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  • Living The Dash

    A Note from Mona’s Desk

    The title of Linda Ellis’s popular poem The Dash tells the story of a eulogy delivered at the funeral of a friend. The eulogy reflects on the dash between the two dates on the tombstone—what a person’s life represented during his time on earth.  The poem calls the reader to consider the question how do we spend our dash.

    This poem came to mind when I was asked to write about the time management demands that I face as a small business owner. This year marks the 25th anniversary of idgroup. So a good bit of my dash has been spent birthing and growing this company, while raising a daughter, advancing my education, being a wife and doing my best to contribute to my community. Reflecting on it all, I can say that balance is not something I can write about with any credibility. I often say my life is more akin to dancing on the edge of chaos. So, I don’t have any magic bullets or formulas to share with you about managing the complexities of life. I have learned however, there is an art to learning the difference between what is important and what is urgent. There is wisdom in the Eisenhower Decision Principle, “What is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important.” This life principle was popularized in Steven Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People and continues to be explored by many other personal development and organizational development professionals.

    The Eisenhower planning matrix provides guidance for us to fit life’s demands into one of the categories: Important and Urgent, Important but not Urgent, Not Important but Urgent and Not Important and Not Urgent. So there you go. I did find the magic bullet. Right? Oh, if life could only be managed in a simple 2 x 2.

    As I stated at the beginning of this blog, I have learned that managing life’s complexity is an art—an art of intentionally determining what is really important to defining your Dash.

  • Chain Reaction Kick’s Off Rebranding Process

    2014 ADDY Awards

    Chain Reaction, the recipient of idgroup’s Brand on Us program, came together to participate in the first of two dialogue sessions on Tuesday. idgroup facilitated the leadership dialogue which focused on the organization’s identity and vision.

    idgroup is truly brilliant. I have been through many types of strategic planning with a variety of companies, the process they employ is innovative. As the founder of Chain Reaction, it was such a humbling experience to watch amazing leaders invest their heart, time and energy. I had a range of emotions from tears of gratefulness to being overwhelmed with the potential impact of Chain Reaction. This is truly a gift to the community of Pensacola and I am honored to be a small part of such a huge blessing,” says Kristin Fairchild, Executive Director.

    In April, the leadership as well as other stakeholders will come together for the organization dialogue that will focus on communication tactics and strategies to help Chain Reaction tell and live their brand story.

    Stay tuned for more updates on Chain Reaction’s rebranding journey.

  • idgroup Honored with a Best of Show for 6th Consecutive Year; Amodeo Awarded Coveted Silver Medal

    2014 ADDY Awards

    idgroup, a Pensacola-based branding firm, received top honors at the 2014 local ADDY Awards Gala. The firm was awarded a Best of Show award, two of the three Judges awards and 13 Gold ADDY Awards. The Best of Show recognition was for work done for the McKenzie Law Firm interactive website. idgroup’s work receiving gold and silver awards will be submitted to the regional ADDY awards competition where each entry will be judged for possible inclusion in the national ADDY awards competition.

    Additionally, Mona Amodeo, Ph.D., founder and president of idgroup, was presented with the American Advertising Federation Silver Medal Award. The Silver Medal Award Program was established in 1959 to recognize men and women who have made outstanding contributions to advertising and who have been active in furthering the industry’s standards, creative excellence and responsibility in areas of social concern.

    idgroup’s creative team members have won numerous local, regional, national and international awards for creativity and effectiveness. ”Our goal is to do great work for clients that we believe in and have fun doing it. It’s also nice to receive recognition from our peers for our creativity and contributions,” says Mona Amodeo, Ph.D.

    The local ADDY Awards Gala is presented by the American Advertising Association’s (AAF) Pensacola chapter. Of the more than 250 entries received by the AAF Pensacola from professional and student members, 55 gold American Advertising Awards and 82 silver American Advertising Awards were presented. Entries were judged based on creativity and originality.

    View Our Work

  • idgroup Featured in International Design Inspiration Books

    Idgroup featured in International Design Excellence Books

    idgroup is honored to have our design work for the product packaging of Elkarita, a 100% natural, no sugar added, non-alcoholic concentrate mix, featured in The Best Practices for Graphic Designers, Packaging: An Essential Guide for Implementing Effective Package Design Solutions by Grip. This guide to all things packaging is published by Rockport Publishing and is a reference book utilizing case studies and examples to take you through the entire packaging process. The informative guide includes information on strategy development, materials selection, naming, and studying the competition and provides strategic insights on all aspects of package design.

    Idgroup featured in International Design Excellence Books

    idgroup has 9 logo designs showcased in Design: Logo An Exploration of Marvelous Marks, Insightful Essays and Revealing Reviews by Paul Howalt and Von Glitschka. Just to name a few, our clients Aventa Specialized Women’s Care, BBBS Northwest Florida’s Corks and Canvases and Jared Jones CPA logos are featured in this inspirational resource. The publication showcases over 300 logo designs from all over the world, along with helpful information regarding the details of what makes these logos successful.

    Idgroup featured in International Design Excellence Books

    To see more, see our album on Facebook!

