Archive for the ‘Charlotte’ Category

Recently our city was all abuzz about a group of people running a shock campaign holding signs with graphic images on them that would be enough to turn the stomach of even the most jaded of us. Their goal was to show the “truth” about abortion by displaying gory images of dead dismembered babies, and to therefore sway people to their point of view.

The problem with this campaign is all it seems to do is piss people off.

I heard from people on all sides of the issue and the only thing people were talking about was how awful it was that these people, who claim to be doing this “for the children,” were displaying these horrific images in public places where all ages were subjected to them. Even people who agreed with their basic message disagreed with their methods.

There is a history of lawsuits and uproar concerning this kind of shock advertising, and time and time again it has been protected under the first amendment. Freedom of Speech. One of our most valued freedoms. And yet, we seem to forget sometimes that what we CAN do isn’t necessarily what we SHOULD do, much less what will be successful in getting our point across. When trying to generate buzz on a topic or a product, the last thing you want to do is have people across the board talking negatively about your method, rather than discussing the real issue at hand.

Is all buzz good buzz? I say absolutely not, and it’s a lesson we should all keep in mind during a time when “viral” is everyone’s goal.

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Last year on this blog, while writing an article about ways that companies and agencies are trying to make a difference, I mentioned the amazing and inspiring results of Sydney, Australia’s effort to bring attention to climate change. For one hour, the city turned out the lights. 2.2 million people participated, and corporations got involved. Their goal was to reduce carbon emissions during that hour by 5%, but the enthusiasm for the attempt resulted in a 10.2% reduction.

This year, the Earth Hour movement has gone global. All across the world, cities and individuals are getting involved and turning out the lights on March 29 from 8-9 pm. Every person counts! Get involved in this event – have a candlelight dinner, watch the stars or have a “lights out” party with your neighborhood. Turn out the lights in your business’s building. Spread the word to everyone you know, and let’s make an impact: Lights Out on March 29!

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AIGA Charlotte recently held a panel discussion with the women of Charlotte design. Speakers included Shannon Bone, spec rep from Xpedx Paper; Christy Vannetta, client service with StudioBanks; Carolyn Colonna, art director at Birdsong Gregory; Kara Hollinger, art director at Ginger Griffin; and Terry Cox, president of BIG Council.

The questions ranged from topics like what challenges they face as women in business in Charlotte, whether they thought Charlotte is a more or less challenging place to be a woman in business, what advantages they have over their male counterparts in the design industry, and how difficult it has been to overcome the southern tradition of male-dominated business.

The panelists had a lot to say. Their responses were mostly positive, with most agreeing that in our particular industry, they had not noticed a heavy bias toward men. They all agreed that Charlotte is a growing city with a huge opportunity for business, and for the most part (barring the occasional “little lady” comment) is open to women in business just as much as men. They were upbeat about the design community as being open and welcoming, as opposed to some other cities where the fear of competition keeps friendliness at bay. One panelist mentioned that, as the only woman in her small agency, she found it difficult only when the guys held their semi-annual beard-growing competitions, when she had to convince her clients that the company wasn’t being run by a bunch of hobos.

The discussion ended on a lighter note with the panelists being asked what kind of shoe they would be. Flip-flips, sneakers, black heels and Gucci loafers were the wide-ranging answers, which reflects the style of the women of Charlotte business – from comfy to classy, from no-nonsense to slightly decadent, women in Charlotte come in all kinds, and all are finding their pace.

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