Dane County Small Business Award

Posted by Brian Lee on June 28, 2016 in Doing business

DSC02148As any small business owner knows, it’s not easy being in business. That’s why, in my acceptance speech for the 2016 Dane County Small Business Award, I said the award was actually recognizing the culmination of our first five years in business.

According to the website, “these prestigious awards will recognize 10 successful small Dane County businesses that have rewarding workplace environments and contribute to their community.” Regarding the latter, we’re happy to continue offering non-profit organizations discounted or pro-bono services as well as taking active roles in local boards.

I’m so thankful for the talented staff (past and present) we have at Revelation, and the support I’ve received from so many people (you know who you are!). And, big congrats to the other nine winners, several of which we know.


Read the article about the award in InBusiness.


Supplier Diversity

Posted by Brian Lee on June 24, 2016 in Doing business

NMSDCI’m pleased to announce that Revelation PR, Advertising & Social Media earned recently its MBE (minority business enterprise) certification from the National Minority Supplier Development Council.

(We received our State of Wisconsin MBE status in 2012.)

Revelation is seeking both Tier 1 and Tier 2 vendor opportunities. As you may know, the business case for diversity is important. Let us help your company be more inclusive in your supply chain.

We can work in almost any industry. Please contact Brian Lee, brian [at] experiencerevelation.com or 608-622-7767.


WordPress password field ’empty’ error in Chrome

Posted by Brian Lee on June 17, 2016 in Marketing

WordPressIf you’re using Google Chrome, on occasion you’ll encounter an error when logging into WordPress. Even though the password field is filled in (with your saved password), you’ll receive a message that the password field is empty.

Here’s how to fix it, and props to whomever figured this out:

  1. Once you log into your Dashboard, go to Appearance and then Editor. Select Theme Functions (functions.php).
  2. Insert this code anywhere after the initial “<?php” code:

add_action(“login_form”, “kill_wp_attempt_focus”);
function kill_wp_attempt_focus() {
global $error;
$error = TRUE;

This has worked for the various WordPress sites we manage.



Why I don’t buy Apple products

Posted by Brian Lee on June 10, 2016 in Personal Note

AppleEver since I went through training to be fully versed in Economic Gardening, I’ve thought a lot about temperament. In this particular blog post, I’ll discuss how my temperament (personality type) makes me anything but a fan of Apple products.

Apple products, whether they be smartphones, mp3 players, tablets, streaming boxes or computers, are meant to be simple: simple to use, simple to maintain, simple to operate. (A prime example is that the smartphones, tablets and mp3 players only have one button besides on/off and volume.)

I have friends and family members who use Apple products. The point of this blog post is not to bash them or anyone else–it’s to explain my personality.

1. I don’t believe in limits: The aforementioned simplicity of Apple devices means everything is handed to you in one particular way, with as few ways as possible to execute anything. Of course, simplicity lowers the ceiling of the capabilities of the devices. Compare that to Windows (yes, I said Windows) and Android products, both of which have higher ceilings–you can do a lot more with them, if you’re willing to take the time to learn (e.g. root your Android device).

2. I’m a leader, not a follower: I use the “herd mentality” in marketing. Many times, consumers can save the step of making an informed decision by picking whatever everyone else already picked (known as the “early majority” and “late majority”). If you’re a first time smartphone shopper, and you didn’t research the various choices, it’s of course easier to pick what everyone else has. It’s human nature to want to be part of the group (that’s how fads arise). I tend to make logical decisions, not emotional decisions, about products, and I don’t feel the pressure to be a “me-too.”

3. I strive for inclusiveness: Apple, especially under the late Steve Jobs, was notorious for creating closed systems. That’s why you can only add music and videos through iTunes to your devices. On any other non-Apple device (e.g. Samsung Galaxy), you can simple transfer music directly from your computer (even onto an SD card, which is not available to Apple devices). I’m a big fan of a diversity, but Apple isn’t.

Lastly, it amuses me that Apple’s slogan is “think different.” At one point, yes, that was the case. But for consumers, you’re not thinking differently if you buy Apple products for the reasons I listed above (according to my temperament).



Christmas Every Month: The Subscription Box Retail Trend

Posted by Madeleine Bell on June 3, 2016 in Marketing

birchboxForget magazine subscriptions—the market has something better. Monthly socks? There’s a subscription for that. Gluten-free snacks, bacon-every-month and paleo treats? You bet. You can even subscribe to “Time of the Month” feminine hygiene boxes, moss-of-the-month packages and monthly apocalypse preparation supplies.

