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Michael Hemphill

Episode 4 of BUZZ 1024 576 Michael Hemphill

Episode 4 of BUZZ

Now playing on Blue Ridge PBS and our YouTube channel: Episode 4 of BUZZ 🐝 featuring RAM House (Roanoke Area Ministries) a donated marketing campaign from the talented folks at Wheeler Digital, with additional support by Roanoke Catholic School and Press Press March. Major funding for this episode was provided by Partners in Financial Planning.

Like all nonprofits, RAM House has been impacted by COVID-19 as it struggles to meet the growing needs of our community’s homeless population. While an older cadre of supporters helps the nonprofit provide food, clothing, a day shelter, and financial assistance for more than 100 people a day, Wheeler Digital donates its expertise to help RAM recruit younger volunteers and donors to sustain the organization’s work for years to come.

Episode 3 of BUZZ 1024 576 Michael Hemphill

Episode 3 of BUZZ

Now playing on Blue Ridge PBS and our YouTube channel: Episode 3 of BUZZ featuring Mill Mountain Zoo and the pro bono rebranding provided by Wordsprint.

Since its founding in 1952, Mill Mountain Zoo has been a nursery rhyme-themed amusement park featuring exotic animals. Today, the iconic attraction’s focus on education and conservation is so radically different that the word “zoo” no longer applies. Wordsprint, a print marketing company based in Blacksburg, guides the zoo’s board and staff in crafting a new identity as it approaches its 70th birthday atop Mill Mountain. 

Episode 2 of BUZZ 1024 576 Michael Hemphill

Episode 2 of BUZZ

Now playing on Blue Ridge PBS and our YouTube channel: Episode 2 of BUZZ featuring Healing Strides of Virginia receiving a pro bono marketing makeover from 5 Points Creative

Healing Strides of Virginia often refers to itself as one of the region’s “best-kept secrets” for its work providing therapeutic horse-riding services for people suffering from neurological disorders including children with autism and veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder. But thanks to a $25,000 “marketing makeover” by 5 Points Creative, the nonprofit based in Boones Mill is a secret no longer. 

Episode 1 of BUZZ 1024 576 Michael Hemphill

Episode 1 of BUZZ

Now playing on Blue Ridge PBS and our YouTube channel: Episode 1 of BUZZ featuring Southwest Virginia Ballet receiving a pro bono marketing makeover from digital specialist Carrie Cousins, with appearances by Wordsprint, Press Press March, Anderson Music Therapy, and Roanoke Symphony Orchestra music director David Stewart Wiley.

From free classes for Roanoke City schoolchildren to free performances for families with special needs, Southwest Virginia Ballet has transformed lives throughout the state through dance, artistry, and passion … despite a website that features none of those things. As a 30th birthday gift to Southwest Virginia Ballet, digital marketing specialist Carrie Cousins provides the nonprofit with an online transformation of its own. This episode is the first of four featuring nonprofits in Roanoke, Virginia, struggling to survive the COVID-19 pandemic and hoping to thrive once it’s over.

Why We Need More BUZZ 1024 576 Michael Hemphill

Why We Need More BUZZ

All that has transpired in 2020 — from the viruses of COVID-19 and racial injustice to the complete breakdown of civil and civic discourse — has only affirmed this project we’ve been nursing along the last year and a half: BUZZ TV show highlighting nonprofit organizations and the marketing pros who help them do more and do better. 

We’re excited to announce that the first four episodes start airing August 5 on Blue Ridge PBS and on our social media accounts. (Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.)

BUZZ has gone through several iterations these last 18 months: different production teams, different hosts (now yours truly). But the underlying premise remains true: our nation’s nonprofit organizations — homeless shelters and free clinics; zoos and museums; community theaters and choirs; churches and on and on — are increasingly all that is keeping our communities connected while our governmental institutions drive us apart.

We look forward to presenting our first four episodes on Blue Ridge PBS, which you can watch from home or at our watch party at The Grandin Theatre. Visit for more info.