Monday, March 28, 2011

RSVP Form for Non-Profits to attend

Creative Volunteers Wanted - CPR 2011, needs Your Help.

Calling all advertising and marketing pros in the Philly/SJ region!

If you are a creative professional, like a graphic designer, art director, creative director, brand manager, advertising account executive, web designer, social media expert, adwords guru, photographer, illustrator, marketing strategist, or even an intern working your way through an ad agency, or design shop, and you want to take one saturday in May to give something back to the world please use the link below, and contact us to volunteer now:

Watch Video:

Watch the Recruiting Video and fill out the form to Contact Us to Volunteer

Thank you! We hope to hear from you.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Photo from space scouting Mar 21

The space for our event has been scouted, and it's great!

I went yesterday to meet with the (really swell) person donating the space for our CPR event and to get a lay of the land for the space that they are thinking of giving us and it's going to be perfect. it's an A rated office space with plenty of room, electricity and lights, (and heat and AC). It's also the best location I think we could have ever hoped for, convenient to Rt. 295 and Rt. 38.

I will post a few photos, but there will be ample room; chairs and desks are already available, and there are even extra conference rooms for seminars and group sessions. Exciting!

Progress so far...Where's this bus going?

Well, the idea for CPR began about 2 years ago, during CreateAthon - our annual pro-bono marathon event for non-profit organizations. What's a CreateAthon? For 24 hours (non-stop) we work through the night to supply Non-profits with whatever they need (once a year) to help them with marketing and advertising for their missions. Marketing ideas, logos, websites, brochures, ads, storyboards for TV spots, radio scripts, and more. We've helped over 65 organizations in the past 8 years producing somewhere near $1.2 million worth of creative services and work. This is all good work. But something was missing.

Over 2 years ago we started thinking about all the worthy organizations who don't get accepted each year, and how we would like to help them as well. We always tell them to "apply again next year", and there are examples of non-profit orgs who did not get in for 3 years in a row, but did get accepted the 4th time they applied. We simply can't serve everyone's needs in one 24 hour period. No matter how hard we want to help them all.

So the idea of hosting an open seminar for all non-profits bubbled up, based on a concept of speed dating, tag-team wrestling, and useful resources wrangling. We could invite all the non-profits who have applied in the past, and have a 15 minute face-to-face review with round-robin sessions where Creative professionals of all kinds (writers, marketers, art directors and designers, web gurus, social media experts) review the non-profits' needs and give them some open, honest, and easy to implement (i.e. affordable) suggestions that will help them with their missions. Many of the ideas can come out of things we know have helped our other CreateAthon clients in the past, and many will be fresh, on the spot thinking, but the end goal is to help many more non-profits, and have some fun while doing it.

So here we are. And here's what's happened so far, and what still needs to happen.

March 11. Invited all past CreateAThon creative volunteers to contribute ideas and join our cause. We received a ton of great feedback and ideas.

March 18 - met with core group of volunteers for brainstorming and planning

To Do:

1. Planning with a very nice space provider who is donating space for the event.

2. Creating a short video "call to arms" to get more creative people inspired to be part of what we're doing. We need new creative blood in addition to the tried and true CreateAthon hardcore crazies we know and love already. We really think this will bring a new and exciting dynamic to this that will result in an excellent experience for the non-profits, and for our volunteers. Positive energy will abound! The side benefit is some great networking.

3. Writing and setting up the RSVP form for Non-Profits to RSVP for the event online.

4. Organizing messages to the non-profits, and creating the email campaigns that will be sent to them to announce the event.

5. Reaching out to the non-profit grapevines to help spread the news.

5. Preparing press releases to help spread the word that the event is happening and that it's completely No-Strings-Attached Free.

6. A new logo design for CPR is needed for branding and awareness campaigns.

7. Setting up a blog or special Facebook page for daily updates and news on how it's all coming together. (DONE!)

8. Start spreading the news on Social Media and asking friends to help spread the word. (STARTED!)

9. Brainstorming session with CPR creative volunteers for March 31st at Hypno.

More to come. please stay tuned!

CPR Creative Partners Roundtable - Announcing a NEW idea for helping our world

This is exciting stuff!

Happening May 21st, 2011

Hello Superstars of Creativity!

Can you tell I'm sucking up to you already? You probably are called a lot of things, but I bet you don't get called that at work every day!

We have an exciting new thing we're doing this spring and I need your immediate input PLEASE!

We have another chance to make a huge difference in the world.

The concept: Creative Partners Roundtable for non-profits

As you know, we can only serve about 5 to 7 non-profits each year via CreateAThon, and a lot of worthy groups don't get selected each year simply because we don't have the resources available for ALL of them at one time. For every one client we accept at least 6 or 7 other very worthy groups are rejected and told to "keep applying, and maybe next year you will be accepted." There's only so much life-blood we can pour into it, after all. It's disappointing for them and for us.

The Creative Partners Roundtable (a working title - feel free to suggest a better one) allows us to contact all the organizations that have applied in the past, and invite them to a free seminar where creative professionals will be available in a speed-dating type of atmosphere to look at their current marketing and branding materials, and offer pointers (suggestions) and give them direction on available inexpensive and free resources. Think of it as part portfolio review, and part speed-chess (yes, there will be timers!). Along the way, we will also offer tips for how to fill out the CreateAThon application better, and increase their chances for being picked for CreateAThon. We may even have small presentation seminars scheduled on things like Social Media, blogging, and other marketing ideas to round out the day. (Any ideas are welcome!)

It would go from 10am to 3pm (or so). So it's not a major life-blood commitment for you, our volunteers. And it would be held on a Saturday. Even if you could not put in 5 hours, one or two hours would be do-able, easily. We figure this is a good way for some of our volunteers to rejoin the effort, who have not been able to commit to doing CreateAThon with us (for understandable reasons!). Plus, it's a fun way to network and help save the world in a way that contributes to the success of the organizations, and to the ongoing success of CreateAThon.

Lunch and snacks will be supplied. All you need to bring is your creative minds. There will hopefully be internet access, so we can look at Non-profits existing websites, and show them online resources as well. We will also compile a resources flyer for them with all kinds of valuable free tips and pointers.

A designer can look at a startup's materials and explain the importance of a good logo and using it consistently, or how to fix a bad logo. A copywriter can examine the messaging they are currently using and help explain some basic rules about good communication, and what we've learned while helping other non-profits over the years.) A marketing expert can look at the gaps in a NP's program and suggest ways of getting more bang from their buck. Photographers can explain the power of a good photo (and since they are visual people their design input matters too). There's something to do for everyone of you, at this event. There will be a lot of brain power in the room, so it's sure to be exciting and rewarding, and buzzing!

So the NPs don't all show up at 10am and swamp us, we will have a first come-first serve RSVP schedule to spread out their arrivals. As you can guess this will take some good coordination of knowing who our volunteers will be and when they will be available. I'm hoping you all say "I'm in, and could do the full 4 or 5 hours" as it would mean we could line up even more NP's for arrival. The day will go quickly, I am positive about that. Think how quickly the first 5 hours of CreateAThon goes!

So the first step is selecting a date. We are thinking Saturday May 21st. The location will be in South Jersey, probably in a nice (wide open empty) office building in Delran, NJ. If that's a good day for you, and you feel like helping save the rest of the world that day with us, let me know!

- Richard Cardona