Disappointed with early release of Super Bowl ads

Posted by Taylor Thomas on February 4, 2016 in Television

super-bowl-50-logoEven if you didn’t grow up a sports fan, you still watched the Super Bowl for its advertisements and maybe even the halftime show. You knew that the ads you saw were being released for the very first time. It’s also one of the only sporting events in which people don’t leave the room during commercials (unless they need to refill) because they are what many people look forward to seeing.

This year–like the past several years–that feeling of being surprised has disappeared. I guess it was only a matter of time, as companies have released their ads weeks prior to the game, with the hopes of increasing exposure.

As I think about it, it is a smart move for companies. Since companies are spending an average of $4.8 million plus production costs for a 30-second commercial, it makes sense the organization would want to extend the buzz to make the investment worthwhile. It could make a one-day campaign turn into a 10-day campaign. Also, releasing early gives the company a chance to break through some of the clutter.

It will be interesting to see how pre-releasing these ads will affect viewership numbers during the game on Sunday.



The Power of PR

Posted by Brian Lee on January 25, 2016 in Public relations

I’ve always known that public relations can be used to positively affect our society. For me, that notion was reinforced after I listened to U.S. Congressman John Lewis speak at the 2015 PRSA International Conference in Atlanta.

1963_march_on_washingtonCongressman Lewis has spent most of his life fighting for civil rights, and he is the only living “Big Six” leader of the African-American Civil Rights Movement, according to Wikipedia.

His anecdotes about activism and fighting for causes were a reminder to the audience that PR’s ability to educate and influence is powerful. In fact, think of these campaigns and their impact on society:

  • Running public service announcements about wearing a seat belt when driving.
  • Rallying a community to stand up against police violence.
  • Passing a local referendum to fund dual-language immersion classes at an elementary school.
  • Defeating proposed legislation that would ban a certain type of research at a university.

“Get in the way,” Congressman Lewis said to the attendees. “Find a way … to educate, to inform and to inspire another generation to stand up for what is right and what is necessary. That is your calling.”

Smart folks like Congressman Lewis know that public relations is not about “spin” or event planning or endless pitching. PR practitioners should be proud that our profession can protect our rights, our health, our safety, our education, our children and our livelihoods.

I know I am.



Welcome Jessica!

Posted by Brian Lee on January 18, 2016 in Doing business

This semester’s PR intern is Jessica Hamilton, a junior studying journalism and strategic communications at the University of Wisconsin. Her experience includes working at another agency and writing for a student magazine and newspaper. Jessica hails from the Milwaukee area and is a member of PRSSA.



Welcome Allison!

Posted by Brian Lee on January 13, 2016 in Doing business

Revelation is excited to have Allison Wallner join us as our first project coordinator. She hails from Elkhart Lakes, Wis., and studied meeting and event planning at Lakeshore Technical College.

Allison will assist in areas including social media management, SEO, website management, event planning, research and project management.



Hearing Aids Users to Benefit from New Gruv Buttons

Posted by Brian Lee on January 11, 2016 in Client news

Jan. 11, 2016

Jeffrey Szmanda, 414-807-0404

Hearing Aids Users to Benefit from New Gruv Buttons™

(HALES CORNER, Wis.)—Hearing aid users will gain better access to and control over their receivers thanks to new devices called Gruv Buttons™, which were unveiled at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the Wisconsin Alliance of Hearing Professionals, held Jan. 8-9 in Lake Delton, Wis.

Gruv Buttons™, a product line of Each Ear, LLC, are ergonomically designed to help Receiver-in-the-Canal (RIC) hearing aid users to use their fingertips to insert their receivers, thus solving three challenges:
1) Difficulty manipulating and controlling the small receivers,
2) Inserting receivers sufficiently deep in bending auditory canals, and
3) Overcoming users’ physical limitations and disabilities.

“Gruv Buttons™ significantly improve RIC hearing aid manageability and effectiveness,” Each Ear Founder and President Jeffrey Szmanda said. “Now users can truly benefit from the prescribed amplification.”

Gruv Buttons™ will be distributed to hearing care professionals in three models: The SoloGruv™, The TrueGruv™ and The WheelGruv™.

Also at the conference, Each Ear unveiled its “Practitioner Request,” a plea for hearing aid manufacturers to review and consider implementing the patent-pending Gruv Buttons™ for their RICs.

“We are very interested in helping people with physical disabilities and limitations use hearing aids with greater ease,” Mike Matus, vice president, sales & strategic solutions for Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Wisconsin and Metropolitan Chicago, said. “We look forward to assisting Each Ear with the assembly and distribution of its Gruv Buttons.”

Hearing care professionals and hearing aid manufacturers can learn more about Gruv Buttons™ and the Practitioner Request at EachEar.com.




Cheers to five years

Posted by Brian Lee on January 4, 2016 in Doing business

PrintToday, Revelation hit the five-year mark in business. As I think about those five years, I remember the challenges, hardships, frustrations, heart-breaks and anxiety of being a business owner … but I also remember the triumphs, joy, relief, sense of accomplishment and confidence-builders. I also am forever grateful to all the people who helped me grow Revelation.

Cheers to five–and hopefully many more–years!


Our five-year anniversary is listed in this InBusiness article.



CSI Healthcare IT Earns Top KLAS Rankings

Posted by Brian Lee on December 22, 2015 in Client news

Dec. 22, 2015

Keith Lechwar

CSI Healthcare IT Earns Top KLAS Rankings

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.—CSI Healthcare IT consistently delivers quality consultants and service as one of the best Go-Live support firms, according to the recently released KLAS Go-Live Support 2015 performance report.

