All posts by George Stephens

BNP Media Sponsors Wish Party in Partnership with Make-A-Wish® America

Terrien, a 13-year-old Southfield, Mich. boy, is living with a life-threatening renal disease.  Thanks to Make-a-Wish® America and the help of the people at BNP Media, Terrien will experience his wish of visiting Spain.

The Buen Viaje (“Have a good trip!”) for Terrien to celebrate his upcoming trip will be held Monday, July 31 at Troy’s Somerset Inn. Joining Terrien will be members of his family and staff from BNP Media and Make-A-Wish® Michigan, who are helping to coordinate the wish party.

Terrien is scheduled to visit Spain the second week in August.  Activities planned for Terrien include the Barcelona Football, Camp Nou Experience, visiting one of the most emblematic stadiums in the world, and an expansive Barcelona Highlights Tour.

The wish party for Terrien marks the first time in the three years as a supporter of Make-A-Wish that BNP Media has participated in the Adopt-A-Wish program. The involvement in Adopt-A-Wish builds upon the $10,000 donation that BNP Media has gifted to the wish granting organization for the past three years. BNP Media has also made a three-year commitment as a Gold Level Sponsor for the Make-A-Wish Michigan Wish Ball, donating $15,000 each year. Continue reading this article

BNP Media’s Specialty Coffee Days Bring Us Together

 “It was a great addition to the day. It made me get out of my office and interact with some other BNP employees. The coffee was great too!” 

Solidarity within an organization comes in many forms.  What better way to take a break in a busy day than to grab a cup of gourmet coffee, tea or hot chocolate, catch up with old friends and make new ones in an informal, fun setting.

Specialty Coffee Days are a regular feature at BNP Media headquarters in Troy, Michigan.  It gives us an excuse to pamper ourselves a bit through a catered event that also says “Thank You” for all the contributions made by our great people to our organization.  And Starbucks has nothing on the flavors and styles available on Specialty Coffee Days.  Cheesecake. Mocha or Caramel Latte.  Cinnamon Tea Latte.  Expresso shots.  Just take your pick. Continue reading this article

BNP Media & Roofing Contractor Magazine Support Habitat for Humanity Project

$10K donation in support of volunteer Rick Damato, Editorial Director of BNP Media’s Roofing Contractor Magazine

Troy, Michigan-based BNP Media is supporting Rick Damato, Editorial Director of BNP Media’s Roofing Contractor Magazine, who will volunteer with Habitat for Humanity’s 2017 Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project.

During July 9-14, 2017, Habitat for Humanity’s 34th Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project will take place in cities across Canada with a goal of building 150 homes in conjunction with Canada’s 150th anniversary.  Habitat for Humanity Edmonton will build 75 homes in Edmonton and Fort Saskatchewan.  Habitat for Humanity Manitoba will build 25 homes in Winnipeg.  While President and Mrs. Carter will focus their efforts in Edmonton, Alberta, and Winnipeg, Manitoba, almost 50 communities across Canada will be participating.

Since 1984, President and Mrs. Carter have traveled around the world with Habitat to build and improve homes. Their time and effort helps to raise awareness of the critical need for affordable home ownership around the world. Inspiring millions over the last three decades, President and Mrs. Carter have worked alongside nearly 100,000 volunteers in 14 countries to build, renovate and repair more than 4,000 homes.  To learn more about Habitat’s Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project, visit habitat.org/cwp. Continue reading this article

19th Annual Food Safety Summit Makes An Impact on Food Safety Professionals

Donation by sponsor BNP Media, on behalf of attendees,  to Feeding America Coalition was highlight of event

The 19th Annual Food Safety Summit, held May 8 – May 11, 2017 in Rosemont, IL, attracted nearly 1,700 food safety professionals and 190 exhibiting companies.  The outstanding attendance at this event each year reflects the importance of safety and professional education to the food growing, processing, packaging, distribution and retail industries.

Among the full schedule of presentations and seminars at the event, attendees discussed important issues like the implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act and the Integration of the Nation’s Food Safety System, while also reviewing case studies of recent foodborne illness outbreaks.

The success of the event also shows the commitment to feeding the nation with quality foods. Continue reading this article

BNP Media and Dairy Foods Contribute To 2017 Defeat Hunger Campaign

Troy, Mich.-based BNP Media and its DAIRY FOODS brand has joined with the Food Processing Suppliers Association’s (FPSA) Dairy Council in the fight against hunger by donating to the 2017 Defeat Hunger Campaign.

BNP Media’s donation of $2,500 will help provide approximately 7,500 meals, as the FPSA, sponsor of the Defeat Hunger campaign, works towards its overall 2017 campaign goals.

