All posts by George Stephens

BNP Media Seeks To Improve Quality Of Life At Work Through Mobile Stress Solutions


BNP Media recently announced it has begun a trial period with MeditationWorks—a mobile stress solutions truck—as a way to promote positivity and quality of life in and out of the office for employees.

“Mindful meditation has become increasingly important to us in this hectic, smart phone-driven world. Meditation helps the mind to concentrate better, which in turn leads to more success and improve quality of life for our employees,” said BNP Media co-CEOs Mitch, Taggart and Harper Henderson. “We want to invest in their physical, emotional and mental health, and meditation is one tool for people who live in stressful environments such as work. By putting the mental health of our team members first, it has increased both creativity and focus.”

Sarah Zagacki, Senior Art Director at BNP Media, added: “MeditationWorks is a healthy way to take a break during work.  Seeing colleagues make the effort is helpful for the work environment and we are all more calm in stressful situations.”

In March 2016, Jake Leider launched MeditationWorks, the first and only mobile stress solutions company. For BNP Media employees, MeditationWorks provides effective 15-minute meditation sessions to “stressed-out” people everywhere in a beautifully appointed, dedicated space—a rolling relaxation room.  In this mobile unit, groups up to 15 people can practice a brief, concentrated, and creative meditation session and be on their way in just 15 minutes.

BNP Media is committed to workplace wellness, providing a positive, healthy environment for its employees, and encouraging healthy lifestyles.

Five best practices to follow when planning a business webinar

When is the best time to host a webinar? According to research by BNP Solutions, it appears that the middle of the week—and middle of the day—is the best time to host a business-to-business (B2B) webinar.

Here are five best practices that business and professional staff and managers look for when choosing to attend a webinar. Continue reading this article

Architectural Record Sponsors World-Renowned “The Architectural Imagination” Exhibit



Troy, Mich.- based BNP Media’s Architectural Record brand is sponsoring The University of Michigan’s Venice Architecture Biennale exhibition of “The Architectural Imagination” at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD).  Opened February 11, the exhibit will run until April 16, 2017 at MOCAD, located at 4454 Woodward Avenue.

Organized by the University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning by request of the U.S. State Department,  “The Architectural Imagination” features speculative architectural projects designed for specific sites in Detroit that could have applications around the world. Continue reading this article

Tudor Van Hampton, ENR Managing Editor for the Digital Age, Dies at 39

ENR Managing Editor Tudor W. Van Hampton, whose passion for journalism, multimedia skill and management ability propelled his career, died in Indianapolis on Feb. 4 at age 39. He had battled a grade-four brain tumor that was diagnosed in early 2016.

His embrace of construction, equipment, tools, law and jobsite safety earned the respect and admiration of industry professionals.

Van Hampton had been an equipment trade publication editor and then an ENR freelancer before joining the staff in Chicago in 2002. In 2007, he covered the fatal I-35W bridge collapse in Minneapolis, which was followed a year later by a major investigative series on construction crane accidents.

For that series, Van Hampton attended a 60-hour intensive training class for tower crane operators in Phoenix and passed a national written and practical exam through the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators, vividly sharing the experience with ENR’s audience. In 2013, he retook the exam, passed it and became recertified. Continue reading this article

BNP Media Provides More Than 7000 Meals for Gleaners Community Food Bank


BNP Media raised funds for Gleaners Community Food Bank to help feed hungry children throughout metro Detroit. This generous gift would normally provide 3,780 meals to neighbors in need, but with the matching sponsors from ‘Double Your Donation Day’ program, BNP Media will provide 7,560 meals.

BNP employees organized a special bake sale to raise the funds.  Fifteen employees volunteered to bake pies, cakes, and cookies.  This is the 13th year that BNP Media has contributed to the Gleaners initiative. Gleaners collects 34.5 million pounds of food a year and distributes 79,000 meals each day including providing nourishing food and nutrition education to 84,700 children a year. Continue reading this article

Five B2B Marketing Predictions for 2017

When it comes to predicting the future, the easiest thing to do is to think in a linear way: What is changing today that will likely be around tomorrow, only in a bigger and more important role. We will admit, some of these predictions are like that—forecasts based on an understanding of what is being worked on today. However, true disruptive changes rarely show up at the door and ring the bell. Rather, they tend to crash through a window. These five predictions are a little of both: They are continuations of things happening now. Others are wild cards that we can’t anticipate.