The report is an annual study on which firms perform the best in five areas—CSI Healthcare IT was No. 1 in Quality of Clinician Consultants and Elbow-to-Elbow Support, ranked in the top three in Project Management and Command Center Leadership and ranked in the top five in 24/7 Support.

“As we tell all of our clients, we are here to help make their job easier with the best processes and top HIT consultants, and these rankings prove it,” CSI Healthcare IT President Zack Wilson said. “Our proven processes and vast experience have led, and will continue to lead, to exceptional results for healthcare providers.”

In the Quality of Clinician Consultants ranking, HIT firms were ranked by their clients based on their ability to deliver quality clinician resources that establish credibility with clinicians, enable high physician adoption and help drive client satisfaction. According to one respondent, “we were well prepared by CSI Healthcare IT and very satisfied with the quality of the people we got.”

In Elbow-to-Elbow Support, firms were ranked based on their ability to work in tandem with providers to ensure physician adoption. According to one client who gave CSI high marks, “they were able to engage people during a stressful time and keep things rolling along.”

More details on the KLAS rankings can be found at www.klasresearch.com.

About CSI Healthcare IT
CSI Healthcare IT (www.csihealthcareit.com) is a division of The CSI Companies and a part of RECRUIT, the 4th largest recruitment company in the world. Offering both experienced consulting services and proven staff augmentation resources, CSI Healthcare IT provides complete information technology solutions to hospitals and physician offices nationwide. Our hybrid approach gives us the ability to provide a full solution or to quickly augment staff making it possible for our clients to scale projects as needed—saving them both time and money. Within the dynamics of Healthcare IT, CSI’s flexible solutions make the lives of hospital managers easier.

About KLAS
KLAS is a research and insights firm on a global mission to improve healthcare delivery by amplifying the provider’s voice. Working with thousands of healthcare professionals and clinicians, KLAS gathers data and insights on software, services, and medical equipment to deliver timely reports, trends and statistical overviews. The research directly represents the provider voice and acts as a catalyst for improving vendor performance.




I hate slideshow websites

Posted by Brian Lee on December 17, 2015 in Marketing

SlideshowsWhere is that child star from the 1980s today? Which athlete had the most arrests? What are the most unhealthy fast-food items?

Today’s listicles, written with tantalizing-sounding topics like the ones above, typically serve as click bait in the form of a slideshow. The reasons for the slideshow are to 1) artificially boost a website’s pageviews and 2) trick the reader into clicking a link to a different sponsored post. I find both unethical, and I would never advise a client to do something so sleazy.

I love that in the recent South Park episode titled “Sponsored Content,” a character said, “I feel like I’m always trying to chase the news somehow. It’s like I’m in a black void trying to reach the news story. But then the next thing I know I’m reading an ad for GEICO. So I click out of that and try to read the news story, but it’s not a news story, it’s a slideshow, and I’m looking at the worst celebrity plastic surgery jobs ever.”

Is this how media companies want to earn a buck these days, by annoying and deceiving their audiences? I’m putting my foot down, refusing to look at any more slideshows. If that means I don’t get to find out the horrifying secret that hikers discovered in the woods or the 14 things about Kate Middleton that annoy the queen, so be it.

Won’t you join me?

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Holiday parties

Posted by Brian Lee on December 3, 2015 in Personal Note

Joint partyThis blog post has nothing to do with PR, marketing, social media, etc. I wanted to write about how much I enjoy this time of year for the holiday parties. I’ve got one tonight, two this weekend, two next Tuesday, three on Thursday (though I have to miss two of them), one on Friday and another on Saturday. I’m also hosting one the Saturday after that.

Surprisingly, only one of these parties is an ugly Christmas sweater party (and I’m missing it, too). Is that theme going out of style?

Next Thursday is the annual Joint Holiday Networking Party for all communications groups in town. I wrote about the event, which I created, a couple years ago.

Happy holidays!



Being a Thankful Entrepreneur

Posted by Brian Lee on November 25, 2015 in Doing business

FTF LOGOMadison’s startup scene has grown exponentially over the past five years. For example, when I helped to launch Madworks Coworking at University Research Park in summer 2013, three other coworking spaces opened around the same time. Thus, we went from one to four, just like that.

As a result, there’s no better time to start a business in Madison. Every entrepreneur in the area should be thankful for our bountiful resources:

Space – It’s still a renter’s market in Madison, and many building owners will offer flexibility in their leases. In addition to the coworking spaces we have, Madison also has makerspaces such as Sector67 and the Bodgery.

Mentorship – You can find help through groups like WWBIC, the SBDC, Merlin Mentors, the UW Law & Entreneurship Clinic and the Doyenne Group. Plus, we have the Madworks and gener8tor accelerator programs.

Continuing education – Madison College is bolstering its entrepreneurship curriculum (and even hosts the Madison College Challenge). WARF has a free program called UpStart [transparency: I teach in it] for female and minority entrepreneurs, and the AmFam DreamBank offers regular, free programming.

Events – What better way to meet peers and learn about the startup world than a live event? A partial list includes the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs Conference, the Early Stage Symposium, the Madison Startup Fair, Spring Tech Kickoff and Forward Festival [transparency: our client], which itself include the Badger Startup Summit, the Forward Tech Conference and the Madison+ Ruby Conference. Plus, we have several recurring hackathons, including Build Madison, and networking events, such as Capital Entrepreneurs.


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