We’ve got lots of exciting things happening at AMA.

First, after an extensive search, the American Marketing Association has named Bennie F. Johnson as the new CEO. Johnson recently headed up the American Institute of Graphic Artists (AIGA) and has held a previous leadership role with the Council of Better Business Bureaus (BBB). We’re excited to see how this experienced strategist and community builder will help continue to evolve AMA to meet the needs of modern marketers.

At a local level, the AMA Richmond chapter recently received a Community Outreach Special Merit CEA for the 2021-2022 year. We are particularly proud of this honor as the 2021 – ’22 chapter year was one of significant rebuilding. We began bringing our community back together, acknowledging the wide range of personal situations, comfort levels and preferences, and attempting to “meet people where they are.”

We’re busy planning programming for the second half of the year and look forward to more fun and unique ways to connect, learn, and grow together–and have some fun in the process!

If you’d like to be a part of our efforts, please reach out. We’ve got many volunteer opportunities available and are always looking for engaged people who want to make an impact.

If Twitter were a roller coaster, it would have more ups and downs and twists and turns than Busch Garden’s Loch Ness Monster. It seems like every single day there is a new headline shedding a spotlight on the social media platform’s disastrous acquisition journey, which started earlier this year when Elon Musk made an offer to buy the company.

For AMA Richmond’s November SIG on social media, The Hodges Partnership decided to skip the previously promoted session on editorial planning and focus the conversation on one question: WTF is up with Twitter?!

Marketing minds from across Richmond came together to chat a little bit about what they’re doing, both professionally and personally. We had representatives from large corporations, agencies, smaller shops and independent practitioners. Here are five takeaways are group came up with.

  • Let’s not make any rush strategy shifts. Most of the group wasn’t running to the “Delete Profile” button and neither should you. Like any business shift of this magnitude, bumps in the road are to be expected. Our group was in the camp of let’s wait it out and see what happens before we make a call.
  • Pausing paid is the most widespread, immediate course of action. One immediate action many marketers are taking is pausing paid on Twitter, and maybe even going as far as to reallocating those dollars to other channels. The functionality of Twitter Ads has been lackluster for months, but now with increased brand safety concerns, this is another area where we’re pausing efforts.
  • Keep up organic posting if it makes sense, but don’t overly invest time. Some marketers talked about keeping up with just the bare minimum posting and putting more effort into other channels that seem like longer term plays. This is a good approach if you want to keep the platform alive while you’re waiting it out.
  • Take listening outside of your feed. With all the impersonations that happened with the ill-prepared Twitter Blue rollout, take your usual social listening beyond your profile. Look not only for impersonations but listen to your followers and trending topics. Are people finding information on other social media platforms? Let your followers be your guide.
  • Prepare to have conversations about reputation management and 2023 strategy. Given all the unknowns, we suggest planning ahead and preparing for conversations about reputation management (should something happen in the unstable environment we’re in now) and 2023. Perhaps starting the year off with a social media audit is a good way to find out whether or not Twitter is worth being on in the long term?

Knowing how fast this whole thing is moving, there is a good chance this post will be dated by the time it goes live, which – if we’re thinking optimistically – that’s a good way for us marketers to stay in a job. The trends are moving faster than we can write about them, and it’s up to us to stay on top of them and keep our brands safe and secure on social.

What did we miss?

Every marketer knows buyer journeys – how consumers are informed of products or services and make purchase decisions – are evolving. An element of that evolution is the growth of how consumers are spending time with video as streaming as a source of entertainment and information grows in adoption.

But let’s see what the data says…

Effectv’s latest TV Viewership Report (TVR) combines Comcast aggregated viewership data with the results of more than 20,000 Effectv advertising campaigns that spanned linear TV and streaming. Among the most interesting findings?

  • Despite the plethora of alternatives, from smartphones to tablets, more than three-quarters of streaming content is consumed via a household’s primary TV.
  • With the right mix, streaming can enhance and not cannibalize the reach and frequency of TV ads.

Business decision-makers must align advertising and marketing as closely as possible to the journeys their consumers are taking from awareness to action. To be successful, advertisers require data to make sure their strategies are mitigating consumers’ changing purchase behaviors and TV viewing habits. Accurate, comprehensive, focused and actionable data can enable effective, data-driven decisions about advertising budgets, campaigns, and content.

Ad exposure data can also help your business evaluate how effectively your campaigns reach the audiences you want to reach. Comprehensive, flexible reporting of this data can deliver insights into audience reach and frequency and help you identify opportunities to improve future campaigns.

