THE CREATIVE PROCESS: HOW CATMEDIA TAKES A PROJECT FROM START TO FINISH

CATMEDIA is one of the most acclaimed creative companies in the metro-Atlanta area, but how did we go from a handful of people crammed into a small office to where we are today? Well, a big part of that success has to do with our Creative Process Plan and how we take a project from start to finish!

DISCOVERY

man holding a magnifying glass Collect all of the information about the client. When making anything, it is important to know exactly whom you are making it for. By familiarizing yourself with your client and their brand, you can avoid basic and time-consuming mistakes.

EDUCATE

man looking at a white board

Read all of the client information, and do independent research. If a client has one, you should certainly request a brand and style guidefrom them. Any other information they have, whether it be written content, examples of previous work, or emails discussing the project, will prove itself useful. Further independent research provides inspiration, as well as information to help you provide the best product for your client.

TARGET MARKET

four people legsUnderstand the target market. We’ve written extensively on our blog about the importance of a target market analysis and how exactly to perform one. Suffice it to say; if you don’t understand your target market, you don’t understand your project.

GOALS & OBJECTIVES Learning goals

Understand the goals and objectives of the project or campaign. The simplest and most direct way to tackle this step is by creating an outline. Thoroughly laying out what exactly you and your client hope to achieve with this project will guide what you end up doing.

 

 

CORE REASON

writing on a board of reasonsWhat’s the point? Why are you making what you’re making? This point is similar to the Goals & Objectives section, but there is a subtle distinction. A goal is the end result desired by the product or campaign. But the reason is why? Why does this goal matter? What is the larger impact?

 

BIG IDEA

book with write ideas

Define the overall message or idea. What makes your work something beyond the conventional or simple? How do you take this project to the next level and make something exciting? By laying out the Big Idea, you can ensure that your client will be blown away.

TEST

wall of post it notesIt’s time to put your ideas to the test. This can mean different things depending on the project. You might run a mock-version of a marketing campaign, or use a focus group on a product you are creating. Such a process can open you up to creative experimentation while giving you the feedback necessary to know which risks were worth the reward. But be aware, often the testing phase can lead to unexpected results.

CREATE laptop with the word create

Develop ideas into visuals and/or script. This step should include deadlines for concepts, mockups, approvals, etc. Keeping yourself organized throughout the creative process and adhering to deadlines not only keeps the client happy but also improves your creative capability. For more information on how to improve your creative work, see our blogs here.

 

 

 

CATMEDIA is an award-winning Inc. 500 company based in Atlanta, Georgia. Founded in 1997, the company specializes in advertising, creative services, media production, program management, training, and human resource management. As a Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB), CATMEDIA provides world-class customer service and innovative solutions to government and commercial clients. Current CATMEDIA clients include Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Office of Personnel Management (OPM), and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

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CATMEDIA Entertainment Announces Digital and DVD June Release Date For Feature Film

CATMEDIA Entertainment’s has announced that the official release date of their first full-length feature film, Apocalypse Island, will be on June 11, 2019. The film will be available on DVD or for digital rent and purchase. You can already pre-order the DVD on Amazon, Walmart, and Bestbuy now.

Since 2018, CATMEDIA has worked with Summer Hill Entertainment to facilitate distribution and announced early this year that an agreement was made with Wild Eye Releasing for the North American market (which includes the US and Canada).

Apocalypse Island is a drama surrounding a cult hidden away in the island marshes of the Deep South. It follows Cam, the Pastor’s son, as he seeks to save his sister’s life from a mysterious affliction. In the end, he discovers the true nature of the island he calls home, that of his father, and how unreliable the mind and memory truly are.

 

Nia Peeples on the phoneThe film also stars Pretty Little Liars’ actress Nia Peeples as Claudia, one of the film’s most dynamic characters along with a riveting breakout performance by Dean Kostlich in the role of Pastor.

“After 30 years of primetime TV and films running the gamut in terms of budget, name value, and quality, it’s always refreshing to step into a company of filmmakers who are fresh and imaginative, and inspired rather than jilted. The experience of enthusiasm and “dream-making” can be intoxicating. It reminds me of my beginnings.” – Nia Peeples

In addition to being the company’s first narrative feature film, Apocalypse Island is also a woman-produced film.

“Historically, the movie and production business has predominantly been a man’s world. The fact that a small woman-owned company has been able to finance, write, and produce a movie is phenomenal. Not just produce any movie, but produce and score a full-length feature film that we are proud of.”

