Anita Brightman

“From what we get, we can make a living; what we give, however, makes a life.” – Arthur Ashe

Since opening our doors 20 years ago, A. Bright Idea’s philosophy remains rooted in the idea that a group of people with boundless creativity and unwavering passion can change the world, or at least our own corner of it.

As communicators, we understand the power of telling the right story to the right people, in ways that create a positive impact. Often, our choice to work with organizations reflects our own desire to give back and create positive change in our community and our nation by supporting the great work of our clients. These organizations, both at the government and non-profit level, inspire us through the dedication to their mission and we quickly engage as an extension of their teams to reach a common goal.

Our team draws excitement and energy from causes improving the lives of others. We can think of no greater joy than the ability to effectively shine a light on an issue, service or idea to make the world a better place. This philosophy carried us through nearly two decades in an uncertain market. For me, proof that when you put your heart where you work, great things happen.

Whether it’s in the lives of children, the health of our nation’s communities or the richness of cultural fabric and preservation of history, we are passionate about supporting change and making a difference.

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On a local level, this means supporting future generations through initiatives to improve the lives of children. Working with the Boys & Girls Club of Harford County, as well as Teen Services Sonoma, Sonoma Valley Education Foundation, the John Carroll School and United Way of Central Maryland, offers us the opportunity to help build awareness in their missions, highlight their commitment to the betterment of children and drive community support on their behalf and for increased services for youth.

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October Take Back Day commercial shoot in Chicago with Mike Ditka.

Our dedication to community health issues remains equally as strong, from both a local and national perspective. Whether increasing access to affordable health care, educating the public on how to safely dispose unused prescription drugs to help reduce addiction and overdoses or bringing awareness and calls for action to combat the scourge of heroin and opioid addiction in our country, we are proud to be an integral part of the fight. Our community health work with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) showcases where we have long provided media buying and creative services for the successful National Prescription Drug Take-Back Initiative, which takes hundreds of tons of unused prescription medication off the streets each year – 6.5 million tons to date.

In addition, we currently provide the DEA with branding, strategic communication, advertising development and media buying services in support of the DEA 360 Strategy, a new initiative to combat the nation’s heroin and prescription opioid abuse crisis with a direct grassroots/community approach.

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Commercial shoot with Boomer Esiason in New York City for Heroin and Opioid Awareness Week.

Of course, it should come as no surprise that an agency full of creative professionals would be passionate about preserving and promoting arts and culture. The work we do on behalf of numerous cultural institutions and organizations spans both coasts. We are proud to play a role in highlighting the amazing artifacts and innovations at the National Air and Space Museum, National Museum of American History and Smithsonian Libraries. On the local level, we support history and the arts through sponsorship support of the Napa Valley Museum and the Aberdeen Proving Ground Centennial Celebration Association.

Even as we bring our passion for making a difference to our work each day, we live it out in our personal lives too. Many of our employees continue their involvement in meaningful causes outside of work. Whether it’s through a commitment to personal artistic and musical endeavors, through volunteer work with our local schools or through fundraising efforts to fight childhood cancer and other serious diseases, our passion for making a difference always shines through.

We all want to help – solving problems, being part of solutions, building awareness and creating change. Coming together to be part of something bigger is weaved into our cultural fabric. Looking at the 20th year of A. Bright Idea and moving forward, we continue to look for ways to promote the good, building on the foundational values of our firm. One person can make a difference, but a team of like-minded, creative professionals with an unwavering commitment to truly making an impact, can create change. I’m proud of our team, as this is not something that can be taught. It’s instilled. We make a living and we make a difference every day through our creative talents and our commitment to raising each other and our clients up in all we do.

If you have something to add to this story, share it in the comment section below!

In the midst of this season of giving and reflection, I’m reminded of the many worthwhile organizations we had the pleasure of working with and supporting over the years. At A. Bright Idea, we all enjoy working with nonprofits and seeing our work contribute to better the community and help the individuals and families these organizations serve.

A cornerstone of our core values, we believe in giving our time and talents in the form of in-kind donations and serving in leadership positions. We can tell from the excitement in an executive director’s voice or from the turnout at a fundraising event that our design and marketing services were appreciated and helped make a difference. Even while helping these organizations solicit much needed donations that keep their doors open to serve deserving members of our communities, we also see other needs.

Even though these organizations are by definition nonprofits, they operate like a business, with all the associated expenses with running a business. Administrative leadership, staff, building expenses, insurance, technology, utilities, transportation and more can provide an overhead hardship to organizations struggling to funnel as much funding as possible to supporting their mission.

