SXSW 2019: Step Back, Think Bigger

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On the final day of the Health & MedTech track at SXSW, I was able to attend the first of a 3-session series centered around “Design for Health.”  At first glance, I thought the topic might be better suited for a true creative to attend. But once I dug into the description, the need to “think bigger” was clear. Working at an advertising agency, I’m conditioned to …

SXSW 2019: A Tale of Two Sessions

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While I’m a native Austinite, I’ve never officially been to SXSW. Sure, I live and work downtown, and therefore typically get caught in the hustle of increased traffic, daily parties, and free food. But I’ve never actually had a badge. So today, as I walked over to the Austin Convention Center for a series of sessions, I basically had no idea what I was doing. That became …

3 Strategies for Recharging Your Right Brain

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We all have moments when our brains just shut down. Whether you are a creative director, full-time parent, product manager, salesperson, or CEO, we all experience the feeling of our brain giving up after being overworked. So, how do you combat burnout and get back to producing decent ideas? Take a deep breath. Now, get your brain …

Medical Advertising Hall of Fame: Shining a Spotlight on the Youngsters

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Since I was very young, I’ve had to psych myself up before standing up or speaking out. Traditionally an introvert, it took time to learn that expressing my opinion or seizing an opportunity isn’t scary—it’s empowering, and necessary for growth. Luckily, I work at an agency that helps me develop those skills. I started at HCB as a copywriting intern almost three years ago, and from the first day, my coworkers have encouraged me to share my insights and ideas. After diving deep into brands, presenting to a dozen different clients, and taking on responsibility within the creative team, I now step forward fearlessly. This year, HCB leadership put forth my name as a Future Famer. …

Top 4 Brainstorming Pitfalls and How to Tackle Them

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I used to react to an invitation to a brainstorm like an invitation to a party. Yes, of course I’ll take a break from my real projects and go play with my creative teammates for an hour. Over time, though, I learned that not all brainstorms are created equal. Some are unfocused and confusing, some are stifled and boring. Some are downright aggravating. Here is my list of the most common brainstorming pitfalls and ways to overcome them.   PITFALL 1: Disorganized conversations that don’t generate usable ideas. Solution: Plan ahead with two bad-ass documents: a brief and an agenda. Your brief should lay out the background, context and goals of the brainstorm. Ideally, you’ll have your brief reviewed and refined by whomever this brainstorm is …

Caught in a Mentor Sandwich

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So, just a couple of days ago and I’m standing in a classroom inside the McCombs Business School at The University of Texas sharing an example of how much our lives have changed since the early, heady days of the interwebs, when Gopher was a viable contender to HTTP and the geeks were still yet to inherit the earth. In front of me are 35 UT undergrads leaning in and looking pretty engaged. On my left is one the most important mentors in my life and professor of the class, Bob Pearson. I take pause to drink in what was happening. Here I am guest lecturing at one of the top business schools in the US, dropping knowledge and experience on eager students, flanked by my mentor Bob who, in …

From Behind the Glass

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With some of our clients gearing up to launch new campaigns, I’ve had the opportunity recently to spend time listening in on a few market research interviews. It’s probably one of my favorite parts of the process. I may be alone in that feeling. For those of you who have never been to or participated in a market research session, it’s pretty straightforward: a consumer comes in to give their opinion about the pieces we’re working on — in our case, it’s usually a doctor or a surgeon. An interviewer walks them through a series of questions and discussion prompts to try and get a sense of what they think about how strong the messages are or how eye-catching …

The Importance of Mentoring: To the Women That Showed Me the Way

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“If you cannot see where you are going, ask someone who has been there before.” – J Loren Norris One of our most talented up-and-comers, Taylor Watson, had a brilliant idea. To bring this month’s agency fundamental “Be a Mentor” to life, she suggested we have a “thank a mentor” party at the agency. We get together as a group in both offices to write a thank-you note to the people who have helped us get to where we are today. First of all, a written note …

Can Old Sharks Teach Us New Tricks?

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Ever since I was a young boy I have always been fascinated with sharks. Maybe fascinated isn’t the word. Passionate. Is that the right word? Obsessed is probably more accurate. No, it wasn’t because of Jaws but rather all those Jacques Cousteau PBS specials I watched with my dad during my formative years. As I grew older, more mature and braver (maybe not so much wiser), I became a scuba diver and have continued to hone this hobby to align with my shark obsession. During my diving career I have progressively risen up the ranks of underwater shark encounters/experiences: nurse sharks, black tip reef sharks, Caribbean reef sharks, blue sharks, lemon sharks, bull sharks, hammerhead sharks, tiger sharks and the elusive and magnificent whale shark. This journey up the food chain came to its zenith …

HCB Health Hires Healthcare Digital Veteran Colin Foster as CDO to Build out Agency’s Digital Department and Client Offerings

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AUSTIN & CHICAGO (January 10, 2018) – HCB Health, one of the country’s leading healthcare communications agencies, recently hired veteran healthcare digital expert, Colin Foster, to lead its flourishing digital practice. As HCB Health‘s first chief digital officer, Foster is responsible for all things digital, production, project management and information technology. He is expanding HCB’s digital offerings across the entire agency, providing new products to elevate its clients’ businesses and …

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