Posts Tagged ‘switchblade creative studios’

Congrats to the Nominees in the 2012 Bay Woof Beast of the Bay Awards!

January 6th, 2012

Vote for your faves in the Bay Woof Beast of the Bay Awards 2012

What a great 2011 and beginning to a new year for many of our pet-related colleagues and clients!

Switchblade is proud to announce the following clients and events nominated in the 2012 Bay Woof Beast of the Bay Awards. We are honored to be associated with these great events, organizations and businesses:

Best Adult Dog Play Group / Event:
Pet Pride Day
(sponsored by Friends of SFACC and SFACC)

Best Dog-Friendly Winery:
Mutt Lynch Winery

Best Dog-Friendly Bakery:
Paw Patch Pastries

Best Pet Superstore:
Pet Food Express

Best Doggie Birthday Present:
Massage from Happy Hounds Massage
A Paw Patch Pastries pastry

Best Canine Massage Therapist:
Shelah Barr, Happy Hounds Massage

Best Overnight Boarder:
High Tail Hotel

Best Pet Photographer:
Mark Rogers Photography

Best Rescue Group, Best Canine Cause:
Muttville Senior Dog Rescue

Best Fundraising Event:
Pet Pride Day (SFACC)
Moolah For Mutts (Muttville)

Best Online Adoption Website:
Muttville Senior Dog Rescue

ALSO: Northern California Pet Adoptions has a photo of Switchblade founder Marie Macaspac with her beloved border collie, Collette, on its homepage! This website was also nominated for Best Adoption Website!. Photo taken by Mark Rogers Photography.

 VOTE! Support your favorite businesses, events, rescue organizations, and dog parks!

Click here to vote!

Website Design and Development for Paw Patch Pastries & Pet Boutique

January 6th, 2012

Client: Paw Patch Pastries & Pet Boutique

Challenge: Owner/Chef Carla Ocfemia was ready to get the name out there of her new pet friendly bakery + store, Paw Patch Pastries & Pet Boutique. She had events already lined up and needed online presence. We had 2 weeks to get her identity and a website up and running!

Switchblade Solution: Switchblade loves a challenge. We went above and beyond her needs. Not only did we set up Carla’s website and tighten up her brand identity, we also connected her to our pet-friendly clients and colleagues to help get the name out. After just 3 months of launching, Paw Patch Pastries was nominated for Best Pet Friendly Bakery and Best Doggie Birthday Gift in Bay Woof Magazine’s Beast of the Bay Awards! Pretty amazing!

Once her HTML site was up, we worked behind-the-scenes to build her a full e-commerce website, where she could manage product inventory and take orders online. We chose Volusion as her CMS , and maintained her brand identity system so existing customers still felt that they were in a familiar place when introduced to the new website.

Website Design & Development for Friends of San Francisco ACC’s “Pet Pride Day”

January 6th, 2012

Pet Pride Day 2011 San Francisco Animal Care and Control, Friends of SFACC

Client: Friends of San Francisco Animal Care & Control (SFACC)

Challenge: The growing popularity of this annual event, which has been nominated several years in a row for Best Adult Dog Play Event and Fundraiser, was a signal of greater traffic and use of the event’s website. It needed to offer sign ups for vendors, schedule updates, and frequent revisions and additions of the Vendors and Participants list.

Switchblade Solution: We provided a simple website designed consistently with the current brand identity that had essential information, up-to-date list of attendees and participants, and access to the form for signups. The website additionally was consistent with the print collateral : A newspaper program distributed in Bay Woof magazine, posters, t-shirts (also produced by Switchblade Creative Studios.

Muttville voted Favorite San Francisco Charity in 7×7 Magazine: Behind-the-scenes of the Successful Marketing Campaign

December 28th, 2011
7x7 Magazine Favorite San Francisco Charity Muttville Senior Dog Rescue

7x7 Magazine Favorite San Francisco Charity Muttville Senior Dog Rescue

Our campaign was strategic, structured and relentless! Find out how we ran the successful marketing campaign that drove thousands of fans to vote EVERYDAY (that’s right!) for Muttville and led to being named San Francisco’s Favorite Charity in 7×7 Magazine.