Not just for larger enterprises anymore

For many years, data-driven decisions required access to robust data and analytics tools that could be inaccessible to all but the largest enterprises. Fortunately, data insights and analytics solutions are also evolving, in ways that make them available and usable by small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) pursuing growth.

Insights based on relevant data and focused analysis enables companies of almost any size to create advertising that is tailored and fine-tuned to reach the audiences that matter most for them. Whether your business is focused on specific affinities, geographies, or demographic groups or interested in specific content preferences or viewership trends, the right partner can provide you with the actionable data you need to optimize your advertising decisions and investments.

“Modern data acquisition and analysis techniques can provide greater insight into viewer and buyer behaviors”, said Eddie Tyner, Regional Vice President of Sales for Effectv. “For example, we help our clients activate their customer data and match at the zip code level with Comcast aggregated first-party viewership data. This enables us to reach potential customers for our clients using advanced TV, streaming and digital advertising solutions.”

SMBs and emerging enterprises now have access to information and tools that enable more effective, more data-driven decisions. Those decisions can help your business reach your desired audiences more effectively and align more closely with your buyers and their journeys, even as those journeys and how your buyers pursue them continue to evolve.

To learn more, explore the services Effectv offers SMBs and emerging enterprises. Click here to download Effectv’s latest TV Viewership Report (TVR).

Eddie TynerEddie Tyner is the Regional Vice President of Sales for the Atlantic Region at Effectv, the advertising sales division of Comcast. Effectv helps local, regional and national advertisers grow their business with multi- screen marketing solutions and is a proud AMA Nashville sponsor.

AMA Richmond has announced the winners of the 2022 Robert R. Barber Scholarship Fund. Named for Bob Barber, CEO and co-owner of Barber Martin Advertising and past AMA Richmond President (‘98 – ’99), the fund was established to help the next generation of marketers grow into successful contributors to our marketing community—and the broader profession. The fund has grown from $17,000 at its creation to over $100,000 today thanks to both corporate and individual contributions, as well as AMA-Richmond chapter funds raised through events.


Announced at the AMA Richmond 60th Diamond Anniversary event on May 12, this year’s winners include:

1st Place Winner: Mariah Kumpe

Mariah Kumpe is pursuing her B.S. in Mass Communications with concentrations in Creative and Strategic Advertising and a minor in Psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University. She is currently the Social Media Chair for AMA at VCU and Planner for the Ad Club at VCU. Mariah will be President of the Ad Club at VCU for the 2022-23 school year. In her spare time, Mariah enjoys freelancing, photography, and keeping up with pop culture.

This summer, Mariah will be a Creative Intern at Tilt Creative + Production in Richmond, VA and explore Western Europe. Following graduation, Mariah plans to work as an Art Director for an advertising agency.


2nd Place Winner: Ashleighe Gibson

Ashleighe Gibson, a rising junior at Virginia Commonwealth University, was born in Queens, New York and hails from Suffolk, Virginia. Initially a biology pre-med major, Ashleighe had a change of heart during the pandemic and realized that her true passion lay in communication, advertising, production, and product development. She pivoted her degree focus and is now majoring in marketing with a concentration in communications and analytics. She aspires to go into entertainment marketing after graduation.

We want to take a moment to recognize the passion and accomplishments of these two deserving students, and to thank all the applicants who participated.  We had a strong pool of applicants and are excited about the promise inherent in our next generation of marketers!

Women’s History Month is coming to a close. To cap off the month of observance and celebrate the chapter’s fearless female leaders, AMA Richmond President, Samantha Kramer, sat down with two of them, Amy Baril and Patty Sager, to discuss their career journeys and what’s next for females in the workforce.

Amy Baril was recently promoted to President of NDP and serves as the AMA Richmond Director of Programming, Education. Patty Sager was recently promoted to CMO of Williams Mullen and serves as the AMA Richmond Director of Programming, CMO Roundtable.

In this short interview, Amy and Patty share the early influences that inspired them, their perspectives on female representation in leadership, and what advice they’d give to the next generation of female leaders.

Watch the video of that discussion below.

Read a letter from our President on this milestone anniversary:

A new year is always an exciting time. As we look to the future with renewed energy and focus, it’s also an opportunity to reflect on all we’ve achieved to date. 