  1. Uncertainty

With a new administration that has promised change as one of its highest priorities, the early months of 2017 will likely be a time of wait-and-see. However, as we’ve written before, times of uncertainty typically benefit those who invest in marketing, while it drives others to the sidelines.  Continue reading this article

These Three Basic Charts Can Explain Any B-to-B Marketing Metric


Before focusing on the flare of infographics, review the basics of what you are trying to convey

With the proliferation of infographics and data visualization tools, hundreds of different types of charts seem to have burst on the scene. But for most marketers who are wanting to track and explain data, three basic charts can serve as the foundation to explain everything from market share to business performance.

And the biggest surprise? These are charts you’re already familiar with: Line charts, bar charts and pie charts. So before using all your 3D features in Excel or PowerPoint, stop and reflect on the simple facts you want to convey. Continue reading this article

Five Things Business-to-Business Marketers are Thankful for This Year

Two business colleagues shaking hands

We know that during the holiday season it is important to enjoy spending time with friends and family, but we also want to pause and reflect on a few of the things a business-to-business marketer should be thankful for over the past year.

  1. Clients. Simply put, you wouldn’t exist without the loyalty of your clients. They’re the reason your business thrives. Before focusing on anything else—such as metrics or data—take time to express gratitude for the people who look to you for products and solutions.

Continue reading this article

BNP Media Recognizes Employee Contributions to Making a Difference in Communities


During the Holiday Season, we spend time with family and friends, cherish these relationships and reflect on all for which we are thankful.  In 2016, the men and women of BNP Media were privileged to be able to lend a hand to someone in need and give back to communities everywhere, whether it was a local food bank, making a wish come true for a child with a life-threatening illness, or ensuring that students have proper nutrition and access to a safe and positive learning environment.

Some of the charitable causes that BNP Media and its people embraced this year include:

  • For a second year, BNP Media partnered with Make-A-Wish Michigan, donating $15,000 to help bring hope, strength and joy to Michigan children and their families at a time when they need it most. This year’s activities included a special party for a young girl to celebrate the granting of her wish of visiting Paris for a spa day.
  • BNP Media contributed to this year’s Habitat for Humanity Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project in Memphis, Tennessee with a $10,000 Hammer-level sponsorship. The donation was made in support of Rick Damato, a longtime Habitat for Humanity volunteer who is editorial director of BNP Media’s Roofing Contractor Magazine.
  • The innovative ACE Mentor Program of America supports and encourages high school students to pursue professional careers in architecture, construction and engineering. This year, BNP Media and its Engineering News-Record brand awarded $2,500 student scholarships in the name of each of six 2016 ENR-ACE Outstanding Mentors.
  • At this year’s 18th Annual Food Safety Summit, BNP Media donated $5,500 to the Feeding America Coalition. This donation provided 64,000 meals as this organization works to feed America’s hungry, including children and seniors, through a nationwide network of food banks.
  • Furthering the cause of ending hunger in America and globally, BNP Media people came together around Thanksgiving time to package 10,000 meals for the Stop Hunger Now program. This group distributes meals through partner organizations in developing countries that promote education, encourage children to attend school and improve students’ health and nutrition.
  • Striving again to improve the lives of children, BNP Media donated $1,500 to, which will help build a school cafeteria for students of the Kenya Relief Academy in the nation’s Migori community.
  • BNP Media aided the Challenged Athletes Foundation, which helps people with physical disabilities pursue active lifestyles. BNP Media’s donation of $2,500 was made in conjunction with the 39th annual Empire State Building Run-Up—of all 86 flights, and 1,576 stairs.  BNP Media Co-CEO Taggert Henderson was one of the participants.  The Empire State Building is home to BNP Media’s Architectural Record and Engineering News-Record brands.
  • In addition to the above, the people of BNP Media also participated in and contributed to the work of the Movember Foundation, the Gleaners Community Food Bank, Winning Futures, the Downtown Boxing Gym Youth Program, Anyone Corporation, Oil Heat Cares, the MTI Educational Foundation, Mission 500 and National Women in Roofing.

“These activities support BNP Media’s pledge as a business to act as a force for good in our society, helping achieve a higher quality of life for individuals and families.  We humbly thank the people of BNP Media for all their good work and charitable efforts this past year.  We look forward in the coming year to once again proving how much we can accomplish when we work together for shared goals,” said BNP Media co-CEOs Harper, Mitchell and Taggart Henderson.

