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Michael Hemphill

“12 Buzz4Goods” Song 900 506 Michael Hemphill

“12 Buzz4Goods” Song

Here on the 12th day of Christmas, BUZZ creator Michael Hemphill presents his “12 Buzz4Goods” song!

Here we look back on the 12 nonprofits that have been featured on BUZZ since our debut in August 2020 on Blue Ridge PBS. We also thank our sponsors and the marketing pros who gave these organizations more “buzz.”

And we look ahead to an exciting 2022!

  1. Southwest Virginia Ballet & Carrie Cousins
  2. Healing Strides & 5Points Creative
  3. Mill Mountain Zoo & Wordsprint
  4. RAM House & Wheeler Digital
  5. Eastmont Community Foundation & Wordsprint
  6. Feeding Southwest Virginia & Access
  7. Virginia811 & Carrie Cousins
  8. Giles County & 5Points Creative
  9. Blue Ridge Women’s Center & Wheeler Digital
  10. Christiansburg Institute & Soectrum Media Solutions
  11. Children’s Assistive Technology Service & 5Points Creative
  12. Habitat for Humanity of the New River Valley & 5Points Creative

New Year’s “Sprezzatura” 150 150 Michael Hemphill

New Year’s “Sprezzatura”

I remember very little from my academic life, save the word “sprezzatura” from a Renaissance Literature class at Birmingham-Southern College. 

We were reading “The Book of the Courtier,” published in 1528, by Baldassare Castiglione, who defined the Italian word as “a certain nonchalance, so as to conceal all art and make whatever one does or says appear to be without effort and almost without any thought about it.”

While “a certain nonchalance” certainly defined my attitude towards college classes, there seemed to be a distinct lack of sprezzatura once I started my career. 

Through the years, showing “effort” – as I observed in colleagues and, in truth, in myself – seemed much of the job description. The striving, grasping, busybodiness of it all, calculated by meeting minutes, office hours, frantic phone calls, number of emails/texts/posts … the appearance of doing the work was as much the point as the work itself.

Since launching Buzz4Good in 2020,  I’ve seen time and again AAF Roanoke members like Bruce Bryan, Carrie Cousins, Bill Gilmer, Tony Pearman, Theresa Passeretti and William Nelms seemingly effortlessly incorporate pro bono nonprofit projects into their existing workload. 

And I’ve seen nonprofit leaders like Pedro Szalay, Pamela Irvine, Jim Drader, Chris Sanchez, Melissa Woodson and Carol Young calmly execute their organization’s complex missions – whether inspiring art and learning or fighting homelessness, hunger, racism, depression – to better our communities. 

All of this during one of our country’s most challenging times in history.

Here at the end of 2021, I want to thank all who have helped me professionally give flight to Buzz, and for the personal lessons in how to do difficult things with “a certain nonchalance.” 

In an age when grace is in such short supply, I offer up more sprezzatura as a resolution for 2022. Happy New Year’s to you all!

Always buzzing,
Michael Hemphill
Creator of Buzz4Good

Christmas Special featuring Nonprofits’ Holiday Music 900 599 Michael Hemphill

Christmas Special featuring Nonprofits’ Holiday Music

Merry Christmas! Instead of our usual show featuring marketing tips and tools for nonprofits, our Christmas Day “Buzz4Good!” on WFIR features recent musical performances by our region’s nonprofit community.

So in this sneak peek of our Christmas Day show, we share with you performances from:

  • Opera Roanoke
  • Blacksburg Children’s Chorale
  • Roanoke Valley Children’s Choir
  • Blacksburg United Methodist Church
  • Our Lady of Nazareth
  • Roanoke Catholic School
  • Patrick Henry High School

And tune in Christmas Day at 4 pm to WFIR for an additional, one time only broadcast of the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah by the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra.

I hope you enjoy our nonprofits’ sounds of the season as well as a wonderful Christmas, and that we all commit ourselves to being even more of a buzz4good in 2022.

Always buzzing,
Michael Hemphill
Creator of BUZZ

Celebrate with Us the 12th Day of Christmas 763 403 Michael Hemphill

Celebrate with Us the 12th Day of Christmas

There’s one more party in this season’s festivities: the 12th Day of Christmas! And as it so happens, Buzz4Good and the American Advertising Federation of Roanoke have helped 12 nonprofits since our show, BUZZ, premiered in August 2020.

In celebration, we invite all nonprofit organizations (2 tickets per nonprofit), AAF Roanoke members, and BUZZ sponsors to a FREE special event on Jan. 6 at 1910 9th Street SE, Roanoke, 24013. 

Center in the Square recently created a fabulous downtown Roanoke cityscape in this space, and it’s here where you’ll enjoy:

  • Hors d’oeuvres by Center Stage Catering and desserts
  • Cash bar after your first complimentary beverage
  • Entertainment by “street performers” from the region’s nonprofits including Mill Mountain Zoo, Salsa Noke and Roanoke Symphony
  • BUZZ creator Michael Hemphill’s famous “Name that Christmas Carol Contest”
  • And our version of “Mingle Bells” where nonprofits can ask AAF Roanoke elves about marketing tips and tools to achieve more “buzz.”

Oh yea, and we’re also going to be filming the event for the first episode of BUZZ in 2022! So come out and be a star of our show!


Register for our FREE 12th Day of Christmas Party that is open to all nonprofits (2 tickets per organization), AAF Roanoke members, and sponsors of BUZZ!
Buzz4Good! talks Print Marketing & Year-End Giving 900 506 Michael Hemphill

Buzz4Good! talks Print Marketing & Year-End Giving

On our most recent Buzz4Good! Nonprofits+Marketing, BUZZ creator Michael Hemphill talks to Bill Gilmer, owner of Wordsprint, about print marketing strategies to maximize year-end giving for nonprofits.

Are you a nonprofit with an event that we could help promote? Or a marketing problem we could help fix? Contact us and we’ll share on an upcoming episode.