Oct 20 2014

New Client Spotlight: Cucalorus

By Steffany Reeve

Late this summer, RLF started working for a new entertainment and tourism client with quite a distinctive and funny name: Cucalorus, an internationally-recognized film festival located in Wilmington, North Carolina, and one of the largest independent film showcases in the United States. The five-day festival was named “One of the Coolest Film Festivals in the World” by MovieMaker Magazine in 2013.

This year, the Cucalorus Film Festival, being held from Nov. 12-16, is celebrating its 20th anniversary with an impressive line-up of films ranging from love-lost unicorns and teenage bank robbers to family flicks and social justice documentaries. In total, more than 200 independent films will be screened, including two films debuting as world premieres, a host of films making their inaugural Southeast U.S. showing, award-winning international films and original works from both well-known and up-and-coming filmmakers.

Last year, nearly 15,000 people attended the Cucalorus Film Festival and this year’s attendance is forecast to be even greater.

As storytellers ourselves, the RLF team is proud to support Cucalorus and all of the artists, producers and filmmakers who turn their dreams into films that inspire, inform, entertain and shape the way we view our world. Our team is working closely with the festival’s marketing staff to share the unique story of the Cucalorus Film Festival and the compelling films it will feature this year.

Cucalorus is an important alternative outlet and launch pad for artistic, thought-provoking and educational films from exceptionally talented people. We look forward to helping the festival reach its potential and continue to gain traction to be one of the top film festivals in the world.

To learn more about the Cucalorus Film Festival, visit www.cucalorus.org.

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Sep 29 2014

Crisis Communications 101: What the NFL got wrong and what the rest of us can learn

By Alyssa Bedrosian

Over the past few weeks, the NFL has learned firsthand one of the toughest lessons in crisis communications: Your response to the crisis, not the crisis itself, matters most. So far, the NFL appears to have failed the test.

Most organizations faced with a crisis are not judged by the crisis, but by their response to it, and the first hours and days after a crisis are critical in shaping public opinion and maintaining a company’s image. That is why RLF works with several clients to create tailored, process-driven crisis communications plans to help them communicate with key audiences more quickly and effectively should a crisis ever occur.

It’s hard to believe that the NFL and its public relations team stayed silent and reactive for so long. The NFL has a history of players engaging in questionable conduct and problematic behavior—from dog fighting to alleged murder and rape, severe criminal allegations against some of the league’s top players aren’t new. However, the back-to-back nature of recent events is something that the NFL’s leadership was obviously unprepared for.

So what did the NFL do wrong, and how can companies and organizations learn from the missteps of the world’s most lucrative professional sports league?

The NFL wasn’t proactive.

The NFL knew about some of the domestic violence incidents in the news much earlier in the year and had more than enough time to prepare should these issues resurface at the start of the season (which they inevitably did). The NFL should have met with league owners, player representatives and other officials to develop a plan with key messaging to proactively address the issue. Even if the league didn’t have time to prepare, it should have had a plan in place that outlined potential crisis scenarios and the specific communication process, messaging and goals for each scenario.

Don’t wait until a crisis hits to start fumbling around for a plan — be proactive and prepare in advance for any likely crisis situations.

The NFL remained silent.

The NFL needed to show a strong front and respond quickly to the flying accusations and multiple crisis situations. At the very minimum, the league should have issued a statement that said it was continuing to work with officials to assess the situation and respond with the necessary disciplinary action. Instead, the league remained silent for more than a week after its initial interview with CBS, as many fans and women’s rights advocates called for the resignation of key leaders. In the event of a crisis, it’s not always best to stay silent and let your critics control the message. Identify the right spokesperson, remain transparent and show that you are working to address the situation and make it right.

The NFL forgot a key audience.

In recent years, the NFL has made a concerted effort to appeal to women, who make up 45 percent of the league’s fan base and are vital to the league’s apparel sales. While women across the nation have had mixed reactions to the series of scandals, many women are boycotting the league until it can show that it is sincerely working to end violence toward women. Don’t let a crisis ruin the credibility you’ve built up with a target audience, and be proactive in communicating with an audience that is specifically impacted by the crisis situation.

Organizations face a variety of crises every moment of every day, and it’s likely that at some point, a crisis will hit. When it does, it’s essential to be prepared, be proactive and communicate openly and directly to the key audiences that are being impacted. The NFL has given us the perfect case study of what NOT to do in a crisis situation and offers lessons to all organizations on how to be better prepared.

