2014 Communitas Awards Spotlight: ReadyTalk

Communitas Awards Company: ReadyTalk
Title: “Leadership in the Commmunity”
Location: Denver, Colorado
Category: 10. Leadership in Community Service and Corporate Social Responsibility

ReadyTalkBrothers Dan and Scott King value community. So when they started ReadyTalk, an audio and web conferencing company, they were determined to create a company culture that encouraged community outreach and environmental sustainability while also providing multiple ways for employees to engage in these efforts.

Between company-organized volunteer opportunities, supporting individual community involvement, choosing sustainable business practices and matching employee donations, the Kings have created an enterprise that encourages employees to give back in almost every way possible.

Sustainability

For instance, the company has an employee-led Sustainability Committee that encourages responsible practices. The committee also implemented a corporate-wide recycling program and helped create a bike-friendly workplace.

About one-third of ReadyTalk’s employees ride a bike to work at least once a week, with some cycling all the time. The company has in-office bike racks and provides loaner bikes for use during the workday, as well as gives employees free backpacks and jackets to make their commutes more comfortable.

ReadyTalk Bike Rack

Other sustainability practices include:

  • Encouraging employees to telecommute and work from home.
  • Providing bus and light rail passes to employees. About one-third of the staff uses this mode of transportation on a daily basis.
  • Choosing a downtown office that is conducive to public transit and biking, as well as selecting a building that has achieved Gold Certification through the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Core and Shell (LEED-CS) certification program.

Volunteering

To encourage employees to support local nonprofit organizations, every employee receives 20 hours of paid volunteer hours each year to support an organization of his or her choice. Throughout 2013, ReadyTalk had 60 employees spend 407 hours volunteering during the workweek.

Some of the organizations supported by ReadyTalk include Habitat for Humanity, Junior Achievement, SAME Café, GreenLeaf Denver and Clothes to Kids Denver.

ReadyTalk volunteers for Habitat for Humanity

Financial Support & In-kind Donations

ReadyTalk also encourages employees to donate to organizations that are important to them, matching employee donations dollar-for-dollar up to $500 annually. Last year, 76 employees donated $11,667 that was matched by ReadyTalk, impacting 107 nonprofits.

The organization also has a Charitable Contributions Committee that identifies and evaluates donation and volunteer opportunities. ReadyTalk gives the group $20,000 per quarter to donate, which helped support the efforts of more than 96 nonprofits in 2013 alone.

Additionally, ReadyTalk offers up to $1,000 in billable services per month to nonprofit organizations that need audio and web conference services.

1524

2014 Hermes Creative Awards Entry Spotlight: Wilfrid Laurier University

While the winners for the 2014 Hermes Creative Awards won’t be announced for a while, we’re showcasing select entries that stand out. Keep checking back to see if your work will be highlighted.

Hermes Creative Awards Organization: Wilfrid Laurier University
Title of Entry: “Laurier’s Creative Services Holiday E-Card”
Location: Waterloo, Ontario – Canada
Category: 149. E-Card

Laurier UniversityThe Creative Services team at Wilfrid Laurier University produces a wide variety of great work. Here is a simple yet elegant e-card to spread holiday cheer.

The animated card starts with a snowman walking back toward a cloud that has a pull-down switch. After a simple tug on the chain, the cloud lights up with the card’s message, snow begins falling, and the winter figure turns around and gives a friendly wave. All the while, jingle bells provide the seasonal background music.

What makes the card great? Besides a clean design and positive message, it’s short and sweet, making it much more likely to be viewed from start to finish.

Wilfrid Laurier University Ecard

*****

1266

2014 Hermes Creative Awards Entry Spotlight: Custom Legal Marketing

While the winners for the 2014 Hermes Creative Awards won’t be announced for a while, we’re showcasing select entries that stand out. Keep checking back to see if your work will be highlighted.

Hermes Creative Awards Company: Custom Legal Marketing, an Adviatech Company
Location: San Francisco, California
Client: LaGarde Law Firm, P.C.
Title of Entry: “LaGarde Law Firm”
Category: 104. Professional Service Website

Custom Legal MarketingCustom Legal Marketing created a modern, clean website for the LaGarde Law Firm that’s easy to navigate.

