Much to blog about.

6 reasons to be a Bohlsen intern

August 15, 2014 | by Bohlsen Group

The summer is drawing to a close, which means our current group of amazing interns will be heading off to new adventures soon. Throughout the summer, the Bohlsen interns have worked on a number of projects – promoting concerts, raising awareness for local nonprofits, drafting strategic materials for independent authors and managing social media presences for a variety of organizations.

Learn more about the internship experience from six of our most recent interns to see what valuable information they will take with them as they advance their respective careers.

“Working at Bohlsen this summer has taught me that coffee and Diet Coke fuel great work. And that great work can be made greater through collaboration with others who have consumed coffee and/or Diet Coke.” - Jade Schwarting

“I’ve received major insight into the world of PR. Through that, I have learned to put on my thinking hat, create some tough skin and persevere until the client is satisfied.” - Katie Wenclewicz

“I have valued the agency atmosphere and the collaborative culture that comes with it. It has taught me that your first draft isn’t always your best draft and it’s okay to go back to the drawing board.” - Megan Hardesty

“I found that working with a group of dedicated people who have fun, are not afraid to try new things and enjoy living off of coffee and popcorn makes all the difference when completing day-to-day tasks.” - Sarah Davis

“It has been great to actually take what you learn in a classroom and implement those lessons into work and real projects that you can be proud of.” - Katjana Godshalk

“Having a better understanding of the promotional work we do for our clients has really opened my eyes to see the impact it makes on the events, concerts and other special programs in our community.” - Matt Pilipovich

Want to be a part of the Bohlsen Group team? You’re in luck! We are now taking applications our spring internships in the following areas: Marketing, PR, Events & Entertainment and Nonprofit.

Apply today!


10 years of IndyFringe – and it keeps getting better

August 7, 2014 | by Andrea Hawman

If you have ventured to the East end of Mass Ave, you may have noticed the white “church” that sits across from 45 Degrees on the other side of College. This is the IndyFringe Basile Theatre, home to an eclectic mix of emerging acts and community events year-round. One week from today, IndyFringe kicks off their 10th-Annual IndyFringe Festival, which will bring 384 performances to eight venues on Mass Ave over 11 days, from August 14 to 24. With all genres of shows represented- comedy, drama, dance, storytelling, performance art, magic, music- there is something for everyone.

I recently visited with Pauline Moffat, the executive director at IndyFringe (and my former intern coordinator), to chat about IndyFringe’s journey these past 10 years. Since 2005, IndyFringe has grown from 28 performances and 5,000 patrons to 400 performances and 18, 000 patrons in 2013. This year’s festival will draw at least 20,000 attendees, Pauline estimates. What has been the key to IndyFringe’s success? Grassroots efforts executed with time, thought and care.

Word of mouth is the foundation of any strong grassroots campaign. At the IndyFringe Festival, the most popular shows aren’t always apparent in the beginning, but rather as the 11 days unfold. Crowd favorites begin to reveal themselves, whether it comes from waiting in line for shows, Nuvo’s reviews that come out mid-festival or patron comments on social media. IndyFringe counts on this indirect tactic to sell out shows year after year without fail.

Quality content always rises to the top. At IndyFringe, returning performers quickly learned that the “wow” factor isn’t as lasting as quality, innovative material. With just one hour to perform, these shows need to stand out against the competition. What’s more, for a show to sustain the buzz across its recurring performances during the 11-day festival, material has to draw an interest beyond a flashy title or alluring cover photo. Superior content outlasts surprising content every time.

Connecting with brand advocates and the community – perhaps the most important component of grassroots efforts. IndyFringe definitely has this down. Mass Ave and the Cultural District buzz with excitement leading up to the festival and for the weeks following. Strong bonds are made among performers and their host families, Fringe staff and volunteers, and patrons and Mass Ave business owners. Beyond the immediate downtown Indianapolis community, IndyFringe draws diverse crowds from out of town as well. Each year patrons visit IndyFringe from the Midwest Fringe circuit, which includes Chicago, Kansas City and Minneapolis. And there are always a few acts that travel abroad to participate in IndyFringe.

Where does IndyFringe see itself in the next 10 years?

“In the hands of young professionals who had the vision to embrace it 10 years ago,” Pauline says. “My hope is that IndyFringe will remain a huge part of the cultural fabric of the city of Indianapolis.”

Interns, young professionals and performers involved with IndyFringe over the past 10 years have all grown professionally and will undoubtedly be part of IndyFringe’s future. In turn, these talented and enthusiastic people attract others to live, work and play in downtown Indianapolis.

IndyFringe’s immediate plans include the addition of a black box theatre (a simple, somewhat unadorned theatre space) and a public restroom on the Cultural Trail, to be completed in 2015. Indy Eleven recently sponsored this “Trailhead” initiative as a joint effort to strengthen the community and quality of life in Indianapolis.

