What I Learned from 2018 Projects

While handling a mix of feature-writing, reporting, and content-marketing assignments in 2018, I gathered updated information about a variety of printing-related topics and enjoyed hands-on experience in in web publishing, SEO, and marketing automation for B2B e-commerce. EDITORIAL ASSIGNMENTS My articles were published in Big Picture and Screen Printing magazines published by ST Media Group, the SGIA Journal published by the Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA), and Wide-Format Impressions, published by NAPCO Media. Below are links to some of my 2018 published articles. BIG PICTURE MAGAZINE Connected Packaging as a Marketing Channel The technology for connecting printed packaging to online …

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Secrets of a Skilled Headshot Photographer

The older you get, the less eager you are to update the headshot on your LinkedIn page and social media feeds. But it’s important — especially for freelance writer like me whose reputation requires credibility. Although I am proud to be a “mature” or “seasoned” professional, I don’t want to look older than I feel. I certainly don’t want anyone to think I’m ready to retire. So, I hope my new head shot makes it clear that I want to continue working and learning for years to come. It was created by head shot photographer Kim Dalton during the final …

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Can Journalists Really Make the Jump to Content Marketing?

Does it make sense to hire an experienced journalist for your firm’s content marketing efforts? Maybe. But maybe not. As illustrated in a new book by Dan Lyons, success may depend on your company’s culture, generational mix, and management style. To see what I mean, read “Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble” by Dan Lyons. In this hilarious book, the laid-off technology editor for Newsweek chronicles his disastrous foray into content marketing for HubSpot. When Lyons joined the company in 2013, HubSpot was a Boston-based start-up with $100 million in venture capital to develop and sell marketing automation software. It …

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Screen Printing Electronics for Garments and Textiles

Although I have covered the evolution of digital printing over the past 20 years, I am constantly reminded that established “old-school” printing technologies still have plenty to offer. For the February/March 2016 issue of Screen Printing magazine, I wrote about how screen-printing processes are helping manufacturers of textiles and garments develop and test “wearable electronics” that go beyond accessories such as watches and eyeglasses. Designers are suggesting all sorts of ways sensors and transmitters built into wearable garments could improve our health, safety, and well-being. For example: What if technology-infused garments could help doctors reduce hospital stays and improve patient care remotely? What if sensors in infant apparel …

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Is The Big Pushback Against Content Marketing Underway?

The best source of information about what’s happening in the fast-changing world of content marketing is the Content Marketing Institute. The website is a rich source of ideas for developing strategies, managing workflows, and measuring results. In a recent webinar, Joe Pulizzi and Robert Rose from the Content Marketing Institute discussed four major content-marketing trends they expect to see in 2016.  The talked about: the potential for pushback against content marketing; the need for a focus on the quality of content, instead of the quantity;  the state of native advertising; and an increase in mergers and acquisitions. You can find a recording of the full webinar (“The …

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Long-form Multi-Source Feature Stories Give Readers Broader Perspective

The biggest perk of freelancing in the technology field is getting paid to research multiple topics. This often involves interviewing creative people with big and bold ideas. That’s why some of my favorite writing projects are “long-form” B2B magazine articles. I generally prefer writing for business audiences because business owners aren’t seeking dumbed down “snackable” content. They want meatier stories that can help them understand the real-world risks and opportunities associated with potentially disruptive technologies. In 2015, I researched and wrote feature stories for four magazines that serve business owners from the signmaking, screen printing, and large-format graphics communities: SGIA Journal; Sign Builder Illustrated; Screen Printing; and Big Picture. Some …

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Designers Seek Help Gearing Up for the Internet of Places

When Big Picture magazine asked me to write a preview of the upcoming ISA Sign Expo 2015 April 8-10 in Las Vegas, they wanted more than a simple recap of details that anyone could easily find online. They wanted insight into how Sign Expo differs from other big trade shows that feature a huge variety of wide-format printing and finishing equipment. In other words: Why should Big Picture readers attend Sign Expo this spring when they could see some of the same exhibitors at SGIA Expo or Graph Expo in the fall? Having served as a Big Picture editor, I know that Big Picture readers …

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Fresh Perspectives on 3D Printing in The Big Picture Magazine

I was delighted to see that the ISA (International Sign Association) recently tweeted a link to the article on 3D printing I wrote for October issue of The Big Picture magazine. 6 Simple Truths About the Hype About 3D Printing Having witnessed the emergence and evolution of large-format color graphics printing technology, I wrote about some striking similarities between the early days of wide-format and today’s explosion of interest in 3D printing.  It wasn’t difficult to find sources who shared my view. Yet, 3D printing really isn’t about “printing.” It’s really more about how the technologies can be used to revolutionize fields …

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Interviews with Design Execs Show Agencies Are Evolving

Technology is an equal-opportunity destroyer. Over the past 20 years, I have seen it disrupt the traditional business models of photo labs, printing companies, and publishing firms. It has also altered the careers of people involved with those businesses, including photographers, designers, and writers. Some people adapted, embracing new opportunities and overcoming the obstacles and uncertainties associated with new technologies. Others simply fell behind. So when I went on an “Agency Crawl” organized by AIGA Cincinnati earlier this year, I wasn’t surprised to see that the traditional “ad agency” business model has vanished. As technology rapidly alters how information is …

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AIGA Cincinnati Organizes a Fantastic Design Week Program

One joy of contributing to WCPO.com in Cincinnati is being able to observe the remarkable progress that has been made in revitalizing our urban core and attracting and retaining young creative professionals.  Not that long ago, young design-school graduates seemed to believe that the best career opportunities for creatives existed only in New York, Chicago, or LA. That has changed. In preparation for an assignment to preview  Cincinnati Design Week (July 21-26), I participated in an “Agency Crawl” on July 10. Many participants were students or recent grads looking for internships or job, But I enjoyed visiting the agencies because I had recently read reports such as: …

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