While many strive to offer their time as a volunteer staff member or even make that end-of-year monetary donation incentivized by tax credit, organizations remain burdened by the costs of services to keep everything running smoothly. This season, we encourage individuals and businesses to consider how they can lessen this burden to help improve a worthwhile nonprofit’s efficiency. Can you provide IT support or perform building maintenance? Mowing grass, painting, cleaning, website maintenance, accounting, answering phones – consider any of the things that keep a business ticking and consider letting your business make a difference for a nonprofit in your community.

Here are a few of the organizations we’ve supported in Harford County, Baltimore, Sonoma County and around the country. Connect with them today!

William E. Proudford Sickle Cell Fund
Website
Facebook
Twitter

The Fuel Fund of Maryland
Website
Facebook
Twitter

The Boys and Girls Clubs of Harford County
Website

The Greater Edgewood Education Foundation
Website
Facebook

Harford County Public Library Foundation
Website
Facebook
Twitter
Flickr
You Tube
Mobile app

Sonoma Valley Teen Services
Website

Semper Fi Fund
Website
Facebook
Twitter
You Tube

Back to School by Melissa Mauldin

abimaster | August 20, 2010
Melissa Mauldin
Melissa Mauldin, Senior Marketing Specialist

It seems like only yesterday we heard the call of summer, which always began (for me) with The Fresh Prince’s “Summertime,” for others maybe it was Alice Cooper’s “School’s Out” or The Drifters’ “Under the Boardwalk.” Well, just as it seems summer began, it’s time for all of those summer anthems to come to an end.  Although some of us are looking forward to cool off from this “Cruel Summer,” I think most of us can agree we’ve had enough “Hot Fun in the Summertime” to last three summers! Okay, enough of the songs, it’s time for the books.

Getting ready for school is an exciting time. As a child I’d go every year to buy a new pair of Stride-Rite shoes with my grandma and we’d shop for new school clothes until we literally dropped. Of course, school wasn’t all about new clothes, but new friends, new classes, new experiences and new lessons. It was exhilarating to delve further and further each year into the areas I was interested in – English, art and social studies. Conversely, I dreaded the not so interesting classes for me – chemistry, geometry and yes, gym class! As I got older I couldn’t wait to be finished with school – I’d have so much more time then (yeah, right).

Now as an adult I know there is no such thing as more time, unless someone invents the 30-hour day. But I also learned my education did not end with graduation or receiving my degree.  As many of us know, in order to stay ahead, or be considered a knowledgeable expert in our field, we must continually educate ourselves, learning new trends, new practices and new studies, whether it be in a classroom setting, online, attending seminars, joining professional organizations, etc.

The benefit of continual education has many folds. Not only does it grow your own depth of knowledge, but it also impacts those around you – colleagues, clients, customers, peers, competitors and so on. Not to mention it serves the American dream. It’s our endless hunger for knowledge, to think of the next big thing and spurn on innovation.

So as we get ready to send the kids off to school, take a moment and reminisce about your own school days. Remember the excitement and the challenge, and find a new way to enhance your skill set with the many programs and educational opportunities around you.

Below are some of the recent seminars team members at ABI have attended:

  • American Marketing Association (AMA) Baltimore/Baltimore Public Relations Council (BPRC), Marketing Adventures with Dan Cathy, President of Chick-Fil-A
  • Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Maryland Chesapeake Conference
  • Baltimore Public Relations Council Annual Conference
  • PRSA Maryland Accredited in Public Relations (APR) Bootcamp
  • Social Media Bookmarking and Tagging and PR
  • U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) training
  • Pixibility Webinar, Social Media Video Secrets with Peter Shankman
  • AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Arts), Design Army Graphics presentation
  • AIGA, Lecture with Steven Heller
  • PaperSpecs, Direct Mail and Postage seminar
  • PaperSpecs, FSC Certification and Labels

Upcoming events of interest:

  • Advertising Week, Washington, D.C. (9/20-9/24/10)
  • AMA Virtual Event: Getting to the Core of Social Media and Mobile Marketing for Higher Ed Institutions (9/22/10)
  • PRSA Maryland, Writing Series for the Public Relations Professional, a three part series (beginning 9/23/10)
  • AIGA, Lecture with Debbie Millman (9/23/10)
  • AMA, Social Media seminar, Washington, D.C. (10/12/10)
  • Annual government security training