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Sep 25 2014

Don’t Get Your Torch Snuffed: Communications Lessons from Survivor

By Adam Bowers

For the past 14 years, there have been two days each year that I look forward to more than Christmas: the fall and spring premiers of Survivor. The season 29 premier was one of those nights. While most seasons include some kind of twist (this season’s twist has the castaways playing with and against family members), every season essentially begins the same way: the castaways land on the island, exchange awkward “hellos,” attempt to build a shelter and make fire, compete in a challenge, and then decide who will receive the humiliating distinction of being the first person voted out.

After watching 28 seasons of the show, it’s easy to guess who that first person voted out is going to be. The most likely contenders are always contestants who are either obnoxious or threatening in some way. SPOILER ALERT: The person voted off in the episode two nights ago, Nadiya, was a little of both.

The truth is, most of the castaways who get voted out early could greatly benefit from some simple communications counsel. Here are 3 communications lessons from Survivor that could help you not get “voted out” of a job, team or business deal:

The Loudest Voice Doesn’t Always Win

On Survivor, the loudest person nearly always assumes an initial “leadership” role because he or she steam-rolls other competing voices by sheer virtue of volume. He or she assumes this role for about three days, but then is quickly voted out because the tribe mates are tired of hearing him or her talk.

In the real world, this happens too. How often does the loudest person in a meeting dictate the conversation, only to annoy every other person who has something to say, but can’t? How often do companies think they can sell a product or service by sheer volume of ads? The most effective communicators know that the message itself is far more important than the volume at which it is said.

Sometimes, Your Audience Doesn’t Care

The domineering loudmouths who get voted off the island first never see it coming. They can’t believe their fellow castaways didn’t want their advice on how the shelter should be built or where the fire pit should be established. They assume that everyone was sitting on the edges of their seats, just waiting to hear their next piece of sage-like wisdom. They don’t realize that their audience was never interested in their thoughts in the first place.

When crafting a message in the corporate world, it is imperative to know how receptive or primed your audience is for the message. If they aren’t receptive at all, your strategy shouldn’t be to beat them over the head with the message until they happily receive it. Seeing two back-to-back GEICO ads in a commercial break doesn’t make me more likely to make that 15-minute call and switch to GEICO; it just annoys me. In cases where your audience isn’t ready to hear what you’ve got to say, it may be better to start with a conversation that gauges what they are interested in hearing. For example, you might do this by interacting with your followers on social media, listening to their opinions and then adapting your message based on what you hear.

Positioning is Crucial

For Survivor contestants like Nadiya, who get voted out largely because they are considered a threat, their demise is largely due to an inability to position themselves well to their fellow players. In this case, Nadiya might not have been voted out if she had positioned herself as a reality show expert, with the know-how to get her alliance far into the game. Instead, she seemed unconcerned about her tribe’s perceptions and failed to play up her strengths. Obviously, this mistake cost her.

In marketing, positioning is crucial. The foundation of any campaign should involve research to understand where you fit within your market, what your audiences’ needs are, and what messages will be well-received by key stakeholders. Only with the right strategic positioning will you truly thrive in your sector.

Ultimately, Survivor is a show about communication. The players that win understand their audiences, know which messages their fellow contestants want to hear and recognize how to best deliver them. One of the most enjoyable parts about watching the show is witnessing the truly great communicators at work (and also seeing the terrible ones crash, burn and get their torches snuffed).

Photo courtesy of Kristin Dos Santos’ Flickr photostream.

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Sep 17 2014

Black-Belt Tips for PR Professionals

Published by under Public Relations

By Michelle Rash

Last August my daughter, now seven, began taking tae kwon do lessons. She quickly demonstrated a passion and a talent for it, and when her dojang offered parents free trial lessons in May, she persuaded me to give it a try. I will admit, I initially thought I would do free classes and then stop, but I quickly saw why she enjoyed it so much and began taking classes regularly, earning my yellow belt last week (my daughter is now a blue belt).

As I work my way toward a black belt, it has occurred to me that there are several lessons I am learning at tae kwon do that I can apply to my professional life.