How to Use Music Legally in Your Marketing Videos (And Where to Find It)

Copyright Laws Symbol Concept

Music can help you pump up the power of your presentations and podcasts

Music can often improve the quality and impact of a marketing-oriented video, podcast or presentation. However, the laws and usage rights that cover how copyrighted music can be used—and how much you need to pay for permission to use it—can be a confusing. It can also be costly, especially if you’re caught not following a confusing set of rules.

How do you want to use the music?

For presentations and podcasts, you’re most likely going to use music that falls into three categories.

Continue reading this article

Infographic Tips Will Power Up Your Posts and Presentations

Businessman at work

Infographics are a style of visual storytelling that seek to simplify complex ideas

The best infographics showcase vital, but perhaps dense and complicated information in a fun, interesting and visually arresting way. The least effective infographics list bullet points of familiar facts using clichéd clip art and outdated, dull fonts, turning viewers off from caring about the larger story. A better approach is to use graphics that explain, interpret, teach and provide customers with a deeper understanding of something important to them. But what’s the best way to synthesize and share that data? Continue reading this article

BNP Media Acquires Hotel F&B™ Magazine


Industry leader joins BNP Media’s new Gaming And Hospitality Group

BNP Media today announced the acquisition of Hotel F&B™ magazine, a industry-leading business-to-business publication that serves lodging and food and beverage professionals in hotels, resorts, and casinos worldwide.

As the voice of the $36.7 billion North American hotel foodservice industry, Hotel F&B—both in print and online—covers profitable and effective strategies in the development, operation, and marketing of hotel foodservice.

“We are thrilled to add Hotel F&B to our Gaming and Hospitality Group.  It is an exciting, fresh industry partner with comprehensive, quality editorial content and a loyal audience,” said BNP Media co-CEOs Harper, Mitchell and Taggart Henderson. Continue reading this article

BNP Media Acquires Beverage World And BevOps Fleet Summit


Digital, print properties to be merged into BNP Media’s Beverage Industry publication

BNP Media has acquired Beverage World as well as its successful BevOps Fleet Summit. Through this acquisition, BNP Media will continue to produce and expand the BevOps Fleet Summit, while merging Beverage World’s digital and print properties into BNP Media’s Beverage Industry.

Under BNP Media’s ownership, there will be a combined, shared dedication to editorial excellence and integrity to help empower beverage market professionals through BNP’s resources and increase engagement across all media platforms.

“The acquisition of Beverage World fits well with our new strategy of being customer-centric across our Food, Beverage, Packaging Group (FBP), ” says John Schrei, Publishing Director of BNP Media. “It allows us to continue on our path of placing our customers’ success at the center of our business philosophy, operations, products and ideas.” Continue reading this article

Using Stories of Outrageous Customer Service to Strengthen Your Brand


Most companies would stop at nothing to right a wrong caused by their product or personnel. If they didn’t, they would risk losing a customer. But what happens when something goes wrong and you’re not at fault—but you also have the power to fix it? If you’re on the fence about braving a blizzard to solve a customer’s problem, consider this: Going for the outrageous display of customer service could help strengthen your brand.

Every company has a set of values that is reflected in their brand. Part of communicating your values is sharing examples of how they are displayed in the course of serving customers. Business-to-business customer service is all about building long-term relationships, trust and credibility. What better way to demonstrate that than by sharing how you do it, day in and day out? Follow these four tips for using stories of outrageous customer service to strengthen your brand. Continue reading this article

How to Help Your Company’s Experts Become Thought Leaders

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We live in an era in which corporate executives are asking their marketing department to help them become “thought leaders.” Unfortunately, thought leadership is something that doesn’t start in the marketing department, it starts with identifying the experts in a company—and then helping them raise their visibility within a specific targeted audience.

Certainly, many corporate executives are experts. But typically they are experts in the successful management of people, processes and resources.

When people in an industry want to learn about something other than the financial or strategic plans of a business, they typically want to hear from the experts who work in labs or create products—those who can help decide whether to use the red widget instead of the blue widget. Continue reading this article

ENR Publishes 2016 ACE Mentor Program Yearbook and Honors Outstanding Mentors




Helping high school students pursue a career in architecture, construction and engineering.