The night that 7×7 Magazine announced the winner of their San Francisco Favorite Charity contest, the Muttville Team Leaders honored to be present at the announcement party, Patty Stanton, Anne Lauck, Caroline Kaps, and myself, along with our mentor, founder Sherri Franklin, were already beaming with excitement and pride to be one of the seven finalists in a room of amazing non profit organizations: Hearing and Speech Center of Northern California, Lyon-Martin Health Services, MYEEP, Minds Matter, Saving Grace Rescue, and the Asian Women’s Shelter.

Muttville Senior Dog Rescue announced as winner of San Francisco Favorite Charity Contest in 7x7 MagazineWhen the announcement came and the big 8 foot check had Muttville’s name on it, we were floored, overwhelmed with happiness and joy, and most of all, grateful and honored.

Sherri really did almost fall to her knees from weakness as she smiled and tried to speak into the microphone!

As we look back on the day when we first received the announcement of a contest by 7×7 to win a grant generously donated by PG&E for $10,000, in October, we knew this was an opportunity for Muttville, not just financially but the connection to 7×7 and the potential press in 2012 could really bring us new exposure to a wider audience.

A social media and online email marketing campaign was in the works immediately. Since voting was everyday, we needed to be dedicated to daily posts and multiple daily tweets plus working in a newsletter campaign that didn’t pound our supporters over the head too often, nor did we want to put out too many messages to our subscribers and drown out important messages.

A few things to note about Muttville’s overall marketing strengths:

  • Muttville had a system and schedule in place for blogs and email marketing. Therefore Muttville’s communication with supporters via email and social media was very consistent. Subscribers already looked forward to our regular communication, such as weekly blog series Success Stories and Adopted Mutts of the Week, along with newsletters with stories from founder Sherri Franklin.
  • Our social media is always very active, with every blog post, event, and newsletter being shared to Facebook and Twitter immediately.
  • Our interaction with fans and supporters is also strong. Facebook interaction is on average 90% of posts, and Muttville engages with its fans on Facebook everyday. The Facebook page gains 100 + new Likes every week.
  • Muttville has outreach events every weekend, and is accessible both offline and online.
  • Volunteers interface with people in a variety of ways: events, traditional mail, email, and Social Media. And fosters meet potential adopters throughout the week, which means new folks being introduced to Muttville.

When time came to drive a campaign that required daily participation, we knew our fans would rally for us and we could be in the top 49. With every post reminder to vote, practically every single post was liked and commented. Folks even thanked us for the reminder! We diligently posted on Facebook every single day. We tweeted several times a day every day. We got a suggestion from a supporter, “Why not put it smack dab on your front page?” Why not? So we added it right below our call to action “doggie chain”. We let people know what $10,000 can provide to Muttville: much needed surgery for Timminy, physical therapy for Lady Tara, eye surgery for Casper. We strive to let folks know in detail where funds and donations are spent.

When the announcement that we made the Top 7 was made in November, we knew that we really had do turn on the turbo to maintain another month of daily voting pleas! This was important and we needed our supporters to know!
We launched the email marketing campaign and thanked our supporters for their daily votes, and kept the spirits high. Through the newsletter and the home page, Muttville’s website gave people the option to sign up for daily email reminders to vote. Hundreds of people signed up! So Muttville was reminding people by email, Facebook, and Twitter every single day. That daily activity was reaching over 5000 people with each reminder. That number doesn’t even including others forwarding on to their friends and social networks. We often received messages from our supporters saying that they sent daily reminders to others too!

The key effort in this campaign was simply communication. Our fans and supporters from all over the world were ready to help the senior dogs, we just needed to reach as many people as possible, and reach them EVERY DAY without tiring the message or nagging for support. Scroll through our Facebook page to see different ways we posted the message. Often it was casual, but we always included a personal note, and we tried to always “like” every comment to let fans know that we are always listening and grateful for the support. Interaction and engagement is key in maintaining and building an active social network. We want everyone to feel they are an important part of Muttville.

During this campaign we had other big announcements that launched: Our annual Matching Grant Challenge, plus Muttville’s first ever Pup up Adopt Shop. It was easy for the messages to get muddled or drown each other out, or worse overwhelm supporters. We kept each message and call-to-action separate and gave each its own voice. There was a different tone to each campaign as well as a different focus in its strategic effort.