2022 is an especially exciting year for AMA Richmond, as it marks the 60th anniversary of the chapter. In 1962, twenty two business professionals with a shared interest in marketing joined together to form a local chapter. The world looked very different then:

  • America was in the middle of the space race. The year before, Kennedy announced his intention to put a man on the moon and in 1962, the first American orbited the Earth.
  • The first Walmart opened in Rogers, Arkansas. Kmart, Target and Meijer also opened this same year. These “big box” discount stores drastically altered the face of retail.
  • Locally, Richmond had just gotten its first public television station a year prior, and Eleanor P. Sheppard became Richmond’s first female mayor. 
  • Marketers were focused on mass media. Print was the biggest marketing channel, but tv and radio were gaining steam.

While much has changed in the decades since, one constant has remained: AMA Richmond has provided a vital community for marketing professionals to connect, serve, learn and grow. And while we can be proud of what we’ve achieved to date, we are committed to building an even stronger, more inclusive and forward-looking community in the years ahead.

We hope you’ll join us in the coming months as we celebrate our journey and explore ways to advance our chapter even further. We’re grateful to you for being a part of our vibrant community and are excited about the impact we can make together!

Warm Regards,

Samantha Kramer
President | AMA Richmond

As you’ve hopefully seen, we have launched a new event platform called Wild Apricot to better serve our local community and provide a more seamless experience. In order for our members and guests to take full advantage of this new feature, we highly encourage everyone to set up their online profiles. 

If you are a current member or have attended our events in the past, you received an email notification with these instructions and a personalized link to complete your registration.

We have spent a good amount of time strategizing and planning for this initiative. We are excited about leveraging this tool to help us deliver a more well-rounded event and membership experience on a local level. While this update provides many local benefits, we want to make clear that it does NOT replace your member account with AMA National. Any changes and updates to your existing membership will still need to be managed through www.ama.org. If you are interested in joining, you can find more information on membership options here

Below is a list of general FAQs but feel free to reach out to info@amarichmond.org with specific questions or concerns.


1. What is Wild Apricot?
Wild Apricot is a membership and events platform built for associations just like ours. It consists of several modules: membership management, event registration, online payments, emails, and more.

By bringing all these functions together in a single platform, we are able to create a consistent flow-through of information for behind-the-scenes management by our board and a more seamless experience for members and guests.

2. Do I need to create a Wild Apricot account?
Creating a Wild Apricot account is not required to register for specific events. However, we encourage AMA Richmond members to complete their profile to expedite their event registration process.

3. I didn’t receive an email to register for Wild Apricot but I’ve attended a past AMA Richmond event. How do I register my Wild Apricot account?

  • Go to Wild Apricot and log in to your profile with the email address you’ve used to register for AMA events
  • Create password
  • Complete account information and registration setup

4. I am not a member, but I’m signing up for my first AMA Richmond event. How can I create a Wild Apricot account?
After you enter your email address to register for the event, you will be prompted to create a Wild Apricot account.

5. I am an AMA Richmond member but the system isn’t showing me member pricing.
This could be because you are a new/recently renewed member, or the email address tied to your AMA membership has changed. Please contact us at info@amarichmond.org and we will assist you.

6. I am not currently a member but am interested in signing up. How do I do that?
You will still sign up for AMA membership through AMA National’s “Join” page, during which time you will create an account and select Richmond as your home chapter.

AMA National sends our local chapter new member reports on an ongoing basis; once we receive the status change from them, we will update your membership in Wild Apricot. If you’ve recently joined AMA Richmond and your Wild Apricot account does not reflect your membership status, please reach out to us at info@amarichmond.org.

7. How will I pay for events moving forward?

You can pay for events online with a credit card. We’re still happy to offer free or reduced pricing to events for AMA Richmond members!

8. Is my payment information safe?
The Wild Apricot Security Team follows the standards of world class security practices and tries to apply them on all possible levels in Wild Apricot security. They update, develop or completely re-create security processes whenever they find any shortcomings. You can find more information on Wild Apricot’s security practices here.

9. Will I still be able to find/sign up for new AMA Richmond events on Eventbrite?
No. We are moving exclusively to Wild Apricot for our event management. You can find event details for AMA Richmond programming on our website and via our emails and social media channels.

10. What do I do if my information changes?

If your job or contact information changes, first update your profile with AMA National. You will log in to ama.org and click “My Account.” 

11. Will I renew my AMA membership through Wild Apricot?

No, your membership renewal process hasn’t changed. You will still renew by logging into ama.org and clicking “My Account”, then renew membership.

12. I have other questions that I don’t see answered here.

Please reach out to us at info@amarichmond.org and we will be happy to help answer your question.