Stop and breathe

At the start of every class, we take a moment to meditate. It gives us the opportunity to clear our heads from distractions and focus our minds in preparation for class. And often, during the class, the masters encourage us to take a moment to pause and catch our breath as we prepare for the next task.

In PR, it’s also important that we pause every now and then to refocus our energies. So often we get caught up in dealing with the situation at hand, the “fire drills” of immediate client needs that come with the territory, that we forget to take the time to pause, take a step back, and make sure that we are spending our time and energy on the most important things for our clients and their businesses.

Start with the basics and work your way up

While the ultimate goal of tae kwon do is to achieve a black belt, you have to first learn the basic kicks, blocks and punches.

So it is with PR. It is important that we work with our clients to have the basic “moves” down – such as defining their audiences and determining their key messages – before any advertising or media relations campaign can begin. While we always want to achieve “black belt” results for all of our clients, we first need to guarantee that all of the basic pieces are in place to make the most of our time and energy.

And even once you have mastered some of the more challenging skills, it is important to spend some time back in the basics. Just as a black belt may spend some time focusing on a basic kick or simple punch to make sure it is perfect, we need to remember that, even in this age of businesses looking for the next big thing, sometimes the basic, tried-and-true communications techniques are the best.

Strive for consistency

Tae kwon do takes a lot of practice and preparation. As with other sports, if you miss too many practices, your skills can get rusty and the more you miss, the harder it is to get back into shape. You can’t just attend class once or twice a month, or even once a week, and expect to improve.

Similarly with PR, it’s important to be in front of your audiences consistently and regularly. It takes a constant stream of advertising to be noticed, and more importantly, stay at the top of a potential customer’s mind. And it often takes a steady stream of media relations outreach to be known as the go-to source for a reporter. While not every pitch will hit the mark with every reporter – and not every punch will hit the target with full force – the effort is still key to achieving the results you want.

Set goals and build upon success

The natural goal of tae kwon do is to get a black belt, but there are several milestones along the way – every new skill mastered or belt obtained. Each of these is celebrated, whether by a high-five from a fellow student or at a belt ceremony. Recognizing these achievements and building upon them helps to keep our focus on the larger goal, but also allows us to rejoice in the progress we are making.

So often in PR, our attention is so focused on the long-range goal of our campaigns and our clients, that we fail to recognize the small accomplishments along the way – a great media placement, a response from a key reporter, reaching a milestone in developing a new website, or even some anecdotal evidence that the work we are doing is paying off. We need to take time to rejoice in the little victories, at least for a few minutes, to help keep us energized and motivated for our bigger goals.

Pay attention to the competition and think about your next move

A key piece of tae kwon do is sparring with a competitor – going back and forth looking for an opportunity or a weakness to score a point. While I still have just a little experience with sparring, I know that it’s crucial not just to pay attention to what your opponent is doing, but also to think ahead to your next move and determine the best strategy to win the match.

While the fights are not as clear cut and obvious as a sparring match, in PR it is critical that we keep an eye on our clients’ competition and industry trends. This helps us look for opportunities to differentiate our clients from others in their field and play up their strengths. We also need to always be thinking ahead to our next move and figuring out the best way to give our clients an edge or finding the next opportunity to get them in front of their target audience.

Whether it’s the thrill of landing a hard-to-get interview with a key publication, seeing a new website go live after months of work, or the stress relief that comes from a great workout at the end of a hectic day, I get the same adrenalin rush and sense of accomplishment from both my professional life and new-found hobby. And that thrill, that joy, is what makes all the hard work worthwhile.

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Sep 15 2014

Fall Intern Spotlight: Amanda Limoges

Published by under RLF Spotlight

From drafting press releases to crafting social media posts, working in the communications field requires plenty of writing. And it’s especially important for students to develop and improve skills during their internships.

At RLF, we urge our interns to brush up on their AP Style, proof their work and build a portfolio of samples to show future employers.  The ability to write a clear, concise media advisory or draft a fresh, versatile marketing plan is a must-have quality in the PR field.

Our final fall intern spotlight is on Amanda.

Amanda Limoges

I grew up in Philadelphia, but now I spend my time between North Carolina, Florida and the Jersey Shore. I am a senior at Elon University studying strategic communications with minors in professional writing and professional sales. I love to write, travel and I am always trying something new, whether it is training for a half marathon or learning to cook a new recipe.

How did you spend your summer?