In its support of the ACE Mentor Program, BNP Media’s Engineering News-Record recently issued its annual ACE Mentor Program Yearbook advertising supplement for 2016 and also honored 2016’s ACE Outstanding Mentors in its editorial pages. Accompanying ENR’s August Double Issue, the theme of the 40-page yearbook is “Growth and Expansion.”

The ACE Mentor Program of America, Inc. (ACE) is a non-profit, industry-led effort that helps mentor high school students and encourages them to pursue professional careers in architecture, construction and engineering. ACE grew out of a program for inner-city high school students, begun in New York City in 1993 by legendary structural engineer Charles H. Thornton, founding principal of The Thornton Tomasetti Group. Continue reading this article

Seven Free, Secret, Awesome Tips for B-to-B Email Marketing

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Internet historians credit (or blame) Gary Thuerk, a marketing manager at Digital Equipment Corp. (DEC), for distributing the first commercial “mass” emailing in 1978 to 400 users via Arpanet, a network of computers that served as the foundation of the internet. While the mailing generated a few complaints, it resulted in $13 million in sales of DEC machines—perhaps one of the greatest marketing ROIs of all time.

Email marketing today is still one of the most effective ways to communicate directly with business customers (if they want it), yet marketing email can also be one of the most frustrating types of marketing. Why? Because as more customers subscribe to marketing, more customers ignore the commercial emails they receive. Continue reading this article

Five Tips for Creating a Helpful Business How-to Video

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Online video is a great medium for helping your B2B customers get the knowledge they need to use your products or services better. Online video is readily accessible, easily shareable and, if executed correctly, is the next best thing to having a company representative in house to show them what they need to know. According to BNP Solutions’ recent study, Online Video in a B2B World, nearly 70 percent of B2B customers look at B2B videos at least a couple of times a month, and most of the time (75 percent) they’re looking for how-to or instructional videos. Continue reading this article

Dodge These Common Business-to-Business Content Marketing Errors

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You won’t always implement your content marketing strategy perfectly, but steering clear of the following red flags can increase your chances for engaging your audience—and maybe even prompt them to share that positive experience with their peers.

  1. Avoid hype. By providing help instead of hype, you won’t confuse customers by equating content marketing with advertising. Constantly pitching your product throughout every stage of the customer experience will turn off your audience. Content should independently add value to your products and relationships, not be solely another platform for PR. For instance, Hubspot’s Inbound sales and marketing blogs help make its customers savvier on dozens of topics ranging from A/B testing to video—without overtly hustling their product.

Continue reading this article

How to Use Video to Convey Your Message in 3 Minutes or Less

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The results are in, and BNP Solution’s latest research, Online Video in a B2B World, shows that B2B marketers have a big opportunity to engage customers and clients. Sixty-seven percent of B2B consumers surveyed who responded said they watched video at least a couple of times per month, with 28 percent of those watching online B2B videos more frequently. Of those who watched online videos, 97 percent took some sort of follow-up action, such as sharing information, investigating products and companies further, or discussing the information with someone else.

Video is a big opportunity, but the survey also found that B2B consumers don’t have a lot of patience for long ones. Three to 5 minutes is the maximum length most respondents wanted to watch at a time. You’re probably thinking, “3 to 5 minutes? What could I possibly convey in such a short time?” A lot, actually. Consider these examples:

Here’s a 3-minute video from Southwest Airlines showing how their planes get de-iced. Fascinating stuff.

In this 3-minute video from Google, Matt Cutts quickly and clearly answers a user’s question about what the keyword density of a page should be. (Spoiler alert: There isn’t one.)

This case study video from Slack compellingly conveys the value of its workplace collaboration platform in about 2 minutes.

And finally, here’s a 3-minute video from IBM explaining the Internet of Things.

Here’s how to use video to convey your message quickly:

Rely on visuals: Video is the next best thing to being there, which means you need fewer words to get your point across. For example, flash a company logo and title of the video at the beginning of the video instead of incorporating that information into the script.

Cut to the chase: Forget lengthy introductions; engaging B2B videos grab attention early on and focus quickly on the topic.

Have a narrow focus: Don’t try to do too much with any one video. If it’s a product demonstration or how-to, focus on one feature or a couple of related ones at a time.

Be straightforward: If you want a video to go viral, it’s always helpful to be funny. But BNP Media’s research results show that funny isn’t what B2B consumers are looking for. Instead, respondents preferred an educational or professional approach (83 percent) over humorous (35 percent) or inspirational (28 percent). They also preferred a serious or neutral tone over something comedic.

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