Business Culture

Props to Values

From the HB Blog

What drives your business?

Rosanna M. Fiske, APR, chair and chief executive officer of the Public Relations Society of America shares the importance of values across a company. Fiske argues that good businesses profit from products and services while great companies do the same with a higher purpose. Companies must communicate their values across the business for the greatest impact. Perhaps her most important point concerns asking employees what they feel is most important.


So often we forget to speak directly to our audience(s). Whether you are an agency, a B2B company, or a retail shop, it’s critical to know what your team thinks. How does your account manager, sales team, or cashier embody a company’s value system?


We pride ourselves on The HB Way, a set of principles guiding our actions with clients, prospects, and each other. These beliefs emerged from internal (ongoing) discussions about HB’s purpose and role in the world of marketing. When in doubt, refer to The HB Way to make a valuable decision.

Business Social Media

Meetings, Greetings, and Tweetings

From the HB Blog

Networking events serve to connect people, provide an opportunity for introductions, and act as an environment in which to speak about your business.

And often they conclude without any business leads. Such is the nature of networking events – meet interesting people, engage in conversation, but ultimately struggle to gain traction with prospects. So what’s the point?


Start thinking of networking events as incredible opportunities to speak eloquently about you and your business. I recently attended several events, including a South Shore Tweet-up, where constant interactions require I succinctly and efficiently share HB’s solutions from the perspective of the client.


In order to effectively discuss your business, you must practice. Practice in the mirror, to your significant other, to your dog – whatever works best. Over time, networking events will seem less intimidating and more beneficial. Talk about your business well and your conversations become more meaningful.

How are you talking about your business?


Let’s Go!

From the HB Blog

You know that email you’re afraid to send? Or that critique you can’t seem to share? Or that errand you are avoiding?

Stop it. And let’s go.

Too often I find myself:

  • Avoiding mowing the lawn,
  • Returning unfinished library books, or
  • Feeling unsatisfied with my work ethic.

Time management and commitment greatly influence success. What’s stopping you? Whatever you need to do – do it. And let’s go.

Need tools to help? FranklinCovey lends a hand.
How about testing? Chris Brogan suggests just that.
Or, just a simple look in the mirror. Julien Smith gets in your face.

I require a look in the mirror every now and again to recharge my batteries. It doesn’t hurt that the HB team also helps push me to work smarter.



Going Green… On the Green

From the HB Blog

I thoroughly enjoy sports, especially golf (above: my recent trip to Torrey Pines in San Diego with my family). I also enjoy “doing the right thing,” especially when it comes to the environment.

Several sports franchises feel the same way and developed the Green Sports Alliance – a collective group working to reduce the environmental impact of their teams and venues. Their most recent news surrounds FedEx Field in Washington, D.C., home to the NFL’s Redskins. The organization plans to install solar panels in its parking lots which will power the field on non-game days and dramatically decrease the energy needed for home games. Even more impressive, the recently-founded Alliance has quickly quadrupled in size thanks to the addition of our hometown Red Sox and other franchises.

As a Sox fan, I proudly root for the players on the field… and soon I will proudly root for a team that is “doing the right thing.”

An additional thought: I know that golf in particular can be hard on the environment. Read my previous post about how Justin Timberlake sets a new standard for eco-friendly golf, and if you’re a golfer, join me in asking for environmentally conscious practices at your local golf course.

Design Strategy

An Event Apart Boston: One Week Later

Thanks to the kind folks at HB, I was able to attend last week’s An Event Apart in Boston, a conference for people who make web sites.After meeting hundreds of interesting people and listening to dozens of engaging speakers, here are my most important takeaways:

Lack of Control
You may not be in control of the user’s experience,” said Jeffrey Zeldman when kicking off the event. Throughout the week, we learned to design for the worst possible outcome. Even better, we should think responsively – sites must adjust to the user’s experience. Mark Boulton offered solutions with grids, while Ethan Marcotte suggested detailed media queries within CSS.

Content Comes First
Users should be interacting with content, not navigation tools or page structure. In fact, “content precedes design; design without content is decoration,” said Zeldman. We are redefining how we think about layout: content-out instead of canvas-in, said Boulton.

Experience and Users
Have a philosophy – especially one about how to treat people or make an impact, said Whitney Hess. Both your clients and your company should have a strong philosophy and/or design voice. In the mobile world, make things easier for users with customized input forms and remove extraneous page elements while elevating content, said Luke Wroblewski.

Plan for the Long Haul
How can we ensure that our brand lives on ten, twenty, or even fifty years from now? Jeremy Keith recommends text and open formats without restrictive licenses. Additionally, strategy, planning, and culture are all extremely important (Aarron Walter and Jeff Veen were particularly interesting to me from a strategy perspective). Take the time to develop patterns, prototypes, and design personas. Build a strong culture that allows for employees to work at their highest levels, especially in difficult times. And perhaps the most important thing I learned, courtesy of Typekit CEO Jeff Veen: “purpose is timeless.” Understand what problems you to solve, and the best place to do it.

In the end, it was a full two days of information digestion. I’m sure there’s plenty of great information I’ve missed… but what excited me the most were the talks that were more strategical and less technical. An Event Apart Boston gave me more fodder for thinking less like a designer and more like a creative problem solver. Big thanks to Jeffrey Zrldman and Eric Meyer for putting together a diverse cast of characters.