I spent my summer interning at a boutique public relations firm in NYC, Sarah Hall Productions. During my weekends off, I split my time between exploring the limitless things New York has to offer, visiting my family and spending time at the beach, and jetting all over the East Coast to visit friends!

What is your dream job?

I plan to move to Washington, D.C. when I graduate and work at a top integrated marketing communications agency. My dream job down the road, however, would be to own my own communications firm!

Do you have any hidden talents?

I have an abnormally good memory and incredible face recognition. I could run into someone 60 years down the road and just see their eyes, and know who it is in an instant!

What food could you eat every day and never get sick of?

Sticky. Bread. Pudding. I’m just obsessed with bread pudding and sweets to begin with. I used to work at a bakery at the beach!

What advice would you give to college students looking for internships?

While RLF’s internship was posted online, many are not. If you want to work somewhere, you have to make it happen. Call the company and use all the contacts you have to get your foot in the door. Then you need to “wow” them in the interview. Show your personality, but also remain professional, and people will instantly like you.

Follow Amanda online at amandaklimoges.wordpress.com.

 

To apply for an internship at RLF, please send cover letters, resumes and writing samples to interns@rlfcommunications.com.

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Sep 12 2014

Fall Intern Spotlight: Taylor Smith

Published by under RLF Spotlight

While internships can help recent graduates get their foot in the corporate door, they are a necessity for PR hopefuls. According to PR Daily, 66 percent of employers say that relevant work experience is the most important factor in their hiring decision. And we agree.

At RLF we strive to give our interns valuable work experience to help their transition into the workforce. By giving them the opportunity to draft press releases, help manage social media accounts and be active participants in meetings and brainstorming sessions, we hope to lead them down the path to post-grad success.

This fall, we are excited to welcome back summer intern Alex Rossetti, as well as introduce two new interns to the team: Taylor Smith and Amanda Limoges. Our first spotlight is on Taylor.

Taylor Smith

I am originally from Pittsburgh, but I have been spending a lot of time in North Carolina and plan to move here after graduation. I am a senior at High Point University studying strategic communications and event management. I am an active member of Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority, Lambda Pi Eta-Communications Honor Society and the Public Relations Student Society of America. When I have free time, I like to read biographies and memoirs, write and attend yoga classes.

How did you spend your summer?

During the summer I traveled abroad to London, Paris, Bruges, Amsterdam, Switzerland, Venice, Florence and Rome! I studied European art and architecture, and really enjoyed the amazing food and beautiful sites. When I wasn’t traveling around Europe, I spent time with my family and our new puppy, and attended several country concerts with friends. I also worked at Hallmark where I have worked for almost six years!

What is your dream job?

My dream job would be to either work for a large PR agency that deals with clients in the fashion industry, or be a publicist for celebrities because I love all things pop culture.

Do you have any hidden talents?

From first grade until 10th grade I was a competitive figure skater, and after that I taught children the basics of ice skating. I haven’t been on the ice in awhile, but I’m sure I could still do some jumps and spins!

What food could you eat every day and never get sick of?

Not food per se, but I love tea and coffee. My Keurig is the best investment I’ve made since starting college.

What advice would you give to college students looking for internships?

Do not be afraid to put yourself out there and make connections. Networking is a great tool that can take you the extra mile. A simple way to network is to keep in contact with past employers or professors. Many college professors still have connections in the industry, and are usually more than willing to help students succeed.

Follow Taylor online at @Tay_Smithfc.

 

To apply for an internship at RLF, please send cover letters, resumes and writing samples to interns@rlfcommunications.com.

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Sep 09 2014

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge: A PR Success Story for Nonprofits

By Amanda Limoges

The idea is simple: Pour a bucket of ice water over your head, share a video of it on social media and challenge your friends to do the same. If you do not complete the challenge within 24 hours, you are asked to donate $100 to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) research. The idea itself may be simple, but with more than 3.7 million ice bucket-related videos posted on Instagram in a matter of weeks without a single penny spent on advertising, I am utterly intrigued as a budding PR professional by this campaign’s unique ability to attract worldwide attention.