  • When Your Search Engine Love Changes: How To Cope With Hummingbird


    As Valentine’s Day nears, I find myself reflecting on a life-long love: Google.

    In September of 2013, the Google I knew and loved unexpectedly changed under the auspices of “Hummingbird.” You may have heard a bit or two about it, but most of us have not taken a moment to consider its full impact.

    What happened?

    Google’s search engine uses a proprietary algorithm or equation to find the most relevant content for an individual’s search. On September 26, Google announced the launch of a search engine game-changer, one that had actually been implemented a month before the official announcement. When Google rolled out it’s new search algorithm, codenamed Hummingbird, it was the most comprehensive search engine change since 2009 and affected over 90% of all searches.

    he primary differences are a new focus on ‘long-tail keywords’ or ‘semantic search’ as well as higher standards for site credibility and authority, as measured by both social engagement (like Facebook shares) and credible referring links (like local newspaper interviews).

    One can only speculate the reasons for such a drastic change, but many online and SEO pundits suspect that the shift is a result of increasing mobile accessibility due to advances in mobile device technology.

    How does this impact my online strategy?

    • Sites with breadth of content will bring more relevant visitors than keyword dense content
    • Short keyword rankings are no longer the strongest indicator of a strong online presence
    • Measuring success on different ‘entrance pages’ can help define new objectives for content relevancy moving forward

    How do I grow exposure to my site?

    • Publish content frequently; at minimum, update your site weekly
    • Create content that answers questions, this targets Hummingbird’s longer keyword rankings
    • Content that inspires sharing will increase your site’s authority online and raise your rankings
    • Publish recent and relevant content that adds to the conversation on a trending issue
    • Create infographics, frequently asked questions and conversational web pages
    • Utilize internal staff to promote social media regularly
    • Complement content efforts with a targeted paid placement search campaign

    Google Hummingbird is just one big change happening in the online world. In 2013, the online space saw changes with the rollout of Graph Search on Facebook and Bing/Yahoo also implemented a Hummingbird-like update. Throughout 2013, Google implemented other quiet changes, like limiting how much keyword information is available in Google Analytics.

    Since search algorithms are proprietary, the measures of page rankings have changed significantly, and there’s no way to tell for certain what strategies will positively impact their results although there are guidelines.

    It’s a new Search Engine world, and while SEO is not dead, it has changed and we shall see in the coming months what it means for thousands of websites.

    This change reminds us that the Internet is an organic, ever-changing world. We can’t ever get too comfortable or we will be left behind.

    Stay ahead of the updates and changes in the online space by following idgroup’s blog and following us on Facebook!

    By: Andrya Crossland

  • 2014: idgroup Celebrates 25 Years!

    A Note from Mona’s Desk

    It’s here again, the end of another year. This year, like every year’s end is an interesting mixture of reflection and anticipation.

    As the calendar turns to 2014, idgroup will begin its 25th year in business. In 1989, after resigning my position at the University of West Florida, I took my last paycheck, put a down payment on 400 sq. foot office in Downtown Pensacola, bought a desk and a phone and prayed I could sell something to make the next months rent. Tenacity, great people with a drive for excellence (and a little luck) and here we are 25 years later—amazing!

    I am proud of birthing idgroup, but most proud that today the organization has superseded me. There is no doubt that we have the best team we have ever had, but they stand on the shoulders of the many talented people who have passed our way. Don’t let people tell you, “talent doesn’t live in Pensacola.” And, if you are reading this, you are a part of our success, either as a client, friend or family.

    I believe our success has been defined by our focus on building great teams of multi-talented people, doing great work for clients we believe in and having some fun in the process.

    So our commitment moving forward is to continue to do it our way, trust the process and hold fast to the values that have defined us over the years: respect, collaboration, responsibility and excellence.

    Every ending is a beginning—filled with renewed energy, unimagined possibilities and hope. I can’t wait to see what’s next.

    Happy New Year!


  • Passion is Good. Obsession gets more likes.

    As an easily fixated person, I’m always fascinated by the types of things other people are obsessed with; especially the things that require a lot of time, patience and a certain degree of fastidiousness. And I’m not alone in this preoccupation. If you subtract all the kitty cats videos and the once-in-a-lifetime flukes, how many of the most popular viral videos are the result of a meticulous dedication to doing one thing over and over? All the rest?

    Francis Ford Coppola recognized how transfixed we become when we watch another’s work. By design, most of his films contain a scene with the main character in some act of intricate detail.

    In his 1974 film “The Conversation”, Coppola’s camera stops to watch Harry Caul - a security surveillance expert - withdrawal from his own party into a plastic draped room where he assembles eavesdropping devices; listening in on his guest’s conversations.

    The 1970’s electronics are beyond antiquated with their big silver knobs, alligator clips, and long runs of speaker wire. Despite this - or maybe because of it - you can’t help watching Harry work. His meticulous obsession and translucent cage are as absorbing as they are revealing; exposing the true nature of the detached and secretive Harry Caul.

