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Every serving of Piehole is jam-packed with genuine interest and wide-eyed curiosity. Topped with our two-cents' worth.
So open up and say, Aha! That's the Piehole Way.



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Cincy Stories – Embracing the Unfinished Narrative

April 11th, 2018

In a world that teaches us to wrap up our life stories with tidy bows, Cincy Stories, a relatively new non-profit in Cincinnati, has taken a different approach to hearing and embracing the diverse experiences of those in our region. By accepting the narratives of people’s lives exactly how they are, without enhanced details or dramatic effects, the organization has cultivated an environment that acknowledges value in others through transparency.

Many of us are used to stories encompassing an epic before and after, lost to found, or rags to riches mentality. We hear testimonies at religious functions and career inspired motivational speeches at professional conferences, but what we rarely hear is a story that is simply put. That is honest and unfinished. Regardless of anyone’s level of success or sense of purpose, as human beings our stories are not flawless with plots that rise and fall in seamless timing, instead, they are imperfect and ever-changing.

Cincy Stories has tapped into a groundbreaking and yet strikingly plain realization, that we internally crave realness and truth telling. We find community and connection with others when we hear their honest, “this is where I’m at right now” stories. We often think that we’re unable to tell our story of professional success until we’ve reached the end of our career or our insight on love until we’ve been married for 50 years, but the truth is that people desire right-now transparency, as it breaks down walls and builds interpersonal bridges.

At the Cincy Stories public event on April 3 at Woodward Theater in Over-the-Rhine, Paola Garrido shared her journey of searching for identity between her Dominican Republic roots and her new home in Cincinnati. Her story didn’t end in a perfectly orchestrated advice session, explaining how others should find their identity, instead she simply explained her unfinished, yet moving and relatable story of discovery. In a recent feature by Movers & Makers, Cincy Stories’ journey of organizational development was described as incomplete, saying, “The end, or resolution, is nowhere in sight. But the power of a story, in the telling and the hearing has been plain to see.”


In the Age of Results Measurement, What Happened to IMPLICIT Value?

March 14th, 2018

Impressions, sentiment, engagements, sessions, users, views, clicks… these are today’s units of measurement. We report on these metrics, we use them to make decisions, and yes – of course – they’re valuable. Very valuable. But, what about good old-fashioned implicit value?

Measuring the public opinion or internal opinion of an organization as a marketer will always have its flaws. Why does one feel a warmth in their heart when Starbucks is mentioned? Do people reminisce of road trips gone by when they see a Cracker Barrel logo? We can point to possible causation of our positive or negative feelings towards companies, products, or thought leaders, but in no way are those connections inerrant.

When it comes to raising awareness for an organization or initiative, unfortunately there will always be some success that floats by unmeasured. You can’t measure sentiment on friends using word of mouth to discuss a new product. And yet, that interaction is one of the most powerful channels that exists.

We attempt to measure the digital form of word of mouth interactions using Yelp reviews, social media interactions, and influencer engagement, but as ‘fake news’ is no longer the exception, people are being subconsciously trained to become sceptics of the less-than-honest digital presence that some companies or products maintain.

Without forsaking the recognizable value in digital channels and measurement, we implore companies and marketers to remember the implicit value of human connection and the vital importance of emotion and touching the human spirit.

Algorithms can’t measure that.


Where Style Meets Expertise: Cristofoli Keeling, Inc.

February 28th, 2018

Cristofoli Keeling, Inc. was founded around the idea that style inspires all. A majority woman-owned marketing communications firm established in 1999, Cristofoli Keeling, Inc. was created when founder, Ann Keeling, paired her seasoned design background with a high level of strategic communications experience. For today’s agile business environment, being comfortable with innovation is a prerequisite. Never shying away from exploring new ways to optimize client marketing investments, Cristofoli Keeling, Inc. embodies the entrepreneurial spirit, while leveraging the expertise and professionalism of an established organization.