Not only did the campaign significantly increase awareness of the disease, it also generated a large amount of revenue for ALS foundations globally. Between July 29 to August 28, the ALS Association raised $98.2 million compared to just $2.7 million the year before. This campaign was free for ALS research organizations that normally spend significant dollar amounts on advertising and fundraising efforts that produce only a fraction of the results. The success of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is leaving many nonprofit organizations inspired to alter their traditional publicity tactics to match the viral Internet age.

Here are three lessons nonprofits can take from the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge:

Be Original

Many nonprofits have got into a rut of utilizing the same tried-and-true techniques to meet their fundraising needs. Whether it is an expensive black tie cocktail affair or a 5-K run, everyone has participated in numerous fundraising events that begin to mimic one another. The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge broke the mold, encouraging a diverse group of individuals to support the organization through a fun and unique challenge spurred by competition among friends, colleagues, celebrities and family members. The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge showcases the need for nonprofits to think outside of the box to drive fundraising efforts, and demonstrates that “innovative” does not have to be synonymous with “more work.”

Embrace the Internet Age

The emergence of social media has revolutionized marketing and public relations for nonprofits, providing a platform for organizations to quickly and easily share their story and interact with key stakeholders. No longer do nonprofits have to spend large sums of money on big fundraising events and extensive advertising campaigns to share their message, although they may have to pay someone to monitor social media and come up with creative, engaging content and campaigns. While social media management does come at a cost, the platforms themselves are free and can generate a great ROI for nonprofits that are strapped for cash. The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge shows that nonprofits should be taking advantage of social media and creating a strategic plan to use these platforms effectively.

Surprise with Positivity

So often we see nonprofits utilizing scare or empathy techniques to generate revenue. While these work, as noted by the SPCA’s continued use of commercials highlighting abused animals, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge was a refreshing, positive break from these types of campaigns. Think of the Dove Beauty Campaign, which utilized similar positive tactics and has generated more than 4.6 billion PR and blogger impressions simply by embracing “real women” in a world of Photoshopped models. Create a positive, unique campaign, and you’ll see the results.

Photo courtesy of tenz1225’s Flickr photostream.

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Aug 14 2014

New Client Spotlight: PBI Bank

Published by under RLF Spotlight

By Adam Bowers

RLF has deep experience in the financial services sector, helping banks and other companies identify their key audiences and effectively tell their stories through a variety of communications channels and marketing techniques. We are thrilled to continue this type of work through a new partnership with PBI Bank.

Based in Louisville, Kentucky, PBI Bank is a community bank with 18 full-service banking centers across southern and western Kentucky. PBI is known in its communities for its superb customer service, the breadth of banking services and products it offers and its ability to meet the banking needs of rural and metro customers alike.

We believe that PBI Bank is poised for significant growth. We look forward to helping it achieve that growth through strategic marketing and executing creative, effective communications that speak to all of its key audiences.

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Jul 18 2014

The Best and Worst TV Ads of the 2014 World Cup

Published by under Branding

By Nick Ramsey

More than 3.2 billion television viewers watched at least one minute of a game during the 2010 World Cup — that’s nearly half of the world’s population – and many predicted the viewership to be even higher this year. To help capitalize on such a sizable audience, a wide variety of brands took advantage of this global platform and created brilliant advertisements that tugged on the heartstrings of viewers and inspired soccer fans across the globe. However, some brands missed the mark, coming up short in reaching their audience and being direct in their messaging. Now that the World Cup has ended (Congratulations Germany!), let’s take a look back at some of the best and worst ads from this year’s tournament.

Top 3 Campaigns

McDonald’s Gol!

McDonald’s scored big on this ad, creating a montage of seemingly average fans performing incredible trick shots. The ad is entertaining to watch, appeals to sports fans worldwide and encourages viewers to visit gol.mcd.com to participate in the McDonald’s’ “Peel. Play. Olé Olé.” competition, which provided an opportunity for customers to win a trip to the World Cup final in Brazil.

Beats – Game before the game

Beats uses Brazil’s poster boy Neymar da Siva Santos Jr., among other famous celebrities and athletes, to embrace the pregame routine, which of course features the brand’s signature noise-cancelling headphones. This ad gives viewers an inside look at how some of the world’s best get ready for the game, while clearly communicating the message that the top athletes from across the globe use Beats headphones to prepare for competition. Although the YouTube version lasts five minutes, shorter versions of the ad ran on TV.