Subscription boxes are quickly growing in popularity. Once you create an online profile and purchase your subscription (typically ranging from $10-$100 per month), a box will arrive on your doorstep every month with a variety of specialty products “handpicked” for you. You can also “gift” the subscription to friends and family.

For my 20th birthday, my sister purchased a four-month Birchbox subscription for me. Birchbox provides customers with monthly makeup, skincare and fragrance samples. At first I thought, “the last thing I need is more small crap I don’t use in my college dorm room!” But then I received my first box.

This box wasn’t just a product, it was an experience. As I opened the beautifully wrapped package, I felt like it was Christmas all over again. There was a sense of mystery, discovery, surprise and self-indulgence. And I got to repeat this experience for three more months!

By the fourth month of my subscription, Birchbox did end up filling my dorm room with small crap and clutter. I never used the “gold-infused moisturizer” nor the “bead-buffing eye caviar” (what are these things?!). However, out of the 20 samples in total, I fell in love with three products that I later bought in full-size.

I then realized this subscription model was a powerful marketing pheromone. Companies are capitalizing on a consumer’s anticipation. Customers look forward to their monthly subscriptions with the thrill of not knowing what’s coming next. They get to self-indulge and spoil themselves without the post-purchase dissonance and guilt of buying an expensive product.

The subscription model also allows manufacturers to give customers a taste or feel for products that these customers might not otherwise find. Are these boxes filling up your home with useless junk? Maybe they are, or maybe you’re finding products you love. Regardless, isn’t the magical experience worth the $10 per month?

According to Forbes, Birchbox now has more than 800,000 active subscribers, translating into $96 million in annual sales. This retail trend doesn’t show any signs of slowing down, which brings the entrepreneur in me to wonder, “What box could I sell?”



Spacesaver Acquires Viking Metal Cabinet Company to Expand Museum Offerings

Posted by Allison Wallner on May 24, 2016 in Client news

May 24, 2016

Katie Lowell
800-255-8170 x0717

Spacesaver Acquires Viking Metal Cabinet Company to Expand Museum Offerings

(FORT ATKINSON, Wis.) – The Spacesaver Corporation announced today it is expanding its museum storage lines with the acquisition of Viking Metal Cabinet Company.

“We’re joining forces to provide complete solutions,” said Mark Haubenschild, Spacesaver’s executive vice president. “Now we can offer the whole package–local service and a full range of museum products, backed up by our proven teams of engineers, project managers and skilled manufacturing staff.”

The acquisition, which was completed May 20, enables Spacesaver to serve as the one-stop-shop for the design, installation, and maintenance of metal museum cabinets, shelving, art racks, custom components and compact storage systems. It will unite Spacesaver’s extensive network of local distributors, as well as its in-house engineering and design expertise, with Viking’s strong reputation for the manufacture of high-quality museum cabinets.

The two companies have installations at prestigious institutions such as the Smithsonian, Yale University and the Field Museum of Natural History.

Spacesaver will begin manufacturing Viking’s line of metal museum cabinets later this year at its Fort Atkinson headquarters.

About Spacesaver (www.spacesaver.com)

Spacesaver is trusted with the preservation and care of some of the world’s most important and interesting objects. Founded in 1972, the Wisconsin-based company has completed more than 300,000 installations in the U.S. and around the world, with a client list including a wide variety of archival institutions. Spacesaver’s in-house engineering team, its project managers, its planning and design staff, and the employees of its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility team up with its extensive network of local distributors to provide clients with well-designed, reliable, and aesthetically pleasing storage solutions. A division of KI, Green Bay, Wis., Spacesaver is ISO 9001:2008 certified and headquartered in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin. Sales, installation, and service are provided by The Spacesaver Group of independent distributors.

About Viking Metal Cabinet Company

Located in Plainfield, Ill., Viking has been in the metal fabrication business since 1950, expanding with the acquisition of Interior Steel Equipment Company in 1995. This strategic move enabled Viking to offer a complete line of highly specialized storage cabinets for the museum and university community.


Resulting Media Coverage:



Welcome Madeleine!