When asked about the challenges of producing an independent film, Downey says, “Being completely independent limits you in terms of budget, but frees you in terms of how you tell your story.”

William Warren, who co-wrote and directed Apocalypse Island, says the story was the culmination of two different ideas he had been working on for some time.

“Years ago I heard a story about scientists who had implanted memories into lab rats, and the idea stuck with me. Years passed and onetwo women sitting at table looking away night I was watching TV and a promo came on for a show about a cult on an island. I thought—I can do something like that. So I opened up my laptop, and about 10 months later I had a very rough, very long play typed out. Little did I know that three months later I would be producing it as a movie.”

As a testament to such a booming film industry in Georgia, Apocalypse Island employed mostly local crew and talent and was shot on location within the surrounding Savannah and Atlanta metropolitan areas.

Like us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram to stay up to date on the film’s progress.

DVD and digital sales begin on June 11, 2019. You can already pre-order your DVD copy on Amazon, Walmart, and Bestbuy.

CATMEDIA is an award-winning Inc. 500 company based in Atlanta, Georgia. Founded in 1997, the company specializes in advertising, creative services, media production, program management, training, and human resource management. As a Women Owned Small Business (WOSB), CATMEDIA provides world-class customer service and innovative solutions to government and commercial clients. Current CATMEDIA clients include Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Office of Personnel Management (OPM), and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

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Applying the 4 c’s of Marketing to Healthcare

1. CUSTOMER WANTS AND NEEDS

Today, healthcare marketing revolves around the patient and the patient’s wants and needs. Healthcare firms such as healthcare providers, insurers, and miscellaneous healthcare support firms need to understand not only what patients want and need but also what patients’ options are in the marketplace. I have written previously about the amount of change in the healthcare industry and the new year promises a continuation of that change. The heightened buzz about healthcare and healthcare insurance certainly raises awareness of patient choice. Therefore, it is very important to listen via social media, primary and secondary research, and engage with patients to ensure that when patients or other healthcare customers have a choice, they choose you!

2. COST

healthcare-marketing-credit-card-in-handThere is significant awareness today of the rising costs of healthcare and debate about what drives those costs. Patients and their advocates focus on the value of care while also paying attention to costs. A patient considering cataract surgery may not look for the lowest-cost provider to cut on her or his eyes. A well-informed patient is likely to focus on providers who give good care before, during, and after any procedure, illness, or accident, at a reasonable cost that is covered by the patient’s insurance policy. As the healthcare industry continues the journey from fee-for-service to value-based care, providers increasingly focus on patients’ long-term health and vitality, such as health maintenance and illness and accident prevention. Since value-based care rewards keeping patients healthy, there is considerable value to healthcare firms in better-educating patients and showing patients how they can improve their quality of life through lifestyle changes and consistent well care visits. By forming a partnership with patients regarding health and vitality, patients see that you care and are more likely to choose you as their health partner.

3. CONVENIENCE

marketing-in-healthcare-hands-on-a-laptopPatient convenience has driven many changes in healthcare. Patients can now get their flu vaccine when they go buy groceries or stop by the drug store for cough lozenges. Some healthcare providers have responded to these retail offerings with expanded hours and added conveniences such as no-appointment-needed flu vaccines. Providers now offer evening and weekend hours to accommodate busy patients. Rather than having to call the office and wait on hold, many providers and insurers have websites so patients can schedule their own appointments, track claims, or find answers to frequently asked questions. There is an abundance of information for patients to consult and decide about what further care, if any, to seek for non-emergency issues. It is important that healthcare marketers ask patients about the importance of convenience and what convenience means to them, so that marketers understand the relative value of developing mobile applications, or having after-hours triage services, etc. By being proactive in understanding and providing solutions to patients’ needs, healthcare firms can prevent losing patients to competitors who respond faster and accommodate patients with valuable convenience factors.

4. COMMUNICATION

healthcare-marketing-guy-on-phoneCommunication is the glue that connects and integrates all other marketing strategies and tactics. Healthcare firms communicate with patients to understand their wants and needs, including their thoughts and concerns about healthcare costs and convenience, and completing the feedback loop by saying, “We listened to your thoughts, and this is what we are doing about it.” Communication is most valuable when it includes interaction. Social media provides the opportunity for interaction and gaining insights into patients’ thoughts and behaviors. Social media, website content, and other digital marketing tactics can help your healthcare firm engage with patients and patient advocates. Integrated digital marketing allows a feedback loop between patients, marketers, and providers, and nurtures engagement of all stakeholders to bring about holistic care. Of course, healthcare marketers have the added responsibility to ensure any social media engagement or research complies with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) and other privacy laws. How does your healthcare firm keep a pulse on patient needs and wants, and nurture a long-term relationship?