Of course with all this flurry of voting, it is still a mystery how many votes we were actually receiving throughout the campaign. We were as nervous as the others as we awaited to hear the winning organization.  When we won, we knew who we had to tell first…our fans and supporters. Ready in the wings, Carol, Muttville’s website developer sent out a newsletter and updated the website’s home page within minutes, and we posted to Facebook with a photo:

7x7 Magazine Favorite Charity Contest winner Muttville Senior Dog RescueIt was really amazing to see the number of Likes posted within minutes and throughout the night! We could barely keep up reading the comments. And the 30 shares was just unbelievable! Keeping our valued supporters close to the excitement in the moment with Muttville was very important, and we could feel them right there with us, thanks to Facebook.

I’ve been asked by several organizations to give any advice and insight as to how Muttville got all those votes. I’d love to share social media networking tips with all who contact me. One thing that must be noted: dog lovers and animal advocates are some of the most passionate and dedicated folks I have ever known. Perhaps because the love of animals is one thing we all can relate to and have in common, regardless of culture, status, age, gender, or history. Muttville’s special niche, senior dogs, might also remind us all of our own mortality.

Its not over yet! We continue to thank supporters, keep them in the loop, and share Muttville’s successes with them everyday. We hope to share more news when Muttville is featured in the March 2012 issue of 7×7 Magazine and the organiztion can build new connections with the Bay Area, thanks to this special honor.

The Business of Saving Lives: Cause Marketing for Animal Welfare & Rescue Groups

November 2nd, 2011








Switchblade Creative Studios attended the 2011 “No More Homeless Pets” Conference, hosted by Best Friends Animal Society. As one of 5 representatives of Muttville Senior Dog Rescue, I was incredibly honored to not only proudly represent Muttville, but to be surrounded by over a thousand animal rescue advocates and over 40 rescue groups from across the nation.

Muttville team leaders with our mentor/founder Sherri Franklin (center). L-R: Ellen Lazarus, Anne Lauck, Sherri Franklin, Marie Macaspac. Patty Stanton

Marketing, branding, and social media are my specialties, so I was espcecially enlightened to be discussing these topics with a focus on animal rescue. It renewed my creativity and helped me see my work in new ways.  A great feeling was returning for lunch or a meeting with my crew and sharing what we had learned in the various sessions, from fundraising to events to volunteers. We were all fired up with ideas and couldn’t wait to get back home and put these ideas to work!

We also realized that Muttville has the talent and the drive to grow and become wildly successful. We were inspired by “Austin Pets Alive” and one of their directors, Dr. Ellen Jefferson. In just 3 years they grew to be the largest rescue organization in Austin amongst 80+ groups, and they now have their own clinic. What an inspiration! We thankfully had the opportunity to speak to Dr. Jefferson and tell her how much we admired their work.  We also had the opportunity to hear from several leaders in animal rescue: Rich Avenzino, a founder of the No Kill Movement and former director of SFSPCA,  Michael Arms, CEO of the Helen Woodward Animal Center, and Becky Robinson, founder of Alley Cat Allies and founder of the TNR program.

What an experience. The business of saving lives – yes this is what Switchblade is all about.

Switchblade is excited to be attending this weekend’s No More Homeless Pets Conference in Las Vegas

October 20th, 2011

As part of our dedication to animal rescue and our role as Marketing Team Leader for Muttville Senior Dog Rescue, We are very excited to be attending for the first time the Annual No More Homeless Pets Conference, organized by the Best Friends Animal Society and located in Las Vegas, NV. We’re excited to meet other rescue organizations and represent Muttville.  Along with Muttville leaders: Ellen Lazarus, Patty Stanton, Anne Lauck, and Founder / Executive Director, Sherri Franklin, we are looking forward to the presentations in store for the 50+ rescue organizations attending this year.

Additionally, Muttville is looking forward to being part of the launch of Sharingpet.com, a new social network for animal lovers and rescue advocates. Muttville will be part of their special showcase, demonstrating how their innovative online site hopes to increase adoptions and donations to rescue groups all over the nation, and eventually worldwide.

We’ll be reporting as much as we can while we are at the conference! Follow our hashtags #SeniorDogsRule and #11NMHP, as well as Sharingpet’s special hashtag #SAVE1mMORE.

