Author Archives: Julie Turner

Meet the Interrobang

One of the greatest aspects of being a writer is the creative latitude you magically attain when you receive your writing license in the mail (<- see?). In all seriousness, what’s appealing about writing is the fluidity of the English language.

Each year more words are added to dictionaries and it’s often a big news occasion. So while some unfortunate words are emblazoned on the vernacular until eternity (I cannot bear to link to twerk), we get useful new ones like hackable, food coma and protoplanet.

Punctuation even gets a little jolt every now and again, too. Ever heard of an interrobang? You mean you haven’t?! An interrobang is just perfect for those applications that call for a question mark but also demand the emphasis of an exclamation point. Thus, interrobang.

In the olden days of typesetting, some type families contained a unique glyph: the two different marks superimposed upon each other. Today, we just type them out side by side and I kinda dig it in the proper application.

What do you mean there’s no bacon left?!

Why haven’t you sponsored our bowling team yet?!

When is use of the font Papyrus ever okay?!

One of the most enjoyable things about writing is the vastness of your available canvas. It’s an endlessness that permeates the profession from finished product to tools to medium.

Language is in a constant state of evolution. How cool is that?!

Chronicle of Philanthropy Profiles CreateAthon

In the midst of the hustle-bustle that was last week, there was a blissful shining nugget that almost slipped by me. The Chronicle of Philanthropy, the premier news resource of nonprofit enterprises, cast its mega-watt spotlight on CreateAthon. If you’re a Chronicle of Philanthropy subscriber, you can read it here. If you’re not a subscriber, here’s the goodness you missed.

The story shared the years-long effort of Riggs Partners in establishing the effort in 1997 and growing the one-night marketing blitz into a year-round, nationwide nonprofit entity. CreateAthon Executive Director Peyton Rowe also shared that the group is very busy during the “off season” forming a national board and finalizing strategic and financial planning.

We were equally thrilled the story included partner agencies ECG Group, verynice and Think Tank PR and Marketing. The piece featured projects from the 2013 CreateAthon including those for Epworth Children’s Home in Columbia, SC; The National Museum of Animals and Society in Hollywood, Ca.; The Girl Scouts of Suffolk County in Commack, NY; and Madison County Historical Society in Edwardsville, IL.

We’re always grateful for the never-ending flow of ideas and information that stem from the Chronicle of Philanthropy. That they would give CreateAthon a big ol’ fist-bump is nothing short of a dream come true.

This isn’t about content marketing.

This should be a blog post about content marketing. But, frankly, it’s just not happening. Tonight my thoughts are wandering. I cannot stop thinking about all the incredible things that are happening around us these days.

The Soda City Market is the perfect way to start a Saturday. And, if you're lucky, you might catch a delicious, unplugged set from Chris Compton and the Ruby Brunettes.

Tonight, I was grateful to be part of the fifth anniversary celebration of 701 Whaley, an Olympia landmark that was shepherded back to relevancy from the brink of demolition. A few blocks uptown, famed photographer Annie Leibovitz (!!) was in town hosting the opening of her Pilgrimage show now on display at the Columbia Museum of Art. It was also a big night for the Main Street Merchants who were hosting one of their festive, popular First Thursday celebrations. Recent weeks have also seen people flocking downtown for the Jam Room Music Festival, the flourishing, weekly Soda City Market, and the beautifully refurbished Township Auditorium, which recently hosted rock phenoms Band of Horses and Grace Potter and the Nocturnals.

As a longtime resident of the city, I can safely say it’s been a long time since so much activity has sprung from the city center. But there’s more to what’s happening than simply playing host to the festivals, markets, meetings and merchants that are popping up all over downtown. Between the growing numbers of people, you can feel something bigger in the air. It’s an energy; a blend of excitement, anticipation, optimism and pride that’s been in short supply for years.

If one ever wanted proof that downtown is getting its groove back, the dance card full of activities last night would have been a prime example. But what’s most thrilling for all of us? We’re still in the earliest stages of downtown’s renaissance. And I already know I love it!

Maybe next time we’ll talk a little content marketing.

Monday mornings.

Monday mornings we have a traffic meeting. It’s actually a great way to start the week. Sometimes it’s the kick in the pants you need to get moving on an impossibly busy workweek. Every now and again we enjoy a genius prank (see Exhibit A above). Ryon doodles. Cathy Instagrams. There’s usually at least one retweetable moment.

 

Today as I looked around the table I noticed something else about this crew of coworkers. As usual, the seats were full and the talk was everyday: weekend fun, old deadlines, new deadlines, upcoming projects. For the first time today I saw the other something that’s part of our Monday morning ritual.

Fearlessness.

Even on a Monday morning while the first pot of coffee is brewing, no problem is too complex. We are not derailed by surprises. It’s not a matter of if it’ll all get done; it’s when. How lucky am I to work among so many talented, fearless professionals?

My good fortune is never more clear than on Monday morning.

 

10 CreateAthon Secrets Every Volunteer Should Know

  1. Bring PJ’s. When you work all night, changing clothes a few times helps.
  2. Washing your hair at 5am helps you power through the last few hours. Also, your hair may look like you’ve combed it with a porkchop. I know this to be true.
  3. Bring tissues to every presentation. Even if you don’t think you’ll need them, you will.
  4. When you can’t make a decision, get another opinion. If it’s 2 a.m., get an intervention. Remember: “Think about it. Decide. Move on.”
  5. Try to eat healthy. Staying up all night is tough. It’s harder when you’re full of chocolate, cheezy poofs, cookies, Red Bull, popcorn, coffee, doughnuts, peanuts, tiny candy bars and Little Debbie Fudge Rounds.
  6. Deliver the extra idea. There are always extra little awesome details or ideas, make them happen. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for many nonprofits. Go the extra mile.
  7. Be flexible. You never know what will happen. Go with the flow.
  8. Have fun. The 24 hours of CreateAthon is pressure packed. Take time to have fun. Stop what you’re doing, have a normal conversation. Hop on Twitter to see what other partner agencies are doing. Hold a 2am all 80’s dance party.
  9. Don’t be afraid. When you leave your last CreateAthon presentation, you will be so energized it’s almost hard to believe. You’ll feel empowered at what you did and gave. It’s a feeling that never goes away and only gets stronger when you volunteer again next year.
  10. Spread the word. There are many areas in this nation where CreateAthon could do 24 hours of good. We’d like to be there. You can help.

Watch the video below to get a sneak peek at the magic of CreateAthon.