CATMEDIA is an award-winning Inc. 500 company based in Atlanta, Georgia. Founded in 1997, the company specializes in advertising, creative services, media production, program management, training, and human resource management. As a Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB), CATMEDIA provides world-class customer service and innovative solutions to government and commercial clients. Current CATMEDIA clients include Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Office of Personnel Management (OPM), and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

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What are the Three Stages of Video Production?

Video is an excellent platform to reach a large audience. It is imperative that organizations begin creating and incorporating video as part of a comprehensive content strategy. The statistics tell the story:

YouTube has more than 1 billion unique visitors monthly, with over 100 hours of video content being uploaded every minute.

Using the services of an experienced video production company will greatly affect the end product, the results of which hit goals that deliver a real Return On Investment (ROI).

guy-working-on-video-cameraProfessional video production companies have the skills, equipment, and creative direction needed to produce a video with a clear message that your intended audience can understand. It can determine the most efficient and cost-effective ways to pull it all together through best practices in pre-production, production, post-production, and delivery.

A good video production company can “see” the script as a finished program. The script can include narration, dialogue, and visual and audio descriptions that tell the production crew what elements need to be captured. During script development, the client should perform reviews and provide comments and approvals on everything from the narrative, to the title, and graphical elements such as fonts.

It does not matter if you are producing a 30-second promo, a training series, or a 90-minute documentary; the stages of video production are typically the same. The video production process is broken into three simple stages:

  • Pre-production
  • Production
  • Post-production

There are a lot of moving parts within each stage, and because of this, it is important to build in checkpoints and milestones along the way.

PRE-PRODUCTION

people-in-creative-meetingPre-production begins the moment script development starts. It involves everything that happens before shooting begins: project kickoff, research, script writing, and story boarding, casting, hiring crews, scouting and locking locations, scheduling post-production, and more. Anything and everything about a video production’s logistics are coordinated from scratch based on the script, and everything must be in place before the principle photography begins.

In the case of industry or commercial media, pre-production can include:

  • Project kickoff
  • Production schedule
  • Script development
  • Storyboards
  • Graphics concepts
  • Location scouting
  • Prop and wardrobe identification and preparation
  • Post-production preparation

PRODUCTION

guy-shooting-on-a-video-cameraProduction is when all the planning during script development and pre-production comes together. “Action!” is called, and that is when the cameras roll and the fun begins. A professional video production crew has an eye for detail and should be meticulous about lighting, have a penchant for capturing great sound bites during interviews, directing talent, and capturing relevant and beautiful B-roll. Our animators and graphic artists work magic – creating the best animations and graphics to represent your brand.

 

POST-PRODUCTION

editing-video-on-a-laptopPost-Production – or editing – is the stage of production when the production team digs into the recorded video and audio footage and assembles it in accordance with the script. Graphics, music, sound effects, and visual effects are crafted and added, along with color correction, audio sweetening, and sound design.

Producing high-quality professional video takes an experienced team, solid pre-production strategies, and project management skills, a tried-and-tested production process, and a quality assurance system. All of these combined efforts will result in a video that matches your brand, meets your objectives, and exceeds your expectations.

Interested in exploring video marketing? We are a full-service video production agency that can assist you in your production needs! Give us a call today!

CATMEDIA is an award-winning Inc. 500 company based in Atlanta, Georgia. Founded in 1997, the company specializes in advertising, creative services, media production, program management, training, and human resource management. As a Women Owned Small Business (WOSB), CATMEDIA provides world-class customer service and innovative solutions to government and commercial clients. Current CATMEDIA clients include Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Office of Personnel Management (OPM), and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

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FROM THE CEO’S DESK: THE CREATIVE PROCESS & COLLABORATION AT CATMEDIA

CHANGE IS KEY

Woman in front of the computerDo you know anyone creative? What traits or characteristics do they have? What comes to mind? Now think about yourself. Do you consider yourself to be creative? Why or why not? After being creative and producing creative work for much of my life, I believe that creativity exists everywhere and in everyone. People tend to doubt their creative abilities because they think, “I’m not a painter. I’m not a writer. I’m not a musician,” but creativity is not just about being an artist. It’s not about whether you can dance or sing or play an instrument. Creativity is about being adaptable and open to change. So, today we’re going to cover why change is so critical in the creative process, and how it has impacted collaboration and creativity at CATMEDIA over the years.

