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Archive for November, 2014

Cash and carry.

Friday, November 28th, 2014


Heavy metal, back in the day.

Shot by Ashley Youkilis on an iPhone with an Instagram filter.

Reimagining the Old into Something New

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

There are few pieces of infrastructure in any city more iconic than the pay phone. It has not, however, for a very long time — for most of us — been used to make phone calls. For that reason, cities have been trying to figure out what to do with these outdated assets, and how to re-imagine them as telecom infrastructure for a modern era when most of us have our own cellphones. – The Washington Post

Red phone booths are getting a major upgrade in New York City. The city has unveiled a fascinating plan for the “pay phone of the future.” The city announced its plan to offer free gigabit WiFi connections, free calls to anywhere in the US, touch-screen displays with direct access to city services, maps and directions for tourists, and charging stations. They also have the capability to connect people to emergency responders and send emergency alerts. And – you don’t need to ‘pay.’

Phew. And we thought Clark Kent’s Superman transformation was impressive…

“All good things must come to an end” has become too comfortable of a mindset in our disposable society. Clothes, technology, appliances, even marriage doesn’t hold the same girth as it once did; riding with the ups and downs – making something good last. This particularly rings true in the advertising and marketing sector, where marketers are actively trying to discover the ‘next big thing’ to generate more pomp, spectacle, and sales for brands – to then have to do it all over again. While creativity and innovation is necessary, there is something to be said for revamping vs. cutting the cord.

Ann Keeling says:

Phone booths are one of those things that many of us grew up with, in the same way that Millennials were born with cell phones in their hands.  Everyone needs some nostalgia in their lives; it’s what helps to shape us, it’s what creates memories and stories we tell our kids.  I say leave the phone booths if for no other reason than to surprise and delight the generations to come that have never seen or heard of a phone booth, a typewriter, a cash register…. or even currency….

Adult candy.

Friday, November 21st, 2014


Juicy, succulent and red….

Shot on an iPhone by Clare Whitaker.

Peace, Love, Weed – And PR?

Thursday, November 20th, 2014

The tough stuff, controversy and all, needs help bolstering its image amongst the public. Legalized marijuana being one of those hot topics. Are PR firms ready to tackle the initiative?

Hemp Public Relations is a new firm helping individuals and businesses in the legal marijuana industry to achieve greater visibility. Founder and public relations professional Mark Goldman states “The marijuana industry is growing rapidly and experiencing wider public embrace on a national level. Entrepreneurs who seize the opportunity to make a positive impression on the masses now, stand to gain generational loyalty and years of successful business”…not to mention tremendous profits.


Map of canabis laws in the United States.

The topic of marijuana has been making headlines across the nation the past couple of years with states lifting many restrictions. Washington and Colorado are completely restriction-free, with a number of states following suit with medical cannabis acceptance, decriminalized cannabis possession laws, or both. That said, marijuana is still illegal in over half of the nation – and much of the nation isn’t okay with the change in policy. Many unique challenges confront the legal marijuana industry and practitioners are calling on specialized PR firms for help in trying to communicate the value and safety of the newly legal product, perhaps even encouraging a few other states to hop on board.

Marijuana is not the only example of an issue that has its fair share of controversy. When working on a contentious issue, PR firms need to spend time considering the opposition, creating key messages that resonate with those opposed and those in favor, as well as really understanding the target audiences. Not every product, company, or stance can appease everyone, but that is where trained PR professionals can make a difference. Businesses need to focus on areas with the most opportunity for growth and influence. PR firms have expertise in communication strategy, and perhaps may even specialize in your company’s niche market. A good PR firm can mitigate negativity by being strategic about the message, delivery, and understanding the target media to secure the third party credibility that can sway and convince.

Ann Keeling says:

Good clients know they don’t know everything; that’s why they hire people like us.  They listen and consider our points of view.  We get creative about how to resolve a potentially hairy communication issue.  That’s a great partnership.

Will the Moustache Stay Beyond Nov. 30?

Tuesday, November 18th, 2014

Facial hair is starting to become as synonymous with November as turkey. With Movember (the month to for dudes to grow facial hair in support of men’s health/issues) on a roll, we’re taking a look at the campaign and whether or not these offbeat engagement strategies are working for nonprofit organizations.

From joining a community of Mo Bros to participating in the Running of the Mos, Movember has found a way to reach out to men in a fashion that would never have worked if it were just about ribbons (pink or otherwise) and being serious. Using humor and ol’ fashioned stereotypes of men, Movember has succeeded in becoming cool and socially acceptable. According to Dan Zenka, the senior vice president of communications for the Prostate Cancer Foundation, “Men are very different from women. They’re not going to put on the T-shirts and do the runs. [Movember] is really suited to the male psyche,” (The Huffington Post).

Movember is one of many marketing initiatives incorporating creative nontraditional tactics to attract a wider-audience. But this tactic might not be the most successful for both raising funds and getting the right message across to the public. While the idea of these campaigns is good in theory – it can fall short of affecting real change. When relating to the individuals who are suffering with the illnesses, many feel that these gimmicks create distance from those truly at stake. That said, sometimes the best way for a foundation to generate awareness and buzz is through an off-beat and aggressive campaign. Once the nonprofit has its name out there, it can leverage its elevated position to promote more cause-focused messaging.

Ann Keeling says:

Initiatives like Movember and the Ice Bucket Challenge are two phenomenal examples of thinking WAY outside the box to engage the public at large AND drive massive levels of awareness.  Movember has grown its notoriety and association with men’s health issues massively in a relatively short period of time.  If a woman sees a guy with a mustache or beard in November, she may make a rather automatic assumption that he’s participating in Movember, even if he’s not.  That’s the power of a great public engagement strategy.