Have you ever wondered what’s the best way to connect with your audience? Well, the answer may be comedy. Comedy is a way to be vulnerable and real with your audience. Because we believe in building real relationships, not just profiles, we invited a group of local comedy experts to join us for our 11th Double Tap the Keg panel event at the Imagine Media studio.
Last Monday, the Imagineers were joined for our weekly Lunch & Learn by Jessica Levin, a marketing agency guru turned freelance digital marketing strategist. Jessica has had extensive experience driving marketing initiatives and has worked on notable brands such as Southeast Toyota, Dick's Sporting Goods, Bank of America, Lowe's, Hilton Worldwide, Florida's Natural, and Baskin-Robbins.
Earlier this month the Imagine Media team hosted our eighth Double Tap the Keg event. We invited five panelists to the stage to discuss a trending topic: Company Culture. Our panelists came from a variety of backgrounds and shared a great deal of insight on how to attract and retain employees as well as foster or evolve a company’s culture. The panel included Billy Boughey, Jackie Velez, Nikki Strickland, Ryan Tuttle, and Josh Sweeny. All participants contributed to a great conversation around culture and left the audience feeling inspired. ICYMI, we’ve rounded up some key culture-takeaways from the evening.
In anticipation of National Coffee Day on September 29th, we pooled the Imagineers for their top picks for coffee around the city of Atlanta. In an environment as fast-paced as Imagine Media, we need to stay fueled and coffee breaks are a key ingredient to our success. Not to mention, the Imagineers also enjoy the occasional the opportunity to step away from their desks and work remotely from somewhere new. Here are our favorite spots to sip, strategize and create around the city.
Last Thursday we hosted our 6th Double Tap the Keg event in our upstairs and new downstairs office spaces. The theme of the night was Create + Innovate, and we were blown away by our inspiring panel of creative minds. Sitting on the panel we had style therapist and fitness influencer, Lillian Charles; portrait and fashion photographer, Donte Maurice; head of innovation and development at Public School, Rich Santiago; and brand storyteller, Julie Marateck. Together, these four talented individuals left the audience feeling inspired and refreshed moving into the holiday weekend.
The panelists were asked a series of questions directed toward their specific backgrounds and personal experiences.
Rich Santiago gave some beautiful advice when asked how to deal with creative anxiety. His go-to tactics are to learn to multitask well and make sure he’s following inspiring people to keep his ideas fresh. He also mentioned that when working closely with clients he has found that one of the most important things is to allow the client to collaborate and be a part of the creative process as much as possible.
Julie Marateck spoke on the importance of storytelling from the partner’s perspective. She brought up a great point that audiences are smarter these days and are interested in buying experiences, so the goal is to make your brand attainable to the average person. Julie also loves to travel, and discussed how putting herself outside of her comfort zone and experiencing failure is all part of the creative process. Inevitably, on any journey outside of your comfort zone, at some point, things won't go as planned, and traveling prepares Julie for those moments of failure.
Lillian Charles has a large Instagram following, and gave the audience some insight on how she balances the digital content overload that we experience on social media today. She tries to be very cognizant of how much time she spends scrolling and makes sure her social media browsing stays intentional, not habitual. Lillian also gave some lighthearted, but meaningful advice about how to get over obstacles. She said that she and her sister will exchange the phrase “don’t let the turkeys get you down” when they are going through a particularly difficult challenge. While the exchange is an inside joke between the two of them, the take-home message can still apply to anyone: don’t let anything get you down on your road to success, whatever that looks like.
Donte Maurice, the professional photographer on the panel, talked about how he incorporates storytelling into his photography by having a conversation and creating a relationship with the model he’s shooting. Similar to Julie, Donte also discussed failure and how he builds his confidence when he isn’t feeling particularly creative. Donte uses the old adage, ‘rome wasn’t built in a day’ to remind himself that creativity is truly a process and sometimes it won’t happen today. His go-to approach is to sleep on it and he knows he’ll wake up with fresh ideas after resting his mind.
While the panelists’ answers were extremely diverse given their different backgrounds and experience levels, one take away message remained the same throughout the panel: surround yourself with creative people who push you to be better than you are right now. In one way or another, each panelist expressed the importance of mentors, and we couldn’t agree more! At Imagine Media, we encourage mentorship opportunities for both our ambassadors and our full-time teammates.
If you didn’t make this event in our Double Tap the Keg series, don’t worry! We’ll be hosting many more future networking events in our downstairs office space. Keep up with us on social media and look out for the announcement about Double Tap the Keg #7! Comment below with any ideas for upcoming themes or discussion topics!
Story By: Sophie Duncan
Confidence and bravery exuded from center stage as six young entrepreneurs presented their final business ideas to a stacked panel of investors, as part of Break Into Business’s The Final Pitch at the High Museum on Sunday.
Mirroring the popular reality TV series Shark Tank, the “kids” (wise beyond their years) perfected their business ideas and were given the chance to win real funding, provided by the sharks. Shelly and Zac Brown (Zac surprised us all!), Chris Carneal, Kevin Jennings, Derek Chitwood, Stephen Lewis and our very own co-founder, Shantel Khleif comprised the team of investors, or sharks. Here are the brilliant pitches that made their decisions so hard.
Aller Busters: Audience Choice Award winner, Amara, has made it her mission to prevent allergic reactions for kids everywhere! Her system of wristbands heightens attention to what allergy a child has and represents the next-step in allergy-management. She’s already started partnering with schools and camps in Georgia. The sharks were truly impressed!
Dough Bros: Best friends, Max + Reis, put their own spin on everyone’s favorite dessert, cookie dough. Offered in an assortment of flavors, the line for their pop-up stand after the show was almost out the door! They hope to purchase their own ‘cookie cart’ with their prize funds. Having tried it ourselves we can vouch for the bros - it’s delicious!
Kids on Call: The kid-friendly version of Task Rabbit may finally be here! After seeing some of his own friends unable to participate in a class trip due to financial constraints, Jordan is encouraging his peers to raise money through his online platform. He’s already in talks with Atlanta Police Department regarding safety concerns and has a solid plan to make the site parent and child-friendly. From mowing the lawn to helping neighbors with chores, Jordan wants to make sure everyone is able to participate in school programs or have extra spending money - made responsibly!
Little Chef Ivy: This fierce chef wants to make cooking fun for kids by using coloring-book style cookbooks and vibrantly designed measuring cups inspired by Russian nesting dolls. Ivy's recipes include health-conscious foods as she’s dedicated to teaching the importance of eating healthy at an early age. Her personality (and fabulous outfit) stole the show and received multiple praises from the sharks!
Woof Water: Inspired by his own dog’s digestive issues, Aaron invented Woof Water. Think treat meets powder. Woof Water is easy to use, just sprinkle into your dogs' water bowl and voila! The sharks were able to sample, and taste, the peanut butter bacon flavor (what a combo!). Aaron received funding from several sharks and even some packaging tips from Zac Brown himself!
Their pitches were so brilliant each entrepreneur received funding from at least two sharks! Shark Chris Corneal said it best, "Entrepreneurship should be talked about more, there is so much good that it can do for the world.” And that’s exactly what these kids are doing!
We know these awe-inspiring kids will be successful at whatever they choose to do in life. Imagine Media will be watching (and cheering) for you!
If you'd like to learn more about Break Into Business please visit https://www.breakintobusiness.com/.
Story by: Olivia Ball