Switchblade Creative Studios’ Marie Macaspac joins team of social network for animal lovers, Sharingpet, as Leadership and Outreach Advisor

October 17th, 2011

Switchblade Creative Studios founder, Marie Macaspac, has been dedicated to saving animals for the last 5 years as a volunteer, foster mom, and Marketing leader for Muttville Senior Dog Rescue and San Francisco Animal Care & Control, and has now been given a great honor to be  part of the Sharingpet team as their Leadership and Outreach Advisor. Sharingpet.com is a new social network for “pets and the people who love them”. We’ve been excitedly preparing for the big announcement of its launch date, October 20th at the Best Friends Society’s “No More Homeless Pets” Conference, an annual event where over 50 animal rescue organizations gather in Las Vegas, NV to discuss the animal rescue cause and find new ways to ban together to save more animals. Marie will be there along with Muttville founder Sherri Franklin and 3 fellow team leaders, Anne Lauck, Ellen Lazarus, and Patty Stanton.

Perfect for Sharingpet’s site launch, Sharingpet has also spawned this challenge: Save 1 million more pets in one year, with the help of their social network and their tools, Virtual Adoption and the Buy & Give Shop. Virtual Adoption hopes to change how the world sees animal rescue and adoption, allowing anyone to help homeless pets. The Buy & Give Shop is Sharingpet’s tool that hopes to give rescues a new substantial way of raising money for their organization. Sharingpet coined this phrase, “AdoptiON Movement” to describe what they are confident will change the world for animal rescue in the United States.

This video beautifully demonstrates the Sharingpet mission. Marie was very glad and honored to be the narrator:

The “Save 1Million More Pets” challenge, inspired by Sharingpet from Sharingpet on Vimeo.

Switchblade Creative Studios and Adobe present “Bert Monroy, Part II: Photoshop Filters and 3D Workflow”

October 12th, 2011

 

 

 

 

 

OCTOBER 13th at Adobe offices, 601 Townsend, San Francisco, CA

6pm – 8:30pm

Bert Monroy, Part II: Photoshop Filters and 3D Workflow

Bert Monroy is considered one the world’s leading Photoshop painters. He

returns for a presentation to teach and inspire. He will share with you

many of the techniques he has developed in the creation of his

internationally renowned work.

If you think you know everything there is to know about Photoshop, you

must attend this event. If you were at his last appearance, you know he

will cover a lot of ground. Bert will teach you features of Photoshop most

people overlook — not just how things work, but, most importantly, why.

You’ll come away with a renewed excitement about what Photoshop allows you

to create.

Bert will show you how to use filters in ways you never thought possible.

He will show you how to take a blank screen and create imagery that

will force the viewer to question whether the image is real or an

illusion.

ALSO: Bert will also show new exciting 3D workflows for creative designers

who want to learn about Photoshop CS5 Extended’s 3D capabilities. There

are many simple 3D effects one can use for many different creative outputs

that many people aren’t aware of and Bert will wow us with these

techniques.

This event promises to be not only educational but inspirational. You will

be left with the motivation to take Photoshop and your imagination

to heights you never thought possible.

More about Bert:

Bert Monroy is considered one of the pioneers of digital art. His work has

been seen in many magazines and scores of books. He has served on

the faculty of many well known institutions, lectured around the

world and appeared on hundreds of TV shows internationally. Bert hosted a

weekly podcast called “Pixel Perfect” for Revision3.com. He was a monthly

regular on The Screen Savers TV show for almost 4 years.

He co-authored “The Official Adobe Photoshop Handbook”, the first book on

Photoshop plus many other books since. His latest books, “Photoshop

Studio with Bert Monroy: Digital Painting” has gotten critical

acclaim around the world. Bert writes a column for Photoshop User.

Bert serves a client list that includes Apple Computer, Adobe Systems,

AT&T, American Express, Pixar Animation, Disney Animation and

Lockheed/Martin. Bert has also worked in the motion picture

industry for Industrial Light and Magic, Pacific Data Images, and

R/Greenberg.

In 2004 Bert was inducted into the Photoshop Hall of Fame.

We are very excited to have Bert join us again!

Why Failure is the Secret of Your Success by Suzanne Lucas

October 3rd, 2011







We found another uplifting article on success to start of the first week of October.