SOMETIMES YOU JUST HAVE TO SHAKE THINGS UPdog shaking

Creativity has a tendency to manifest itself in people in different ways. For example, even in my personal life, there have been times when I’ve felt stressed or overwhelmed, and I’ve had to look at my life and see where I could make changes. I’ve had to stop to consider what I could do differently to make things run more smoothly, and this is something that we all feel the need to do from time to time. For some people, it’s a matter of rearranging furniture or switching up their hair color, but a huge part of our creativity involves having the need to shake things up and approach things from a different angle. At CATMEDIA, this desire crosses over into our professional lives and helps us to develop projects that are impactful and creative.

TENACITY TRUMPS TALENT

do more written on the computerOne thing my father used to always ask is, “Is it the talent, or is it the tenacity?” When it comes to creativity, the creativity itself does not require work, but the craft certainly does. If I’m a pianist, I have to practice. If I’m a baseball player, I have to practice, and this is true no matter the career path. There are a lot of talented people who don’t develop their talents and a lot of less talented people who managed to become successful through dedication and tenacity. To maintain that competitive edge, we have a responsibility to develop and sharpen our skills, no matter the industry.

 

CREATIVITY IN LEADERSHIP catherine downey ceo

Effective leadership would be almost nonexistent in the absence of creativity and change. “Leadership is a set of processes that creates organizations in the first place or adapts them to significantly changing circumstances.” As a leader, I try to encourage my employees to think creatively. I want them to think critically and independently, tell me what’s not working, and suggest ways that we can improve. I’m all about giving them the tools to help them succeed, but I need them to take ownership, and use those tools to do great work. Here at CATMEDIA, we approach everything creatively. Yes, we have processes in place, but I expect my employees to be able to embrace change in order to make the most impact on our clients.

WE EMPLOY CREATIVITY TO HELP OUR CLIENTS SUCCEED

dollar sign on the napkinAt CATMEDIA, we employ creativity to help our clients succeed through program management and human resource management, in the fields of training and creative services. We provide a unique service for our clients by putting ourselves in their shoes and seeing the problem from their perspectives. As a team, we approach every new project from two different points of view: by acting like a customer and thinking like an owner. When acting like a customer, we ask ourselves what the client needs, what they want, and how we can make them more successful. When acting like an owner, we ask ourselves, “If I owned this business, what would I do?” By approaching each problem from these two perspectives, we are able to come up with the most ideal solutions for our clients. 

COLLABORATION AT CATMEDIA 4 fist bumps

There are many projects at CATMEDIA that I’m proud of, but there are two in particular that I believe are really great examples of our ability to employ creativity and work well as a team. The first would be our work with the Atlanta Housing Authority, where we came up with a marketing plan and tagline that was very unique to the client’s target audience. We also gathered research and obtained an in depth understanding of the marketplace. This led to us to create one of the most innovative marketing plans the organization had ever seen.

 

I’m also super proud of our work on the Flight Standards Administrative Manual (FSAM) with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). In this project, we have exercised a great deal of creative problem solving, and have worked collaboratively with the client to identify the organization’s needs and create an amazing product.

Creativity comes in all shapes and forms, and through creativity and adaptability, we have been able to imagine our customers’ needs and provide them with the tools to help them be more successful. Creativity is about more than art. We are all creative thinkers, and the only block to creativity is when we are afraid to change.

CATMEDIA is an award-winning Inc. 500 company based in Atlanta, Georgia. Founded in 1997, the company specializes in advertising, creative services, media production, program management, training, and human resource management. As a Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB), CATMEDIA provides world-class customer service and innovative solutions to government and commercial clients. Current CATMEDIA clients include Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Office of Personnel Management (OPM), and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Stay Connected with CATMEDIA:
For more information, please visit CATMEDIA
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CREATIVITY MEETS BUSINESS: HOW WE USE STRATEGY TO ACHIEVE OBJECTIVES

CATMEDIA is one of the most laurel-laden marketing and advertising companies in the Metro-Atlanta area. Each year, we acquire more clients who have nothing but praise to sing of our work. How do we do it? Well, success isn’t an accident. Here is how CATMEDIA intertwines creativity with strategy to bring the best product to our clients.

Curious about how we do everything else around here? Click here!

