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A Look At Axiom On The Move

It's a rare event when creative energy meets kinetic energy in a move between historic buildings in Houston.

Fortunately, we caught the dynamics on camera as movers and staffers took the Axiom show on the road, a 3-mile trek from TriBeca Lofts at 1210 West Clay to the original Fire Station No. 6 at 1702 Washington Ave.

There was no mistaking the fire-engine red moving boxes, which contained Axiom equipment and employee possessions and were well-suited to their destination. Once the truck pulled into the new Axiom parking lot, employees carried on with unpacking, plugging and sometimes fussing with what-goes-where.

Better yet, the highlights tell the story. Roll 'em!

Axiom Wins Gold and Silver ADDYs Heading Into Nationals

“Discover Cameron,” an interactive campaign produced by Axiom and Cameron’s marketing team, earned a Gold and two Silver ADDY awards from District 10 of the American Advertising Federation, district ADDY chair Marc Eisenberg announced on Monday.

Axiom also garnered a regional Silver ADDY for its catalog featuring the artwork of Mary McCleary, Art League Houston’s 2011 Artist of the Year.

Axiom’s 2012 Regional ADDY Awards (entry - category - award):
  • Discover Cameron Market Landscapes – Illustration – Gold ADDY
  • Discover Cameron Product Illustration – Illustration – Silver ADDY
  • Discover Cameron Campaign – B-to-B Regional/National – Silver ADDY
  • Mary McCleary Catalog (Art League Houston) – Collateral – Silver ADDY
All four Axiom entries now advance to the ADDY Awards’ national competition in Austin, where the winners will be announced at AAF’s national conference in June.

AAF’s District 10, which includes Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas, will host its special awards presentation on April 13 in Shreveport, La., during the district’s annual convention.

A View To Slide For

One of the interesting curiosities about Axiom's new offices within the historic Fire Station No. 6 in Houston's Sixth Ward is whether the fire pole is operational.

Well, first off, it wouldn't be a fire station without one. That's part of maintaining the character of the building, even if it's no longer used as the home of the “Rough and Ready” volunteer firefighters of the late 19th-early 20th century.

Aside from the obvious, the fire pole might as well be a lightning rod of conversation. There are actually two brass poles that stand among a series of eight pillars on the ground, but the fire pole goes through the first floor and connects to the ceiling of the second floor. Before Axiom employees moved into Fire Station No. 6 in late February, anticipation grew over who would slide down the fire pole as a direct route from upstairs.

Photographer Pete Lacker snapped many a shot throughout the building's interior and exterior, then eventually assembled the Axiom staff together on the second floor for individual and group photos.

The group shots were inspired most by (you guessed it) the fire pole. Tom Hair took hold of it -- even had his legs dangling through the circular opening at one point -- and amid whispers of “Jump! Jump! Do Batman and Robin proud!” everyone was in Lacker's frame for an instant. That's all it took for the camera shutter to capture the faces of Axiom that are seen on our main Facebook page. (If you “like” us, click here.)

But creative energy works in mysterious ways, as do camera angles near fire poles. Lacker descended (via stairs) to the first floor, underneath the fire pole hole. The Axiom staff joined Hair in looking through the opening with winning smiles.

Lacker snapped the shot, and to be sure, things are indeed looking up for Axiom going forward at Fire Station No. 6.

How to Cite Tweets for Academia and Communications

Seeing how in 2012, most major news events first appear and spread via Twitter in real time, being able to cite these tweets has become an interesting exercise in academic and journalistic sourcing.

In keeping with the times, the MLA and Chicago Manual of Style recently updated their respective guidelines to reflect the growing importance of Twitter in journalism and academia.

The MLA states that the correct way to cite a tweet is:

Here's an example from MLA's page:
Athar, Sohaib (ReallyVirtual). “Helicopter hovering above Abbottabad at 1AM (is a rare event).” 1 May 2011, 3:58 p.m. Tweet.
Now, in instances where only the User Name or Twitter handle is known, the name of the person from the citation can be omitted.