“We are pleased that Dairy Foods, as a member of BNP Media’s Food Beverage Packaging Group, and the people of BNP Media can support the Food Processing Suppliers Association and its Dairy Council with this heartfelt program that helps alleviate hunger in the Chicago area,” said John Schrei, Publishing Director at BNP Media. Continue reading this article

Why Business-to-Business Print Media Is a Long Way From Extinction

“Print business magazines will soon be dead” went the predictions of self-proclaimed internet gurus of the mid-1990s. But here we are, 20 years into the advertising-supported business-to-business (B2B) digital media era, and one thing is certain: B2B print magazines haven’t gone away.

What’s more, much of the growth of B2B digital media is tied to trusted brands that today have thriving multi-channel opportunities (print, digital, live) for buyers and sellers to connect in industry marketplaces.

Magazines are still popular with readers

While the business model of weekly news magazines and daily newspapers makes their future more challenging than other print products, there is no evidence that the entire magazine medium is going away. Continue reading this article

BNP Media Launches Autonomous Vehicle Technology Brand

BNP Media has launched Autonomous Vehicle Technology—a new brand dedicated to the business-to-business autonomous vehicle industry. The first stage of this launch, the website www.autonomousvehicletech.com, is now online. It will be joined in May with a twice-monthly e-newsletter, and a monthly print magazine will launch in January 2018. Autonomous Vehicle Technology is the first brand dedicated to covering the connectivity, advanced electronics, mobility services and collaboration that will comprise the age of autonomy.

With major vehicle OEMs and other parties making multi-billion dollar investments in autonomous (self-driving) vehicles, the rapid development of autonomous vehicles represents a convergence of technological achievements, as well as social trends like ride sharing or smart traffic control.  These technological achievements include in the areas of vehicle communications and networking, sensors and cameras, mapping and navigation, and machine learning.

“Autonomous vehicles will revolutionize transportation in many ways and promise to foster the growth of new businesses and industries, while all parties—product developers and manufacturers, engineers and researchers, regulators and consumers—rethink our relationship with the automobile and what it means ‘to drive’,” said Kevin Jost, Autonomous Vehicle Technology’s Editorial Director. Continue reading this article

Why a Social Media Strategy Is a Must, But Doesn’t Replace Your Advertising and Website

With each evolutionary step the web takes, business-to-business (B2B) marketers face a challenge. Do you shift your focus to shiny and new marketing resources, or do you continue investing in the tried-and-true?

This is especially challenging for B2B marketers because much of the buzz surrounding the latest web tools is often aimed at consumers—typically younger consumers. Determining the balance of new versus traditional resources can be a difficult decision and one that you must make in the context of your specific industry. Look at the ways your potential customers use the web for research, discovery and decision-making.

One good rule of thumb is to use social media as an outpost wherever you find your customers. If you discover a concentration of people in your industry actively use one particular social media service, such as LinkedIn or Twitter, make sure to provide a steady flow of updates, helpful links and, especially, links to news stories you post on your business’ website. Continue reading this article

3 Tips for Creating an Effective B2B Infographic

Using graphics—or, to be more precise, hieroglyphics—to visualize data goes back to prehistoric cave drawings. However, the modern idea of infographics is tied to statistical tools that emerged during the last quarter of the 20th century. That’s when a young graphic artist from the United Kingdom named Nigel Holmes joined the chart and maps department of Time magazine. For the next 16 years, his work there helped define and popularize the type of storytelling illustrations that everyone now calls infographics. (He calls them “explanatory graphics.”)

At the same time, a Princeton professor named Edward Tufte was pioneering a field called statistical graphics. Today, any smartphone mobile app that displays numbers can trace its design to Tufte’s work and insight. As their approaches differ greatly, Holmes and Tufte might protest being mentioned in the same article. But together, their work has influenced generations of data graphics—some great and some quite awful.

To keep your infographics great, here are some suggestions inspired by Holmes and Tufte for improving the infographics you use in your marketing. Continue reading this article

How to Think Like a Business Customer

Every now and then, a company executive may fall in love with a marketing idea that they or their advertising agency dreamed up. “There’s no way this won’t work,” they convince themselves. So when it doesn’t, the poor executives are left scratching their heads in confusion.

A possible reason for such marketing failures may be found in “Wiio’s Laws,” a humorous but insightful set of principles created in the mid-1970s by Osmo Wiio, a communications professor at the University of Helsinki.

One Wiio Law explains why the advertisements we love may not click with customers: “If you are satisfied with your message, communication certainly will fail.” Continue reading this article

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

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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

 

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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 KenyaRelief.org, 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

 
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