Oftentimes the first step to a brand refinement is stepping back and taking a look at the building blocks of your brand. Making sure brand colors, typography (fonts), and other brand elements are cohesive yet diverse enough to achieve a functional hierarchy. If you’re asking “why does my brand need more than two colors?” this article is for you. Here are a few reasons why broadening your firm’s color palette beyond 1-3 colors is an essential first step of a brand refresh or refinement.

1. Each color has a job

Having a diversified color palette allows you to designate certain colors for certain functions. For example, if your palette has a bright color, such as orange, yellow, or light green, this color is a prime attention-catcher that can be used sparingly to highlight important calls to action, buttons, and to call out important pieces of information.

Mid-tone colors can be designated to different markets or services that your firm specializes in. Even if they are not formally assigned to these areas, having 3-4 colors in a similar tonal range can allow for breaking apart different sections in a PowerPoint presentation or in a proposal.

Having a few neutral colors is equally important to give the eye a rest and allow for contrast and hierarchy for supporting information. Neutral tones can also serve as good background colors, as alternatives to white.

Think of colors as functional tools that aid in the digestion of information.

2. Colors achieve hierarchy and break up block copy

Whether it’s a hiring brochure that details your firm’s benefits, a capabilities sheet, or a proposal, oftentimes you’ll have documents with a lot of block copy. Research indicates the necessity to break up large blocks of copy and avoid walls of text.

One great way to do this is by color coding sections, using a dedicated font style and color for subheaders, captions, titles, descriptions, instructions, etc. Again, having a range of colors to choose from helps establish a system that gives the user what they need and aids in scanning information for what’s relevant.

3. Color helps with accessibility and compliance

Accessibility standards are more important every day as companies are expected to have ADA compliant websites. A large focus of accessibility involves achieving a certain degree of color contrast throughout a website.

Commonly used color combinations such as orange text on a white background or light green text on a white background rarely have enough contrast to pass compliance. Having a palette rich in colors that span light to dark helps designers make web pages that are attractive, compliant, functional, and accessible.

4. A secondary color palette distinguishes your brand from competitors

With only two to three colors, chances are some of your competitors have the same exact brand colors. As you start to add a few unique complementary secondaries, the likelihood of achieving a distinct brand increases.

Just the same, when building out a color palette, special attention should be paid to your top competitors to assure that your colors are sufficiently different and unique.

5. It adds a level of sophistication to your brand

Many times, a new level of sophistication is a goal when we refresh a brand. When it comes to color, secondary colors should complement your primary colors in a way that achieves function without having them compete for attention for a seamless integration. Colors should complement your brand’s personality and culture, while adding a level of sophistication that takes your brand to the next level.

A means of accomplishing your goals

All brand work should start from a strategic mindset of accomplishing company goals. Your goals might be to grow. They might be to reflect the firm that you have grown to be since the last refresh. They might be to create a whole new entity.

The level of change to your current brand and color palette depends on the goals of your refresh and your attachment to the current brand. Thus, your new color palette and typography refresh might build on existing brand elements, or start from scratch. Regardless, you’ll still reap the benefits without losing what you’ve worked so hard to build!

In an ideal world, communication would be easy. We’d immediately know exactly what to say or write. Emails, Slack messages, and reply threads would practically write themselves. And there’d be no confusion about what anyone meant, ever.

Of course, communication never works that way. We stare at the computer screen trying to decide how to begin an email. We misspeak or garble our words. We don’t always convey exactly what we intend. We misunderstand, overlook, or forget information we’ve been given. We also sometimes read emotions into words that weren’t what the writer was feeling. Or we pack our speech with such an emotional punch that it distracts from the point we’re trying to make.

Written communication often exacerbates these issues, a fact that has many leaders worried since more people are working remotely and relying on the written word to do their jobs. It’s no secret that we spend far too much time on email and other communication tools.

Fortunately, you don’t necessarily need to hire a writing coach to teach your employees better writing skills—although this can in some cases be a good idea. You can significantly improve communication in your organization by asking your employees to consider the following practices in their written communications:

Break up long sentences and paragraphs

A big unbroken block of text is likely to befuddle your reader before they even get to the first word. Long sentences and paragraphs also make comprehension and retention of information much more difficult. Note the differences in these two communications:

Sample 1:

I support the goals outlined in the proposal you sent to me yesterday, especially the need to better define appropriate metrics around the solicitation of customer satisfaction scores, and I want to thank you for the thought you gave to proposing workable solutions, but I’m not sure if all of the proposed solutions will work at this time. Let’s discuss it all at our next check-in.