The Chicago Manual of Style (Online edition) offers a bit of a broader guideline on how to cite and format tweets:
In the text, you can incorporate the facts into a sentence: In a Twitter post on September 14, 2011, Garrett Kiely (@gkiely) wrote, “Using Google, Authors Guild takes 2 mins to connect an author with an ‘orphaned work’:” And here’s a possible note form:

32. Garrett Kiely, Twitter post, September 14, 2011, 8:50 a.m.,
An interesting point on this is the consideration of the time and date attributed to tweets, The time stamp on any given tweet is relative to the reader's specific time zone when reading the original tweet. Often, the originating time stamp and/or time zone are not explicitly known, so for the purposes of citations, an approximate time frame is noted on the messages. Also, depending on which side of the International Date Line you fall on, the date might be off by a day.

Many might cringe at the thought of citing something as ephemeral as a tweet. However, the ability to send information in real time, from culturally significant and newsworthy geopolitical hotspots — and the need for intellectual honesty — has more or less dictated that these tweets and trending topics be uniquely and accurately referenced.

Axiom produces award-winning results on behalf of Art League Houston

The artwork of Mary McCleary, Art League Houston's 2011 Texas Artist of the Year, provided inspiring imagery for Axiom to work with.

Led by creative director David Lerch, Axiom won a Gold ADDY Award for its "Mary McCleary: A Survey" catalog. Axiom also earned Citations of Excellence for its 2011 Art League Houston Gala campaign, and for an invitation featuring postcard-size reproductions of McCleary works.

The significance of the awards was not lost on Lerch, who recognizes Axiom's versatility in handling integrated campaigns outside of its B2B focus. The meaning went deeper. "She has been an established presence in the arts scene for a long time. Her pieces are rich and detailed. It was a labor of love to work with an artist of her caliber," Lerch said of McCleary.

The ADDY accolades were especially important for Axiom President Tom Hair, a former Art League student and current Board member. He also has overseen in-kind efforts for Hope Stone Inc., in which Axiom earned a Silver ADDY for producing one of its invitations.

"It's nice to be recognized for our efforts, but the larger point is that we were able to contribute our talents and resources to organizations that make a difference in the Houston community," Hair noted.

10 Tips on How Facebook Timeline can Help Your Brand Tell its Story

If you admin your company's or organization's Facebook page, all pages will transition over to Timeline by March 30. What does this mean for your brand and Facebook page? A lot of work, for sure, but also an unprecedented opportunity to shape how your company or organization is engaged – and perceived – by 845 million users on Facebook.

Below are 10 tips that will keep you ahead of the game and prevent you from being blindsided when your CEO is asking you what happened to the company's Facebook page.

1) Cover Photo. Normal users who have switched over to the new Timeline already know the impact of this feature in conveying your personal brand to your social network. The 851-by-314-pixel dimensions gives you a massive amount of real estate to upload an image that best represents your company's brand. This image should epitomize everything that your company or organization is all about in terms of culture and values. Pick a stunning high-resolution image that will really resonate with your audience. An important ground rule to keep in mind with cover Images: Brands may not include any calls to action, pricing information or references to Facebook features, apps, or websites in the cover image. This is to help minimize many of the cheesy promotional hacks that many marketers have stumbled upon in regards to using graphics. As we always tell our clients: Keep it classy, if possible.  

2) Take Advantage of the Larger Real Estate for Photos. Images posted on the old wall and photo albums now enjoy a lot more prominence and increased visibility on the new Timeline. Photography now becomes a very salient communication aspect of your brand's Facebook page. By default, uploaded images will appear on either the left or right column of your timeline but by clicking on the highlight button next to any Timeline photo you can set the image to become a virtual photo billboard on your Timeline (843x403 pixels)

If you have an in-house photographer, this will be where his/her talents will shine for your organization. Also, photographic archives will find new life on your company's Timeline.

