The Booze Bin

Red, White and Brew: Craft Beer and Grilling Pairings for Summertime

flagAhhhh, Independence Day. What better way to celebrate America’s Birthday than with fireworks, sparklers, a cookout and beer? If you’re a beer lover like me, you are always on the lookout for new flavors, unique ingredients and one-of-a kind tastes. And great food pairings, of course. (Don’t know where to start? Check out my last blog post and infographic on Craft Beer and Food Pairings … guaranteed to help you out!) So here’s a fun idea for your holiday cookout: serve red, white and blueberry ales paired with grilled deliciousness for a festive 4th of July gathering. Check out these pairing ideas to be the coolest host on the block.

Red Ale

Characteristics: Red ales (also amber ales) are known for their notes of caramel and toffee malt, slightly roasted grains and low hop presence. The roasted barley gives the beer a reddish hue. With a low level of bitterness, red ales are smooth with a dry roasted finish.Midnight

Grilling Suggestions: Meats, lamb, game birds, venison, sausage, pork, chicken, vegetables

Drink This: Head to your local craft beer seller to…

Higher Education

Online Student Engagement and the Uncontrollable Conversation

Students using their smartphones in a row

Universities undoubtedly understand the importance of their social media channels. But what are they doing with (and how do they benefit from) the uncontrollable conversation?

Social media has traditionally been a great tool for recruitment and retention, sure. Some are finding innovative ways to raise money online. All should be going beyond their own channels to look and listen for brand clues.

That is, a complete social strategy should always include monitoring and engagement, but engagement can (and should) go beyond comments and replies. Listening to the social conversation will allow for better, more carefully constructed content. Chances are it will also help with operations.

In 2015, students flock to the net to connect with each other. Most schools’ students have an array of online communities, groups and pages across different social media channels. As people become more and more fond of digital relationships, chatter between students, parents and alumni will continue to happen on the web.

This means online communities for college students now thrive independently from university control. This takes the conversation out of the school’s control and…

Investor Relations

The JOBS Act is Working

jobsSeveral years ago I wrote a blog post when the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act became law. At that time we thought it was a desirable piece of legislation that would give the public equity markets a much-needed shot in the arm. That is, we hoped that by making the initial public offering (IPO) process both less costly and less burdensome, the JOBS Act would encourage more company management teams to file for an IPO. That generally means employment gains at the newly minted public companies, as well as at the service providers who count them as clients.

So three years into it, where do we stand? All in all, the JOBS Act has been a good thing! In 2014, nearly 300 companies went public – the largest class since 2000. Anyone who was in any way, shape or form associated with the public company marketplace in the years surrounding the Great Recession knows how little activity there was. New offerings were a rarity. No one expected a return to 1999 – the year of the story stock with nothing to back it up – but the dearth of new companies was an…

Digital Marketing

Digital Storytelling: How to Share Ideas in Innovative Ways

Today we have the technology to consume content in a more interactive way. And I’m not talking via Twitter, Instagram’s recent visual news update or TheSkimm.

From journalism to brand storytelling to user-generated content, we can now use data visualization, animation, interactivity, and sound to build content that is truly immersive. I was lucky to attend a recent PRSA digital event where I witnessed state-of-the-art digital stories at Lightbox’s unique floor-to-ceiling displays.

Here are two pieces I was mesmerized by. I would encourage you to click through and experience them as well. Go on, I promise it’s worth it!

Washington Post’s Interactive Everest Climb

The Guardian’s Crowd-sourced Database – The Counted:

The Counted_3The CountedThe Counted 2

Now these digital stories were an investment, but more tools are being released everyday to allow us to be more innovative for our clients.

Tools for Brands:

1. Magisto – Simply select your videos/images, a theme and stock music. This app does the rest in a matter of minutes.


Digital Marketing

Instagram Now Insta-Search

Buzz Bin Post 6.25

The big news in content curation this week came from Instagram, which announced enhancements to the app that will enable users to explore real-time imagery from the world’s current events.

Until now, the searchability piece was missing in the Instagram puzzle. With the new Search & Explore feature, users have an opportunity to seamlessly flip through trending events, places, and conversations here and around the globe.

Looking for real-time photos from the Women’s World Cup in Canada? Or images from the Paris Uber protests? Instagram’s got you covered.

Buzz Bin Post 6.25

But why is this so important to us? Why are we so excited about another opportunity to open our eyes to other worldly news? And what does this say about our society’s unwavering desire to SEE events unfold versus READ about them?

  • We’re the ambulance chasers. Admit it. You’ve sat at a red light deciding whether or not to follow that ambulance or police car. Gossip, thrill and things in disarray drive us. They excite us. If we can’t be on the scene, we need to…