After years of working in design management for international brand design firm LPK, Ann Keeling was asked to add the management of marketing communications for the firm to her client service role.  She observed that the public relations agencies would consistently position experienced professionals in the pitch process, but after winning the business, the execution would be handled by those less experienced who lacked industry understanding.

After seeing this reality become an unfortunate pattern, Keeling recognized an opportunity in the market to do things better. Vowing to provide clients with not only innovative thinking, but a seasoned understanding of their industry and challenges, Keeling founded the firm and stepped into the role that she continues to maintain today.

As founder and President of Cristofoli Keeling, Inc., clients have described Keeling by saying, “She strikes just the right balance between no-nonsense professionalism and setting a relaxed tone in the work-place.” An advocate for both clients and colleagues alike, Keeling has expanded her marketing communications empire, without ever neglecting her original goal – to provide every client with expert guidance and strategic execution.

Offering clients expertise without ever sacrificing style, Keeling lives by the adage, “Do It Right…Do It Big…Do It with Style.”


Every Job Has One Thing in Common, Work.

February 14th, 2018

“If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.”

We’ve all heard that saying or something similar repeated to us as we were selecting our career paths. We’ve been encouraged to follow our dreams, to find the thing that makes us so satisfied, that it won’t ever feel like work. Our culture has joyfully embraced the idea that a job is synonymous with a passion.

But that’s not true.

Being passionate about what you do is hugely important, but every job still has one thing in common – work. We’ve all watched people move from job to job or industry to industry in search of a fleeting passion, when in reality, they’re just in search of a job that doesn’t require effort.

Whether it’s a get-rich-quick scheme or simply another childhood aspiration to check off the list, there’s a reason that these narratives rarely play out in the way we’ve envisioned. They’re missing one fundamental ingredient. Sweat equity.

People often find something that they enjoy as a hobby and then attempt to monetize it. Can that be successful? Absolutely. But, they’re turning that pastime into a job, and most likely it was gratifying as a hobby because it was stress-free. So, while they’re monetizing “what they love,” they suddenly have new responsibilities and it’s no longer quite as thrilling.

So instead of chasing a dream that only sounds perfect because no work has been done, consider living your reality. One can dream for years without actualizing anything.

It can be an attractive idea or cop out more accurately, to go from pipedream to pipedream in search of the thing that lights your passion, but eventually everyone has to come to the reality that any worth-while job or goal requires work.


Social Influencers Debunked: Everyone Wants to be the “Cool Kid”

January 31st, 2018

It’s not difficult to understand the draw that social media influencers have. To be human is to understand the desire to be like the “cool kids” and that’s largely the effect that a social influencer has on you. Whether you respect them for their professional success, their athletic achievement, their parenting skills, or their ability to be the most obnoxious contestant on The Bachelor; for some reason you’re watching their stories, liking their posts, and occasionally buying into what they’re selling.

It goes beyond the simple act of an obviously endorsed product, and blurs the lines of what the influencer really likes or what they’re being paid to like. Regardless of your skepticism while viewing their social media, they’ve still been successful because you just saw the hotel they stayed at, the champagne they drank, the swimsuit they bought, and now those brand names will be floating around in your head as you consider your upcoming beach getaway.

The Influence

According to Medium 70% of millennial consumers are swayed by recommendations of their peers buying choices and 30% of consumers are more likely to purchase a product recommended by a non-celebrity blogger.  And Facebook is the most influential social media channel, with 19% of consumer buying decisions being influenced by Facebook posts.

In light of Facebook’s recent shift in newsfeed content, there may be an even bigger space for social influencers to fill. Recently Facebook announced it will revert back to focusing on meaningful social connections with family and close friends instead of content from brands and publishers. But what if an influencer is also a friend? With these newsfeed changes, companies and brands may place more consideration on the impact a “peer” influence can have.

Trendsetter or Irrelevant

 As we know from our days in middle school, being the “cool kid” takes a lot of maintenance. When someone or something “cooler” comes along, you have to set the trend or you’ll be forgotten. Now that social influencers are less of the “game changers” and more common practice, influencers must stay on top of strategy advancement or they will become irrelevant.