Sample 2:

Thank you for sending the proposal yesterday. I appreciate the thought you put into it. I agree with you about the goals, especially what you wrote about customer satisfaction scores. The solutions you proposed, however, may be a challenge to implement right away. Let’s discuss the proposal at our next check-in.

These samples provide the same information, but the second is easier to follow and digest.

Use clear, concrete terms

Vague words, convoluted ideas, and broad generalizations make for easy miscommunication. Your reader will be more likely to understand your meaning if your language is specific. Remember too that just because something is clear to you doesn’t necessarily mean it will be clear to your reader. Compare these two statements:

Sample 1:

Would you be able to review the thing I sent you earlier?

Sample 2:

Here’s the letter for Anil I told you about this morning. Would you be able to proofread it for typos by the end of the day?

The first sample is likely to cause confusion and frustration if the recipient has recently received a lot of “things” from the writer or other people. In contrast, the second sample makes the context and the requested task clear to the reader.

Provide context and direction when adding someone to a conversation

Most of us have had the experience of receiving a forwarded email that we’re not immediately sure what to do with. Should we keep it as a reference? Read through the thread? Respond in some way? We haven’t been told. Don’t do this. You should clue the reader in to what the conversation entails and what they need to know and do in response. Compare:

Sample 1:

Please see below. What do you think?

Sample 2:

Please read through the conversation below and note the product request from Oliver. Is that something you can add to your work this week?

The first sample is likely to prompt the recipient to weigh in on the wrong subject or ask the writer for clarification before responding, wasting valuable time either way. The second sample gives clear instruction, saving time.

Avoid unnecessary details

While some context is useful, too much can overwhelm the reader and add to the time it takes for the communication to be written, read, and acted on.

Sample 1:

I ran into Lindsay in the lunchroom and asked her about the Paterson deal. She asked me to follow up with her after her lunch break, which I did, and she gave me permission to start on the outline. She seemed a little aggravated that I interrupted her lunch. Anyway, I need to respond to a few emails before I get started on it, but I will get to it after and have it to you and her by close of business today.

Sample 2:

I got the go ahead from Lindsay on the Paterson deal. I’m working on the outline and will email it to you and her by close of business today.

The first sample likely has too much information. The writer may have felt like including the extra details because they felt bad about asking Lindsay to work on her lunch break, but unless there’s a good reason for the recipient to know those details, they’re best left out.

Save difficult or emotionally intense conversations for calls, video conferences, or in-person meetings
These conversations usually require more finesse than written text can provide. If you anticipate a strong emotional response to what you have to say, or if you believe the person with whom you’ll be communicating may read strong emotions into what you have to say, don’t write to them. Talk it through instead. Let them hear your voice and listen carefully to theirs.

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Addressable advertising is a valuable tool that enables you to deliver your ad to a specific audience watching content on any device. For example, a car dealership can reach households interested in buying a vehicle, a gourmet restaurant can reach households with food-lovers, and an HVAC provider can reach homeowners.

Taking it a step further, you can make different versions of your ad and tailor each to a different audience of potential customers. Then, using addressable advertising on cable, you can show each audience the ad that’s most relevant to them.

Benefits of Addressable Advertising

Addressability offers a number of benefits:

  • It saves you money by delivering ads only to audiences of your most likely customers.
  • It enables you to personalize your ad for your specific audience, making it more relevant to viewers.
  • It enables you to reach your potential customers at every stage of the buyer journey.

In short, addressability works hard to maximize the efficiency and impact of each ad campaign, helping you make the most of your advertising dollars.

Using Data Insights to Reach Your Audience

Addressable TV ads are made possible by the wealth of data available today. TV viewership data, in combination with data on demographics, lifestyles, and more, provides important insights for advertisers, such as what types of audiences are watching which TV content.

With these insights, households can be grouped into audience segments like: interested in health and fitness, news enthusiasts, and diverse suburban families. Then, since you know what each audience segment watches, you can place your message into the right content.

TV Advertising as a Full-Funnel Solution

Addressability has helped make TV advertising an effective medium for reaching potential customers at every stage of the sales funnel. At the top of the funnel, you can use traditional TV ads to deliver your message to a broad audience and raise awareness of your business across the board. Then, to drive consideration and sales, incorporate addressable ads into your campaign to reach audiences that are already familiar with your products and services. By combining traditional and addressable TV ads, you can deliver the right message to the right audience at the right time.

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