Posted by Brian Lee on May 17, 2016 in Doing business

Here in Madison in time to see the ups and downs of our crazy spring weather is Madeleine Bell, Revelation’s summer intern. She is a marketing major at Tulane University in New Orleans, where she also is a certified personal trainer. Madeleine’s experience includes serving as a brand marketing intern for Athleta.


Sullivan designBUILD to Manage Certco Facility Expansion

Posted by Allison Wallner on May 16, 2016 in Client news

May 16, 2016

John Riley

Sullivan designBUILD to Manage Certco Facility Expansion

(MADISON, Wis.)—Sullivan designBUILD announced today it will serve as the general contractor for the 150,000-square foot cooler addition to grocery wholesaler Certco’s existing freezer building at 4802 Femrite Dr. A groundbreaking ceremony will take place at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday.

“We appreciate opportunities like Certco’s cooler addition to continue our long-standing history of building cold-storage warehousing,” John Riley, President of Sullivan designBUILD, said.

The anticipated completion date is November 2016.

The existing building is 172,285 square feet and opened in 2010. The expansion will allow Verona, Wis.-based Certco to increase its refrigerated offerings to independent supermarkets in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois and Iowa.

“This is an exciting time for Certco, and we’re happy to partner with Sullivan designBUILD on this important expansion,” Certco President and CEO Randy Simon said.

JSD Professional Services is providing architecture and engineering services.


Resulting Media Coverage:



Capacity Building in Healthcare

Posted by Taylor Kennedy on May 6, 2016 in Marketing, Public relations

Image courtesy of kengmerry at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Capacity building, a process of individual and institutional development that leads to higher levels of staff skills and a greater ability to perform useful research, is a trend many hospitals and healthcare providers are adopting. At its core, capacity building is about improving effectiveness at the organizational level. This ranges from dealing with crises (e.g. Zika, Ebola) to identifying ways to promote social services.


For communities, the outcomes of a healthcare provider’s capacity building should include more involvement in problem solving, increased access to resources and a sense of how to best co-exist.

Community members often will become healthier, showing signs of optimism and trust and a focus on unification. Rather than saying “nothing works,” healthy communities embrace a “we can do it” attitude.


To start a capacity building program, you must start with internal buy-in from top-down. Make sure you include internal audiences in the process, speak in a language they’ll understand and engage them as early as possible. Also, be explicit about the benefits of the program, identify and manage risks and listen to any concerns.

Next, make sure you have the resources and readiness to sustain a campaign for an indefinite amount of time. Consider applying for a capacity building grant; projects that may be eligible for grants include strategic planning, board development and staff training.

Lastly, seek out external stakeholders, such as community leaders, educators and vendors. Invite these stakeholders to a few capacity-building events, including visits to project sites. Stay in communication with them through social media and e-newsletters.


Revelation PR, Advertising & Social Media offers healthcare providers services related to media relations, crisis communications, internal communications, media buying, content marketing and social media management. Please contact Brian Lee, brian [at] experiencerevelation.com or 608-622-7767.




Calming Down Your Networking Nerves

Posted by Allison Wallner on April 29, 2016 in Doing business

networking img

Do I have to go? Whom will I talk to? What do I say?

These questions used to flood my mind anytime a networking event was presented.

I envied those that waltzed into a networking event with such relaxation and grace and that could approach strangers. I’d much rather be sitting at a table with my friends sipping a cocktail having a fun, effortless conversation.

The purpose of networking events is to enhance your career through making professional connections. Name tags, beverages of some sort (not always alcohol), and/or appetizers may accompany a networking event to give a relaxed atmosphere. It didn’t relax me. Once that name tag was on, I was feeling alone in a crowd of people. It’s where my nerves would immediately kick in.

Thankfully, with some practice, I learned some ways to calm down, take a breath and enjoy myself. This is how:

People are there to talk! Believe me, I know it is intimidating to walk up to a stranger and introduce yourself. But the chances of being completely ignored are very slim. People expect to be approached and talked to at networking events.

Have a conversation. This is your chance to wow them. No pressure right? Try to think of it as a conversation you’re having with a close friend. This relaxed me and I was able to speak more freely without the nervousness. Exchange of professions is common but it can go anywhere from there. I’ve found that asking general questions (regarding: venue, where they are from, etc.) can lead to topics that are easy to talk about.

These brief conversations can lead to good things. Perhaps I’ll see this person at another networking event, thankful I know a familiar face. Who knows? Eventually that person could turn into a friend who sits with me at a table while sipping cocktails.


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