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Let the artists paint

H&H, Mary KohlerNow and then, we turn this space over to guest bloggers, who share their wisdom and advice. Mary Kohler is president of The H&H Group, a printing, sign-making and marketing support company that we have partnered with for several years. Mary writes about “doing what you do best.”

You are very smart about your business, probably even passionate. You might even be “the expert” at what you do. You are certainly better at it than most people. Imagine if everyone had the same interests. Wouldn’t that be boring? Fortunately we all have different interests, talents and areas of expertise. And you are good at what you do. Being good at what you do doesn’t mean you are good at marketing though, unless what you are good at is marketing.

More and more people attempt to do their own marketing because software, technology, and the internet have given everyone who has access to a computer and the internet the tools to do some rudimentary marketing. Unfortunately, that has resulted in a lot of bad marketing out there. Though I think people have the right intentions, their outcomes often are off the mark.

But I digress.

If you want to use the software, technology and the internet to do your marketing, you are kind of like me picking up a paint brush and a canvas and trying to paint a masterpiece. I promise you that I cannot paint a masterpiece. I know my limits, plus that creative gene missed my generation and my daughter got it. If I practice a lot, I might become decent at painting. But that is not what I do. I do all the other work that I choose to do and love to do or … have to do… day in and day out, and painting is not one of my things. So I am not likely to become a master painter.

So what about your marketing? Are you a master marketer? If so, keep marketing. If not, please keep in mind that there is help – expert, creative, professional help – out in the world to do your marketing well. Let the artists paint and let the marketers market.


east petersburg events committee logoThis is the second year of working with the Events Committee for East Petersburg. And a fun couple of years it has been. It’s exciting to work on the marketing pieces for something that has such a positive impact on our own community.

“TCG Advertising & Design is a team of professionals who care, follow through, and accomplish what the client needs. They have had tremendous impact on the appeal of the East Petersburg Events Committee’s marketing of our community stewardship.  As a community partner, they re-designed our events booklet, brought a fresh approach to our logo, and added splendid appeal to our billboard marketing. TCG is a partner in meeting their clients’ marketing needs, from beginning to end!”

– Greg Bucher, Treasurer, East Petersburg Events Committee

#eastpetehappy #smalltownwithabigheart

When It’s Time For A Makeover

brochure design, childbirth education brochure, holy spirit, geisinger affiliateIf it has been awhile since you’ve updated your marketing material, or even thought about giving it a fresh look, you are not alone. We often hear from clients that they would like to give their material a makeover, but just don’t have the time to think about it, don’t know where to start or what direction to take. That’s a challenge we love!

We recently worked with our client, Holy Spirit-A Geisinger Affiliate, to update their childbirth education program material. We recommended a change in brochure size—to one that is smaller and more user-friendly—more concise copy and new photos. We also reorganized some content in a more accessible way.

Sometimes, a fresh perspective can take marketing material from just okay to wow! Let us know if you could use a new point of view for your marketing needs.

that’s some spooky etymology

spooky etymology halloweenWhat better way to celebrate Halloween than with a little spooky word etymology!


A dig back in time to mid-19th century Scotland reveals that this word originated to startle crying children (perhaps to make them stop?) and soon was adopted by those pretending to be ghosts.


Rooted in Old English, this word originally meant ‘the soul as the seat of life.’ Authors in the 11th century began to use it as we do today, to refer to the soul of a dead person who wanders among and haunts the living.

Jack o’ Lantern

Carving pumpkins to create the classic jack o’ lantern face is believed to have originated with the Celtic culture, which celebrated summer’s end and the last harvest on October 31st. Children carved gourds and placed a burning lump of coal inside to welcome loved ones who had died in the past year and to protect against mischievous spirits.


Monstrous creatures from European folk tales of the Middle Ages, goblins are generally depicted as meddlesome troublemakers. In these stories, they’re mischievous or downright mean, and usually target and terrorize children.

Trick or Treat

Various stories about the origins of trick-or-treating abound. The popularity of the activity in the U.S. is traced to native traditions of Scottish and Irish immigrants. Young people, dressed in costumes, went door to door in their villages and accepted offerings to pray for the souls of the homeowners’ dead relatives. The tradition evolved to one in which children would perform a trick—tell a joke or sing a song—in return for treats such as fruit, nuts or coins.

It’s National Design Week!

good design graphicOctober 15–23, 2016
Design is everywhere—in communication, advertising, architecture, art, fashion, furnishings, landscapes, consumer products—literally in all aspects of our lives. The color, shape and functionality of things around us have a purpose, by design.
Sometimes design is so subtle that you barely notice it. That’s often the best kind of design. It doesn’t shout at you; it whispers. The best designs happen organically and grow into the answer they are meant to be. If you find yourself thinking, “there’s just something about that ad, that picture, that garden, that sweater, that chair…,” well, you’ve been touched by good design.
For us, graphic and multimedia design are creative “products” that take shape as we develop work for our clients. Design is what we do—and we love it. In fact, as far as we’re concerned, every week should be Design Week!

media dollars

megaphone media graphicWhat combination of media is best to reach your target audience — direct mail, radio or TV spots, billboards, online or print ads? How can you make sure they see your ad?

We have the expertise to help. We…

• Start by developing a comprehensive media plan that makes the most of your advertising dollars.

• Understand the available options and have an ongoing relationship with all media outlets.

• Meet with media reps and evaluate the pros and cons of media choices.

• Do the research needed to make sure that your message is placed where it will have the most impact.

And after you’ve approved the media plan, we…

• Make sure that your advertising gets the best placement and runs when and where it is supposed to, for the agreed-upon amount.

• Streamline billing into one monthly media invoice.

How easy is that?

Keep in mind that we don’t represent any one particular media outlet, or favor one type of media. Our only motivation is to make sure that your message gets to your target audience.

“We always make sure that our clients get the best value for their media dollars. That allows them to focus on their business while we focus on making their advertising campaign a success” –Margie Seagers, media  coordinator 

spend well

spend well piggy bankWe pride ourselves on getting the most for the advertising dollars you have to spend. It’s something we’ve been doing—and doing well—for more than 25 years. Whether your budget is tens of thousands of dollars or just a thousand dollars, we know how to get you the biggest bang for your buck.

Our process is fairly simple:

• If you have an established budget, we allocate the dollars based on what you need to achieve and what it will take to reach your goals.

• If you don’t have a budget but know what you want to do marketing wise, we’ll build a budget based on your goals.

No budget is too big or too small. We have worked with small retail clients with one location to large corporate businesses with multiple locations, products and services.

Says Carla Wood, our own financial wizard, “At TCG, we are good stewards of our clients’ advertising dollars, always managing budgets as if it was our own money.”

clean, clear & clutter-free

design quoteClean, Clear & Clutter-free

When you think of advertising, think of Montana — wide, open spaces. It’s what we call “white space” and it’s one of the most important characteristics of an effective ad.

“White space is important not only for print and online advertising, but also essential for broadcast and outdoor advertising,” says Susan Sempeles, creative director.

What else makes an ad effective?

• Clean design — that means wide-open white space to spare.

• A strong headline — verbs are your friends; go easy on all the adjectives and adverbs.

• A single message — don’t load your ad with everything there is to know about your product or service.

• Simple language — that doesn’t mean you can’t be clever with your copy, but don’t do it just to be cute.

• To-the-point copy, not a lot of it — enough said.

• A typeface that’s easy to read — with the personality you want to convey.

• An eye-catching visual — but only if it adds to the message;   remember, ads that are all copy work, too!

• Smart logo placement — it almost always belongs at the bottom of your ad as a signature.

That’s how you break through the clutter.