    (Interestingly, Coppola originally named his main character Harry Call…because he tapped telephones. However, a production secretary’s typo gave Harry a last name that hinted at his true character: “CAUL” - a translucent membrane that covers the face and head. But I digress)

    Passion for what we do is good, but showing what obsesses us about our passion is the path to attracting and engaging an audience.

    Here is an example that “sticks” with me. I love the meticulous obsession of both film maker and he subject - a masking tape artist.

    By: Dane MacKendrick

  • 3 Easy Ways to Help Maximize Your Weekends

    The Weekend. That magic little word that elicits either feelings of blissful euphoria or pangs of thirstful longing. You’re either working for it, wishing you had it, or wishing it wasn’t over. And if by some crazy cosmic arithmetic you’re able to maximize all 48 hours (not including Friday) of the weekend, then you might be like me: wishing it was longer. And even more—when it’s over—maybe feeling like you didn’t accomplish all you wished you had.

    In our day and age (especially for those of us deep in the throws of business), the weekend is that sacred time to recuperate from the stresses of the office. And if you’re like me—and I have a feeling you are—you use your weekend to catch up on all those things that you couldn’t get to during the week: chores, errands and if you’re lucky, maybe some relaxation. So how do we maximize our “me” time and turn our weekends of “to-do” lists to our “end of the work week staycation?”

    It’s important that your down time be relaxing so that you can gear up for the work week ahead. You can maximize your down time by managing your up time with a few simple life hacks. Below are three I employ frequently to get the most out of my weekends.

    1. Make your bed every morning. This might seem obvious, but I’ve always believed the trick to a tidy house is in making your bed each and every morning. We’re creatures of habit, and for some reason, this small little action flips that switch in our brain that forces us to begin de-cluttering around the house. When the weekend finally arrives, you can spend it doing things you love instead of exfoliating the deep crevices of your home.
    2. Do your laundry during the week. Back before I had a W/D unit, I used to go to the local laundromat and spend 3 hours washing and folding load after load of laundry. Now that I’m no longer a poor college student, I make sure to spread out my laundry chores through the week, so when Saturday morning comes, my weekend schedule is as free and empty as my dirty laundry hamper. Alternatively, paying the laundromat to do your laundry for you is just as productive.
    3. Slowcook your way to a healthy meal. If you work in a fast-paced professional setting, it’s bound to happen: those late night, 10-12 hour days; and trying to find time to eat healthy is nearly impossible. One simple solution is slowcooking your food during the day while you’re at work, so when you’ve finally made it home from work in the wee hours of the night, you’re not reducing yourself to the high caloric and unhealthy foods of the drive-thru variety. As a bonus, if you cook large enough, you should have leftovers to last you through the next day’s lunch or through the weekend.

    Often times, people attribute the word “productivity” to an office term roughly translating to “billable time.” However, being productive with your personal time can help free up time for you to do the things you really want to do. Whatever solutions you have, the old adage is true: If you love it, you’ll make time for it.

    What are some tips and tricks you do to free up your weekends (or weekdays) to allow you to do the things you really love?

    By: Kris Poore

  • A New User Experience for Retina Specialty Institute


    We’re excited to announce that the new is now live! Be our guest and take a first hand tour! Inspired by a desire to connect on a personal level with patients and referring physicians, Retina Specialty Institute launched an endeavor with idgroup to design a comprehensive, informational and educational website that could be accessed by any device at any time. In order to provide an engaging experience for their unique audiences, we included strategic features such as a flexible design for those with low vision, new educational sections for retina information and healthy living as well as web responsive design for a consistent experience across all devices.

  • 5 Tips for Good Nutrition

    How do you sort through the overwhelming amount of information regarding health, nutrition, diet and fitness? It seems there is always a new book, workout DVD or nutrition plan that will solve all of your health, weight, (fill in the blank) concerns in just minutes.

    For as long as I can remember, I have had an interest in nutrition, fitness and living a healthy, balanced life. Ten years ago, while consuming what was considered by many to be a very healthy diet, I began experiencing significant physical health issues.  With several medical appointments and tests revealing no cause, diagnosis or cure, I was desperate for light to shine on the answers and prayed for wisdom to distinguish truth amidst the many sources of information available.

    As the information I needed became clear, I learned that vibrant health is not achieved by following the latest diet and is not gained or lost in just minutes. It is a daily commitment to make small, right choices.

    Through a process of resetting my internal system, I discovered the importance of consuming fresh, whole foods that contain the exact nutrients our bodies need to thrive, eliminating processed, sugary, and GMO foods that sneak into our diets and learning about our food sources.

    Looking back, I see years of small changes (and a few big leaps) that led to a truly healthy, whole and healed body. I now find it a blessing to create simple, nutrient-rich meals and share recipes and tips with others.

    5 Daily Tips for Good Nutrition:

    1. Eat Organic as much as possible
    2. Eat deep-hued foods (raspberries, blueberries, beets, red cabbage)
    3. Eat green (kale, collards, broccoli, spinach, Brussels sprouts)
    4. Mix 1 Tbsp each: lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, raw local honey and water. Drink 30 minutes before breakfast and/or dinner
    5. Drink clean water throughout the day to stay hydrated

    By: Brooke Rowell

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