Here, Petersen [pictured] speaks with FOLIO: about the deal, how the two companies compliment each other and what happens next.FOLIO: Talk about the state of the content marketing market and how it makes sense for a deal like this to come together.Petersen: We define content marketing as content that is being developed and curated in order to engage our brands’ and clients’ existing and prospective customers—engaging as opposed to interruptive. That kind of marketing has been taking off. We have not nearly hit the precipice of it, it’s only going to grow. That’s evident in how our respective companies have grown and now combined. As brands more and more take on the characteristics of media and need expert stewardship of that content, the more we are going to be a terrific value to them. FOLIO: Where do TMG and McMurry complement each other specifically? Petersen: What’s great about the two companies, culturally and from a heritage standpoint, is content is at the core of the business. With McMurry, they come with a particularly good depth and capability in video. That gives us a tremendous asset, a tremendous team to work with and the ability to bring new solutions. McMurry is also a bit larger, so we get a larger digital bench and combined with TMG it’s sizable. TMG has also grown its social media practice, which we look at from more of a social journalism process. FOLIO: Given your background at Hearst and also Meredith’s Xcelerated Marketing, how does this combined company compare to those operations in terms of business volume and revenues? Petersen: I’d say from a size perspective, we’re now, combined, the largest independent content marketing company out there. We have a full breadth of services that I would say is equal to a Meredith Xcelerated Marketing, but on a slightly smaller scale. We both have a strong heritage in content creation, which is really important for our clients. FOLIO: Going forward, where are you going to focus your growth initiatives and resources?Petersen: I think first is to be really great strategic partners with our clients and help them think through all of the opportunities that now exist with the use of content. That’s a major goal, being very solution-oriented. We’ll also want to attract new customers and I can ultimately see adding newer capabilities with our new partner in Wicks as new things emerge that are applicable and making investments that allow us to stay ahead. On Friday, FOLIO: reported that private-equity company Wicks Group made a major investment in the content marketing space in a unique, simultaneous acquisition of two companies—TMG and McMurry, two of the leading independent marketing services firms. The merger, officially announced today, creates a $100 million content marketing powerhouse, now named McMurry/TMG, LLC. Former McMurry CEO Chris McMurry and TMG co-founders Jane Ottenberg and Richard Creighton will retain a minority interest and remain involved in the merged entity. The new CEO is Matt Petersen, who TMG hired away from Hearst as president at the beginning of 2012. Rounding out the executive team are Fred Petrovsky as COO, formerly McMurry’s president, and former TMG senior vice president, client partnerships Keith Sedlak as chief revenue officer.
SpaceX preps Crew Dragon Enlarge ImageFalcon 9 and Crew Dragon get ready for a test flight. SpaceX SpaceX and NASA are no strangers to launch delays, and the latest involves the first major test flight of the SpaceX crew capsule, the Crew Dragon. NASA announced on Thursday it has pushed the schedule for the Demo-1 launch into February at the earliest. Crew Dragon was previously set to head to orbit on Jan. 7, but that date was reset for Jan. 17. NASA did not specify a new target date, but it says SpaceX and NASA are still completing hardware testing and joint reviews. The uncrewed test flight to the International Space Station is designed to check how the launch, orbital, docking and landing systems function before actual astronauts take a ride to space inside the capsule. Comment Crew Dragon is part of NASA’s Commercial Crew program, which also involves the Boeing Starliner. The space agency is hoping to bring astronaut launches back to US soil for the first time since 2011. Astronauts visiting the ISS have been hitching rides on Russian spacecraft. The capsule and the Falcon 9 rocket that will launch it are sitting upright together on the historic Apollo 11 launchpad at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. SpaceX founder Elon Musk tweeted over the weekend that the test flight will be “extremely intense” since there’s a lot of new hardware involved. If the test flight goes well, then astronauts could take the first crewed flight on Dragon later this year. NASA says it will confirm a new target launch date after coordinating with the Eastern Range rocket range and the ISS program. 10 Photos Tags 1 SpaceX Crew Dragon preps for ‘extremely intense’ first test flight NASA astronauts test SpaceX spacesuits in the Crew Dragon Share your voice Space cheese and 9 other weird items we’ve sent into orbit (pictures) NASA turns 60: The space agency has taken humanity farther than anyone else, and it has plans to go further. What NASA’s Kepler telescope sees: It’s helped amateurs spot an unusual new planet in a “Goldilocks zone.” Sci-Tech NASA Space SpaceX
