmaceutical research forever.

Not bad for a 32-year-old.

Lenz is proud to partner with Eric and ACMR to refine the organization’s brand image, launch a new web site, and promote the Center through a PR and advertising campaign.

The new Atlanta Center for Medical Research is a $25 million relocation project from its initial design phase to its fully realized completion this month. The Center, located at the site of the former Southwest Atlanta Hospital Building, was entirely renovated and redesigned based on Eric’s forward-thinking vision. It is 150,000 square feet in all and features a revolutionary open-source structure, which adapts ACMR’s existing model to improve the overall quality of medical research across the industry.

In this model, other researchers have open access to the Center’s state-of-the-art equipment and highly-trained, expert staff for their own pharmaceutical research studies. Eric recognized the sheer size of the new Center as an opportunity to allow researchers without the infrastructure or proficiency in administering clinical trials to develop additional medications beyond what ACMR has the capacity for. This kind of progressive outlook reflects Eric’s passion for medical research and his confidence in ACMR’s potential to serve a greater societal purpose.

Additionally, Eric plans for ACMR’s new Center to be a revitalizing force in the Southwest, Atlanta neighborhood in which it is located. The Center will create an estimated 300 jobs by 2015, and he foresees that the community will be the primary source for filling these new jobs.

Now you know Eric J. Riesenberg.


Join Me Saturday Night at Eddie’s Attic for the Album Release of “Eliot Bronson”

There’s a music happening this Saturday night at Eddie’s Attic in Decatur—and I hope to see you there!

Eliot Bronson—an Atlanta-based singer songwriter and great friend—is releasing his self-titled album, and it’s going to be an incredible show.

As some of you know, music has been a foundational element of Lenz since our inception. It inspires us, teaches us, and provides an escape whenever the daily grind threatens to wear us down. Over the last few years, Lenz has developed a more formal relationship with music by throwing and supporting fundraisers, promoting artists, and even performing!

Lenz’s newest and most significant music project to date is Saturn 5 Records, a music label we are launching with the release Eliot’s new album. The record came out yesterday and has been receiving national and international attention even before it has been released to the public. Tracks have been getting added to playlists at radio stations and Eliot can be heard on Sirius Radio.

The album has already received acclaim and attention from Paste magazine, Country Music Television (CMT), People magazine, Acoustic Guitar World, No Depression magazine, and many more. It’s even No. 1 in Belgium!

It can be purchased as a CD or Limited Edition Vinyl here or downloaded here.

“Eliot Bronson” was recorded live in Nashville earlier this year and produced by Dave Cobb, who is the hottest producer today in the category known as Americana (think Lucinda Williams and Ryan Adams).

Cobb also produced Jason Isbell’s Southeastern, the best-selling album of the past year, which won Album of the Year at last month’s Americana Honors and Awards show, and Isbell won Artist of the Year.

Also, Cobb’s work on Sturgill Simpson’s Metamodern Sounds in Country Music helped him win Emerging Artist of the Year. He’s been profiled in Rolling Stone magazine and by The Wall Street Journal.

As for Eliot, I’ve been listening to music for a very long time, and he’s as talented as they get. I’m not alone: Eliot a few weeks ago won Creative Loafing Best Songwriter in Atlanta. The record is a masterpiece. Everyone who’s heard it agrees. I know you will too.

See you Saturday. Here are the details, and hurry, because it is going to be a sellout.

Eliot Bronson Record Release Party

Eddie’s Attic in Decatur

Saturday, October 25 at 9:30 p.m.

Tickets at EddiesAttic.com