3) Take the Conversation Private. Prior to Timeline, critical comments and complaints could be posted on your brands wall by anyone, and brands could only respond to the comments on the public wall. This aspect of Facebook made many brands very hesitant to enter this space. With the new private messaging feature, organizations have a new customer-service channel that allows brands to request users to message them directly and privately to resolve any issues that people may have.

The catch here is that Facebook pages cannot initiate a message toward a user; they can only respond to one sent by the user. For instance, if someone is complaining on a company’s wall, the administrator of the company’s Facebook page can request subsequent messages be sent in private and take the conversation away from public view when appropriate.

4) Update Your Facebook Tactics. Under the old Facebook Page Wall paradigm, many brands would optimize their profile photo with what amounted to skyscraper ads. Often this would allow for additional brand information, calls-to-action and other topical information by taking advantage of Facebook's generous limits on the vertical height. These vertical pics are effectively reduced under the new Timeline system. Also, all custom Facebook page apps have relocated from the left-hand bar to a discreet right-hand box. Any tactics that were optimized to direct attention to these left-hand navigation items will need to be revisited.

5) Lose the Welcome Tab or FBML Landing Page. A staple of aggressive marketers on Facebook, the ubiquitous FBML or "Welcome Tab" on many pages will no longer function as a default landing page for new visitors. If your page was rocking one of these, hide or delete it. The way it's relegated as an obsolete app would be viewed as a quaint and outdated by many users. What new visitors will now see when they first visit your page is your brand’s Public Timeline, which brings us to No 6.

6) Clean up Your Brand's Timeline. Those company holiday party pics you posted back in 2009 with the open bar? Hide or delete them. Prior to Timeline, those photos would have simply been buried at the previous pages of your Wall safely hidden from public scrutiny. Now, by clicking on years, people can quickly navigate to any point in your company's timeline to learn more about your brand's history. Take some time to slowly remove anything that is not aligned with your brand's core values and feel free to add historical highlights.

7) Curate Your Brand. With the new Timeline functionality, a lot of third-party apps are being developed that allows for very personalized platform for creative self-expression and interacting with their fans across multiple touch points. Take a look to see what makes sense for your brand and try them out. 

8) Get Ready for New Facebook Actions. Users now have more options for how they interact with brands. Instead of just liking, commenting and sharing something, users can now express that they "love," "want" and/or "own" a product as well as write recommendations about products and services that can be shared with their network. For brands that operate within the Reputation Economy, these touch points will become very powerful drivers for word-of-mouth marketing.

9) Telling the Story with Milestones. The feature of Timeline that will resonate most with companies and organizations is the ability for brands to list salient milestones for the organizations: Date Founded; Important Awards and Accomplishments; Mergers, New Partners, Game Changing Product Launches.

Milestones now allow brands to tell their own unique story in a very holistic manner and see and shape that story from a birds-eye view.

10) Revise Your Social Media Strategy. Facebook Timeline offers a very powerful and visual tool to engage with your fans and offers a wealth of branding opportunities. If you're not currently on Facebook promoting your brand, your competitors are there already engaging with your audience and potential customers, and they now have access to a very compelling and visual way to do that.

Bottom line: Facebook Timeline now allows companies and organizations to punch way above their weight class.

Have additional questions about migrating your brand to Facebook's Timeline? Contact John Luu at (713) 523-5711 or for more information.

Cereal Entertainment at Hope Stone Gala

Axiom was one of the sponsors for the third annual Hope Stone Inc. "Breakfast For Dinner" gala, which included plenty of Frosted Flakes, Froot Loops, Cocoa Puffs, Fruity Pebbles and Cheerios being consumed by about 150 attendees clad in their favorite pajamas and robes.

Saturday's event featured performances by Kids Play Tinies, Kids Play Teens and Hope Stone Dance Company with live music from Mercury Baroque. Hope Stone's annual fund invitation, which was designed by Axiom, recently won a Silver ADDY Award from AAF-Houston.

Founded in 1997 by Jane Weiner, Hope Stone offers free arts education to underserved children in Houston and Katy, Texas, and in New Orleans, La. For more information on Hope Stone, click here.

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