Five Listening Tips I Learned from My Hair Stylist

December 5, 2018Experience, Healthcare, Listening, Marketing

Highlights, lowlights, babylights, splashlights. Painting. Gloss. Ombre, sombre, balayage. As my stylist likes to say, when it comes to hair color, “There are a lot of ways to get to France.” Ok, I get it: I come to my stylist with a look — or an outcome — in mind. My stylist, equipped with a myriad of techniques and skillsets, has to figure out the best way to achieve the look. Or even harder, to diplomatically redirect my hair hopes and dreams when my platinum aspirations are in direct contrast to well, having hair. Much like in the healthcare advertising world, stylists must have a deep knowledge …

Curiosity Didn’t Kill the Cat. It Was Ignorance. (Curiosity Was Framed.)

October 4, 2018Culture, Listening, Marketing

The world’s greatest inventions, discoveries, innovations, products, services and companies all have one thing in common. They all blossomed from the seed of curiosity. When curiosity is nurtured and pursued, anything can come from it. But it can’t be passive or accidental. It must be as natural and active as our beating heart in order to see its fruits. At HCB, we’ve made it one of our core values because we …

Yes, My Degree in Bass Performance Really Does Apply to My Job in Advertising

September 21, 2018Culture, Experience, Listening, Marketing

And a one … and a two … and a one, two, three, go! I guess by now I shouldn’t be surprised at how many musicians there are in advertising — hell, I’m one of them. Everywhere I’ve worked, there have been guitarists, drummers, singers, pianists … and, perhaps most importantly, bassists. (Can you guess what I play?) My degree is in Popular Music Performance. It’s an unusual degree, I’ll grant you, and it never fails to come up in job interviews. So, after 11 years as a writer, I’ve had a lot of time …

Can Company Culture Transcend State Lines?

September 17, 2018Culture, Listening

My name’s Anastasia. I’m a project manager in our Chicago office. Yup, that’s right, HCB occupies several locations in the states and I’m part of the Windy City Crew. That’s probably got you wondering … If these guys work in different states, can their culture of listening (and being work besties) transcend state lines? YOU BET. I’ve worked at HCB for almost four years and have gotten to know many Austin colleagues as well as if we were cube neighbors, which has taught me that nothing can stop you from forging friendships when …

“Yes, and !” What Improv Taught Me About Business

August 24, 2018Culture, Experience, Industry, Listening, Marketing

As with most extroverts, talking has always come easy to me. I love to discuss, debate, share and present. I’m in my element when I’m standing in front of a group of people and have always enjoyed performing. So when a friend asked me to sign up for improv classes at Second City in Chicago, it seemed like a no-brainer. Surely I would follow the likes of Tina Fey and be on my way to “Saturday Night Live” in no time! After all, I was good at talking and fancied myself to have a great sense of humor. In the following weeks I learned the basics. For starters, when you join a class, that class becomes your tribe. You learn each person’s strengths and weaknesses and support each other in every way possible. Some people can make up …

Trouble Connecting? Take it Offline

August 8, 2018Culture, Industry, Listening, Marketing

Have you ever received an email that you had to read a few times? The first time you read it, you detect a subtle attitude from the author. The second time you think it’s just sarcasm. Finally, you decide it’s not attitude; they are actually mad. Yup, their clipped language and lack of a friendly sign-off mean they are angry. So what do you do? First you react. Then you respond. You phrase your response perfectly so that the reader knows “I know you are mad, but here’s why I am right” or “Gosh, I am sorry you are mad. I am such an idiot.” But what happens if the writer isn’t mad at all? He just writes in short sentences and doesn’t do the common pleasantries. Here’s the problem: Email sucks at tone. It’s not always hard to detect tone, but …

Cultivating a Culture of Listening

August 1, 2018Culture, Listening, Marketing

Hi there! Welcome to HCB’s first ever culture post! I bet you didn’t know you were coming to a healthcare marketing blog to read about culture, huh? Well you actually came to the right blog, because I happen to be heavily steeped in all things “culture.” Corporate culture? Check. Pop culture? Sure! Cheese curds? OH YEAH. But first, let me introduce myself. My name is Amber, and I’m the office manager/social media manager for our Austin office. I spend most of my time planning office parties and …

What Does It Mean to Be the Listening Agency?

June 29, 2018Culture, Healthcare, Industry, Listening, Marketing

A few years ago, I began doing executive coaching as a new discipline for the agency, after a few C-level clients asked me to work with some of their senior staff members to improve their leadership and communication skills. “Me?” I thought, “Why me?” But then I thought about the common theme that almost every former client had shared about working with me and the team at HCB Health — that we were good listeners. Since then, I have …