Thanks Suzanne Lucas, aka “EvilHRLady” for covering this topic, it truly hits the point! I get the same inspiration each time I read “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill.

Originally publish for CBS Interactive Business Network: http://www.bnet.com/blog/evil-hr-lady/why-failure-is-the-secret-of-your-success/

What does it take to succeed? Apparently a whole lot of failure. Paul Tough, in the New York Times, reports educational leaders who believe that knowing how to fail is the secret to success. Dominic Randolph, who leads an expensive, top ranked private school in New York City, is concerned about students that have known nothing but success. He states:

Whether it’s the pioneer in the Conestoga wagon or someone coming here in the 1920s from southern Italy, there was this idea in America that if you worked hard and you showed real grit, that you could be successful. Strangely, we’ve now forgotten that. People who have an easy time of things, who get 800s on their SAT’s, I worry that those people get feedback that everything they’re doing is great. And I think as a result, we are actually setting them up for long-term failure. When that person suddenly has to face up to a difficult moment, then I think they’re screwed, to be honest. I don’t think they’ve grown the capacities to be able to handle that.

These kids don’t know how to fail because they’ve never done it. Therefore, when things get outside their comfort zone, or they first encounter people more capable than they are, they have no skills for dealing with it. We talk a lot about hard work, but school grading generally ends up being based on how well you did on the test, not about how much effort it took to get there or how persistent someone was.

But wait, don’t we want to hire those people who are naturally brilliant and don’t need a lot of hard work to be successful? Well, sure, except that if they don’t know how to fail they are going to be awfully difficult to work with. We hear this complaint from those who employ Generation Y. Many of their parents (and their schools) saw to it that failure wasn’t an option. Everything was fixed or extra credit given or forgotten lunches brought to school.

It’s not a phenomenon limited to the newly graduated, though. One of my HR colleagues who, at the time, was head of HR for the Research & Development side of a a major pharmaceutical company, lamented to me how much he hates the whining at performance appraisal time. “I have a PhD from Harvard, so I can’t be rated ‘average,’” they would say. Never mind that everyone in the department had a PhD from a top ranked school. There wasn’t a whole lot of willingness to find out what changes they needed to make, just the assertion that because they were considered exceptional in the past, they should still be considered exceptional today. An “average” performance rating was utterly devastating and difficult to get past.

It doesn’t actually allow for a whole lot of growth when you refuse to entertain the idea that you should be doing something differently. Some people would rather find a new job rather than fix the problems they are having with their old jobs. Risk taking wasn’t an option. If success wasn’t guaranteed, they wouldn’t try it.

At the other side of the academic world is David Levin, who is the head of KIPP, a network of charter schools, whose student’s families don’t earn even the $38,500 a year that Randolph’s students pay in tuition. They focus on inner city, low income kids and have a stated goal of having 75% of their students achieve a 4 year degree. (They are currently at 33%, which is considerably higher than the 8 percent average for kids from low income families.) They haven’t reached the stated goal, so Levin is open to the idea that he needs to do things different—accept that in some areas he’s failed. Tough reports:

As Levin watched the progress of those KIPP alumni, he noticed something curious: the students who persisted in college were not necessarily the ones who had excelled academically at KIPP; they were the ones with exceptional character strengths, like optimism and persistence and social intelligence. They were the ones who were able to recover from a bad grade and resolve to do better next time; to bounce back from a fight with their parents; to resist the urge to go out to the movies and stay home and study instead; to persuade professors to give them extra help after class. Those skills weren’t enough on their own to earn students a B.A., Levin knew. But for young people without the benefit of a lot of family resources, without the kind of safety net that their wealthier peers enjoyed, they seemed an indispensable part of making it to graduation day.

The ability to bounce back from failure is a key point. But, what if you’ve never failed? What if your parents fix every problem you ever have? What if you never gain this valuable skills? Then you’re far less likely to have true success. If you’ve never had to try again and again, are you going to assume that the problem is unsolvable if you fail the first time?

Lots of people live charmed lives as long as their parents are pulling the strings or they put themselves in places where success is almost guaranteed. Except that anyone in the working world today knows that failure is not only a possibility it’s a high probability. Businesses fail. Entire divisions get laid off, regardless of how brilliant any individual employee was. Sometimes it’s just a matter of trying to figure out what the problem in the darn code is. If you’re a one try and you’re finished type of person, it doesn’t matter how smart you are, you won’t succeed.