TARGET MARKET ANALYSIS

A shockingly difficult thing for most people to discern, when tailoring the content of your website to your target audience, you have to think about the specific person to whom you are marketing. Think about your product or service that you provide and think about the person who would seek that out.

Here’s an example of how the very words you choose can conjure up different images and market to different people. Say you are inviting friends to a dinner-party. Think about the two phrases: “a hearty feast” and “a cordial banquet.” Both technically mean the same thing, a large pleasant meal. But one is earthier, and probably would include lots of meat and a fire. The other sounds classier like it Yellow target bullseyewould include champagne and nice dress. But the differences in these phrases are the roots of the words. One is based in Anglo-Saxon & Germanic words—which historically in our culture are the vernacular of the lower class. The other is based on French & Latin words—conversely the languages spoken by the upper classes in our cultural history.

Simplistic or complicated language can be targeted to different people. For example, books I loved when I was reading in the sixth grade seem clunky and blunt to me now. Think about the language your target audience uses, and how they would best receive information.

Younger people and older folks communicate differently. My Nana, bless her heart, likes to exclaim interest and excitement with the phrase, “Well isn’t that a sight?” She’ll say it when talking about a song she likes, she’ll say it about a funny story, she’ll say it about things that she can’t even see and therefore aren’t actually sights. But the phrase means something different to her, it’s a vernacular phrase from her lifetime that just means something to the effect of “Isn’t that amazing!” Another example: It’s been more than a decade since the height of the emo-fad in pop culture, but my mom (bless her heart) still doesn’t know what that word means.

Language changes in sometimes obvious and sometimes subversive ways through generations, and when marketing to your target customer, you need to keep in mind how old or young they are. Should you write content that is more recognizable within your vocabulary, but not to another older or younger individual, you could end up turning off your potential client or customer.

THE BIG IDEA

As I sit at my desk trying to write this, I find myself with little real thought on how to proceed. There exists a common misconception that creativity and coming up with new, exciting ideas is easy, but coming up with ideas is hard. So now that we’ve accepted the difficulty of the task ahead of us, let’s move forward and talk about brainstorming techniques and strategies for finding that next big idea.

When brainstorming ideas, it’s always good to have some semblance of organization. Lists are probably the simplest and least time-consuming way to organize your thoughts into something coherent. It also enables you to worry less about if an idea is a good idea and blue background yellow lightmore about simply coming up with ideas.

A common type of list people use is a pros and cons list. Pros and cons lists are especially useful when you already have an idea but need to explore whether it is a good idea worth following through. Another type of list is the category list. This is a broader type of list, where you simply put an idea into whatever category, represented by a column it belongs to.

Often for brainstorming, the list is less important than the freedom your mind is allowed when working within it. Having a list is not what you should focus on, but rather you should be on the lookout for that spark. Lists are more of a conduit than a product insofar as brainstorming should be concerned.

DATA COLLECTION

As mishaps, mistakes, or changes in circumstance come along, don’t be afraid to deviate from your original plan. A lot of times, when you are in the middle of working, you’ll get new directions from a client, or you’ll find yourself wondering if there isn’t a better way to do something now that your hands are getting sandy. Take this as an opportunity to make your work better.

Then there are instances where you just messed up. The best thing to do in those moments is to figure out how and why things didn’t go according to plan. Was it an oversight, was there a fault in the plan or did your hand just slip? Figuring out where you went wrong is an integral part of becoming better. We all learn from our mistakes, but it is our job to make sure we learn the right thing.

purple background graph chartOn the other hand, there are such things as happy accidents. Sometimes you’ll find that you like a mistake, or you’ll find that the mistake allowed you to re-do something and make a better product after the fact. Optimism is your best friend in the creative process, and it’s important that you hold onto those silver linings.

To balance creativity and strategy, you need to have a lot of experience on hand. Luckily, CATMEDIA has over 20 years of that. For more information on how CATMEDIA can take your vision and turn it into motion, be sure to troll through our gallery or shoot us an email.

is an award-winning Inc. 500 company based in Atlanta, Georgia. Founded in 1997, the company specializes in advertising, creative services, media production, program management, training, and human resource management. As a Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB), CATMEDIA provides world-class customer service and innovative solutions to government and commercial clients. Current CATMEDIA clients include Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Office of Personnel Management (OPM), and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Stay Connected with CATMEDIA:
For more information, please visit CATMEDIA
Like us on Facebook 
Follow us on Twitter
Follow us on Instagram
Follow us on LinkedIn