Whether you are a theatre-goer or not, IndyFringe is a unique experience that should not be missed. Be sure to check out the official IndyFringe schedule ahead of time in case shows sell out, and don’t be afraid to get a little Fringey!

The ups and downs of visual storytelling

July 31, 2014 | by Jonathan McAfee

Cirque du Soleil is recognized for high-quality, artistic entertainment. Since its creation, Cirque has constantly sought to evoke the imagination, invoke the senses and provoke the emotions of people around the world with stunning visuals and fantastic storytelling.

Recently, Bohlsen Group was tasked with creating teaser videos for Cirque du Soleil: Varekai to build anticipation and excitement around the show.

The challenges? Limited time and only one prop – a white feather.

The white paper isn't dead

Why the white paper isn’t dead (hint: it’s just changing!)

July 24, 2014 | by Lauren Cascio

With the rise of content marketing and the evolution of the online experience, many companies have started to wonder if white papers remain a strategic form of content. It’s a topic that’s hotly debated in the public relations industry today.

Some have declared the white paper dead, saying that more versatile mediums such as slide decks and infographics can convey the same messages in a more approachable, visual format. Others assert the white paper remains relevant and won’t be disappearing any time soon.

The great news is there’s actually a middle ground where we can all get along.

First and foremost, the white paper remains a helpful, strategic tool for most organizations. A well-written white paper allows executive leadership the opportunity to generate leads by tackling important topics in the context of emerging research, traditional mindsets and changing trends. In fact, white papers are extremely valuable to companies trying to raise their profiles in a target vertical or key market.

However, it’s important to realize that white papers are evolving outside the traditional format. This is simply because the online reading experience has radically evolved.

Today, more than 2/3 of the global online population visit and participate in social networks or blogs. This means a majority of online users are comfortable with, and even expect, information relayed in a concise, visual and personalized manner. So, the standard 20-page white paper with stilted graphs and unapproachable industry jargon is likely to miss its mark amongst this new online audience.

Incorporating visual elements while keeping copy to the point can transform an antiquated white paper into a dynamic piece of content for your online library. Many companies have taken this a step further by offering bundled content to accompany white paper downloads, such as related infographics and quick, “Tweetable” takeaways.

No matter what side of the debate you land on, it’s important to keep an open mind when evaluating what form of content will work best for your organization. Careful industry research can help determine what kind of content, such as e-books, webinars, slide decks or white papers, will resonate the most with your target audiences.

Where does your company land on the white paper debate?


Using this Fourth to Celebrate the First

July 4, 2014 | by Matthew Van Scoik

This week contains the anniversary of the day in 1776 when the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence in separation from England, the most powerful empire of the day. The determination of the newly named United States of America to be free from oppression and extortion is well known, although there are some subtleties to the story that I would like to relay in light of the forthcoming holiday. Pun intended.

With the increasing literacy of the artisan classes, the ability to write pamphlets and letters was instrumental to the airing of grievances against England and rallying the colonists to fight for independence. In fact, one could look at Thomas Paine’s series of pamphlets, the most well known being the “Rights of Man,” to be one of the very first public relations campaigns.

The founders called America “the great experiment” because it would be the first time in history that a nation was founded on the principles of the Enlightenment: free expression and unfettered inquiry.

I am a soldier and have friends that have given their lives in defense of the principles mentioned above. There is a certain group that pickets the funerals of soldiers, making notoriety for themselves and sometimes money through lawsuits when they feel their First Amendment rights have been violated.

These individuals, with their nasty messages, use the First Amendment to attack people who protect their very right to dissent. I find their slogans to be much more than unsettling, but it makes me glad that they are not arrested for what they say. Every time I see their placards on the news, it is evidence that we live in a free society.

It is the non-existence of a legal “do not cross” line that makes me know I’m safe to speak my mind. The freedom of someone to express his or her opinion about controversial topics is the absolute most essential thing to a free society. When there are limits on statements of opinion and self-expression, there is a certain danger of those limits being applied inconsistently and eventually abused.

There is no one who is qualified to determine what you should be allowed to hear or consider. By denying someone the right to express themselves, you are also denying yourself the opportunity to be exposed to new information and arguments. Always remember, if you ever find yourself in favor of putting bars on free speech: only time will tell which side of the cage you were on when the bars seemed necessary.

Therefore, it makes me extremely happy to find myself working with so many people who give their time to write books to inform and persuade people on a wide range of subjects. From topics as innocuous as pet-care to very controversial arguments about religion and politics, I am extremely proud to live in a country where I can not only make a living helping authors get their messages out, but also improve and enrich my life when learning from their points of view.