And what happens if you’re one of those people who has never failed? Never had to face disappointment and pick yourself up by your own bootstraps? It can be disasterous. But, to succeed you must be able to fail and recover from failure.

That means you must be willing to take risks, listen to others, and admit where you could improve. Arguing over a performance appraisal instead of listening to what your boss is trying to tell you are key indicators of someone who is unwilling to learn. (Not that all bosses’ assessments are accurate, but those appraisals tell you what your boss is looking for. Disregard that at your own peril.)

Perhaps even those of us who are long finished with school can learn something from people who are trying to educate our children.

How Switchblade Became Experts in Marketing for the Animal Friendly Community

September 19th, 2011

Switchblade Creative Studios is proud of our work with animal welfare/rescue organizations, film productions, and pet-related businesses that volunteer or support animal causes,
and/or donate their products and services.

small club: big adventures for small dogs

 

 




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How Switchblade Became Experts in Marketing
For Animal Related Causes & Pet Lovin’ Consumers

When I left behind corporate life and started this company in 2007, the first thing I was excited to do was volunteer with animal rescue organizations. No longer living within a demanding 60+ hour a week job, I couldn’t wait to explore the options. Becoming a volunteer at the San Francisco Animal Care & Control was the perfect introduction to the animal rescue world. It became an important part of my routine and I welcomed this new community of animal loving folks. Shortly before my first orientation at SFACC, my life also dramatically changed when Jazmin, my soulmate canine companion of 11 years, passed away at the age of 14. Losing Jazmin motivated me to give even more in memory of her and our life together.

Volunteering at the SFACC was a joy, but coming home to any empty place with no pets depressed me. I started searching local dog rescue groups where I could foster. I used PetFinder and googled “dog rescue groups”. Searching through the dozens of listings, I gravitated towards dogs I thought were probably “less adoptable”, either because of age or health concerns. I searched and found the saddest looking dog within 50 miles, saved by Wonder Dog Rescue. She was a 40 lb 9-year-old cattle dog mix with the saddest story I have ever heard. And she was indeed the saddest dog I ever met. I named her Frida.

frida jedi switchblade creative studios

frida and jedi

I also sent an email to Muttville Senior Dog Rescue to inquire about fostering. It turned out Muttville was in its first year as an official 501(c) organization. We luckily shared the same neighborhood. Another plus for me was its focus on senior dogs. Muttville Founder  Sherri Franklin instantly became my hero and mentor,  and “Muttville Manor” my second home. My first foster dog was Jedi, a chihuahua mix with irresistible big brown eyes. Jedi and Frida joined my home and it felt warm and inviting to me once again.

My role with Muttville quickly grew into so much more than fostering. I had just left a career as a designer and marketing specialist for 11 years, working myself to the bone, so that part of me wasn’t going to change! I basically took over as Muttville’s marketing lead and designer.  The opportunity to combine my talent and skills with my passion to save dogs was invigorating! The role gave me the opportunity to work with more inspiring individuals behind Muttville: Board President, Jane Goldman, the V.P. of Lifestyle Marketing at CBS Interactive and founder of CHOW.com., and Muttville’s web development engineer, Carol Balacek. Five years later, they both continue to mentor and inspire me and are great influences to me as a business owner. As the Director of Marketing & Design for Muttville, I continually learn from the organization’s other team leaders who contribute their expertise in fundraising, public relations, event planning, and grant writing. As a team, we regularly collaborate and develop innovative strategies, challenging ourselves to improve upon the previous successes.

Muttville leaders at the 3rd Annual Moolah For Mutts

L-R: Jane Goldman, Chris, Sherri Franklin, Deanne Franklin (behind Sherri/Marie), Marie Macaspac, Carol Balacek, John Mounier

Four and a half years and 100 foster dogs later, my passion has led me to be a proud member of a community of inspiring, dedicated folks who have specialized their businesses and organizations in animals. For fellow pet-friendly business owners who create products or offer services or produce films, the most important aspect we have in common is our need to contribute to animal rescue. For those special leaders who successfully manage a rescue organization, who inspire a community to support their causes, I am honored to be a part of their work.

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