Most importantly, the site is mobile friendly, adapting to the device that visitors are using to ensure a great experience no matter the platform.

A few of the site’s other features that make it great: a sticky navigation menu that stays with visitors as they scroll down, professional photography and graphics, clear calls to action and a contact form in the sidebar of every page.

LaGarde Law Firm Website

*****

1335

2014 Hermes Creative Awards Entry Spotlight: Mississippi Interactive

While the winners for the 2014 Hermes Creative Awards won’t be announced for a while, we’re showcasing select entries that stand out. Keep checking back to see if your work will be highlighted.

Hermes Creative Awards Company: Mississippi Interactive, LLC
Title of Entry: “MS Ready Mobile App”
Location: Jackson, Mississippi
Category: 110c. Mobile App 

Mississippi InteractiveIn the fall of 2013 Mississippi Interactive, a public-private partnership, released the MS Ready phone app with the goal of keeping the state’s population informed of public health and safety emergencies.

With 90 percent of American adults owning a cell phone and 58 percent having a smartphone, creating a communication platform designed for mobile devices is a logical move for any state agency.

Besides providing live push alerts during crises, the app also allows users to subscribe to alerts via email and text, giving people the option to receive critical updates through their preferred method of communication.

MS Ready makes valuable contact information – such as Mississippi Department of Health phone numbers, addresses, and email addresses – easily accessible. The content is preloaded so it can be retrieved at any time, even if users don’t have Internet access.

The app is also an educational tool, providing information about what to do before, during and after natural disasters, as well as manmade emergencies like chemical spills. This information is also hardwired into the app, making it available anytime the phone has a charge.

MS Ready is available in Google Play and the iTunes Store.

MS Ready Mobile App

*****

1276

2014 Communitas Awards Spotlight: Stahancyk, Kent & Hook P.C.

Communitas Awards Company: Stahancyk, Kent & Hook P.C.
Title: “Free Wills for Heroes”
Location: Prineville, Oregon
Category: 3.1 Pro Bono

Stahancyk, Kent & Hook P.C.First responders and veterans, along with their families, gathered at the offices of Stahancyk, Kent & Hook on Dec. 13, 2013, for Free Wills for Heroes, an event in which law professionals donated their time and expertise to help participants complete basic wills, power of attorneys and Oregon advance medical directives.

“The Wills for Heroes Foundation reports that 80 percent to 90 percent of first responders lack wills despite the perilous nature of their jobs,” stated the Communitas entry. “And with 3,419 veterans and 1,130 first responders, who respond to an average of 347,000 service calls a year, living in Central Oregon, the threat of mass familial instability in the wake of tragedy was too great to ignore.”

After SK&H shareholder Brad Miller and associate attorney Mercedes Rhoden-Feely volunteered at a Wills for Heroes event at Portland State University, the duo decided to bring the event to Central Organ.

With support from the Jefferson and Crook County Bar Association, SK&H hosted the event, which was the first of its kind in the mostly rural area, according to the nomination.

Every department at SK&H pitched in, with the Bend and Portland marketing departments creating promotion materials and administrative staff volunteering as set-up and tear-down team, notaries and greeters, among other things. After the event was over, the firm had donated 112 man-hours toward the cause.

SK&H’s support for the event is no surprise to those that know the firm. Senior shareholder Jody Stahancyk’s father is a World War II Army veteran, and her husband is a Korean War Navy veteran. The firm also employs two veterans and one active duty service member.

“In the end, we came away with a wealth of stories and new friends who convinced us not only that Wills for Heroes managed to tangibly touch the participants’ lives but [also] that our valuable work in this arena is far from over,” the nomination said. “As such, SK&H is fully committed to putting Wills for Heroes on as a regular event in the future.”

Free Wills For Heroes

*****

1447

2014 Hermes Creative Awards Entry Spotlight: Tough Mudder

While the winners for the 2014 Hermes Creative Awards won’t be announced for a while, we’re showcasing select entries that stand out. Keep checking back to see if your work will be highlighted.

Hermes Creative Awards Company: Tough Mudder
Location: Brooklyn, New York
Title of Entry: “TODAY Anchors Take on Tough Mudder”
Category: 89. Television Placement

tough mudderTelevision placement takes many forms and shapes – everything from a mention on a program to interaction with the anchor/hosts. Also the bigger the show, the better the rewards.