Parts of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor were draped in purple and white over the Aug. 5 weekend.The Elks were in town for their Grand Lodge and Grand Temple National Convention. With 500,000 members worldwide, chances are that if you aren’t a member of the Improved Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of the World (IBPOEW), someone in your circle of family and friends is.Dr. Richard D. Dickens, Bro. George F. Wright, Exalted Ruler of Monumental Elks Lodge #3, and Bro. Samuel J. Raines present Bro. Grover Williams (center, left) with the, “Elk of the Year,” award. (Photo by J.D. Howard)Founded in 1898 upon the principles of “charity, justice, brotherly and sisterly love, and fidelity,” the Elks of today say they are proud to uphold a legacy that speaks for itself.“We’re not outdated,” said Leonard Polk, executive vice-president of the IBPOEW. “There are a lot of issues that we believe are relevant to the Elks of yesteryear and now.”Polk told the AFRO that the IBPOEW has focused on health and education in recent years, donating $13,000 in support of Alzheimer’s research last year and $15,000 to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital in 2015.This year the organization is focusing on kidney disease and working with the American Cancer Society. Polk said that now is the time for Elks around the world to stand up for their communities.“We have a current administration that is interested in cutting benefits and services that we, over time, have taken for granted,” Polk said. “We see many governments and cities cutting out after school programs and similar initiatives.”“We, as the Elks in those communities, can open up our lodges for those tutoring sessions to make a difference in the lives of those children,” he added. “We can have community symposiums for voter registration. We can fill in the gap and provide some of those services.”Over the years the Elks have proved that they are much more than just a social club with distinct hats, customs, and nomenclature. The Elk’s Annual Oratorical Contest has helped some of Black America’s best and brightest become international symbols of success and power.Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall used his oratorical scholarship to become a part of the first graduating class from Howard University’s School of Law in 1933. Long before Oprah Winfrey had a talk show she, too, was speaking in front of the Elks for a scholarship, like Dorothy I. Height and Martin Luther King, Jr. did before her. Winfrey used her winnings to attend and graduate from Tennessee State University in 1973.IPBOEW is not to be confused with the Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks of the United States of America (BPOE), which according to information from the Notable Kentucky African American Database, was less than “benevolent” and “protective” when it came to Black people in their organization.As a result of the country’s racial divide, Arthur James Riggs, a former slave, and Benjamin Franklin Howard formed their own version of the Elks—but not before Riggs and his family were ostracized and run out of town.Though Riggs and Howard, both Kentucky natives, originally began the organization in Cincinnati for men, Emma Virginia Kelly formed the Daughters of the Elks in 1902. That group would later be recognized as the official women’s auxiliary for the Elks with the creation of Temple No. 1 in Norfolk, Va.Traveling from Florida to attend this year’s Baltimore convention, Pamela Williams said that becoming an Elk was naturally the next step for her after a childhood of involvement in youth activities and programs. Clad in her “Daughters of the Elks” garb, Williams said the conventions are still very necessary for unified action.“It’s necessary for us to continue to do this so we can carry out the tradition of what Elkdom stands for: helping our community,” she said.Williams said she was happy to see “people from the Bahamas, New Mexico, Seattle, Wash., and Maine, all four corners” because “It’s necessary to come together. We need to share what we provide in our communities with everyone else.”The Elks convention took place at Baltimore’s Hilton Hotel in the Inner Harbor. Aside from the oratorical contest, there were beauty and talent contests—also attached to a scholarship—and screenings for kidney disease.
December 3, 2015 Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Register Now » 2 min read Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Uber is giving its customers a guiding light. The popular ride-hailing company is rolling out LED light strips on drivers’ windshields to help riders in Seattle identify their pickups.The bright, new initiative, simply called SPOT, aims to reduce wait times and to make it easier for customers to find their Ubers in dense traffic and in the dark. Announced earlier this week, the feature rolls out throughout this month in the Emerald City on a test basis, with the company already equipping an undisclosed number of drivers there with the innovative devices.Related: Uber Is Eating Up Taxi Rides in New York CityHow it works: Directly applied to windshields, the long, skinny light strips glow in multiple colors (blue, green, orange, pink, purple or yellow). When a rider requests a trip and is paired with a SPOT-enabled driver, she can select the color the driver’s light strip will display using a color wheel within the Uber app. When the driver arrives for pickup, the light strip glows in the selected color. Conversely, riders can hold up their phones to display the matching light strip color to quickly show their drivers where they are.Uber, repeatedly plagued by customer complaints about surge pricing and drivers’ bad behavior, frames SPOT as its latest “experiment” in its “ongoing effort to make Uber pickups as seamless as possible.” But is it bright enough to shine some positive light on the controversial company? Related: Court Denies Uber’s Request to Appeal Class-Action Status of U.S. Driver Lawsuit