Nike – Winner Stays

Nike has consistently produced some of the top ads for major athletic events, and the 2014 World Cup was no exception. This ad shows average fans playing a pick-up game of soccer, and then morphing into their favorite players and moving onto the world stage. The ad shows that Nike is the apparel of choice for athletes on any stage, whether it is a backyard pick-up game or the World Cup final. The excess of soccer superstars doesn’t hurt either, as the ad features Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney, Neymar and more. Similar to the Beats ad, the full YouTube ad lasts four minutes; however, shorter versions of the commercial appeared on TV just a few days after its Internet debut.

Worst 3 Campaigns

Burger King – Whopper Fanatic

Burger King embraces the stereotypical American lack of interest in soccer in this ad, and encourages people not to watch their favorite teams play. The restaurant even offers a free Whopper to those who come to eat at Burger King wearing their team’s jersey during that team’s match. However, individuals who do own a jersey are likely to be invested fans, and not willing to miss an event that occurs once every four years. Burger King tries to use humor in the ad to appeal to the stereotypical American, but the messaging and target audience remain unclear.

Kia – Adriana Lima Brings Fútbol to Sports Bar

This ad features supermodel Adriana Lima changing the TV channel in a bar from NASCAR to soccer, as three men sit speechless, dumbfounded by her beauty. While viewers may enjoy the ad’s humor and the attractive model, the connection to Kia is unclear. The Kia Sorento appears only briefly at the beginning and end of the ad, and could be easily missed by World Cup fans. Even if the connection to Kia is made, the commercial doesn’t highlight any of the car’s features.

Hooters – Coach Gruden Knows Fútbol

The international restaurant chain definitely lost with this ad, which showcases a stereotypical American ignorance of soccer, or “fútbol.” Former NFL coach John Gruden and others sports figures don’t understand what the Hooters waitress is saying when she references “fútbol,” because all they know is American football. The ad ends with the tag line, “No matter what football you like, watch it at Hooters.” Unfortunately, the ad just comes across as ignorant and cheaply made—better luck in 2018, Hooters.

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Jul 07 2014

New Team Member Spotlight: Adam Bowers

Published by under RLF Spotlight

RLF welcomes Adam Bowers back to the team as a communications manager. Adam joins RLF from Bliss Integrated Communication, a New York City-based public relations agency specializing in business-to-business communications. Prior to joining Bliss, Adam worked as an intern and a communications specialist here at RLF. He graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communication, with an emphasis in public relations.

Tell us a little about your work experience and what attracted you to RLF.

After I graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2013, my soon-to-be wife wanted to move to New York City to try our hand at life in the big city. While we were there, we lived in the Upper East Side, and I worked at a B2B PR firm where I got quite a bit of media relations experience working on accounts in the financial and professional services spaces.

When a change in my wife’s job brought us back to NC, I reached out to RLF to see if there were any openings. Having worked here before, I knew what I was getting myself into – a fast-paced work environment with some of the best and brightest marketing professionals in the Triad. How could I not come back? (Especially with the well-stocked fridge full of Coca-Cola products!)

What’s your favorite way to spend your free time?

My wife and I recently got a soft-coated wheaten terrier puppy named Baloo, so he has started to consume most of my free time (beginning at 6:00 every morning when he starts whining to go outside). But he’s great!

When I’m not chasing Baloo around, I love playing disc golf, going to the movies and reading.

What was the last book you read?

I recently finished Half Magic by Edward Eager. It’s a children’s book that I read way back in fifth grade about four kids who find a magic coin that grants half of what they wish for. During the summer, I try to revisit a book or two from childhood to allow myself to feel like a kid on summer vacation with nothing to do again. My nostalgia levels always seem to run high in the summer months.

If you had a theme song, what would it be?

Given how much time I’ve been spending lately chasing my dog around the house, I’d have to go with “Who Let the Dogs Out?” by the Baha Men. In addition to being relevant to my life right now, I’m also a huge fan of late 90s and early 2000s pop music, so this has got to be the perfect fit. (Honorable mention: Gettin’ Jiggy With It).

If you could have dinner with one person, dead or alive, who would it be?

C.S. Lewis. Hands down. I read The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe for the first time when I was ten, and I’ve re-read every book in the Chronicles of Narnia probably fifteen times since then. I’d love to pick his brain and try to understand how he managed to craft a series of books that kids love, but that also get better the older the reader gets.

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