Tough Mudder is a competition that takes place, well, in the mud. It’s a race of sorts that promotes camaraderie while testing endurance. The competition is held all throughout the country.

What a better way to promote the event than a placement on NBC’s Today Show. But, Tough Mudder did even better – much better. The whole on-air staff competed while 5 million viewers watched.

Tough Mudder on Today Show

*****

1273

2014 Hermes Creative Awards Entry Spotlight: Jacob Tyler

While the winners for the 2014 Hermes Creative Awards won’t be announced for a while, we’re showcasing select entries that stand out. Keep checking back to see if your work will be highlighted.

Hermes Creative Awards Company: Jacob Tyler
Location: San Diego, California
Client: Bridgepoint Education
Title of Entry: A Year in Review
Category: 148. E-Annual Report

Jacob TylerMore companies are moving to e-annual reports either to supplement the company’s annual story or to act as a standalone report. Jacob Tyler – a web design, branding and advertising firm out of San Diego – was tasked with creating an e-report for Bridgepoint Education, whose motto is “Innovate Solutions That Advance Learning.”

With a motto like that, there certainly were some high expectations for the final product. Jacob Tyler was up to the challenge. The firm designed a unique report with eye-popping graphics and succinct text. As you navigate through the topics, layered pictures blend together to create a near 3-D experience.
Bridgepoint Education Annual Report

*****

1651

2014 Hermes Creative Awards Entry Spotlight: Health Care Service Corporation

While the winners for the 2014 Hermes Creative Awards won’t be announced for a while, we’re showcasing select entries that stand out. Keep checking back to see if your work will be highlighted.

Hermes Creative Awards Company: Health Care Service Corporation
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Title of Entry: “Well onTarget”
Category: 166. Motion Graphics for Product

Health Care Service CorporationHealth Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company that operates the BlueCross and BlueShield plans in Illinois, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas, supplies health insurance products to millions of people. Recently the company created a video to inform customers about individual wellness plans. By combining live action with motion graphics, the video conveys an eye-catching message that attracts the viewer and sells the product.

Well onTarget®: Individual (BCBSIL) from Video2Go on Vimeo.

1212

2014 Hermes Creative Awards Entry Spotlight: The San Jose Group

While the winners for the 2014 Hermes Creative Awards won’t be announced for a while, we’re showcasing select entries that stand out. Keep checking back to see if your work will be highlighted.

Hermes Creative Awards Company: The San Jose Group
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Client: Gift of Hope
Title of Entry: “At The Opera”
Category: 171. Nonprofit Video

The San Jose GroupOrgan donation is a serious subject few people want to think about. No matter how many lives it saves, the program spurs thoughts of death, loss, and grief. It’s a hard message to sell, but in a cleverly crafted public service announcement, The San Jose Group found a way around the morbid aspects.

The San Jose Group, contrary to what the name might imply, is not based in California. The advertising agency is named after its founder, George L. San Jose, and is located in Chicago. The company’s motto is “to be creative you must be willing to live on the edge”; the PSA on organ donation certainly does this.

*****

1373

2014 Hermes Creative Awards Entry Spotlight: University of Saskatchewan

While the winners for the 2014 Hermes Creative Awards won’t be announced for a while, we’re showcasing select entries that stand out. Keep checking back to see if your work will be highlighted.

Hermes Creative Awards Company: University of Saskatchewan
Location: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Title of Entry: Challenge Perceptions
Category: 11. Annual Report

University of SaskatchewanAnnual reports are usually not the most exciting publications to read. There is the mandatory letter from the CEO/president, some glitzy photographs with accompanying text, an article or two, and lines and lines of figures.

The University of Saskatchewan does things a bit differently. Located in Saskatoon, Canada, the university could be a hard sell to students, researchers, and prominent professors, but as the school tells people “our climate is cold, but our people are warm and friendly.”

And their publications are creative. The president’s report combines portrait quality photography, snappy writing, and highly stylized graphics to create a publication that people actually want to read.

View the online edition at www.usask.ca/presidentsreport/.

University of Saskatchewan Challenge Perceptions
University of Saskatchewan Challenge Perceptions
University of Saskatchewan Challenge Perceptions

*****

1054