Archive for January, 2015

Meet the Specialist- Holla Toons

Monday, January 26th, 2015

holla-toonsThis month we are featuring one of our video producers, Holla Toons. The creative genius behind this company, Alex Hollis, has been making original cartoon videos for ‘Bout Green for over a year. These short, animated videos offer our readers green tips in a light and informative manner. If you’re seeking to be more eco-friendly, head to ‘Bout Green daily and every other Friday for the videos.

Without further ado, please allow me to introduce Holla Toons!

MPK: Our readers know you simply as “Holla Toons”.  How did you get started making cartoon videos?

HT: When running fellow portfolio company, TestSoup, we were implementing as many strategies as possible to try to increase conversion. We tried an experiment where we added a quick video about one of the many products we were selling, and we noticed that it not only lifted conversion considerably, but was also a fantastic traffic referral tool, as it was getting lots of views on YouTube.

We wanted to replicate this for all of our products and realized we needed to go “all-in” on a cool video-creation tool and settled on a great product – PowToon. Our team was then pumping out at least one video a day and seeing pretty great results from it. Other portfolio companies liked the videos, and so I started helping them out by doing a few for them on the side.

MPK: What is the best part of making these videos?

HT: Seeing the traffic and conversion results that come from making them. When it comes to making videos for PeKu in particular, I’ve enjoyed learning a bit about going green. The most recent video we did (about applying beet juice to icy drive and walkways) was really quite interesting to research and actually solved a problem I was experiencing at the time as my walkway was super icy, and we don’t like to put too much chemical deicer on it because we are afraid it will hurt the deer (Talk about New Hampshire problems, huh?)

MPK: What’s the story behind the business name?

HT: When I was a teacher in Mississippi, my students’ accents forced them to pronounce my last name (Hollis) name as Holla. It just kind of stuck.

MPK: You have covered an interesting assortment of green tips. How do you get the inspiration for each video?

HT: A lot of them come from my dad, actually. He is very energy-conscious and is always making sure everything is as efficient as possible.

MPK: What fun fact would our readers be surprised to learn about you?

HT: I have a small Yorky-Poo named Sophie. She is the bomb.

Shrinking in Order to Grow

Monday, January 19th, 2015

up_down_line_graphWhen I made the executive decision to reduce PeKu from a collection of twenty-one publications to twelve, it was with the hope that it would encourage growth.  As I pondered whether to take my figurative ax and eliminate over forty percent of my company, I weighed my options. What if I was making the wrong choice? However, every piece of data that I had and every one of my instincts pointed toward reduction.

Two and a half months into this change, I am seeing many signs that this is the correct direction for PeKu.  First, with a greatly reduced portfolio and a more aligned audience, the editorial calendar has become more focused.  Although there are more changes to come, most notably more interaction between the publications, each publication’s calendar has been examined. With only twelve publications, more time can be given to each, allowing for more thoughtful scheduling.

Second, our social media presence is expanding. With a more homogenous audience, our generic PeKu accounts are able to share messages that are interesting to more of our audience. Additionally, we are taking the time to build more publication specific accounts. At the time of this writing, we now have Twitter accounts for four of our publications, Pinterest boards for nine, and Instagram accounts for two.  Plus, we have Twitter and Instagram accounts for our mascot, Peku.

Third, we have reintroduced the role of a Features Reporter intern. We last had this role two years ago. While it was a nice to have internship, we didn’t have the time to oversee this role or to find the proper place for it in our editorial calendar. With a more structured editorial calendar and more refined message, these articles will be a fabulous addition to our calendar.

I know it’s too early to confirm that this transformation is a success, but so far it seems to be going well. Here’s to hoping for continual growth after the initial reduction!

PeKu News- January 2015

Monday, January 12th, 2015

LoriSAs I was making some preparations for this article, I was reminded how much smaller PeKu has become.  For my second Editorially Yours column each month, I like to recognize anniversaries for members of our staff.  When I looked at January, I discovered that we have only one anniversary.  Then I decided to map out the rest of the months and realized that many months have only one anniversary. Some have none.

Of course, the number of anniversaries celebrated in a month doesn’t diminish the actual anniversary.  Whether your family has one birthday or three birthdays in the same month, each one is important.  So, too, are the anniversaries at PeKu.

This month we recognize Lori Sciame. Lori has been a writer at PeKu for the past four years.  Over this time period she has written on a number of topics. Her current assignments include weddings, home decorating, parenting, fashion, and pets. Her creativity, love for animals and children, and flair for style are evident in her writing.

If you are looking for something new to read, be sure to check out Lori’s most recent articles. They are certain to inspire and inform!


2015- Recharged & Ready

Monday, January 5th, 2015

2015If you’re a regular reader of my Editorially Yours column, you will have noticed that I didn’t publish anything last week.  That wasn’t an error or technical oversight; it was a purposeful decision.  Although I need to be online almost every day for PeKu, I decided to take advantage of the holidays and work shorter days.  So, while PeKu was running smoothly, I chose to let a few of my chores go by the wayside.  One of those was this column.

What did I do with extra free time on my hands? I spent more time with my family. I went to the spa with my daughters for pedis and facials. We had family game night with all four of our teens. We spent New Year’s Day afternoon with my brother and his family. We had dinner with good friends. I took time in the afternoons to read. I ate more indulgently. I slept half an hour later than usual.

While that list isn’t all-inclusive, it does provide a general feel for the last week or so. I was able to take some time and recharge my batteries. For me, the combination of friends, family, and a bit of solo time does the trick. Today the world is back to its normal routine of work, school, etc. While for some it is viewed with a sense of resignation, I am excited to jump back into a routine. A new year is another opportunity to see what PeKu can become.

We’ve spent the last two months as the newly refined online publishing company that focuses on women. In the coming months we will be looking for even more ways to appeal to our audience. Beyond written and video articles, we will be creating new content and products that will engage and inspire our audience.

Welcome, 2015! We, at PeKu, are ready for another year of progress!