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“12 Buzz4Goods” Song

“12 Buzz4Goods” Song 900 506 Michael Hemphill

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”

New Year’s “Sprezzatura” 150 150 Michael Hemphill

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

Christmas Special featuring Nonprofits’ Holiday Music 900 599 Michael Hemphill

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

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

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!


Buzz4Good! talks Print Marketing & Year-End Giving

Buzz4Good! talks Print Marketing & Year-End Giving 900 506 Michael Hemphill

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.

#GivingTuesday tips & Tools from Buzz4Good!

#GivingTuesday tips & Tools from Buzz4Good! 1024 575 Michael Hemphill

On today’s Buzz4Good! Nonprofits+Marketing, AAF Roanoke president Carrie Cousins and BUZZ creator Michael Hemphill share strategies to help nonprofits make the most of #GivingTuesday. And Carrie offers a fantastic #GivingTuesday resource in her latest “No Budget Marketing Minute.”

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.

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W E B S I T E ➜ http://buzz4good.com​​

Buzz4Good! is hosted by BUZZ creator Michael Hemphill and American Advertising Federation of Roanoke president Carrie Cousins, who has appeared on two episodes of the TV show BUZZ helping nonprofits with their digital marketing needs.

Habitat for Humanity of the New River Valley wraps up 2021 for BUZZ

Habitat for Humanity of the New River Valley wraps up 2021 for BUZZ 900 518 Michael Hemphill

As originally broadcast on Nov. 3, 2021, on Blue Ridge PBS …

Home is where the heart is, but it’s where your money is too. And for most of us money determines not only the type of home we can afford but its condition once we move in. 

For more than 35 years, Habitat for Humanity of the New River Valley has been dedicated to building quality affordable housing for low-income families.

Now the nonprofit embarks on a visionary new mission: creating task forces in individual communities that can serve as first responders for people in need of critical home repair. Helping Habitat launch this initiative are our friends at 5Points Creative, plus a familiar face to BUZZ, Eastmont Community Foundation, which we featured in December 2020.

Together, they’re working to build a program that may one day become a model for our entire country … ensuring that the real value of our homes isn’t measured in dollars, but in heart. 

Announcing our new Radio show: Buzz4Good!

Announcing our new Radio show: Buzz4Good! 600 337 Michael Hemphill

We are thrilled to announce our next big thing to feature the great work that nonprofit organizations do in our communities!

Thanks to our friends at Wheeler Media and WFIR News Talk Radio, on October 2 at 4:00 p.m. we launch our new weekly radio show: Buzz4Good!

On Buzz4Good! we talk all things nonprofit … the people they serve and the good they do. And we talk to creative marketing professionals who provide tips and tools to help nonprofits attract more donors, volunteers and clients to their cause.

Buzz4Good! is hosted by BUZZ creator Michael Hemphill and American Advertising Federation of Roanoke president Carrie Cousins, who has appeared on two episodes of the TV show BUZZ helping nonprofits with their digital marketing needs.

Speaking of TV shows, a video version of each episode of Buzz4Good! will be simulcast on Blue Ridge PBS’ streaming channels. The episodes will also be available on demand on our YouTube channel and on Apple Podcast.

In our debut show of Buzz4Good!

  • We preview upcoming fundraising events hosted by nonprofits, like Center in the Square’s Blue Ridge Nightmares and Children’s Assistive Technology Service’s Hallowheels.
  • Michael talks to Roanoke Arts & Cultural Coordinator Douglas Jackson about the region’s arts organizations.
  • Carrie reflects on the website woes of Southwest Virginia Ballet in Episode 1 of BUZZ and shares tips to make your nonprofit’s website more effective and engaging.
  • United Way of the Roanoke Valley executive director Abby Hamilton introduces us to “The Tale of Two Cities” and the unjust disparities that exist for people living in different ZIP codes not even five miles apart.
  • Carrie offers her “No Budget Marketing Tip of the Week.”
  • And more!

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

Are you a business that would like to be featured on our show and enjoy the “buzz” you’d get for supporting the life-enhancing work that nonprofits do for our communities? Check out our sponsorship guide to see how you can get more buzz by supporting BUZZ.

Tune in to WFIR this Saturday, October 2, at 4:00 p.m. to hear our first episode of Buzz4Good!

BUZZ Season 2 Premiers with C.A.T.S.

BUZZ Season 2 Premiers with C.A.T.S. 600 375 Michael Hemphill

“I don’t want to say insurance doesn’t care, they just don’t understand. If it doesn’t affect you, you don’t understand.”

More than 1,000 Virginia families each year struggle to afford costly wheelchairs, walkers, standers and strollers for their special needs children.

Thankfully, there’s Children’s Assistive Technology Service, aka C.A.T.S., a nonprofit providing children across the state with refurbished pediatric rehabilitation equipment … all at no cost.

Helping fund C.A.T.S.’ mission is an annual Halloween event, Hallowheels. Our good friends at 5Points Creative – with generous help by EZRampz Mobility Solutions, WDBJ7 and WWBT – are back with a fantastic marketing campaign to get more people to know about, and financially support, this life-changing event.

Kicking off Season 2 of BUZZ, our episode on C.A.T.S. aired Sept. 22 on Blue Ridge PBS.

We thank ABLENow for the generous sponsorship support of this episode. ABLENow helps individuals with disabilities save money to pay for qualified expenses, without being taxed on the earnings — and in most cases, without losing eligibility for certain means-tested benefit programs.

Christiansburg Institute wraps 1st season of BUZZ

Christiansburg Institute wraps 1st season of BUZZ 900 538 Michael Hemphill

BUZZ concluded its first season in August 2021 with a special two-part episode featuring the Christiansburg Institute. Watch both parts now on our YouTube channel!

For 100 years, the Christiansburg Institute stood as one of the finest schools for Black Americans in Virginia. Founded in 1866 just a year after the Civil War put an end to slavery, Christiansburg Institute became a testament to African-American self-preservation, educating thousands of students on its 185-acre campus. Education giants such as Booker T. Washington served as superintendent.

But in 1966 school integration finally took hold in Virginia … and Christiansburg Institute’s legacy was quite literally whitewashed away. Its academic buildings were shuttered. Its students scattered to previously whites-only schools. Its land subdivided and sold off. Today all that’s left is one abandoned building on four acres.

But there’s a group of passionate people dedicated to preserving its history … and creating a catalyst for community conversations, racial justice and change. Helping them is Spectrum Media Solutions, which designed and donated a new website so they can share their story to a national audience.

BUZZ is a program of AAF Roanoke and is sponsored in part by the Virginia Film Office.